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
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
So sorry I’ve been MIA. Back now with much to share!
Let’s start with a lovely and tough city beauty – the Black-Eyed Susan.
For the past several weeks I’ve been noticing the abundance and health of this perky perennial in gardens all over the neighborhoood. With so many colorful flowers past their peak, these bright yellow and sometimes purple flowers with the dark centers are finally getting attention! I did a bit of research on these wildflower stunners and found out they are long-lived, low maintenance plants with a tolerance for clay soils. They prefer full sun but tolerate partial shade. When they are planted in large groups, butterflies love them. One article I read said they are considered bioremediators. It seems that their roots and foliage tie up toxins from the soil and air. What a great benefit for a city flower!
Now here’s the back story on Black Eyed Susan. According to the American Meadow website, the name first appears in an Old English romantic poem by John Gay. It begins:
All in the downs, the fleet was moored,
Banners waving in the wind.
When Black-Eyed Susan came aboard,
and eyed the burly men.
“Tell me ye sailors, tell me true
Does my Sweet William sail with you?”
To read the whole poem and more, click here.
You may have heard of Sweet William. It’s the name for another flowering plant. It appears that if you “seed wild Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) with common Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), they’ll bloom beautifully at exactly the same time.” Now that’s romantic! Great flower, great story.
Til next time… keep your garden watered!
Posted in Flowers and Plants, Local Beauty, Recommendations, Sunlight
Tagged black-eyed susan, Choosing Plants, City Garden Ideas, Favorite Garden Flowers, rudbeckias, Small space gardening, Sunlight, urban gardening