Flowering Echinacea with trees in the background show good gardening to combat climate change.

7 gardening ideas for fighting climate change

As Earth Day approaches, I can’t help thinking about how many indicators of climate change can be found simply by looking out my own back door. We’ve all seen them, from plants flowering and songbirds arriving earlier than ever to wonky weather patterns. Should we start changing the way we garden? Can what we plant…

Drain pipe 1

A rule-breaking front yard

Crisscrossing paths lead, well, nowhere in particular. There isn’t a blade of grass. The home’s rain gutter flows into drain pipes that spill into a rock garden/work of art. And trees aren’t necessarily alive to be considered useful and a thing of beauty. This is a front yard that stops you in your tracks. There’s always…

Shrub and sky

Sand Cherry: A country beauty for city gardens

Set against a garden busting out all over in buds and leaves, our Sand Cherry shrubs (Prunus x cistena) stand out with particular elegance. For a nice show of wine-coloured leaves all season long, these shrubs are reliable and, quite frankly, a lovely relief from all that enthusiastic green-ness a shrubby garden can have. And then…

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…

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…

Wood containers

The movable garden

Commitment-phobic? Then gardening might be the ultimate turn-off. After all, growing plants entails sticking around in the same place to water, feed, prune and, yes, enjoy their beauty, year after year, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. Here are 5 ideas to have green and growing things with you wherever you roam. Click on any photo to read…

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…

Beebalm

5 myths about native plants

Why is it that sometimes the things closest to us are the least understood? Here’s a quick myth-busting guide to native plants with some gorgeous options for adding “local colour” to a garden in Southern Ontario. Myth #1: Native plants are drought tolerant. A plant native to your area has thrived in your area for a…

The beautiful side of light pollution

In Southern Ontario, long, frigid February nights may seem particularly abysmal but at this time last year, a couple of photographers in our region captured the dark sky filled with vertical streaks of coloured light. Though Science and Weather Reporter Nicole Mortillaro romantically referred to the pillars as “one of winter’s gifts, an almost apologetic gesture for the…

Yellow daffodils

8 ways you’ll know it’s bulb time

When’s a good time to plant flower bulbs in the fall for a good show come next spring? Heaps of bagged bulbs are appearing everywhere from garden nurseries to grocery stores so you’d figure that now, now, now is the best time. But there isn’t actually that much of a rush here in Southern Ontario.…