Sonoran Desert Food Plants

Books to Take with You to the Desert

T-minus just a few days before we leave on our 10 day desert trip and the madness is in full swing around here. I am never again going away on such a long trip at the height of planting season. Lesson learned. Still, I figure I will stop fussing and fretting about my own garden

Davin and Molly

The Fentastic Voyage: Part 2 Oliphant Fen

The following is part 2 in a series on a trip I took up north to Ontario, Canada’s Bruce Peninsula to see carnivorous plants growing in the wild. We left the beach area, and doubled back to the Oliphant Fen, which we had passed on the way in (see map here). Note that there is

Oliphant Wetland

The Fentastic Voyage: Part 1 Oliphant Coastal Wetland

This journey began with a mystery. More than a decade ago, on a long weekend cottage trip with friends, I was told that there was a place, somewhere north of our destination on the Lake Huron shoreline — no one seemed to know where it was for sure — where there were carnivorous plants growing


Desert Road Trip

Davin and I recently celebrated our 20th anniversary together and to REALLY celebrate we are going on a road trip through the Mojave and Sonoran deserts! !!!!! !!!!!! [Infinite exclamation points here.]

tall grass

Tall Autumn Grasses

It was a fall evening some years ago, just before the golden hour (my favourite time of the day). My friend Laura was headed out to Humber Nurseries to take some photos in their private garden and offered to take me along. Not one to forgo a chance to get out of the city or


Spring Plant Sales

Readers often ask where I find such unusual and interesting plants, and the answer is that I am always looking. ALWAYS. I scan corner shops as I walk by. I look in places you would not expect to find plants. I beg friends with cars to take me on buying trips to hole-in-the-wall nurseries outside

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild: From Fantasy to Nightmare

This was a tough one. Even now, as I force myself to sit down and write this thing more than a week after it is due, I am still fidgeting, still looking for a way out. Hoping for some little task of not so great importance to divert my attention. “I should really clean my


A Kitchen on a Rock

In the wee hours, just as the sun had begun to illuminate the sky, we made our way along dusty, winding paths towards our destination, an organic farm 2 miles across the valley in the shadow of Mount Kuchumaa (High Exalted One). It was amazing to see the landscape bend and shift before me as


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

cactus garden by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Learning from Nature: Observations on Cold Hardy Cacti

Throughout my gardening life there have been many plants that I tried to grow with middling success, until I observed them growing in the wild. Sarracenia (pitcher plants), venus fly trap (Dioneae muscipula), episcia, and ginger are just a few that come to mind. Seeing them in their natural habitat helped me understand something about

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

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

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