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

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Want / Don’t Want

The first pieces of flair I added to the garden early last year was a collection of bird and bee houses that I affixed to the left front side of our ramshackle shed. Recently, high winds have been knocking them off and when putting them back up I happened to notice a few stray baby

Farmers versus Monsanto

This morning, a group of farmers and organic seed growers have gathered at a hearing in New York City to present oral arguments as the first phase in what could turn out to be an historic lawsuit brought against biotech giant Monsanto. The suit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto,


The Human Side of Plants

“All truths point to a universal truth; all the divisions of nature are closely akin to one another.” Rancho la Puerta is a mostly media-free retreat that provides guests the opportunity to unplug from television and Internet for a week, as much or as little as they choose to do so. In its place, the

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

TO Bees

We are excited about hosting a wild bee nesting box in our new garden as a part of a study on wild bee populations in urban habitats that is being conducted by Scott McIvor through the Packer Collection (PCYU) at York University. You can see how the nestboxes are constructed here. We can’t wait to

Keeping Tabs on Monsanto

Seed buying and seed starting season is upon us. It won’t be long now (let’s pretend, even though the snow outside says otherwise) before we’re happily knee-deep into the growing season. Yesterday, I put out a call on Twitter for an online list or chart of garden companies (as well as makers of garden products)

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How to Compost and Reduce Waste

Since The City of Toronto is week three into a city workers strike that includes garbage collection, it appears (see above) to be a very good time to reintroduce some resources on small space composting. One sure-fire, easy way to compost that I haven’t included here is to dig a hole. Yes, like the infomercials

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A Word to the Water-wise: Irrigate Well

The following article was printed over the weekend as a part of my food gardening series in The Globe & Mail. Summer has been a late arrival around these parts — heavy rains and thunderstorms have been in the forecast regularly since spring. It’s been great in some ways since many of my plants are

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Baby Spiders!

It’s like the wild animal kingdom around here lately. We discovered dozens of these newly hatched garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) crawling all over the sides of the compost bin at the community garden the other day. I’m glad I brought this little digital camera with me, even if it’s a crappy one. I wasn’t going

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Fight the Spread of Invasive Garlic Mustard (& Eat It Too)

Another spring and a new crop of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is setting up camp for the season. We found a few small plants in the street garden cleanup last week and several at the community garden, many that were already much larger and lusher than any of the other cold hardy perennials growing there.

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Herbal Pillows for All Occassions

I have already stated that I don’t care for the Holidays, and yet there are a few staples that I do enjoy: cooking and eating good food, making bath products for friends, super tacky over-the-top decoration, and sewing little herbal squares. I’m not sure what it is about the last one. I suppose it started


EYE Magazine – October 18, 2008

“Green Thumbs Up: The Surprisingly Soothing Results of Ground-level Activism” The full article can be seen on the EYE website.

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