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…