tobacco hornworm

We Need to Talk About Tomato Hornworm

First things first: I don’t have tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) in my own garden. What you see above is a photo that I took a few weekends ago of a Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca sexta) fatting itself up on my tomatoes. The caterpillars of these two distinct species of moth look very much alike and are

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

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After Which She Went Home and Made the Filthiest Rhubarb Pie, EVER!

….but not before smoking a full pack of smokes. WARNING: This video is NSFW and definitely not something you want to watch if you are offended by the swears. The foraging woman in this video goes off something fierce. —— I’ve had some strange experiences gardening in a public space, a handful of which I

Old Motel Saguaro

Saguaro Cactus Trees

They were so much more than I imagined they would be. Bigger. More imposing. Majestic. Awesome.

Joshua Tree

Yucca Valley Yard Sale

Day three of our desert road trip, we decided to “take it easy” with a short jaunt to the Yucca Valley and up hill to Pioneertown, which is at a higher elevation and promised to deliver slightly cooler temperatures. I did not like the drive up into the mountains and so it was difficult at

Apricot Mallow

Apricot Mallow: Tiny and Tough as Nails

I saw a lot of amazing plants on the desert trip, some with fascinating stories and critical ethnobotanic ties to the region. Yet, with so many to choose from and so many photographs far better than these, even I find it a little bit odd that I chose to begin with one so tiny and

multiplier onion tohono oodham iitoi

Sonoran Desert Multiplier Onion: Tohono O’odham I’Itoi

I have long sung the praises of the perpetual aka perennial onion. Allow a few to multiply each year and you will have them forever. I started growing one such type, ‘Egyptian Walking’ onion (Allium proliferum) aka tree onion in my community garden plot well over a decade ago. The exact date is a lost

Desert Road Trip Map

Ten Days in the Desert

We arrived home last night from what I can only describe as an epic desert road trip. I had planned to start doing posts on specific places and plants today, but decided that one more overall post is in order. I saw, learned, and experienced so much in those ten days… my head is absolutely

cholla garden Joshua Tree National Park

Teddy Bear Cholla in Joshua Tree Park

We are still on our desert road trip. Yesterday we drove through Joshua Tree National Park, down a road that took us through a box canyon with some crazy terrain, and then down along the east coast of the Salton Sea. I was surprised to see a lot of agriculture out there in the middle

agave queen victoria

Dispatches from Two Deserts

We arrived in Phoenix, Arizona on the hottest day of the year. We got a car at the airport and hightailed it to the Desert Botanical Garden where a day that started out unbearably hot got worse. And worse. Few people were in the garden that day, except us, the crazy Canadians.

Santa Fe Cholla

And Away We Go

I’ve packed an arsenal of high SPF sunblocks, camera gear, and several light, long-sleeved shirts and am now on my way to the desert. The forecast says it will be 111°F in Phoenix when we arrive and I am already imagining myself in the Arrested Development scene where Michael reaches for the door handle of

Marsh Marigold

The Fentastic Voyage: Part 3 Petrel Point Fen

The following is the third part in a series on a trip I took up north to Ontario, Canada’s Bruce Peninsula to see carnivorous plants growing in the wild. Of the handful of fens I have visited so far, Petrel Point is without a doubt my favourite. There is just something about it. It’s unassuming.

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