Salvia coccinea Coral Nymph

Coral Nymph Salvia

I like salvias. I like any and all salvias; from the delicious, culinary sages to the nectar-rich, super smellerific and sticky sweet types that aren’t hardy in my region. I even like the ones that aren’t edible or aromatic. I’m not sure what it is about this genus. Is it their drought tolerance? Their snapdragon-like

The First Flower of Spring

First Flower of Spring

I usually avoid republishing images that were recently posted to one of my social media accounts, but when you consider how hard won this spring feels and the fact that this little flower was trapped underneath a deep lake of ice less than a week ago… I think it begs repeating here. And now, we

sand verbena

Early Spring California Desert Wildflowers

I recently had the good fortune to visit the Mojave desert just after the area received a few days of much-needed springtime rain. The rain was followed by warm, springtime temperatures and sun, and you know what that means… FLOWERS!

Purple Perilla aka Shiso

Summer Beverage Plants (and a Big Thank You)

Fresh sage blossoms are a tasty garnish in savoury, tomato-based beverages. Fortunately, it feels like my toothy saga is nearing the finish line. After a few consultations, I opted for an extraction of the offending tooth. It had a significant crack, and due to an experience Davin had some years ago and the options presented

Amaryllis Graffiti

Amaryllis ‘Graffiti’

The smaller African amaryllis ‘Graffiti’ I mentioned last week has produced a second set of blooms. Only two of the three bulbs put out a second stem, and they’re not quite as colourful as the first set was, but as you can see they’re still pretty fabulous. More photos after the jump…

Hummingbird Sage (Salvia guaranitica)

‘Black and Blue’ Salvia

‘Black and Blue’ salvia is really more blue and purple than black, but you know how these things go in the garden world. Dark purple is often considered black and identifying colour is mostly down to a bit of wishful thinking. This salvia is also reported to attract hummingbirds, hence the common name, hummingbird sage,

Squash and Cucumber Flowers

Diversity is Beautiful (and Other Tangents to See You Into the Weekend)

I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity in the garden. As I wander around, observing everything that is growing, the beautiful diversity within each family and genus, and even within the same plant amazes me. I don’t have anything super profound to say about this right now, it’s just something that I am appreciating in

Opuntia polyacantha

In Bloom: Plains Pricklypear

This Plains Pricklypear (Opuntia polyacantha) was a new addition to the garden, planted just this spring so I was surprised when a flower appeared. All of my other opuntias took at least one full season to put out flowers. And what a stunning dusty peachy-pink colour it is! One of the small consequences of “going

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

dehydrated rose petals

How to Harvest, Dry, and Use Rose Petals

I’m not sure when I made the transition from rose-hater to rose-eater. These days I have several roses planted in my garden, most of which have been chosen specifically for their eat- and use-ability. All roses are edible, but only those that smell fragrant taste good. Scentless roses are flavourless. I recently returned from a

dianthus vodka

Dianthus Infused Vodka

Among the recipes in my book, “Easy Growing: Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces” are three herb and edible flower infused spirits that I make each year from ingredients grown in my garden. Were more space available, I could have written an entire chapter on this exciting subject — narrowing it down to just

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