My Urban Garden August 2013

Turning an Eye Towards the Garden

In a typical winter there comes a time when I find myself dreaming of the coming growing season and the changes I will make. This year, the disconnect that I feel from the garden and the seemingly impossible return of spring has made it so that my dreams and schemes have been locked on pause.


Still Growing

Organic Gardening magazine recently unearthed a personal piece by me that was originally published in their February 2008 print edition. Some confusion was created by the timing of the story’s promotion. Many people, including in-real-life friends thought it was newly written and couldn’t comprehend why it fixated on gardens that I have long since moved

Cactus and Succulents

Hello Summer, My Old Friend: A Tour of My Cactus and Succulent Table

It’s not a particularly good photo, just a quick snap of some houseplants sitting on a table on my back patio. There’s bits of grit on the table that had been earthed by the squirrels, water rings on the metal table, and volunteer geraniums underneath the bay laurel tree — little messes that I might

My Garden After an Ice Storm

The Garden in Ice

Two nights ago Toronto was hit with an ice storm. Anything that didn’t move during the night was encased inside a thick, vitreous ice. Trees, bushes, leaves, grasses, clotheslines, metal structures, fences, birdhouses, empty planters… they were all turned into crystalline sculptures. I have never experienced this phenomenon as a gardener, and I am equally


Planting Happiness

“He who plants a garden, plants happiness.” – Chinese Proverb Inspired by this quote are a few recent scenes from my small patch of earthly joy.

Garden Tour: Uli Havermann and Paul Zammit

Texture in Uli and Paul’s Garden (a Garden Tour)

My friend Uli Havermann has the most inspiring garden. [Note: you might remember Uli from the community greenhouse and this incredible succulent pot.] She manages to bring a passion for foliage and a love for vintage metal and terra cotta together in a way that is visually mind-blowing. I first met Uli when I visited

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

books by gayla trail

Dear Margaret: On Our Blogging Birthdays (+ Giveaway)

Dear Margaret: Those two words are how each “letter” in this new series will begin, whenever I write here to my friend Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden. Dear Margaret, 2013 is a banner year for me. In just under 5 months I will turn 40. Hello, overnight occurrences of strangely oversized chin hair,

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

Pelargonium damaged by cold

Dear Margaret: a Letter to a Gardening Friend (+ Giveaway)

Dear Margaret: Those two words are how each “letter” in this new series will begin, whenever I write here to my friend Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden. Installments will include a letter from each of us, unplanned and posted simultaneously to our websites. It will be interesting to see how our correspondence develops

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

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