Early morning finds me, coffee cup in hand, surveying my little balcony garden. This week, the zucchini plants have exploded with blooms; this bodes well for a good crop if I can keep the powdery mildew at bay. Staff at Sunnyside gave me a formula to spray on infected leaves: one teaspoon of baking soda to one liter of water. I’m giving it a try.
Besides loving zucchini and all the wonderful things you can do with it, I just love the plant. The foliage is gorgeous and so are the flowers – though short lived. I think of it as the day lily of the vegetable world.
Flower gardens throughout the city are at their peak. At this time of year, one of my favourite forms of entertainment is a stroll to check out what’s growing my neighbourhood. When your neighbourhood includes Lougheed House and the Reader Rock Garden, you have some very good places to check.
Inside our homes, flowers bring life and beauty to any room. My favourite potted plants indoors are budget-friendly, readily available, stalwarts that stay in bloom for 6 to 12 weeks: African violets, orchids and cyclamen.
“Not orchids!” you say. The charmer in the picture was purchased at the North Hill Home Depot, on sale for $12.00, and has been blooming happily for several months.
At Home with Flowers(2011) by Jane Packer demonstrates the enormous decorative impact of clever floral arrangements. Single, lime yellow dahlias, cut to different heights, fill a cluster of exotic brass vases grouped on a brass and glass coffee table.
On an antique sideboard revived with white paint, sprigs of veronica and astilbe fill a large collection of vintage milk bottles. Flowers fill mugs and seashells. Arrangements decorate bathroom ledges, kitchen counters and stairways.
It’s all very inventive and often dramatic. It makes me want to try harder and stretch beyond my stalwarts.
Perhaps next year I will try to grow some cutting flowers to bring indoors.