May 3, Native Plant Garden Symposium, Bronx, NY 10AM-noon, NY Botanical Garden, 800-322-NYBG May 4, Container Gardening Saturday, Bronx, NY 10AM-5PM, Container Workshops, NY Botanical Garden, 800-322-NYBG May 4, 20th Home & Garden Tour, Venice, CA 10AM-5PM, Self-Guided Walking Tour, 30 gardens, 310-821-1857 May 4-5, Garden Dialogues: Dallas, Fort Worth, TX Special landscape architecture tours, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, 202-483-0553 May 4-5 Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours, NY, CA, PA NY: Suffolk, Dutchess, Westchester Counties; CA: Los Angeles County; PA: Montgomery, Philadelphia Counties
May 5, Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, CA 10AM-5PM, Self-guided tour, 50 gardens, 510-236-9558 May 5, Japanese Gardens of North America, San Marino, CA 2PM, Lecture, The Huntington, 626-405-2100 May 8, Natural Plant Companions, Seattle, WA 7:15PM, Lecture by author Ken Druse, NW Hort Society, 206-780-8172 May 10, National Public Gardens Day Various events around the country May 10, The Splendor of Persian Design, Los Angeles, CA 10AM-2:30PM, Symposium, The Garden Conservancy, 845-424-6500 May 11, Urban Landscapes & Native Plants, Washington DC 11AM-noon, Lecture, US Botanic Garden, 202-225-8333 May 11, Georgetown Garden Tour, Washington DC 10AM-5PM, 85th annual tour, 202-965-1950 May 11-12, Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours: CA, CT, IL, NJ, NY, RI CA: Alameda County; CT: Hartford, Fairfield; IL: Kane; IL: NJ: Bergen, Middlesex; NY: Columbia, Dutchess, Suffolk, Putnam; RI: Newport
May 16, Beacon Hill Garden Tour, Boston, MA 9AM-5PM, Annual Hidden Gardens Tour, 617-227-4392 May 18, Private Edens: Spectacular East Coast Gardens, Washington DC 10:30AM-11:30AM, Lecture, US Botanic Garden, 202-225-8333 May 18, Urban Container Gardening, Bronx, NYC 10AM-5PM, Workshops, NY Botanical Garden Midtown Center, 800-322-NYBG May 18-19, What's Out There Weekend, Philadelphia, PA Special Garden Tours, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, 202-483-0553 May 18-19, Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours: CA, CT, MA CA: San Mateo, Santa Clara; CT: New Haven; MA: Middlesex, Worcester; NY: Nassau, Westchester
May 19, Society Hill Garden Tour, Philadelphia, PA 1PM-5PM, Society Hill Gardens, 215-629-1288 May 21-25, Chelsea Flower Show, London, UK May 25-26, Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours: CT, NH, NY, SC CT: Middlesex; NH: Grafton, Merrimack; NY: Suffolk, Putnam, Westchester; SC: Charleston
Garden Dialogues - various locations and dates in U.S. Landscape architects discuss their projects on site. 202-483-0553 July 21-27 Perennial Plant Symposium, Vancouver, British Columbia
I've been waiting for quite some time to see this new native garden at the NY Botanical Garden come to life. Several years ago, during interviews for a profile of James van Sweden, co-founder of Oehme van Sweden Landscape Architecture (OVSLA) the firm's Sheila Brady showed me the plan for it and explained how it was going to work.
The 3.5 acre garden features a 230-foot-long water feature surrounded by lush wetlands, meadows, and shaded woods filled with nearly 100 thousand native plants.
The garden is the most contemporary at the NYBG, designed by Brady to take advantage of the natural terrain and introduce a number of sustainable elements. The water feature is fed by recycled stormwater captured on site that cascades over stone weirs and is filtered by native aquatic plants. A boardwalk that runs alongside is fashioned from native black locust and other structures and benches were constructed from salvaged, recycled, or sustainably harvested materials.
The garden's curator, Jody Payne, said what makes the garden special is that "it was not only designed to be a beautiful and inspiring garden, but it was also designed to teach our visitors the essential role that plants play in the living ecosystem all around us." The garden features ephemerals in spring such as trillium, bloodroot and lady slipper orchids; meadow grasses in summer; red-stemmed dogwoods and golden birches in fall; and winterberry fruits and the stately architecture of ancient trees in winter.
The Native Plant Garden Symposium (May 3 at 10AM) includes presentations by Dr. Robert Naczi of the NYBG; author and professor Dr. Douglas Tallamy; author and photographer Rick Darke, and the designer of the garden, landscape architect Sheila Brady. For a full list of programs surrounding the opening of the garden, check details here.
And for a video preview of the garden, click here.
Patti Moreno, the host of Garden Girl TV, one of the most popular garden videos on the web, is out with a book on organic veg gardens for almost any type of landscape.
