Snowdrops in the spring garden.

Spring gets sprung with the thermometer molecule

Ever wonder how plants know when to start growing again in the spring? We know that temperature and light have something to do with it. Well, scientists led by the University of Cambridge have discovered the real mechanics behind what stimulates plant growth: a ‘thermometer’ molecule. Science Daily reported October, 2016, that: ” Researchers have revealed…

A dramatic container planting filled with tropical plants and succulents.

Idea starters for creative container plantings

I’m feeling the need to get creative with some fresh container planting ideas. This may have something to do with the fact that the weather right now is…(fill in your choice of expletive here). We’re already well into April but winter is continuing to be annoying, flinging snow, rain and hail all over southwestern Ontario.…

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…

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…

Soil knife

Hiya, Hori-hori!

Grabbing hold of a fabulous new designer bag could put a little zing in my spring but, as the earth finally warms up, my heart usually beats faster for a shiny new weapon of weed destruction. This season, the must-have is a hori-hori–and not just because of its cool name. “Hori” is Japanese for “to dig” and,…

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…

Roses at a store

Avoiding premature bloom buys

Is that beautiful rose calling your name? Are you thinking about splashing out on that gorgeous shrub with the deep discount price? Garden centres are good at selling plants. And if you’ve fallen in lust with a luscious rose dripping with blooms, then the store has done its job. But keep this in mind: some…

CobraHead tool

Bitten by the CobraHead

It was love at first strike. With one smooth movement, the CobraHead sliced into the ground. I gently angled it and then pulled up, releasing the gnarliest dandelion from its smug existence. Ironically, I was the one that was bitten. My CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator arrived in April’s mail. The Wisconsin-based makers of these tools…

Trilliums in their native habitat.

Wild about trilliums

Officially, spring arrived a month ago. But in Southern Ontario, late April is when spring really begins. Around our house, that’s when the BBQ starts winning over the stovetop, we can finally sit out on the patio (OK, so we’re still wearing our parkas) for the cocktail hour, and we make a quick weekend trip…