28 April 2013

Sunset in Vancouver

My son, S, sent me these photos of a glorious sunset in Vancouver.  

Hope today is as beautiful as these sunset photos for you.  Wishing you a good Sunday!

Looking for more reflections, check out Weekend Reflections

26 April 2013

Strombo | A Forest On A Skyscraper: Is This A Good Idea?

Strombo | A Forest On A Skyscraper: Is This A Good Idea?

Architects in Italy are designing skyscrapers with trees on each floor, to the top floor.  Why?  To reduce heating and cooling costs, clean the air, conserve energy, filter dust and, while absorbing carbon dioxide, produce oxygen.  They are aesthetically pleasing as well.

Will it work?

"They are pioneers, new neighbours being asked to live with us in the sky. They'll take in the CO2 and breathe out oxygen. We'll take in the oxygen and breathe out CO2. We'll water them. They'll aerate us. It's a whole new neighbourhood. Yes, we may stumble as we rise, but rise we shall. These towers in Milan will lead the way."  (Robert Krulwich is quoted as saying in the article which may be accessed through the link above.)

Do you think it will work?  My questions are: where will they put the dirt within which the trees will be planted and how much do they need to sustain the life of the tree?  Can the structure support this weight?

Do you think this is a feasible project?

25 April 2013

Mallard Duck Visit

Wednesday morning, on my way to work, I saw this male Mallard duck on a neighbour's lawn.  
He flew up to a neighboring roof and then his mate showed up.

The two of them flew to the temporary pond across the road where I captured their morning swim in the sunrise reflection on the water.  We had so much snow that when it melted here, it made a temporary lake.  I'm very glad for that as I've seen Canada Geese here as well as seagulls.  I'm hoping for other wildlife too since we are very near some undeveloped areas that are heavy in trees and brush.

24 April 2013

Putrella, Amorphophallus Titanum Blooms at the Muttart Conservatory (Edmonton)

This is the bud rising from the ground in March 2013.  Photo courtesy of Muttart Conservatory.  Used with permission.

To think it came from this, above,

to this, below, in six short weeks!

It's a rare thing, this plant, and to be able to see it on the first day of its very short blooming period 
(3-5 days approximately), was quite thrilling....a once in a lifetime opportunity.

All photos were taken by myself Monday evening, April 22/13 at Muttart Conservatory unless noted otherwise.

Photo taken by staff at Muttart Conservatory, April 22/13.  Used with permission.

Wow!  Isn't it extraordinary?

To read of the account of its growth to stardom, see Muttart's Facebook Page.

The following are photos my son took.

Putrella - Amorphophallus at the Muttart Conservatory


This is the Amrophophallus Titanum on time lapse video as it flowered at 
Kew Gardens, England, as shared on YouTube.  

Historical information

Odoardo Beccari, who was travelling in the rainforests of Sumatra in 1878, is the first known European botanist to discover Amrophophallus Titanum, also known as Putrella or the Corpse Flower.  Odoardo sent seeds to Italy and as one of them germinated it was sent to Kew where it flowered in 1889.  Many years later, 1926, it flowered again and drew such a crowd that police were necessary to control it.
The Amrophophallus Titanum is a very rare plant which can remain dormant for extended periods of time and, when it does bloom, the bloom lasts only a few days.  The first day  that the flower opens, it has been said to stink so badly as to draw tears.  It smells like rotting meat.

The Muttart Conservatory here in Edmonton Alberta Canada received a specimen August of 2012 and in March of this year (2013) growth became apparent above the soil line and it rapidly grew to a height of about eight feet.  Monday, April 22/13 it bloomed and drew crowds in the hundreds.  My husband, son and I were among the lucky ones who were there to witness the extraordinary plant. 

taken by myself Monday evening, April 22/13 at Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton Alberta

More photos to come in my next post including a couple the Muttart Conservatory gave permission for me to use.  

21 April 2013

Amorphophallus Titanum In Bloom Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

With the excitement over the impending bloom of Amorphophallus Titanum at the Muttart Conservatory here in Edmonton, I was seeking time lapse video of this incredible bloom on YouTube.  I found the following video of the event at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens which also provides some interesting information about the rarity of the event and the plant itself.  This and the video released by Kew Gardens are two of the best I found.  I hope you enjoy it.

