Friday, February 18, 2011

Thinking and Dreaming of Spring and the New Boulevarden

For inspiration I am reading Avant Gardeners: 50 visionaries of the Contemporary Landscape by Tim Richardson. I bought this book when I was in Montreal last fall. It reminded me why I wanted the Boulevarden - the purpose of Guerilla Gardening. There is a review of the book here

I am also reading the ThinkinGardens blog whose manifesto is:
The thinkinGardens group is exploring a new way of thinking about, and discussing, gardens. This manifesto sets out the agenda for change, and asks the reader to contribute to this debate.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is it fate? Begun June 9th - Finished September 25th

Well...I'mmmmmmmmmm baaaaack! I have been having a weird time - I have been sick much of spring and so behind in my gardening. When I am behind in my gardening I can not enjoy sitting on my deck, so I have been stuck inside pouting.

I am behind...
The above beginning of a post was started like umm no four months ago...something else I did not finish this summer. I have no idea why I titled the blog 'is it fate?'...but it seemed like a shouldn't change it as it might have been fated so.

Last weekend I did a performance related to my current gardening state...the pictures on above and below.

I'll be back next summer - then we can take over the world on guerilla garden at a time - get arrested for planting carrots and share conversation over a bed of Thyme.


If you would like to see more photos of the performance and process you can HERE

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweet Sheds

Showy sheds: These garden hideaways are packed with creativity

by Lori Mendoza, special to The Oregonian
Wednesday June 18, 2008, 2:12 PM

Garden sheds used to be dank, dusty outbuildings designed solely to store lawn mowers, hoses, tools and pots. No longer. Today's garden shed is still big on storage, but it also has lots of style.

We've seen many great sheds as we've toured area gardens -- and we've shown many of them on the pages of HGNW. In fact, there were so many, we decided that creating unique sheds had become something of a Northwest pastime.

Clearly it was time to do some serious reporting and find out what other gems were out there. Turns out that wasn't necessary; with a small notice in a single HGNW issue -- headlined, "Show us your sheds" -- we got more material than we could use.

With 87 examples to choose from, we had a hard time culling our selections to the 10 that represented the various styles. In fact, we couldn't, so we decided to feature 12.

But at the end of the story, keep on scrolling and you'll find photos of more sheds we love.

All-weather delight
Pat Eckerdt, Salem

This cobblestone and cedar-shake shed, built by Dene Byers, then a 75-year-old retired mason, is the work center for Eckerdt's two-acre garden. But it's the interior touches -- pots transformed into light fixtures and a mosaic design on the floor -- that make it stand out.

With heat from a wood stove and daylight from six skylights, Eckerdt can make the most of cool and warm days. Door handles made from a garden fork and a cement trowel keep the focus where Eckerdt wants it: on the garden.

Simple but elegant
Bob and Peggy Hanson,

The Hansons started with a simple plan: a place to store tools and pot some plants. Then a stained-glass window picked up at a garage sale years earlier caused the plan to take an elegant turn.

Bob drew inspiration from the classic state-park structures and started with a stone-covered foundation. The 'Cecile Brunner' climbing rose reminds Peggy of her grandmother's rose garden.

"It is a wonderful place to have an early-morning cup of coffee or to putter on a rainy day," Peggy says. Oh, and it does store tools.

Portable, too
Barry and Joni Steel,

The Steels learned a lesson when they sold their Portland home and the buyers insisted on keeping the greenhouse. This time, Barry built the shed/greenhouse in 4-foot modules so that it can be dismantled and moved.

Joni's cactus collection "thrives in its new home -- in our very non-desertlike climate," says Barry. He used windows they already had, glass panels from a local recycling center, and a discarded Dutch door and oak arched windows from friends.

It's not a yurt; it's not a spa
Patricia Kilgore,

Beams salvaged from a burned-out factory became the bones of this octagonal garden shed that is often mistaken for a yurt or a spa enclosure.

Kilgore's son-in-law, Joe Hanks of Beaverton, helped design and build the structure, using the front door from her old farmhouse and constructing the porch rail from old fence posts and copper plumbing pipe. Copper gutters and a hog-wire trellis complete the design.

"It added structure, charm, function, and, most importantly, an expression for salvage and a playhouse for me," says Kilgore.

Form meets function
Suzanne Willette,

The garden shed, made from found architectural objects, mimics the architectural details of Willette's century-old home.

"I built it myself, using found architectural details that are whimsical yet functional," she says.

Behind mismatched doors, shelves are home to garden tools and provide shelter for a lawn mower and a power washer. On the other side of the shed, wood stored behind a vertical green shutter stays dry for the fireplace.

