28 February 2012

Watery Wednesday in British Columbia

Taken by my son, S, summer of 2011 at a beach somewhere near Vancouver British Columbia.

25 February 2012

The Changing Landscape of the Tundra / Issue 6

The Changing Landscape of the Tundra / Issue 6 is now available online in the current issue of Soiled and Seeded. We hear of global warming and think we know what it represents but this article may enlighten your understanding just a little bit more.

Soiled and Seeded - an online gardening magazine

The new issue of online magazine Soiled and Seeded is now available for viewing.  My favourite articles include:

  • Floral hiking in Cape Town
  • Blooming Britain: Gardening in the Margins
  • Branching Out:  A Tree's Value
  • A Field of Flowers (a unique art installation)

Check out the link here to this wonderful online gardening resource!


19 February 2012

More to Enjoy...

I had to experiment with the special effects offered on iPhoto.  Do you like the results?

Notice how each "bell" is engraved with the word "enjoy"?

Here are those lime green planters again.  The vivid colour, the silk combined with the natural plants and stems combine for a picture perfect container.  Yes, I am taken with them.  Do you like them too?

I hope to visit the Enjoy Centre this spring to see if these planters are transformed or replaced.  I promise more photos when I return.

(The Enjoy Centre is located on Riel Drive in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada.)

18 February 2012

The Hours Passed Quickly and "Enjoy"ably

Today my friend and I spent a few hours at the Enjoy centre in St. Albert, Alberta.  Being the off season, there were no annuals, perennials, nor trees and shrubs to see, but what we did see amazed me.

This is just one of the entrances to the facility otherwise known as The Enjoy Centre.  We entered through the upper door which overlooks this area.  To the right you see several planters.  At first I didn't like them, though they caught my eye.  But, you know, they grew on me.  You'll see just how much a little later here.

From the upper level looking down, you see some of the other stores in this open market.  To the left is this amazing bakery that makes delicious breads right from scratch.  Sour dough, rye and sour dough, carrot with a sour dough starter, chocolate swirls, scones, cinnamon swirls, all kinds of breads and other baked goodies.  K and I tried a few samples and bought the cheese and green onion scone and the chocolate swirl.

Vertical gardening exemplified!  Using these simple living wall planters, one can construct impressive garden walls like the one in the first photo.  Imagine the possibilities!  Remember, this is one of the trends for 2012!

 I had to take a photo of this plant!  (perhaps a type of bromeliad) I love the colour combinations, particularly the tri-coloured one!

Black and lime green and white layers topped with black stones and a succulent. Isn't it attractive?

This carnivorous plant caught our eye!  I don't know what it is called, but the little pods
 are attractive and deadly for insects.

 Anthuriums, with their heart shaped and colourful blooms, are eye-catching.  
K tells me she has a photo of some of these used in a floral arrangement for Valentines Day 
and they are a stunning addition to the bouquet! 

Imagine how old these must be to have developed to this size!  I love unique plants!

These wares are from overseas, from less-fortunate countries.  Those who make these, really do make a decent living because of the initiative put in place to protect them and contribute to their country's economy.  I should have taken a picture of the signage that offered a far better explanation.  Just reading it and knowing these products are not a result of slave and/or child labour, makes me feel positive about making a purchase.  And the items are beautiful!

I expected, when we arrived at the Enjoy Centre, that I would find Holes in one location with the other stores, i.e.. the bakery, Amaranth, the spa, the bistro, set up in a mall setting.  I was wrong in this assumption.  Holes is everywhere!  In this large open concept facility, you find the growing greenhouses, the bistro, the spa, the seed racks, the international gift items, the pots, throughout the area.  Each item is localized, but the concept is a large welcoming space wherein one can experience dining while overlooking portions of a garden experience.  It is somewhat difficult to explain, much easier to comprehend in person.  I hope the photos help.

Near the amazing kitchen store, Hillaby's Tools for Cooks, one looks upon what seems like a seating area but I suspect it is a store.  (La Belle Arti)  We saw several chairs, including this triangular one, a bold yellow contemporary one that seems moulded to your body when you sit upon it, a beautiful dining set complete with buffet and hutch, an odd sectional (below), a chaise lounge and more.  We tried out a few, just for fun, and we both loved the yellow contemporary chair.

Hillaby's Tools for Cooks is a dream come true for the cook in everyone!  From small kitchen gadgets to waffle irons (the professional kind), to Kitchenaid mixers, to Moroccan cookware and accessories, Hillaby's has something for everyone.  You'll even find items you never knew you needed but now you wonder how you ever did without.  (no, I am not being paid for this post! :})
As you meander throughout the Enjoy Centre,  you will discover gorgeous masterpieces of art, enlarged photos of moments in the making of Holes Greenhouse, which incidentally began in the 1960's in a large red barn selling produce.  How it has evolved!

During the off-season, now for instance, this large space is rented out as a conference room or as an event hall.  During the growing season, however, this area is occupied by numerous tables of plants.  The greenhouse you see beyond and to the right houses the hanging baskets with a watering system so intricate it uses sensors to determine the watering needs of each individual hanging plant.  The plants are suspended on a track of sorts that moves them through the system for watering.  Take a look at the decorative yet functional lights that are shaped like inverted trumpet flowers.  Everything is planned to the minutest of details to be environmentally friendly, save water and heating and electricity.

