Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Making seed bombs on TV
Andrea Bellamy |

I appeared on entertainment talk show Urban Rush yesterday, and showed hosts Michael and Fiona how to make seed bombs. Check it out!


Happy new year!
Andrea Bellamy |

Jan 2011 calendar

Hey there! Happy new year. Hope you had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas holiday (if you celebrate such things), and are ready to take on the world in 2011. Let’s all work to make this year better than the last, shall we? It can’t be hard to do better than 2010! So: happy thoughts, good intentions, and meaningful action. Let’s go.

Along those lines… my friend and fellow garden writer Willi Galloway at DigginFood has dreamed up a gorgeous desktop calendar in collaboration with designer and illustrator Anne Bryant, and is offering it as a free download on her blog. With a modern homesteading theme, the twelve bright, quirky illustrations are a cheerful and fun way to decorate your laptop (or desk; Anne offers a printed version in her Etsy shop) and will definitely get you in the mood for taking on the garden (and possibly the world!) in 2011.

Thanks Willi!


Saving seeds and drying herbs
Andrea Bellamy |

Red Sails lettuce going to seed

‘Red Sails’ lettuce going to seed.

The garden has started its slow decline, and I am not overly unhappy about it. I feel like the ant in that classic fable, putting up food, saving seeds, and drying herbs. While I’m still savouring the last of the summer fruits, I’m also enjoying the cycle of the seasons, and trying not to fight the inevitable decent into winter.

drying herbs

Herbs for drying (mint, oregano, and thyme).

There are so many things to love about fall. I think it has to be the most sensory season, don’t you? The swish-crunch of your footsteps on leaf-strewn streets. The pungent earthy whiff of wood fires. The sharpness of the morning air in your nostrils.

saving seeds

Drying seeds (peas, kale, cilantro).

For me, fall is for cocoa, school bells, chunky sweaters, and collecting acorns and pretty leaves. It’s about putting away the sun hats, and bringing out the warm coats and knitting needles. It’s also about preparing the garden for winter — the endless cleaning and emptying of containers, tidying of foliage, and storing of tools that is definitely not my favourite part of the season. In fact, I’d like to just skip that part of gardening altogether.


Strawberry rhubarb jam

But crisp mornings and long evenings in front of the fireplace with a good novel and a cat on my lap? Yes, please. And having a larder (okay, a shelf or two) packed with homemade preserves? That’s something I can get behind.


900 arugula seedlings. 12 square inches.
Andrea Bellamy |

sprouted arugula

Ever wonder what would happen if you left a packet of seeds out in the rain? Yeah, me neither. But now you know.


Cedar Cottage Garden Spring Fling
Andrea Bellamy |

Spring Fling Poster 2010

Tomorrow! Join us at the Cedar Cottage Community Garden for our annual Spring Fling event

• Plant sale
• Live music
• Kid’s activities
• Garden tours
• Workshops (including “What to plant now,” led by yours truly).

11am-2pm, Victoria Drive at Hull Street, Vancouver (map)


VanDusen plant sale this weekend
Andrea Bellamy |

Yesterday, I joined the hoards of women fighting for the perfect pair of kicky heels at the infamous Army and Navy shoe sale (I restrained myself to three pairs). This is a legendary event, in which women (and a few really brave men) line up for hours to score discount shoes. When the doors open, shoppers run, screaming (literally), to the shoe racks, where they grab everything in their size. When employees come out to restock the shelves, they are mobbed. Crazy, right?


A scene from the annual VanDusen Plant Sale.

Almost as nutty is the equally legendary VanDusen Botanical Garden’s annual plant sale, coming this Sunday, when more than 40,000 plants go on sale to benefit the Garden.

Plant nuts start lining up as early as 7 a.m. for the 10 a.m. door opening. When the doors open at 10 a.m., crazed gardeners race to grab the hot plant picks, usually dragging a wagon or running behind a wheelbarrow. The prize? Gardener’s gold – that special one-of-a-kind plant or great bargain that can’t be found anywhere else. More than 10,000 people attend the sale.

I happen to have an advance copy of the plant sale catalogue (you can download yours here), a list of plants that reads like soft porn. While the sale is known for its fabulous selection of perennials, I was intrigued by the edibles, of course – unusual and heirloom varieties of apples; enough herbs to fill a estate-sized potager; tomatoes, mushrooms. You’ll also find a great selection of cannas, carnivorous plants, Pacific Northwest native plants, pelargoniums, rhodos – and many rare and unusual treasures.

