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Alain Charest
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Gardener - Roche Fleurie, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
Gardener - Roche Fleurie, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

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Giardino della Gherardesca
Covering 4.5 hectares, this garden is one of the largest private gardens
of Florence. Being private, it is not open to the public. Actually it
is now part of the Four Seasons, a five star hotel. Still, we wrote to the hotel explaining that we knew the gar...
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The Boboli and the need to control
The Boboli Garden, probably the best known garden in Florence, reminds us that our tendency to associate  gardens with flowers is a relatively new. Before
the nineteenth century, gardening was mostly about putting order in
nature, according to classical
...
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Terracotta pots
What is more quintessential to the Italian garden than the terracotta pot?
The problem with
terracotta is, of course, that a solid frost will break the pot. Dropping it will have the same effect. What I found particularly interesting in the Giardino dei s...
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Il Giardino dei Simplici
Recently, we visited the Botanical Garden in  Florence, Italy - il giardino dei
simplici. The simplici, simples in English (or in French for that
matter), are the medicinal plants that were considered effective on
their own. They do not have to be mixed ...
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Gloriosa Daisy
I suppose the name Gloriosa Daisy might make a botanist cringe but, for the gardener, it is a handy designation. These are not daisies, but Rudbeckia that have been hybridized and have finally settled into a big yellow/orange daisy, about two feet tall (60 ...
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Annual poppies - 2015
Every summer we grow various annual poppies. Some of the seeds are bought, but mostly they are collected in the garden the previous summer. As the plants hybridize on their own, the flowers we end up with can be quite different from year to year. Some can b...
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Pots on the move
It is self evident that an important advantage of growing plants in pots is that they can be moved around. In every garden, there are spots which, at  least part of the time, are drab, if not boring. Pots are very useful to deal with such spots. Moving them...
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Eyes bigger than stomach
I was walking by the pond when I noticed that a goldfish had died and was floating among the water plants. I bent down to pick it up with the intentiion of putting it on the compost heap but, as I got closer, the dead fish quickly sank back down into the wa...
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Plant Portrait - Strawberry Spinach
I am growing this vegetable for the first time this year.  It is supposed to be an heirloom vegetable that has been grown for centuries . Although it is called spinach, it is, in fact, a chard (Chenopodium capitatum). Strawberry Spinach  Like all chards, it...
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