|October 3, 2007 11:48 - Old Tires, Zen And The Naked Gardener
May 5 is the World Naked Gardening Day when certain committed individuals abandon their clothes for the day and carry out their gardening tasks in the nude. Apart from the fact that venturing into an area full of thorns and and similar hazards without any protection would seem to be somewhat unwise, most people just cannot see the point. But why am I talking about this in October? Well it appears that a resident of Happy Valley, Ore does not restrict his naked gardening to the one day only but does so on a regular basis. Read more..
As all good gardeners know compost is an essential ingredient of a healthy soil, but the cost and complexity of compost containers seems to increase every year. So it's refreshing to hear of a system that uses cheap materials that are readily available - old car tires. The idea comes from a book by an English gardener Ken Thompson and Cathie Draine recounts her experience of using this method. Read more..
Ranked the 10th best Japanese garden in North America by the Journal of Japanese Gardening, but virtually unknown outside the immediate area, the garden is located at 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, California. When they arrive visitors may be surprised to find themselves entering the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant which is the main function of the site. But read the description and watch the slide show and you will see why this japanese garden deserves its rank. Read more..
October 11, 2007 11:00 - No-Fuss Spring Bulbs And More Garden Gnomes
We're in the middle of the bulb planting season so this advice may be too late for some. But if you've not yet planted yours, then this piece on "No-Fuss Spring Bulbs" by Charlie Nardozzi will be well worth reading. As he points out not all spring-flowering bulbs are created equal. So if you want to know which varieties to choose for ease of maintenance and reliable flowering year after year, read more. Unfortunately this article has now been removed from the paper's website but I can give you a brief summary. "You just can't go wrong with daffodils". Particular varieties he recommended were 'Thalia', 'Quail', and 'Tete a Tete'. Tulips were his next choice, but not the large-flowered varieties. Instead go for the species tulips which are are lower growing, mostly less than 12 inches tall. His two suggestions were Tulipa saxatilis and Tulipa greigii 'Red Riding Hood'. And in the minor bulbs category he suggested snowdrops.
It's been some time since I've found a good garden gnome story, but today there are two. The first concerns Woody, 12-inch-tall ceramic garden gnome. He is one of the travelling variety that turn up in unexpected places far from home. But in Woody's case this is all orchestrated for him. It seems that he is suffering the indignity of being treated like a chain letter, being passed from one person to another around the country. What's it all about? "It's to let our residents have some fun, and at the same time learn some stuff".
You don't normally associate garden gnomes with snakes and lizards, but this is just what faced Australian customs officers. Arriving through the post from Britain the three pudgy gnomes were found to be concealing seven snakes and eight lizards. Read more..
October 31, 2007 17:02 - Forest Gardening, Alliums And Plastic Poppies
Gardening competitions are always keenly contested and none more so than the Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival. The garden design expo was supposed to celebrate Taranaki's garden heritage, but many called foul when the winning exhibit consisted of a corrugated iron cube decorated with plastic poppies. Read more..
If you are looking for an easy-to-maintain garden that incorporates simple, natural elements in a highly productive space, then you may be interested in this piece on edible forest gardening. The concept was was pioneered by Robert A de J Hart, a farmer and journalist, in the Sixties. The benefits of forest gardening are a relaxed, productive environment that takes less maintenance. Read more..
Recently I mentioned the "no fuss bulbs" that you can plant and forget in the sure knowledge that they will flower year after year. Well here's another suggestion to add to the list. The Round-headed Leek (Allium sphaerocephalon) both has an unusual flower and repels rodents and deer. Read more..
I have finally managed to update the ebooks on my Garden Books page. In fact there are now three pages with a lot of new and interesting books that I have found. Do take a look and see what you think.