Friday, August 27, 2010

Natural Bonsai in post-industrial Buffalo, a kayak ride through time...

Tree growing from a pylon in the Buffalo River.
While out for a pleasant day of kayaking, we came across these former pier pylons sporting their own ecosystem. Each was growing different plant, or combination of plants. From a distance, they looked like they were purposely planted. I guess they were, if the occasional bird or wind blew some seeds this way. You can debate whose plan that is.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A great combination...

A great combo – Persian Shield and just about anything else. I first was introduced to Persian shield (the purple, sharp-leaved plant above) by Elizabeth of Gardening While Intoxicated. I thought, given its purple, metallic sheen, and dark green, almost black highlights, it would be a hard plant to match up with another. I've found quite the opposite. It's hard to find a plant it doesn't complement or contrast well with. Here it's with a red/yellow coleus of which I don't have the name. I have it in baskets and window boxes around the house mixed with other coleus and myriad other plants and it looks great. Next year, more Persian shield.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bird's eye view


Recently, while atop the garage, I took this photo of the garden. My garden looks better the farther away you are. At least the potager garden looks good from here. With all the structure from the boxwoods, paths, and rose standard, you can barely tell the vegetables are just barely scraping along.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This was earlier in the summer, but I just ran across the photos. This is when my arbor hit peak color for the year. Soon after this, the purple verbena in the baskets burned up and were replaced. I think they need to be watered in these baskets about every half-hour.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A disappointment...

I had so much hope for this antique screen planted with mandevilla. It looked beautiful in my head. After three months this is all she's giving. The flowers are beautiful, but sparse. What am I doing wrong?

Friday, August 20, 2010

My first wisteria bloom!

The vine (a member of the pea family!) is only two years old. I expected to wait a lifetime to see a first bloom, from stories I've heard over the years. I also heard to buy one that has a bloom on it already, if planted, it will bloom its first year. Well, it didn't - but in year two, it has.

James Baggett, editor of Country Gardens magazine was here over Garden Walk Buffalo this summer and told me that you can tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese wisteria by noting which direction the vine twines -- Chinese wisteria vines spiral clockwise, Japanese wisteria vines spiral counter-clockwise. Mine, according to its spiraling, is Chinese. I have no idea how this knowledge benefits me, but there it is.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Buffa10 Blogger Meet-Up photos

Let me see if I can do this - Michelle (WildOnesNiagara), Dee (Red Dirt Ramblings), Sarah (Toronto Gardens), Carol (May Dreams Gardens), Gail (Clay & Limestone), Layanee (Ledge & Gardens), and I think the hatted person up on top of the hill may be Aldona (Toronto Botanical Gardens). Hope I got them all right. Here you can see them, adding color to the Shadrack garden in Hamburg, NY. Wow - a shot without a Susan!
I'm away on vacation currently and haven't had much time for posting. I'm finally getting around now to posting my photos from Buffa10, the Garden Bloggers Meet-up here in Buffalo in July. To see all my photos, please visit here: http://gallery.me.com/charlierj#100358 . There are much better photos on other's posts on Buffal10, which can be found here: http://buffa10.blogspot.com/. I was busy running around, and half the time, forgot I had my camera on me.
I won't even try to name bloggers in the photo here. That's Cheryl with the camera.
Pat (Common Weeder), Michele (Garden Rant), Bonnie (Vintage Garden Gal) & Xris (Flatbush Gardener) all in my yard.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Martha Sewart Radio has a new gardening blog. And it's not always pretty.

Photo by Stacey Hirvella
Sometimes it's even gross. Martha Stewart Radio has launched a new garden blog -- At Home in the Garden -- a spin-off of the Martha Stewart Radio Blog which covered way more than just gardening. But, just a warning, it can be sometimes be ugly.

The container garden on the MSL rooftop in NYC.
So far, they've covered blossom-end-rot; spiders; and hopelessly-tangled, tumbleweed-looking garden hoses. Yeah, they cover other cute & pretty stuff, like bunnies, clever use of morning glories, some flower arranging and even the benefits of turkey vultures (not to the benefit of the bunnies). But I can more relate to hose frustration, spiders that build the same web in the same place overnight (every night), and stupid tomatoes with blossom-end-rot.

Friday, August 6, 2010

North Parade Front Yard Garden Competition - everyone wins!

Photo by Ed Healy
When you have a garden competition, there's supposed to be a winner, right? Well, in this case, everyone wins.

Someone from the media takes a photo of homeowner
Darlene Hunter and Joe Han, of The English Gardener.
I attended the awards ceremony for the National Buffalo Garden Festival Front Yard Garden Competition a few weeks back. It also happened to be the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association's (WNYSNLA) annual picnic, in MLK, Jr. Park, a Frederic Law Olmsted-designed park, right across the street from the 19 newly-renovated gardens. It was really, really nice. A back-patting ceremony between competitors complete with tents, picnic salads & stuff for grillin'.

Monday, August 2, 2010

This year's Garden Walk Project

A toast to the wisteria.
Knowing that the five weeks leading up to Garden Walk Buffalo were going to be filled almost every day with some sort of gardening event by the National Buffalo Garden Festival, I kept this year's project simple -- no multiple-weekend-long-complicated structures, no new perennial beds, no ladders, paint, digging, masonry, nails or hard labor -- just some plumbing supplies and a coupla' bottles of wine.

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