Shoreline, What Shoreline? 

The heavy rains in Toronto have really done a number on Toronto’s shoreline beaches and parks. One of the dog parks that I walk in regularly has become a little bit like Venice, where we are literally walking on land surrounded by little temporary lakes. And it is the same throughout the entire coastline of Lake Ontario in Toronto. […]

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Here, admire this waterfall

Hasn’t 2106 been a mixed-up year in Toronto for precipitation? I was begging for rain when summer was at its hottest. Now, when I’m eager to be out planting bulbs, rain. And I’m complaining. Toronto had three months of drought in 2016. But look at California. According to the Pacific Institute, California might be beginning its sixth […]

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For when the rain barrel’s empty

This brass Y spigot with the ball-valve shut-offs is very easy to operate My heart broke last week when – as temperatures dropped – I had to empty three full rain barrels. It seemed sinful, somehow. A long section of hose on the spigot, backed up by a watering can, let me spot water the […]

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A pool garden with imperfect symmetry

Sometimes a photographer doesn’t mind a brightly clad garden writer in the shot to add perspective and scale. We were lined up several deep to take this money shot. Patience is a virtue. Huge thanks go to horticultural therapist Margaret Nevett who, years ago at a Master Gardener meeting, suggested that I join the Garden Writers […]

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A rain garden in Hogg’s Hollow

This lush rain garden was on the 2014 Through the Garden Gate tour in Hogg’s Hollow Hogg’s Hollow is set in a (surprise!) hollow – a steep-sided ravine – in some places steeper than others. The lucky homeowners who live in this charming setting aren’t always so lucky during heavy rains. Water scoots down the […]

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Idea File: Ten from Canada Blooms 2013

Shawn Gallaugher’s new venture Otium Exercise Gardens creates spaces that look like a garden, but act like a gym. A few of the gardens this year incorporated some aspect of fitness and outdoor living. Today’s Friday Idea File brings you ten things of note from this first day of Canada Blooms 2013. With one wee […]

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Treegator: Like a water bottle for new trees

The Bloor Street Transformation Project included granite planters and about 130 London plane trees Overspilling with colour, the new granite planters on chi-chi Bloor Street are hard to miss. But did you also notice the trees? These pix from September were meant for a post I’d wanted to call a Bloor Street Garden Tour (it […]

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Our front yard makeover: Post mortem

Now that the hardscape portion of our Grand Simplification is complete, let’s step back and evaluate. And, to celebrate the first day of school, I’ve even given grades, using my very arbitrary rubric which is no rubric at all. You judge whether we’re being too easy – or too hard – on ourselves. Circulation: B+ […]

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Worth repeating: Be water wise

It’s another heat wave. So we thought it worthwhile to repeat these tips for water-wise gardening from May 2009 – still useful, even as we enter July: Okay, the picture exaggerates. But today we’ll get a taste of it, and tomorrow’s forecast is 30˚C and full sunshine. On hot days like tomorrow, it’s smart to […]

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