Serenity Now: Portland’s Japanese Garden

As promised, here are a few images from my Feb 2006 trip to the Japanese Garden in Portland Oregon. I defy you to feel Holiday angst while browsing these images. I may need to print one out wall-sized and hang it directly behind my computer. I’m sorry I waited so many months to say something


Affordable Gifts For Gardeners (To Buy)

I’m not one to go nuts with the gardening products since a lot of required gardening materials are either one-time buys (like good shears), tools and containers that can be purchased used, or items that can be fashioned from recycled materials (i.e. plastic water bottles) — I am the queen of the plastic water bottle.


Warm Winter Wear Drive Update

Last week I took 4 boxes of gorgeous, warm, handmade, winter items (and one You Grow Girl book) to The Redwood Women’s Shelter here in Toronto. These boxes were the result of this year’s You Grow Girl Warm Winter Wear Drive. I tied each item with a pretty string of yarn and added a gift

Gardening Mad

Because I haven’t done so in a while, be advised that this post contains cursing. I received an email from a reader recently who was “disappointed” by the current contest prize pack which is comprised of assorted items from Julie Jackson’s Subversive Cross-stitch line. My initial reaction to the letter was, “To each her own.”


Hello Hamilton!

I’m going to be doing a couple of events on Sunday, January 14. 2007 in Hamilton, Ontario. If you’re in the area do come out to one or both of these events and say hi! You Grow Girl Book signing at Mixed Media 174 James St. N. (at Cannon) 905-529-2323 11:30am – 12:30 [Note: Store

Vegan Cranberry Thumbprints

Guest post by Renee Garner I’d never been a fan of cranberry sauce that is until I started making my own. If you have ever made jam before, cranberry sauce is much like making jam, and just as easy to can. With fresh cranberries readily available, now is the perfect time for stockpiling this tart


Compostable Dishware

I discovered these compostable cups made of a sugar industry derivative called “bagasse” while partaking in my weekly cup of solar-roasted cacao drink at the Farmer’s Market. That’s my used cup in the photo above. Online environmental products store Branch carries a complete line of “bagasse” dinnerware, and at $2-4 for a pack of 50


Organic Spiced Fruitcake

I have just returned from my local Farmer’s Market (which also just happens to be the best Farmer’s Market, ever) where I was lucky enough to score a piece of Maria Solakovski’s amazing organic Spiced Fruitcake. I’ve been buying Maria’s cake for the last few holiday seasons and while I have tried other fruitcakes I

Hibiscus rosea

Hibiscus Rosea

I bought this Hibiscus rosea plant back in May at the Parkdale Horticultural Society Annual Plant Sale. At the time the plant was a wee cutting but just today it opened its first bloom with two buds on the way. I generally dislike the over-bearing tackiness and waxy leaves of tropical hibiscus plants, reserving my

Garden Memory Journal

Plant-Related Holiday Gifts You Can Make

I was just thinking… seems like THE HOLIDAY SEASON is here, or something. I am very good at shutting out that which I would rather not see but with the powers that be pummeling us over the head with it earlier and earlier every year, it’s kinda hard to miss. Really, I don’t hate the

in the Rose Garden


With my gardens put to bed, it’s time to catch up on all of the things I did over 2006 but neglected to write about. Late last February I took a trip to Portland, Oregon to do a couple of events. One was a presentation on growing food in difficult spaces at Clackamas Community College

Tales from the Green Valley

I’m really exposing my inner geek here when I say that I’ve recently become interested in a BBC television series that is now playing on TVO called, “Tales from the Green Valley.” The program follows a group of experts as they attempt to run a Welsh farm using materials and resources only available during the

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