The plants of Canada Blooms 2019

Have you ever paused to think what a challenge it must be to force 70,000 plants into leaf or peak bud or bloom in time for the March opening of a show like this? Especially over the dark, rainy, sleety, snowy Ontario winter like the one we’ve survived in 2018-19! That’s an accomplishment in itself. And to […]

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I’m a convert to ‘Emerite’ pole beans

A quick post, because I’m in Chicago accepting an award for the blog from the Association for Garden Communicators. Before leaving Toronto, one of the last things I did was pick this lovely bowl of ‘Emerite’ pole beans. Are beans worth the space they take in a tiny garden like mine? You might not think so. […]

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So, where can you find exotic vegetable seed?

If you’ve read our review of two books on growing not-the-usual vegetables, you might be curious about where to find the seeds to grow them. By coincidence, a couple of leads fell into my hands last month, and sent me into a digging expedition for more.  Like the cute little mouse melon above? Read on to find seeds. […]

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My volunteer tomato adventure

After the Tomato Heartbreak of 2016 (*more on that in a moment), I vowed there’d be no more than one tomato plant in my garden. Certainly no tomatoes planted in my big garden trough. Despite last year being one of the best years in memory for tomatoes and despite me darting out, waving arms and shouting, […]

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Another use for Luffa (or loofah)

This desiccated winter planter turned my head near George Brown College a few weeks ago. Not for its artistry, but for the realization: Hey, those red “pine cones” are loofahs! Loofahs! Not sea creatures, but the fibrous cores of mature gourds such as Luffa aegyptiaca – all in the cucumber or squash family. We associate loofahs with sponges because they hang […]

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Eating garden tomatoes in November

Back in July, my Microgarden report mentioned some of the tomato cultivars I was growing this year. Now here it is at almost the end of November, and I’m still eating fresh tomatoes, harvested back in October. How did that happen? I picked them while they were still green. Some, I kept in a tightly closed […]

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Book review: High-Value Veggies

Whether you’re a bona fide homegrown vegetable gardener or, like me, simply grow veggies on a small scale, right now you’re probably taking stock of what worked this year and what didn’t. You probably roughly know your yields. Perhaps, like Margaret at Homegrown, you’re fairly rigorous about it. But have you calculated your return on investment (ROI) […]

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Ideas for designing with vegetables

Houseplants and vegetables are the “gateway drugs” to gardening. They certainly were for me, and I think they are again today. I was a university student with a windowsill full of houseplants when first bitten hard by the gardening bug. Later, Mr TG and I had our first apartment and an allotment garden at the Leslie Street Spit. One […]

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July 2016 in the Microgarden

Coming home to the garden after a few days away feels like seeing nieces and nephews after a break. Except when you say, “My, how you’ve grown!” plants are a bit harder to embarrass. Want to see what’s growing in a small, shady, city garden – maybe a bit like yours? Certainly, I’d like to recall what worked and what didn’t in the Microgarden […]

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