Sunday, April 29, 2012

Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate park


Two weeks ago we were in San Fransisco visiting the sites and seeing the sights. One garden on my bucket list has always been the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. The five-acre site was originally created as a one-acre "Japanese village" exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in 1894.

The garden(s) are exquisite. Expertly maintained, the garden views open up as you walk through, each section different from the next but all one manicured whole. There are visually busy areas of clipped trees, bamboo hedges, bright & brash colors - but also quiet wooded areas that seemed to glow and parts with more colors of green than you've probably ever seen.

Meandering paths lead up hills, across streams, over ponds, an arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds and a zen garden.

There's a real tea house restaurant, and an obligatory gift shop selling mostly tea-related items. I was hoping for more garden-related merchandise.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mexican garden art store visit

When in Mexico in February, we visited a garden store in Puerto Vallarta, near the airport. This store was always screaming to our friend Jay who drives by it every trip into Puerto Vallarta from his Sayulita vacation home. This store had TONS of items from huge outdoor dining table to house numbers and every wall hanging, sculpture, water fountain, bird cage, bar, chair, lantern, tile, jug, pot, basket, mirror, wind chime, lounge chair and table you can imagine. It seemed endless, like the warehouse from the last scene of the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. For your viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How not to approach selling at a garden art sale

I've gone and done it again. Signed up for something with little to no knowledge of what I'm doing. I signed up to participate, as a vendor in the upcoming Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale. I get a ten-by-ten booth to sell garden art, or garden-inspired products to rabid gardeners. It's being held during the Parkside Garden Tour, so we're sure to have a good-sized built-in crowd.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FOR SALE: Framed original watercolor painting

FOR SALE: Framed original watercolor painting by Susan Webb Tregay, used on the first color Garden Walk Buffalo in poster (2002). 

Partial proceeds of sale to benefit the National Garden Festival. Price of this beautiful painting (and small part of Buffalo's gardening history) is $850. If interested, email gardenwalkbufffalo@yahoo.com.

One of the signed 2002 Garden Walk Posters, and description, are attached to the back of the painting. Painting size is 29"h x 33"w. Framed size is 31"h x 37.5"w.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Gardens of Alcatraz Island

 
I didn't expect much from a prison garden, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the gardens in and around San Francisco's former federal penitentiary, Alcatraz.

Alcatraz is called "The Rock" for good reason.
It's mostly rock and buildings.
The island, originally an uninhabitable pile of rocks, home to only birds, had barely anything more than scrub brush when roads were first blasted out of the rock in the 1850s. Then it was developed as an army military garrison leading up to the Civil War. The three officer's homes, at the time, had small gardens. And the common areas used plantings to visually break up the seemingly endless piles of cannon balls. Soil had to be brought there from the mainland for growing. One large lawn and garden was watered with reclaimed water from the cell house showers.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

National Garden Festival Guides

Coming to you soon... These books are printed and we're looking for distribution sites, as well as being able to order them online through the National Garden Festival (NGF). They were available at Plantasia (the local garden & landscape show) and LOTS of books sold. Cost is $5, or $8 for two. Proceeds benefit the Garden Festival and offset the cost of the books.

The Open Gardens/NGF guide is a flip-over book - it's two, two books in one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And yet more Buffalo gardens in another magazine...

...and again, photos of my garden were in the mix. They're old photos - it doesn't look quite like this anymore. The top photo, where you see the Royal purple smoke tree, no longer has the tree. That's the spot I'll be adding my handmade copper heuchera fountain.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Can a garden tour change a city?

Last week, the Buffalo News published, in the Editorial Page, an article written by Randy Hohle, an assistant professor of sociology at D’Youville College. He is working on a research project titled “Rusty Gardens: Creativity, Civic Engagement and Urban Revitalization in the Rust Belt.” And this article was a brief bit about some of the information he has uncovered in the process of researching and interviewing gardeners and garden tour organizers from around the Buffalo Niagara region, as well as in other cities around the country. You can read his full editorial in the Buffalo News here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Leaf magazine is out - and I'm in!

I was very honored to be asked by Rochelle Greayer and Susan Cohan to contribute a small bit to their wildly successful new (and free) online gardening magazine Leaf. When planning their section on international garden markets for this second issue, in the back of one of their minds, they recalled I had written posts (here and here) on Holland's Bloemenmarkt, a generations-old flower market located on permanently-moored barges in a canal in the heart of Amsterdam. You can read the article it on page 54.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A poem for a sunny spring Monday

I first heard this last Sunday in church, read by its author, as the second reading of the service. I'm not a big poetry fan, but when I heard the reading I thought it was funny, timely, genuine, and thoughtful.

She associates her daughter's name with flowers. That's nice. My daughter's named after a bottle of red and a bottle of white. That'll probably end in therapy for her, not a poem.

Then the poem was published in the Buffalo News yesterday. Does your newspaper still publish locally-written poetry? When I saw it there, I figure it was an omen that it should be a post - otherwise I'll keep running across it. So here it is.

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