Trees that feed bees

In spring, you can’t swing a bat in a garden centre without sending a display of bee-friendly flowers flying. Everyone’s on the bee-saving bandwagon and that’s a good thing. But even though we’re heading into autumn, you can still plant for beauty and the bees. Add a nectar-producing tree to your garden. Some of the…

A white painted wooden deck incorporating large trees creates a cooler backyard.

Growing a cooler backyard

When it comes to growing a cooler backyard, for once I’m not talking about edgy, eco garden design trends. As southwestern Ontario continues its record-breaking heat wave, gardening is now all about the temperature. And since last month (July, 2016) was the hottest month around the world in recorded history, I don’t think we’re alone in…

A hand drawn image of prose Advice From A Tree

(More) Advice from a tree

Early this morning, Justine, my stepson’s girlfriend, a prolific and inspiring Facebook-posting person, posted an image of a hand-drawn note entitled “Advice From A Tree”. Once again, Justine has inspired me. I can’t resist adding 7 more thoughts I think a tree might want to share: • STAY CONNECTED TO LOVED ONES. There are scientists actually…

Smoketree 1

Cotinus coggyria: Smoking in the garden

Slow growing. Too big for a shrub and too small for a tree. Straggly. Did I say really slow growing? Smoketrees can get a lot of heat from picky gardeners. But when the setting sun lights up their panicles in a shimmering nimbus how can you think otherwise than your garden is all the more miraculous…

Thunbergia alata

The Rise of The Dead Tree….BWAH AHA HA ha ha ha

Halloween may be over but there are still some zombies striking a pose out there. One is in my front garden. Our wind–tossed, sun–scorched Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ’Bloodgood’) finally gave up the ghost this past spring. There’s a smattering of leaves on two or three branches, flapping in the fall breezes, but they’re only serving…

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,…

Tree in spring

Have you hugged your tree today?

The Bruce Peninsula in Southern Ontario, surrounded by Lake Huron, is home to the world renowned Bruce Trail, two national parks (one is underwater), and the unique Oliphant fen. It’s been designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and happens to be a very favourite place of mine. [Full disclosure: this is where my guy has a cottage…