Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I love grass

If she was a gardener, Barbarella would probably have had a grass chair. Grow your own! Or buy a kit from Lazy Bone UK.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Making the most of the growing season

If you're like me, you're both excited and sad that there's a hint of autumn in the air. Fall sends the kids back to school and the garden, if not to bed, to its last hurrah before shutting down for the winter. Because here on the West Coast, we can easily plant for a second harvest of cold-season crops.

The trick is to plant now before the days get too short. The brassica family (brocolli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) actually tastes better after going through a cold snap, due to a naturally-produced "antifreeze" - my favourite ingredient - sugar. The Renee's Garden website has a good article on growing for a second season.

The UpBeet Gardener

For years now I have subscribed to an e-newsletter called The Upbeet Gardener, available at the Plantea website. (Plantea is an organic fertilizer, which is something we all need!) The site and newsletter are a bit hokey but contains heaps of useful information. She's in Alaska, so her frame of reference is a bit different than those in Zone 8 (like us lucky Vancouverites), but still a fascinating and informative read for gardeners worldwide.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Buckland's UBC garden -- with cat.

Their's was one garden on the last tour I went on and I thought this was a cool photo.

A showpiece of beauty, design, and ingenuity, Jennifer Buckland’s UBC garden makes for an envy-inspiring visit. The scent of a large, white-flowering magnolia welcomes you to the front garden, where purple clematis intertwines with a red-flowered vine (Tropaeolum speciosum?) and a lovely Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ creates dappled shade for the heathers beneath. The cobblestone drive leads down into the exquisite back garden. Of the many beautiful trees in this garden, Jennifer pointed out the last remaining, large cedar, and told us how this garden was largely created after the house burned down in 1996. Newer trees include Acer negundo ‘Flamingo,’ Pyrus salicifolia, Styrax japonicus, and a Catalpa ‘Aurea’ cleverly limbed up to show to best advantage against the red maple behind. Jennifer’s husband (sorry, I forgot to ask his name) and his handiwork were evident in many areas of the garden, especially in the stonework throughout and around the lovely pond, which was bounded by a crabapple, Dahlia ‘Laura Huston,’ nigella, and the frothy blossoms of Alchemilla mollis. Via lush and skillful plantings of shade-loving perennials, this garden made brilliant use of that dark, under-the-deck space. Clematis ‘Blue Angel’ blooms over the back arbour, guarding entry to this area. Considering how meticulous it is, that this fabulous garden is shared with three large dogs and one cat and makes it all the more amazing.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

In my more frazzled moments,

I would love my new place to look like this sexy zen patio.