Hummingbird Sage (Salvia guaranitica)

‘Black and Blue’ Salvia

‘Black and Blue’ salvia is really more blue and purple than black, but you know how these things go in the garden world. Dark purple is often considered black and identifying colour is mostly down to a bit of wishful thinking. This salvia is also reported to attract hummingbirds, hence the common name, hummingbird sage,

purple shiso aka perilla

Refreshing Shiso Iced Tea

Shiso (Perilla frutescens) is a beautiful herb that self-seeds with abandon. It’s flavour is hard to pinpoint, something akin to mint meets a savoury herb like caraway with a hint of citrus. I’ve been growing it for years, but it’s aggressive nature always seemed to be curbed on the roof where conditions could be exceedingly

salpoglossis-painted by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Stained Glass Salpiglossis

I continue to require eye-candy this winter, and here’s a dose for today. Salpiglossis ‘Stained Glass’ (Salpiglossis sinuata) is a beautiful annual flower from Chile that derives its name from the hand-painted quality of its blooms. I first grew it from seed a few years back and have been considering it for this year’s garden.

yesterdaytoday

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This plant is practically the antithesis of what I am typically attracted to, but when it’s mid-February and I am aching for the fragrance of fresh flowers, my standards shift dramatically. It’s akin to when I am in search of coffee while on the road or out of town. At home I am a supreme

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Crocus ‘Yalta’

‘Yalta’ is another of the crocus varieties that I planted last fall. It has alternating purple and soft, silvery lavender petals with a delicate and long throat. Apparently it is a C. tommasinianus hybrid, which is another species that I prefer, particularly ‘Ruby Giant’.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Crocus ‘Spring Beauty’

Last month I showed you a picture of this particular variety, Crocus biflorus ssp. isauricus ‘Spring Beauty’ (aka Crocus sieberi), growing in a pot in my friend Barry’s greenhouse. Now here are a few photographs of the same variety as they came up in my own garden last week. As I said in the last

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Pretend It’s Spring

I just wrote and deleted a lengthy paragraph dedicated to complaining about the snow that came and went and came again and the lack of snow that has been the nattering gossip of the 2011/2012 winter season, but then I deleted it because COME ON… I wonder, does obsessing about the weather come with being

Kangaroo Apple Flower

Kangaroo apple (Solanum laciniatum) is another in a line of marginally edible, strange solanums that I am growing this year. I say “marginally edible” because the fruit is edible when ripe and poisonous when green. Still, I’m not convinced it’s worth eating. Edible and worth eating are two different things entirely. Morelle de balbis fruit

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Violets Galore

The new yard came with violets… lots and lots of violets. They’re blooming now and even though the yard continues to look like the excavation site of a dead body on a television police procedural… I’m in heaven. I have longed to have the space to grow enough violets to make cheerful springtime jellies. A

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Lampascioni Flowers

Remember months back when I wrote about lampascioni, the Italian wild onion bulbs that are really a muscari (Muscari comosum) that I purchased at my local greengrocer? Click here for a refresher and more details. Well, here they are! Aren’t they fantastic? I love their feathery plumage (the tassel in their common name, Tassel Hyacinth)

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Food Worth Growing: ‘Trionfo Violetto’ Pole Beans

Back in June I wrote in my Globe & Mail column about growing beans. Within the piece I mentioned a favorite pole variety ‘Trionfo Violetto.’ It’s been years since I have grown this particular variety and now that the plants are in full swing and producing a little crop of beans daily, I can’t understand

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