Poinsettias shine with lack of light

For those annoying little twangs of seasonal affective disorder that seem to sneak up on you in the days leading up to the winter solstice there’s nothing better than a Poinsettia or two to brighten up a dark corner of the living room. And don’t fret about urban legends warning that the plants are poisonous. […]

An ode to an odorous bulb

There is usually a faint fragrance of garlic hanging around my house at this time of the year – and it’s not part of some master plan to discourage those shopping-bag toting vampires, werewolves and other cute little demons that will be wandering about the neighbourhood next week. The aroma wafting up from the basement […]

A history of a musical weed that does double duty as a reed

Quick, what’s the most important weed in the history of music? And no, I know what you are thinking. I’m not talking about the kind of ‘weed’ that got Louis Armstrong hauled away in handcuffs, or the same fragrant herb that caused a boatload of trouble – or rather ‘potload’ of trouble – for Paul […]

Ginkgo trees an imported native relic

Last fall, as I was taking my usual walking route from Queen street through the entrance of the Glen Stewart ravine, I stopped to admire a couple of familiar young ginkgo trees all dressed up in their yellow fall finery. The pair have been getting a little crowded over the last couple of years, but […]

Good things growing on Garden Tour

Local legend has it that people used to say, “If you don’t live on a street with a tree name, you don’t live in the Beach.” You’ll see plenty of those tree streets on this year’s Beach Garden Tour. Organized by the Beach Garden Society, it takes place on the afternoon of Sunday, June 16. […]

As a ‘card carrying tree hugger’ the last thing I thought I would be doing this spring would be discouraging someone who wanted to plant a tree. But that’s exactly what happened when a friend asked for my advice on which species of tree would be best to replace an elderly silver maple she had […]

House plants good for your health

With our national sport back up and running, it’s easy to forget that other Canadian obsession we routinely like to participate in during the coldest months of the year – and it has nothing to do with skates, sticks, pucks and Don Cherry. The game of keeping old man winter and his frosty air out […]