Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Flowers: An Old Fashioned Garden

In an older section of town small brick apartments and triplexes look out on the street across large lawns. Fifty years ago city lots were divided generously, not like the tightly squeezed lots with rows and rows of Monopoly houses which make the new suburbs so ugly. I walked past this garden planted along the driveway to a rear parking lot and stopped to admire the summer flowers. Most everything here could have been planted by seed:- the sunflowers, nasturtiums, cosmos, daisies and portulaca. Perhaps it was the landlord's hobby or maybe some tenant was happy to have some soil to work in.

Communities in Bloom is a national program designed to increase environmental awareness and to encourage the beautification of Canadian communities. Our city participates and our mail carriers nominate homes and business on their routes that have exceptional grounds and gardens. Judges narrow the field to one winner per ward and residents are encouraged to admire the work of the owners. My friends Joyce and Ed have been nominated in their area this year. One of my patients was a winner for several years. Even into his 80s and after joint replacement surgery, he kept a spectacular garden on a nearby street.

My husband just completed a fine stone border for our back yard garden. I have edges to fill with some new plantings and have other perennial clumps to move and thin out. A garden is always a work in progress but the efforts are so rewarding.

I have been playing with my pictures on a website called Picnik. Lots of fun! I believe it was Laura from NJ who introduced the site to her readers. (The black and white and red pictures were taken using a camera setting , not Picnik)


  1. It's so nice to see a patch of flowers in unlikely places. Your landscaping stone looks wonderful! Great job your hubby did. :c)

  2. I love city gardens like this - the photos are beautiful.

  3. I love gardens, I really wish I had been able to plant more the morning glories in mine this summer (but with learning to adapt to life after baby, I am lucky my potted plants have survived... except my basil.) I especially love this one garden by the library an older lady keeps it, or rather lets it go wild and yet still somehow looking organized. I shall have to get a picture for you.

    Your post reminds me of "guerrilla gardening", have you heard of seed bombs?

  4. Your picture play turned out well.

  5. I love the effects. The first two photographs look almost like paintings. I haven't ventured to any creative image programs, but I might have to give it a try.

  6. I love that "Communities in Bloom" idea. Wish we had it in my town. I'm guessing your mail carriers' job is so much more fun when they are on the lookout for gardens to nominate!

  7. Nice to see a pic of nasturtiums again - I haven't planted those in years. Stone is great.

  8. Anonymous7:51 pm GMT-4

    Blooming flowers certainly are lovely. The gardening gene certainly was not passed onto me, so I admire everybody else's art work and appreciate it to the fullest.

    I enjoyed the previous two post (I'm catching up from being on vacation.) Love the red effect in the B/W pictures. There is just something about B/W pictures that seem to bring a sense of calmness to me.

    I giggled with your "give a little" "take a little" vacation post. Glad that you both were able to do the things you each enjoy. I thought of my nephew Blake with the fishing for hours and hours line. Blake would fish everyday if he could.
    Thanks for the smile.

  9. Loved the old fashioned gardens. Our changing garden built on either side of a spit rail fence drew so many comments at our Kitchener home. From tulips in the spring to aster, zinnias and numerous other annuals until frost it was beautiful.
    Here our 5 acres look like a park but except for flowering bushes the smaller plants only make desserts for the turkeys, chicken, ducks and geese that roam freely. At least the mangos are almost ripe.

  10. Gardening is a summer passion for us. We will never be finished for it the sort of work that just keeps growing and expanding. To tend a garden is a joy of contemplation and creation, for being a caretaker of such beauty gives one an intimate sense of the continuing cycle of beginnings and endings, and renewal. Your first garden picture is especially beautiful.

  11. What a nice garden. Your last point is very true. I am working on a bonsai right now. Nothing can teach you patience better.

  12. Anonymous7:21 pm GMT-4

    I love the old fashioned garden, and the idea of planting seeds in any available soil. What would we do without gardens or gardeners - it would be a sorry world indeed!

  13. This is really beautiful..First visit to your blog. I saw you asked a question about wood ducks on another blog. The males leave sometime after the female starts incubating the eggs. Ducks and geese molt their flight feathers and need a safe place to hide for the 3-4 weeks. You may notice that the male mallards and wood ducks molt to look like females and then regain their breeding plumage in the fall when pair bonding starts. When the females have raised the ducklings, they then molt too.

    We have one brood of wood ducks on the pond now and I have photos of them on my nature blog.

    Rambling Woods

  14. Jayne- My husband is pleased with your compliment. It was a lot of heavy work.

    Birdlady- Thanks for visiting and commenting. We have many beautiful gardens in this city.

    Jaspenelle- Seed Bombs---interesting concept. You will get into gardening more in the future. June babies are a lot of summer work.

    AC- Thanks. It is an addicting site.

    NCMW- The site is sooo easy to use. Much easier than the programs I have.

    Ginger- We are fortunate to have a mail carrier. Many new homes have boxes at the end of the street. The program is really a low cost way to promote civic pride.

    Jean- I do like Nasturtiums a lot. They are fast to grow from seed as well. (but I haven't eaten them)

    Cheryl- Thanks for your comment. I am not a gifted gardener. If it grows with little help it stays in my garden. Hope you had a good holiday.

    Mom- That garden on Penrose was really nice. I didn't remember all the flowers you had planted along the fence.

    Ann- Yes gardening is a great creative activity. I had become less enthused with my yard with the past few dry hot summers and the severe watering restrictions we have had. But this year, everything is growing so well!

    SG- Someday I want to try a bonsai.

    April- Some of my nicest flowers have been grown from seeds. One that comes to mind is Blue Flax...

    Michelle- Thanks for visiting an commenting. Your blog is worth a visit for sure.


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