Gnome News

ramblings of a plant lover

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.


Celebrating The Year of the Rooster

I recently crossed off a “bucket list” item by making the long arduous journey to the Land Down Under and had the wonderful privilege of visiting some amazing gardens while there. The exhausting journey was well worth the destination.


We landed in Sydney on Australia Day. It may have been misunderstood initially that the fireworks were just for us. However, we soon realized all of the unusual festivities were celebrating a national holiday and it was to be shared. We even got to hear “Crowded House” (for those who remember) play at the Opera House amphitheatre (Circle Quay) – bonus!

Not Long Now

Spring has arrived, barely, and already signs are evident at Forsythe. The fresh green shoots of Sedum are pushing through the soil and the furry Magnolia buds are plentiful on the tree. Even my Lilacs are covered in new buds. Overall it’s been a very mild winter on Lake Ontario, but recently we got another blast of winter which has kept me cautiously optimistic about this much anticipated season.


Magnolia pre-flowers readying for spring.