May 30, 2011
This the slide show I whipped together for the information booth I had at the Blooming Art and Garden Sale a few weeks ago. The photographs were taken between 2008 and 2010, with a few from earlier years. It is generally (but not precisely) layed out in a seasonally progressive way, and it features more of the diversity of the garden–the bugs and birds–than the last slide show. It is almost 10 minutes long, and it can be watched full screen if you select the HD mode.
Photographs by Adrian Thysse and Yuet Chan. Music by Gu Zeung, a section from ”Watching the Moon”.
May 21, 2011
Certain plants are illegal.
The government calls them ‘noxious’ weeds. These are invasive alien species that are a threat to agriculture and to natural ecosystems. Vegetable louts, they can elbow aside native species and can infiltrate agricultural crops. The result? Ecosystems lose biodiversity, and farmers need to use more herbicides. Let’s not let our gardens be a contributing factor to the spread of these plants.
Municipalities are concerned–visit the web sites for the cities of Edmonton and Calgary for what you can do to recognise and fight weeds. It is especially important for those of us who have a more relaxed style of naturalistic gardening–there have been cases of fuss-budget neighbours using the weed control act as a weapon against what they feel are slovenly gardens. Don’t let it happen to you.
The Alberta Invasive Plants Council has information on weeds and photographs on how to identify them. Go there now…you may be surprised to find that criminals that are lurking in your garden.
Some ornamental plants are not listed as invasive, but have the potential to spread. Avoid these plants, especially if you live on land that borders any natural areas. Even the Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum), a horticultural cultivar, can revert and hybridise with the ox-eye daisy, a noxious weed. If your Shastas are self-seeding, it is (ob)noxious.
The Alberta Weed Control Act governs noxious weeds. Weed Control Regulation lists the following: (Note that ‘prohibited noxious weeds‘ must be destroyed, while ‘noxious weeds’ must be controlled–i.e don’t let them go to seed or spread)
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May 7, 2011
I’m at That Blooming Garden and Art Sale, sharing my experiences in naturalistic gardening. There is a steady flow people coming through, with a few curious enough to stop and talk. The bug photography seems to be most attractive to children and men, with the women homing on the garden and how to attract butterflies.
That bloomin' booth
I was given details about this show only a week before, so I did not have much time to prepare, but with my wife’s help we prepared a reasonable display. I set up mostly as an information booth, promoting a more natural approach to gardening. If I had had more time I would have made some photograph cards for Mother’s Day…maybe next time.
Looking forward to meeting the mystery person who
set me up arranged this. Will she reveal herself?
May 6, 2011
This Saturday I will be at the Bloomin’ Garden and Art Sale, where I will be hosting an information booth on naturalistic gardening. Drop by and we’ll have a chat!
Saturday, May 7th from 9am to 3pm at the Alberta Avenue Community League Hall (9210 – 118 Ave.).
That Bloomin’ Garden and Art Sale is part of Edmonton’s Avenue Initiative Neighbourhood Revitalization program.
October 18, 2010
Urban sprawl is an issue in cities everywhere. The civic election that will take place in Edmonton today includes issues revolving around urban sprawl, such as redeveloping our city airport into a housing project. (Vote Steve Mandel for Mayor and Kim Cassaday for councillor in Ward 3 if you want the city centre airport redeveloped) Take a walk around the block someday, and pay attention to what people do with their yards. Then ask yourself, “Why do we have yards at all?”
I did just that this Sunday morning, paying attention to mostly just the front yards. My criteria were simple (yet judgmental and harsh): if lawn dominated the garden (75% or more) than I concluded that the front yard was worthless. If the garden had some attempt (at least 25% of the total area) at planted landscaping, then I marked it as being useful. I even marked front gardens that were dominated by overgrown pine or spruce as useful, because even if often ugly, they at least provide some habitat. My findings will surprise no one: 86% of front yards are worthless. (I did not take back yards into account, as they are often hard to view clearly from back alleys – I believe that most back yards are fairly well used – vegetable gardens, deck and patio space, children’s play areas, dog runs and the inevitable shed to store all the equipment required to look after lawns) So the question arises again: just why do we have front yards? Aesthetics? A resounding no. Food? No. Habitat for wildlife? No. Play area? well…seldom. I only know of one house in our daily walk where children occasionally play in the front garden. So why this wasted space? Why are we wasting land (and our water resources to sustain it) to this extent?
Gambler House expands on the environmental consequences of lawns, and examines a new study that shows the history of one of the reasons we have gardens…and the answer can be stinky…
Visit Why do Americans Have Yards? at Gambler House.