City Gardening

a gardening blog-azine by Lorraine Flanigan

Fresh Dirt

Savory Sagas: Herbs for Life Conference, Toronto, July 19, 20, 2014

For all herb enthusiasts: the International Herb Association conference is being held in Toronto and promises a full line-up of speakers and tours. Highlights include Whitehorse-based keynote speaker Beverley Gray who will be talking about the herbs of the north–who knew? Optional bus tours to Niagara and Richters Herbs are all part of the herbal […]


Best of Blooms, Part II: Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival, 2014»

Last night, as part of Charlie Dobbin’s volunteer team, while waiting for the pizza to arrive, I took the opportunity to get some shots of a few more of my favourite things at Canada Blooms. So, here’s what not to miss, Part II. 1. In J. Garfield Thompson’s Natural Flow, a river runs through…an outdoor dining table! When I chatted with him […]

Best of Blooms, Part I: Canada Blooms Garden and Flower Festival, 2014»

This year more than ever, we need a breath of fresh spring air.  There is no better place to catch spring fever than at the Canada Blooms Garden and Flower Festival, which opened on Friday, March 14 and runs until Sunday, March 23 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. Before the show opened, I was […]


Falling in love with Helleborus x hybridus»

I’m in love. The handsome specimen that’s caught my eye is perfect in every way. Long-lasting flowers that bloom in a rainbow of colours, evergreen foliage that looks good all year-round (it gets a bit tattered after our long winters, but what doesn’t?) and it’s perfectly happy growing in shade. Oh, you thought I was […]

Best easy-care flowering shrubs»

Although I enjoy spending as much time as I can in the garden, I know that many of you just don’t have the time to tend to finicky flowers or vigorous vines. But you still want a beautiful backyard, right? Modern-day flowering shrubs just may be the answer for you. Shrubs have always been easier […]


Should I ditch my 1993 edition of Practical Guide to Gardening in Canada for the 2013 edition?»

Once I find a great reference book I’m unwilling to part with it. Flags and tabs mark important pages so I can quickly and easily find information when I need it, and much-read sections are well-thumbed and annotated. So, it’s with great unease that I open a revised edition of any book, let alone a […]

Creativity, unleashed»

Look up the word “numinous” and you’re well on the way to understanding what you can gain by unleashing your creativity. Landscape architect W. Gary Smith opened his recent lecture at the Toronto Botanical Garden with a detail photo of a raked gravel garden at Philadelphia’s Chanticleer. He described a magical moment when cherry blossoms […]