Let there be Day Lilies

spring blooming Daylily
photo by SVSeekins

Day Lilies are easy to grow & are dependable spring & summer bloomers.  They’re also edible.  I’ve heard that the chefs at Sooke Harbour House like to stuff the blossoms & serve them at dinner.

Well, that might be interesting & all, but I still have a hard time even picking the flowers in our garden.  They’re just so decorative as they are!

Most often the choice is not mine.

sharing our garden with deer
photo by SVSeekins

For several years I’ve watched the lilies develop promise.  The bud just starts to turn colour, & I think, “Tomorrow it will open into a beautiful flower.”

It turns out that the deer think, “‘Today it’s at its peak tastiness.”

the Daylily bud has been harvested
photo by SVSeekins

Midnight snack.

This year it’s different.  This might not look spectacular as a botanical garden display bed of day lily, but in a yard that’s shared  with deer, I’m pretty excited to see so many blossoms at one time.

spring blooming Daylilies ws
photo by SVSeekins
lupin blooms
photo by SVSeekins

So what’s the deal?  I’m not really sure.  I haven’t sprayed any stinky deterrent around the place.  Perhaps the lowly day lily is just out of fashion for deer this year?

Yeah baby  🙂

One thing I have noticed that’s also unusual, is that the lupins have been nibbled instead…    OK… 

the fresh tasty top of the lupin is harvested
photo by SVSeekins

Lupins are easy to grow & are dependable spring bloomers.  Fair enough.  This year I’ll enjoy day lily blooms & consider it a fair trade-off.

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

Living Wall Garden

Last week I flew into Alberta expecting their usual June entertainment.  Hot sunshine, rampant mosquitoes and evening lightning storms.  The big sky & open prairies create that kind of excitement.  I wasn’t expecting a touch of the tropics, but that’s what appeared before me at the Edmonton International Airport.

green living wall garden- Edmonton International Airport 1
photo by SVSeekins

Even though family was waiting for me at arrivals, I just had to stop & check it out.   Through the glass I could see the wall descended a 2nd full story down into another part of the airport.  It was a massive living wall garden!

green living wall garden- Edmonton International Airport 2
photo by SVSeekins

The lounge to the left of the glass was a lovely spot for passengers to relax while waiting to board their planes.  It also allowed me the opportunity to walk up close to see if the plants were real.  They were.   🙂

This particular wall was created by Mike Weinmaster of Green Over Grey, a company that builds green walls across North America.  Apparently Mike has a Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering & Sustainable Infrastructure.  It figures it would take some know-how for adding moist tropicals to a building’s wall without having it rot out & fall down in short order.  🙂

outdoor plant wall at the Surrey Library 2
photo by Barbara Hansen

As it turns out, these are the same folk who created the world’s largest outdoor living wall on the library in Surrey (Vancouver).  Some friends & I ran across that piece of public art shortly after it was planted in the fall of 2010 .

It has all sorts of drought tolerant native plants that typically thrive on rocky cliff sides with minimal soil.  I figured it was smart to add the new plantings in autumn, after the stress of summer heat had passed.  The new little guys were probably much happier getting acclimatized during the fall wet.

I’ve wanted to make a pilgrimage back there, to see how the vertical garden is surviving. Imagine the 3D effect of a short mat of wild strawberries, interspersed with oregon grape shrubs  & grasses growing out from the wall itself.  That’s depth & texture, eh?

Vertical Wall Garden inside the Atrium building in Victoria
Photo by Barbara Hansen

A couple of months later, those same friends from the Vancouver trip discovered a small version of a biowall inside a little café in Victoria’s Atrium building.  When I inquired, it turned out Green Over Grey created it as well.  What wonderful botanical art!

Since then, I’ve been looking for a guest for our garden club to speak on creating a vertical garden.  There are more projects showing up around town, but so far, folks are so busy building these plant walls, that I haven’t been able to get anyone to spare an evening for us.  I can understand.  These projects look pretty fun to me.  I wouldn’t want distraction from my goal of completing one.  🙂

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013