xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' Karen Wagner garden & design: July 2011

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

vertical green walls are the in thing!

I keep reading with interest about vertical living walls and I have been having a few little experiments of my own to try and figure out the best way to do them.  I particularly want one indoors as despite it all I really quite like indoor plants when they are beautiful and lush....a small part of me left over from growing up in the 70's!

This one below is one I particularly like that I found lately and it should give a little inspiration if you are inclined to try it!  It's at the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, London and the idea was  to bring  to life the original Van Gogh painting  “A Wheatfield with Cypresses", painted in September 1889.

The original Van Gogh painting.

This massive scale wall was Installed by a specialist horticulture and design company ANS with each plant  selected to try and match the original painting.  More than 8,000 plants of 26 varieties have been used to create the artwork.
If you are lucky enough to be in London, the wall will remain through out the English Summer and Autum until October 2011.  Rather amazing wouldn't you say...!
So in that spirit and inspired by all that is going on, we have been scouring the globe and have found some of the best ways of making green walls and have the makings of both indoor and outdoor vertical gardens coming in store in the next few weeks.  
We are getting Woolly Pockets out of the US which I am quite excited about as I am going to definitely do an indoor one.  They can be used to create the most lush and lovely indoor and outdoor hanging plant displays - just like having your garden indoors which is rather essential through some of these rainy grey months of winter.  They are also sustainable and made from recycled products, so are great all round really.  Will let you know as soon as they are here. 

We also have some structured plastic outdoor wall modules coming that are working beautifully.  They can be used to create contemporary or traditional looks in all sorts of outdoor positions and it seems they are going to be very reasonably priced.

This is definitely the way of the future and now its going to be accessable to anyone for gardening on wall spaces at home as well on any building you can think of.  We could make all of hobart green!  The mind is in overdrive...I am making plans.  Watch out for things popping up all over the place.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

colour & plants indoors

One of the things I am always struck by when I venture out of Australia, is how much pots of colour and indoor plants are prominant in the winter indoor decorating genre.  It's something that we seldom embrace whole heartedly in our environment.  Maybe that comes from our overexposure to larger than life indoor plants in the 70's.  I can certainly remember them in their macrame hangers....!
For the new era we are now in....there are plenty of lovely ways to do both indoor plants and indoor colour.

I love vases and lovely glass containers with plants and flowering plants in them.  I have had primulas and violas at this time of the year in glass pots for over 6 weeks and they are still looking great.  Maintenance is easy and they keep on keeping on.
Buxus, succulents, orchids also look great in ornamental pots or glass for the indoors at this time of the year and you can see some of their roots and enjoy having a real plant indoors.
We are finding out now just how good for you it is to have plants in your indoor environment.  They bring joy in the dead of winter and help to purify your air.  Sound like a good alternative to flowers to me and much longer lasting.
We've got some instore now...all $30 and under.  More coming all the time as we are really enjoying this.

Monday, 4 July 2011

wonderful leaves

Every now and again, you find something really special that is irresistible.  This is one of those....

Leaf-It are lovely post it or sticky notes that are in the shape of leaves.  They come in different sizes and two colours.
Made in Korea by some clever designers called Appree, they are really fun and special.

They come in a variety of packets and range from $6.50 to $13.50.

Quite the perfect little gift
Naturally inspired and quite adorable.
It’s the perfect gardeners' assistant to help save a place while leafing through magazines and books and possibly the cutest way to leave little notes.

This range also has lovely water droplet magnets that you will find in store.  And wonderful ginko and maple leaf sticky notes are on their way in the next batch.....  enjoy these in the meantime.

Growing Garlic

Growing garlic is fun & easy and it is one of the most useful things to grow in the garden - not only because its great to eat and keep colds away and  helps to make you healthy, but because the flowers are wonderful through the garden and its great for companion planting for lots of plants.

It was always the 'rule of thumb' I thought that you planted garlic and most of the onion family at the winter soltice, or shortest day of the year for harvesting after the longest day of the year.  This apparently is sort of right but I haven't got it quite right and its a bit more complicated than that..... you can plant garlic now and still harvest successfully, but its also good to get it in earlier during Autumn.

Sometimes it depends on the variety but from all the reading I have done it really doesn't matter for our cool climate.  I imagine that planting it in Autumn would mean better and fatter bulbing by the time you harvest.

So...if you are like me and have missed the autumn planting then get some in now. I just buy bulbs from the shop and put them in. Separate the bulblets,  plant at about 5 cm deep and try to make sure they are right side up. Don't plant any that are squishy, moulded or not healthy.

They dont' like to be too wet as the bulbs will rot and disappear.  Mound the soil if you need to.  I plant mine all through the garden and let half it go all the way to flowering as it is lovely to have huge allium flowers in the garden.