Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gardening playsets 1

When in Germany, about a month ago, we visited the Puppen und Spielzeug Museum (The Puppet & Doll Museum) in Rothenberg ob der Tauber. Under duress I might add. With a twelve-year-old daughter traveling through Europe for a week, you have to do things you wouldn't do if you were traveling with a spouse. There's also other things that you can't do when you're sharing hotel rooms with a twelve-year-old for the week, but I won't go into those things here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Sound of Silence garden...

Even the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site has a garden. We had been here before, back in the early '90s and knew what to expect. But it's still a chilling and compelling place to visit.

It is a memorial site and museum. Solemn, sad, and unfortunately, a necessary reminder. The grounds of the camp itself are mostly barren, the barracks are gone, only their footprints remain -- except for two reconstructed barracks. They're intended to show what living conditions were like at the beginning, when only political prisoners were sent to this work camp -- built for a few thousand. By the end of the war, there were as many as 30,000 there. More than 200,000 went through the camp during its years of operation. Most that died here, died because of the living conditions -- overworked, abused, over crowded, malnourished and starvation and typhus. At the time of liberation the death rate had peaked at 200 per day. This included not only Jews, but Russian soldiers, Catholic clergy, common criminals, political prisoners (which could have been anyone), French, Czechs, Poles and more.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Sound of Music gardens

Part of our trip around Germany recently included a side trip Austria -- in Salzburg. The hotel we stayed at had a TV channel that played non-stop, round-the-clock, uninterrupted showings of the Sound of Music. It was nice the first day. Our 12-year-old daughter couldn't get enough. But by day three, we were ready to make schnitzel of anyone that even hummed a song from the movie.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another use for the dozens of wine bottles you have lying around...

You may have caught my post on my wine bottle torches here. While in the German town of Rothenberg ob der Tober we spotted this clever use for creating an ever-green vine. Not sure what wine came in these particular bottles. I may have to stop by our nearest liquor store and see what they sell in these shaped bottles (Mateus?). And then acquire a taste for it so I can make lots of empties.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vining your medieval home or business...


While in Germany a couple weeks back, we spent a night in the charming medieval walled city of Rothenberg ob der Tober. Rothenberg is along the Romantische Straße (Romantic Road), a former trade route during the middle ages, now a tourist-trappy route through Germany.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moons over Augsberg

While in Germany recently, we spent a night in the pretty city of Augsberg. In the middle of the tree canopy in the city park alongside the train station were these glowing spheres. During the day, they're nice, but certainly not magical.

I thought they looked wonderful and now have to figure out how to incorporate the beautiful simplicity of these into my garden. It's difficult being a slave to good ideas. Unfortunately I have no compunction or guilt about stealing good ideas. I'm sociopathic that way.

Do they still sell beer balls?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Plaque build-up

During the National Buffalo Garden Festival, my friend, and former boss (how many people actually get to say THAT?) Siobhan gave a talk at a symposium held the day before Garden Walk. I showed up at the tail end of her presentation, walking past this plaque on the way in.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not my first choice for a sunflower...


Found in the city of Rothenberg ob der Tauber, a beautiful, preserved, medieval, walled city in the heart of Germany. Sunflowers would not be my first choice for a window box, but hey, what the hell, it looks happy & healthy. And it contrasts nicely with the geraniums. And it had everyone looking upward anyway.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Coffee compost for jittery worms

Happy plants. Nervous worms.
Tom, sheesh. He's a Garden Walk gardener (and dedicated GW committee member) for many years. He's got a great garden, and one of the only swimming pools on the Garden Walk. He's also added about three tons of coffee grounds to his plant beds recently. That's not a typo -- three TONS! That makes for some very hepped-up worms, just boring through that soil. They never sleep.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Buffalo gardener quoted in Wall Street Journal on Hellstrips

Great Garden Walk Buffalo gardener Ellie was quoted in the Wall Street Journal last week in an article about hellstrips, the area between road and sidewalk.

Garden Ranter Susan Harris, who's actually been in Ellie's garden, was
shown in her Tacoma Park hellstrip of grasses in the same article.
From the article:
Ellie Dorritie, a retired postal worker in Buffalo, NY, says the full sun exposure in her planting strip allows her to garden with different plants than what she can get away with in her much shadier yard. Her garden scheme? "Cram it in," she says. "I ask, 'Does it bloom? Will it fight for space?' If the answer is yes, it goes in."

To read more about hellstrips/treelawns/boulevards and Ellie, read the article, visit here. The slideshow is here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright rocks!

The Darwin Martin House, one of Buffalo's many Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures, is offering up salvaged stones from buried sections of the old foundation, excavated before portions of the house were reconstructed. If you're local (or willing to pay a LOT for shipping costs) the stones make a great addition to your garden -- and they're only $10 a piece -- or three for $20!

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