30 years, 30 gardens, Through the Garden Gate 2017

I was (regretfully) away for the 2017 preview of Through the Garden Gate. So I (regretfully) can’t show sneak peeks into the 30+ (yes, that’s thirty-plus!) gardens selected for the 30th anniversary of the Toronto Botanical Garden‘s annual garden tour, this weekend June 10 & 11. But I can tell you a few facts: It happens in North Rosedale […]

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Seedy Saturday at the TBG

My sister is the seed-starter in our family. She’d tell you all the great reasons to start plants from seed, beginning with the joy of seeing a wee plant unfold from the soil – an everyday miracle I never get tired of. Cost-effectiveness is another one. Seed-started plants make it all the more affordable to create a scene like the one above, a […]

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Opuntia will come back from the dead

If this seems a gruesome way to begin, it’s because of my “undying” admiration of the paddle cactus or prickly pear (Opuntia spp.). Did you know that southern Ontario has a native cactus (in the wild, it’s endangered)? This is the family, if not the one. And we can overwinter it here in Toronto’s USDA Z5/Canadian Z6. When […]

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12 things to like about 2016

By many measures, 2016 was one of the most deplorable of annus horribilis-es. The Grim Reaper was unusually busy, and some things did not turn out as hoped. But let’s try to bright-side it. A look back: January One thing to like, every year, is Toronto’s skirt hem along the great freshwater sea that is Lake Ontario. A […]

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TBG Holiday Market and Open House 2016

Toronto Botanical Garden’s Annual Holiday Open House will be a little different this year. It happens tomorrow, Dec. 1st, 2016, from 2 pm to 8 pm, with a parallel members-only event starting at 6:30 pm. I’ll be there, accompanied by our N.O.D. (Number One Dot), and with bells on. The difference will be the extended […]

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Clematis tangutica: Careful what you wish for

I have lusted after Clematis tangutica, the late-flowering beauty with the common name golden clematis or sometimes orange-peel clematis due to its thick petals (really: sepals). And I have planted Clematis tangutica. And, like many of the clematis I’ve grown, I have killed Clematis tangutica. You can imagine my surprise, then, when researching this post today I […]

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Bee hotels for your wish list

My adventures in urban wild bee hospitality have appeared on the blog before. Right now, other than some passive carpenter bee action on our shed, I’m out of the bee hotel business. But I’d like to get back into it. Over my garden travels, I’ve been collecting bee hotel pictures for inspiration. Hoping these inspire you, […]

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Almost-wordless ex-aster appreciation

New-world asters aren’t Aster anymore. They are, among other things, Symphyotrichum as in Symphyotrichum novae-angliae or New England aster. Because these new-ish names are a bit of a mouthful, I prefer the term used (and perhaps created) by my friend Gail of Clay and Limestone: Ex-asters. It’s for Gail’s Wildflower Wednesday that I post this almost-wordless […]

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Designing with see-through plants

I’m a latecomer* to the term “see-through plants,” new to me until this spring. It was in a presentation on small-space gardening written by another Master Gardener. Her point was that designing with see-through plants is one way to make a small space seem bigger. Hmmm, thought this small-space gardener, interesting. After that, I started to notice plants for […]

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A September evening at the TBG

It’s a lovely day. The evening of the first day of school for 2016/17 and, coincidentally, the night of our first Toronto Master Gardener meeting for the new season. We have a few minutes. Come walk with me through the Piet Oudolf entry garden at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Let’s not worry about plant names. Let’s […]

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I agree: Brown is a colour, too

The Toronto Botanical Garden’s entry garden in January 2013 Today, we’ll put November to bed, and tomorrow we’ll wake up to December – which some feel means the end of colour in the garden. Well, all the leaves may be brown, and the sky is grey… but when we go for that walk on a […]

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