Going wild(flower) in the garden

I’ve just finished reading Miriam Goldberger’s book Taming Wildflowers, and I’m ready to rip out everything I’ve planted in my sunny front garden – she’s that good at making the case for wildflowers (Miriam runs Wildflower Farm in Coldwater, ON). She can rattle off their benefits at the drop of a petal: easy care, pest-resistance, […]

The spring after the winter that was (is?)

The calendar says yes, yes – but the ground says no, no. And that, folks, will be the story of the spring 2014 gardening season. We’re just coming out of the hardest winter we’ve seen in decades. What will this mean for our gardens this year – and for the way we take care of […]

A preview of Canada Blooms

It’s March. We’re fed up with winter and ready to run a little wild. And – surprise – so is good old Canada Blooms. Toronto’s annual flower fest is shaking off the cobwebs this year with its theme, Wild. Don’t expect to see all those oh-so-sophisticated gardens laid out for dainty tea parties. The folks […]

Spring gardens will get the blues

Back when I was a beginning gardener, with just one trowel and a pair of cotton gloves, you couldn’t find blue flowers in the garden. Red? Check. Yellow? Check. Pink? Check. But if you wanted blue, you were pretty much limited to planting ageratum – a short, fussy water-guzzler. Times have changed. In Landscape Ontario’s […]

What I learned in my garden this year

No one knows it all. If someone says they do, they’re delusional or untruthful. That’s one of the things we learn from our gardens. We think we know what a plant is going to do, then – BOOM! – it turns around and does something completely different. I’ve been gardening a couple of decades or […]

Nine steps for planting a fall container

Are your containers of annuals looking ratty now? That’s because, as a TV garden guru once declaimed, “THEY WANT TO DIE.” It’s hard tossing our summer friends in the yard waste bag, but after that’s done, you can move on to planting a new autumn container. Paul Zammit, director of horticulture at the Toronto Botanical […]

Maple Leaf Forever tree gone, but offspring lives on

A local legend passed away July 19, and a bit of our heritage went with it. But, though we lost the original, we have a new generation to take its place, thanks to a couple of dedicated Beach gardeners. The Maple Leaf Forever tree, a silver maple towering over Laing St. in neighbouring Leslieville, cracked […]

Talk to the hand (that holds the trowel)

Try talking to a gardener about anything but gardening at this time of year. You’ll probably get vague grunts like “Hmm … yeah … sure … whatever …” That’s because our heads are filled with thoughts of plants, colours, equipment and all the other things we want to add to our gardens this season. I’ll […]

Lights, camera…flowers!

Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I would usually rather be gardening. Or in the garden. Or among flowers and plants somewhere. When I’m trapped indoors, I admit, I watch TV. Sometimes a lot of it. That’s why I was excited to see that a local florist is connected with some of my favourite television […]

Boom, boom…Canada Blooms!

March – my least-favourite month – is booming with activity this year: March Break, Easter, Passover, Beach Metro News’ 41st birthday… …and that gardeners’ circus of delights, Canada Blooms. Let’s get something out of the way first. Yes, Canada Blooms is sharing space and ticketing with the National Home Show again this year. Like it […]