Sutera hybrid

Bubbling up and over in blooms

Last spring, I was asked to trial a new Bacopa called Blue Bubbles, from the popular Snowstorm® collection. Given the plant had both “bubbles” and “snowstorm” in its name, I wasn’t surprised when it predictably over-delivered on the bloom front. But that’s not the reason this Sutera hybrid, now being introduced by Proven Winners to Southern Ontario garden centres for Spring…

Mixed pansy

The invincible pansy

Are we there yet? Has spring arrived? Jaded gardeners in Southern Ontario know full well that, even though it’s April, we haven’t seen the last of snow, hail, ice, slush or general smeg. Resisting the urge to plant some kind of posey is hard. But we don’t have to. There are pansies. The reasons why pansies…

Cabbage in flower bed

Brassica rising

As much as I loathe seeing Halloween candy already lining grocery store shelves, I love the flip-side to putting autumn in overdrive–finding cool weather plants that take over garden beds and containers with all the subtly of a Mac truck. Great big orange domes of neatly clipped chrysanthemums lining a front walkway. Constellations of purple…

Leaves in a container

Container idea: Leaf love

I was at a big box store a few days ago (ok, Costco) and barely got out alive. People were scrambling to grab white plastic hanging baskets stuffed with all kinds of crayola-coloured flowers. The prices were insane, of course. But as I dodged a careening cart bulging with containers of hot pink geraniums, peachy…

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…

Garden view through a window

Looking outside for gardening insight

The countdown to full-on gardening in Southern Ontario has started. But the ground is still frozen and our daytime temps are climbing. Very. Slowly. So, I’m still looking at the garden from inside the house and repeating to myself that, this spring, I’m going to plant some plants and arrange some containers out there to make the long…

Catmint

The buzz on catnip

One of my old gardening books, circa 1978, had this withering comment about catnip–”favourite of cats, not very ornamental and best grown in inconspicuous corner”. But catnip is going on my plant shopping list despite the fact that my kitty died a couple of years ago (at the ripe old age of 23). This spring,…