Moss in container

Moss love

On a recent trip to Iceland, I hoped to see the Northern Lights. I didn’t. Even the moon and stars were crowded out by storms in a continuous loop of advance and retreat. And for the first couple of days exploring this spectacular country, I thought the landscape was going to be just as elusive. Clouds transmogrified into…

Record Garden pathway

Haute trend: feel good gardening

I don’t usually include gardening and Vogue magazine in the same sentence. But as I was thumbing through the December issue, past the ruinously expensive dresses and eye-popping jewelry, while making note of what I could be doing if I cared to be a woman of means and unlimited chicness, I stumbled upon a feature…

Gentian wildflower

A rare fen in full

Who knew that a fen system, one of the rarest types of ecosystems in the world, can be found on the west coast of the Bruce Peninsula in Southern Ontario? The Oliphant fen system is, as you might guess, right next door to the tiny hamlet of Oliphant. A fen is a wetland created by fresh…

Dog in garden

The garden in dog years

Using the lawn as a back-scratcher hadn’t occurred to me until I met Berkley, our almost-white golden retriever. He’d casually walk into the centre of the backyard and then flip onto his back, throwing all four paws in the air and wriggling his back. He’d leave a flattened patch that seemed oddly paler than the rest…

View of the forest near Island Lake Lodge, Fernie, B.C.

Take a forest bath

March Break is here. Have all your friends headed south for some de-stressing and re-warming? Same here. But, while everyone I know is about to hoist a margarita on a beach somewhere, I’ve got my own instant mood-alteration strategy. I’m going to take a cue from the Japanese and go on a shinrin-yoku–a forest bathing…

Horizon view of Margerie Glacier, Alaska

The upside of winter

Thanks to a jet stream that drooped well south of its usual course, followed by repeat performances from a polar vortex, my home in Southern Ontario is locked in a record-breaking deep freeze. Ninety-percent of the Great Lakes are covered with ice. Lake Ontario, just a short stroll from my front door, is now famous for escaping…