Saturday, December 31, 2011

A tropical garden in Zone 5

This is another garden of which I can't get enough. Gardeners Brian & Gordon work tirelessly to keep this phenomenal garden going each year. More than 17 years after moving in, the small lawn of all grass can hardly be imagined in this urban garden with two ponds, meandering paths, sitting areas, arbors, hundreds of perennials, colorful annuals and tropicals -- capped off with a tiki bar.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A nicely tailored garden

This was one of those gardens where I didn't know where to look first. It was filled with so many great ideas. It was on the KenTon garden tour here in Buffalo, sort of an older first-ring "suburb" of the city. It was one of the first gardens on the tour I visited. It was edited, manicured and tailor-made to how the owners use the yard. Not a lot of space, but a lot going on in it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The little red barn garden

Another gem on the KenTon Garden Tour was this small lot dominated by this red barn shed. I especially like the cupola and weather vane on top. Nice touch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A painter's Garden

On the KenTon Garden Tour this summer, I came across this unpretentious garden along the backside of a corner-lot house. It was an odd spot for a garden, sort of tucked between the neighbor's house and not really visible from the street well, or even the owner's windows. At first I thought it was a less-well-organized cutting garden. After talking to the owner, an artist, it is a garden grown specifically to paint. It had the same purpose as Monet's Garden in Giverny. Except without the acreage, budget and gardening staff.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My garden Christmas gift wish list

A greenhouse made from Legos.
Okay, I've posted what cool, fun & funky garden items I've wanted for the past two years, 2010 (the year of the Venus Flytrap Chair) and 2009 (top of list, a gingko mobile). I haven't gotten a single item. I realize that I make the list too close to Christmas, usually the week before Christmas. This year, as a favor to you, I will be accepting Christmas gifts way in to March. I'm a realist, I know Lego greenhouses probably take some time to assemble.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Margaux at WNYBAC Last-Minute Panic Sale


My daughter will be participating in the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative's (WNYBAC's) Last-Minute Holiday Marketplace this Friday (4-8pm) and Saturday (12-6pm) at WNYBAC (468 Washington Street at East Mohawk, Buffalo).

It's her first "professional" gig selling handmade glass bead jewelry, of her own design, as well as these nifty candle holders made from the tops of wine & liquor bottles.

Daddy bought a bottle cutter -- we had to do something with all Mommy's empties. Actually it was a family crafting project that took up the better part of a weekend.

(Christmas gift spoiler alert coming - stop reading here if you're normally on our gift list) These were the left over parts of making candles from the bases of the wine & liquor bottles. With all the bottle cutting, sanding, melting wax, and hot-glue-gunning decorations to the bottles, we ended up with 17, basically free, gifts that turned out rather well, if you ask us.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Urban Roots Garden Center Holiday Sale

I'm on the marketing committee for the Urban Roots Community Garden Center. Urban Roots is the only cooperative garden center in the country (at least it was when they started a few years ago). There are 780+ members (I'm member 16).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Homemade Copper Coral Bell Fountain

I've wanted to make this fountain for a while. It's been one of those projects I think about while I lay awake at night. Finally got up the nerve (and budget) to make it happen.

It started with seeing
copper water fountains
at the Chelsea Flower
Show last spring.
At the Chelsea Flower Show last spring, I walked straight from the display of copper fountains that looked like trees into a display of Coral Bells (heuchera) (below right) and I decided I wanted a bed of just heuchera. With a fountain. Heuchera come in such great colors now - I've been telling anyone that'll listen that heuchea are the new coleus. They have the added benefit of being a perennial - and last WAY into the fall, and seem to be already there once snow melts in the spring.

Heuchera come in such
great colors - including copper!
And, sadly, my Royal Purple Smoke tree died last year. The raised bed it was in is filled with a mish-mash of plants -- iris, tulips, violets, anemone, grasses, hosta and invasive mint. This spring I intend to take everything out, replant what's worth saving into other areas, plant all heucheras and curse myself for ever having considered mint.

I already went out, a few weeks back, to all my usual nurseries and bought as many heuchera as I could find -- on late season sale and slapped them in the ground. I now have two each of "Green Spice," "Key Lime Pie, "Mocha," and another couple with no name. Add those to the few heuchera out there already and I've got a start on a collection. This spring, buying excursions will now be a heuchera hunt.


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