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…

Snowdrops in the spring garden.

Spring gets sprung with the thermometer molecule

Ever wonder how plants know when to start growing again in the spring? We know that temperature and light have something to do with it. Well, scientists led by the University of Cambridge have discovered the real mechanics behind what stimulates plant growth: a ‘thermometer’ molecule. Science Daily reported October, 2016, that: ” Researchers have revealed…

Evergreen trees

How trees talk

You’ll never experience a walk in the forest the same way again after viewing this eighteen minute TED Talks lecture (June, 2016) by professor of ecology Suzanne Simard who explains how she used hard science (while out-running grizzlies) to discover trees talk to each other. From identifying “mother trees”, the hubs of vast symbiotic mycorrhizal…

Invasive species used ornamentally in an urban garden.

Invasive plants: Truce or consequences?

Please check one or more of the following: ___ Do you have a yard or land near you under invasion? ___ Is it possible that you have an alien invader living in your front or backyard and you don’t know it? ___ Are you in cahoots with an invasive plant and happily providing it with…

A white painted wooden deck incorporating large trees creates a cooler backyard.

Growing a cooler backyard

When it comes to growing a cooler backyard, for once I’m not talking about edgy, eco garden design trends. As southwestern Ontario continues its record-breaking heat wave, gardening is now all about the temperature. And since last month (July, 2016) was the hottest month around the world in recorded history, I don’t think we’re alone in…

A hand drawn image of prose Advice From A Tree

(More) Advice from a tree

Early this morning, Justine, my stepson’s girlfriend, a prolific and inspiring Facebook-posting person, posted an image of a hand-drawn note entitled “Advice From A Tree”. Once again, Justine has inspired me. I can’t resist adding 7 more thoughts I think a tree might want to share: • STAY CONNECTED TO LOVED ONES. There are scientists actually…

Moss on a limestone boulder.

The slow art of moss growing

Growing moss is an art that demands patience and diligence I discovered during a recent talk at the Toronto Botanical Gardens given by Frank Kershaw, one of my favourite speakers and a gardening guru par excellence. But there are shortcuts. Frank let us in on some fascinating information and unexpected tips for creating a velvety green…

Red roses

Rose success from bed to table

Roses are fabulous flowers to have in a garden and, I’m discovering, not nearly as finicky a plant as you might think. Just give them a nice, sunny bed with a little elbow room and a banana. I’ll back up. I read once that the head rose gardener for New York City’s Central Park swore…

Divide Me Please

Had to share this timely post on dividing plants by fellow blogger Donna of Garden Walk Garden Talk. She lists plants that should be divided and when, as well as plants that aren’t happy about being divided. Be sure to peruse her blog. Her posts are always thoughtful, informative and filled with great photography.

Morning glory seedlings

The needs of seeds

Last year at about this time, I had a tray full of seedlings–the promise of long twining, gloriously blooming morning glories. What I didn’t realize at the time was that they were doomed. Among other things, my kitchen window, sunny and inviting as it is, just didn’t offer enough solar power for my little green…

Soil knife

Hiya, Hori-hori!

Grabbing hold of a fabulous new designer bag could put a little zing in my spring but, as the earth finally warms up, my heart usually beats faster for a shiny new weapon of weed destruction. This season, the must-have is a hori-hori–and not just because of its cool name. “Hori” is Japanese for “to dig” and,…

Topiary

To prune or not to prune

Pruning is one of those divisive words that can inspire fear, joy or annoyance but I think we can all agree that a shrub or tree, when in need of a trim and correctly pruned, looks the better and is healthier for it. But that’s the problem. How do you know what needs to be…