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pardon the break in holiday greens coverage (what was i thinking… a daily post? moi? we’ll see how long this lasts…), today’s images are from the second annual brazos valley pulletpalooza in bryan/college station. six chicken coops graciously opened their gates for touring, chicken fancying and coop construction contemplation. since two of the sites were on last year’s tour, we started with the ones we hadn’t yet seen. since we got a bit of a late start we were only able to visit three, but we know where the others are when we get to the point of wanting chicks of our own…
first up, jeremiah’s chickens on leonard road:
second up, stephanie and her daughter joy’s chichens at bait barn fisheries on highway 21:
third stop, lamar’s chickens on silver maple lane:
we wish we could’ve made it to all the coops today, but daylight was waning and time ran out. thanks to everyone who participated. next time we’ll plan ahead and bring our empty egg cartons to share. a meager token from chicken owner wannabes.
when i was in seattle just a few weeks ago, our last day was spent at bloedel reserve, the emerald treasure on bainbridge island. by far it was the garden blogger’s favorite day of #seattlefling, not only because rain shrouded the reserve in a magical mist, but that david perry, photographer extraordinaire treated us to an on-site workshop. as an aside, he was the judge for the january 2011 gardening gone wild picture this contest i entered, where he gave me the “making gourmet lemonade out of sour lemons award” for making the best of a broken mason jar. while his seattle sessions covered tips and tricks of shooting in less than ideal conditions, gratis, he didn’t let us go without an assignment: photograph a cover story of bloedel for the high-end magazine [insert your blog name here]. items to include: a cover shot, two-page photo spread and detail shots, perhaps one showing people interacting with the space. compose the photos into a magazine layout once you get home and post it to your blog and on the garden blogger’s facebook page. anxious to get to work, david reminded the group of the photographic tip he holds closest to his heart: that the secret, most magical element your pictures is missing is you. tell your story.
there was a lot of ground to cover at bloedel, so we all set off in directions that intrigued us. i had studied the bloedel meadow and moss garden as precedent studies for my graduate thesis work seven years ago, and was grateful that i was finally able to experience it in person. i recalled a bit of writing or conversation i had with my thesis advisor, leonard newcomb, that you never see the entirety of where you’re going at bloedel. walking through the moss garden, the japanese garden, the woodland edge and finally, the meadow, i was able to understand exactly what that meant. i should’ve taken leonard’s advice by dropping all my other graduate school responsibilities, maxing out my credit card, and otherwise risking a trip to seattle just to experience the space for myself. who knows how that would’ve affected my thesis work, but had i done that, i wouldn’t have had the accumulative, meaningful experience this time around. life works in peculiar ways sometimes, and i guess that’s why it brought tears to my eyes.
here’s the layout i came up with for the july|august 2011 issue of grwhryrpltd. let me know what you think. i haven’t had a good crit in a while…
for better views of the images, take a look at the bloedel reserve set on my flickr stream here.
i’ve returned from the garden blogger’s annual meetup in seattle, refreshed from the cooler temperatures, views of tall coniferous trees and vast expanses of deep, dark water. it was a wonderful trip of garden touring and catching up with friends both old and new. over four days we visited an array of private and public gardens, retail plant nurseries, a sculpture park and a farmers’ market. knowing how long it can take me to go through all the photos (1028 on the camera, plus several on the phone – but that doesn’t even come close to those who shot over 2000 photos…), i thought i’d post a few to pique your interest until i can spend more time on a post for each tour stop.
pre-seattlefling day 0:
apld & gwa regional meetup, that graciously invited garden bloggers to attend:
seattlefling day 1:
seattlefling day 2:
seattlefling day 3:
gloriously rain kissed seattlefling day 4 on bainbridge island:
i hope that gives you a taste of what we saw during the seattlefling! more images and descriptions of my favorite stops to follow. thanks again to EVERYONE who organized, sponsored and participated this year! it was great to get to know you and spend some quality time together, enjoying the things we love.
