27 August 2011

Seeing Trees - book trailer on YouTube

Seeing Trees:  Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees
Publisher:  Timber Press

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 244 pp.
  • Book dimensions: 8½ x 10 in. (255 x 215 mm.)
  • Images: 175 color photos
  • ISBN-10: 1604692197
  • ISBN-13: 9781604692198

Order yours now here.

Review to come soon.

New Book, "Seeing Trees", Giveaway Link

Seeing Trees:  Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees

We see trees everywhere. We enjoy their shade, their form, their foliage and, sometimes, their flowers.  But have you ever taken a few moments to really "see" the tree - to inspect the bark and the nuances that set it apart from other species, smelled the almost invisible flowers of a Russian Olive, or investigated the whorls and layers of a pinecone?  

A new book, Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo and Robert Llewellyn, profiles the very intricacies of a tree with stunning photography teaching us an entirely new perspective.  

The contest

Timber Press is giving away:
  • A signed, 16"×20" print of a Robert Llewellyn photograph from Seeing Trees, custom matted and framed (see image below)
  • A signed copy of Seeing Trees
All you need to enter the contest is an email address. The contest ends September 9!  Giveaway link for Seeing Treeshttp://www.timberpress.com/seeingtrees?s=seeing&a=3.

Watch for my review of Seeing Trees coming soon here at The Gardening Life.

*October 10/11 - Note, due to unforseeable delays in shipping, I have just received a copy of Seeing Trees.  Watch for the review here soon.

26 August 2011

Review: Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory by Sara Chapman (Seattle)

There are few places left in the United States that have the privilege of having a Victorian Glass Conservatory within their city and Seattle Washington is one of those lucky cities.  Seattle is a beautiful termperate city on the west coast of Washington USA and its gardens lure many tourists every year.  The Volunteer Park Conservatory is considered "Seattle's Hidden Gem." Since 1912, The Volunteer Park Conservatory has been open to visitors.  The author and photographer, Sara Chapman, visited the conservatory every month to catch the progression and changes within, then expertly compiled those photos in this spectacular glossy new book, Flowers of Volunteer Conservatory: Blooming Month by Month.  Below is a sample of what you will find therein:

Sara Chapman's photography is superb, the lighting is spot on and the colours genuine.  Each detail and nuance is expertly captured and showcased in this book.

Featured in November is the Crimson Tide Chrysanthemum.  The colour combination and texture of this flower is stunning.

Above is a sampling of orchids blooming during March in the conservatory and below is some lush greenery featuring hostas, helleborus and variegated sempervirens.  Whatever the month, your tour will take you for a luscious visit.  

Sara painstakingly put several hours into compiling an incredibly detailed index.  Below is a sample of one of the index pages.  Preceding which, is a floor plan drawing of the conservatory and Keys to Plant Identification which may be utilized to identify the specimens featured in Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory: Blooming Month by Month.  It may also be used to quiz your knowledge of the species accented throughout.

Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory: Blooming Month By Month is an impressive and beautiful keepsake that should grace your coffee table.  It is available in hard cover or paperback.  Currently available to US residents by placing your order at www.lovethatimage.com.  Sara assures me that she is working on facilitating shipping to Canada and as soon as it is available I will pass it on.

*note:  all photography and pages used within this review were provided by the author, Sara Chapman, and used expressly with her permission.

Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory:  
Blooming Month By Month
Author and Photographer:  Sara L. Chapman
Publisher:  Book Publishers Network
Copyright:  2011
Pages:  144 full-color pages
9" x 6" quality binding
Paperback ISBN 978-1-935359-80-7
Hard Cover ISBN 978-1-935359-81-4

Available at www.lovethatimage.com

"A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Friends of the Conservatory.  Visit www.VolunteerParkConservatory.org."

See Sara's site at www.lovethatimage.com for a free download 7 Secrets to Better Flower Photos.

Watery Reflections, Shadows and a Bear!!!

These photos were taken near Fort McMurray August 24, 2011.  I love these softly muted reflections of the clouds in the water below.  The last two photos were taken from a safe distance as this black bear investigated the garbage dumpsters near a local hotel/motel in Fort McMurray.

Contributing to:

25 August 2011

Skywatch Friday at Willoughby Ridge

The beginning of July marked a huge occasion for Scouts across Alberta and a portion of British Columbia.  A huge jamboree of sorts was held over a period of a week wherein over 2000 young men (ages 12-18) and many leaders gathered at Camp Impeeza, north of Westcastle (popular skiing destination).  Here they hiked, biked, repelled and numerous other activities, too many to mention, to earn badges and get in touch with nature.  

