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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Heirloom tomatoes with cracked skins and calyx

Dealing with lots of tomatoes

I grow a lot of tomatoes. A lot. In fact, some people might say I have a bit of a tomato growing problem. But you…

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Using water from ductless split air conditioner to water a hanging basket

My two best water saving ideas

I’m always looking for ways to use water wisely–it’s the right thing to do for the environment and it saves money–so today I want to…

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Dealing with weeds

Dealing with weeds

Weeding is an inescapable part of gardening. You can minimize the amount of it you have to do by using mulch and planting intensively (less…

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Terra cotta pots displaying succulents

Part 2 – Highlights of Garden Walk Buffalo

This is the second of two posts on Garden Walk Buffalo—the largest garden tour in North America which takes place in Buffalo, New York every…

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Garden Walk Buffalo Highlights part one includes many shots of colourful foliage like this

Highlights of Garden Walk Buffalo 2016 – Part 1

I consider myself fortunate to live only a couple hours drive away from the largest garden tour in North America–Garden Walk Buffalo. More than 400…

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freshly picked head of garlic

How to harvest garlic

A short while ago I shared the not so secret secret to growing great garlic.   Today I’m going to show you how to harvest…

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hanging basket of geraniums

A quick & easy upgrade for hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are a must have in my garden. In particular, I love to have a big basket of bright red geraniums hanging on the…

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water spray from hose on Japanese forest grass

5 Rules for Watering Your Garden

Watering plants is really straightforward in many ways. We learn early on in science class that plants need soil, light, air and water to grow.…

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garlic scapes

The (not so secret) secret to growing great garlic

Garlic is really easy to grow—you plant it in the fall and then just keep it watered and weeded until harvest, except you do have…

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several varieties of brightly coloured coleus

Coleus, the most useful plant

I noticed an empty open spot at the front of our garden, near the sidewalk. Bare soil (or bare mulch) is a rarity in my…

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Long Branch By the Lake Garden Tour sign

Long Branch by the Lake Garden Tour 2016

On Saturday I attended the first ever Long Branch by the Lake Garden Tour, in the south west part of Toronto. Shortly after stepping out…

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Lilacs in bloom

How do I prune my lilacs?

I have a friend with a beautiful garden, designed and installed by professional landscapers. She loved it, but her one complaint was that her lilacs…

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