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…

Trout lilies with a tritium

Silly lilies: Beauty with humour

Easter lilies are in grocery stores everywhere right now. They’re wonderful plants–heralding the coming of spring, symbolizing new beginnings (for both Christians and Pagans) and are/were absolutely de rigueur as an OTT decor flourish, especially during the fabulousity that was the 90’s. But as much as I respect and admire the glamour of Lilium longiflorum,…

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.…

Precisely trimmed hedges in the White Garden at Sissinghurst

Single Colour Garden ideas thanks to Sissinghurst

What could be more exquisitely transporting than an all-white garden, I used to ponder rhetorically. Back in the day, as a card-carrying Hopeless Romantic, I trusted my life views would shift in some remarkable way if only I could visit Vita Sackville West’s legendary White Garden. Late in the summer of 1996, I managed to get there…

The Growroom by SPACE10 and architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm

The Growroom redefines container planting

Sculpture? Gazebo? Multi-tiered plant container? The Growroom, an “urban farm pavilion” is all that and an elegantly presented political statement. Swedish architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm teamed up with Space10, an innovation lab supported by DIY furnishing mega-brand Ikea, to promote local agriculture and came up with the Growroom. They’re hoping the globe-shaped structure…

A white plate with flower and herb seeds.

Seeds of change and controversy

Do the seeds we use to grow vegetables have an untold story? In a new video documentary presented by TVO, the “battle for the future of our seeds” is presented with fascinating viewpoints that certainly aren’t mainstream. But this collection of personal stories from a wide variety of impassioned people–from “the Noah of the seed world”…

Indicator weeds

Can’t beat invasives? Eat ’em!

Got an invasive weed overtaking your garden? If you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, there are a couple of reasons why that might not be such a bad thing. First, weeds are actually great communicators. If you’ve got two or three kinds of weeds that thrive way more vigorously than any other kind, they’re likely indicator…