Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Meet Our Community: Angela Judd, food grower, citrus lover, and YouTuber

 

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Angela Judd



Growing in the Garden is where I share inspiration and tips to help others be successful in their own gardens, with an emphasis on how to garden in the low desert of Arizona and other hot climates.

When I first began gardening, it was difficult to find specific information about gardening in my climate. I started my garden in Mesa, Arizona, with one 4x4-foot raised bed and gradually added one raised bed or container at a time. As I began to have success, I shared pictures of my garden and what I was learning on Instagram, joining the supportive gardening community there.

I started my blog to reach a broader audience. Blogging has pushed me to continually learn new things, practice them in my own garden, and then share what I’ve learned on my website, YouTube, and other social channels. 

My writing journey began with articles I wrote for a Master Gardener newsletter. Writing didn’t come easily to me, but I kept at it. My writing muscle was stretched even further this year by writing a book. How to Grow Your Own Food: An Illustrated Beginner’s Guide to Container Gardening comes out in May 2021. 

My favorite place, however, is not behind the computer, writing about gardening, but 
out in the garden with hands in the dirt. From only one small raised bed 12 years ago, I’m now up to 18 raised beds, plus several in-ground beds and containers. Vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees – I love growing them all. As the mother of five children, I especially enjoy growing and preparing food from the garden for my family.

Although gardening in Arizona has its challenges, we are lucky to be able to grow citrus easily. We almost take it for granted. I love the endless variety of 
available citrus (17 different types grow in my garden), its year-round greenery and fragrant blossoms, and the harvests. 

My favorite public garden is The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia – easily the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen. Difficult as it is to imagine, Butchart was once a worked-out limestone quarry. I had no idea what to expect when I visited, but then a curving path opened up to an amazing view, and it literally took my breath away.



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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Angela! You can follow Angela at her blog, Growing in the Garden, her Instagram, and her YouTube channel.

Photographs courtesy of Angela Judd.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Meet Our Community: Jim Charlier, Buffalo gardens advocate and garden art experimenter

 

Photo: KC Kratt

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Jim Charlier



My front garden
I consider my Buffalo, New York, garden a design lab for my garden art experiments. I’m an art director/graphic designer and spent my formative years in advertising agencies; since 2000 I’ve been self-employed. Gardening is my creative outlet, devoid of client input, opinions, deadlines, and change orders. But there’s still a budget to work within!

My artistic garden projects include a diamond-shaped dwarf pear tree espalier, a grass-and-paver checkerboard garden, a hanging sculpture with two fountains, and what may be Buffalo’s most famous garden shed, designed in the style and colors of our 1897 Dutch Colonial home. 

Everything about gardening is relaxing to me: weeding, watering, trimming, digging, planning, and planting. I lose focus on everything else when I’m working in the garden. Some days I forget to eat until evening. 

I started my blog, Art of Gardening, way back in the blogging frontier days of 2007, to share my own garden and those on my travels. I also showed off what other Buffalo gardeners were doing. At the time I was president of Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden tour in the U.S., which today features more than 400 urban gardens and 65,000 visitors. (We get more than 3,000 visitors at our garden alone.) This free annual event is always held the last full weekend of July. Because of Covid-19, Garden Walk Buffalo went virtual in 2020. 

The checkerboard garden & famous shed
I created a video about my garden in the summer of covid and am co-author of the book Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs. Teaming up with Elizabeth Licata of Garden Rant, I co-planned the 2010 Buffalo Fling, which was attended by 80 bloggers from around the country. I hope you had a good time! 

I also helped start a horticultural tourism group that eventually became Gardens Buffalo Niagara (GBN), now merged with Garden Walk Buffalo. I’m most proud of the fact that GBN has granted more than $100,000 to clubs and community groups for more than 100 garden-oriented beautification projects. 

I learn from any garden I’ve ever visited. That’s a reason I like the Fling so much. One garden that I think heaven will be like is the Gentling Garden, which we visited during the 2012 Asheville Fling. I revisit my blog post about it whenever I'm feeling wistful and want to be inspired.








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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Jim! You can follow Jim at: 

ArtofGardening.org

Instagram

Facebook

JCharlier Communication Design

Buffalo Style Gardens Book site

LinkedIn

YouTube

Pinterest

Photographs courtesy of Jim Charlier, except as noted.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Meet Our Community: Loree Bohl, fearless gardener and author

 

Photo: Gerhard Bock

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Loree Bohl



Danger Garden is about plants -- my love of plants and garden design. I started my blog to connect with like-minded gardeners, but it has turned into so much more. I’ve tracked the development of my Portland, Oregon, garden for 11 years and along the way met many interesting people. I hear from followers who say that I’ve inspired them to look at gardening (and spiky plants!) differently. That’s a huge compliment.

The Pacific Northwest is home to great gardeners and fantastic nurseries. We’re lucky to be able to grow so many different kinds of plants here. I love to push the boundaries of what people expect to see in a Portland garden, and, yes, that means agaves and cactus, yucca and nolina, along with hardy ferns and proteaceous plants. We really do have winter here, complete with ice storms, snow, and a record low of 14 F in my garden. But I don’t let the fact that something isn’t hardy stop me from growing it. This means that every spring the Great Migration occurs as container plants are moved out to the garden for their summer vacation, and then in fall they’re moved back undercover to stay cozy over the winter months. 

I love agaves maybe most of all but also adore mosses and ferns. Currently I’m rather obsessed with bromeliads. I have at least a half-dozen favorite gardens, but at the top are
Lotusland and The Ruth Bancroft Garden. Each was created by a woman with a strong vision and the passion and work ethic to make it happen. 

