Plant sign

Bee positive: Making a change in the garden and at the store

As the gardening season reaches full swing, promoting awareness about our beleaguered bugs has ramped up as well. Everywhere I turn, I’m finding articles and opinion pieces on the need to add pollinator-friendly plants to our gardens. On a recent garden tour organized by the Toronto Botanical Gardens, I kept finding little plastic signs stuck into flower…

Sarracenia 5

Into the wild(flowers)

Just as the first wave of blooms in my garden has peaked in late spring, our wildflowers farther to the north are just starting to show. I’m amazed at how many truly strange and wonderful plants grow in Southern Ontario and though they’re not everywhere, you don’t have to trek for miles into the wilderness…

Weed in lawn

5 ways to love your dandelions

Is it just me or did all the dandelions in the universe just invade our gardens overnight? The battle is on but it doesn’t have to be horrific–especially if you take a different tactic than the usual OBLITERATE THEM ALL. Here are some timely reasons for putting down the pesticides and making dandelions our co-conspirators…

Native plant in bloom

Wild and crazy wild ginger

Wild ginger appears every spring on a moss-covered boulder just outside the door to our cottage on the Bruce Peninsula. It’s a peculiar plant in many ways so I’m pleased but a little surprised to see it showing up at more and more garden centres here in Southern Ontario. If you’re tempted to try some of…

Nesting material

A fluff piece for the birds

Warning: this post is a fluff piece. And it’s strictly for the birds. Fluff is important for building a nice, cosy nest. All soon-to-be Bird Moms know this. But pollution, weed killers and our innate desire to clean up our gardens has resulted in a dearth of plant-based fluff. But there are ways you can…

Magnolia blossoms

Bartender, I’ll have a Magnolia, please!

Magnolias in bloom always put me in the mood for swishy dresses, Champagne cocktails and sultry jazz played on a record player. I even get the urge to break out in a pout ala Scarlet O’Hara. Maybe it’s those fleshy, blushing blooms busting out all over their naked branches. When their flowers start to fade,…

Garden on a roof

Hi-rise help for bees

Even if you live in a skyscraper, if you’ve got a balcony (or a flat roof), you can help save bees and other pollinators. The Home Garden Seed Association recently reported that flowers don’t have to be growing in ground-level beds to attract bees and butterflies. If you plant them, they will find you–just about…

Beebalm

5 myths about native plants

Why is it that sometimes the things closest to us are the least understood? Here’s a quick myth-busting guide to native plants with some gorgeous options for adding “local colour” to a garden in Southern Ontario. Myth #1: Native plants are drought tolerant. A plant native to your area has thrived in your area for a…

Old School Gardener

Bee Positive

Cute illustration. Great (read: easy) ideas. And it helps you help bees. Love this post from fellow gardening blogger Nigel Boldero aka Old School Garden. If you’re thinking of adding a new flower bed to your garden, check out this plan. Bee Positive.

Pods without seeds

Shake, rattle, extol

Fall’s loud and brassy flower show may have packed up and left but nobody bothered to tell the rhythm section. Seed heads of every shape and size are still shaking it up–none more rattlingly satisfying than Baptisia australis, a hardy perennial commonly called Blue false indigo or Blue wild indigo. A native of the Northeastern U.S., this robust…

Thankful for Coyotes

Originally posted on gardeninacity:
Judy saw a coyote trotting down the street in front or our house a few days before Thanksgiving. Hurrah! Coyotes enjoy the suburban life. Photo from urbancoyoteresearch.com. I like to think that this means we now have our own neighborhood coyote, maybe even our own pack. We need some predators around here…

Fern and snow

A fine fern for now

The non-stop carols on the radio are already driving me crazy. I wish there was a switch I could flip. Before December 1st–no holiday anything. After December 1st–full-on Santa insanity. But I have one exception to my no-holiday-related-anything-before-December rule. That’s my adorable new Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides). Set into the ground just a few weeks…

New England Aster blooms

Aster la vista, baby

When you want to give your garden a brilliant send-off before it slips into winter, asters can supply the fireworks. Looking like mini-daisies in purple, pink or white, they’re easy-to-grow perennials and (bonus!) the best of the bunch is a native wildflower of Ontario–New England Aster (Aster novae-anglia). They’re the tallest of the asters and…

Globe thistle: A world of beauty in one small globe

Globe thistle (Echinops sphaerocephalus) shares its name with a cuter-than-cute hedgehog from Madagascar (Echinops telfairi) because of their uncanny resemblance but, by the light of a recent super moon, I thought the plant looked very nearly like a teeny, tiny exploding planet. Almost, but not quite. Planetary explosions must be massively messy and the head of a globe thistle has to…