Red, a love story

I first laid eyes on Red when he was on his last legs. Stunted, hunched and neglected, Red was clearly in need of love and care. But I snatched him up, not because I felt a need to do the right thing but because I was desperate for a sketch model and he was the…

Looking but not seeing

I drew a maple leaf the other day. Just a doodle, really. I wanted to try out some newfangled coloured pencils. The pencil lines turn into watercolours if you trace over them with a wet brush. I got half way through my drawing when I realized something wasn’t quite right. I’d drawn the veins without…

Oh, gosh! Blue Cohosh?

A wonderfully mysterious plant at the base of a tree stump on our neighbour’s property caught my eye this spring (May, 2021). The stems and new leaves, looking like shredded rags, were a lovely deep purple with a velvety sheen. Amidst the leaves were tiny blue brown flowers, each accented with a mini golden star.…

Pink water lilies in a garden in Maine.

A lotus confusion involving water lilies

Hello, there. It’s been awhile, I know. What prompted me to dive back into blogging’s depthless waters was a long wait at the post office. On the wall was a poster displaying Canada Post’s recent issue of its annual flower stamps. The lush colours were as seductive to my snow-weary eyes as an oasis to a…

A staircase in a large woodland garden uses logs as treads

Upcycle stumps and logs for a rustic chic garden

Maybe it’s our depressingly dark, wet, cool June here in southwestern Ontario that’s inspired me to look at dead things with renewed interest. While the plants I’ve recently installed in the ground and in containers are already looking exhausted from repeated deluges, perpetually damp stumps and fallen logs are springing to life as generous hosts…

Video still of Tertill, a robotic weeder.

Do we need robot weeders?

Massachusetts-based Franklin Robotics, developers of the infamous Roomba Robot Vacuum [Editor’s note: In case you don’t know what a Roomba looks like, check out this video: Cat In A Shark Costume Chases A Duck While Riding A Roomba] is seeking financial aid on Kickstarter for their latest invention–a solar-powered weeding robot dubbed Tertill. The small,…

A back garden filled with plants features an all-weather tea table.

Garden ideas for the plant maximalist

Think you don’t have room for any more plants in your garden? The wonderfully over-stuffed front and back gardens of this home in northwestern Metro Toronto will have you thinking again. The owner/gardener of this average-sized suburban lot has used every inch of space with no plans for curbing her collecting habit. I think these…