gardenersback

Gardener’s Back

Chalkboard illustration by Davin Risk. There’s a double meaning to this title and I suspect that if you’re over 21 you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve got aches and pains all over. I took advantage of the great weather this weekend to cross several items off of my April garden to-do list. I

My garden - April 2, 2014

Spring at Last! My April Garden To-Do List

Just when I was at my lowest and had become fixed on the idea that we’d entered a terrible new Ice Age, spring finally made its move. Over this past weekend, the warmest parts of my zone 5b(ish) yard here in Toronto began to thaw and by Monday at least half of the garden was

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!

My Garden After an Ice Storm

The Garden in Ice

Two nights ago Toronto was hit with an ice storm. Anything that didn’t move during the night was encased inside a thick, vitreous ice. Trees, bushes, leaves, grasses, clotheslines, metal structures, fences, birdhouses, empty planters… they were all turned into crystalline sculptures. I have never experienced this phenomenon as a gardener, and I am equally

Japanese Maple Red Dragon

Autumn Acers on Fire

Colourful fall leaves collected from the 7 small Japanese maple trees I am growing in my garden. The colder days and nights of fall have really brought the city’s Japanese maples (Acer) trees into full form. Lately, as I walk through Toronto neighbourhoods, I am blown away again and again by the vibrant reds, oranges,

Urban Garden Balcony Garden

Urban Gardenspiration

We’ve hit midsummer, a time in my area when the garden tends to go downhill. While there is much bounty to be had, many plants begin to suffer in the heat. Or it is just their time to go. Or we’re just too darn tired/hot/fed up/over it to keep up with garden chores. Sometimes we

tall grass

Tall Autumn Grasses

It was a fall evening some years ago, just before the golden hour (my favourite time of the day). My friend Laura was headed out to Humber Nurseries to take some photos in their private garden and offered to take me along. Not one to forgo a chance to get out of the city or

You Grow Girl Spring 2013 card

Send a Seed-filled Card & Celebrate the Arrival of Spring

January of 2011. I was not feeling the New Year vibe. I realized then that for the gardener, the New Year comes when we can once again dip our hands into the soft earth, and I made a resolution to make a big deal about spring when it arrived. And I did. That spring, Davin

tomato giallo a grappoli by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Tomatoes Worth Growing: ‘Giallo a Grappoli’

2011. It was the first year in my new garden, and with what initially felt like space to spare, I went wild, starting seed from every tomato that caught my fancy. I had heard about Italian long keeping tomatoes and was eager to try them. These are tomatoes that don’t ripen well on the vine

Photo of Crocus by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Spring Will Come Again

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a particularly hard time with winter this week. I go into winter kicking and screaming like a toddler having a temper tantrum, but its actually the last few weeks before spring that really get to me. With seed starting and other preparations underway, its springtime in my

Pelargonium damaged by cold

Dear Margaret: a Letter to a Gardening Friend (+ Giveaway)

Dear Margaret: Those two words are how each “letter” in this new series will begin, whenever I write here to my friend Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden. Installments will include a letter from each of us, unplanned and posted simultaneously to our websites. It will be interesting to see how our correspondence develops

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