April: Flowers in the Vegetable Garden

As you plan your vegetable garden, include some flowering herbs and annuals in it to encourage the beneficial bugs to visit your garden.  This is especially important if you plan to grow vegetables such as zucchini and cucumbers which have…

Gardening with Native Shrubs: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Shrubs in the garden landscape Although shrubs may be somewhat “overshadowed” by their taller and more charismatic tree cousins, their size and multi-branching habit make them the unsung heroes of the garden, valuable for both their variety and versatility. In…

Growing Hydrangeas: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Hydrangeas are a group of flowering plants that are very popular among gardeners due to their large, showy clusters of flowers. The genus Hydrangea, within the botanical family Hydrangeaceae, is native to Asia and the Americas. The species grown in…

Container Gardening: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

What is Container Growing? Not all gardening needs to be done directly in the ground. There are many reasons to grow flowers and/or vegetables in containers or planters. They are being used by condominium dwellers to grow food and flowers…

Native Plants for Shade: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Use of Native plants in the garden has become more important to gardeners as we consider climate change and a need for more biodiversity. Plants are Native or Indigenous to a region if they have originated and are naturally occurring…

How to Grow Thyme: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Of the dozens of varieties of thyme that are available, the one most often grown for culinary use is so-called “common” or “English” thyme (Thymus vulgaris).  Thyme is a 15 to 25-centimetre-tall shrubby perennial, hardy to Zone…

mulch and pollinators

Hello, I was about to put down cedar mulch, but then saw articles that are suggesting cedar mulch deters pollinators-bees. Is this true? If so, is there a better type of mulch to use to keep the moisture in around…

Garden clean-up

My understanding is that there are native bees that hibernate in the hollow stems of perennials; therefore, one should resist the urge to cut these down in the fall, and should hold off until the weather is consistently warm e.g.…

Hellstrip Gardening

Hi, I live in Oshawa (5b/6a). I’m thinking of planting up my hellstrip with some things. It is completely covered by snow in the winter and gets some salt The strip faces south, with a young Northern Red Oak. Two…

Annual Garden Vines

I live in Northern Scarborough. Do you have any suggestions for the following requirements? An annual vine. Some light shade. Pole trellis height 6 feet. Native to the Americas. Attracts pollinators and/or humming birds. Does not sprawl. Food vine (beans?)…