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RSSAuthor Archive for Donald McClure

He can tickle your funny bone or tug at your heart strings. County people may know him as a chronicler of everything that happens (or should happen) in the garden, but his interests stretch across the natural world. His unique sense of observation takes in a wide expanse of living and may even point out some truths about our own condition as managers of the world around us. With Loyalist antecedents in his family tree his roots go deep into the Ontario countryside.

Christmas books for garden buffs

Christmas books for garden buffs

Stuck for a gift idea for a gardening friend? A choice that has lots of approval and long-term staying power is a book.  Books for improving your gardening techniques, books for inspiring your recipient with bold new ideas for the coming Spring or books to join the list of people who just like to share […]

Discovering angels unawares

Discovering angels unawares

When we opened the doors for the first time on our dear old house in Bloomfield my brother presented us with an embroidered sampler to hang by the back door. It’s simple message– treat everyone who comes to the door as special — and not to pre judge a stranger.  It’s a good reminder and […]

County heritage of apples worth preserving

County heritage of apples worth preserving

By Donald McClure One of the lingering memories of this autumn and autumns past is our annual visit to Waupoos to stock up on apples.  Standing in Creasy’s retail shed a few weeks ago surrounded with baskets and bins of freshly harvested apples,  seems almost to be a right of passage for County folks.  It […]

Secret of growing great dahlias

Secret of growing great dahlias

It’s past the middle of October.  Most of the garden has settled down to sublime sleep. Colour has dramatically faded.  Days are getting longer.  But over in the  dahlia bed the beat goes on.   The tubers you planted last spring are still producing colour and bloom. Our dahlias came within a whisker of extinction the […]

Naked ladies bring zip to late summer garden

Naked ladies bring zip to late summer garden

They are so secretive and so beguiling that they always seem a surprise when they suddenly burst through the hard, dry soil of late summer in their flimsy finery.  We call them naked ladies — but their official designation is Colchicum  or fall crocus or meadow saffron.  Walk out into the diminishing  garden and suddenly […]

Of buildings lost and tractors found

Of buildings lost and tractors found

The old gentleman was standing by the great Corliss steam engine  at the Ameliasburg Museum a few years ago. I struck up a conversation with him and mentioned that it was too bad the 1842 Roblin Mill had been dismantled and carried off to the Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. “Best thing that ever […]

Alberta Ranch Preserved recalls halcyon days

Alberta Ranch Preserved recalls halcyon days

Almost prancing with anticipation the big grey-dappled Percherons responded quickly moving the big wagon onto the road when our driver Russ Fitz snapped his reins.  The wheels travelled a short distance and came to a halt on the hill overlooking the 35 buildings and structures that commemorate the incredible days of the big ranches in […]

Brian's Meadow beckons for quiet contemplation

Brian’s Meadow beckons for quiet contemplation

Are you looking for a quiet place where you can sit for a while in contemplation, free from the sounds and sights of the modern world.   There are lots of places like this in the County — but a new one opening up may entice you to come and collect your thoughts in peace and […]

This architectural gem nearly lost

This architectural gem nearly lost

It stands on the corner of  Church street a block east of busy Yonge Street in Aurora.   In the midst of a town gone wild with new development, its stately two-story. yellow brick facade stands out as unique and special. For people who know building design it remains quite unique.  Architectural notes suggest that If […]

Buddleia a butterfly magnet

Buddleia a butterfly magnet

You could not help but be impressed with the the first butterfly bush (or buddleia) I ever purchased. Standing there in a country nursery in late August,  the bush was literally encrusted with butterflies.  In fact I had to swoosh a couple of hanging monarchs off to load it in the car. This fast-growing shrub […]

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