Monarch butterflies

Sex and the city and the Monarch butterfly

Who knew Monarch butterflies were so cosmopolitan? New research shows that these beleaguered critters prefer the comfort of a tamed urban garden than a wild meadow. Brian Cutting and Douglas W. Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, recently wrote an article published online by Oxford University Press about where Monarch butterflies actually like to dine and…

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…

Maple trees

The new exotic: Canadian arctic tundra plants

Introducing exotic plants into your garden can be tricky although do-able if you’re into high maintenance gardening or you keep them in containers and bring them inside just before the first frost. But that’s just it. Here in Southern Ontario, we often think of exotic plants as being fragile beauties from tropical paradises much farther…

Variety of shrubs

Whistling Gardens: Pining for more

WHISTLING GARDENS Botanical Gardens and Garden Centre, Wilsonville, Ontario RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥     (This highly unscientific and thoroughly opinionated rating system is based on a range from lowest score of one ♥ to a highest score of 5 ♥♥♥♥♥. THE TIP-OFF: At not one but several different seminars I attended earlier this year at the Toronto Botanical Gardens,…

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…

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…

On the slopes of Table Mountain.

Originally posted on Jardin:
Climbing the iconic Table Mountain is not for the faint-hearted. More people die on Table Mountain than Mount Everest. Rocky cliffs, steep drops, puff adders, searing heat when the sun rises, yet there are many experienced guides to lead you safely up its 1088 metres. Formed over hundreds of millions of…

Bee and bug nest idea

Help for the hive-nots: a solo bee primer

You may not have heard the buzz yet but now’s the time to keep bees in mind. April’s slightly warmer weather means garden clean-up goes into high gear and that can be a big problem for bees–solitary bees, that is. First, a quick note on the difference between solitary bees and honey bees. Honey bees…

Alligator warning sign

An alligator in the garden and other concerns

While working on a video production in gorgeous Hilton Head, South Carolina, a few years ago, I happened upon this sign. It was posted between the gardens of two very nice homes in a greener-than-green suburb laced with creeks, lagoons and velvety golf fairways. What made me think of this photo was anticipating spring’s return…