Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Iron Cross Oxalis

My obsession with oxalis is not undocumented on this site. I’ve got an entire tag dedicated to it. What I haven’t said here is that I’m really not into the large-leaved shamrock-style oxalis you see in stores around St. Patrick’s Day. Just not my thing. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

First Tomato of the Season

We ate our first tomato of the 2011 growing season on June 24, just days after the Summer Solstice. This isn’t the earliest tomato I’ve grown, but it’s been a cold, slow year so by those standards we are right on target. The winning variety this year is ‘Ditmarsher’ a compact, tumbling determinate variety that

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Pineapple Mint

Another corner of my garden. This is fuzzy ‘Pineapple’ mint growing in a pot. I’ve resolved to grow all of my mint in pots this year. Contrary to reputation, mints behave rather well over at my community garden. The trick to keeping them under control seems to be growing them in less than ideal conditions.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Flea Market Mint Pot

About a month or so ago, a friend took me on a fleamarket trip out of town where I picked up several treasures that would find new purpose in my garden, including this old cast iron tea pot. Drilling a hole for drainage was no easy feat. Uli has lots of experience using cast iron

Kangaroo Apple Flower

Kangaroo apple (Solanum laciniatum) is another in a line of marginally edible, strange solanums that I am growing this year. I say “marginally edible” because the fruit is edible when ripe and poisonous when green. Still, I’m not convinced it’s worth eating. Edible and worth eating are two different things entirely. Morelle de balbis fruit

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Speaking at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Hello. How are you? It’s been quiet here for a bit. Deadlines and such. I will probably be a little light on posting for a while longer, but I am just over the hump. I’m gonna make it after-all! Perhaps when this is all said and done I should make a trip to Minnesota just

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Shoofly Flower

This pretty blue flower is shoofly aka Apple of Peru (Nicandra physalodes), a strange solanum that I am growing for the first time this year. I purchased the seeds last year at the Montreal Seedy Saturday but was unable to grow them as I quickly ran out of space. I’m STILL trying to find space

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Baby Lithops at Five Months

To review: here’s what they looked like a week and two weeks after I sowed the seeds back in January. It’s hard to believe, but three short months ago the lithops seedlings were only just beginning to show their distinct colouration and patterns. Now look at them!


Garden Transformation Timelapse

Since moving in, Davin has been taking morning cellphone photos of the yard. We’ve compiled shots taken between January and June into a quick timelapse movie that mark the changes thus far. The last shot is dated for two days ago. We have since done even more work and you will notice when I update

Illustrations by Davin Risk

Non –> Stop –> Starting –>

The starting never stops. This has been our mantra from the moment we plunged our shovels into the earth and began the arduous process of digging up the bumpy, grassy backyard. Each new session in the garden feels more like a step towards another beginning than a real step forward. First raised bed built: The

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New Columbines in the Garden

This unknown red variety bloomed a few weeks ago. I bought it at a garden shop in early spring, but it did not come with an accurate tag. I almost didn’t buy it as I was saving space for ‘Black Barlow’ a variety I had been coveting for ages. But wouldn’t you know it, I

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We’ve Got Greens

Back in late April I mentioned our plans to become self-sufficient in salad fixings. I said, “Starting next month (or so), I don’t want to buy a single head of lettuce ever again, if I can help it.” A month or so later and we are on the way. Over the last few weeks we’ve

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