Not a native plant (but it sure looked like one)

When Gail of Clay and Limestone reminded me about her upcoming Wildflower Wednesday meme, I got all excited. I’d been saving the shot above for a post with the working title “lesser-known native plants.” Trouble is, the more I looked, the more I saw it isn’t the plant I’d thought it was (Uvularia grandiflora or merrybells) – though at […]

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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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Dotty over Monarda punctata, spotted beebalm

Ah, common names! Here’s a plant with many: spotted or dotted mint, spotted or dotted beebalm, horsemint and spotted horsemint (and possibly even dotted horsemint), for example, all with the botanical name Monarda punctata. No, it doesn’t look like your typical monarda, does it? Whatever you call it, you can call it great for native bees. Pollinators […]

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A visit to Wild Flower Farm

Miriam Goldberger and Paul Jenkins (with the lovely Penny) at Wildflower Farm As if three 13-hour days of the Toronto Garden Bloggers Fling weren’t excitement enough, and an optional fourth day in Niagara didn’t do us in, on the fifth day Sarah organized an outing to native seed producer Wildflower Farm. We confess that while […]

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Book Review: Taming Wildflowers by Miriam Goldberger

Taming Wildflowers is Miriam Goldberger’s just-launched book from St. Lynn’s Press Between the front cover’s exuberant coneflowers and the back cover’s Piet Oudolf blurb, Miriam Goldberger’s work of passion Taming Wildflowers is the little book that could. Although it appears skinny, this is a highly concentrated primer on knowing, growing and using wildflowers. Toronto-area folk […]

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Weed? What weed?

Viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare) – in Canada, a weed; in Europe, a fairly respectable wildflower. I also happen to be rather fond of the fairy-ring flowers of narrow-leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata). Photographed on Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit. Many common North American weeds are aliens that piggybacked here accidentally with agricultural settlers. An interesting timeline in […]

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Fog factor

At 10 a.m. Saturday morning I was walking on the Leslie Street Spit. (We’re so lucky to have the Spit.) The day was foggy. So foggy that the usually striking view of the city skyline was obliterated. On both sides, the sky and lake were reduced to translucent beach glass in milky shades of white […]

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