12th Oct, 2017

Prep prune plant

In today’s Globe and Mail I have my first piece in months, just as the season is winding down. I hope you find it useful.  I sure loved writing it.

I will now try hard to keep up this blog space with plant and garden information.

This year when I thought I might be retiring, I kept getting lovely people who wanted me to do their gardens, so it’s been great satisfying work.  Here’s what happened:  I’d get a request to come and consult. When we got along like crazy, I would agree to come with a crew and renovate their gardens.  It’s my old crew but they are independent now. So all I have to worry about is the design, the plans and the installation.  It worked a dream.

I’ve had the best most enjoyable year going at my own pace of not more than one garden a week.  And I’m doing long distance consulting as well.  Just contact me if you need help. There’s still time this year and I will probably be raring to go in spring.

For the moment read this:

Perform these tasks to prep your garden for winter and ensure its success next spring

My column in the Globe and Mail today  (Thursday June 15, 2017) is about native plants we should be using in the garden. The illustration is of Amsonia  ‘Blue Ice’ a new cultivar of our native blue star.

I saw a collection of  great plant3s  at John’s Garden in Uxbridge Ontario.


He’s sat 4300 Concession Rd 7



If you would like to have the Applewood Horticultural Society plant list I used in my recent speech in Mississauga, just use contact me and I’ll pass it on to you.

It was a great crowd:  enthusiastic and responsive.  Would love to have sold more books, but that means I still have a few left:   THRIFTY GARDENING FROM THE GROUND UP.

I think it’s one of my best books and I’d be happy to send out for $20 plus postage and will sign it. Of course.

I feel like i’m back at doing all the things I like doing:  reading about plants, messing about with garden designs but not responsible for my lovely crew.  The essay on last week’s Sunday Edition about slowing down drew an astonishing (to me) response.  I’ll finish getting back to everyone this week.




25th Jan, 2017

Speech in Mississauga



SELECTED PLANT LIST by Marjorie Harris

Some of the professionals who work in my garden: 

Monique Dobson mondobson@gmail.com 

Derek Welsh of Authentic Tree Care 1.888.366.2273

These are some of my favourite plants and they’ll be included in my talk.

Acer griseum

Acer palmatum Japanese maple ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’; ‘Tamukeyma’; ‘Sango?kaku’; ‘Scolopendrifolium’ ‘Koto no-Ito’; ‘Evergreen’; ‘Hanna Matoi’; ‘Shaina’

Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’

Albizia ‘Chocolate Drop’

Allium afflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’

Amelanchier canadensis

Amsomia tabernaemontana; A. hubrechtii

Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’

Artemisia absinthium ‘Lambrook Silver’; ‘Huntington’; lactiflora ‘Guizhou’;   x. ‘Powis Castle’

Aster ‘Little Carlow’

Arum italicum

Berberis thunbergii ‘Hermann’s Pillar’ ; ‘Golden Nugget’;

Brunnera macrophylla – ‘Jack Frost’

Buxus microphylla   var. koreana ‘Winter Beauty’; B. m. ‘Variegata’

Calycanthus floridus

Carpinus betula ‘Fastigiata’; ‘Columnaris Nana’

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ ,

Chiononanthus virginicus

Cimicifuga ‘Hillside Black Beauty’; ‘Black negligee’

Clematis ‘Betty Corning’

Coleus ‘Black Magic’ , ‘Victorian Ruffles’

Cornus sibirica red-twigged dogwood; alba ‘Elegantimssima’

  1. alternafolius ‘Argenta’; C. compressa; C. controversa ‘Variegata’

‘Praire Fire’ and ‘Arctic Fire’; C. ‘Hedgerow Gold’; C. ‘June Snow’; kousa ‘Samaritan’.

Diervilla lonicera

Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’

Eupatorium coelestinum fistulosum   (Wine coloured stems); rugosum ‘Chocolate’.

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’; ‘Tasmanian Tiger’

Fagus sylvestris ‘Roseo-marginata’; ‘Purple Pendula’.

