Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Growing and Eating Cardoon

My final Globe and Mail article for the 2010 growing season was on growing and eating cardoon. Cardoon is lesser-known relative of the artichoke that is considered a delicacy in Mediterranean cuisine. Like artichokes it grows into a stately and somewhat dangerous thistle-like plant, but unlike artichokes you eat the stems, not the flower buds.

Photo by Gayla Trail

Launching a Campaign Against the Legion of Cats

One of the unforeseen negatives we inherited with the new house is a Legion of Cats who have taken up residence in the yard. They’re not strays, just neighbourhood cats that have decided that since no one else was using it, the’d make the yard their playground. And so they’ve made themselves very comfortable back

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Rosemary, It’s Still Outdoors

This little rosemary is ‘Blue Boy’ a compact variety that grows into interesting no-work bonsai shapes in a pot. I originally purchased several of these as table decoration and parting gifts for people who attended the Grow Great Grub book launch party back in February. I even took one home myself. And then I lost

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Rex Begonia Flower

Once again my attempt at Wordless Wednesdays is a complete failure. As I was prepping this image, I realized I could not post it without saying something about these fascinating flowers. Begonia plants have male and female flowers that carry the reproductive organs on individual flowers. This flower is the female, aka pistillate flower. The

Garden Making Magazine

Garden Making Magazine (Plus Giveaway)

One of my paying gigs is writing (and some photography) for a new gardening magazine called Garden Making. This last week, the magazine celebrated a year in publication with four issues in print. That is no small feat for a specialized print magazine, on the topic of gardening (in Canada, no less), in the age

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Painted Leaves

Behold, the beautiful leaves of this Rex Begonia I bought last winter. It’s flowering! The trick to growing this particular begonia is shade and humidity. My time hiking through forests in Dominica really drove that point home in a clear way. I often found begonias growing in surprisingly dim spots underneath thick tree canopy and

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Headless Woman Standing Among the Palms

From the moment I first laid eyes on an Oxalis palmifrons I knew I wanted to take a picture of it with a tiny model train figure standing underneath the leaves as if she/he was a tourist posing among a bank of palm trees. This photo isn’t quite what I had in mind.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

My Greenhouse (of Sorts)

Our new place has a cold, south-facing, window-filled mudroom. It was the porch at one time and still has the original stone window-ledge, window, brick facade, concrete floor, and functional doorbell. It’s not a very functional living space, but it makes a perfect cold greenhouse! Since before the move, my poor plants have been suffering

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

The Big Slugs Are Here

First there was a fat lump of a thing found in the Yardshare Garden here in the west end while planting squashes. And then a few weeks ago we found Leopard Slugs (Limax maximus) in our friend David’s plot at the Leslie Street Allotment Garden on the east side of Toronto. Prior to these two

Even Good Change Can Be Hard

A few days ago we packed up the old place, packed up the roof garden and all of my plants, and moved. It was hell. A special thanks to friends who helped us get the remaining vestiges of our stuff out. That was no small feat and I am super, super grateful. As of right