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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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!


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Flower Power

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Today was a good day.  It was my first day of work during the spring season and as a kind gesture the garden store I work at was handing out cut daffodils.  I had the satisfying job, as a cashier of handing out the flowers to customers.  It really made the six-hour shift go by incredibly fast.  It was alarming to see how happy flowers make people. 

Toddlers loved receiving the promotional gift, a quote from one toddler was “When I get home I am going to put this in the ground” (how adorable!).  Another one said “how beautiful” while gleaming at the flower. Though it wasn’t just toddlers who were moved by the flowers, there were young adults, parents and even grandparents whose faces instantly brightened up. One customer even left to grab a jar filled with water from his car to keep his cut flower happy during the ride home.  The majority of those who accepted the daffodil wore a large grin and walked out of the store in a better mood then they came in.

 It got me wondering why receiving a single cut daffodil from a garden store can leave such a positive impact?  Some of the thoughts I had were that receiving flowers brings recognition and the feelings of being cared and loved… I am still unsure what about flowers make people so happy, me included, but I would love to hear any ideas 🙂


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The Gift of Giving

Hello and happy Friday!Image

I wanted to share my experience today and how it has changed my perception of giving.  It didn’t hurt that today was a beautiful day.  Today, I made a conscious effort to be warm and open in a class that I really like, even though I bombed my last exam.  Instead of the usual five minutes of playing with my phone before class began I decided to engage with my neighbour instead.  Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a huge stretch as we have become acquaintances and we usually sit together.  I thought it would be nice to ask her what her plans for the weekend were and engage in conversation.  What I didn’t expect was the change in my mood.  From engaging with her she reciprocated and throughout the lecture we make jokes and even talked for a few minutes after class.  What I am meaning is that by giving someone else my attention and interest I gained the same if not more from my neighbour than she did for me. 

The same thing happened today while grabbing bags from the car for the thrift store.  While I was running (seriously running) back to the store I saw an elderly man walking his dog.  The dog leaped towards me with its tail wagging so I couldn’t help but ask the man if I could pet the cute fluff ball.  While playing with the dog the man told me about his dog, asked me what I was doing, and even gave me a friendly wave bye after I told him to have a great day. This really made my day and I couldn’t be happier I stopped and took the time to meet a stranger. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that we have so much to gain from giving to others.  It truly brings happiness to you and the person who receives what you are offering.  This doesn’t have to be a huge gift, I noticed the emotional benefits today and I was only giving my attention.  I strongly believe giving back to your community in any way not only builds a strong and beautiful community but also allows you to feel connected and experience belonging. 

I will leave you with a picture of the succulent I planted up today for one of my close friends 19th birthday.  Have a great weekend! 

 


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Hello!

Hello world!
I am new to blogging so this will take me some time to get the hang of but I thought I would quickly introduce myself. I am presently a university student with a passion for hockey, hiking, exploring, crafting, gardening and creating. To be concise I love nature!
Since landing the most amazing part-time job at a local garden store, I have found a new love for gardening and have come to understand the happiness plants can bring into people lives. I now assist kind and animated customers at the garden store compared to the commonly grumpy and rushed customers at the grocery store I once worked at. Maybe it is the beautiful spring weather and break from the Vancouver rain that makes people so friendly in the garden store but I believe there is more to it.
I have come to understand from just over a year of part-time work, that gardening makes people feel purposeful and needed. Gardening brings about the responsibility to remember to water, to fertilize and to be attentive. Caring for something other than oneself allows for acts of compassion for other living organisms. It is truly a therapeutic practice caring for plants and it can be rewarding in many cases. After my first year of starting a vegetable garden with my family I experienced a few disasters (the broccoli bolted and went to seed along with the bok choy) and a handful of success (fresh lettuce, butternut squash, snap peas and some good-looking corn if I don’t say so myself!). I am getting off topic but what I was trying to explain is that not only are there intrinsic benefits to gardening but there are tangible benefits as well. There is fresh organic produce waiting to be grown in even the smallest urban spaces! It just takes some creativity and patience.
It’s time to finish a paper and maybe a quick flip through Fine Gardening but I will leave you with a picture of my neighbour’s adorable cat that I kitty-sit for. In the background you can see her amazing urban garden. My neighbour has made amazing usage of a fairly small space and transformed it into a secret garden. I will upload better photos of it soon!
Goodnight!

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