A bouquet of roses, mums and small ornamental cabbage heads with a fall decor theme.

Fall decor ideas with fab cabbages

Are you tired of potted mums and asters? Can’t bear to look at another white pumpkin? Ornamental cabbages (Brassica oleracea) might reignite your flare for fall decor. Sure, these tasteful (if not tasty) plants have shown up in grocery stores and garden centres every fall since Martha Stewart first caused an outbreak of Obsessive Seasonal…

A group of bright pink Cosmos flowers

Cosmos adds to a sunny garden in surprising ways

The first time I saw cosmos in a blindingly sunny garden, orderliness was not the word that came to mind. No, barely contained chaos was more like it. The impenetrable thatch of tall stems thrust up cartoon-like flowers, in brilliant shades of pink, nodding in every direction. But the story goes that Spanish priests loved the…

Edible plants are used instead of ornamentals in a flower bed.

New, old foodscaping ideas for any garden

In hip urban neighbourhoods all over North America, the hottest new garden design trend is foodscaping–landscaping that melds modern garden aesthetics with agriculture. You can pin this trend on an urge to save on grocery bills, a newfound fascination for growing-your-own or the thrill of creating something beautiful out of what’s considered utilitarian. But motives…

Mirror in arbour

Keppel Croft: A garden with magic rabbit holes

On the eastern shore of the Bruce Peninsula in Southern Ontario, Bill and Dawn Loney’s very personal garden is equal parts labyrinth, zen oasis and trip down a variety of magic rabbit holes. Thank goodness they open it to the public during the summer. Though untrained in any formal sense, both gardeners have created a…

Hydrangea 1

Romancing the Limelights

There aren’t many “Top Performing Flowering Shrubs” lists these days that don’t include Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’. And for good reason. They’re easy to care for, widely available and offer a lot of shrub for the money–growing up to 8′ high and wide. But when it comes to ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, there’s so much more to love. Let me…

Impatiens on shelves

Big box plants bad for bees?

Can a bee-friendly garden actually kill bees rather than help them? An article published last June on wired.com reported that gardeners may be accidentally poisoning bees when they purchase what they think are bee-friendly flowers at big box stores in the U.S. and Canada. Several named store brands in the article were found to be selling…

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…

Pink hellebores

Have s’more hellebores

Some people never have enough shoes. I believe you can never have enough hellebores. What’s not to love? They’re one of the first plants to bloom in early spring with elegant, long-lasting flowers, they have richly textured leaves and, once they’re established, are virtually care free. And did I mention you can grow them in…

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.

Back away from the coneflowers

You see them there, looking vaguely sinister in near-black silhouette, projecting explosions of spikiness. So it’s totally understandable that you might want to wade into your garden bed, armed with a sturdy pair of pruners, and give your coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) the big snip. Hey, you’re making the garden tidier and, let’s face it, friendlier…