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Gnome News

ramblings of a plant lover

Costco, of all places!

I’m a big fan of Gardena products and was delighted to see this lovely offering at the front entrance of Costco on a recent visit. One can never have enough stylish quality garden gloves and especially in a variety of colours to pick from. Good value – kind of gets one in the mood for a new season of gardening!

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Don’t Let February Get You Down

Winter is no excuse for any gardener to be idle, even when you live in the snow belt. Unless of course you just need a holiday from it all.

I spend my winter months reviewing garden ideas on Twitter and Instagram. Getting inspired. If I’m not travelling to warmer climates to check out gardens, I might even take a local trip to one of my favourite gardening centre destinations – Sheridan Nurseries in Toronto. Sometimes it’s worth it just for the aroma of tropical imports in their generous greenhouse areas for indoor plants. Sheridan has a sumptuous stock of exotics like Orchids, Jasmine, Oleander, Ficus, Mandevilla, Bougainvillea, etc.

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Now that our garden room is fully finished we needed just a touch of green to carry me through to spring when the garden that surrounds it comes back to life. Having an inordinate appetite for topiaries led me to the last of their Ivy plants, which fit the space (and the pots) just perfectly.

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First Zinnia Flowers Grown in Space

Originally posted on The Verge.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is currently coming up on the end of his year-long stay on the International Space Station. That means it’s been almost 300 days since he’s experienced all the magnificent nature and plant life that planet Earth has to offer. Fortunately for Kelly, the station has its very own Veggie plant growth facility, where the crew members have been growing plants of their own. And the most recent batch of crops has just bloomed: bright orange zinnia flowers.

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Photo by Scott Kelly

La Foce, Italy

Our travelling companions Roger and Barbara Murray have an addiction to Italy. Understandable. Unfortunately we were unable to join them on their latest adventure. However I asked them if they’d put their talents to work and take some images of their visit to one of Tuscany’s noted gardens called La Foce and provide a little write up. Thanks Murray’s for sharing this remarkable place on Fussy Gardener’s adventures.

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All photos by Roger Murray

Beech Horizon

I came across this lovely little property, thoughtfully landscaped in Thornbury, Ontario during a recent Thanksgiving visit to the Beaver Valley. Their long driveway had a lush Beech Espalier lining the entire stretch (so much better than a fence). Espaliers of various fruit trees or ornamental shrubs were quite popular in Europe up until the early 1800’s and then tapered off. Perhaps a resurgence is underway, although they do require patience which is not so prevalent in our modern world. However, the popularity of vineyards may be just the thing to provide the inspiration needed.

Applause to the soul who patiently trained these Beech trees to grow flat against a framework of stakes. I had never seen Beeches in this context before – quite successful. Looks like it was wired for night lighting as well… hmm? None the less, kudos to this Canadian for bringing some European landscaping imagination into play.

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“To Knit or Plant?” – That is the Question

I was having lunch with my brother in “Old South London” recently and noticed just outside the window this interesting notion on improving the visual impact of Ontario hydro poles that litter the streets of most cities across the country. Oddly enough, unrelated to this experience, my next door neighbour sent me a shot from his phone a day later suggesting a more natural solution to the situation we share with him regarding the big new ugly hydro “tree” they’ve stuck between the end of our driveways. I’m not convinced that knitting “pole cozies” is a good idea and it begs the question – knitting or planting, which is better? And who has the time to do this anyway? Well, in my opinion, one bad human creation is not improved by adding another over top of it. I vote nature every time – plant!

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