Dollar Store Dove

Drawing from Nature: Dollar Store Dove

Happy Friday! Say hello to another brashly tinted bird staring steadfast into the crocus-hued days of Spring. This week’s bird comes by the way of the dollar store. Looking at my friend Aaron’s sketchbook I asked him about some bright (bright!) washes of colour he had laid down and was shocked to hear he had


Grow Write Guild: Eighteen

The following is my response to the first prompt. It isn’t about my first plant. I decided to go in another direction because I have already written about my first plant and didn’t have anything further to say. Instead, I jumped ahead several years to another time in my life when the impulse to grow

Hellebore photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Hellebore, Huh? Lessons from the Hellebore Whisperer

UPDATE (April 10, 2013): My plants have flower buds! Are you afraid to grow hellebore? I am. Like clematis, they are a plant that I have long associated with hoity-toity gardeners and their fancy pants gardens. Their ticket price doesn’t help matters. Hellebores are notoriously expensive plants, often coming in at the $20-30 mark in

Gayla Trail with a box of freshly harvested currant tomatoes

Guide to Growing and Eating Tomatoes

It’s no secret that I love tomatoes. Growing them is an exciting, ever-changing challenge with a big reward at the end. I strive each year to experiment with as many different varieties as I can fit into my small gardening spaces, testing them in a variety of growing conditions to see how well they will


On Identifying Cold Spots in the Garden

How much sun does it receive? That’s the first question we gardeners tend to ask ourselves when we start out to garden in a new space. It’s an important question for sure, but over the years, I have come to understand, that if you want to make the best use of your space, there are

Bird in a thicket

Drawing from Nature: Bird in a Thicket

I felt myself applying the colour to this bird heavily and vigorously as it came to life. I grabbed and scrubbed with the most vibrant pencils I had at hand muttering “[expletive] Winter” while trying to drive warmth into the paper. A lot of us are there right now. We understand and respect that Nature

You Grow Girl Spring 2013 card

Send a Seed-filled Card & Celebrate the Arrival of Spring

January of 2011. I was not feeling the New Year vibe. I realized then that for the gardener, the New Year comes when we can once again dip our hands into the soft earth, and I made a resolution to make a big deal about spring when it arrived. And I did. That spring, Davin

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #1: My First Plant

I hope you enjoy this first writing prompt. Future prompts will range from simple to complicated and silly to serious. Some will be straight ahead and others will be surprising and unexpected. Please join the newsletter if you’d like to be notified when prompts are posted to this site. In interviews, I am often asked

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

The Grow Write Guild

Note: You can skip my explanation and go straight to the Grow Write Guild page to find out more. Tell More Stories. Back in December I declared that this was my goal moving forward. The more I know about gardening and the more I write about it, the more I see that it is all

Bird on a Budget

Drawing from Nature: Bird on a Budget

I kept talking Gayla’s ear off about drawing in these hardcover engineering log books I remembered from highschool physics class. Something about drawing on top of those thin blue/green grids pulled at some aesthetic urge in me. This week she found the next best thing in a thrift store, an old bound Blueline ledger. Above

mizuna by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Guide to Growing Lettuce and Salad Greens

Salad greens are one of the first crops that I start outdoors. It snowed today, but as soon as the soil is workable, I will be out there, seeds in hand, to get started. As with Seed Starting 101, I have created a permanent page that lists all of the best posts around the subject


Better Living Soil Through Fungi

Let’s talk about fungi. I first heard about mycorrhizae — pronounced my-corr-rye-zuh and literally translated to mean “root fungi” — about 8 years ago while I was travelling to promote my first book. At an event in Oregon, a fellow speaker gave a presentation on the mutually beneficial relationships that are forged between fungi and

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