Ginkgo biloba ‘Ohasuki’

Gymnocladus dioicus   Kentucky Coffee Tree

Hosta   .’Gold Standard’

‘Gold Edger’



‘Frances Williams’


‘Gingko Craig’

‘Fragrant Gold’

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Helleborus atrorubens; H. foetidus; H. ‘Pink Frost’

Hydrangea petiolaris (climbing hydrangea);

? quercifolia (oak leaf hydrangea);

‘Fire and Ice’

Lathyrus vernis

Lespedeza ‘Gibraltar’

Liriodendron tulipifera ‘Fastigiata’

Liquidambar ‘Slender Silhouette’   Sweet Gum

Maackia amurensis

Ostrya virginiana Ironwood

Penstemon ‘Dark Tower’

Persicaria amplexicaule ‘Firetail’, ‘Gold Arrow’

Phlox paniculata ‘David’

Physocarpus opulifolium ‘Diablo’

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’.

Rhamnus frangula ‘Fine Line’

Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstonne’

Salix candida

Sambucus nigra ‘Aureomarginata’;     nigra variegata; n. purpurea

Sciadopitys verticillata;   ‘Joe Kozy’

Solidago odora;   also look at: ‘Golden Fleece’; ‘Laurin’; ‘Golden Wings’. Not in the show but all recommended.

Stewartia pseudocamillia

Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’; plicatum ‘Summer Snowflake; ‘Pragense’plicatum tomentosum ‘Shasta’.


Chasmanthium latifolium    a seeder of great magnitude

Festuca glauca (blue fescue)

Hakenochloa macra ‘Aureola’ ‘All Gold’

Pennisetum alepecuroides ‘Red Head’

Miscanthus sinensis purpurea; s. ‘Sarabande’ ; s. ‘Gracemillimus’ ; s. ‘Sirene’ ; s. ‘Nippon’; s. ‘Zebrinus’; s. ‘Morning Light’.

Molinia caerulea ‘Sky Racer’


Hyacinthoides non scripta   English Bluebells

Muscari latifolium; M. l. ‘Plumosum’

Tulipa batalini ‘Bright Gem’;kaufmanniana ‘Johan Strauss’; ‘Queen of night’; ‘Spring Green’.

Narcissus   ‘Tete-a-tete’ and ‘Thalia’


Scilla sibirica


                                                            – 30 –

21st Jan, 2017

The Sunday Edition Essay

In case you miss it and might like to here it, this is the essay I did for the Sunday Edition January 22, 2017:


Jan 20

How to use time in old age? “I don’t want to kill time. I want to be doing something useful.” @Marjorie_Harris essay cbc.ca/1.3941102


This year I have closed part of my Marjorie Harris Gardens business:  the installation and maintenance part.  I will still carry on being a plant consultant and garden designer, write as much about gardening as is possible. But have a listen to my reasoning about slowing down.



Helleborus 'Pink Frost'

I am giving a talk called THE EVOLUTION OF A GARDENER

on Wednesday January 25, 2017

at  7 p.m.

in The Great Hall Unitarian Congregation

84 South Service Road





3rd Oct, 2016

Drought tolerant plants

In this week’s Globe column I suggested some wonderful plants that did well in a summer of endless sun and little rain.


Here’s my column for this week:

From: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’: The perfect plant for the urban gardener – The Globe and Mail

I’ve been accused of hating hydrangeas:   not true.  I like some of them a great deal.  I hate it when they are overused in a landscapery design. You know, a grass, fifteen hydrangeas and three squares of heucheras. Voià a modern garden. Sooooo boring.  In the next week, I’ll put up some of the gardens we’ve been doing this year. It has been thrilling. Great clients and wonderful plants.




9th Jul, 2016

Plant of the week

This week it’s a gorgeous evergreen

Go to http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/gardening

I’ll be on CBC’s FRESH AIR  at  6:30 a.m. Sunday.  Talking about, what else, watering, rain, plants and drought.

My column in the Globe and Mail can be found at:

globeandmail.com   go to  Life  then Home & Design then Gardening

Spirea ‘Double Strike Red’
Read this on The Globe and Mail

I have been so busy this summer but things are returning to a normal work load so I’m hoping to be on this blog more often.  And if anyone can tell be how to get a direct link to my column I would be ever so grateful.