Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Cheap and Cheerful Water Feature

Today, as I was going through folders of photos I took through the spring and summer months, I came upon this cheap and cheerful water feature my friend Barry devised for his garden. It looked so classy, yet was unbearably simple and didn’t cost a thing. All he did was take three terracotta saucers of

A front steps container garden in the Newtown, a neighbourhood in Roseau, Dominica.

In Search of My Grandmother’s Garden (A Visual Presentation)

This coming Monday I will be giving a presentation to the Parkdale Horticultural Society on my epic December/January 2009/2010 trip to the Caribbean. I’ve assembled a range of images from plants, to food, to some personal insights from all three of the islands we visited. There is a special emphasis on Dominica, in part because

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Flowering Lithops (Yellow)

Back in July I posted two photos of lithops plants my friend Barry grew from seed. Here’s one of the plants blooming for the first time! Worth the patient effort don’t you think?

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Agouti Umbrella

In Dominica, you might just see a giant Datura Brugmansia (I was told they are sometimes called “Agouti umbrella“*), flush to the breaking point full of drooping, soft peach flowers. Chances are good that you’ll see this on several occasions, in varying locations, and always the same colour. I saw this one on a steep


My tenth and last Globe & Mail Kitchen Gardening article for the 2010 growing season is set to be published this coming Saturday. It is on growing and eating cardoons, an Italian delicacy that I experimented with this year. Until then, here’s a timely piece that was published in the Saturday paper on August 27,

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Morelle de Balbis Fruit

It’s mid-September (let’s pretend I did not say that out loud), and the glorious Morelle de Balbis plant is bearing ripe fruit. This process began a few weeks ago but I withheld my judgement until several were ready for picking. I’ve had several opportunities to try them now and can report that the taste is,

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Medusa Head

I bought this Euphorbia a few months ago at the local Cactus and Succulent Society show and sale. It’s called a Medusa Head (Euphorbia flanaganii). I knew I had to have one when I saw my friend Barry’s potted up in an old clay mortar (he drilled a hole in the bottom for drainage). It’s

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

My Sinningia is Blooming!

Inspired by a tour of Erika’s unusual houseplants, I bought myself a Sinningia. I purchased it for 2 bucks at the spring Toronto African Violet Society sale, which happened to be taking place at the Toronto Botanical Gardens at the same time as the Ontario Rock Garden Society annual sale, which I was helping out

Pillow Cotton

I couldn’t resist sharing another image from the presentation I am working on and will be giving later this month. This is Giant Milkweed (Gossypium). The only time I saw it on the trip was when we travelled to the north end of Barbados to visit the Animal Flower Cave. The cave was a must-do

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Whimsy Must Live

Over at Garden Rant, in a post entitled “Whimsy Must Die” and the follow-up “Couldn’t Resist“, people are going off, once again, about ugly, tacky gardens. Despite the last fiasco (which I will not link to here), I find myself surprised by how many people take very real offence to a front yard covered in

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Bromeliads in the Valley of Desolation

Later this month I am giving a presentation to the Parkdale Horticultural Society on my trip to the West Indies. In preparation, I am striving to finish scanning all of the film photos I took, not including the Polaroids, because frankly, I’ve got to draw the line somewhere or I’ll never be done. I’m doing

Dewey Donation System

Have you heard about The Dewey Donation System? It’s an online library fund-raising drive that helps raise cash money and books for libraries in need across the United States. They’ve just launched their 2010 initiative to help a community-run library in Baltimore called Village Learning Place. Village Learning Place has a remarkable story. They’re a

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