Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

The Greatest Water Lily of All

Today was a big day. We flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand from Bangkok and were finally able to see the mega-sized water lilies, Victoria amazonica. These are the nearly mythical water lilies that were often depicted in old illustrations carrying the weight of a small child. I have long been fascinated by their massive, prickly

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Raising Baby Succulents

Two months ago I had a brand new lighting setup and a hankering to test it out with some seeds so I sowed three packets that had been sitting around for a year: lithops, mixed succulents, and mixed cacti.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Chandelier Plant

Back in the spring, when I guiltily purchased this kalanchoe tubiflora (aka Widow’s Thrill) on impulse, it was all about the tall, spotted tubular leaves and the way it looks like a bottle cleaning brush. I didn’t look for photos online or in books to see how it would turn out down the road. I

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Rex Begonia Flower

Once again my attempt at Wordless Wednesdays is a complete failure. As I was prepping this image, I realized I could not post it without saying something about these fascinating flowers. Begonia plants have male and female flowers that carry the reproductive organs on individual flowers. This flower is the female, aka pistillate flower. The

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Painted Leaves

Behold, the beautiful leaves of this Rex Begonia I bought last winter. It’s flowering! The trick to growing this particular begonia is shade and humidity. My time hiking through forests in Dominica really drove that point home in a clear way. I often found begonias growing in surprisingly dim spots underneath thick tree canopy and

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Headless Woman Standing Among the Palms

From the moment I first laid eyes on an Oxalis palmifrons I knew I wanted to take a picture of it with a tiny model train figure standing underneath the leaves as if she/he was a tourist posing among a bank of palm trees. This photo isn’t quite what I had in mind.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

The Big Slugs Are Here

First there was a fat lump of a thing found in the Yardshare Garden here in the west end while planting squashes. And then a few weeks ago we found Leopard Slugs (Limax maximus) in our friend David’s plot at the Leslie Street Allotment Garden on the east side of Toronto. Prior to these two

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Flowering Lithops (Yellow)

Back in July I posted two photos of lithops plants my friend Barry grew from seed. Here’s one of the plants blooming for the first time! Worth the patient effort don’t you think?

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Agouti Umbrella

In Dominica, you might just see a giant Datura Brugmansia (I was told they are sometimes called “Agouti umbrella“*), flush to the breaking point full of drooping, soft peach flowers. Chances are good that you’ll see this on several occasions, in varying locations, and always the same colour. I saw this one on a steep

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Morelle de Balbis Fruit

It’s mid-September (let’s pretend I did not say that out loud), and the glorious Morelle de Balbis plant is bearing ripe fruit. This process began a few weeks ago but I withheld my judgement until several were ready for picking. I’ve had several opportunities to try them now and can report that the taste is,

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Medusa Head

I bought this Euphorbia a few months ago at the local Cactus and Succulent Society show and sale. It’s called a Medusa Head (Euphorbia flanaganii). I knew I had to have one when I saw my friend Barry’s potted up in an old clay mortar (he drilled a hole in the bottom for drainage). It’s

Pillow Cotton

I couldn’t resist sharing another image from the presentation I am working on and will be giving later this month. This is Giant Milkweed (Gossypium). The only time I saw it on the trip was when we travelled to the north end of Barbados to visit the Animal Flower Cave. The cave was a must-do

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