urbansucculents

Urban Gardening With Succulents in Beautiful Vancouver, BC


6 Comments

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

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


2 Comments

Painted Terracotta Planter

Image

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!


1 Comment

Robin Hoods of Neglected Landscapes

Image

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!


3 Comments

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! 

 


11 Comments

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!

IMG_0009