Showing posts with label Round Ups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Round Ups. Show all posts

May 29, 2010

Vintage Fertilizer Round Up

'nuf said. Nothing say's spring, like spreading Whale Fertilizer.

Before the Japanese and Whale Wars,  the idea of whale fertilizer was not unthinkable. In face, I remember bottles in the 1960's in my dad's chicken coop along with cardboard cartons or arsenic powder and DDT. Ahem. Still, Whale fertilizer when viewed through out filters today, seems an uncomfortable as Women not having the right to vote', segregation on buses  and 'don't tell don't ask ', wait.
Blue Whale Brand Fertilizer was extremely popular with Rhododendron and Primrose growers in the Pacific North West during the first half of the 20th Century. See the bags in the top photo? Blue Whale came both in a liquid form, as an extract created from rendered Whale meat and organs left over from  oil and margarine manufacturing, and, it came in a very popular impregnated sphagnum peat blend which was sold until the late 1960's.

May 5, 2010

Vintage Pesticide Advertising Round Up

It's so safe and easy, that I can wear my white dress while I spray insecticide, to "get rid of any moving flies".

A couple of weeks ago, while searching through my collection of plant society journals (circa 1940 - 1960), and vintage 1950's and 1960's Horticulture magazines, I was struck by the number of pesticide ads ( and fertilizer ad's which I will save for another post). Here is just a sampling, with little comment from me - since I am working on making the final changes to the spring issue of Plant Society Magazine, which I plant to publish on Magcloud later next week.
Yo, you betta getta

April 12, 2010

Trellis Round Up

The new Ikea trellis installed in a garden, modern plus attractive, who could ask for more? Even gardens need some youthful exuberance.

Ikea has a super trellis.

Classic architectural forms in zinc, available at Restoration Hardware.

Walpole woodworkers provides classic choices like this one. Cedar, and paintable. Undeniably classic. For the Blue Hydrandia crowd.

CB2 has a very unique wall sculpture which is more trellis than wall hanging, I think, and it may be the one that I decide to do some interesting deck installations with.

This trellis by Flora, takes modern to a whole new level. Simple but repetitive, this bee inspired wall trellis will enhance any vine.

March 15, 2010

Bird House Round-Up

By Designer/artist Andrew Fallat.

London designer Luke Morgan designed this prototype for a competition, but it shows how creative one can get with forms and graphics.
Some of us add birdhouses to our gardens to attract birds, others may add them for humor, or as art, but either way, birdhouses can be both interesting and useful. I thought that for my second Round Up, that I might look at the range of bird houses that are available, especially those that are more noteworthy, stylish or simply, odd. After all, we all want a little character, too!
Available at Useful Things. Not practical, but, a nice object for those looking for a design that is at least, more tasteful than an English Cottage bird house with shutters and tiny window boxes.
Birdhouses can be practical, modern, silly or quaint. As a bird lover, I tend to focus on the more serious sort of bird house, specifically designed for each species that you wish to attract. If you prefer the traditional forms, and wish to attract certain bird and offer a proper nesting environment, please check out Duncraft, it's where I mail order my bridhouses from for our house wrens and Bluebirds. And, look at these interesting new Hummingbird houses ) plastic and cotton nests, actually, also available from Duncraft.

For the rest of you, instead of looking at adding a cutesy, crafty house ( for, most birds will find a way to nest as long as they can fit through the hole, and that competitive species like English Sparrows don't bother you, here are some more attractive houses that will do more than be just merely decorative. Yes, some of these are merely, decorative!

A design by Bomdesign in the Netherlands.

Kelly Lamb's Geo Birdhouse, for the modernist.

This classic refresh of a gourd house shows how simply color can change an object. Courtesy of Two Straight Lines, this image reminds me to plant bird house gourd seeds again this year. With an early start in the house, one can have many birdhouses next year if the vines are allowed to mature with fruit. Simply pick the gourds after the first frost, and keep in a dry, warm place until you can hear the seeds rattle inside. Be careful or mice will get the seeds!

These fine architect designed birdhouses come from, and are not only designed well for certain species, but are works of art.

designed by Vancouver designer Thomas Rasmussen who says it is really a bird house.

March 4, 2010

Plant Tag Round Up -A Look at Plant Labels

Wooden labels available from Terrain.
Hand Crafted Wooden and Bamboo Labels available at Terrain.

I am starting something new, and it's called Round Up. Not the herbicide, but rather, a round-up is blogging term for a gathering, a collection, or a review of a particular item. In Growing With Plants, a Round Up will focus on all sorts of things that would interest you, my readers. It might be a particular type of plant, like, let's say Peonies or Violets, but mostly, it will be a Round-Up of something interesting to those of us who like plants. So it may focus on watering cans, showing the latest variety or coolest forms available this year, or a Round Up on Clay Pots, staking devices, tools or rubber boots. Today's first Round Up will focus on something we all need help with - labeling. Welcome to the first Growing with Plants Round Up on Plant Tags and Lables.

Gardeners are itchy to start thinking about planting, and with the seed sowing season starts to ramp up, I thought that I would share with all of you my most favorite finds for plant tags a labels. I am considering both criteria, aesthetics, and functionality, so there are no slate labels with etched titles like 'HERBS' or 'DILL", and there are no home made sorts, like those made from paper cups and egg cartons. Instead, I am shared with seriously serious labels, such as where I get the black labels everyone keeps asking me about that I use, and my methods, and some labels that are simply just beautiful, for those plants which you might have in a display., a premiere site for english Victorian plant tags offers many choices of tags, in materials ranging from metal to bamboo.

The Alitags top-of-the-line system comes with Punch Letters, so that you can stamp the genus and species on each label. Thusly, you can have plant tags that look exactly like those seen at the large botanic gardens.

Check out Alitags for more information.

Alitags also carries these new Bamboo labels, which look similar if not exactly the same as the ones that I ordered from Terrain this week for $12.00 ( 6 for $12.00 US). The Alitags version are sold for 20.5 GBP for 25 labels. Heck, I need to do the math, but I would imagine that volume will reduce the price since they are light, and postage is the only variable. Still, these are all very lovely, and I will be ordering lots of these. Since Alitags in in the UK, the shipping may be more, but the selection is wider.

Copper is the fanciest choice, for both design and practiality for it will age with a patina. The only downfall is the cost.
These copper tags are also available at

Many of you will recognize these as the black labels I am fond of, and since so many of you ask me where I get them, and how I make them, I will share the process with you. My black labels come from another British site like Alitags, called The Essentials Company. They ship overseas, and are very reasonably priced, especially if you by in quantity. I used to order the white heavy plastic label, and then switched to the black rigid label. On these, I would write the plant name in white paint marker, and the result was exactly what I was looking for, hand drawn white type on black that would last under the extreme conditions which my plants exisit. White labels with sharpie would fade after a few months, and although pencil would last the longest, I never liked the look of it.

Then I discovered a free packet of black scratch-on labels that also came in the package from The Essentials, but the needle which came with the labels was useless in scratching in the name, and once you did, it looked as if the name was scratched onto the tag, not very attractive. I then discovered the labeling system, the Brother P-Touch. I use black P-Touch tape with white text, to type the plant name onto. I use the 1/2 inch or 3/8 inch tape, which I can only find on-line from Staples, for the stores seem to no carry the black tape with white letters in waterproof. The result is a very neat and tidy look, and I can add lots of information onto the label.


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