Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Grave Gardens: Dominica

Whenever I travel I tend to be drawn to the mundane: Where do people live? Where do they shop? What do they eat? Somehow, I often end up passing a graveyard. Over time and many trips, I have started to make observations about the different traditions that are observed around burials. And as a gardener,

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

A Pleasing Combination: False Roselle and Double Cosmos

I wrote about the cosmos recently when the flowers were just starting to open. Well, they’re coming up full force now and I’m loving them even more. The soft, double blooms have begun to poke through a false roselle (Hibiscus acetosella) plant that is growing alongside — it has proven to be an unexpected combination

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

How Festive

It must have been the influence of that month in the Caribbean where they are as big as trees, because I haven’t craved a holiday poinsettia in ages. The last time I remember growing one was the year I published a piece on restoring a dormant poinsettia to its original glory. That must have been

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

House of Hope Drive Update

Hello Friends, Just a reminder that the House of Hope Drive is on until Saturday when I’ll be drawing a name for the prize. We’re currently up to $1, 130, which is crazy INCREDIBLE! Thanks so much for contributing! My friend Celia, who lives in Dominica, is going to be visiting the House of Hope

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

A Year Ago Today…

…I was in Barbados and it was day 3 into our 35 day trip to the Caribbean. We took the bus from Christ Church to the capital city, Bridgetown. Meat donut. Your choice of sausage or minced meat. We got the coconut.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Anthurium

Like caladium, anthurium are a tropical I never could get into. I have a penchant for freakish, alien plants, but there is something about their waxy, fake phalus-like appearance that bugs me. They just seem so Hollywood — the plastic surgery disasters of the plant world. Last year’s trip to Dominica changed that. There, for

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Air Potato

I was introduced to this “potato that grows above the ground” on an organic farm tour in Dominica. It was one of the plants we were most excited about, but because we only got the Patois name (and it turns out I heard that wrong, too), were never able to identify it. Davin and I

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Let’s Try This Again

The other day I posted about a datura that wasn’t a datura that I thought had been given the patois name “Agouti Umbrella,” but is not in fact the “Agouti Umbrella” even though it certainly looks like it could be one. The fern-like moss shown in the above photo is the real “Agouti Umbrella” aka

A front steps container garden in the Newtown, a neighbourhood in Roseau, Dominica.

In Search of My Grandmother’s Garden (A Visual Presentation)

This coming Monday I will be giving a presentation to the Parkdale Horticultural Society on my epic December/January 2009/2010 trip to the Caribbean. I’ve assembled a range of images from plants, to food, to some personal insights from all three of the islands we visited. There is a special emphasis on Dominica, in part because

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Agouti Umbrella

In Dominica, you might just see a giant Datura Brugmansia (I was told they are sometimes called “Agouti umbrella“*), flush to the breaking point full of drooping, soft peach flowers. Chances are good that you’ll see this on several occasions, in varying locations, and always the same colour. I saw this one on a steep

Pillow Cotton

I couldn’t resist sharing another image from the presentation I am working on and will be giving later this month. This is Giant Milkweed (Gossypium). The only time I saw it on the trip was when we travelled to the north end of Barbados to visit the Animal Flower Cave. The cave was a must-do

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Bromeliads in the Valley of Desolation

Later this month I am giving a presentation to the Parkdale Horticultural Society on my trip to the West Indies. In preparation, I am striving to finish scanning all of the film photos I took, not including the Polaroids, because frankly, I’ve got to draw the line somewhere or I’ll never be done. I’m doing

Page 1 / 41234