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,

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

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 by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Jerusalem Artichoke Season is Back

Last weekend we dug up a boatload of Jerusalem artichokes aka sunchokes from the garden, right on schedule. Believe it or not, many of the tubers are even bigger this year than last. And there are more of them! God help us. When we began digging, I told Davin that we would only be excavating

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Garden Achievement Unlocked

Hey guys, I did it! I unlocked the Prepare the Garden For Winter achievement! The weather this week has been beautiful, sunny, and mild so I resolved to take advantage of what are surely our final nice days to complete all of the garden chores that have been nagging me. I don’t know about you

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Almost Free Foraged Hard Apple Cider

One of the first homemade brews I made last year when the bug for fermenting things caught me was a jug of hard apple cider. I played it safe that first time out of fear and trepidation, which in hindsight could have entirely ruined those good bottles of expensive, unpasteurized, organic cider had it not


Green Tomato Overload

Here we are again folks. It’s too many green tomatoes time! Friends, I was smart and totally on top of my shit this year. I picked away at the harvest in manageable chunks rather than frantically hauling them all inside at once. But today, with the high winds and heavy rains of hurricane Sandy looming,

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Salomoia Bolognese (Italian Herbed Salt)

The quest to preserve what remains of the fall garden bounty continues at a fevered pitch. I used to complain that I didn’t have enough green tomatoes at the end of the season, and now… let’s just say, Be careful what you wish for. One nice way to use up the last of the herbs

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Like You Didn’t See This Coming

It happens every year. Whine, whine, whine, gardening season is winding down, the winter is coming, we’re all going to die!! I want so badly to be the sort of garden writer that composes eloquent, graceful pieces that encourage gardeners to appreciate the cooler seasons and respect the importance of the winter. The fact remains

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Concord Grape Jam/Jelly

The killing frost came a little early this year and I spent the weekend hustling plants inside and preserving up a storm. I don’t actually grow grapes, but one of the perks of living in an Italian neighbourhood is that they are everywhere. I’ve already made up two batches of jelly/jam (one pink and one

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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

Fall Blooming Colchicum

Behold a colourful mass of naked ladies emerging from a tangle of periwinkle that I happened upon on an afternoon walk. I highly recommend planting colchicum corms in any-sized garden, even if you are a beginner. [How to grow info is here.]

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