The details

Sunday, April 25
Doors open at 10 a.m. (and close at 4 p.m.)
Great Lawn at VanDusen Botanical Garden
5251 Oak Street at W. 37th


My first week on the Cure, plus some inspiration from Pad Outdoors

Pad Outdoor POD Aluminium Planters

My husband and I are attempting to (re)decorate our living room. (I’m not sure whether we’re decorating or redecorating. We’ve lived here for almost four years, and the living “room,” which is part of an open plan kitchen/dining/living space, is completely dysfunctional.)

As an attempt to finally wrangle the beast, I’m reading—and following—a book called Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure. It’s written by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, creator of the massively (and deservedly) successful Apartment Therapy blogs. It’s an  inspiring, energizing book that steers you through an eight-week rehab program for your home. (That’s right. I’m having an intervention with my living room.)

My goals?

1. Pull together the jumble of styles (mid-century modern meets what I can only describe as cabin chic… then they both meet toddler.)

2. Acquire some vital missing furnishings, such as the area rug (which we got rid of once we realized the deep, cream, wool shag was not compatible with ground-in bunny crackers), a decent lamp, and some art for the walls.

3. Be able to manage clutter better.

But this is a gardening blog. So why am I talking about home decor? Because I like these  Pod Aluminum Planters by Pad Outdoors and wanted to share them with you.

Pod Aluminum Planter grouping

Despite having no talent for houseplants, I would love to find a place for a really great-looking plant in my new living room. Obviously, choosing the right planter is key. A bit of a splurge at $175 each (and extra for the stands), these spun aluminum planters make me happy.  They’re going in my “style tray,” as the Apartment Therapy book prescribes.

There are so many great options for indoor plants/containers, so I’m going to continue to explore and share my discoveries/living room decor possibilities with you. Check back often this month, and help me create a home I love (please?!). I’ll be eternally grateful.

PS: Yes, I’ll post some “before” photos. Soon.

PSS: Check out my only other online foray into decorating with Lila’s nursery on Flickr.


Sneak peak at It’s Complicated kitchen garden
Andrea Bellamy |


Remodelista has a wonderful post up featuring the kitchen garden from the forthcoming movie, It’s Complicated (with the inimitable Meryl Streep). It’s all very idyllic in a potager-meets-Spanish-Colonial kind of way, and I want it desperately. Unfortunately, I don’t have the space (or the cash) but for those who do, Remodelista provides a simple breakdown of ways to steal the look. Check it out!

garden set up


Best gifts for gardeners 2009

Wait—how did it get to be December already? We just finished the Halloween candy.

Since there are obviously fewer minutes in an hour these days, I give thanks every time I click “add to cart” and check another name off my shopping list without setting foot in a mall. So here’s a little treat for you: a round-up of gifts any gardener would love. And they’re all available online.


The book vase by theshophouse has ferns and foliage tucked into its leaves ($44.00 on


These lovely botanical screenprinted napkins by Bloomsong add a touch of rustic luxury to your table ($17.00 for two, on

acorn necklace

This sweet sterling silver acorn necklace by GurKimel uses real acorns ($60.00 on


The Cobrahead weeder and cultivator is a fantastic all-purpose hand tool that is great for small spaces (it also comes in a long-handled version). ($19.95 on


The Grobal self-watering container lets you go a week between watering. At this price, pick up a few to give as hostess, teacher, or babysitter gifts ($14.30 on


Jane Joss turns fabric into fantastic foliage. I like this houndstooth fabric potted plant ($28.00 on

felco pruners

Felco classic pruners. There’s a reason these hand pruners have “classic” in their name. Felco is the name in secateurs, and you’ll never regret the investment in this quality product. This is another gift that will last a lifetime ($43.18 on

birdhouse stamp

This custom address birdhouse stamp by modernartstamps is a practical gift—yet one that is sure elicit smiles ($10.00 on Etsy).


Atlas gloves. Lightweight, breathable, and durable. What more could you need in an all-purpose glove? Great stocking stuffer. ($5.95 on


All kind beans
Andrea Bellamy |

all beans are kind

You know, I tend to agree. All beans are kind. Especially Fortex. I’m still harvesting handfuls of this delicious French filet pole bean, and loving every morsel.

What were the standouts from your garden this summer?


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