tomorrow i’m heading to the pacific northwest for the garden blogger’s annual meetup. last year we were in the happenin’ garden metropolis of buffalo, ny, made popular by the twitter hashtag #buffa10. this year we’ll be in the cool climes of seattle, wa. surprisingly, i’ll be one of the rare bloggers without a laptop, netbook or tablet, as all i have is an android phone. i’ve blogged from it before, but i have to admit it’s a pain in the arse. i’ll post a photo here and there, but you’ll have to wait for a full report upon my return. until then, follow us at #seattlefling. i’m looking forward to some respite from the texas heat, tours of fabulous garden estates like bloedel reserve, knitting on the water taxi to bainbridge island, and catching up with my fellow gardenerds. i’ll also get to see a dear aunt of mine, so this trip is packed full of purpose, connection and inspiration.
gbbd greetings from michigan! I’m writing this from the road and testing the WordPress app on my phone. Looks like the first blooms of the year are just emerging around here… and lucky me, I get two springs this year!
Happy bloom day!
dallas that is. heading up for the garden writer’s association annual symposium this weekend. i’ve only been a part of this organization for a little while, but i’m looking forward to seeing what new directions may lay ahead…
i’ve been meaning to post a few pictures from our visit to ithaca, the second stop on july’s upstate ny visit, and our former hometown. we attended a wedding that was held at the ithaca farmers market, one of our favorite stomping grounds. it was refreshing to once again be amongst tall trees and cool water.
elsewhere in town i enjoyed soaking up the sites with good friends and neighbors. there was an art installation on the commons that caught my eye. this installation by jeremy holmes is entitled drawing in the trees.
i was able to check up on the yard that in five years we slowly turned into a garden… but was slightly overwhelmed at the sight of it, so didn’t bother looking too closely… for it’s no longer ours to tend.
instead, i enjoyed the garden of a dear friend. she’s not afraid of color. or of slowly ripping out every blade of grass from her lawn… i love that about her.
it was a wonderful visit. unfortunately, time ran out before we could see everyone we were hoping to see, and do everything we thought we’d have time to do… besides, a girl’s stomach can only handle so much caffeine. but how beautiful and refreshing it all was… xox to you all!
earlier this month i headed back to the cooler climes of upstate ny to, among other things, attend the yearly garden blogger’s meetup in buffalo, or buffa10 as it fondly became known that week. our fearless hosts jim charlier and elizabeth licata planned an outstanding four day garden-city tour for 70 fellow bloggers to oogle the highlights of the nation’s largest garden walk. while we didn’t get around to all 350 garden walk sites, we were fortunate to preview several residential garden districts, a private club, olmsted-designed parks including the botanical garden and conservatory, an annual trial garden on the marina, a cooperative retail nursery, a commercial retail nursery and gourmet restaurants along the way. with connections like that i felt i was amongst the the inner sanctum of the garden cartel…
having lived in upstate ny prior to moving to tx, i found myself drawn to the architectural history, diversity and color that many of the buffalo garden districts showcased:
next, we visited urban roots, a community garden center in the cooperative style. not only do they offer plants and products for sale, they reach out and embrace the community with educational events and workshops, lead beautification and urban renewal projects, and offer various employment and volunteer opportunities. five points bakery is literally next door, which helps to create an inviting gathering space for the local neighborhood. my neighborhood could sure learn a thing or two from these guys… if only we had an independent book/music store, yoga studio, fabric/yarn store, wine bar and design studio near by… but i digress.
it was raining pretty good when we were at urban roots, so i didn’t get many pictures there… our next stop was along north parade avenue, a street fronting mlk, jr. park, one of several olmsted-designed parks managed by the olmsted parks conservatory. this once preeminent street was was chosen for a front yard garden contest by the western new york state nursery, in the style of extreme house makeover, but this time the home’s landscapes received the makeover. thirteen local landscape contractors volunteered their time and materials to renovate all 19 homes along the street, in the time span of one week (during the heat-wave week, of course). the public got to vote on their favorite renovations during garden walk. see the national garden walk blog to read all about this great project that proves how gardens and landscapes can do wonderful things for a community.
while perusing my photos, i realized i didn’t take many plant photos… but here’s a few detail shots that caught my eye:
our next stop was the buffalo and erie county historical society where we were surprised with a celebration ceremony in anticipation of the re-dedication of the japanese garden at olmsted’s delaware park. even buffalo’s mayor, a ny senator(?) and sister city representatives from kanazawa, japan were there…! too bad we didn’t have time to stay for the full celebration of events. read here for more info on the garden’s history and renovation.
