A browallia for full shade gardens has purple flowers.

Solo plants for lush patio containers

Here in southwestern Ontario, the Victoria Day long weekend, which falls on or around May 24th, is anticipated with guarded respect by gardeners. Not because this 3-day weekend also goes by the name May Two-Fer, referring to cases of beer, not the date. No, it’s because this weekend represents all that is soul-crushingly cruel about…

Salvia in September

This salvia is a true blue winner

I don’t normally plant annuals in my flower beds. I’d rather invest in perennials that are going to come back year after year. And I splurge on ephemeral annuals for my pots where I can spotlight them in all their delicate and exotic glory. If a plant can’t survive our Southern Ontario winters then it’s…

Cuphea and petunia mix 1

Container idea: Firecrackers and red hot petunias

The Clash is making a super-hot fashion statement for Spring 2015–no surprise given the tidal wave of throwback-to-the-Seventies looks. But will jarring colours work in the garden, too. Oh, yeah. Two of the plants I trialled on behalf of Proven Winners last year were Supertunia® Black Cherry Petunia hybrid and Vermillionaire™ Cuphea. The petunias had decadent,…

Basil and marigolds

Container idea: Fruit salad up north

I didn’t think of marigolds as a salad ingredient until I visited the vegetable and herb garden at Les Jardin de Metis, also known as Reford Gardens. The ‘potager‘ as it’s called there (hey, it is in Quebec) is a screaming example of how things you can eat can also make the most incredibly beautiful garden. The…

Green beans on the vine

Container idea: Magic (pole) beans

Last May, I planted some beans in a pot–another big gardening adventure for me. I’ve already admitted my fear of vegetable growing in a previous posting so I hope you’ll understand that, after the exhilaration of throwing all caution to the wind and planting lettuce, I felt downright at one with nature and the universe planting…

DIY Pallet Garden

Originally posted on Anna International:
The sun is shining and the weather is sweet, and it makes me want to be out in the garden making it look beautiful! Lately we’ve been collecting pallets wherever we spot them with the intention of doing ‘useful things’ with them, but so far they’ve mainly just been used…

Container planting for shade

Container idea: One colour wonders

In art class, a depiction of a bunch of stuff all in the same colour family is considered monochromatic. Think Picasso during his Blue Period. In gardening, this is usually considered boring. Unless you were Vita Sackville-West, whose White Garden (Ok, so there are green and silvery grey plants, too) at Sissinghurst Castle still brings droves…

Clematis in containers at Sheridan Nurseries

How plants get ready for spring’s big shop

We sneak peeks “behind the scenes” on everything from Canada’s covert commandos to Kate’s latest meet-n-greet (with Wills and baby George in tow), so I thought the time was right–just before the spring plant-buying frenzy–to delve into the mysterious world of commercial garden nurseries. Was I going to find adorable sprouts? Exotic aliens (gardener-speak for…

Container planting with pebble mulch.

Container idea: Broken mirror? Thank you very mulch

In this month’s issue of Sunset magazine, a feature on mulches for containers suggests using untumbled mirror. That’s little pieces of broken mirror. Hmmmm. The idea is kinda cool. For a combo of alien-looking succulents, why not have something metallic and shiny as a mulch? I figure if you don’t have kids or pets and…