Quebec City happens to be a city of gorgeous gardens, despite the fact that their growing season is a mere 90 days long. It was also the host city for the 2013 Garden Writers Association Annual Symposium this week. The GWA is a nonprofit organization whose membership comprises professional writers, editors, photographers, and media personalities working in gardening communications — a field we know and love well at Storey!
Our gardening editor Carleen Madigan was in attendance at the symposium and describes the yearly gathering, now in its sixty-fifth year, as “a great opportunity to catch up with old friends in the gardening world, meet new writers, make connections, and talk about Storey’s books to the people who are out there spreading the good word about gardening.”
In her Post from the Road — Quebec City, Carleen shares a bit about who and what she saw: the people she met, the vivid color combinations of this capital city’s garden spaces, and inspiration for our own garden innovations next year (tomato arbor, anyone?).
Every GWA conference includes workshops and garden tours. For me the tours often end up being the most fruitful part of the trip, both because of the conversations I have on the bus (I always try to sit with someone new for each leg of our travels, to meet as many people as possible) and because of all the inspiring gardens we see.This year I’ve had a great time catching up with Niki Jabbour (author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener and Groundbreaking Food Gardens, forthcoming from Storey in December). She’s been busy bringing together a posse of young garden writers, some of whom you can see here:
Some of the gardens we’ve visited have given me ideas for things I’d like to put to use in my own vegetable garden. We saw this mini tomato arbor in the community gardens here in Quebec City. The tomatoes are trained to strings, which are tied to the arbor.
We visited a rooftop garden at La Maison de Lauberivière, a former hotel that is now Quebec City’s largest homeless shelter. The garden covers 6,000 square feet and produces 1.5 tons of vegetables each year. This photo shows just a part of the garden, but you can see that everything they grow is in grow bags. That’s pretty impressive!
At the rooftop gardens they’ve also created living willow shade structures by putting willow branches into containers and keeping them watered. They grow quickly! This arbor was just planted in May.
We saw grow bags in several other places, including in front of the Parliament Building.
I’m always collecting ideas for new ways to use pink and orange in the garden. Here are a couple of combinations I’ve noticed over the last day or two.
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The best time to save seeds from your open-pollinated tomato varieties is when the first tomatoes ripen. I use the first ripe tomatoes for seed saving to reduce the chances that the bees will have worked the flowers and cross-pollinated the … Read More
Moving a seedling or grown plant to a new place is called transplanting. It can be planting a potted plant in the garden or moving a plant from one place in the garden to another. Before you move seedlings outside, though, you need to harden … Read More
W hat’s your favorite way to warm up on a cold winter day? Mine is to put on a big pot of homemade squash soup! With such a staggering selection of varieties, you’ll quickly discover that there is a perfect squash for whatever you want … Read More
Gardening has always been a way to stay connected to the seasons. You can mark the passage of time not by counting the hours but by the warming of the soil, the germination of seeds, the emergence of fruit, and the harvest. That much holds … Read More
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