This prize Who tree is a winner

me and the Who tree

“Pick one of the trees, and make sure it matches your outfit,” whispered my friend Mary Ann when I went up to claim a draw prize from the tablefull of Who trees and other seasonal goodies at our garden club‘s Christmas buffet. I’m a bit of a Grinch about Christmas. I outlawed big tinsely trees from our house years ago, but the warped little trees sitting on the table appealed to my less-is-more side. So I listened to Mary Ann and picked one with pink and green balls to match my pink dress and green scarf.   It turned out to be a perfect choice, a conversation piece with a bit of attitude that took its place on our kitchen island. It’s seasonal without being over the top. Continue reading

How to choose a birdhouse: it’s between you and the birds

our birdhouseDo wild birds really need birdhouses? I silently asked myself this while admiring Lucien Gagnon‘s enchanting domiciles for wrens, chickadees, house finches and just plain sparrows at the Stratford Garden Festival in March. His rustic, handmade structures–a white schoolhouse with a bell in the tower, the grist mill with a turnable wheel, a barn with a stone silo, the log houses with pebble chimneys–could make a miniature avian village. But would the birds appreciate it? Continue reading

Love your winter garden

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Although it would probably be more healthy to be outdoors in winter, I like it inside–cooking comfort food in a steamy kitchen, reading by a hot fire, but more often, I confess, watching HBO. Okay that’s in the evening, when I’d hardly be outdoors anyway unless I was walking the dog. But we have our darling cats, so that’s out.

So like virtually all Canadians (except for those lucky ones in southern British Columbia) I do nothing in the garden in winter, and to be honest I’m glad of the break.  Continue reading