Hello City Gardeners!
Here’s a great opportunity to see some wonderful city garden spaces!
On Saturday, July 27th from 2 – 5pm, more than 25 Fenway Victory gardeners will open their gates to visitors.
Come view beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, picnic in the meadow, play bocce, learn new gardening tips and get inspired! Sounds like great fun!
There will be a sprinkler for kids of all ages to run through…come on down! The gardens are located in Boston. A map will be available at the flagpole. Rain Date July 28th.
For more information, call 617-267-6650 or visit www.fenwayvictorygardens.com.
Hello Fellow Gardeners!
It’s time for the annual City of Boston Mayor’s Garden Contest! I love this contest and encourage everyone in Boston with a front, back or side garden, window box or container garden to enter!
Residents and businesses can nominate their own or a neighbor’s garden. Why not make someone’s day? Only gardens planted by amateur gardeners are eligible. Just think, in a month or so you could be the winner of a coveted Golden Trowel! Deadline for entry is Monday, July 12th.
My tree garden needs some work to be contest ready. The impatiens I planted in late April are dried out, sprawling and spindly. However, the lavender, catmint and ivy are doing just fine.
This morning I replanted my tree garden with yellow snapdragons, white and purple petunias, grasses and Blue Dwarf argeretum in the front corners. All the plants come from That Blooming Place (TBP) on Route 53/Washington Street in Weymouth. They don’t have a website but don’t let that stop you from stopping by. The hanging plants are gorgeous and there’s a great selection of healthy potted plants!
A few years ago my tree garden earned an honorable mention in the Mayor’s Garden Contest. Unfortunately, tree gardens are no longer eligible for the Contest. I’m not exactly sure why but it’s a real shame. I’m going to enter anyway and try to get them to open this category back up.
Gardening around a street tree actually helps the tree. It is getting good soil, water and attention. You just shouldn’t mound soil around the base like a volcano because it may suffocate the tree and flowers or ground cover should be planted, never shrubs. Shrub roots could interfere with the tree roots.
Enough about me… Here are the Contest specifics:
Fill out the application form and attach or send up to five (5) photos. The judges will use these photos to narrow the entrants to five finalists per category. Site visits by the contest judges will determine the winners.
Applications can be mailed or filled out online. Go to www.cityofboston.gov/parks/gardencontest.
Photos and forms are due July 12, 2013 by 11:59PM. More details are at GardenContest@cityofboston.gov or call 617-635-4505.
Posted in Boston Gardens, City of Boston Garden Contest, Contests, Flowers and Plants, Local Beauty, My street-side tree garden
Tagged Boston Parks Department, Choosing Plants, City of Boston Garden Contest, Contest, Small space gardening, Window Boxes
Posted in Boston Gardens, Buying Flowers and Plants, Expert Advice, Flowers and Plants, Hydrangeas, Liriopie, Recommendations, Shade Plants
Tagged Choosing Plants, City Garden Ideas, Expert Advice, Favorite Garden Flowers, Gardening Basics, Small space gardening, Tom Smarr, urban gardening
This Wednesday, May 15th, people all over the Commonwealth will get busy planting something beautiful in every city and town. Come join in!
It’s all part of Plant Something MA, a joint project of the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association and the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association. The goal is to have a public planting across the state and encourage residents to plant something – anything!
As Lady Bird Johnson once said,
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
So get yourself to a local garden center, find some fabulous flowers and then get out your gardening gloves! My plan is to use an old pair of rain boots as my containers and put in calla lilies and ivy. My inspiration comes from a fun planting (pictured right) I saw at the 2012 Boston Flower Show.
I’ll post pictures of what I plant. If you plant, please send your photos so we can all see what you did!
First of several posts. Lots to share!
The Seaport World Trade Center was abuzz yesterday morning with gardeners putting the finishing touches on their Flower Show displays. The show opens today, March 13.
I dodged a forklift, piles of soil and a Zipcar backing into place but the activity did not interfere with my sense of enchantment. The garden displays this year are rich – in color, design and size. Beautiful flowers and trees are nestled along stone walls, patio spaces and above moon gates. The sound of water is everwhere – in falls, pools, fountains and spouts. There are parrots, hens, a rooster and a pair of sleek grey birds that look like small emus. And there are plenty of hidden flower delights if you look keenly, like fairy houses near Hobbit holes and gentle beds of helleborus.
There are a several small displays. The window gardens in the back of the main hall are delightful as is the Massachusetts Horticultural’s old-time flower display, complete with wash board and clothes on a line. Overall, every display is evokes a smile and a deep inhale.
The Show’s first display as you enter the hall shows garden entertainment at its finest. It’s a lush, multi-section outdoor patio with a man-sized BBQ grill and stone bar with table seating for four and more at the bar. It took me a minute to take in and appreciate the surrounding garden but there’s no denying I’d love to have this look in my back yard (if I had one). The BBQ space flows to a raised covered patio section with comfy chairs, a fireplace and two waterfall chutes splashing into a pool. The chutes really got my attention. Overall, the display and its beautiful and lavish flowers and trees set the mood for a perfect summer evening.
