Garden Photo of the Day

Bountiful Harvests in Toronto

Gardening and teaching others to do the same

gardener holding a large Swiss chard plant

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!

large bowl of freshly harvested blackberriesA bowl of blackberries from the garden

close up of wooden plate full of freshly harvested cherry tomatoesBeautiful harvest of cherry tomatoes

wooden plate piled with fresh figsFigs—yes, you CAN grow them in a cold climate like Toronto’s!

gardener holding a large harvest of garlicAn armload of garlic

gardener holding a basket full of tomatoesSummer in a basket—ripe tomatoes

gardener holding a large Swiss chard plantNow that is one massive Swiss chard plant!

gardener holding a giant heirloom tomatoAnd one HUGE tomato!

If you want to see more, check out his website (theyoungnonno.com), or follow him on Instagram: @theyoungnonno

 

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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments

Comments

  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 06/26/2023

    Great job Anthony! Here's to your continued garden success :)

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 06/26/2023

    Amazing produce. You are an inspiration.

  3. Oxdriftgardener 06/26/2023

    Great story and fantastic produce. Sounds like we both started our gardening journey at about the same point in our lives. LOL

  4. User avater
    simplesue 06/26/2023

    You had me at "seeds traced back to the 1960s from Italy" and a 4 lb. tomato! Wow! Nice artistic photos and a good story to go with them!

  5. User avater
    cynthia2020 06/26/2023

    I enjoyed reading your gardening story and looking at the photos - thank you for sharing.

  6. btucker9675 06/26/2023

    Oh my - where to start? Those blackberries, those figs, that tomato!!! Amazing - you are a magician!

  7. [email protected] 06/26/2023

    Oh, I have tomato envy! Not only are you a great gardener, but your food/photo styling are outstanding, too! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. PondandPerryGarden 07/03/2023

    What a beautiful bounty! I used to live in downtown Oakville. Small world! Miss it! So envious of those tomatoes and so right about how the taste of a backyard tomato—it is really unmatched!

  9. LED_TV 08/09/2023

    Hi UAE friends! 🌆 I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the Electric Cooker options available online. If you've got any tips for choosing the right wattage for efficient cooking, please share! Also, any features I should prioritize? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a million! 🍕

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Shop the Store

View All Products