Fall can surprise you

Despite our best efforts, as gardeners and as just plain folks, we never know for sure what can happen in a season. There I was, walking west on Lake Shore in mid-October and a flutter among the hawthorns caught my eye. Could it be? Yes, it was! The little fella above, left behind by the […]

Continue Reading

Yes, Toronto often has snow in April

Our trees were the plants most damaged by this week’s April snow and ice storms. We see the evidence in bits and pieces on the ground all around us – or, if we’ve been unlucky, on top of our cars and fences. Hopefully, not on top of us! Sometimes, fruit trees can have their flower […]

Continue Reading

Snowdrop alert 2018

Sarah wins the Snowdrop Sweepstakes this year [Ed: At least, on our street.]. Her prize is the chance to crow over these adorables sticking their tongues out at winter. And at her sister, because my 250 newly planted Galanthus and the 50 or so already in my garden are way behind. On the other hand, when […]

Continue Reading

Goodbye, 2017

You were the best of times, you were the worst of times, 2017. I’m sorry to see you go, but will be happy to see a new year begin, with all its possibilities. Let’s focus on the good stuff. Other wonderful things happened this year. To name a few: we won awards, were interviewed on […]

Continue Reading

2017 was a great year for Hydrangeas

In 2017, we’ve had rain, we’ve had rain, we’ve had more rain. It’s raining now! My annuals are slow to bloom, probably due to lack of sunshine. But one thing for sure seems to be doing well around Toronto. Hydrangeas! The smooth hydrangea or Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ in my dry-shade front garden (above) is mammoth! Lots of rain and […]

Continue Reading

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. […]

Continue Reading

Coping with Spring Envy

On the weekend, I FaceTimed with our youngest daughter, who currently lives in the UK. She was telling me about her life there. You know. Hopes, dreams, fears. But I was eager to get on to the important stuff. “I’ll bet you have daffodils.” “What?” She sounded confused by my non-sequitur. “Daffodils. I’ll bet they’re blooming now. Or […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Spring 2016 is (finally) in the air

No. Unfortunately not a picture of a Toronto garden. Not yet. Nearly a year ago, I photographed this in the display garden of Sunset Publishing in California, sighing that it would perk me up before my return to the brownery back home. Well, Facebook just reminded me of it, so I thought I’d share it […]

Continue Reading

Snowdrop alert 2016. Wow, they’re early.

Hello, little snowdrop! This is our earliest-ever official Toronto Gardens snowdrop sighting – I noticed my usual earlybird snowdrop was up yesterday, February 3, 2016, but it had likely awoken a few days before. Our neighbours S and B have a nice little patch blooming in their front yard, too. Prior to this, the earliest […]

Continue Reading