plants for a beautiful city

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m walking around and see hundreds of pictures I want to share here, and have a huge list of links to post about. So what’s the hold up? I’ve been so busy starting my business, and then also starting up a new neighborhood health clinic, that when I have free time I just want to run around in the SUN while it is graciously visiting Portland! But I miss it here, and when I saw these ceramic pots over at Design Sponge this morning I had to share. Check out this lovely work by tw pottery:

Sorry the posting has been a little slow around here! Spring has me back in motion and my days have been filling up. Lots of changes around here! But I have seen two tutorials in the past week or so that I am in love with so I want to share them with you. If you make either please send me a picture! I’d love to see your work! The first is a great tutorial on how to build a pallet garden, which is absolutely perfect for small gardens and can really add some vertical interest to your green space.

For the complete tutorial click here to go to the great blog, Life on the Balcony.

The other tutorial was posted on Design Sponge last week by guest blogger Aura Scaringi, who lays out in really great detail with lots of pictures, how to build a string garden, or kokedama. This post has created a new obsession for me so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more about that art form soon! Have fun!

So I’m sharing this story with you via the facebook page of Pistil’s Nursery, who linked to Urban Gardens blog. And I love, love, love this living roof on city busses project by  Marco Antonio Castro Cosio. For the full article, go here. But I have to point out his inspiring dream of turning all the city busses in NY into rolling green scapes, which would create 35 ACRES of additional green space to the city.

B is for Borage

C is for Chamomile

D is for Dandelion

There is an amazing and inspired place in SF known as Hayes Valley Farm. It occupies an area of the city that used to be a freeway and the artists and farmers that collaborate there are creating an educational oasis. One of the projects they currently have going on is the Alphabet Project, begun by edible office/Zoey Kroll. A co-collaborator and fellow blogger over at Bitter Pattern has created her own version of the challenge and is doing an A-Z compendium of  medicinal herbs,  Alphabet Garden: the Herbal Set .  The beautiful pictures you see above are from her site. Along with each photo she offers detailed information of the uses of these herbs and even has some video instructionals to help you make your own concoctions. It’s a great body of information generously put together for all of us to learn from. You can get involved in this project too over at the collaborative Alphabet Garden blog. There is also a beautiful flickr set here. Enjoy!

The inspiring guerrilla gardeners over in Brussels are calling for an international day of stealth planting of sunflower seeds in every abandoned parcel of land on May 1st. Their blog has a complete instructional on the planting and care of the seeds and also has a great inspirational photo set of people’s successful plantings last year. Here are some of the pictures to get you going! I’ll definitely be out there, just got my seeds yesterday. Check out their work here.

Treehugger has a great slideshow of images of the urban forest, here are some of my favorites:

There was a time period last year where most of the gas stations in Berkeley were closed down. Their signs were removed, the lots were fenced off, and the pumps were mysteriously wrapped in black plastic. Months later, they reopened one by one. Conspiracy theorize at will, I have no idea what was going on. But today, I drove by one of those lots that never reopened. In fact it was demolished with all of its parts removed including the gas wells. And now, I was shocked to see the entire property (still surrounded with chain link fence) covered in red clover. I don’t know if someone seed bombed it or if the land itself is growing the necessary nitrogen fixing plants to heal itself. Either way an old gas station lot, on a busy corner, transformed into a field of gorgeous spring time clover is a beautiful sight to behold.

I love how the last photo makes the corner of university and mlk look like the photos from antelope valley below!

(I had to delete this photo due to an impending law suit by the artist who’s seed bomb photo was featured without permission. Please go to their website to see more info.)

If you’ve been reading along here at The Urban Field Guide you’ll know that I’m a big fan of seed bombs, especially these. I was catching up with my reading over at Apartment Therapy today and saw this post and had to repost it. Greenaid is a design firm based out of LA and they are repurposing vintage candy machines to dispense seed bombs that are uniquely tailored to the ecosystems in which they are placed. The firm is selling the machines and then keeps the buyer supplied with the bombs to keep greening city’s vacant lots. They are currently trying to team up with local parks and botanical gardens which could make it get even more interesting in terms of variety.

Well Design Sponge has done it again. It’s grey and bleak here in the west and apparently blindingly snowy in the east so this blast of yellow from the guest blog column, We Like it Wild, is perfect. Click on over to read about daffodils in the garden and in floral arrangements. I thought I knew a lot about these bulbs, but there was still a lot of information in the entry I didn’t know! Enjoy!

I came across this great blog by the SoCal Guerrilla Gardening group that has extensive pictures of the gardens they are building. And rebuilding. And rebuilding again at times when the city takes them out. It looks like they mostly use cacti and succulents and they glean these plants from overgrown gardens and donations. Last year they had over 1,000 plants donated. I know that soil down there is super baked and hard so I admire their amazing dedication!

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