Rain barrels and why every gardener should have one

Rain barrels and why gardeners should have one

I think everyone who has a garden would benefit from having a rain barrel–I have four in my yard (three catching rain off the house…

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A Visit to Whistling Gardens

Three years ago I drove an hour and a half out of Toronto, to Brantford, to see a garden. I’d heard that a gardener with…

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water doesn't fall evenly over the entire garden

Do you know the dry spots in your garden?

Rain doesn’t fall the same everywhere.   I’m not just talking about the difference in rainfall between one side of town and another, I’m talking…

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How to replace a hose coupling

At the end of your hose?

We haven’t had a good, garden-soaking rain in my area for more than a week, and it’s been hot so I’ve been doing a lot…

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From the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the NYBG

A Visit to the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden

I first visited the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in September of 2010. I was awed by much that I saw, including the Peggy Rockefeller…

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From the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the NYBG

Deadheading makes a difference

Deadheading is the process of removing spent flowers from a plant—in plain language that means cutting off the dead flowers. There are two main reasons…

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Pruning tomatoes

I manage the growth of my tomato plants in order to keep them growing on one or two main stems. Left to their own devices,…

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Sedums grow better if you pinch them back

Sedums, sometimes known as Stonecrops, are great plants–they have nice flowers, they’re drought and heat tolerant, and they are beloved by bees and other pollinators.…

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Supporting heirloom tomatoes

I really enjoy growing tomatoes, especially somewhat unusual heirloom varieties. By nature, these tend to be very tall plants, growing 8 to 10’ tall in…

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Supporting plants so they don't flop over

Support structures to keep your plants from flopping over

Have you ever admired the beautiful blooms on a peony but lamented that they were at ground level, possibly splattered with mud, because the flowers…

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Two things to do before you go plant shopping

I spent a lot of time this past weekend buying and selling plants. Besides a shopping trip or two for my own garden, I accompanied…

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The dreaded red lily beetle

When I first started my garden, in the early 2000’s, I grew gorgeous oriental lilies that looked a lot like these:   But these are…

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Lavender with new growth, ready to be pruned

Lavender needs a spring haircut

Lavender, latin name Lavandula, is a heat and drought tolerant woody plant. Its native climate is the Mediterranean, so it grows well in fast-draining soil…

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Dividing rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of the earliest foods you can harvest from the garden. Other than a spot to grow with full sun and an annual…

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Tree peonies – how do you prune them?

Peony plants that die back to the ground each winter and then send up new shoots each spring are known as herbaceous peonies–the term herbaceous…

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How to prune roses

Roses should be pruned each spring. Cutting back rose canes (i.e. the stems/branches) every year helps to foster healthy, good-looking plants and encourage more blooms.…

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Easy care hellebores

Hellebores seem to be getting a lot of attention these days–they’re a great looking, easy care plant that blooms in late winter to early spring.…

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It's important to protect roses for winter, but also important to remove that winter protection at the right time

It’s time to unleash the roses!

One of the first spring tasks in the garden is to remove the winter protection off of roses. As I explained in my post on…

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Seven Pre Season Garden Tasks - including cutting back ornamental grasses

7 Garden Tasks for the Pre-Season

You can’t really get out in your garden and do a lot until the weather warms up and the ground dries out a bit. That…

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Dahlias are easy to grow and now is the time plant them!

Dahlias have spectacular blooms but are very easy to grow. You can buy plants already started from the nursery in late spring, but for the…

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Will late snow and ice harm my spring bulbs?

It’s every gardener’s nightmare: spring seems to have arrived, tulips, daffodils and other spring bulbs are emerging and WHAM! an unexpected snow/ice storm accompanied by…

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Do I need to use potting soil in my pots?

When I first started growing plants in pots I wondered if I really needed to buy potting soil, or if I could use something cheaper,…

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Columbine is a great plant

Plant profile: Columbine

Columbine (Aquilegia) is a very easy to grow perennial plant. I had my start with these when I bought a plant labelled “Blue Columbine” at…

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There are easy ways to protect birds from window strikes

Keeping birds safe from windows

I’ve mentioned previously how much I enjoy having birds in the garden, and that I have several birdfeeders to entice them to visit. Most of…

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Cardinals love backyard bird feeders

Birdfeeders: what gardeners need to know

I spend a lot of winter hours staring out the windows at my sleeping garden so the concept of having something of “winter interest” in…

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Manduca sexta tobacco hornworm on tomato

What is that giant green thing on my tomato plant?

Last summer I was in my tomato patch, admiring the ripening tomatoes and pruning off excess growth, when something caught my eye. Now I should…

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Plant profile: Nigella

Nigella (Nigella damascene) is a beautiful and easy to grow flower for your summer garden. Nigella blooms are unlike anything else—to me, they look a…

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mosaiculture sheep

MOSAICANADA 150/2017 is something to look forward to

Turn your thoughts with me to an exciting event coming to the National Capital Region this summer, as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations. It’s the…

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Rose bush in rose cone on post about winterizing roses

Protecting roses in winter

One of the last tasks of the garden season is to protect roses for winter. And by last tasks, I mean you need to wait…

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Christmas tree ornaments turned into urn accessories

Make your own thrifty custom winter urn decorations

My first challenge with writing this post, and frankly, the most difficult, was figuring out what to call the festively coloured balls, pinecones, and other…

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The tubers to grow dahlias can be lifted and stored for the winter

Saving begonias, dahlias and cannas for next year

I’m always sad to see my beautiful flowers freeze and die in the fall. However, I am heartened to know that my begonias, dahlias and…

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Why you need to empty your pots for the winter

I grow a LOT of plants in pots. A lot. I love their versatility and the way they can add height and colour to any…

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How to plant garlic - image of trowel and clove of garlic

How to plant garlic

Garlic is one of the easiest foods to grow. Just drop a clove in the ground, provide minimal care, and some time later—out comes a…

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Japanese maples in fall colours at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Part 2 – An October Visit to VanDusen Botanical Garden

This is the second of two posts on my October visit to VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, B.C. For part one, which focuses on blooms,…

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Black eyed susans at VanDusen Botanical Garden

An October Visit to VanDusen Botanical Garden – Part 1

The first time I visited VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, B.C. it was mid-November and the garden had definitely moved into “winter” stage. I still…

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Fallen leaves mean it's time for fall garden cleanup

Early fall garden tasks

As frost hits and the growing season winds down there are some things that need to be done to keep your garden fabulous:   Annuals…

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secateurs pruning japanese maple

Help! My Japanese maple is turning into a regular maple

Today’s post isn’t something that everyone is going to be able to use right away, but it’s handy information to know and file away in…

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Jars of Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I have a great recipe for spicy roasted red pepper and tomato soup. I’ve tweaked one that was given to me years ago by a…

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Planting Bulbs with The Fabulous Garden

How to plant bulbs

Spring flowering bulbs are one of the easiest things to grow in your garden. Plant them in the fall, protect them from squirrels, and they’ll…

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Assorted packages of spring blooming bulbs

It’s time to buy bulbs!

If you want to have a fabulous garden next spring now is the time to go out and buy bulbs. I was in two nurseries…

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