Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Ikea green hacks
Andrea Bellamy |

Ikea Hacker has a great post showcasing “hacked” Ikea products used to create planters and even a mini greenhouse.  

ikea planter

I like the Asker utensil holder converted into a hanging planter, above, and the table, below, which utilizes three different Ikea products to make a table with built-in planter.

ikea planter table.jpgAnd of course there’s the Heavy Petal hack: Fniss wastepaper basket into herb containers.


Moss art by Edina Todoki

moss_art.jpgCheck out this new brand of moss art by artist Edina Todoki I found via Inhabitat. Todoki, who describes herself as a “culitvator of eco-urban sensitivity,” says of the project, “City dwellers often have no relationship with animals or greenery. As a public artist I feel a sense of duty to draw attention to deficiencies in our everyday life.”  


Some are calling this moss graffiti. It certainly seems like a more successful method than the “moss paint” method I tried. And it’s certainly eye-catching and attractive. I just have to wonder where all that moss came from. I hope it wasn’t wild harvested in such quantities. Wouldn’t that be kind of ironic? What do you think?

On another note, I read this blog post detailing a guerilla art project, and I am so inspired to do the same! Anyone care to join in? 


Take that, Monsanto


Percy and Louise Schmeiser took on Monsanto. Would you?

Congratulations to Canadian farmers Percy and Louise Schmeiser for receiving the Right Livelihood Award in recognition of their struggle against agro-chemical giant Monsanto. The Right Livelihood Award (“for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people”) was awarded to the Schmeisers “for their courage in defending biodiversity and farmers’ rights, and challenging the environmental and moral perversity of current interpretations of patent laws”.


Here’s the story:

In 1998 Percy Schmeiser and his wife received a letter from the US agribusiness giant Monsanto claiming that they had used Monsanto seeds without a license in planting their 1997 crop. However, the Schmeisers had never bought Monsanto seed nor intended to have it on their land. It turned out that some Monsanto ‘Round-up Ready’ genetically modified canola (rape) seeds had blown over from the Schmeisers’ neighbour or from passing trucks. Thus, genes that Monsanto claimed to “own” under Canadian patent law had ended up in the Schmeisers’ seeds.

Monsanto threatened to sue the Schmeisers for ‘infringement of patent’, seeking damages totalling $400,000 (CAD)…

The Schmeisers took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, and then some. They’re suing Monsanto, “claiming that Monsanto-“owned” genes are to be regarded as contamination” to their own crops. Ballsy. And so very inspiring!

Read more here.

Photos: RLA Foundation.



Flora table
Andrea Bellamy |


Mmmmmmm… pretty. It’s Columbian designer Danilo Calvache’s Flora Table. Lo amo.

Via MocoLoco.


Victoria in bloom
Andrea Bellamy |


Visited my old stomping grounds last weekend, and I didn’t go to any gardens! At least not of the official variety. But I loved this abandoned lot. It’s not the Victoria you see in the tourist brochures, but I like this better.


I wonder if this is the work of guerilla gardeners. Any Victoria guerillas want to fess up?


Houseboat garden
Andrea Bellamy |


Grumpy today, and in need of sleep. Luckily my friend Tammy went to the Sunshine Coast last week and took a photo of this floating garden for me — finding it in my in-box was just the anti-depressant I needed.

Thanks, Tam!


Botanical twist

I love old school botanical illustrations, but have always stopped short of hanging them on my walls. Maybe I’ve just never found ones that are interesting or bizarre enough for my taste. But when I saw Wolfie and the Sneak’s new posters, Fungi and Pods, below, I was smitten.


Soon to be gracing my walls: Fungi! Quirky and colourful. I love it.


And its sister, Pods. I think this one has inspired me to commit to an office colour scheme: red and robin’s egg blue. Delish.


Wolfie and the Sneak (Renee and Charlie – “two crazy kids in love, who also love to make things”) make some truly sweet, sweet things. Like Lotus Seed Pods, above. And next on my personal wishlist, their Freshly Sliced Art – Flora Edition, which is kind of like a really funky, beautiful colouring book. It contains 15 ready-to-color, limited edition botanically-minded prints. Renee does her drawing magic and you come up with the color scheme. The pages are perforated so you can tear them out and frame when finished. How fun!

