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…

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…

Clematis arch

‘Tis the season to snoop

I love crashing strangers’ backyards and having a good, long snoop around. There’s so much to see and, when you’re with a like-minded chum, so much fun to be had pointing out what strikes your eye and sharing your opinion. Lots of opinions. Ah, yes. It’s garden tour time. Garden tours are like all-you-can-eat buffets…

Pond and fountain in Wisley

Learning from a winter garden

Even on the wettest and chilliest of grey winter days, Wisley is a wonder. Granted, just about anything green and blossoming in the dead of February would seem like a minor miracle to this Southern Ontarian’s snow-wearied eyes. But this garden isn’t a jewel in the Royal Horticulural Society’s collection just because it so effectively reaps the benefits…

Covering garden eyesores

Plotting a coverup (in the garden)

Winter lays bare the bones of a garden. Some would say this is a terrific opportunity to appreciate its structural framework. With no distracting leaves or flowers or calls for another round of Sangria, what better time to appreciate good landscaping and the clever juxtaposition of trees and flower beds? Since I’m writing this from…

Hens and chicks succulents

Trend-setting ideas for your 2015 garden

What’s going to be hot in the coming months is a hot topic every January. My favourite trend predictions so far come from the fashion world, convinced that 70’s throwback styles will rule this spring and, on the home front, from Pantone colour officials who are sure that, very soon, we’re all going to fall under the spell…