My first book, Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love, is coming out in January 2021. The pandemic has changed the way I’ll promote the book, with no big garden shows or in-person events for the foreseeable future. On the upside I’ll be able to talk to groups across the country via online webinars, so I’m all ears if you’re part of a group that might want to have me give a talk. Let me know!




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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Loree! You can follow Loree on her blog Danger Garden and her Instagram.


Photographs courtesy of Loree Bohl, except as noted.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Meet Our Community: Julie Thompson-Adolf, food-growing evangelist and nature nut

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Julie Thompson-Adolf



Garden Delights follows my adventures as an obsessive organic gardener, local food lover, nature nut, eco-adventurer, and writer as I grow food and explore the world with my family. I started my blog during the last recession. Many of my friends were worried about their ability to feed their families, and I wanted to help alleviate those fears. Anyone can grow a garden to sustain their family or offset a reduced grocery budget. Even without access to a backyard, it’s easy to grow food in a container on a balcony, porch, or even a stairwell. These days I share more on my social accounts like my Instagram page than on my blog, but I still focus on growing organically, both food and ornamentals, as well as wildlife and nature.

I started a boutique heirloom-plant business back then too, growing organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers and selling online and at our local farmers’ market, where I used my booth to educate customers about growing food. I always had a free kids’ activity to help them learn about growing plants, whether it was planting “magic beans” they could take home or sowing sunflower seeds. It was such a pleasure to talk to both parents and kids and get them excited to garden together. While I don’t sell plants anymore, I still love helping people learn how to grow food, which is especially relevant during the pandemic. Everyone wants to garden now because we’re all stuck at home and because of uncertain economic times. And it can be frustrating when you first start gardening. Whether you’re growing your first tomato plant from seed or want to create a tropical retreat by the pool, I’m excited to help.

I’m a tad obsessed with bulbs. Every fall, I plant thousands of tulips, daffodils, and minor bulbs. Knowing those babies will begin popping up in January helps get me through gray winter days. And I have about 30 orchids that I’ve kept alive for a few years, and that bloom each year! I’m very proud of those because I’m terrible with houseplants.

I dream of owning a flower farm. Seriously. Sadly, we live in the middle of a forest with little sun. Instead, I focus on edible gardening, trying to grow every weird, funky, heirloom veggie possible. One year, I grew 168 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, just because I wanted to try them all. That was a delicious summer! I also grow from seed and save seed, and I even wrote a book about it, Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Your Garden.

I make my living as a garden writer, working with many fabulous clients and brands. From writing articles and product copy to managing their social media accounts and designing marketing campaigns, I adore my job and clients. Plus, I’m privy to the latest plant introductions, which is always fun! Recently I worked with Bonnie Plants on an Instagram campaign, promoting their partnership with Ample Harvest and encouraging gardeners to donate their excess harvests to food pantries. Gardeners can find a food pantry in their area by visiting AmpleHarvest.org. It’s a terrific way to help people in need of fresh produce.

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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Julie! You can follow Julie on her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and her blog Garden Delights.


Photographs courtesy of Julie Thompson-Adolf.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Meet Our Community: Gerhard Bock, fusion gardener

 

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Gerhard Bock



Succulent mounds in the front garden. Cluttered, yes, but filled with treasures.
I want to inspire other gardeners to be bold and adventurous, constantly try new things, and never be afraid of failure. It's nice when a great plant does well, but you learn more when it doesn't. 

On my blog Succulents and More I chronicle the evolution of my garden, with all the successes and failures that come with it. I also write about other gardens I visit, both private and public, as well as cool nurseries, interesting books, and anything else plant-related that catches my attention. My blog is also my personal gardening journal, and I often look back at older posts to see how a particular plant or section of the garden was doing at a particular time. 

I was born and raised in southern Germany, but I've lived in the U.S. for most of my adult life. I garden in Davis, California, in a Mediterranean climate with virtually no rainfall between May and October. Our USDA zone is 9b, so temperatures below freezing are fortunately rare. 

Others may call my garden a collector’s garden or (gasp!) an unfocused hodgepodge, but it’s exactly what I need it to be. This year in particular it’s been a sanctuary, keeping me grounded and reasonably sane. For lack of a better word, I call my style Fusion Gardening. I’m into succulents, especially agaves and aloes. Cycads and bromeliads. Southern hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, southern Africa) and Mediterranean plants. California natives. The odd tropical (I love my Ensete 'Maurelii') and a bamboo or two. My garden is a wild combination of all these. I have bougainvillea growing next to manzanita, with cycads and agaves nearby. I also bring home rocks from road trips, and they get tossed into the mix.

The planting strip along the sidewalk combines most of my favorite plants.


One thing I don’t like about my property: it’s too small. At 8,100 sq. ft., there just isn’t enough room for all the plants I like. I constantly remove and add, depending on what thrives or struggles and on my current favorites. That’s why this garden will forever be a work-in-progress. Ideally I’d like an acre or two, maybe on a hill so I'd have different levels to play with, and closer to the coast so there’s less chance of a hard freeze. Zone 10 would suit me just fine! 

My favorite plant at this moment is Hechtia argentea, a terrestrial bromeliad from Mexico that forms a rosette of brilliant silver leaves. There's nothing like it. The leaf margins are armed with barbs that can draw blood. I love plants that know how to defend themselves. It's the perfect combination of beauty and danger. 

I have quite a few favorite gardens, but The Huntington in San Marino, California, is at the top. It has all my favorite plants in one place, from Old and New World succulents to a world-class cycad collection, not to mention a palm garden and both a Japanese and a Chinese garden. It also has an incredible art and book collection – ideal for visiting companions who aren't into plants the way we are.


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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Gerhard! You can follow Gerhard at Succulents and More and on his Instagram.


Photographs courtesy of Gerhard Bock.