About Me

passport picIf you have a strong enough why, you will figure out the how.

Laurence G. Boldt
Zen & the art of making a living




It’s never been enough for me to know how to do something in the garden. I’ve always wanted to know why. And asking why usually gives me better understanding of which garden technique/solution I should use for a particular problem, which plants would best suit a particular site or what garden style will resonate with the gardener and climate.


I am fortunate to have a deep well of knowledge and experience to draw upon.


  • I started gardening professionally 30 years ago.


  • Obtained a very handy BSc and MSc in horticulture and a residential garden design certificate


  • Published a couple of scientific papers (Plant Physiology Journal)


  • Published over 100 garden/gardening magazine articles


  • Newspaper garden columnist (Toronto Star’s “Condo Gardener “column)


  • Volunteer at Master Gardeners’ advice clinic


  • Kept up to date with regular technical updates from local Master Gardeners’ groups.


On March 2010, I started THE REAL GARDENER blog to share my gardening experiences with other gardeners.  I noticed that soil and gardening were not covered very well on most gardening sites. Vibrant gardens start with healthy soil.

Over 80 percent of plant pest and disease problems could be prevented if the soil was healthy. Poor soil leads to a decline in plant health and vigour, which then attracts pests and diseases. Healthy plants start with healthy soil. 

 Besides writing  blogs for THE REAL GARDENER, I regularly share gardening information on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter: @CristinaGardens

Facebook: Cristina da Silva and The Real Gardener


I also share and exchange information about soil-related topics on #groundchat, a tweetup that I administrate and regularly host.

#Groundchat happens weekly on Friday at 2 pm ET. Check the weekly topic on  #Groundchat Schedule and peruse through the archived chats on  #Groundchat Archives.


Join in the inspiring gardening conversation on THE REAL GARDENER, Twitter, Facebook and #GroundChat!


Cristina da Silva