Looking to learn more about landscape design, construction and drafting?
Heather Heimarck, a long-time friend to City Garden Ideas and the director of the Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College, sent along the Institute’s Summer Course catalog – Summer 2013 COURSE OFFERINGS
Check out the short, hands-on classes at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley. Think about attending the course by painter and a historian, Ma Qingxiong. Students learn about Chinese landscape design and try their hand at doing oriental brushwork. Take a look at Ma’s website http://www.maqingxiong.com
The Institute is offering many other courses including a three-week introduction to design intensive, M-F, in July. Heather says it can be very rich to immerse oneself that way. If you have any questions, call 617 585 0100. Be well!
Posted in Expert Advice, Landscape Design Courses, Landscape Designing, Places to Visit, Recommendations, Workshops and Seminars
Tagged Boston Architectural College, City Garden Ideas, Expert Advice, Heather Heimarck, Landscape Design Courses, Landscape Institute
Before you plant your Spring window boxes, containers or street-side tree gardens, please read this! Ellen Abdow, the talented owner of Perennial Gardens, is offering her 5 top tips for a successful flower garden.
As a featured speaker at two City Garden Ideas workshops, she famously introduced the phrase ‘Thriller, filler and spiller,’ the three flower components for a winning container, to the audience. Watch Ellen in this YouTube video from the 2012 CGI workshop.
Here are her 5 top tips:
Tip 1. Look, listen and learn from all the gardeners that have come before you and the gardens all around you. Indulge in some good books. I always buy the ones with the most pictures. (Janine likes The Well-Tended Perennial Garden). Subscribe to magazines and gardening blogs to learn about the latest trends and tricks of the trade. Go on garden tours in the city, attend the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days garden tours. See what you like in other peoples gardens, copy, and make it your own. Mass Horticultural Society, New England Wildflower Society and the Arnold Arboretum all have excellent lectures and courses throughout the year jam packed with great information.
Tip 2. Be honest: Make an accurate evaluation of sun vs. shade, and plant what’s best geared for those light conditions. There are so many interesting cultivars of plants for any light conditions. Read the labels, ask your local garden center for advice and guidance, and plant accordingly.
Tip 3. Food and water: Proper soil and nutrition grows healthy plants. Build a solid foundation and plants will grow easily. Take the time to evaluate your soil and add organic matter to create nutrient rich growing environments. Invest in good potting soil for hanging baskets and potted plants that drains quickly found at your local garden center. Water regularly, not too much, and not too little. Ask for expert advice, and use it!
Tip 4. Change your mind: If you don’t like the way your planting looks, change it out. Try something new. A garden is never finished. Be willing to take chances. Have fun, relax, and grow what makes your heart go pitter patter.
Tip 5. Use every inch of space you have: Stuff every centimeter of your space with plants. Mount shelves on the walls, hang baskets off the railings, try vertical gardening. You can grow almost anything in a pot, just remember that a plant in a container is totally dependent on you for water and food.
Ellen started her business in 1993 and she and her team actively design and install gardens in Boston and out in the suburbs. To learn more about Ellen and Perennial Gardens, visit www.perennialgardens.net.
By the way, that’s my tree garden 🙂 in front of the Perennial Garden truck. Happy planting!
Posted in Boston Gardens, Container Gardens, Expert Advice, Landscape Designing, Recommendations, Spring Beauty, Sunlight, Window Boxes
Tagged 5 Top Gardening Tips, container gardens, Ellen Abdow, Expert Advice, Gardening Basics, Perennial Gardens, Small space gardening, Window Boxes
Sorry for the short notice but there is a great panel discussion tonight (March 6th) at the Boston Public Library called “So You want to be a Landscape Architect…or Landscape Designer.”
The event is free and the discussion will take place at the Boston Public Library Orientation room from 6pm-7:30pm. Three landscape architects and two landscape designers at different points in their careers will discuss their education, practices, and thoughts about the field.
Heather Heimarck, Director of the Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College, will moderate. For anyone interested in landscape design, this event is not to be missed!
The Balcony Gardener
Hello… Sorry about sending out the empty post! Pushed the Publish button by mistake.