20 April 2013

Enjoy a Spring Visit to Holes Greenhouse With Me

A variety of tomato plants are already available for the eager gardener!  I almost caved myself but didn't know where I'd put one just now.  I will be back early May though so I hope they still have the yellow tomatoes!

The colour variation on this bromeliad is an eye-catcher!

More tomatoes, above.  Container gardens perfect for Mom!  (below)

The tables are set up, Holes is gearing up for a busy season!

The spring colour trend in pots includes the lime green of last  year with the wonderful turquoise blue of this year.  Do you like the plaid pots?

Oh Azalea, you are breathtaking!

Perfect to don your table at Easter, the above hydrangea is not hardy to plant outdoors.


Which plants suit you best?


I am loving this take on a terrarium garden with string of pearls cascading over the edge.  I would love one of these!

Nothing says "Welcome Spring" like these blooms!
If only the weather would agree!

Solar lights are available in a variety of styles this year.  Don't you love it?

It's a gnome invastion!  Aggghhh!  (I really do not like garden gnomes!)

My answer to the invasion, above!  I noted that a gnome was still strung up in a tree above this display too.  What a wonderful sense of humour and right on the mark, if you ask me!

The fern on the left is one of my favourites!  I love the contrast of black stem with light green leaves.

The occasional wall is ordained with beautiful paintings/art like this one above. Yes, it is for sale.

Too cute not to photograph.

When I worked in a greenhouse, this headwear would have been a welcome item for those unbearably hot days.  Just soak in water and, I believe, you put it in the freezer after.  
Wear it around your neck to cool yourself while you enjoy the garden.

And at the end of a hot day in the garden, soak in your very own hot tub or relax in one of these.  Ahhh.......

16 April 2013

Flowers of Spring

Today, after work, I visited Holes Greenhouse at the Enjoy Centre.  The cheery blossoms of spring flowering bulbs and plants greeted all, and the scent of fresh soil was better than the finest perfumes.  There's nothing like a visit to the greenhouse in the spring to brighten your mood.

I am popping on over to visit Mary at the  Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.  Won't you come on over?

See, we still have snow and it's the middle of April!

15 April 2013

The Full House 2013 Lottery Tour Continued: House # 3 - The Chopin

The Chopin, the third and last house we visited of the Full House Lottery round up, is my second favourite.  It measures 4192 square feet and is valued at $1,320,280.  It is another two story in a brilliant red siding.

I love the marble look of this art piece in the bathroom.

I found the sinks in each bathroom to be a work of art in and of themselves.  
They are rather shallow though and I can imagine washing up 
and getting water absolutely everywhere!!

The designers of The Chopin house used planters as artistic statements as well.  
This one sits near the front door as a grand welcome!

Above is the entry area by the garage.  There is a ladder here which is quaint but not altogether practical in an entrance.  Put it in a library though and voila!

The staircase is gorgeous!

Above and below, examples of the grand art pieces to be found in this home.

I really like the light fixtures above the very wide island.

A beautiful table setting is complimented with this arrangement on the kitchen table.

Gorgeous!! (applicable to both the stove above and the dining table setting below)

Below, we head down to the basement living area.....

At the base of the stairs, between the bathroom and a state of the art furnace room is the table (left) and under the stairs is another table (right).  

This incredible light fixture (above) looks like one I have seen in a Restoration Hardware catalogue.  Incredible, isn't it?  Perfect for a media room.

In the large open basement, next to the family room/media room, is the games area.

To the left, behind the blue rope, is the wine cellar.  Creative copper art installments serve as unique bottle racks.

Through the faux barn doors is a work out room complete with cupboards which house a sink and mini refrigerator.

Back upstairs......

Kim claims the room above!  It has a 70's feel to it and it feels very comfortable for a family room.

This is the most beautiful nursery I have ever seen!!

The curtains in the nursery were so lovely I just had to photograph them!

Above, the master bedroom.

The sitting room off the master bedroom also has a gas fireplace.

The walk-in closet in the master bedroom features spotlit glass shelves for your beautiful shoes.

The extra deep tub in the master bathroom is flanked by two tall pieces of art which appear to have ribbon lighting around the perimeter, just inside the frame.

As there is not much room for dressers in the master bedroom, 
down the hallway on your way to the master bath is a wall of cupboards.

And that is the Chopin.  Which is your favourite?

For more photos, see the Full House Lottery site.


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