Lichen up close

Of damp, drought, and martinis

I so rarely see news headlines that speak directly to the deeply geekoid gardener in me that I had to share these two stories that recently popped up in my media feeds. And, really, who doesn’t love a good story about lichen or, um, martinis? 1. The mini-universes of inland British Columbia One of my…

Hostas with grit

Grit expectations

Allow me to sing the praises of grit. Not the grit so indelibly captured by John Wayne–the stuff of perseverance and passion–but the stuff scattered on the floor of hen coops. I don’t know what chickens personally think about chicken grit but they certainly rely on it to help them digest food in their powerful…

Picket fence and gravel garden

Redefining curb appeal

In a post I published eight years ago entitled The Greying Garden And What To Do About It, I explored the viewpoint that gardening was pretty much an older person’s pursuit. I had just attended a gardening seminar where pretty much everyone was rocking grey hair. Now, with a big boost from the pandemic, gardening…

Pink tulip with raindrops

An alternative guide to garden tour photography

Going on a garden tour boils down to three extraordinary experiences: Being witness, on occasion, to divine splendour, be it a transformative garden or a single bloom Learning just how much your ardour for gardening will spur you on while spitting sparks and growing blisters Developing new tactics for dealing with and/or avoiding other tourists…

Here comes summer 10 ways

The longest day of this year will officially begin on June 21, at 5:13 a.m. here in the Northern Hemisphere. This means, of course, that June 22 marks the inexorable decline of daylight into another long winter. So I figure celebrating heat and happiness right now are in order. Here are 10 not-so-conventional ideas for…

Wildflower garden or salad bar?

I’ve been trying my very best (for several years now) to start a completely natural wildflower garden at our cottage on the Bruce Peninsula in southwestern Ontario. The garden is a small patch of land, decorated with several dead logs and a tree stump, just feet from the shoreline of our small freshwater lake. I…

Lines of desire

I love the garden design term “desire line“. Used in urban design as well, it refers to a path we take, whether it’s official (as in meant-to-be-part-of-the-overall-design) or renegade (more on that later). It’s usually the quickest route from A to B. You see them a lot in public green spaces–a dirt path carved into…

Great, unexpected ways to bee-friendly

I had to share this post by Daniel Cartwright, Head Gardener at Winterbourne House and Garden, an Edwardian historic house and garden in Birmingham, which is basically in the centre of England. He shares his top 3 tips for attracting and supporting healthy bees Choosing flowers for bees: Take careful consideration of the shape of…