So go check out their Etsy shop, and Renee’s garden/DIY/art/fun stuff blog. Go on now. Shoo.


Vancouver Garden Show highlights

While my participation in the disembowelment of a display garden was certainly memorable, I scored more than just discount perennials at the Vancouver Garden Show.

I was very pleased to discover that, although some of the feature gardens kind of sucked (it’s no Chelsea, that’s for sure), the “urban deck showcase” had some really great patios on display. And, I managed to meet the designers behind my favourite three. Can I just say that my generation is rocking? I hear all this stuff about younger people not being interested in gardening, but the best designs were by young’uns.


First up, Aloe Designs and their sleek and sexy patio (above). Um, drool. Owners Owen and Caitlin seem like my kind of people. They have a wicked sense of style and are interested in sustainability and food security issues. Owen even graduated from the same garden design program as me.

Then there’s Steve from Urban Escapes (whose gorgeous deck I posted a couple days ago). I’m coveting his mad skills in carpentry and construction – if only I could build a screen like that! I love the minimalist water feature he built into that little space.

Finally, there’s Lalieth from Outside Contemporary Garden Design, whose luscious plant combinations are truly inspired. Her deck display demonstrated that you can have a functional, beautiful garden in the space the size of a Mini Cooper.



Paris, Part One


I’m home. We had a wonderful time in France, and already miss it. Well, parts of it. Miss: the fresh, fresh, gorgeously-decadent food; the mind-blowing wines for under $10; the accessibility of great art, architecture and design; my sister. Don’t miss: the smoking; the humidity; how easy it is to overindulge.

Now it’s time to get caught up. I apologize for the lack of posts while I was away. I thought I’d do more blogging, but it’s really hard to devote time to it when there are bottles of wine to be enjoyed, new neighbourhoods to discover and catching up with my sister to do. Can you blame me? Didn’t think so.

I thought I’d break down the two weeks we were away into digestible chunks. Today I bring you Paris, Part One (or should that be Un?). The one week spent in Paris was much less floriferous than our time in the country, obviously, but perhaps because they don’t have easy access to backyards or farmland, Parisians really do try to integrate greenery into their lives. Their window boxes, for example, are incredible. At home people are always claiming they don’t have the space to garden. You people: please see the above photo.


Then there are the flower markets. My favourite, simply for it’s overwhelming size and accompanying perfume, is the much-photographed Marche aux Fleurs at Place Louis Lepine, which turns into a bird market on Sundays.


The parks in Paris proper are rather formal affairs; symmetrical and geometrical, with lawns that are meant for looking at, not picnicking on. Still, they are splendid when viewed from above, like this, the Parc du Champ de Mars (taken from the Eiffel Tower, natch!).

Tomorrow: discovery at the Pompidou Centre and that famous vertical garden.


Happy connections
Andrea Bellamy |


I’m not big on logic. For example, I simultaneously reject the idea that there is a divine order to things, that we are “destined” to live out our lives in a predetermined way, yet I also somehow believe that everything happens for a reason. I fully acknowledge that I can’t defend this position.

I’ve had a week where this dichotomy has been made apparent once again. It’s been a crappy week I can find no greater reason for; one of disappointment and frustration. So I’ve been trying to turn this set back into a catalyst for positive change – but am struggling to overcome my own anger and sense of failure. Sigh.

Anyway, today I’m checking my visitor stats (Welcome, Wish Jar readers!) and see that Keri Smith has linked to my seedball post. This is where I think, “this was meant to happen,” because Keri’s blog is full of all the goodness I needed to hear today – like a passage from Hesse’s Wandering, stuff on guerilla art, and lots of inspiring creative ideas. I’m not sure how I never came across it before, but I’m so grateful to have found it now.

The kicker? I’ve had some of Keri’s writing, a piece called “How to be an explorer of the world” set as my desktop for the last month, without knowing where it came from. Let’s call it happy connectedness.


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