Today we’re visiting a beautiful garden in Toronto.
I’ve been gardening since I was in diapers, when I would play in the dirt of my grandparents’ and other family members’ backyard gardens. As an older child and teenager, I would take the lead gardening in the yard of my family home.
Some highlights of my gardening successes include maximizing my space and harvests with succession planting techniques; growing a 4-pound tomato; extending my active gardening season across 9 to 10 months a year, even dealing with harsh winter temperatures; and successfully growing figs (better suited for a Mediterranean climate) in Toronto—not to mention the pride I take in inspiring thousands of people online along with the many clients I’ve built gardens for. It’s very rewarding when I’m teaching people who are 20 years older than me how to garden.
Despite the successes, every year there’s something that doesn’t go well—pests, weather, soil conditions. And that’s OK! Even as an “expert,” I embrace learning and trying new things, because not everything is perfect.
For the future, I hope to continue building my brand and business to help others learn the values of growing backyard veggies—and also to preserve Italian traditions and culture while doing so. A few weeks ago I received an email from a follower who told me I’ve inspired their 90-year-old Italian father to try some new things in the garden! Getting through to a stubborn Italian man with new tricks?! That just shows me just how wide and valuable my efforts can be.
Tomatoes are one of the stars of my garden for sure. In my opinion, there’s nothing that has such a wide flavor profile range between store-bought and homegrown than tomatoes. People who have never tasted a backyard tomato before don’t know what a tomato even tastes like. The fact that I have seeds traced back to the 1960s from Italy makes them special to grow.
A lot of people think I grow on a farm, but I actually live less than 20 minutes from downtown Toronto in an adjacent suburb. How? My next-door neighbor and I have a “yard share” agreement. I built and manage a garden on their property in addition to my own. And we share the bounty!
A bowl of blackberries from the garden
Beautiful harvest of cherry tomatoes
Figs—yes, you CAN grow them in a cold climate like Toronto’s!
An armload of garlic
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
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