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,

hoh_celia

House of Hope Update

Yesterday, my friend Celia visited the House of Hope in Dominica. She and her husband Paul took photos of the visit and shot a video to give us a closer look. House of Hope from Paul Crask on Vimeo. The following photos are of the organic food garden that is in progress on the property.

Itassi driveway

A Beautiful Nuisance

Guest post by Davin Risk I am asked now and again if “I am a gardener too” and my answer is an invariably unsure, “Well, yes and no, I help.” As Gayla’s partner I am often by her side in gardens and a certain level of gardening knowledge has seeped into my brain via osmosis.

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

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

Painted Leaves

Behold, the beautiful leaves of this Rex Begonia I bought last winter. It’s flowering! The trick to growing this particular begonia is shade and humidity. My time hiking through forests in Dominica really drove that point home in a clear way. I often found begonias growing in surprisingly dim spots underneath thick tree canopy and

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

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

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Essence Fragile

We’ve finally had all of the film from our Caribbean trip developed and I now have the arduous task of scanning it all before the end of September (27th), when I will be giving a presentation, here in Toronto, of some of the botanical images. I took this photo while on a tour of an

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