Already a winner
Becky and Glenn Hogg,
West Linn

After a tree fell on their garden shed last year, the Hoggs decided to use some old things to make a new greenhouse/shed. And even though it's not complete, it has already won a $500 prize from the editors of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The prizewinner is made from recycled materials, including 11 matching double-hung windows, three doors from friends and a concrete laundry tub for potting.

"We still have some work to complete, but it has served its purpose this past winter to keep numerous potted plants from freezing," says Glenn.

East meets West
Donna and John McCoy,

After adding a pond and waterfall to their backyard, the McCoys decided their metal garden shed just wouldn't do. "We love the ambience of Japanese gardens," says Donna, so they researched designs on the Internet.

It was a bit of a challenge to find a waterproof material to use on the exterior walls that would have a rice-paper look. Eventually they found opaque fiberglass panels at a local store, and John made wood grids, painted them black and tacked them to the frames. The door is on a closet-door track attached to the top frame.

"It's almost a shame to store the lawn mower and potting soil in there," says Donna. "I'm always tempted to go out there in my kimono and serve tea sitting on the floor."

Up on the roof
Tina and Nathan Jeffers,

Tina wanted a garden shed to store her tools, provide shelter for her seedlings and look like an extension of her house. Nathan had little interest in any of it.

"But when I dragged him to the home and garden show last year, he was very struck by a green roof display," she says.

That got things going. After the shed was finished, Tina surprised Nathan with an ecoroof planted with succulents for his birthday. "I had to keep everything very hush-hush and spent a whole day on my hands and knees on top of the roof in order to finish it in time for his birthday," she says.

English countryside
Roger and JoAnn Rollins,
Lake Oswego

The Rollinses needed a place to store gardening tools and supplies -- and they needed a garage for a garden railroad that's under construction.

They started the project (there's no way we can call this a shed) four years ago. Finally, after Roger retired, he finished the miniature version of their English Country-style home.

Roger designed it all, from the basic dimensions to the leaded-glass windows, traditional-style hardware and staggered-shake roof that mimics the roof of their home. When the garden railroad is complete, it will exit the shed through a cat door.

Wild, wild shed
Tom and Judy Webb,

Tom saw an opportunity in an old barn from Judy's family farm near Roy. It had been severely damaged by the 1962 Columbus Day storm and it was time to get rid of it.

He used the loft beams of old-growth fir as the base of the simple structure. The beautifully weathered 12-inch rough-cut loft planks from the old barn became the flooring and siding.

"It was great to bring a piece of history to our lower backyard," Tom says -- not to mention rekindling his wife's childhood memories of swinging from the rafters and falling into piles of loose hay.

Wine bar
Sue Carter,

Carter knew the Tudor-style home she bought eight years ago needed a unique garden shed that would do justice to its manicured English gardens.

"Then two years ago, when a friend and I were browsing shops in the Pearl, we walked into Cargo and saw some interesting old Indonesian panels used as a backdrop for their garden area."

She persuaded Cargo to sell the panels, and garden designer Dave Jensen, of Acorn Solutions, helped her come up with a design. With the help of family and friends, Carter built the shed in a weekend. In the summer, the shed -- with its stained-glass window and candle chandelier -- doubles as a wine bar for garden parties.

Mud pies and flowers
David and Linda Campbell,
Hood River

When Linda sets out to work in her garden shed, her many windows allow her to feel as if she's still outdoors but protected from Hood River winds. David built the shed from bits and pieces of scrap collected over the years, including seasoned wood from an old barn.

The shed also helps unleash the imagination of the couple's 6-year-old granddaughter, Madison. "It is so warm and peaceful, no wonder that our granddaughter thinks it was built just for her mud-pie-making restaurant," Linda says.

"Every little girl's dream? Mine, anyway."

"Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations," by Debra Prinzing (224 pages, Clarkson Potter)

-- Lori Mendoza;


Karen Sigworth
Brad Meyer and Rachel Yarger / Portland
Louise and Tom Silverthorn / Colton
Ron and Diane Kleve
Jim Michaelson / Portland
Terry Pizzuto / Portland
Deb Stoner and Fred Soelzer / Oak Grove
Linda and Charles Pickett
Diana and George McQueen / Portland
Larry Scott
Terry Shaffer, Colton, and Barbara Byers, Oregon City
Scott and JoDee Zinck
Lori McDade
Arty Trost / Sandy
Suzanne Alexander / Oregon City
Jean Riley / Corvallis
Jim Bofman / Fossil
Mike and Margie Layman / Albany

The Boulevarden Win's David Suzuki Award!

We are happy to report that the Boulevarden won the 'David Suzuki Digs My Garden' contest. The contest called for gardens that do not use can view a personal congratulations from David Suzuki here

From Suzuki website

"Getting your lawn off drugs is kinda smart, too.