These photos were taken at the top of Willoughby Ridge which is north of the ski area.  What a magnificent location for such an event.  My husband was one of the leaders involved and he is the photographer of these two shots.  Not bad for an I-phone!

Sky Watch Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Skywatch Friday featuring skies from all over this beautiful planet.  Click on the link to see more.

24 August 2011

Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory by Sara Chapman

I just received this week this gorgeous book, Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory, by Sara Chapman and I will be reviewing it right here on this blog!!!!  You have to see this!  Glossy colour photos on each page capture the spectacular beauty of the historic Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle Washington which is only one of a few Victorian glass conservatories that remain in the USA.  

You don't want to miss this review coming soon!!

Lac La Biche in Northern Alberta

This sunset shot was taken by my husband at Lac La Biche in northern Alberta.  If you recall, last week's Watery Wednesday photo was of the same location but looking directly at the sun as it set over the lake.  The reflection was exquisite!

Join others as they explore Watery Wednesday in their part of the world.

20 August 2011

Bigger Than Golf Balls - Hail Storm Near Cold Lake Alberta

Last Sunday, which would have been August 14,  I am told a nasty hail storm went through the Cold Lake area.  The hail stones were huge, larger than golf balls.  One of my husband's customers collected a few and froze them so he could show everyone.  He said they melted a bit before he got to them so they were actually larger than this as they came down.

An interesting cross-section of one of the hail stones.  Look at the rings.  I wonder just how windy it was up there in the clouds before they actually got so heavy that gravity played a role on their release.

I'd hate to have been outside during that storm!  There was no mention of significant damage.  Can  you imagine?

19 August 2011

Sky Watch Friday Near Innisfail

My husband took these photos this week near the town of Innisfail Alberta.

I am joining the Sky Watch Team for Sky Watch Friday.

18 August 2011

Aphids Everywhere!!!!

This has been a wonderful growing season.....for aphids!!!  I generally expect a battle with the Summer Wine Ninebark, sometimes the roses, and occasionally on the Mock Orange.  This year, though, I have seen blue/green ones on the tomato plants, black aphids on the ninebark and mock orange, green on the rose bush (only a few) and several in my hair or on my clothes when I come in from working in the garden.  What to do?  

Summer Wine Ninebark late spring before I washed off the black aphids you see clustered here on the new growth.
A sharp blast from the hose is what I most often do for control.  Spraying every square inch and centimetre of the plant, I wash those nasty little suckers off where they can become bait for other predatorial bugs.  I also encourage (carry) the lady bugs to the affected regions.  You can buy them at a few of the local garden centres, just in case you don't have enough in your garden.

If your petunias are suffering from a recent infestation now, though, the best advice is to pull them out and discard the plants.  Replace them with annual mums or something else that will continue blooming while the evenings lose their warmth and the daylight hours begin to dwindle.  Days here have been a bit cooler so it is the perfect time to add some mums for a splash of colour now.

For more information on aphid control, see this article written by Rob Sproule of Salisbury Greenhouse:

Enjoy those sun shiny days while you can.  I hear whispers of an early autumn.  Are you turning a deaf ear or a blind eye?  I am.......

New Research on Powdery Mildew and Lighting is Promising

Once a week I receive Jim Hole's Notebook, a virtual newsletter written by Jim Hole and distributed by Hole's Greenhouses in St. Albert.  Under the Science and Technology section, I read the most interesting and promising bit of research that I've seen in some time and it regards powdery mildew on roses.  Here is what it said,

"A Gardener’s Red-light District?  Researchers in Norway have discovered that exposing roses to red light during the night reduces the incidence of powdery mildew. Apparently, red light inhibits germination of powdery mildew spores. Even a short period of exposure can be quite effective. How well this research will translate into the real world of gardens is tough to say. But who knows? Perhaps night lighting will become one more pest-fighting tool for gardeners."

Are you ready to go out and buy red night lighting for your rose garden?  Believe me, I am tempted!

Hot Cocoa Rose (floribunda)

17 August 2011

Cottage Flora Thursday and Flaunt Your Flowers/Fertilizer Friday

Earlier this week I was out checking on the progress of the container gardens.  The parsley is growing great planted beneath a Roma Tomato.

Roma Tomato

Believe it or not, this is a salad green that I allowed to go to flower.  Today, however, I pulled it out of the pot, tired of it and hoping the pepper will achieve its potential with the added room.

Little peppers growing here.  I see something has been nibbling the leaves.

