tobacco hornworm

We Need to Talk About Tomato Hornworm

First things first: I don’t have tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) in my own garden. What you see above is a photo that I took a few weekends ago of a Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca sexta) fatting itself up on my tomatoes. The caterpillars of these two distinct species of moth look very much alike and are

Lily Beetle

Let’s Talk About Lily Beetles with Dianna Gibson

Over the last few years, gardening friends have been warning me about a garden scourge the seems to be new(ish) to my area. The lily beetle (Lilioceris lilii) is a pretty red and black beetle that defoliates just about anything in the Lily family, but seems to focus on Asiatics, Fritillaria, Soloman’s Seal, as well

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Bringing Potted Plants Indoors

I’ve been hurriedly bringing all of my frost-sensitive houseplants indoors for the winter in a mad rush to beat the season. As always I am doing it at the last minute rather than drawing it out slowly. Many of you are in a similar boat so I thought I’d compile a checklist of things that

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Make Your Own Fruit Fly Carrousel

Perhaps it is the cold weather that brings them indoors in droves or a last push to procreate before the end times come, but the fruit flies are taking over my kitchen right now as they do every single fall. They are everywhere. They settle on anything that doesn’t move (edible or not) and alight

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Double Hollyhock ‘Peaches ‘n Dreams’

I’m glad I didn’t register the name of this hollyhock (Alcea rosea) variety, ‘Peaches ‘n Dreams,’ before I bought and planted it because… The Cheese. God knows I will buy and grow a plant specifically for The Cheese, but there is some cheese that is just too much Lifetime, made-for-TV-movie, Sunday afternoon drama for even

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Want / Don’t Want

The first pieces of flair I added to the garden early last year was a collection of bird and bee houses that I affixed to the left front side of our ramshackle shed. Recently, high winds have been knocking them off and when putting them back up I happened to notice a few stray baby

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Heck Yeah! Black Mint (Huacatay)

I have so much to tell you about the Ecuadorian food store in my neighbourhood that it was difficult working out where to begin. I’ve travelled in Southern Mexico and I’ve perused many Latin American food stores, yet this store was a treasure trove of exciting food stuffs I had never seen before, primarily from

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Repurposed for the Garden: Critter Keeper Offer (aka Tie a Bag Around It)

Kangaroo apple (Solanum laciniatum) is one in a long line of marginally edible foods that I have been experimenting with in the garden. The fruits are considered poisonous when green and unripe, and edible when they turn orange. That hasn’t stopped the squirrels. As I waited patiently for the fruit to ripen so I could

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Aphids for the Win

The reality of leaving the garden during the growing season is that you will come home to some small or large disaster. You roll with the punches, accept the losses, or you never leave home. I love my garden, but since travel is a part of my job (and one that I enjoy), I have

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Those Squirrels Sure Showed Me

On the bright side, none of the clothespins had been tampered with. The problem was that I had run out of foraged-from-the yard clothespins and figured I could just tuck the back in against the wall. I’m laughing at myself now as I write this. It’s as if I am new to this here gardening

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Repurposed for the Garden: We Recycle!

I’ve taken the message on the side of this recycling bin quite literally and am recycling it by turning it into a salad greens garden. This house came chock-a-block full of junk, especially the backyard. Not that I’m complaining — we’ve found new uses for a great deal of the items and have saved some

Photo by Gayla Trail

Launching a Campaign Against the Legion of Cats

One of the unforeseen negatives we inherited with the new house is a Legion of Cats who have taken up residence in the yard. They’re not strays, just neighbourhood cats that have decided that since no one else was using it, the’d make the yard their playground. And so they’ve made themselves very comfortable back

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