after all that touring the bloggers were tired and needed watering, in spite of all the rain that was falling on them… and wouldn’t you know, jim and elizabeth have connections to gardeners all over buffalo, and somehow convinced gordon ballard and brian olinski to open their overflowing garden, complete with cantina, to our ravenous bunch… you guys did not disappoint – thank you, thank you!
on saturday, our tour started at the erie basin marina university trial gardens. this display garden highlighted the latest and greatest annuals in the horticultural industry. ball, proven winners, and all-america selections were some of the growers with plots there. we were even given five flags to mark our favorite plant for each grower represented in the trial gardens. don’t you know you’re not supposed to ask a horticulturist what her favorite plant is…?!
the buffalo and erie county botanical garden and conservatory was our next stop. located in olmsted’s south park, this victorian tri-domed glass, wood and steel conservatory is a national historic site (although i couldn’t find it on the national register), was designed by lord & burnham and built in 1897-1899 for the 1901 pan-am exposition. over the years it has understandably deteriorated but has thankfully withstood many repairs and renovations to keep it available for public enjoyment and learning. read more about its history here.
after this tour we headed to lockwoods greenhouse, a well stocked retail nursery in hamburg that reminded me of the caliber of nurseries i used to have nearby… they had lunch for us and offered tours of their facilities, but i at that point i tucked my camera away to take it all in. the tour would go on to more gardens after this, but lynn and i packed up and headed back to ithaca, for i had a wedding to attend that evening on the shore of cayuga lake…!
i had a wonderful time exploring the gardens of buffalo, but more importantly, enjoyed meeting so many fellow garden enthusiasts… it was great to be able to put a face to a blog, a voice to writing style, and make a physical connection by handshake or embrace across the technical abyss of the otherwise well-connected blogging community…
a BIG THANKS to everyone involved – all the sponsors, individuals and participants – who helped made buffa10 possible! had i been there till the end i’d give you a standing ovation too! here’s looking forward to seattle in 2011!
i recently returned from a nice looong trip to upstate ny where, among other things, i:
- attended buffa10, the garden bloggers yearly meetup,
- went to ithaca for a wedding and visited dear friends, and
- traveled to west edmeston to see another transplanted ithaca friend who’s taking on vegetable and sheep farming
to say the least, i have a LOT to post about, but am caught up in getting caught up back here at home… here’s a few photos to enjoy while you pardon my delay…
i’ll have multiple posts on the way, so bear with me while i edit all my photos… ttfn!
last weekend the garden conservancy was hosting an open day at peckerwood garden, a botanical jewel located in hempstead, tx. walking through the well-designed conservation garden within an arboretum-like setting, you’d never guess that the property was once a flat open field. in 1971, john fairey was invited to teach design courses at A&M in the architecture department and purchased this land on which to locate his home and studio. mr. fairey eventually met and collaborated with carl schoenfeld and plant explorer lynn lowrey, researching native plants and traveling to collect and learn more about them. now planted with many native and rare plant species from texas, mexico and most recently accompanied by these plants’ long lost asian relatives, peckerwood garden is a haven for the unusual but well-suited specimen. the garden’s mission is to continue conserving, propagating and experimenting with these wonderful plants. thanks to chris camancho, garden manager, for giving such an informative tour through a portion of the gardens’ 35 cultivated acres. the images that follow show you a small slice of what we marveled at.
camera disclosure: it was a humid, overcast and rain-threatened day, but apparently i wasn’t aware that the macro function on the camera i was borrowing would always blur the landscape shots, thus the romantic atmosphere.
the material palette at peckerwood is simple yet well thought out. stone, gravel, steel and wood lend a clean, modernist line to the planting areas. these weathered materials compliment the colors, textures and origins of the plants they’re adjacent to.
the next open day at peckerwood garden is october 16 and 17, 2010. it’s well worth the trip. if you’re lucky, you might even find some plants propagated on site to take home with you (i added two more hesperaloes and a macho mocha mangave)! thanks to peckerwood garden for opening your collection to fellow plant and design appreciators, and thanks to the garden conservancy for the efforts made to bring these jewels to the public.