Today we’re visiting with Max Cannon who gardens in south San Francisco, California:
Our garden started as a barren plot of concrete and hard-pan clay in 2017, our mission has been to create a feeling of oasis in an urban setting.
Gardening is our primary tool for self-expression, our palette includes a diverse array of plants including bromeliads, palms, and succulents.
Vertical elements are a key feature in our very small garden creating a feeling of enclosure.
We have also tried to create intimate seating areas, places we can relax and admire the diverse array of plant forms in our garden.
While floral color is minimal and subdued most of the year, foliage color is always a primary concern when selecting and placing plants in the garden.
We have emphasized silver and blue in our garden, and have used bold paint colors on our home to help create a backdrop for our beloved plants, including a wall inspired by Yves St. Laurent’s Villa Oasis.
Recycled material has also become a key element in our garden, a favorite is the mattress springs we scavenge around town. Here a mattress spring serves as a place for Tillandsia (air plants) to growing and blooming.
If you want to see more of this beautiful garden, check out their instagram: @planty_magoo
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
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On a September day in 2023, community members gathered at the Keep Growing Detroit Farm to witness the formal announcement of the city’s first director of urban agriculture. Tepfirah Rushdan, who had long been involved in Detroit’s farming scene as a farmer, educator and advocate, was a natural fit for the position.
I’m Maria Nieuwenhof from Quebec, Canada (Zone 5). I was going through my pictures over the last few days and trying to figure out what annuals I will start from seeds this year for my bouquets. When I go to see friends, or when I visit my father in Montreal, or when I have an event to go to I bring one or more bouquets. I started in late April with my first bouquet that had daffodils and ended in early November with achillea.
Although it would be nearly impossible for any plant lover to choose just one favorite, here are a few of the standouts that look especially good in my Zone 6 Michigan garden at the peak of the growing season.
If you’re a gardener—and since you picked up this magazine I’m guessing you are—you probably get peppered with plant questions all the time. I know I do. Take Thanksgiving just this past year. My dad was looking for some trees that would “subtly block” his neighbors who had recently put a pool in their backyard. So in between doling out mashed potatoes and deciding if I wanted apple or pumpkin pie for dessert, I pulled out Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs from the nearby bookshelf to spark some suggestions. (That illustrated encyclopedia was a Christmas gift a few years back to help my dad make plant choices without my help. Its successfulness in doing so is still up for debate.) This same scenario takes place at summer picnics, children’s birthday parties, or even on planes when my seatmate asks what I do for a living. After I answer, it’s common to hear, “Wow, that’s so interesting. Listen, I have this spot where I need something …” Most of these inquiries center around trees too—and I get it. A tree is an investment with a capital “I.” Not only is a tree the single most expensive plant you will likely purchase for your landscape, but it is also the longest lived. Trees don’t like to be moved, they generally require a bit more effort to get established than a perennial or shrub, and they are usually the focal point of a specific area. For all of these reasons, everyone wants to choose the right tree.
Little is more discouraging than discovering healthy and recently-planted spring borders and developing vegetable crops damaged or eaten by rabbits; it’s enough to bring the Elmer Fudd out in the mildest of gardeners. Annoyingly rabbits are most active feeders early in morning and at dusk, and so often hard to spot; they also seem attracted to newly-planted areas. But by employing a range of tactics it is possible to reduce problems.
The All About Plants category debuted in the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea 2022. This year, six gardens supported by Project Giving Back and designed in collaboration with a UK charity, will be on display. A grief garden, a skate park with a focus on edible planting, and a vibrant design that champions good gut health are just a snapshot of the gardens putting plants at the forefront of the design and keeping hard landscape at a minimum.
It has been estimated that a 10m (30ft) row of spinach supplies just about the right amount for a family of four during the summer months. But one sowing is not sufficient. Fresh young foliage is demanded and where spinach is much appreciated, successional sowings should be made fortnightly between late March and mid-July. For later autumn supplies and for pickings in the following spring, a sowing should be made in a sheltered position in mid-August.
Japanese Maple seeds have a very hard outer coating as do many ornamental plants. Under natural conditions, the seeds would have to be on the ground for almost two years before they would germinate. All that happens the first winter is the moisture softens the hard outer shell, and the second winter germination begins to take place. For all of this to happen in the proper sequence so the seedlings sprout at a time of the year when freezing temperatures or hot summer sun doesn’t kill them, takes a tremendous amount of luck. You can improve the odds by controlling some of these conditions, and shorten the cycle.
Where are the fish? You walk outside to feed your fish one day and when you reach your pond you find all your beautiful fish gone. How can this be? You look for Fred, Lucy, TA, and all your other fish but can’t find them. Your heart races to your mouth, you run around your pond, you check your skimmer, you want to scream but can’t, and you search your yard. Where or where can they be? Did a neighbor take them; did your wife sell them? Did a thief come during the night? There is a good chance that a thief did come during the night. That thief even wears his mask all the time.
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