herbs_kitchen

Growing Herbs and Edible Flowers

Perennial herbs are coming up beautifully in my garden and we’ve been enjoying fresh oregano, chives, and French tarragon in our meals. I’ve also begun sowing annual seeds both indoors and out in the garden. With herbs on the brain I have compiled a resource guide that includes many of the best articles on growing,

pathway_rake

How to Make an Easy and Affordable Path (Part 2)

Part 1 of this two part article can be found over here. How to Make and Lay the Pathway Step 1: Define the Path I began this project two years ago so my path was already defined. To do that I laid down twine, and tied the ends to twigs to hold it in place.

molly_mulch

How to Make an Easy and Affordable Path (Part 1)

When I moved in, the yard I inherited was barely more than a lumpy patch of “grass.” My theory is that the yard was once a vegetable garden that was left to go fallow and was eventually seeded without being levelled. It was extremely sloped in multiple directions, and full of large lumps and even

primula_bluezebra

Please, Do Not Adjust Your Screen

These blue primulas (Primula acaulis ‘Blue Zebra’) are unreal. They are hallucinatory, a visual flashback from some bad trip I foolishly took in high school. No, they are like a prop in a cartoon remake of Alice in Wonderland. I wonder, when I turn my back, will they grow anthropomorphic limbs and dance?

auricula_shalfordsdouble

Auricula ‘Shalford’s Double’

I bought my first Primula auricula back in 2010. It’s dead now, a casualty of the move. I’ve successfully grown other primulas since, but it’s the diminutive, silvery auriculas that really captivate me.

sedum_angelina

6 Hardy Succulent Sedums for Your Garden and Pots

I am always on the lookout for drought tolerant plants that will thrive with little effort through my region’s paradoxical climate (hot summers and cold winters). Cold hardy sedums were a trusted friend through the years when I gardened in a trifecta of challenging spaces: a hot rooftop garden, a community garden plot, and a

Shallot Sets

All About Planting Onion and Shallot Sets

The other day I wrote about hardening off onion and leek seedlings. This week I am planting out onion and shallot “sets”. Planting sets may seem redundant since I already have seedlings on the go, but I assure you there is a method to this madness. In my house, we cook with shallots and onions

dwarftomato_container

Tomatoes Worth Growing: Lime Green Salad

‘Lime Green Salad’ is a compact, bushy, dwarf variety that produces loads of tangy, green fruit. Coming in at 2′ tall, it’s a great tomato option for containers when space is at a premium. However, the crinkly leaves also make it pretty enough to pack into an ornamental bed alongside your perennials. Last year, I

onion_seedlings_trim

Preparing Onion and Leek Seedlings to Go Outdoors

I’m currently in the process of hardening off the first round of onion and leek seedlings in preparation for permanently planting them outside. To recap, here’s the planting calendar that I follow:

basil_washbasin

We Want Basil Now!

Spring is happening here in Toronto. Flowering bulbs and hardy perennials are popping up in my garden quickly now and the local corner shops have begun hauling out carts full of plants to tempt us. Right on schedule, emails about basil have come flooding in. “Hi there, I bought a basil plant a few weeks

pigs ear cotyledon orbiculata by Gayla Trail

Succulent Fever: Pig’s Ear

Last Friday, I took a trip out of the city with some friends to buy herbs, and came home with something unexpected. Pig’s Ear (Cotyledon orbiculata) is a pretty grey-blue-green succulent with big, fleshy leaves and orange flowers. According to my favourite go-to succulent identification book, “Succulents: The Illustrated Dictionary” by Maurizio Sajeva and Mariangela

Nicotiana in Margaret Roach's Garden: Photo by Gayla Trail

Dear Margaret, I’m Addicted to Nicotiana. Send Help.

Dear Margaret, Just the other day, I was walking in the sunshine, music playing through the buds stuck in my ears, when the song, “You Are My Sister” came on. As Antony Hegarty’s melodic and impossibly high-pitched voice filled my head I thought back to when we first “met” and how we bonded very quickly

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