Gnome News

ramblings of a plant lover

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.




First time to Hawaii and second time at a Four Seasons. Does the word “WOW!” come to mind? Yes. Any garden featuring daily whale jumps in the Pacific and volcanic tropical backdrops is pretty hard to top. The meticulous care of the property and gardens, as well as the natural setting is about as good as it gets.




Gardensode: Oleander

What is a “gardensode” you ask? Well, back in the day I partnered with Echo Bay Media to put a few videos together as a proposal to HGTV for a gardening show called The Fussy Gardener. Short story: the cost to produce it was beyond our reach and without the bucks up front, the network wasn’t prepared to take the risk. Oddly enough at the time, HGTV (Home & Garden Television) said their research had shown that there wasn’t enough interest in garden programs. . . hmm? Perhaps they should drop “Garden” from their brand acronym.

We’ve recently pulled some of these videos from the archives for your viewing pleasure and will be posting them over the next few weeks, so please enjoy. Who needs TV anyway!

Gardensode: David Graham White

Continuing our series of Fussy “gardensodes” from the archive here’s one called “David Graham White”. Hope you find it edutaining!

Gardensode: Riordon Design

Continuing our series of Fussy “gardensodes” from the archive here’s one called “Riordon Design”. Hope you find it edutaining!