One of my favorite displays at the Show is another outdoor patio surrounded by lush, aromatic plants. Designed by Maria at Interiors by MS, the focal point is a vertical garden of herbs and geraniums with a water feature of four simple copper spouts splashing into a large pool. Maria told me that a vertical garden can reduce the temperature around it by 15 – 20 degrees. Comfortable, earth-toned furniture sit low and humble under a stained-glass pergola. There is a pleasing, subtle aromas coming from the lavender, mint, roses and more that ring the relaxed space. I could so live in this space. That’s it for now. I’ll share more pictures and details in my next post.
This year’s Boston Flower Show delivers on the sights and sounds of Spring. It opens today, March 13 and runs through Sunday, March 17. Go if you can!
Posted in Boston Flower and Garden Show 2013, Boston Gardens, Container Gardens, Flower Shows, Flowers and Plants, Hostas, Landscape Designing, Lectures, Local Beauty, Places to Visit, Vertical Gardens, Workshops and Seminars
Tagged Boston Flower Show, City Garden Ideas, Expert Advice, Flower Design, Small space gardening
It’s almost time for the Boston Flower & Garden Show! I must admit I get so excited when the show opens. It’s like going to Oz. First it’s that lovely, earthy smell of mulch as you walk through the doors. Then the vivid carpets of color from flowers in full bloom bunched close, overflowing from pots, arranged neatly. Somewhere close by water is splashing from a fountain or waterfall. And the people are abuzz – walking, talking, oohing, aahhing and yes, shopping. The show always delivers inspiration and gets me all jazzed with new ideas for my own garden.
The Boston Flower Show returns to the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston this week! It opens to the winter-weary public on Wednesday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, March 17, 2013.
This year’s theme is ‘Seeds of Change’ and will showcase new plants, methods and materials to increase the beauty, bounty and the ecological friendliness of gardens and outdoor spaces.
Since I’m a member of the Garden Writers of America, I plan to visit the show on March 12th during the Media tour. I’ll write a ‘first look’ blog post with photos later that day. Just for City Garden Ideas readers like you!
Tickets to the show are $20 for adults and $10 for children. To buy tickets, click here.
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
Posted in Boston Gardens, Flowers and Plants, Local Beauty, Places to Visit, Recommendations
Tagged Choosing Plants, City Garden Ideas, Favorite Garden Flowers, Helenium autumnale 'Moreheim Beauty', Hibiscus rosa-sinesis, Small space gardening, urban gardening
Hi Everyone. Just had to share these hearty beauties with you!
The 2012 American Garden Award just announced the flower winners of their annual contest. Each year six flower varieties are chosen by their breeders for their great garden performance. The varieties are planted and put on display at participating gardens and the public votes for their favorite. These are the winners and should be contenders for your garden next year. My favorite, by the way, is #2.
And the three winners are:
Grand Prize Winner
Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz™ Sunset’ from Ernst Benary of America
Begonia Santa Cruz™ Sunset lights up your garden with an abundance of scarlet/orange blooms. Its elegant softly cascading form is perfect for hanging baskets, urns or mass plantings in your garden. Surprisingly heat, drought and rain tolerant, this summer beauty thrives in any location from full sun to shade.
Second Place Winner (My Favorite!)
Gazania ‘Big Kiss™ White Flame’ F1
from Syngenta Flowers
Gazania Big Kiss™ White Flame has huge white and rose striped flowers that cover full, bushy plants. This carefree, heat loving and drought tolerant annual loves the sun and thrives in tough conditions, all summer long. Extra large flowers and plants make high impact displays in garden beds or containers.
Third Place Winner
Petunia ‘Surfinia® Deep Red’
from Suntory Flowers
‘Finally, the true deep red petunia gardeners have been searching for! For 20 years, Surfinia® has been the best-selling vegetative petunia series in the world, offering superior garden performance with no pinching or pruning needed. Enjoy ‘Surfinia® Deep Red’ in container gardens or in the landscape from spring through fall.
Posted in Awards, Begonias, Buying Flowers and Plants, Contests, Flowers and Plants, Petunias, Recommendations
Tagged American Garden Award, Begonias, Favorite Flowers, Gazania Big Kiss, Petunias, Small space gardening, Window Boxes
It’s early September and so many of the bright spring and summer flowers have faded into memory.
Thank heaven for the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus). This hearty shrub offers late summer color. Blooms can be pink, purple, white, blue, red, even lavender, depending on the variety. If your garden space has lost its color pizzazz by mid-August, consider planting a Rose of Sharon this fall or next spring. The shrub is easy to grow and low maintenance. Best of all, it will provide great color and texture in the waning days of summer.