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,

Purple Perilla aka Shiso

Summer Beverage Plants (and a Big Thank You)

Fresh sage blossoms are a tasty garnish in savoury, tomato-based beverages. Fortunately, it feels like my toothy saga is nearing the finish line. After a few consultations, I opted for an extraction of the offending tooth. It had a significant crack, and due to an experience Davin had some years ago and the options presented

Edible Flowers stored in Jars

My Best Tip for Storing Fresh Flowers

If you’ve read my books or attended my presentations, you’ve probably heard this one by now. This method of storing freshly harvested, edible blossoms over the short term is a miracle worker and has completely altered my ability to keep and use them more effectively.

Pan Fried Garlic Scapes with Fava Beans

Quick Cook: Pan Fried Garlic Scapes with Fava Beans

Garlic scapes are the immature, unopened flowers that form at the top of the plant’s leafy stalk in early summer. They have a delicate, garlic flavour and are much less potent than the bulb. In fact, I can’t eat much garlic raw or cooked, but I can devour garlic scapes aplenty with no stomach upset.

dehydrated rose petals

How to Harvest, Dry, and Use Rose Petals

I’m not sure when I made the transition from rose-hater to rose-eater. These days I have several roses planted in my garden, most of which have been chosen specifically for their eat- and use-ability. All roses are edible, but only those that smell fragrant taste good. Scentless roses are flavourless. I recently returned from a

dianthus vodka

Dianthus Infused Vodka

Among the recipes in my book, “Easy Growing: Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces” are three herb and edible flower infused spirits that I make each year from ingredients grown in my garden. Were more space available, I could have written an entire chapter on this exciting subject — narrowing it down to just

eggs in bed of garden veggies

Soft Eggs on a Bed of Spring Garden Vegetables

This recipe came about on a weekend afternoon as I was puttering around in the garden weeding and thinning out crops that were too closely planted. Radishes were the main culprit. I don’t plant them in rows or in a dedicated space for that matter. Instead, I pop the seeds into gaps here, there, and

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Homegrown and Homemade Lavender and Honey Caramels

Here’s a homemade holiday gift from the garden that there is still time to make. It took me about an hour and a half to make the caramel slab and I’ll probably be cutting and packaging individual caramels until the second coming, but it will have been worth it. To say that these are gorgeous

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Constructing Lunch

We’re hitting that magical time of the season when a growing portion of our meals are gleaned from the garden. I enjoy moving around the space, snipping bits of this and that from here and there. I have edibles tucked in everywhere. There are lettuce seedlings in every bed, except the dry one. They would

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

For the Love of Nasturtiums

I was on Martha Stewart Radio today to talk about my new book about growing herbs and edible flowers. The question was asked, “What is your favourite edible flower?” and I replied, without hesitation, “Nasturtiums, hands down.” Of course, now as I am typing this, I am hesitating, “But wait… what about roses? You really

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

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