July 27, 2012
I planted this Clematis to wrap around the iron fence in our front yard when we were living in Brooklyn. This week it is my Weekly Photo Challenge entry.
July 20, 2012
For me there is always a joy in watching a garden evolve over time, whether it’s my own garden, the garden of a friend or of a client.
On the LinkedIn site of the National Association of Professional Women in Landscape, Karen Chapman, owner of Le Jardinet talks about a garden she designed for friends/clients that involved intertwining Roses and Clematis along a pergola over the home’s garage. She discusses how rewarding it is to design a garden for a client who will let you visit year after year to follow its evolution. The post is titled Friends and can be found on her blog
Click here for more information about Karen, her company and her new book.
June 1, 2012
This is my entry for this week’s photo challenge. It means summer to me because I love mixing edibles in with my flower beds and I find that artichokes look particularly good in a perennial bed. I love the way their leaves are structured. And I love artichokes!
May 20, 2012
I’ve been racking my brain all week trying to come up with a topic for The Once A Week Page and here it is, the end of the week, and I have nothing. So what am I going to do? I’m going to cheat.
Instead of giving you a helpful suggestion for something you can do to live a more sustainable life I’m going to post photos I’ve taken. Some are of my work, some from my own garden, and some from a recent trip. Since these are all photos I’ve taken myself I ask that you let me know if you use them for more than just personal use. Thank you.
I took this at the Na’ Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in Kauai, Hawaii. I love the texture of the leaf and the way the leaf comes together in the middle.
So as to not bore you I am going to limit my posting of photos. But I did have fun sharing my photo adventures so perhaps I’ll do this again in the future.
May 11, 2012
Recently I was nominated by Shannon at dirt n kids for not one but two blog awards. So, first of all thank you to Shannon. If you haven’t yet visited her blog, you should. The first award is the Kreative Blogger. And the second is the Versatile Blogger.
The rules for both awards ask that you nominate seven other bloggers for the award and share seven fun or interesting facts about your self. Since I got nominated for two awards I am going to do 14. You may fall asleep.
Here we go… 14 fun filled facts about me.
1. I can spend about four or five days completely by myself before I get lonely.
2. I purposely keep my nails short so they are easy to clean after gardening.
3. I am a Sherlock Holmes junkie.
4. I have seen every episode of Bones at least three times.
5. My favorite poem is A Man Said To The Universe by Stephen Crane.
A man said to the universe:
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“That fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
6. In high school I was on the Junior National Ski Team and was offered a spot on the U.S. Development Ski Team (which I declined).
7. I spent a semester abroad in Nepal and have traveled to India, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Guatemala, Montserrat, Kauai, Canada, Russia, Scotland, and England.
8. My family lived in England for a year when I was a baby.
9. I was recently asked to be the chair of the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women in Landscape and, yes, this is a blatant promotion of the group whose web site is napwl.org.
10. Before I became a landscape designer I did lighting for feature films.
11. After marrying into a family of cooks I have finally started trying to cook and found I don’t hate it. In fact, I kind of like it.
12. I once had a client in Brooklyn whose wife, while planting pansies in the back yard, found a gun buried there.
13. I can weld.
14. I have two cats I found as stray kittens living in the basement of the Trump Tower. I named them Osiris and Tamuz
Okay, on to the other bloggers for nomination. Here we go…
3. Urban Roots
5. Plant Select
11. The Soulsby Farm
14. Vickster’s Vine
If you made it this far thank you for sticking with it. If you have a chance I highly urge you to take a look at at least a few of these blogs. Of course not everyone will like all of them but I bet all of you will like at least one enough to start following it.
April 5, 2012
Clematis integrifolia Photo Courtesy of Plant Select
Plant Select® is a great organization located in Fort Collins, Colorado that works in cooperation with the Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University, horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond to seek out the best plants for landscapes and gardens for the Intermountain region and the high plains.
Most people think of Clematis as vines that grow to 20 feet or more and climb over everything. But there is a group of Clematis that only grow to between 2-4 feet. Clematis integrifolia Mongolian Bells is in this group.
A man named Harlan Hamernik, the founder of Bluebird Nursery in Nebraska, found the seed for this amazing Clematis on a trip to Inner Mongolia back in the 1990′s. In an article about the plant written by Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanical Gardens, Panayoti describes the plant as a “…compact, almost ground-covering race of Clematis integrifolia [that] blooms from spring to fall, with nodding, leathery four-parted flowers in blue, lavender, pink and pure white. It appears to have greater drought tolerance than typical clematis.”
