Gnome News

ramblings of a plant lover

Spring. A Time to Create it!

I think of spring as “ramp up” season. Get ready to get busy.


The things you didn’t accomplish the season before and all of the winter planning and the preparations required for the season ahead come to a crashing crescendo… and so begins the serious business of gardening once again. This is analogous to the hour before opening up the store for an anticipated busy Saturday Sale, preparing a fully booked restaurant for the evening guests, or getting ready for a grand vacation. Lots of pre-think is required to be certain it will deliver a satisfying outcome.


The Education of a Gardener

One of my favourite “garden” reads lately is a classic called, “The Education of a Gardener” by Russell Page. Russell was one of the most renowned garden designers of the 20th century. He lived from 1906 through 1985 and documented much of his experience in this wonderful compendium of design philosophy and anecdotal examples from his work. This book isn’t easy to get, but worth it if you can.



The Fussy Song

A whimsical jingle, written and sung by Cliff Cline, a talented writer, musician and friend. Visit to listen to his latest CD titled “Noticing the sky.”


Plan it! – Demolition Day





From the winter of 2007 through to demolition day in the summer of 2008, there has been no end to planning the details of this lovely property. Forestwood is the culmination of a lifetime of travel and saturating my imagination with the beauty I’ve studied and observed along the way.


Dream it!

Forestwood comes by its name honestly. It’s one of the most beautifully treed streets you’ll ever find. As it turns out, it is the northern extension of Ontario’s Carolinian Forest, featuring trilliums, ostrich ferns, hemlocks, ironwoods and beech trees. Without sidewalks, the street has a strange character of country meets urban. We’ll be posting updates regularly to keep you informed on the makeover at Forestwood with photos and even some video footage. So join me, The Fussy Gardener, as we travel near and far to discover new ideas we can implement in our gardens.




Canada (Gairloch Gardens)

Gairloch Gardens in our little town of Oakville Ontario, so close. Sometimes we forget how special home is. Forestwood is but a few blocks from this wonderful oasis on the norther shores of Lake Ontario, just west of Toronto. This estate property bearing the Gaelic word for “short lake” was bequeathed to the Town of Oakville in 1971 when it’s owner James Gairdner died. Originally it was part of 400 acres of farm land, part of an 11 acre severance in 1922, purchased by Colonel William Mackendrick. I rarely document a garden in the winter, but truth is, a mature garden is always beautiful in every season. So while I almost suffered frost bite in 28 below celsius weather I did try to capture some of the beauty of this lovely old garden, which is still adorned by the original Tudor style house, now home to a local art gallery nestled in the southeast corner of the garden. In the warner months this garden is quite spectacular and much desired for wedding photography.



Canada (Niagara Region)

his summer we made two visits to Niagara-On-The-Lake, one of our favourite getaway spots nearby. The famous Shaw Theatre is the main drawing card, but this historic town and lovely vista on the Niagara River just north of the Falls, is simply exquisite. Not too far away is another stop we like, a town called, “Jordan”. My favourite store there is called, “The Copper Leaf Garden Store”. Not only do they have some really interesting things for your garden, the design and setting of their store is absolutely beautiful. I thought I might share some snaps of the store and by all means, if you have time drop in on them. They’re on the main street of Jordan, Ontario. “On The Twenty” is also worthwhile. A great place to eat.