Two fairly nice size peppers.  Now for some heat and sunny days for the tomato and pepper production.

Another Roma Tomato plant.

Close up of a green bell pepper plant.

Campanula, white carpathian bells, finally flowering!

Pink Diamond Hydrangea.  It is finally taking on a decent shape after a few years in the garden and lots of TLC.  It had an odd shape in the pot when I bought it but I was determined to have one of these beauties in my garden.  The patience is paying off.  Sometimes I wish it would retain the white colour in its blooms, as it is so delicately beautiful but it is rather lovely as it takes on hues of dusty rose/pink later in the summer.

No....I am in denial!  It is much too early!!!  The peony leaves are already turning their autumn colour, and yes, you do see some chlorosis here.  I have treated with chelated iron but may need to do so again.

European Mountain Ash berries are already turning colour and yesterday I saw one cedar waxwing in the garden.  They love mountain ash.  As the season turns to autumn, the berries become red and swarms of flocking wax wings feast upon them.  

What's blooming and/or ready for harvest in your garden?  Please leave a link in your comments below so I might visit your garden.

I am linking in with:

Glenda at Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday/Flaunt Your Flowers

Watery Wednesday at Lac La Biche

Watery Wednesday meme is hosted here.  Join others there for more watery photos.

15 August 2011

Product Trial: Paper Pots Update August 15, 2011

Paper Pot Product Trial planted with Lemon Boy Tomato

The Paper Pot Trial is going fairly well.  Compared to the other tomato plants in nearby containers, its fruit has grown larger faster but the plant seems rather sparse.

Lemon Boy Tomatoes

Lemon Boy is the tomato plant of choice and here you can see it is beginning to ripen.  Last week we finally received summer like temperatures, 24-29 Celsius, and this has been a huge assistance to fruit production and ripening.  I am somewhat disappointed at the number of fruit on this tomato plant and the sparseness of the foliage. 

My fail here is that I had only one Lemon Boy Tomato plant so I cannot compare similar varieties of tomatoes.  Those in the other pots are Roma Tomatoes and they are very bushy with multiple fruits.  Still the trial continues.

If this paper pot is in reusable condition next year, I may try perforating it in a few places for drainage in case we have a wet spring and summer again.  I wonder, though, if that would affect the integrity and stability of the product?

Roma Tomatoes

Note:  all tomato plants received the same fertilizer regimen and were watered the same.

11 August 2011

Sky Watch Friday - August 12, 2011

The Garden

Today I came across this poem given to me several months ago by a dear friend.  
I thought I'd pass it on for you to enjoy too:

For the garden of your daily living, plant three rows of Peas:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul

Plant four rows of Squash:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be patient
Lettuce love one another

No garden is without Turnips:
Turnip for meetings
Turnip for service
Turnip to help one another

To conclude our garden we must have Thyme:
Thyme for each other
Thyme for family
Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.
There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow.

-author unknown-

10 August 2011

In My Neighbourhood

My neighbour's Endless Summer Hydrangea is blooming.  Our soil is alkaline, here in Edmonton, so the bloom is pink.  Hers is blooming but mine isn't.  Hmmm.  Could be the move last autumn from part-shade to full sun.  Mine didn't bloom last year so I decided it needed more sun.  We'll see.

Near the ravine, several homeowners plant beyond their fences.  Here a homeowner planted pumpkin, I think.  Several others plant flowers or raspberries.

A huge mushroom.  I've seen a lot of these and other fungi this summer.  They love all this rain.

My favourite back yard in the area, above.  This one backs onto the ravine as well.

Another neighbour is growing this pretty little poppy in the front garden.  I like how this photo captures the flower in its different stages of opening.

Liatris is starting to bloom, while the groundcover, Lamium, is complementary in pink.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce in spiral form.  A few neighbours thought this was a good idea this spring.  Not all have fared as well as these, though, turning brown before summer is even done.  I hope they weren't expensive.

The gorgeous maple!!  It is the beginning of August and this pretty tree was already in full finery by the end of July.  Such a beautiful tree!

She loves her flowers!  Look at all these planters!  I'd love to see her back garden!

One of the most beautiful small landscape trees, the Russian Olive, flowers late spring and the scent is divine.  Love the foliage of soft grey/green which hangs on well into the winter.  Look at the furrows in the bark!  This tree's bark darkens over the years, sometimes looking rather charcoal which is a lovely combination with the foliage.

What's blooming in your neighbourhood?  Do you take your camera with you when you walk your dogs?  (like I sometimes do)


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