Author: Gayla Trail

Scylla’s Potatoes

There were not many gardens in my childhood, and the few that come to mind are not exactly traditional. This fact threw me off for many of my early years as a garden writer. That I did not have a quaint story with a family farm, a vegetable patch in the yard, or an elder who passed on gardening know-how made me think I was a pariah trying to enter a party to which I was not invited.

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Childhood, Gardening, Stories

On Dependency

I am dependant. The truth is that none of us are independent. However, I am more dependant than most. This is one of the hardest parts of my illness to confront, in part because I grew up in an abusive household where any small need was a burden that was met with violence. I learned at a young age to hide and deny my human vulnerability and needs. I had to depend on myself for basic survival and also...

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Chronic Illness

Decolonize Garden Media

This morning I was reading on @decolonisethegarden an Instagram account created by Sui, about callously offensive & divisive remarks steeped in racial bias that were made by a co-chair of the UK Garden Media Guild. I also read the response from the guild, which, in my opinion came off as empty and an easy out from doing real work toward accountability and change.

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Gardening

Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day we celebrate women who inspire us, who accomplish great things. Women we look up to. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I am going to recognize the women who shaped me, for better or worse. I always qualify with those words, because so little was better; much was worse. But they are my kin. My lineage.

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Childhood, Stories

Aphantasia

Have you heard of aphantasia? It wouldn’t be surprising if you haven’t since the name was only coined in 2015. Aphantasia is the inability to create mental images in your mind. The concept has been known since 1880, but we’ve known very little about it until recently.

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On Creativity

Holes of the Backyard Garden

This is a chipmunk hole. There are several here, dotting the top and sides of the smallest garden bed nearest to the house. It makes sense since the ground is high and the soil is dry and well draining, while the rest of the property is too boggy and wet for burrows.

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Gardening, Places

Weaving Fabric, Weaving Health

Those of you who follow my art making account on Instagram will notice I haven’t done any encaustic in a while. Unfortunately, my health has plummeted, again, as it does every year around this time, and encaustic work requires a certain baseline amount of energy that I don’t have. I’ve had to adjust to art forms that are doable from bed. Encaustic is definitely not one of them!

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Artwork, Chronic Illness

Black Currants

I always seemed to be in the car when he got the inkling to score some weed. “Wait here a minute. I just gotta see a friend.” I think we were at odds about the real length of a minute because even factoring in kid standards, I know it was a lot more than that. It was often cold in the car and scary. I sat on edge, half expecting to be kidnapped or killed. “Here” was always some behind the...

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Gardening