A staircase in a large woodland garden uses logs as treads

Upcycle stumps and logs for a rustic chic garden

Maybe it’s our depressingly dark, wet, cool June here in southwestern Ontario that’s inspired me to look at dead things with renewed interest. While the plants I’ve recently installed in the ground and in containers are already looking exhausted from repeated deluges, perpetually damp stumps and fallen logs are springing to life as generous hosts…

A back garden filled with plants features an all-weather tea table.

Garden ideas for the plant maximalist

Think you don’t have room for any more plants in your garden? The wonderfully over-stuffed front and back gardens of this home in northwestern Metro Toronto will have you thinking again. The owner/gardener of this average-sized suburban lot has used every inch of space with no plans for curbing her collecting habit. I think these…

Bright zinnas are winners in the trial gardens for Landscape Ontario.

10 hottest and oddest 2017 gardening trends

I don’t normally associate gardens with hotbeds of revolution but a lot of researchers, journalists and horticulture pros believe that the way people garden is radically changing–some might say in wonderful ways, others might say in ways that are a tad odd. Which of these 10 gardening trends for 2017 might change how you garden? TREND…

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…

Highly decorated houses in Grimsby Beach, Ontario.

Coastal living: funky fences, tiny gardens, a breezy bunkie

What is it about coastal living that can bring out the zaniness in a homeowner? I thought I’d seen my share of mermaid garden sculptures and porches studded with seashells but I wasn’t prepared for the kind of no-holds-barred exuberance of Grimsby Beach, Ontario (one destination on a recent garden tour hosted by Frank Kershaw featuring gardening…

Cabin style birdhouse

Garden hideaway ideas: From cabin porn to parachutes

With this inaugural posting from my new and improved blog (formerly RhymesWithLinnaeus.com), I want to state for the record that Ministry Of The Fence may be adding greener perspectives on gardens and gardening but there will continue to be a strong appreciation for both the sublime and, yes, the unserious. So what better way to kick…

Thunbergia alata

The Rise of The Dead Tree….BWAH AHA HA ha ha ha

Halloween may be over but there are still some zombies striking a pose out there. One is in my front garden. Our wind–tossed, sun–scorched Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ’Bloodgood’) finally gave up the ghost this past spring. There’s a smattering of leaves on two or three branches, flapping in the fall breezes, but they’re only serving…

Rocks into water

A river runs through it. Sort of.

In your own garden, reality isn’t the point. I think it’s more about making your own version of relaxing and beautiful and meaningful. Take dry creeks, for instance. They are so not a creek and yet they can convey a powerful sense of flowing water. And you can put one just about anywhere, even in…