Gnome News

ramblings of a plant lover

The Arthur Meighen Gardens, Stratford, Ontario


The grounds around the Stratford Festival are worth the trip, even if you’re not particularly fond of Mr. Shakespeare and his work. It had been some time since I’d been there, regretfully. My wife takes an annual pilgrimage weekend with her mom and sisters to hang out and take in a production.

Unfortunately I only brought my iPhone and so, with no real camera in hand, my image account of this surprisingly impressive garden fell short of what it might have been. That and the crowds made the potential for good picture-taking somewhat limited. None the less, the point of this blog is to bring attention to beautiful botanical destinations and not showcase my imagery. I hope this humble showcase will inspire a visit some bright summer day in the near future.

Not exploding popcorn on a stick!

Not exploding popcorn on a stick!

The Water is Free

A great idea from Family Handyman for capturing roof waste water and repurposing it for plants and garden areas. Of course there are different ways to do this, but I thought this was smart and I liked the illustration.

Classic Elegance

The garden at Forsythe is coming in full tilt, beautifully. Everything is lush and green. This season has started off with more rain than usual and this is definitely proving beneficial to the plants.

The first to bloom this spring at Forsythe gardens, featuring a spectacular display of white heart-shaped flowers and handsome lime-green foliage.

The first to bloom this spring at Forsythe gardens, featuring a spectacular display of white heart-shaped flowers and handsome lime-green foliage.

Building the Wall

I recently came a cross an interesting article on retaining walls from “This Old House” which I thought I’d share. I’m currently giving a client some landscaping advice on a steep slope in the grade running alongside their new home. Perfect for a retaining wall and this article comes just in time for consideration on how best to resolve the garden issues related to this awkward transition between the two properties.


The World’s Best Garden Hose

Last year I purchased a 100’ garden hose from Home Hardware that boasted on its package to be the “world’s best garden hose” and was assured by the clerk at the store that it was their most popular. It became apparent after a long arduous, very frustrating, nearly comedic, unravelling of this $100 product – a dollar a foot of sheer torment to try and straighten out – that it was in fact the world’s worst garden hose. I was so frustrated, but let it go too long, hoping it would limber up and be more cooperative after some usage. Such was not the case. I gave it away this year.


An Oasis in Sydney Part 1

One of the most memorable gardens I visited on a recent trip to Australia was Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, right along the harbour front in the heart of the city. Established in 1816, it is the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia – home to an outstanding collection of plants from around the world with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific.