urbansucculents

Urban Gardening With Succulents in Beautiful Vancouver, BC


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Little Lights

After two months of au pairing in Genoa, Italy and attending the Pemberton Music Festival I am back in Vancouver and excited to start drawing, reading, making terrariums and collecting vintage clothes for my Etsy shop! It is scary how fast time goes by; especially in the summer.  

Things I did in Italy:

Collected over a pound of stunning rounded sea glass.  Learned to speak basic basic Italian. Ate gelato almost everyday.  Got locked into the grounds of a cemetary (had to call the police to get myself out!). Had tea and biscuits for breakfast.  Learned how to make pesto from an Italian born in Genova (my au pair host).  Went skinny sipping in the Mediterranean (made the mistake of doing so on a private beach with security!).  Caught fireflies (which my au pair host Cristina explained that the word firefly in Italian is “lucciola” which translates to little lights.  I think that it is the sweetest name.) Bought vintage clothing at Italian street markets.

The apartment building where my au pair host families home was located

The apartment building where my au pair host families home was located

Went to a rap/feminist University street party in Pisa with two guys from Finneland.  Stayed up till four am at a hostel singing songs with a group from 5 different countries.  Learned to be alone.  

I think that last one is the most important thing I brought home from traveling. 

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Tomorrow morning I head out to my best friend’s cottage.  She has been around since Kindergarten and is a witty blonde beach babe.  Her family cottage is insane. It is located on a tiny tiny island off of Vancouver Island.  It is the type of place you can hardly describe with words.  

The front deck has an arbutus tree growing through it. The centre of the island is filled with mounding moss; perfect for picnics. The main beach consists of crushed shells as opposed to sand and the Island can be biked covered by bike within 30 minutes.  It is crazy West Coast beautiful. We will be shooting some photos of Vintage clothing that will be added to the shop https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/kendalvintage so i’ll upload a few to show you once I’m back!

Buona sera!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A Map for the Honey Bees!

This is amazing! Colony collapse disorder is a serious problem and the risk of losing such important pollinators puts the world’s food security at jeopardy. Please take the time to make areas in your city (or own garden!) bee friendly! I will be planting on the Sunshine Coast this weekend 🙂

Urban Hermits

Honey Bee Haven has created an interactive map showing where community members have created flourishing zones for bees to thrive. Bee (and pollinator) populations are taking a blow from current agricultural practices, specifically pesticides. You can take the pledge to create an environment in your own living space to benefit bees, then can upload your haven location to the map. Photos of your location can be uploaded as well!

The site states:

Bees pollinate a significant majority of the world’s food. In North America alone, honey bees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits, including almonds, avocados, cranberries and apples. In fact, we can thank honey bees for one in three bites of food we eat.

Join others in taking part to protecting our pollinators!

Honey Bee Haven Map Screenshot

Source: Andrew Olsen and Sara Knight, Pesticide Action Network, Beyond Pesticides, 2013

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I apologize for my Houdini act

Hey,

Sorry it has been over a month since I posted last! I have realized I fell off the blog earth right after I finished by final exams at UBC.  The next morning I jumped on a flight to Oahu to go spend a month volunteering for a non-profit organization called Surfing the Nations and a week later flew out to visit family in Denver.  After experiencing an adventurous start to a beautiful four month summer (I love University), here I am now, back in Vancouver, working at the garden store and as of yesterday launched kendal designs! 

I have always been slightly obsessed with the concept of creating and having people love my designs enough they admire them (or purchase them!).  Having gone to a visual arts school for high school, admiring the art work of other students in my class was a common practice (many of whom are still pursuing the arts at schools such as Emily Carr).   I was fortunate to be inspired by some pretty talented students back in high school and have always wanted to continue to create.  

Since I can remember, I have always been drawn to both art and nature and a conversation with the head of my high school arts program has always haunted me.  When I was in grade 11 I made the decision to drop the film class I was taking to take biology 11 (I was stoked because bio 11 was focused on plants and animals).  The head of my program was choked that I was replacing a heavily art based course with an science course.  The conversation basically entailed that I was making a mistake choosing the “academic” science path as opposed to the visual arts design path he envisioned me following.  This conversation has surprisingly haunted me because I felt as though it was a choice between visual arts and studying science/art at UBC.  This was shattered a few days ago when I got accepted to the forestry program at UBC I have been dreaming about and launched kendal designs! 

This day to me truly symbolized the mixing of two worlds that in reality where never separate.  Having a passion and flair for the arts only benefits any area you explore and/or work in and vice versa.  I could not be more ecstatic about my little local design company that so far is all about creating terrariums and the fact that I can finally chant “wood is good” at UBC and take countless conservation and forestry courses!  

Here are a few photos of my new creations for kendal designs! Instagram: kendaldesigns

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Painted Terracotta Planter

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Hello!

Tonight I avoided studying for finals for one last day by watching Parks and Recreation, hanging out with my cat and painting pots!  This project was really easy! You just need to be patient with letting the acrylic paint dry.  

1) Clean or buy a terra cotta pot (There are tons at thrift stores)

2) Use a sponge to apply acrylic paint of your choice. Paint in one direction to avoid crazy streaks (this will take numerous coats if you are painting your pot white and you don’t want streaks)

3) Use a fine liner to add design or a small paint brush (Don’t use Sharpie if you use a fine liner it will run!  Instead use a Staedtler permanent marker (I checked to make sure it doesn’t run with water)

4) Last use a finish to seal the paint and protect the inside.  I still have to do this last step but that is it!

This is a really fun DIY project and it gives old planters a second life.  I loved the quote “I’d rather have flowers in my hair than diamonds around my neck” and it is a sweet saying for a succulent planter. I am hoping to start selling some this summer in Vancouver 🙂 

Goodluck and happy painting!


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Robin Hoods of Neglected Landscapes

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Hello,

Hope everyone had a beautiful and happy Easter long weekend.  Today I am going to discuss the hot topic of guerilla gardening.  I recently started guerilla gardening in the city of Vancouver and have found the blogs surrounding it extremely interesting.  Through investigating the discussion pages and profiles of those commenting I have come to realize that seldom do guerilla gardeners fit into the common stereotypes of hippies, anti-globalist and radical anarchists.  I myself am not a stereotypical guerilla gardener.  I am a University student studying general arts who loves playing hockey and reading books on animals and botany.  For me, is not merely the sheer beauty of plants I find interesting but the capability they have in transforming people emotionally (working part time at the garden store I witness the power plants possess in bringing happiness daily).  It is this social transformation I find extremely fulfilling about the practice of guerilla gardening.  For me, guerilla gardening is not a political statement about public space.  It is the transformation from drab and depressing to a beautiful and inviting space.  What I am meaning to say is that guerilla gardening is a far from a static term.   Guerilla gardening is a dynamic activity that serves various purposes for a variety of people.  I believe blogs have changed the perception of guerilla gardeners by inviting discussion surrounding the topics and through the diverse and personal features of blogs.  Blogs invite us to explore the personal thoughts, opinions and personalities of those who write them.  By inviting the readers to get to know them, online blogs act as profiles that alter the one dimensional stereotypes of guerilla gardeners and help to world envision those who guerilla garden as a combination of identities.  On guerilla gardening blogs I have come across posts on discussion boards left by a kindergarten teacher wanting to make seed balls with her class, a grandmother wanting to teach her 2 year granddaughter how to make seed balls and a variety of individuals seeking advice.  These examples alter the perception that guerilla gardeners are radical hippies and in this case can be seen as mothers and grandmothers looking to teach children about plants.  From exploring various guerilla gardening blogs I have come to notice the ability they have had in forming groups with collective interests with diverse backgrounds.  The online world has not only helped to spread helpful guerilla gardening information, but has changed the way guerilla gardeners are viewed.  I have come to realize that guerilla gardening blogs serve the important function of creating a space for community dialogue and discussion.  Through which, community attachment and change is developed through the inclusion of various people.  I would love to hear your opinion on the relationship of blogs and guerilla gardening.  If any guerilla gardeners read this I would love to hear about your experiences

Goodnight!


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Things I Learned Today

Hello,

Image Everything is crazy at this time of year.  Exams are coming up for school and the garden store is bumping.  I thought it would be fun to share 5 things I learned today working at the garden store.

1) Bees are attracted to the colours blue and purple

2) Moss looks great surrounding spring bulbs in terra cotta’s

3) Miniature Maple Trees are commonly weeping 

4) People love Pansies 

5) One third of all the food we consume is pollinated by bees

Happy Gardening!


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Cats, Plants and Terra Cotta

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Hello,

Cats, plants and terra cotta planter’s are three of my favourite things! Here is another photo of my neighbour’s beautiful garden and Mr.Magoo’s sister Ms. Sophie. She is a sassy ragdoll that loves her food and has stunning blue eyes.  The garden consists of beautiful overflowing planters.  As you can see in the photo, my neighbour uses a variety of plant textures to create interest and none of her terracotta’s are identical.  This is one of my favourite spots to study and soak up the sun in the summer.  Basically I adore this backyard.

Goodnight!