Thursday, 26 April 2012

Garden Structures: Shed Design Inspiration

I would love to have a stone chimney on my shed.  It would probably be easier to use a prefabricated stone like they use in home building today, but I love the implementation of natural stone on this old cabin.

Click here to see other cabins like this from a fellow blogger.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Weekend recipe: Lemon Layered Loaf

I want to reach through the monitor right now and pull a piece of this off to eat with a tall glass of skim milk.  Then repeat, until the loaf is 2/3 gone.

Lemon Layered Loaf

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Inspiring Landscape: Repetition

I love looking at well-designed landscapes.  A well designed landscape is one that is thought out based on design principles.

This landscape clearly shows the principle of Repetition.  Repeating a component in a landscape gives a feeling of rest, feeling like you have figured out the order of a landscape.  When there is no order in a landscape one is left feeling uneasy and not comfortable.

The way that this picture shows  repetition is by using the same plants, or types of plants in different areas of the landscape.  In the lower right corner of the photo here there is what looks to be ornamental rhubarb, and farther back in the landscape a little to the left there is another.

Towards the back on the left there looks to be some Cat-tails at the edge of the pond, and behind there to the left there is Agapanthus and to the right of that are some Irises.  Though these are not the same plants, they have similar form with long, strap like leaves.  Even though that with a trained eye one can tell there are different species, the similarity of plant structure is enough to give the feeling of rest to the mind.

Click here for more pictures from this landscape designer.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Plant of the Week: Bergenia cordifolia - Bergenia/Elephant Ears

Bergenia is such an easy plant to grow, and very easy to get a hold of because once it gets planted it can be ignored and it will grow fine, so you can dig them out of a friends garden to get your own start.

One of the reasons why I like this is because of its large, coarse textured leaves that makes a great focal point; the flowers are pretty but that's not why I choose to plant Bergenia.  Once these are established they don't require much water, and are paired well next to a large stone.

Another reason why I like Bergenia is because the leaves tend to be evergreen and change to a beautiful red during the winter.  When we get chinooks in the Calgary region and the snow melts Bergenias are well placed in a visible location by sidewalks or your driveway.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Weekend Recipe: Salmon Ring with Cheese Sauce

Does this not look heavenly?  I'm not sure when I will get around to making this Salmon Ring with Cheese Sauce, but I can tell you that it wouldn't last very long!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Garden Structures: Shed Design Inspiration

I love this building, and knowing that I want to build a really cool shed one day, I am filing this away and hopefully will be able to come up with a way to implement some characteristics of this residence into my shed design.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Mail-Order Wish List: Heliopsis scabra

Summer Sun False Sunflower - I have seen this in full bloom in another horticulturist's garden and have fallen in love with the prolific blooms and how large of plant it was.  When they told me they grew it from seed I was amazed.  I haven't tried it yet, that is why it is on my wish list.  :)

This variety grows 3 feet, but the one that I saw growing was 5 feet tall.  I'm not sure which variety grows to that height, but I will see if I can find out.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Mail-Order Wish List: Dianthus plumarius

Ballad Blend Pinks - There are so many types of Pinks available in the industry, its hard to find a good picture of this variety.  The reason why I chose this variety of seed is because the flowers are fully double and fragrant.

Fragrance in the garden is something that I strive to include in design, because it creates an atmosphere that I believe it crucial to a great garden.

Here are some pictures of other varieties that are available and I think are exceptionally beautiful.

Velvet and Lace Dianthus

Unknown Dianthus

Gran's Favorite Dianthus

Devon Siskin Dianthus

Spangled Star Dianthus

Starburst Dianthus

Monday, 9 April 2012

Plant of the Week: Anemone sylvestris - Snowdrop Anemone

Snowdrop Windflower is a beautiful spreading perennial suitable for mass planting.  I would not advise to plant this if you plan on not maintaining your garden as it does spread my underground roots and by seed.  However this is not an aggressive spreader as Quack Grass (Elytrigia repens) and even if it does spread more than you want, you would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful weed.

This is also great used around your spring flowering bulbs as when your tulips or daffodils die back this anemone will start to take off right when the bulb foliage that you should be leaving attached for the health of your bulbs are not looking good at all.

Deer and Rabbits also won’t want to nibble on these, and they are great naturalized in a wooded area and meadows where our unwanted nibblers like to hang out.

The Snowdrop Anemone does like moist soils, so make sure you plant it in the right area for it to thrive or you will be watering it to keep it looking nice.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Mail-Order Wish List: Tagetes petula

Durango Outback French Marigold - To be honest, I have never grown marigolds as I thought that they were too common, but I love the colors, and planting a mass planting from seed would be rather inexpensive.  I have never heard of anyone up here sowing marigold seed directly into the ground, and I am sure that with the short season here that it would be better to start these in the greenhouse in order to get something as marigolds are annuals.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Weekend Recipe: Bubble Pizza Casserole

I think that I want to give this Bubble Pizza Casserole a try in the next few days... doesn't this look great??  It looks super easy too.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Mail-Order Wish List: Tanacetum coccineum

Painted Daisy - This is not a plant that I have a lot of experience with, but seeing that I can grow it from seed I am willing to give it a try, even though it is hardy to zone 4 and here in the Calgary region we are zone 3.  This plant blooms in early summer and is a long lasting cut flower.  I hear however that though this plant has sturdy stems it might not withstand strong winds which is something of an issue in my neighborhood.  But like I said earlier, these look great and I am willing to give it a try.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mail-Order Wish List: Liatris spicata

Liatris spicata - One of my favorites, and it can be grown from seed!  Sure it will take some time, but its work the wait.  I love the fine textured, strap-like foliage, and of course in bloom they make a very unique looking plant.  If you can stand it I recommend not cutting the flower heads off and you will have some visual interest in the winter garden, which is something to really consider here in our area of the Great White North.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Garden Structures - Shed and Greenhouse combo

Getting ready to plant seeds made me wish that I had a greenhouse, or a shed with a greenhouse attached.  That would be really cool, I will be looking for more ideas as I will be building my shed within the next couple of years.  Wouldn’t this one be great?

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Plant of the Week: Cerastium tomentosum - Snow in Summer

Snow in Summer is a wonderful perennial that is a great and easy ground cover.  If you look closely in the picture you will see that the actual foliage is silvery green which is a good indication that it is drought tolerant as this type of foliage prevents excessive transpiration.  (Transpiration is the process in which air and moisture is released through the leaves to allow for more water to uptake from the roots into the plant.)

The blooms don't last all season, occurring in late spring but when the plant is in full bloom you get this beautiful drift of snow-white flowers that works great at the front of a bed or in a rock garden.