salpoglossis-painted by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Stained Glass Salpiglossis

I continue to require eye-candy this winter, and here’s a dose for today. Salpiglossis ‘Stained Glass’ (Salpiglossis sinuata) is a beautiful annual flower from Chile that derives its name from the hand-painted quality of its blooms. I first grew it from seed a few years back and have been considering it for this year’s garden.

avant gardens Succulent wreath

Succulents Galore (and More) with Avant Gardens

All photos in this post are credited to Avant Gardens. As a gardener with particular tastes and interests that border on obsession, it’s always a treat to meet someone who shares the same enthusiasm and passions. I was introduced to Katherine Tracy and her nursery Avant Gardens (located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts) through Margaret, who found

White Currant Tomato by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Tomatoes Worth Growing: White Currant

I have a special place in my heart for currant tomatoes. They’re wild and free-growing. They are quite literally their own species (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium). Naughty, unruly, and rebellious, they will blanket the garden in a webbing of lace-like foliage if you turn your attention away for even a moment. They are out of control and

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

I’ll Follow the Sun

Winter 2013. It’s not really a hardship compared to the thirtysomething odd winters of my lifetime past. No, my problems with this winter are entirely mental. And it’s not depression. I simply want out. I am full of energy and ready to start but winter laughs at my impatience. “You will wait until I am

Fame flower in a pot, photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Fame Flower: A Colourful and Tough Succulent that is Perfect in Pots

Colourful flowers that sway and jitter on wiry stems, Fame flower (Talinum calcycinum) is another example of a rough and tumble, easy-grow plant that is disguised as delicate and fragile. Rather, it is a hardy (zones 4ish-9) succulent that is native to the North American prairies. Related to the common edible weed purslane (Portulaca oleracea),

Coffee dyed thread photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Dyeing Fibre with Plants

Last summer I resolved to try and make further use of the plants that I grow by employing them as natural textile dyes. When their season was through, I did a few experiments, dying various fabric scraps with the burgundy leaves and immature blooms of the large false roselle plants I had grown that year.

madagascar jewel by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Madagascar Jewel

I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but my interest in oddities from the Euphorbiaceae family seems to be growing. To be fair, it is an attractive family of plants with incredible diversity. Euphorbias can be succulents, trees, bushes, or herbaceous plants. From your seasonal poinsettias to colourful and spiny crown of thorns, and a

Tomatillos photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Growing Salsa Verde (+ Podcast)

This week I was a guest on Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden.com‘s radio show. We spoke at length about growing tomatillos as well as other edible crops of the same genus (Physalis). You can listen to that episode over here. Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa) have only recently gained popularity as a backyard garden crop

Photo of Crocus by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Spring Will Come Again

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a particularly hard time with winter this week. I go into winter kicking and screaming like a toddler having a temper tantrum, but its actually the last few weeks before spring that really get to me. With seed starting and other preparations underway, its springtime in my

Cheap and Easy Seed Storage

Seed Stash Storage and Organization

I’ve flirted with and tested out countless cheap and cheerful seed organization systems through the years. From plastic storage bins, to glass jars, wicker baskets, and vintage index card boxes — I’ve tried out every affordable option I could think of and then some. As my rag-tag seed bank has grown, I have had to

yesterdaytoday

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This plant is practically the antithesis of what I am typically attracted to, but when it’s mid-February and I am aching for the fragrance of fresh flowers, my standards shift dramatically. It’s akin to when I am in search of coffee while on the road or out of town. At home I am a supreme

The Backyard Parables Winners Announced

The winners of “The Backyard Parables“ by Margaret Roach of Away to Garden have been randomly chosen and confirmed. 2 from the comments: Tina K and Melissa 1 from the newsletter: Joann H You can sign up for my free weekly email newsletter over here. The newsletter has been going now for three weeks. If

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