The old fashioned cutting garden

In years gone by, grand estates often had special gardens where flowers were grown just for cutting and bringing indoors. That concept is catching on again, — if it ever really went away — and with good reason: a well-planned cutting garden lets you enjoy fresh flowers in every room, from spring until the very […]

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Fuzzy red balls of energy

Nobody has ever described a red squirrel as laid back and casual. They seem to live with the accelerator nailed to the floor, zipping around trees and through branches with blinding speed. Nor are they the fast but silent type. They may be the smallest of our squirrels, but they don’t seem to know that. […]

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Diy ski hills

Downhill skiers have lost a big chunk of the season with ski hills closed during the lockdown. For some enthusiasts, this has been an excuse to get out in the woods and make their own ski runs. There’s nothing new about back country skiing, of course. Long before there were groomed ski runs and high-speed […]

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Beef leek soup

Leeks are one of those vegetables that just don’t get the respect they deserve. People have been feasting on them for thousands of years — they’re mentioned several times in the Old Testament and they were apparently a favourite of Roman Emperor Nero. From Turkey to Britain, leeks have a role in several national cuisines. […]

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trees in the forest in winter

The silence of snow

Nothing transforms the landscape quite like a heavy snowfall. The world doesn’t just look different, it sounds different. We’ve all experienced it. But have you ever wondered why? Depending on where you are, part of the difference has to do with the way snowy roads can muffle vehicle tires — rather than riding directly on […]

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evergreen tree

Grow your own

In this strange year, we’ve seen shortages of surprising things. From toilet paper to seeds, mason jars to pressure-treated lumber, we’ve been running short of all kinds of things we once took for granted. And this month, we added Christmas trees to the list. In Muskoka, many stores were sold out of live trees by […]

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lanterns in a field at night

Japanese snow lanterns

There’s something magical about the combination of snow and light, the way even a single candle can make the snow glow. It’s celebrated in several snowy parts of the world – last spring we looked at the way snow lanterns are made in Sweden – but nowhere do they do snow lantern festivals quite as […]

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fudge cake on a plate

Two rounds for good luck

New Year’s celebrations around the world always include special foods. It’s not just a matter of tradition, either: there is a nearly universal belief that the foods you eat on New Year’s Eve or Day will set the tone for the year to come. One of the most common themes involves round foods. A circle […]

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Winter rooms spring scents

In a few months we’ll be in the middle of winter, and many of us will be yearning for spring. Forcing bulbs to bloom indoors can be the perfect way to bring a little cheer into our winter rooms. Forcing bulbs is incredibly easy, but it does take a bit of advance planning. Actually, quite […]

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Fall into the sky

Gazing up at the night sky is one of the great delights in Muskoka. After all, there’s a reason this region is home to Canada’s first dedicated Dark Sky Reserve (the Torrance Barrens): with very little light pollution in much of Muskoka, we can see a great deal of the night sky. Whether you’re viewing […]

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