Demeter fragrances

Making scents of winter

I just sprayed eau de Dirt on my wrist and got a lovely memory rush of digging in my garden. Such is my longing for spring on this cold and grey winter’s day. I’ll admit that I’m also hooked on Demeter Fragrance Library scents, as much for their uncanny encapsulations of time travel as for the…

The beautiful side of light pollution

In Southern Ontario, long, frigid February nights may seem particularly abysmal but at this time last year, a couple of photographers in our region captured the dark sky filled with vertical streaks of coloured light. Though Science and Weather Reporter Nicole Mortillaro romantically referred to the pillars as “one of winter’s gifts, an almost apologetic gesture for the…

Distillery District at Night

The longest night

Today is labelled the shortest day of the year. But wouldn’t it be way more fun spending these few, fleeting hours of sappy sunlight savouring the anticipation of the longest night of the year? After all, back in the day (I’m talking a couple thousand years ago), the winter solstice was celebrated as the turning…

Fern and snow

A fine fern for now

The non-stop carols on the radio are already driving me crazy. I wish there was a switch I could flip. Before December 1st–no holiday anything. After December 1st–full-on Santa insanity. But I have one exception to my no-holiday-related-anything-before-December rule. That’s my adorable new Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides). Set into the ground just a few weeks…

Plants in urban ecology

What cliffs and sidewalk cracks share

Southern Ontario just got our first dump of snow and even though it’s only added up to a few centimetres (sorry, Buffalo), I’m already feeling nostalgic for green and growing things. So discovering a posting on David Suzuki’s website about eco-connections between urban and natural environments such as pavements and cliff faces, gutters and streams, was a…

Winter scene of garden chair

Creating a hardier garden

Looking out the window and wondering how much of your garden will survive to see May Two-Fer? As Southern Ontario continues to be pummelled by a record-breaking winter, there’s cause for considering the fate of a garden that may have survived last December’s ice storm only to face drying winds, frost heaves, flooding and more. Even…