I myself planted this in a landscape I installed in Idaho and it did quite well. Once established it needed little care and looked very pleasing creeping through a bed of perennials. Because of its long bloom season it is a good plant to add to a perennial bed of plants with shorter bloom seasons as the Mongolian Bells will carry the bed through times when not much else is flowering.
I was driving down the road yesterday on my way to the park since the weather has been so wonderful lately and I heard a really great story on NPR about wicking garden beds. I can't believe I have learned about two great gardening options this year for our Texas heat that I had never heard of before. You can read about…
February 23, 2012
I start reading about one thing, say green roofs. Then, in one article about green roofs there is something about green walls. Then, there is some thing about indoor green walls, and growing edibles on green walls and the best irrigation systems for green walls and the next thing you know I have 22 windows open on my computer and 12 books out and I am deeper than Alice In Wonderland.
Well, that happened to me today. I started reading about one thing and that led to another and, well, you can see where this is going. So, instead of writing one reeeeally long post that most readers will only be interested in parts of I am going to write three separate posts. (Unless I find more interesting stuff. Then who knows.)
All of these posts, however, do have a common thread. They deal with therapeutic gardens. There will be stuff about gardens for war veterans, for seniors, how gardens can help heal us and bios of women in the Landscape Design world doing some very interesting and groundbreaking things. Who could ask for more?
So, if you are interested in any or all of the above get ready. And if you’re not I encourage you to read the first post anyway because it might very well change your mind.
Ready. Set. Read.
February 7, 2012
Okay, it hasn’t been quite a thousand days but pretty close. My apologies to my reader(s)? I’ve had some health issues, but things are getting better and I’m back to gardening again. A few things have changed though.
First I’m living in Austin where you can garden just about all year long, which is fantastic. Second I’m living in an apartment in the city with only a deck to garden on which isn’t so fantastic. But, I’ve got sun and I’ve got containers and I’ve already put together a container of Mediterranean herbs and two of leafy greens. It’s so great to get salad greens from your garden in February. (Sorry to all of you living in colder climates.)
I’ve been working my way through the garden centers here in my new home city and so far I’ve visited two I really feel are noteworthy. The first is Barton Springs Nursery on Bee Cave Road. (I just love that name – Bee Cave Road.) On their website read what is written on the About Us page under Our Commitment. Then read the rest of what’s written on the page. I don’t think I could sum things up any better than that.
The second nursery is The Natural Gardener owned by John Dromgoole who you may have heard of as he also owns the Lady Bug Brand of natural organic gardening products and makes frequent radio and TV appearances.
The Natural Gardener has a wonderful selection of plants as well as demonstration gardens that I very much enjoyed strolling through. I highly recommend a trip.
May 24, 2009
I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for some time. Mostly because, no matter how many times I tell myself I am going to keep a Salvia bloomed early this year,’ but by the time I get in the door I’ve completely forgotten.journal, I never do. And I know I should. So many times I’ll look at the garden when I get home and think ‘I really should write down that the
So, here we go…
I thought I’d start off my blog with an amusing story. When I was a kid my Dad always had a garden, a pretty big one by suburban standards. Weekends were when he did most of his work in the garden and often he would wake me up early in the morning to help him weed oror look for slugs. And it was always hot and humid and I was always sneezing and getting dirty and I swore that when I grew up I would never have a garden.
About five years ago I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and into an apartment that had a yard. The yard was a wreak. Three foot high weeds, chunks of concrete, broken bottles, a rusty screen door. The task of making this yard usable seemed daunting but I had specifically looked for an apartment with outdoor space so I certainly wasn’t going to waste it.
So, I started cleaning it out. Once it was clear I thought, well, if I have all this outdoor space I really should plant something. I got a few perennials at the Green Market at Borough Hall and planted them in the yard. A friend gave me an azalea, another a basil plant. The plants did okay but not great.
I called my dad and asked him what I should do. He said turn over the soil and add some compost. I started turning over the soil and went to the garden center and bought a few bags of compost and somewhere in there between chopping down weeds taller than I am and picking out a rusty screen door and digging inmanure I became a gardener.