Garden of Versailles

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the palace and gardens of Versailles.  The palace itself is a baroque wonder but sadly jammed with people most of the time now.  The gardens are another matter, built on a grand scale by André Le Notre to showcase the Sun King’s power and ambition.  André, a gardener and landscape architect was first commissioned … Continue reading Garden of Versailles

Fertilizing 101. part 3: fertilizers for the fall

Here we are in the third day of fall in southern Ontario and it’s a steamy 31 deg celsius (88 F).  I have watered more in the last week than all of the summer!  Annuals are blooming madly and the butterflies are still hanging about. A swallowtail on my lantana However, it is fall and time to plant bulbs, trim back dead summer leaves and … Continue reading Fertilizing 101. part 3: fertilizers for the fall

A snapshot in the life of a butterfly

A quick look in photos at the life of a monarch butterfly: Eggs on a leaf.  There’s safety in numbers!   After hatching a caterpillar’s life is spent eating…   Hanging out with friends eating…   And more eating!   After about two weeks, the journey begins…   To find a suitable spot…   To hang…   And transform into a chrysalis.   Any spot … Continue reading A snapshot in the life of a butterfly

Trapped by the garden

I keep meaning to write a blog but am lured by the siren song of the garden!!  The weather is glorious for the moment, the first roses are opening even before the paeonies! Even in my small suburban garden, nature moves to her own rhythm.  A swallowtail butterfly visits my Korean lilac bush every spring. The bumblebees adore my double columbines aptly named Granny’s Bonnets … Continue reading Trapped by the garden

Spring Marches On

After a very unpleasant hailstorm the other week that prematurely terminated my crocuses and tiny irises, the next round of bulbs and spring flowers have marched in.  Another of my favourites are the species tulips.  Blooming early and finishing before the trees fully leaf out, they flourish and spread in the spring sunshine and will grow under trees as long as they get the early … Continue reading Spring Marches On

Early Spring Blooms

There’s nothing more cheery for me than when the early spring blossoms burst out of the ground and bring cheery colour to a late winter or early spring day.  even better when the sun is out!  Everyone is familiar with crocuses, the dependable bulbs that come back year after year and feature bright primary colours guaranteed to lift your spirits. There are also lesser known … Continue reading Early Spring Blooms

Gardens of Sweden – Carl Linnaeus

Back in 2009, I had the privilege of visiting my dearest friend in Sweden and seeing some of the loveliest gardens and historic landscapes in northern Europe.  She lived in Uppsala, the home of the famous “father of taxonomy” Carl Linnaeus.  He first studied at the University of Uppsala and later became a professor and rector of the University.  His home is now a public … Continue reading Gardens of Sweden – Carl Linnaeus

Magnificent Magnolias

One tree/shrub that should be in every garden is the magnificent magnolia.  Ranging in size from compact shrubs like M. stellata to large majestic trees like M. grandiflora, there is a magnolia for every size garden. Magnolias have an ancient lineage.  Fossil records show magnolias first came on the scene over 100 million years ago across North America and Europe. Back then there were no bees so it was … Continue reading Magnificent Magnolias

Trees in Santiago

Going through my photos of plants and flowers from Chile, I realized I have way too many for one blog.  So here is the first of a couple of blogs on plants from Chile, both native and introduced.  With its wonderful Mediterranean climate, Santiago boasts both tender and hardy flowering trees.  Outside of Santiago is semi-arid but in the city with water, hardy magnolias rub … Continue reading Trees in Santiago