Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Out on the Streets: June's Wrap-up


OK, we're well into July, but the delay has enabled me me to bring you a bumper edition of what's been Out on the Streets for June. Many thanks to all of you who took part, and to those of you who haven't posted yours yet, don't worry I'm happy to add in your findings at a later date. My main picture for today is from my local garden centre, where these planters and baskets are placed at the head of the parking bays closest to the buildings. The planter also shows the parking space is reserved for Mrs Self, who is 101 years old and still works at her family's business 6 days a week. Her grandson, Peter Self is featured in this month's edition of Garden Answers.

As expected, there's been a wide and varied set of posts from you. However, I was completely taken by surprise when I saw Rothschild Orchid's contribution. She took almost exactly the same shot of my local garden centre's planting! Do have a look - her picture's much better than mine. As you can see, bright pink is this year's in colour. I've also seen a couple of roundabouts in Bath sporting exactly the same shade of bright bedding Geranium in similar copious amounts.

Roundabouts (aka traffic circles) have again featured well this time round. Jim over at Art of Gardening showed us a heritage one no less in Buffalo, whilst Monica The Garden Faerie gave us a sumptuously planted one as part of her excellent guided tour around Ann Arbor. Both show good quality planting can be achieved in our public places where there's a will to do so.

Rose has taken us on a grand tour of her neighbourhood and pulled out a number of key themes which are coming through loud and clear as our regular forays Out on the Streets progress through the year. She's shown how often planting can be unimaginative as the same plant is used again and again (in her case daylilies); how key community groups and initiatives are to improving an area; and how sometimes less management can lead to greater interest when native plants are allowed to prosper and flower.

Karen at Greenwalks has found a good example in her post entitled Cool Thoroughfare Planting. She's always a rich source of material and in June gave us a Streetside Potato Farm and a driving tour around Seattle too. There's also a couple of posts from Chicago: Carolyn Gail of Sweet Home and Garden Chicago has been musing on the country wildflowers she found in the heart of the city and no OOTS in June would be complete without a trip to the wonderful Lurie. I've chosen Gail's Clay and Limestone post, not only because it was the first one I found whilst looking at all the Spring Flingers' news, but also because hers has photos of many of our fellow gardening bloggers for you to have a neb* at!

Back in the UK, giant 'plant statues' have featured strongly - I must find the picture I took of the dinosaur one in Salisbury last year to add to this collection. In the meantime, Carrie of Grow Our Own found a fun fishy shape over in Northern Ireland and Happy Mouffetard found some wonderful ones involving bicycles over at The Inelegant Gardener. Both posts are bound to make you smile.

Elsewhere, Greentapestry's Anna took us on a tour of some stylishly revamped gardens in Liverpool via some amazing collages she put together and in contrast, Valeri from My Small Cornish Garden showed us a wonderfully tropical planting in a Falmouth garden. Hermes, my fellow Wiltshire resident and Gardens of a Golden Afternoon author, found a recently planted area outside the library in his home town of Westbury. He's also promised to return to show us how it develops over the season. Whilst we're at the library, Patient Gardener has a cracking example in Malvern. Note to self: must see what Chippenham's up to, especially as I spotted some top quality planting in Calne recently.**

Finally, back at VP Gardens I've shamelessly shown you a few of my holiday photos by posting about Norfolk's public planting and also asked whether plastic flowers can have a role to play. Closer to home (literally), I looked at the wildflowers in a couple of managed open spaces just a few minutes walk from here.

So there you have it for this quarter. Naturally I'll be posting some more on the subject of public planting over the next few weeks and if you can't join me, I do hope you'll able to do so in September for the next Out on the Streets :)

* = A fine northern expression meaning being really nosey

** = Little do you know how controversial that sentence is. There's an intense rivalry between Chippenham and Calne and by simply suggesting that Calne might just have something better than this town is very likely to have me lynched by a marauding posse of native Chippenham citizens!

13 comments:

  1. What a relief to know that I'm trendy, with my hot pink flowers. I'd to be using a passe color in my garden.
    Hopefully I'll get around to taking photos for July. The public plantings around here don't really get into fully swing until summer, when the ornamental grasses are at their full height and the prairie plants start doing their thing.

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  2. Hi VP - Thanks for doing this again and including me (more than once!). I really enjoy looking at all the public plantings from the US and UK that you have rounded up. Makes life so much nicer to have something interesting/pretty/unusual to look at as you pass by!

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  3. Thanks for hosting this, VP, and for letting us know about all the participants. I've seen a few of these posts already, but I'll have to visit some of the others. I've been working on taking some photos around town and hope to get a post up by the end of the week. Better late than never, I hope:)

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  4. Oh dear I still havent done a post for you, feeling bad. Hope to get some photos over the summer. We have a particularly good planting scheme outside our library which was only done last year.

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  5. I really wished I had my camera with me on Monday, when I visited two branches of Frost's garden centre (Willington and Woburn Sands, for anyone who lives in the Beds/Bucks area) and they both had an incredibly colourful display of planters outside. Not all bright p*nk, thank goodness, but a mixture of several very vivid colours. They were rather more garish than I'd want in a garden, but very eye-catching for a garden centre, and it was nice to see an imaginitive use of a wide range of plants rather than the usual summer bedding type displays.

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  6. Thanks for the shout-out and link. I hadn't known about OOTS before. I may have to add something more purposefully next time around.

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  7. So sorry I've not sorted a post. It's really tricky to photograph a roundabout while you are driving. and then in the rain. The most annoying thing is that Nottingham has done a really god job on them and they deserve to be seen.

    As my school reports probably said ' Could do better'.

    Lol

    WV is bukst which is good too. x

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  8. MMD - I found some more today, so you're really in tune with what's hot. July would be great for street planting pictures if you find the time. I can always put a supplement up as I'm posting regularly about public planting anyway.

    Karen - you're welcome. As your blog features public planting so much, it's natural to give you lots of link love :)

    Rose - no problem with when you post yours. I can add you to the supplement :)

    PG - anytime over the summer's fine especially if you've got a good example. I need them to counteract all the bad examples I find!

    Juliet - oh no another post you've seen without a p*nk warning! If you find yourself, revisiting the garden centre - how about taking your camera next time. It would be great to have you join in.

    Jim - hurrah, that would be great :)

    Maggi - congratulations on your son's involvement in a gold medal winning garden at Hampton Court :) As for Nottingham's roundabout, it looks like we need to sort out a plan B ;)

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  9. Thanks for the round up VP - I have some serious catching up to do :)
    P.S. A most appropriate word verification for your blog - water ! How spooky :)

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  10. Hmm Street planting. I wonder if the fact that my husband sneeked a couple of hanging baskets up on the lamp post outside our garden would count.
    I recently had someone from the Parks Department call to collect some Lyme Disease leaflets. She enjoyed the baskets and turned a blind eye to the fact they weren't in our garden.
    May have had something to do with the fact she'd enjoyed the tour around the garden and as well as leaflets she had left with arms full of pots of delphinium and lupins.
    Intersting post VP.

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  11. Anna - I reckon WV's getting context sensitive ;)

    Joanne - yes, they count. That comes under the guerrilla/ community gardening umbrella :)

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  12. I have finally managed to get some photos of our local library and done a post on the planting there - see http://patientgardener.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/this-is-what-public-planting-should-look-like/

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  13. PG - many thanks and it is indeed stunning. I've updated this post and will make sure you get a mention in next month's Out on the Streets kick off post :)

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