With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to share a gardening book I recently found at Annie Bells, now K Colette, a store filled with interesting things in Portland, Maine.
The Balcony Gardener is a website and the name of an easy-read, tip-rich book that would be perfect for the beginner or intermediate gardener. Isabelle Palmer is the author and, like me, loves beautifying small spaces. I bought the book for $19.95 but see it on Amazon for $13.57. You can also buy signed copies on The Balcony Gardener website. The book contains useful tips about gardening basics like soil, tools and pots. Plus very helpful chapters on growing herbs and other edibles.
As the inside book jacket says, “Even with the smallest of outdoor spaces it is possible to create a beautiful garden, be it on a balcony, roof terrace or window sill.” I couldn’t agree more!
If you have a city gardener on your holiday list, this book is worth checking out. If you have a favorite “go to” gardening book, please share! We welcome your comments. Enjoy the day!
Posted in Container Gardens, Expert Advice, Flowers and Plants, Gardening Books, Recommendations
Tagged Choosing Plants, City Garden Ideas, container gardens, Expert Advice, Gardening Books, Small space gardening, urban gardening, Window Boxes
At the May 5th City Garden Ideas workshop, Ellen Abdow, the owner of Perennial Gardens, created a container garden before our eyes.
Now you can see it too… Click to watch and be inspired: http://youtu.be/snZwENQ7u1o.
Ellen chose a fiberglass pot and these plants to create the container garden:
- a purple calla lily in the center as her tall “thriller”
- begonias and impatiens to provide a bushy middle as the “filler”
- and healthy ivy to trail down the pot as her “spiller.”
Ellen generously offered the container garden as a raffle item at the end of the workshop. Congratulations to Liz K. who won the container and provided the picture above.
Enjoy your garden!
Posted in City Garden Ideas Workshops, Container Gardens, Expert Advice, Flowers and Plants, Lectures, Window Boxes, Workshops and Seminars
Tagged cold weather perennials, container gardens, Ellen Abdow, Expert Advice, Gardening Basics, Gardening Workshop, Window Boxes
I hope your gardens are growing and filled with beautiful, colorful flowers!
If you’re looking for more information about small space gardens, check out this article, “Urban Gardening Ideas for Small Spaces. ”
I was interviewed for the article and am quoted in it. The article appears in House Logic, the e-newsletter for the National Association of Realtors. The writer, Iyna Caruso, offers good advice for planting in small spaces. I particularly like her link to vertical gardening. I’m fascinated with growing flowers on the vertical plane – trellises and walls. Hope the article gives you another idea or two. Enjoy!
Posted in Astilbe, Expert Advice, Ferns, Liriopie, Shade Garden, Shade Plants
Tagged Astilbe, City Garden Ideas, City gardening, Expert Advice, Ferns, Hostas, Liriopie, Shade Garden
Come join us this Saturday, May 5th for two hours of gardening inspiration!
We’ll meet at 10am at 66 Marlborough Street in Boston. There will be a bunch of new and avid gardeners gathered in the auditorium of the First Church in Boston.
Come hear Ellen Abdow, the talented owner of Perennial Gardens. She’ll share her insights and experiences about planting in urban environments. She’ll also create a fabulous container garden in front of our eyes! A demonstration not to be missed!
Tom Smarr from The Garden Concierge will inspire us with the basics – tools, soil and plants for every season. He’ll also talk about the hottest trend in gardening these days – vertical gardening. Here in the city we have plenty of walls – alleys, roof decks, patios. Perhaps “going vertical” is something new to try…
Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired! Come discover the secrets to maintaining a beautiful and hardy flower garden – in whatever space you have!
Cost is $25. Tickets available at the door.
For more information, go to http://citygardening.eventbrite.com. Or email me at email@example.com. Hope to see you on Saturday!
Posted in City Garden Ideas Workshops, Classes, Expert Advice, Flowers and Plants, Lectures, Workshops and Seminars
Tagged City Garden Ideas, City gardening, Ellen Abdow, Expert Advice, Flower Design, Gardening Basics, Gardening Workshop, Small space gardening, urban gardening