Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Permablitzes change urban landscape, one garden at a time” is a report from Adrienne Beattie about permablitzes — “a day in which a group of people converge on an urban space to install a permaculture design.”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From Flower to Fruit (May Bloomday)

So many times with our fruits and vegetables we focus on the edibles and not the flowers that created them. This post pays tribute to the flower, for without her we would have no fruits or vegetables to speak of, let alone eat!
The pomegranate has beautiful red flowers. It produces so many of them it is impossible for them all to turn into fruit without making the tree topple over.
The tangerine blossom is small and sweet. Notice the small tangerine beginning to form out of the spent flower.
The tomato blossom is small and yellow; it slowly creates a hard green fruit that develops into a vine ripened masterpiece.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

15th Annual Clairemont Garden Tour 2011

This year's garden tour felt less like a garden tour and more like a landscape tour. Landscapes are pretty, no doubt, but they lack the heart and soul of a true garden. Turning a landscape into a garden takes so much more than building basic structures: it takes time for plants to grow into their placements, there is art of choosing the best possible plants, and most importantly, the outdoor space must be meaningful to the owner.

The gardens on this year's tour lacked that sense of meaning. Rather, they were lovely landscapes designed by professionals. Most gardens had an over abundance of hardscape, drought tolerant plants, and many had pools. There was very little diversity; we saw the same succulents at many yards, and xeriscaping was the new fashion du jour. Hubby found it very ironic that the pool owners touted the most xeriscaped of the gardens being shown. All the water guzzling plants one could fit in a yard would not waste the amount of water that a pool does.

This tour lacked the show stoppers of year's past. There was no unbelievably mind-blowing Sie Garden terracing (2010) or whimsical canyon trails of the Banta Garden (2009). The 2011 yards felt forced and lacked creativity. The were overly dependent on professionals, which is so antithetical to the do-it-yourself nature of Clairemont. It was Clairemont attempting to be bourgeoise - Clairemont should never attempt to be anything but its wonderful, diverse, blue collar, hard working, diamond-in-the-rough self. And for this false identity portrayed by this garden show, I am most disappointed. I am getting down off my soap box now; time to go work in my own beautiful, messy, DIY garden.

For more garden pictures, please click here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

On farmers markets in Calgary

Calgary Herald writer, Jeremy Klaszus, has written an article “City Hall can help markets grow” about the farmers' markets situation in Calgary.