Editor’s Note

Pretty flowers,
alien-looking plants
and trees built to last

By Melinda Marks, editor-in-chief


Take heart, spring is not that far away, no matter what the thermometer reading on the deck says.
To help put you in the right frame of mind, check out the gorgeous local gardens profiled in our Home and Garden edition.
Along with being beautiful to observe, gardens have the power to bring people together in a special way. Two neighbours in Kitchener’s Forest Hill neighbourhood have developed a warm and close relationship based on their shared passion. Both women have their own expressive garden styles but they share a deep appreciation for each other’s work. We explore this friendship and take you into each of their yards.
Garden expert David Hobson explains the never-ending hunt for something different to keeps garden friends and neighbours in awe.
But it doesn’t have to be all about flowers and luscious greenery. Hobson also shows us how to upscale simple vegetable plots in the backyard. Whether employing a simple design or building a raised vegetable bed, his knowledge can take gardeners in different directions and add interest to your private green space.
And while we all appreciate photos of brilliant gardens in full bloom, there is always another way to view the landscape. It just depends who is holding the camera.
When photojournalist Mat McCarthy is the one looking through the lens plants in various stages of the life cycle often take on alien characteristics. Enjoy a sampling of these images, along with McCarthy’s story about his his late-blooming affair with gardening, and then follow his photography project on Instagram.
On a larger scale, we look at the forests of our future and how well the trees we grow can adapt to the changing climate. See what’s new at area nurseries and consider what kind of tree would be best for your property.
Then, let’s head indoors to see what’s happening in the kitchen.
You might assume the top chefs would rely on all the latest equipment and gadgets to make life easier. If so, you’ll be as surprised as we were to learn what some of them consider essential tools for their jobs – everything from a bargain-bin nail brush to an old, crooked wooden fork used to separate pasta.
If this feature inspires you to reach for your favourite utensil, why not use it to create one of the onion dishes shared by our food columnist Charmian Christie.
It sounds like a good way to get our minds off the final days of winter. We’ll be in the garden before we know it.