catchfly

Sweet William catchfly (Silene armeria) is making a great volunteer effort in my garden this year. It must be a good year for it. I planted a packet of seeds years ago, and every spring it comes up willy nilly, showing its vivid pink face everywhere  in July. But it’s easy to pull out if it grows where I don’t want it.

Plant volunteers: what’s not to love? (Hint: it’s blue)

rufus + daisies

Volunteer plants that seed themselves in your garden are often considered a nuisance, but they offer a lot to love–such as bloom where you never expected it and a welcome cover for bare spots. Continue reading

My ‘Graham Thomas’ rose lives–and blooms! Is this a miracle, or what?

roses in vase

My ‘Graham Thomas’ rose isn’t dead after all. Not only did it finally sprout some new branches and a few leaves, now it’s blooming. The flowers aren’t as big as last year’s, but they look like Mr. Thomas, with cupped flowers in a warm, golden hue. Continue reading

Beauty bush: My favourite shrub–this month, anyway

beauty bush featured

The amabilis in Kolkwitzia amabilis–beauty bush’s botanical name, after Richard Kolkwitz, a German botanist from the 20th century–means lovely, and that’s an apt if understated description of this old-fashioned, dependable and flower-laden shrub. Add “fragrant” to its list of attributes. … Continue reading

It’s alive! My wisteria finally leafs out–plus a weird survivor of winter

wisteria leafs out

Many plants didn’t survive the frigid southern Ontario winter this year, but patience proved that many were just shocked into submission and finally came alive. But what it this strange plant? A botanical Frankenstinian monster? Continue reading

Art in the garden: letting go at Brillig Manor

bum and gravel

I think we should let ourselves go a bit in our gardens. We’d have more fun, we might release more tensions, and we’d end up with more memorable gardens, like the one at Brillig House in Thousand Oaks, California, with is filled with whimsical art made by its owner Continue reading