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Jade Plant Crassula Ovata

Experimenting with Jade

Some years ago, my friend Barry gave me a large jade (Crassula ovata), an extra that had become crowded in with another in the pot they shared. Through the years since, I had been caring for this large-trunked succulent much like I do many of my other tender(ish) succulents. They spend winter in the south-facing

Amaryllis Graffiti

Amaryllis ‘Graffiti’

The smaller African amaryllis ‘Graffiti’ I mentioned last week has produced a second set of blooms. Only two of the three bulbs put out a second stem, and they’re not quite as colourful as the first set was, but as you can see they’re still pretty fabulous. More photos after the jump…

Community Greenhouse

A Mid-Winter Booster Shot Courtesy of the Community Greenhouse

I started the week out on the good foot with a reinvigorating morning at the community greenhouse I visited last winter in the suburbs of Toronto. Oh that good air and the smell of warm soil and life. The smells! There were smells. I left feeling energetic and doing air punches in my head. Suck

Homemade Black Walnut Ink

Make Your Own Black Walnut Ink (+ Giveaway)

Header hand drawn by Davin Risk Over the last year I’ve posted about some of my experiments in dyeing fabrics and threads with plants gleaned from my garden to be used in my winter, off-season stitching projects. Since then I have expanded beyond my own garden to use plant materials foraged from the world beyond.

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #19: Growing the Future

Maybe it’s just me being a big baby, but it feels as if this winter has been especially cruel. Ice storms, weeks of darkness, power outages, damaged trees, and “extreme cold” are just some of the events of the season. The days locked inside have jump-started fantasies about the coming growing season. What am I

Amaryllis Rio Negro

Amaryllis ‘Rio Negro’

Just in time to bring some colour into a painfully cold and white world, the amaryllis ‘Rio Negro’ bulb that I potted up in late November is now in full bloom. More photos after the jump….

New York City Plants

Photo: Plants for Sale, NYC

I was browsing through some of my old photos this morning and happened upon this one, taken on a trip to New York City back in May 2005 when I was promoting my first book. Looking at this image now, on a cold winter day, the soil long ago buried underneath snow, fills me with

Pumpkins Polaroid

My Year in Gardening: 2013

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! I started doing new year wrap-ups back in 2010, and while I have since identified that as a gardener, January 1 doesn’t feel like a time of renewal in the way that spring does, the start of a calendar year is a convenient time to look back and

Lesser Ginger Alpinia officinarum

Laser Ginger: A Botanical Mystery Solved

The urge to run away to some far off destination is strong this winter, made worse by the particularly long and dark days of this past fall, and winter events like last week’s ice storm. To appease wanderlust I have been taking advantage of the holiday break to make trips around town to browse shops

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

Joshua Tree

Mormon Tea (Ephedra)

Mention of our mid-June desert road trip on Instagram this morning has compelled me to share a little nugget of knowledge that I gleaned on the trip. The plant in this photo is Ephedra (I don’t know which species as there are several), commonly known as Mormon tea. Those of you who are not from

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