Fun for gardeners at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

NatureFresh greenhouse

I’ve gone to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair every November since 1994, but it has only been the past few years I’ve noticed all the gardening and agricultural displays. I’ve always focussed on the horses, occasionally noticing the dogs, cows and other creatures, but my interests have expanded recently, and now I search out the […]

Urban beehives plus pollinator gardens makes tasty honey

Director of Education, Liz Hood, opens the hive to reveal how the bees live inside.

It’s no secret or surprise to gardeners that pollinators are essential to our gardens and, more importantly, to our food supply. One hopes more people, including non-gardeners, are learning this, too. Although we may know why healthy bee colonies are important, what can we do to help make bees happy? What’s the role of urban […]

Beautiful gardens on Applewood Garden Tour

deck with planters

The recent Applewood Garden Tour in Mississauga, Ont., included the garden of Liz Primeau, a regular contributor to Garden Making and the author of several gardening books, as well as the gardens of two artists, which showed great creativity and artistic touches. Here are some of my favourite vignettes from these three gardens.     […]

Lessons from the veggie garden

potted veggies

It’s time for an update on my first ever vegetable bed. I held off on posting an update and taking new photos of my cinder block raised bed because back in June, it didn’t look very exciting with just small seedlings in there. It needed to be more lush before it was ready for sharing! […]

Tips for flower arrangements from your garden

delphinium arrangement

“Pink and white carnations — one desires so much more than that.” As Wallace Stevens puts it in “The Poems of our Climate,” sometimes we want more than just carnations. Beyond the usual roses and peonies, there are many plants in our gardens that make gorgeous arrangements. I recently had some fun walking around my garden, […]

How to grow lupines

lupines in gravel

Lupines are a perennial I always notice and admire, but I’ve had no luck growing them in my own garden. They grow abundantly on the east coast and in other places (some may say too abundantly), but they do have a few “special requests.” I decided to ask a friend of mine who has grown […]

A peek through the garden gates

tucked away bench

Through the Garden Gate, the annual tour of private gardens put on by the Toronto Botanical Garden, is set in a different neighbourhood each year. This year’s tour focuses on Forest Hill, one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods in the city, which means visitors will get an up-close look at some grand and decadent gardens. Last week’s […]

Building a raised garden bed

plants for cinder blocks

We finished our raised garden bed last week and learned a few things along the way, mainly that making one isn’t that difficult. There are several advantages to a raised garden bed, but the two that convinced me that it was the best option for my new veggie garden are 1) the chance to improve […]

The hardy plant society’s super plant sale

irises at plant sale

This past Sunday was the Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society‘s annual plant sale, held at the Toronto Botanical Garden. With a lineup beginning almost an hour before the sale began, an overflowing parking lot and eager gardeners jostling through the aisles to get their must-haves before someone else did, it was the gardening event […]

Garden centre preview of new plants

star dust euphorbia and voodoo star red verbena

Last week I attended President’s Choice Lawn and Garden Sneak-Peek at the Toronto Botanical Garden. New plant introductions and old favourites were featured  to give garden writers and others a look at what President’s Choice will be offering in their garden centres this year. Here are some highlights from the event (true to form, mostly […]

Waiting for the last frost date

seedlings

Every night, I’m checking the weather forecast to see if Toronto is expecting a frost. It’s that time of year, when you’re not getting a frost every night, but you’re not guaranteed above-freezing temperatures every night, either. With lots of seedlings waiting patiently under grow lights until they can be hardened off and transplanted, and […]

Gardening gets provocative at Grow Op

plants and lights installation

Thought-provoking, that is. This past weekend was the first annual Grow Op at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Art and garden installations took over the Gladstone, welcoming urbanites (and not just the gardening kind) into sometimes stunning, sometimes interactive, and often thought-provoking displays on nature and our relationships with it. The exhibitions weren’t necessarily about […]