Friday, 24 August 2007

Véhicule Press's Spectacular Garden, and Botanical Gardens As Sources of Ideas

The garden (seen at the right) is looking a little monochrome these days. The Rudbeckia is in bloom in back, and the boneset has sent its tall spikes with white flowers above the leaves of things which have already bloomed. But so far no asters and the golden rod, with three shoots in front and one in back, just really doesn't get enough sun, it seems.

Last weekend we had a chance to see another small city garden, that of my publishers Simon Dardick and Nancy Marelli. They get more sun, so their roses bloom nearly non-stop while they have many other flowers--most of them perennials--which bloom in sequence from May through October. Their skill and their interest in plants and gardening are echoed in the book list of their house, Véhicule Press. Not only have they brought out two of my "green" books, Recreating Eden: A Natural History of Botanical Gardens and Green City: People, Nature and Urban Places, they will publish the first of a gardening trilogy this fall by Montreal-based garden expert Stuart Robertson.

"How do you do it?" I asked Nancy after I'd complained about the lack of flowers in my own garden this time of year and praised their abundance.

"Go see what's in bloom in the botanical garden," she promptly replied.

Of course, why hadn't I thought of that earlier! In a well laid out botanical garden you'll find plants growing in many niches, along with information about their culture and peculiarities. It is a fantastic way to see just what does well where and what time of year. So that's the outing for this weekend, if it doesn't rain too much. Or early next week, for sure.

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