Inspired ideas for garden and landscape design.

Vine Maple Trees - iStock

The Surprising Things Trees Can Do For Your Garden

In honour of Earth Day, we look at a few of the magic tricks trees can perform in your garden.


Vine Maple Trees - iStock

 

MONEY WELL SPENT | In the landscape of memory, trees define the countryside. As the most prominent and long-lived of all vegetation (think giant sequoia), they are the one green symbol guaranteed to represent place. Mention Italy and Italian cypress come to mind. Images of southern France always include olive trees. The English landscape, that great affectation, is symbolized by large-scale deciduous varieties planted in “clumps” (by Capability Brown) that look from a distance like a single stylized tree. In the Pacific Northwest, iconic evergreens—Douglas fir, Western red cedar and hemlock—colour much of the landscape black-green, a situation that both pleases and perturbs me. Read more

Dan Pearson's Posy - Howard Sooley

Why Gardeners Should Make A Bouquet Every Day

Superstar designer and planstman Dan Pearson explains why you should make a garden posy every day.

Dan Pearson's Posy - Howard Sooley

 

WHAT THE PROS KNOW | There’s plenty of great how-to in Home Ground: Sanctuary In The City, British designer and writer Dan Pearson’s 2011 gardening book that will surely become a classic, but the author’s suggestion that keeners make a daily bouquet from whatever’s in bloom in their garden seems like a particularly good idea. Could there be an easier way to become more observant outdoors or to study the blooming habits and idiosyncrasies of the plants that grow right under your nose? Read more

Backyard chickens

Backyard Chickens Need A Moveable Coop

If you’re planning to raise backyard chickens, it makes sense to have a moveable coop.

Backyard chickens

 

CREATIVE SOLUTION | The 100 Mile Diet is becoming the 100 Foot Diet as increasing numbers of urbanites turn to growing and raising food in their backyards. Many of them will discover, however, that there’s a reason for leaving food production to farmers—it’s a serious amount of work. Read more

Crow finial

6 Fun Objects To Move Around The Garden

Six objects—no chairs or pots among them—that can be relocated around the garden again and again to make it look revitalized.

Crow

 

SWITCH IT UP | Because so many elements of a garden’s design are fixed I sometimes like to shake things up by introducing objects that can be repositioned according to the season or to whim. In my own garden, I have three metal crows that travel from tabletop to fence top routinely, and two, old wooden obelisks that have at one time or another bunked in every quarter of my suburban lot. Read more

Plant Props - H. Ross

How To Make This Curly Garden Stake

Why settle for pedestrian plant supports when these fanciful ones are super easy to make.

Plant Props - H. Ross

 

CREATIVE SOLUTION | This curlicue cousin of the commercially available metal plant stake is made with 12-gauge T-bar ceiling hanger wire, which comes in a bundle of precut lengths that are perfect for supporting garden smaller plants. Read more

Top Dressed Narcissus -Martin Tessler

How To Top Dress Floral Arrangements

Turn ordinary potted plants into miniature landscapes by choosing a soil cover that matches their look. There are lots of toppings to choose from, including aquarium stones, beach glass and even rosebuds.

Top Dressed Narcissus -Martin Tessler

 

CREATIVE SOLUTION | Plants potted up for the house are more than just leaves, stems and blossoms. They’re landscapes in miniature, with every aspect of their situation—the pot, the soil cover, the setting—adding to or detracting from the presentation. When I want my indoor plants to look all of a piece, I start by making associations. Read more

Concrete on Old Planters - Clinton Hussey

Give Old Planters A New Cement Overcoat

Turn old pots and planters from blah to beautiful with a concrete overcoat.

Concrete on Old Planters - Clinton Hussey

 

DO IT YOURSELF | Do you have a hodge-podge of unattractive garden pots and vases collecting dust in the recesses of your storage area, containers you’ve been thinking about shipping off to the Sally Ann? Well, if you like the look of concrete, a binding agent the late, great Canadian architect Arthur Erickson called “precious …. the marble of the 20th century,” you could mix up a batch of the material and paint it on your old planters the way I did on mine. It made me want to keep them. Read more

Papterwhites In Bloom

How To Make Flower Bulb Arrangements

All we want in winter are early signs of spring—and forced flower bulbs are a way to make it happen.

Hyacinths in Forcing VasesEASY & AWESOME | If you’ve been casting around for the perfect mid-winter gift for someone who loves flowers but may not be a gardener, we recommend this beautiful low-maintenance no-brainer: flower bulbs in clear glass containers (so you can appreciate their roots) ready to burst into midwinter bloom. Read more

Candles In The Snow - Martin Tessler

How To Light Snowy Pathways With Candles

 

Make light outdoors on a winter’s night by planting candles in the snow.

CREATIVE SOLUTION | Sometimes the most stunningly beautiful solution to a problem is also the most elementary one—like using candlelight rather than electricity to illuminate a snowy walkway.

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Andrea Cochran Garden

Make Your Garden Both Modern & Romantic

Learn the secrets of making a garden that is both modern and romantic from international superstar garden designer Andrea Cochran.

Andrea-Cochran-Garden

 

Design Wise | If you love beautiful gardens and find yourself near Robson and Georgia this evening with an hour so to spare, you might want to walk over to UBC Robson Square where international superstar garden designer Andrea Cochran will give a free lecture at 7 p.m. Read more