cactus garden by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Learning from Nature: Observations on Cold Hardy Cacti

Throughout my gardening life there have been many plants that I tried to grow with middling success, until I observed them growing in the wild. Sarracenia (pitcher plants), venus fly trap (Dioneae muscipula), episcia, and ginger are just a few that come to mind. Seeing them in their natural habitat helped me understand something about

euphorbia tirucalli photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

In Bloom: Sticks on Fire

My sticks on fire (Euphorbia tirucalli) is blooming! The flowers are so wee, I almost missed them. They’re not much to write home about (or on a website for that matter), but it was such a monumental occasion, I felt it warranted pulling out the camera and posting about it anyway.

avant gardens Succulent wreath

Succulents Galore (and More) with Avant Gardens

All photos in this post are credited to Avant Gardens. As a gardener with particular tastes and interests that border on obsession, it’s always a treat to meet someone who shares the same enthusiasm and passions. I was introduced to Katherine Tracy and her nursery Avant Gardens (located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts) through Margaret, who found

Fame flower in a pot, photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Fame Flower: A Colourful and Tough Succulent that is Perfect in Pots

Colourful flowers that sway and jitter on wiry stems, Fame flower (Talinum calcycinum) is another example of a rough and tumble, easy-grow plant that is disguised as delicate and fragile. Rather, it is a hardy (zones 4ish-9) succulent that is native to the North American prairies. Related to the common edible weed purslane (Portulaca oleracea),

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Dudleya: The Dudley Moore Plant (Not Really)

I recently had an assortment of old film developed (recently being tonight) and one of those rolls contained photos that I took last January at Rancho la Puerta in Tecate, Mexico.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Herbaria (October 19, 2012)

As I walked around the garden on the morning that I took this photo, deciding which plants would make the cut, I was struck by the shift in foliage colour. Suddenly all of the perennials had taken on their fall colour, which is why I dedicated 1/3 of the boxes this week to foliage. I

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

A Succulent Oasis in My Office

We shuffled all of the remaining houseplants inside last Friday just before the hard frost returned. And so began the arduous process of stuffing potted plants into windows and underneath lights in preparation for a long winter indoors. This year I decided to go for an all succulent mix in my office window, which wasn’t

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Agave on Display

Taking a cue from Barry, a friend from whom I have stolen several good gardening ideas, I bought this $20 metal side table from Ikea over the summer with the purpose of using it to display some of my 16 agave plants (or is it 17? Someone make me stop.). For months I scoured the

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Baby Lithops at Five Months

To review: here’s what they looked like a week and two weeks after I sowed the seeds back in January. It’s hard to believe, but three short months ago the lithops seedlings were only just beginning to show their distinct colouration and patterns. Now look at them!

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Raising Baby Succulents

Two months ago I had a brand new lighting setup and a hankering to test it out with some seeds so I sowed three packets that had been sitting around for a year: lithops, mixed succulents, and mixed cacti.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Lithops Seedlings Closeup

At about 2 weeks old. I’m not sure if they are developing colour due to age or the lighting. They were much greener shortly after germination.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Teeny Tiny Lithops Seedlings

I’ve had my new lighting setup in place for a while now, and last week I finally got around to sowing the lithops seeds I purchased almost a year ago. Here they are this morning, a few days after they first started to emerge from the soil. Based on the size of the vermiculite, you

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