Grow Write Guild - Year One

Grow Write Guild – One Year!

Today marks one year since I started the Grow Write Guild. Thanks so much to those of you who have followed along, commented, posted, or promoted this endeavour over the last year. It’s been a lot of fun dreaming up the prompts and following along with your responses. Special thanks to Davin Risk who drew/designed


Food Worth Growing: Chiltepin Pepper

Chiltepin (Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum) aka (Capsicum annum var. aviculare) or bird pepper is a small, pea-sized chile that grows wild on 3-4 ft-tall shrubs in parts of Texas and Northern Mexico. Coming in at 50,000-100,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), this pepper is ferociously hot and pungently flavoured. The heat comes on violently, yet diminishes

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!

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #23: Houseplant Love

Houseplants are often where many of us nurture a love of cultivating plants, and through winter, they can be an important way to stay connected to the gardener part of ourselves. Grow Write Guild Prompt #23: Write about a houseplant.

Ocotillo flowers Joshua Tree

Ocotillo in Bloom

They look like a cactus, but aren’t. When we were here in June (the height of summer), they looked like little more than dry, thorny whips standing on end in the hot desert landscape. This time, because of the rain, they had come to life, with new green leaves and big clusters of bright red,

Joshua Tree

Greetings from the Mojave Desert!

Last June, Davin and I drove 1000 miles through the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. One of the highlights of that trip was a few days in the Joshua Tree area. We found ourselves captivated by the otherworldly landscape and vowed that one day we would go back in the winter or springtime and spend more

Large Agave grown in a pot

Giant Agave Threatens to Take Over Small Office

I kid. A little hyperbole on a Thursday afternoon. The leaves on this particular plant expand as much as 25″ across! Those of you living in warmer climates must wonder why in the heck I have such a large agave indoors! They’re big, heavy, and their spines are painful. At this size they are not

Earth Star Cryptanthus terrarium

Grow an Earth Star Terrarium

Ground control to Major Tom. Perhaps it is the trippy name or the reference to outer space, but David Bowie comes to mind whenever I look at the little cluster of earth stars aka cryptanthus that I keep in a terrarium. In reality, the common name of this unusual Bromeliad family plant has a much


Pepper Growing Help

You Grow Girl is celebrating 14 years online this month! As you can imagine an awful lot of articles have been posted in that time and with so much to choose from it can sometimes be tricky to find what you’re looking for. To make things easier, I have been slowly building an archive of

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #22: Seed to Seed

Starting from seed is not just an economical way to produce edible crops or access unusual plants and specific varieties. Over the years I have found that it is also a good way to really get to know a specific plant type more intimately and I’ve found myself ordering seed from all types of plants

Pink Peppercorns

Foraging for Pink Peppercorns

A few years back, we spent a week at Rancho la Puerta, a spa in Tecate, Mexico, an hour or so south-east of San Diego, California. I had a great time exploring the landscape of the coastal Baja California desert chaparral and the many fascinating cultivated and wild plants that thrive there. I didn’t do


Still Growing

Organic Gardening magazine recently unearthed a personal piece by me that was originally published in their February 2008 print edition. Some confusion was created by the timing of the story’s promotion. Many people, including in-real-life friends thought it was newly written and couldn’t comprehend why it fixated on gardens that I have long since moved

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