Blue Rain

Wild at heart: Houseplants unleashed at Wisley

Houseplants can get a bad rep as limp dust-collectors your Grandma lines up along her dining room windowsill. But when you walk into the Wisley Glasshouse, part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley gardens complex in southern England, you get in-your-face proof that these plants can have a much wilder side. In a previous posting,…

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…

Ash in fireplace

Ashes to ashes to tomatoes

Composting is a great way to recycle nutrients back into the soil but for a breathtakingly efficient rotation from plant to soil and back to plants again, use wood ash. Since the ash is what’s left of burned plant material, it naturally contains many of the essential nutrients that were first provided by the soil. Burning wood loses nitrogen…