- Frugalista Faves
- Frugalista Bookshelf
- Great Gardens
- My Roots
- Subscribe to the Mailing List
The American Hibiscus Society is one of the larger specialized plant societies. Its stated purpose is to encourage and promote the development and improvement of hibiscus and to collect, record and pass on information concerning hibiscus. This non-profit organization has its headquarters in Venice, Florida. You may want to visit, but then again, a pot or two of hibiscus may be just as good as a trip to the sunny south.
The Elm Tree Recovery Project is a special project of the Arboretum at the University of Guelph. Founded by the remarkable and sadly missed Henry Kock, an interpretive horticulturist for two decades at the Arboretum and, the Elm Recovery Project maintains a registry of mature elms and an orchard where grafts of disease-resistant specimens are nurtured. The Arboretum is worth a flesh-and-blood visit , and visit the site, too, to see what is being done to bring elms back into our yards, fields, and forests.
Ever wonder what an acene is? Or a drupe? Or the real definition of a cultivar? a variety? This site offers succinct, and sometimes simplistic, but excellent starter definitions for the terms gardeners are most likely to bump up against.
Evergreen is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to deepening the connection between people and nature, and making cities more liveable through naturalization projects. A Canadian non-profit environmental organization, it has set up plant databases to give people the practical information to transform barren school grounds and urban back yards. It offers the most complete native plant database I've found, with photos and detailed information for Canadian gardens.
I discovered this iVillage of gardeners while looking for a source of Red Oxalis – one of the members was offering corms in a seed exchange forum. There are forums on specific plants and types of gardens, gardeners' blogs, photo galleries, tool directories, and FAQs compiled by members who have faced the same horticultural cleft sticks as the rest of us. Browsing through, I learned that the first hosta points poking up through the ground are called noses. Nice.
I get most of my hostas from friends who like me, have little memory for varietal names. This astonishing site lists more than any garden could ever hold, and gives a sense of the range of size and colour available to gardeners.
This spring I needed a refresher on how to prune my PeeGee Hydrangeas. Words aren't enough, I need pictures, and I found them at this site run by Taunton Press, publishers of Fine Gardening magazine. Not only is the information clear and well-illustrated, there are videos in which a master makes perfect cuts every time.
Environment Canada - National Climate Data and Information Archive
Agriculture Canada Plant Hardiness Map
I like the clear layout and the thoroughness of the information at this site. The encyclopedia lists thousands of plants, both by their botanical and common names. It uses USDA zones, so northern gardeners beware.
Not a blog, a musical performance that offers an entirely new role for vegetables. You'll be rushing out to the garden to join the chorus.
Called "a force of nature" in a Toronto Life profile, Marjorie Harris is certainly one of Canada’s leading garden writers. Former editor of the much-mourned and now-defunct Gardening Life magazine, she still writes a garden column for The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper. Her blog reports on goings-on in her Toronto city garden — this week the Hellebores are blooming — as well as what's new in her life and travels. Back-listed books can be ordered here, too, including How to Make a Garden, Botanica North America, The Canadian Gardener’s Year.
On those grey spring days, when it seems the tulips will never open, go to this site and watch the garden bloom. Guaranteed to lift the spirits.
Doug Green was a nurseryman for years and now concentrates all that skill and experience to the education of browsing gardeners. Solid planting and care advice, and he'll answer all your questions, too.
So many of the books I love are old books, that I feel I should offer you some of my favourite used-book dealers.
ABE, A Canadian used-bookstore broker out of British Columbia, offers books from used booksellers around the world
Another excellent general source of used books.
Sells books, periodicals, catalogues, and other gardening ephemera
A small family business out of Washington State.
Rare, old, and out of print books on horticulture.
Tucked away in a little outpost in Norway, this seed bank is dedicated to spreading Hosta seeds of every kind and variation around the world. There is a wish-list posted — Raspberry Sorbet, Elvis Lives, Koren Snow — as well as the names of seeds now in the bank, available for swapping. Go wild.
Canada's best mail order source of spring, summer, and fall bulbs, and bare-root plants. The staff on the order desk are superb. The company ships healthy stock and stands behind its products 100 %. Two green thumbs up!
I've been buying William Dam Seeds for thirty years, only half its lifetime. Long a source of untreated seed and hard-to-find European varieties, it now has a good selection of organically grown seed, too. Very reliable. Two green thumbs up!
Members of Canada's Seeds of Diversity exchange seeds of over 2400 varieties of fruits and vegetables through their National Seed Exchange. Interesting source of heritage seeds.
Interesting source of heritage and heirloom seeds from one of Canada's warmest zones. Also grains, "power plants," teas, culinary and medicinal herbs, as well as special offerings that fund the Seed and Plant Sanctuary (www.seedsanctuary.com). Cold-weather gardeners should be proceed with caution.
Eternal seed doesn't sell through its website yet, but you can order the catalogue here. My source for Cupani sweet peas, and many other interesting heirloom, heritage, and organic varieties.