Should have forced some paperwhites

While waiting for a meeting to begin at the Toronto Botanical Garden this week, something clucked at me for not doing something last fall. No, not a chicken. It was a pot of paperwhite Narcissus. Forcing bulbs is so easy. Yet fall can be so busy that even easy things can be neglected. Not this fall, I hope. Perhaps if I […]

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I hereby redefine “Junuary”

According to the Urban Dictionary, Junuary is a word for those cold June days that feel extra-cold because it’s, well, June. Pshaw! I’m co-opting it. Now, when it’s reeeeally cold, we need reminding that spring is a few (just a few, honest!) days away. We need Junuary more on a day like today: not January in June, but […]

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Escape from the cold to Allan Gardens

Good news. If you’re suffering from cabin fever during the first 2018 polar vortex, the Allan Gardens Christmas Show is on till January 7th. It’s a fun way to beat the chills, and it’s free. One of the cool things about this year’s show is the creative use of materials. When you go, have a […]

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Happy Winter Solstice 2017

As I write this, the moment of solstice has passed us by – but only by minutes. Today is the year’s shortest, but each day from here till the summer solstice in June gets longer by seconds. The curious can track the sun’s daily progress, along with the risings and settings of the moon, here. As a bonus, […]

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The reason I planted 250 snowdrops

October and November have been so busy, I had to go back to look at my spring pictures to see aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall those bulbs in bloom. Just to remind myself that it’s worthwhile planting bulbs now, despite the fact that the weather is getting grim and life is unusually hectic. In spring, when my appetite was biggest, […]

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As if it knew, ‘Moonlight’ amaryllis bloomed

A while back, I bought a bare amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulb from the Toronto Botanical Garden shop. Did I plant it right away? No. Silly me. I procrastinated and I procrastinated. So, while all my gardening friends were posting images of their gorgeous amaryllis(eseses) on Facebook, mine sat sideways on (not in) the pot it was supposed to […]

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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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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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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 […]

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Our snowless winter of 2015-16

No heavy snow to weigh down the grasses along Lake Shore East, January 2016 Perhaps we dreamed of a White Christmas in December 2015, but a dream was all it was. And the snow has just kept on not coming. Toronto often has little snow on the ground in January, but this year has been […]

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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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