Herbaria (January 16, 2013): The All Hardy Cacti Edition

As previously mentioned, I decided to stop posting weekly from my ongoing Herbaria project. However, I am still assembling the boxes and taking the photos each week and hope to make this into something bigger once the full year is up in May. Until then they will make an appearance now and again rather than

Spigarello Flowers

Italian Seed Pack Winners Announced

The winners of the five-pack of Italian heirloom seed varieties have been randomly chosen. They are: From the site: Comment #96 Ashley From the newsletter: Member #81 Colleen If you visited early, I have also written about the five varieties that were chosen. I plan to do more giveaways to members of the email newsletter

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Heck, Yeah! Floral Embroidery from Northern Thailand

I bought these bright and colourful botanical-themed embroidered panels in a little textiles shop near(ish) to the hotel we were put up in in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This shop was full of embroidered textiles, but I honed straight in on the old pieces in various stages of disrepair and ignored the new. This one is

Seasons in my garden

Seasons in the Garden

Clockwise from Top Left: 1. My garden today, January 28, 2013. 2. October 2012. 3. April 2012. 4. June 16 2012. This morning I took a photo of the garden as it was after a fresh snowfall. Shortly afterward, I dug into my phone’s photo archives and found an image taken from the same perspective

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Office Pepper 2013

I elected to overwinter one pepper plant this winter, a mild “hot pepper” variety called ‘Trinidad Perfume’ (I purchased mine from Solana Seeds.) And wouldn’t you know it the darned thing up and made a little fruit. It’s a teeny, weeny jewel of a thing — barely worth a mention, really. But it is orange

Italian Heirloom Vegetable Varieties

Five Favourite Italian Edibles

I went to my local Italian grocer this week and chose seed packs for the contest. I tried to stick with varieties that winners can grow in a variety of conditions whether that’s location/climate, season, small spaces, big spaces, and containers. Some of these can be direct sown and some should be started indoors. Something

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Little Eccentricities: A Visit to a Community Greenhouse

My friend and fellow plant/collecting enthusiast Uli Havermann (you may remember her from this incredible succulent pot, this stunning blue sea holly, and these beautiful urns) is a member of a large community greenhouse here in Toronto. Last week she treated me to a glimpse inside. Like community gardens and allotments, community greenhouses are not

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Soft Pink Bells

It’s not like me to hone in on the flowers and disregard the plant, but it happens. It certainly did the other day when I took this picture of beautiful bell-like flowers on a tour of a local community greenhouse (a post with photos is forthcoming). I could have sworn they belonged to a succulent

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Seeds Into Seedlings Into Plants (Plus Giveaway)

Info on how to enter the giveaway follows. And so it begins. Every spring I compile lists of posts about seed starting, but this year I’ve decided to create a permanent page dedicated to everything seed starting that you can find anytime you need it by clicking over to the Resources section. I am slowly

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Connecting by Email

For years I published a regular, email newsletter filled with site updates, pictures, contests, stories, and assorted garden-related ramblings… and then I stopped. People wrote to ask where the newsletter went and if I was okay and all I could think was, “It’s in my brain. If only I could will it from my brain

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Tomatoes Worth Growing: ‘Mennonite Orange’

Meaty, dense, huge, and prolific: I didn’t intend to grow ‘Mennonite Orange’ last summer, but boy am I ever glad I did. The details: 80 days Indeterminate Open-pollinated heirloom Beefsteak, Slicer Orange Ripens: Mid-season Story: Originally from Pennsylvania but grown in Southern Ontario. Container Growing: You’ll need a really big pot, 16″+ deep.

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Barry’s Magical Cyclamen

Barry’s cyclamen have begun their yearly emergence from dormancy and his small, cold greenhouse is alive with them. My own few pots of Cylamen coum (gifts from Barry, of course) have also begun to emerge, although I have noticed that they are behind his. What you see in this photo isn’t even half of Barry’s

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