Maple Leaf Forever tree gone, but offspring lives on

A local legend passed away July 19, and a bit of our heritage went with it. But, though we lost the original, we have a new generation to take its place, thanks to a couple of dedicated Beach gardeners. The Maple Leaf Forever tree, a silver maple towering over Laing St. in neighbouring Leslieville, cracked […]

Talk to the hand (that holds the trowel)

Try talking to a gardener about anything but gardening at this time of year. You’ll probably get vague grunts like “Hmm … yeah … sure … whatever …” That’s because our heads are filled with thoughts of plants, colours, equipment and all the other things we want to add to our gardens this season. I’ll […]

Lights, camera…flowers!

Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I would usually rather be gardening. Or in the garden. Or among flowers and plants somewhere. When I’m trapped indoors, I admit, I watch TV. Sometimes a lot of it. That’s why I was excited to see that a local florist is connected with some of my favourite television […]

Boom, boom…Canada Blooms!

March – my least-favourite month – is booming with activity this year: March Break, Easter, Passover, Beach Metro News’ 41st birthday… …and that gardeners’ circus of delights, Canada Blooms. Let’s get something out of the way first. Yes, Canada Blooms is sharing space and ticketing with the National Home Show again this year. Like it […]

A carol for Beach gardeners

Partridges? What on earth would I do with them? French hens? Against the law in Toronto and probably couldn’t stand the cold. Gold rings? I always take off any rings when I’m gardening – otherwise, they get lost or dirty. The gifts in The 12 Days of Christmas just don’t cut it for a Beach […]

New, green and great for the holidays

The ‘Man in Red’ has come to town, so it’s OK to start planning – or doing – for the upcoming holidays. If you have gardeners on your gift list, they’re easy to buy for. I’ve called around locally and found some new things that might interest you. O, Christmas tree! There’s nothing like the […]

Dig these fun facts about bulbs

Beach gardeners have a tough time keeping our soft, sandy soil watered. This time of year, that makes us lucky. Tulips and most of the other spring bulbs think sandy, well-drained soil is ‘absolutely fabulous’. They’re tickled pink (and red and yellow and peach…) when they have a moist spring followed by a good summer […]

Make room for trees

Did you feel the heat this summer? I did, too. When I had to go out on foot, I criss-crossed the streets, looking for the shadiest stretches of sidewalk. Of course, I’ve always been a shameless tree-hugger. The landscape of the U.S. Gulf Coast city where I grew up alternated between patches of live oaks […]

10 things you didn’t know about roses

June is the month of roses, both in fact and according to the Old Farmers Almanac. The rose has also been named 2012 Herb of the Year by the Herb Society of America. Catch up on this bouquet of mini rose facts. 1. Ancient roses. Fossil roses have been found in sites around the world. […]

New exotics make Beach gardens sizzle

Spring has been playing peek-a-boo with us this year. One week at the end of March was no-coat weather, the next was put-those-blankets-back-on-the-bed. Upper Beach folks are bragging about their spring flowers. In my garden, two blocks from the lake, tulips and daffs are still tightly wrapped, and the forsythia is only thinking of blooming. […]