Posts Tagged ‘Rob Cardillo’

When the tool shed is full and you’re shopping for someone whose needs are dirt simple, what do you give them?  Wrap up something different this year, by giving the gift of time, luxury, or knowledge.

Your Edible Gardening Workshop, offered by the  Colorado State University Extension offices of Larimer, Adams, Weld, and Boulder, is a one-day immersion into food gardening.  The basics of soil, water, and plant selection are explored, along with seminars on specialty crops, like strawberries, tree fruit and brambles.  This all-day workshop is Saturday, Jan. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ranch in Loveland, and costs only $65.  Lunch is not included.  Call 970-304-3565 for more information or to register your gardener.

The Denver Botanic Gardens has a wide assortment of classes to fit every gardener.  From botanical illustration to cooking with aromatic herbs, you’re sure to find a class your loved one will adore.  Browse their online catalog for winter classes to inspire your gardener, then enroll them and wrap up the certificate for under the tree.

Gifts of time, guidance and comfort can be just right for the gardener on your list this holiday season.

One of the hallmarks of an obsessed gardener is that we like to dream, especially in winter when we’ve forgotten the insects, disease and heat that had us complaining in summer.  Our eyes are ever forward, so give your loved one a book to pour over on chilly days:

The Encyclopedia of Container Plants,” by Ray Rogers and Rob Cardillo (Timber Press, $34.95) is a richly photographed exploration of successful container gardens.  Featuring over 500 plants, this is one book that does double duty as both coffee table eye candy and valuable resource.

Edible Landscaping,” by Rosalind Creasy (Sierra Club Books, $39.95), is the long awaited update of the 1982 groundbreaking book exploring the combination of landscape design, permaculture, and edible plants.  Hot off the press, this is the book for anyone who wants to make beautiful, functional, landscapes.

When you have your hands in the dirt, nails and fingers can turn as rough as sandpaper.  A basket of salves makes a welcome gift.  Pull together Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream ($6), Crabtree and Evelyn’s Gardener’s Hand Therapy lotion ($15), and Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shikakai Lavender Hand Soap ($8.99), then wrap them up for your gardener.  For an added touch, slip in a gift certificate for a manicure.

What I love is the gift of time, because no matter how well equipped a gardener is, they could always use a little more.  Surprise yours by giving them a hand in the garden; wrap up a certificate good for spring cleanup, flower pot planting, or mulching.  But don’t be fooled: this isn’t a cheap gift to give. A day spent rototilling or pruning is sure to leave you grimy, sweaty, and scratched.  Your gardener will love it.

This post was previously published in the Longmont Ledger. 

Note to FCC:  the above suggestions were not solicited by the companies.

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A tip I received from Sally Ferguson alerted me to a pretty cool website, seasonalwalk.com.  It chronicles the planting of bulbs and perennials by two top designers known internationally – Piet Oudolf of Hummelo and Jacqueline van der Kloet of Weesp, both in the Netherlands, to create a four-season garden for the New York Botanical Garden.

 Started in 2008, the project has been extended to 2010.  The website is a wonder for someone like me, out in Colorado with no plans to visit New York city in the near future.  Filled with photos plus the story of the garden from November 2008 to the present, the site also provides plant lists and suggested combinations for we design-challenged folks.

 Landscape designers might appreciate the step-by-step installation guide should they choose to mimic this planting.  Of course, designers worth their fees will discard any plant suggestion that won’t do well in our semi-arid climate, but others, like the coneflowers, will do very well here.

The biggest help this site offers at this time of year is the wealth of information and photos of bulbs, because as we head into the month, people are shopping for spring glory.  As you scroll through the luscious photos by Rob Cardillo (an incredible photographer) you might want to keep a pen and paper handy to jot down the bulbs you see that you’d like to add into your landscape.  Read the caption of the photo for plant identification – this site is wonderful at telling you what you’re seeing.  September is bulb shopping time

 Keep in mind that it’s not yet time to pop bulbs in the ground, but if you have your heart set on some unusual varieties, shop early and cool-store them until late in September (refrigerators are a no-no; they’re too cold).

 Other suggestions to keep in mind:

 –  With bulbs, size matters.  Choose large, well formed bulbs that are blemish free.

–  Plant bulbs when soil temperatures are cool – 55 to 58 degrees.

–  Dig holes four times the height of the bulb, and place bulbs tips up.

–  There’s no need to fertilize at planting, instead, fertilize in spring when shoots first show.

–  Add four inches of mulch to buffer soil temperatures.

 Have fun planting, and ignore the neighbors.  As you’ll see from the Seasonal Walk planting photos, even the best designers in the world are bottoms-up when it comes to putting bulbs in the ground.

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