Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Cabbagetown Garden

 Garden Exuberance design and installation 2011

The garden makes it a home.
Without the plants, 
it would be just bricks and mortar. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Vertical Garden

 Money cannot buy a well-established vine.
In the summer, walls of lumber are camouflaged with 
lush green foliage, blooms and perfume.
In the winter, the vertical element takes on a sculptural quality.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


(Botanical Embroidery on beige linen, cotton floss 5" x 4")

Planting spring bulbs
  is an act of optimism, defiance and denial.
 Nothing rivals a field of narcissus 
pushing through the Earth in early March,
It is a sure fire way to push back the winter.

Flurries in the forecast.
Bah! Humbug!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Just when everything else in the garden is curling up, drying up 
and going brown, the helleborus is stealthily gaining in vigour.  
 This evergreen blooms anywhere from late winter to late spring.
The sawtooth edge of the leaf hints at its bold nature.
Don't believe everything you read.
Go out and get one.
 See for yourself.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Spring Thing!

Thoughts circling around juicy spring bulbs today...
a blast of colour pushing through the soil 
is the best way to bring in a new
gardening season!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Carpe Diem!

Secure future pleasure dividends today
and plant trees, shrubs and spring bulbs.
Recent adoptions include:
Delphinium 'Summer Morning'
Heart Tongue Fern (Phyllitis Scolopenddrium)
 Heuchera Sugar Plum
Rose 'All the Rage'

Tamarix Ramosissima Pink Cascade
Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardinii)
Deutzia x Rosea carminea

and something tropical-a calathea.

This is just the beginning...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Privacy is the new Black

Clematis virginiana
A vertical carpet of white flowers 
successfully hides a banal iron fence. 

Stylish discretion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grow your Privacy

Urban dwellers all over the city
are coming up with new strategies to create private spaces.
Morning glories (Ipomoea violacea) spontaneously weave into 
a flourishing silver lace vine (Fallopia baldschuanica)
to make a green curtain.

The vines conceal a telephone pole, a chain link fence
and a wall of lumber.

Monday, September 10, 2012

IF the devil is in the detail....

Ozark Sundrops (oenothera macrocarpa/Missouriensis)

IF the devil is in the detail-
red stems pop against the glossy foliage on this low-growing 
sprawling North American wildflower.
And...it also offers up spectacular bright yellow goblet shaped 
flowers from June to September.

See the flower at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Succulent-Rich in desirable qualities

Stonecrop (Sedum)

Just when you think it is time to pack up the garden,
this succulent perks up.  A late-blooming perennial, this sedum shows off the 
prettiest little lavender flowerlets and stands tall when others are 
starting to look tired. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Having it ALL and Have it ALL

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
The flowers and the leaves of this cheerful and attractive plant 
are edible. The nasturtium can also embellish a 
dowdy looking guacamole AND give it a peppery tang.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet 100 Cherry

Nothing beats home-grown tomatoes.
Hope to harvest these before 
the local rogues...a.k.a. rodents (racoons and squirrels) 
feast on the bounty!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eat Your Greens...or not

Lettuce Lactuca sativa 'Red Sails'
This is what happens to lettuce 
when it is left alone. Not only nutritional-
it has ornamental possibilities too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peace on Earth

 Weekends spent up north with cherished friends...
The landscape is lush after the rainfall and the bubbling brook
is music to my ears.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baby Black Bear

Close encounter with a local-
Bancroft, Ontario.

She must have smelled the stinky old cheddar we had in the cooler.
Her teeth went right through the handles!
She came to visit every morning during the 3-day weekend 
and it was hard not to bond with her-really exciting and scary.
If Momma Bear shows up, she can be vicious.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Tree on a Rock

Trees are fierce-they will accomplish the virtually impossible
to root and to exist. Truly inspiring.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Salade Composee-luxe

My idea of luxe is the flesh of lamb's ear (stachys byzantina)
juxtaposed with lavender and a low-growing yew (not shown).
The combination of velvet bolstered by a fragrant bouquet 
and evergreen works well as an anchor and
is a pretty vignette of textures.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mid-Season Pick-Me-UP

Planted this little beauty late last year and forgot all about it...
but here it is today! Grateful for small miracles.

Monday, July 16, 2012


This self-seeding annual is always welcome 
in my rambling garden. Its cheerful disposition is one reason 
but it also has a long slender silhouette that  
adds rhythm and movement.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Almost Tropical

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus Syriacus)
Turn your back for a minute, (escaped the city for the weekend!) and the
Rose of Sharon explodes in an abundance of lush flower blossoms.
It comes as a bit of surprise every season.
The transformation is dramatic.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Landini Lily

Underwhelmed by the first bloom of this lily...
was hoping for the black-red colour as promised.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One Tree at a Time

Re-forestation initiative with 
white pine and spruce seedlings and small shrubs.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Slug-eye view

Does this look like an All-You-Can-Eat buffet to those soft-bellied critters?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Salade Composee

Always looking for interesting textures to combine...
lavender, stachys (lamb's ear), a yew that is hidden in this shot
 and a thorny rose that is enjoying its second bloom.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Bee Hive

A bee hive fell from the sky.
Today, it is nested in my garden...back to Earth.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Ladies

llustration of Alchemilla vulgaris from 1917–1926

Lady's Mantle

Botanical illustration is so rich. 
The watercolour captures the plant anatomy in an idealized light
showing  the bloom, the petals, front and back and the roots.
Something to explore further...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Red Sails

Lettuce Lactuca sativa 'Red Sails'
Does this look like an appetizing tasty lunch to a slug?
Hope to harvest before they get to it.
This leaf salad is said to have a "piquant, buttery flavour"...
taste test to follow.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Lamb's Ear (Stachys)
The tactile appeal of this fuzzy groundcover is undeniable.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Salade Composee


Plants start to weave and thread together mid-season
in my tiny urban garden.
The unexpected and surprising textures, shapes and contrasts
 are inspiring.

The blue spruce in the centre is a bonsai experiment.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Lots and lots and lots of flowerets 
make up the big pom-pom mopheads.
A sure signal that summer is here...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Delayed Gratification


On April 30, this was labelled ULF (Unidentified Life Form)

Rodgersia is distinctive with its deeply veined,
almost leather-y, foliage.

Do not be misled by the profuse undergrowth of mint...
it will come in handy for mojitos!