In the race to
have the best lawn on the block, we spread 67 million pounds of toxic pesticides onto our lawns every year. It’s foolish, and dangerous - especially to small children and pets.

Over 1,000 toxic pesticide products for sale in Canada have been banned in other countries. Exposure to pesticides can lead to serious illness such as cancers, neurological diseases and reproductive problems.

Other reasons not to use pesticides?
• They kill off beneficial inse
cts such as ladybugs and honeybees.
• They accumulate in the food chain – damaging birds, fish and other animals.
• They destroy bacteria and nutrients that improve the soil and nourish plants and seeds.

• When it rains (or you water), they end up in our water table.

Tips to get you started:
Think outside of the golf cou
rse this summer. Depending on where you live, you can plant clover, thyme, flowering mosses and a ll kind of grass varieties. It doesn’t have to be just grass. Xeriscaping is a great approach to customize your yard to a local climate. It also happens to require less water and maintenance."

So next summer as a community let's quit using pesticides, take up more and more lawn and add more drought tolerant

We need to be open to different 'lawns'...we are living a type of desert...we need to plant accordingly. Xeriscaping is not about just removing your lawn and replacing it with gravel...look at the pictures below...xeriscaping is beautiful - more beautiful than a lawn if you ask me - and truly when you have perennials life is easier than a lawn...if ya wanna talk about it stop by any time - 1309 7 Ave South. Also I recommend the book "Getting Your Lawn off Grass" I have used it for a few years and it is a great resource

The gorgeous picture below is a very easy maintenance lawn
- native grasses and sedums...this is really a no maintenance lawn - maybe have to weed once every three weeks at the most!
Try a clover lawn -
no mowing and it fills like a thick carpet so virtually no weeding.

Use Yukkas, which do really well in southern Alberta and have beautiful white flowers!
Is your 'lawn' up a step or two? Use a Thyme as a walk way - it is not only beautiful, it also smells wonderful - and - walking on it makes it reproduce as the seeds get crushed under foot. (below is not Thyme - but looks very similar)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dominic and Ethan's visit

This afternoon I met Dominic and Ethan, two cool cyclers who stopped by the garden...unfortunately they were not able to cull much from the garden...Ethan found a couple of 'green' strawberries...sad - there have been quite a few people by for strawberries and so there are not many left...Ethan and I are pretty sure that Cameron and Spencer have been by and they are big strawberry pickers : D

Ethan did get a bit of mint and gave it to Dominic to 'smell'...cycle aroma therapy I say. So...Ethan lives in Lethbridge - Cameron told him about the Boulevarden and he brought Dominic...Dominic now lives in Red Deer - a city about the same size as Lethbridge. I asked if they had recommendations for planting next spring - any plants that they would like on the go.

Dominic said raspberries would be awesome - he was telling me about his grandma's which started out as a small plant and have multiplied like crazy - so we discussed the downside of raspberry bushes on the Boulevarden...Dominic also though that maybe carrots and onions (to which Ethan said, "onions?! way - you wouldn't eat onions as you were going by!" Dominic replied "yes I would...if there was salt!"). We discussed the idea of a condiment bar in the Boulevarden...this discussion evolved into the idea a full kitchen option in order to be able to cook things - as a cheese burger would also be good).

Ethan thought that peas, cukes, peppermint and honeysuckle would be good - he suggested a fence for the honeysuckle to grow up - he told me that 'you can take the flowers and suck the one end and get 'honey'". was cool to meet them...

It was a nice visit...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So Nice to see you...

Last night I sat out on the deck for a wine and visit with my Mom...long over due. As we were talking a Mom and her four kids came by the garden and spent about 1/2 hour looking for strawberries and tomatoes and shaking sunflower 'trees'...they also went over to Richard and Marlene's (the next door neighbours) garden and found some nice tomatoes to eat as they played and discovered the gardens. They were very cute and it was nice to see them in the garden.

Then just as I was walking my Mom to her car a friend of ours Pat was driving by, she stopped and we ended up having another glass of wine with her - and a lovely chat. I have not been out on the deck much lately and last night reminded me how important it was and how much it makes my heart smile.

It was so nice to see you...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cameron and Spencer bring Samantha

This afternoon when I got home Spencer and Cameron where here and introduced me to their friend Samantha. Cameron said they had told her about the garden and got her to come by. They found some strawberries and some ripe tomatoes from our neighbours Richard and Marlene's Boulevarden. Richard and Marlene have tonnes of tomatoes. The kids were eating the cherry tomatoes right off the vine and pocketing some Romas for dinner.

It is always nice to see them, and it was great to meet Samantha. Samantha said her brother came too, but was not into it so left for home. It is really cool that Cameron and Spencer are so into the garden they are bringing friends - thanks guys...see ya soon.