Knapweed

Ontario’s beautiful fall wildflowers

Autumn is officially here and, just like the garden itself, gardening topics are dwindling as winter sets in–at least if you live north of the 49th parallel. From now til spring I’ll be posting a little less often but I promise to keep in touch as inspiration strikes. I find reaching out to my fellow…

Trout lilies with a tritium

Silly lilies: Beauty with humour

Easter lilies are in grocery stores everywhere right now. They’re wonderful plants–heralding the coming of spring, symbolizing new beginnings (for both Christians and Pagans) and are/were absolutely de rigueur as an OTT decor flourish, especially during the fabulousity that was the 90’s. But as much as I respect and admire the glamour of Lilium longiflorum,…

Oh, gosh! Blue Cohosh?

A wonderfully mysterious plant at the base of a tree stump on our neighbour’s property caught my eye this spring (May, 2021). The stems and new leaves, looking like shredded rags, were a lovely deep purple with a velvety sheen. Amidst the leaves were tiny blue brown flowers, each accented with a mini golden star.…

Red roses

The beauty in, of and from plants

Yesterday, I partially devoured the latest issue of Allure, a glossy magazine devoted to glorious exposés of all things glamorous and how to achieve an approximation of such. I had only thumbed through a couple of pages when I came across an ad for getting “ridiculously glowy skin”. It seems that the miraculous benefits of…

Sarracenia 5

Into the wild(flowers)

Just as the first wave of blooms in my garden has peaked in late spring, our wildflowers farther to the north are just starting to show. I’m amazed at how many truly strange and wonderful plants grow in Southern Ontario and though they’re not everywhere, you don’t have to trek for miles into the wilderness…

Native plant in bloom

Wild and crazy wild ginger

Wild ginger appears every spring on a moss-covered boulder just outside the door to our cottage on the Bruce Peninsula. It’s a peculiar plant in many ways so I’m pleased but a little surprised to see it showing up at more and more garden centres here in Southern Ontario. If you’re tempted to try some of…

Pods without seeds

Shake, rattle, extol

Fall’s loud and brassy flower show may have packed up and left but nobody bothered to tell the rhythm section. Seed heads of every shape and size are still shaking it up–none more rattlingly satisfying than Baptisia australis, a hardy perennial commonly called Blue false indigo or Blue wild indigo. A native of the Northeastern U.S., this robust…

Back away from the coneflowers

You see them there, looking vaguely sinister in near-black silhouette, projecting explosions of spikiness. So it’s totally understandable that you might want to wade into your garden bed, armed with a sturdy pair of pruners, and give your coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) the big snip. Hey, you’re making the garden tidier and, let’s face it, friendlier…

New England Aster blooms

Aster la vista, baby

When you want to give your garden a brilliant send-off before it slips into winter, asters can supply the fireworks. Looking like mini-daisies in purple, pink or white, they’re easy-to-grow perennials and (bonus!) the best of the bunch is a native wildflower of Ontario–New England Aster (Aster novae-anglia). They’re the tallest of the asters and…