madagascar jewel by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Madagascar Jewel

I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but my interest in oddities from the Euphorbiaceae family seems to be growing. To be fair, it is an attractive family of plants with incredible diversity. Euphorbias can be succulents, trees, bushes, or herbaceous plants. From your seasonal poinsettias to colourful and spiny crown of thorns, and a

Tomatillos photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Growing Salsa Verde (+ Podcast)

This week I was a guest on Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden.com‘s radio show. We spoke at length about growing tomatillos as well as other edible crops of the same genus (Physalis). You can listen to that episode over here. Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa) have only recently gained popularity as a backyard garden crop

Cheap and Easy Seed Storage

Seed Stash Storage and Organization

I’ve flirted with and tested out countless cheap and cheerful seed organization systems through the years. From plastic storage bins, to glass jars, wicker baskets, and vintage index card boxes — I’ve tried out every affordable option I could think of and then some. As my rag-tag seed bank has grown, I have had to

yesterdaytoday

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This plant is practically the antithesis of what I am typically attracted to, but when it’s mid-February and I am aching for the fragrance of fresh flowers, my standards shift dramatically. It’s akin to when I am in search of coffee while on the road or out of town. At home I am a supreme

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Shopping for Seed Starting Gear at the Dollar Store

While I will always promote gleaning your gardening gear from the recycling bin or second-hand via garage sales and thrift stores, there are times when buying new is required. A lot of gardeners looking to save money have been turning to the dollar store over the past few years, especially since many chains have been

Illustration of Tomato Lifecycle by Davin Risk: All Rights Reserved

The Lifecycle of a Garden Tomato

Davin surprised me with this drawing on our kitchen chalkboard this morning. I know that some of you in the warmer regions have already started your tomato seeds. Around here I still have a month(ish) to go before I will start my first batch of dwarf varieties. Which varieties are you growing or planning to

Photo of onion seeds by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

How to Grow Onions, Shallots, and Leek from Seed

The following are a few tips gleaned from my own past blunders and successes in growing onions, shallots, leeks, and other alliums to help you get started with yours. Onions & Shallots: Depending on the type, onions are fairly flexible plants that will tolerate a certain amount of rule-breaking on your part. Bunching onions aka

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Bright Pink Nerine ‘Isabel’

Every once and a while I go into an old folder of photographs and randomly choose an image to post about. Today it is this Guernsey Lily (Nerine bowdenii) ‘Isabel’ that bloomed in my garden this past fall. I originally bought the bulb in a late-season clearance bin in 2011, planted it in the sandy

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Office Pepper 2013

I elected to overwinter one pepper plant this winter, a mild “hot pepper” variety called ‘Trinidad Perfume’ (I purchased mine from Solana Seeds.) And wouldn’t you know it the darned thing up and made a little fruit. It’s a teeny, weeny jewel of a thing — barely worth a mention, really. But it is orange

Italian Heirloom Vegetable Varieties

Five Favourite Italian Edibles

I went to my local Italian grocer this week and chose seed packs for the contest. I tried to stick with varieties that winners can grow in a variety of conditions whether that’s location/climate, season, small spaces, big spaces, and containers. Some of these can be direct sown and some should be started indoors. Something

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Soft Pink Bells

It’s not like me to hone in on the flowers and disregard the plant, but it happens. It certainly did the other day when I took this picture of beautiful bell-like flowers on a tour of a local community greenhouse (a post with photos is forthcoming). I could have sworn they belonged to a succulent

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Seeds Into Seedlings Into Plants (Plus Giveaway)

Info on how to enter the giveaway follows. And so it begins. Every spring I compile lists of posts about seed starting, but this year I’ve decided to create a permanent page dedicated to everything seed starting that you can find anytime you need it by clicking over to the Resources section. I am slowly

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