The tables above and below are submersion watering tables.  When not in use during growing season, they double as attractive and functional display tables.  Below you see some in a somewhat occupied greenhouse.  Plants are watered by submersion, meaning the table fills with about an inch of water, after a few minutes the water drains to a collection tank where it is recycled for future use.  Rainwater is also put to good use in the greenhouse.

Someone has a great sense of humour.  We discovered three of these sculptures in various locations.

Yes, it is a dog!

Is it me or is lime green a popular colour scheme this year?  I wouldn't say green is my favourite colour but it certainly grows on you.  It makes me think of spring.  Does it do this for you?

In place of the traditional escalator, how about a moving sidewalk like this one?  We tried it out, of course! There is a sign asking people with strollers and wheelchairs to use the elevators.  I didn't even see those!

I loved this orchid arranged with curly willow.  The two just suit each other, taking the pot beyond nice to stunning!

Isn't this the truth? The sign in the photo above grabbed me!   
Below, in a home decor store/location I found this beautiful (...rats, the word is just on the tip of my tongue/mind.  Don't you hate it when that happens?) display (for lack of a better word).  I recall it now...it's a vignette!

The lime green planters as seen from inside the Enjoy Centre.

Above and below, same planters up close.

From inside looking out upon the row of lime green planters. (above)

See what I mean?  They just grow on you!!  I find I really like them!  They are cheery, even on a bleak and cold day like today.  Something about them whispers a greeting, reminding us spring arrives soon.  

These planters...oh how I grew to like them.  You'll see another example of this fondness tomorrow....

17 February 2012

Top 5 Garden Trends for 2012

According to Frankie Flowers (I know, this is a bit of a theme here tonight!), aka Frank Ferragine, the top five garden trends for 2012 are:

1.  Grow your own.  More and more people are getting back into vegetable gardening!  North America's movement to live local, which means eating locally grown foods as much as possible, combined with the influence of celebrity chefs, has been a huge encouragement towards growing your own.

2.  Community Gardens.  More communities are providing designated growing spaces for urbanites who might be short on room but are wanting to adopt/rent a spot to grow their own vegetables, etc.

3.  No space - no problem.  With limited space in big cities and more and more people moving into apartments and condos, space is limited for growing.  Thus the trend towards more container gardening (see Frankie's new book Pot it Up) and growing vertically.

4.  Outdoor Living.  This is not a new trend by any stretch but it is becoming more and more popular.  This year will see more people not only gardening, but entertaining and relaxing in their own little oasis right in their yard.

5.  Inner Gardening.  The urban jungle, all the concrete high-rises and office buildings, is an enormous influence in this trend.  More and more people are looking for a touch of the outdoors that they can enjoy inside.  Easy plants and indoor growing solutions are at the top of this trend.


Frankie Flowers Has a New Book!!!

Pot It Up 
Author:  Frankie Flowers aka Frank Ferragine
Published February 6, 2012
available as an e-book or trade paperback
352 pages
ISBN 9781554688340

Available at local bookstores, Indigo.ca, Amazon.ca 

Garden enthusiasts alert!!!  Frankie Flowers has just published a new book, Pot it Up.  You might remember him from CityLine where he does garden segments and sometimes guest hosts, he is also the weather person on a Toronto TV station and he operates a greenhouse.  I saw him last spring at the local home and garden show, even got to shake his hand and speak with him briefly.  He previously authored Get Growing.

Book Description
Containers are a gardener’s best friend—they make it easy and fun to bring a burst of life and colour to your porch, balcony or front step. But so many of us get stuck in a rut. Frankie Flowers is here with 150 inspiring, beautiful and sometimes surprising container ideas to get your juices flowing. Each plays with Frankie’s signature technique of using a thriller, a filler and a spiller to make sure your pot will have maximum impact. Frankie gives you the breakdown on which plants he’s used, and to which conditions they’re best suited. And if you’re feeling a little peckish, Frankie’s even got some delicious edibles for you to throw into the mix. With Frankie’s step-by-step instructions, and the don’t-sweat-it attitude readers came to love in his first bestseller, Get Growing, Frankie’s Pot It Up will have the whole country going to pot—in the best way possible!

About the author: 
FRANKIE FLOWERS (a.k.a. Frank Ferragine) is the author of Get Growing, Canada’s #1 gardening book. He reaches more than one million Canadians each week as the gardening expert for BT TorontoCityLine and CityTV News, and also writes columns for Canadian Living and Canadian Gardening. His family business, Bradford Greenhouses, is one of Canada’s largest combined greenhouse/garden businesses.

Edmonton Silver Skate Festival Starts Today!

This is a fun free event for families and individuals!  Grab your skis or snowshoes and prepare for a good time!  This holiday Monday is the perfect time to go to Hawrelak Park in Edmonton Alberta for the Silver Skate Festival!!

02 February 2012

Balzac Billy's Predictions on Groundhog Day 2012

Balzac Billy emerged from his burrow this morning only to duck back in, for he saw his shadow!  Using this as an indication of what remains of our winter, we are due for six weeks more.  But here in Edmonton, winter has been mild, spring-like, for the most part.  Six more weeks of this?  Bring it on!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...