Here is a flexible way to add a splash of color on your terrace. The new planting pots by Bacsac are ideal for an urban garden. Like their predecessors (the Bacsquare), these 100% recyclable, weightless and portable bags are easy to move outside on the balcony or in the garden. When not in use, the pots take little space since you can fold them. Continue Reading
The signature pattern plant pots are available in small (orange), medium (grey) and large (green). A hand trowel and a garden fork complete the collection.
If you have a sunny window in your kitchen, this upcoming product might be for you. I like the idea to grow fresh vegetables and herbs all year round. For most of us, it means to do it inside. That’s where Windowfarms can help you. Brita Riley, a Brooklyn resident, founded Windowfarms in 2008. She wants to bring the system to a new level with this prototype. And to do it, she needs the help of potential customers. Continue Reading
I love Sunset magazine. I discovered it a few years ago while we were in San Francisco or Los Angeles. There was a copy in our hotel room. I was hooked. Every week, Sunset organized a Celebration Weekend outdoor exhibit at their headquarters. They have activities for all members of the family, food and drinks demonstrations, beautiful gardens and a product exhibit. It is definitely on my to-do list for next year.
If you are not too far from the Menlo Park area this weekend, plan a day at Sunset Magazine Headquarters. Watch this video with footage of the 2010 edition.
+ See the lineup of Celebration Weekend 2011
As much as I wish I could build a raised vegetable garden, apartment living means I’m limited to a windowsill herb garden this summer.
If, like me, your plot is limited to a balcony box, there’s no reason you can’t have colourful gardening tools to tend to your harvest.
With just a few twists, this refreshingly versatile attachment turns any glass or plastic bottle into a cool, colourful watering can. It’s also easy to imagine atop beverage bottles at a backyard barbeque. Your gardening friends will go green with envy for the ergonomic handle and perfect pouring spout. After all, who wants to lug around a hose?
+ Eco Watering Can Bottle Adaptor from The Balcony Gardener, £13.50
If you wish to grow your own vegetables this summer, remember that you increase your chances of success by planting your seeds in a raised garden bed. It is because raised beds provide better drainage. It is also easier on your back. A DIY tutorial from Sunset magazine even tells you how to drape the bird netting or row covers over your raised beds.
For a weekend project, you will have plenty of time to also build the perfect compost bin.
These DIYs are slightly more involved than just letting weeds and moss grow in the gutters on your home, but the pay off is worth it. These hanging gardens shake up standard hanging baskets by using horizontal space, and provide privacy should your neighbours be a little too close for comfort.
If you’re more of a minimalist, opt for the high gloss PVC and steel cable version on the left (we’re betting it will also be cheaper to DIY). Want something with a little more longevity? Martha’s version uses copper chains and gutters, which are sure to develop a pretty emerald patina after a season in the elements.
Check out the links below for full instructions. What are you planting this spring?
Thumbs a little green? If you’re lacking experience in the garden, it’s best to start small. Containers are a great way to get your hands dirty as you experiment with gardening, and can offer a lot of bang for your blooming bucks, especially if your outdoor space isn’t sprawling.
Re-purposing unexpected containers adds personality without dinging the green in your wallet. Scour your home for unused vessels, check out garage sales or shop thrift stores for creative options. We’ve rounded up a few that make an impact (just in case your garden doesn’t grow).
Above, vintage muffin tins are a beautiful contrast with fresh green moss, while a metal tackle box is a perfect home for low-maintenance succulents. Just remember to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
For apartment dwellers with a small-space balcony, maximize your space by planting up. Using walls ensures you have plenty of room for outdoor furniture and other summer essentials. Here a shoe organizer is put to use as a vegetable garden. Each pocket holds a different lettuce or herb – a smart way to grow a variety of edibles.
If you’re just looking for creative containers you won’t see elsewhere in your neighbourhood, don’t miss this DIY project which re-purposes old tires as planters. It’s green in more ways than one!
Kokedama is a Japanese planting technique that creates moss balls. You can hang the moss balls, put them on a plate or a bowl. I saw on design*Sponge a reference to a kokedama tutorial by the creative Dutch girl called Aura Scaringi.
I was intrigued by the technique so I dug the Web further to get more information. I found two videos produced by a Japanese blogger who demonstrated different ways to make your own kokedama. Here is the first one.
It’s hard to resist the bunches of colourful spring blooms that show up at markets, florists and corner stores at the time of year. If you’re craving a hit of colour but prefer your floral arrangements a little on the wild side, forcing branches or bulbs is a perfect way to bring some outside, inside – and very inexpensively at that. Flowering branches would make a dramatic centrepiece at your Easter table or a pretty addition to an entryway.
Not a green thumb? It can be difficult to know just which shrubs will flower. Country Home magazine suggests looking for shrubs with long branches and several plump buds. For those of you in the southern states, your shrubs may have already started to bloom outdoors; the further north you live, the better your chances of finding branches with buds. Though it doesn’t take much to prepare branches to bloom – a fresh cut, a quick hit to the ends with a hammer and some room temperature water will do the trick – keep in mind that different varieties require longer time to bloom. Check out the Farmer’s Almanac for a reference guide.
If you don’t have access to branches in your backyard (or don’t want to get caught “borrowing” them from a public space), you can also force spring bulbs, which are readily available in garden centres or home improvement stores. I love the contrast of the banged up, painted tin cans with the neat appearance of daffodil sprouts, shown by Camilla Fabri of Family Chic. And don’t miss this hyacinth how-to over at The Art of Doing Stuff; Karen shows several ways to transform a plastic pot of flowers into super stylish groupings.
If you’re a first time flower forcer, check out the sourcing section below for more tips and how tos. How are you planning to you bring a little spring inside?
+ Forcing Branches into Blooms Indoors from The Farmer’s Almanac
+ Forcing Branches from Country Home Magazine
+ Forcing Branches on The Marion House Blog (wonderful examples of using branches in different spaces)
+ Forcing Spring in A Can from Family Chic
+ Ways to Display Hyacinth from The Art of Doing Stuff
If there is a thing I envy from people who live in a warm region is their capability to grow their own citrus fruits. I wish i could have my own citrus orchard since I am a huge fan of citrus fruits for cooking and eating just by themselves.
For the ones who can grow their own citrus trees at home, I invite you to read this excellent article on Sunset magazine. The gardener tips come from Todd Porter and Diane Cu, the couple behind the White on Rice Couple blog. For the rest of us, the article is an eye candy.