In Gardening by Cuisine: An Organic-Food Lover's Guide to Sustainable Living (Sterling Publishing, 2013), Moreno has devised a series of garden plans for things that most people like to eat. For each garden type (ie, a vegan raw garden, an Asian stir-fry and salad garden, a marinara sauce garden), she tells you what plants to plant, how to plant and take care of them, and then -- she provides some fab recipes you can try when you've harvested the produce.
There's a chapter on medicinal herbs and what ailments they're used for, and recipes for a flu season relief tea, a poultice that heals minor burns and cuts and a salve for soothing skin irritations.
There are other chapters on berries, potatos, pesto gardens, and more. And an introductory section on basic gardening techniques.
If you know someone who's into ethnic foods and organics, it might make a perfect present.
In the first part of the book, inspiration for design is explored in depth. The authors tells us that rooftops can be inspired by patterns on men's neckties, by the surrounding natural landscape, by paintings or perhaps by a building's architecture. Shapes and patterns also influence design, along with the purposeful creation of living spaces for private and public enjoyment. Hardscape elements are considered, too, along with rooftops that are wildlife-friendly, and how to select the proper plant palette.
Part Two of the book focuses on rooftop structure and construction: access, irrigation, site analysis, load factors and necessary documentation. There are also separate chapters on how to deal with private clients and public communities; master planning and conceptual design; contracts and maintenance management.
In conclusion, the authors asked a number of designers, ecologists, researchers and others to participate in a virtual round-table to discuss key issues that will affect the future of green roof tehnology and design. Landscape architect Claudia Harari envisions "continuous green membranes going indoors and out, and food production being incorporated into aesthetics." Plant ecologist Colleen Butler told the authors that regardless of a green roof's function, "if it is visible and accessible it needs to be good looking, because that's what people are going to cue off of."
Lately when I watch the news on TV, I see lots of cherry and magnolia trees in bloom in DC. Makes me want to go to Dumbarton Oaks again to see the cherry tree allee pictured here ... but actually, it makes me want to make Massachusetts have the same kind of springs that you get in DC.
I have to admit that although fall is my favorite season, I came, over the years I lived in DC, to long for the onset of spring, simply breath-takingly beautiful, day after day after day.
No such luck up here in Massachusetts. On Friday, we had freezing rain all day. So far, not a single 60-degree day. The daffodils are just beginning to pop up in my yard, but not even the forsythia has bloomed. Still I do have some puny crocuses, emerging daylilies and sorrel, and the two winter-blooming jasmines that I brought back last year from DC are still putting on quite a show. A late spring, for sure.
This almost makes me think I'm dreaming ... but open the hood on this baby and grill with gas. Open the drawer below, add wood or charcoal (or both) and grill with those. Or grill with all three.
It's one of the latest innovations from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, and it's truly a grill-master's dream come true. And no more two or three grills for every home.
According to Kalamazoo, this grill can cook slowly at 150 degrees (lower than my indoor oven, even) or it can sear (perhaps char) whatever you like at 1200 degrees. It comes with several grill grates with different patterns to accommodate fish, vegetables, or meat. There's also a deep bin that captures grease and other debris and is said to be very easy to clean.
You can roast and smoke as well, and the grill is said to have great heat circulation for even heat all-around. The burners themselves are cast brass, weighing 14 pounds each, and they'll put out 25,000 BTU's.
A lot of trees were damaged a few years back when landscapers -- unaware of the danger -- used a weed killer called Imprelis®. The weed killer was used in every state except California and New York, and it killed thousands of white pines, Norway spruces and other trees in residential yards and on golf courses across the country. Now, a settlement has been reached to rectify the damage in a class action lawsuit.
Property owners on sites where the chemical was applied directly (as well as owners of adjacent properties) can have their damaged trees removed free of charge and receive cash payments for tree replacements and care.
Lawn care workers who applied the chemical on others' property will receive compensation for the time and expenses they incurred for assessing the damage and assisting customers in the settlement claims process.
And finally, golf courses will receive all the benefits available to homeowners plus $2000 for time and expenses in assessing damage.
The weed killer was manufactured by DuPont and it was thought to be environmentally friendly, which may account for its wide useage. Just goes to show you, folks, go green.
Don't overlook last Sunday's New York Times Magazine ... a wonderful article on the California landscapes by landscape architect Lisa Gimmy -- as the article says, "Let California Be California." I couldn't agree more. Read the entire article here.
Then, continue reading the magazine on a back yard project with three cost solutions: low-end (ie, $5000, DIY), middle range ($50,000) and high-end ($200,000, which includes a pool). Landscapes by Mark Word Design in Austin, TX. The article is here.
And finally, where to get big trees for instant landscapes? I visited one of the nurseries featured in the article, here, a few years ago, while at an APLD conference. If you get the chance, take a trip to Armonk, NY some time (just north of the city) and visit Mariani Gardens. It's a jaw-dropping experience.