lilac between the hedge and garage

Lilac FAQs

Guest post by Emira Mears I saw a comment pop up on an old post of mine from last May about Lilacs that I thought I would pull out and do my best to address here. The comment, or rather question was about a healthy seeming lilac bush that doesn’t seem to be producing much

Broadleaf Thyme

Unkillable Herb: Broadleaf Thyme

Loads of gardening articles and books proclaim that it is easy to grow herbs indoors however it is my experience, and I bet it’s yours too, that most herbs are fine during the summer months but many take a real beating towards the last half of winter. The conditions inside a typical apartment or house

Your Questions Answered: Gift Orchids

A constant stream of questions comes flooding through my inbox on a regular basis. I try and answer as many as I can but it’s quite an arduous task. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe I should start answering these questions publicly where everyone can benefit from the information or add their own thoughts

Bittersweet Nightshade

The Great Nightshade Confusion

I recently discovered that what I have been identifying as ‘Deadly Nightshade’ since childhood is actually ‘Bittersweet Nightshade’ or ‘Woody Nightshade’ (Solanum dulcamara). I can see where the mistake could be made in terms of similarities in their foliage but both the flowers and berries are completely different. Deadly Nightshade’s Latin name is Atropa belladonna.

Showering Them with… Water

I closed up shop on my rooftop garden this weekend. The terra cotta containers are all brought indoors and stored away for the winter. I’ll admit that while I’m sad to see it end for another season, I have begun to realize that I really need the freed-up time and energy to focus on indoor

Container Garden Clean-up

Today was a dry and mild reprieve from the awful cold, wet and sometimes windy late fall weather we’ve been enduring here in Southern Ontario — a good day to do some garden work. I have found frozen water in the trays underneath the containers on the roof a couple of times recently increasing my

Garlic Lessons Learned

Guest post by Emira Mears The only remaining bulbs I had on my list to plant for the Fall was my garlic. Planting out the garlic required a bit more preparation as I had to clean up some space in my veggie beds getting rid of finished beans, cukes and some arugula that had bolted

Compost Bin

The Fantastic Craptastic Compost Bin

I made a discovery while turning the compost heap at my community garden last week. It turns out that someone had stashed away all the ingredients needed to turn our pathetic pile into a reasonable bin — someone just had to make it. And so using what I had on hand: a shovel, a ball


Growing More-erer Food

Because I am afflicted with the disease commonly known as “Can’t-Walk-Past-Plants, Most-Especially-Plants-on-Sale”-itis and because an entire kitchen garden that was non-existent a few days ago doesn’t seem to be enough today; I done went and bought me some pathetic-looking transplants. But wait, they were only fifty cents! Except the tuberous begonia — that was two


Succulent Window Box 2006

Growing succulents in the window box on the fire escape portion of my rooftop garden has become a tradition — most likely because they are just about the only plants that can survive the intense sun, heat, and drought. The deck is fully exposed to all sorts of harsh conditions but the fire escape area

Herb Tea Fertilizer

Plant Shall Eat Plant

Make Herb Tea Fertilizer Did you know you can make liquid fertilizer for your plants using other plants? Sounds like floral cannibalism but it’s not unlike compost when you think about it. Some plants are high in particular nutrients which can be extracted in the same way that you would make a medicinal tea for


Grow a Crate o’ Mache

Fruit crates are just tall enough to accomodate leafy greens or herbs with shallow root systems. I decided to fill this one up with a crop of mache. Mache is the de rigour green of the uppercrust and a good choice if growing lettuce feels like a waste of time and space. The succulent leaves

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