Category Archives: Garden Art

Great Ground Cover for Shady Spots

Gardening in the sun comes easy to me. In the shade? Not so much.

Organic gardening is easy.

Sunny days make organic gardening easy.

That’s why I was really glad to see Garden Rant publish a WONDERFUL article by Susan Harris, who is one of my favorite garden writers, that is packed with ideas for filling in the shady spots in your landscape, literally.

I have found some these plants, like Comfrey, on my own but, if I’m being honest, accidentally!

So, here, in one place, courtesy of Garden Rant, is a really solid list of plants to help fill in the blanks in the shady bits of your yard, garden, landscape.

Comfrey grows in shade and is good for your garden.

Comfrey feeds your soil and attracts pollinators.

BTW, Comfrey is a real find for any gardener. Nancy Bubel, author of The Seed Starter’s Handbook and my heroine of seed-saving fame, wrote a beautiful article about the joys and uses of comfrey way back in 1974 for Mother Earth News…and it is as information packed today as it was 42 years ago.

NOTE:  Mother Earth News posted this warning about the article that is important for you to read if you intend to use Comfrey for tea, as a vegetable or for your livestock:

This article was originally published as “Comfrey for the Homestead” in the May/June 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. At that time, comfrey had not yet been declared potentially poisonous to humans and animals and this article contained information about using comfrey as a vegetable, in tea and as livestock fodder; none of these applications are advisable, according to FDA and FTC recommendations. Comfrey contains at least 8 pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can build up in the liver to cause permanent damage and sometimes death. Because of this, comfrey preparations are not sold for oral or internal use in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada or Germany.

I planted my Comfrey before I knew any of this….but I use it only for improving soil, speeding up composting and attracting tons of pollinators.
Enjoy!

 

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Saturday Night at the Strathcona Community Garden | kalegrower

Gardening inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes but here’s one I hadn’t thought of…a community garden.

Community gardens are gifts.

Gardening is good for body and soul.

I know they are big in England and there are some here in the United States but I’ve never seen one, visited one or lived near one.

Blogger Chrystal’s post on the Strathcona Community Garden shows how peaceful and beautiful these places can be.

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, this verdant community garden opened my eyes to the joys of so-called “city farming” — places to grow food and friendships.

Do you participate in a community garden?  Live near one?  Please share your thoughts on this growing trend of shared space and shared gardens..

Saturday Night at the Strathcona Community Garden | kalegrower.

Margaret Roach Holds Open House

If you live anywhere near Margaret Roach’s New York home, you should sign up for her open house in May.

Roach, who has written three books including ” A Way to Garden, I Shall Have Some Peace There and Backyard Parables, was also the leading garden writer for 25 years at Martha Stewart Living.

She hosts  a public-radio show and, on rare occasions, opens her 2.3 acre spread in the Hudson Valley to experts and visitors for a day of delightful learning and sharing of all things gardening.

But what’s really wonderful about this accomplished woman is how very human she is, how real and how willing she is to share mistakes, secrets and her special gardening friends.

Her open houses fill up fast so visit her site and sign up if you can go.  Then share what you see, learn and love about visiting with this extraordinary author, gardener and fellow human being.

What is landscaping? – ArtyPlantz

I love this essay; I love the underlying thought and philosophy it is base on.  What is landscaping? – ArtyPlantz.

Looking out my kitchen window at my back yard, I have never thought of what’s

ArtyPlantz changed landscaping for me.

Back yards are more than landscaping; they are healing places.

growing out there as anything more than either a means to an end or “mine.”

Blueberries, blackberries, apple, pear and cherry trees live side by side with vegetable and herb beds.  Flowers grow around all of them.

 

This morning and every morning, hereafter, because of this essay, what I see will be forever changed.

With the rising sun, I will begin to look at my back yard as a bit of heaven on earth, a place where the wonders of nature – sun, rain, seeds, wind, all conspire to create a healing place full of plants, full of wonder.

I believe I will begin to understand that I am just the caretaker of this bit of heaven…not the creator of it.  And I know I will feel the richness, the peace and the joy that sprouts in this bit of land even more deeply now, thanks to ArtyPlantz.

ArtyPlantz is a group of people working hard to “grow” love for plants and trees in their homeland.  As described on their website, this group is located, “In the heart of The Garden City of Bangalore, we are located in R T Nagar, just a few minutes away from Mekhri Circle, Palace Grounds.”

Perhaps, someday, I will visit their little bit of heaven but even without traveling half way around the world, I feel as though I have touched and been touched by this amazing group.

NOTE:  ArtyPlantz is a member of the LinkedIn group – Grow Girls Grow Organic.  For more posts like this one or to share your ideas, tips and thoughts, please join our organic gardening group and help us change the world!

Gardening Means Living The Good Life

The approach of Spring always makes me thing about all the reasons I garden.  There are obvious ones:

  1. Gardening can mean the difference between eating, at all or eating well.
  2. Gardening saves money! No big investment is required.  You
    Found bed spring makes a free trellis for my cucumbers.

    Cukes growing up an old inner spring I found.

    probably own most of the tools you might need and you can get the rest on Craigslist — cheap!

  3. Gardening lets you choose what you grow and harvest instead of relying on what large-scale growers can grow quickly and cheaply so, heirlooms are always on the list at my house and so are some weird, wonderful and different veggies.
  4. Gardening can mean eating healthy fruits and vegetables that are NOT loaded with pesticides and fungicides and overtly and covertly changing your body’s ability to fight off chronic illnesses like diabetes, kidney and liver disease and even dental caries.

Then there are the reasons that only other gardeners might know:

  1. Visiting the garden early in the morning to pull weeds or maybe plant some more seeds, listening to birds waking up and calling to each other, watching mist swirl away — clouds returning to heaven — puts you a little closer to the center of the Universe than anything else can.
  2. Watching seeds sprout and plants grow, seeing the first fruit set and harvesting leaves of fresh kale or spinach or baby lettuce are all tender moments which every gardener savours, every time these moments occur.
  3. Sitting at your desk, closing your eyes, seeing your garden and feeling the peace you find there helps to let go of all the anger and sorrow that our long, stressful, work days can sometimes bring.
  4. Running home, ripping off your shoes and socks and standing, barefoot, in soil warmed by the sun literally grounds you.
  5. Celebrating life — gardening is a celebration of life — all kinds, all shapes, all sizes and all colors brings such deep joy.

Gardening is also a small but significant step on the road to saving ourselves and our planet.  If everyone in every community joined in – grew their own, shopped local, thought about the environment EVERY time they bought, used or tossed out, we could work together to help save this planet, our home which we sail through space on.

Why do you garden?

My Virtual Garden: Mosaiculture Exhibition

I had to share this amazing display of sculpture done with plants.

No, not topiary…but living, beautiful and artistic sculpture.  The Lady and the Cranes is a favorite….and the horses are beautiful.

Love this exhibition and can’t wait to see where the next one will be held.  I may just have to go!

My Virtual Garden: Mosaiculture Exhibition.

via My Virtual Garden: Mosaiculture Exhibition.