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Theme Gardens and Garden Notes: #DesignThis Contest Week 4

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Contests, Do it Yourself, Garden Design, Garden Sketch, Gardening Apps, Gardens, Inspiration, Landscaping | 1 comment

More great entries from Week 3 in the Garden Sketch App #DesignThis Garden Design Contest, and rather a huge temptress as we do love our vegetable gardens! Now we are contemplating space to maximize the size of next years’ veggie garden, as well as jealously looking at those people in warmer climates, planting their winter vegetable patches.

Which is your favourite of the three entries below?

 

Garden Sketch Contest Entry, Vegetable Patch Challenge

Design A

 

Garden Sketch Contest Entry, Vegetable Patch Challenge

Design B

 

Garden Sketch Contest Entry, Vegetable Patch Challenge

Design C

 

As a reminder, #DesignThis is a weekly Garden Sketch App Contest that will be hosted here, and on facebook and twitter, weekly until November 2nd, 2014!

The contest is quite simple.  Each week, we shall post a different garden design challenge here, and on facebook and twitter, and we challenge you to create a garden design of your dreams while including that week’s challenge in the garden design, using the Garden Sketch iPad App. Challenges might be things like including a water feature, rockery, or themed area in your garden. For the purposes of this contest, the Garden Sketch App is free in the iTunes store until October 31st, 2014.

We will be accepting new entries each week, until midnight PST on the Sunday of the week, at which point our esteemed judges will select a winner (or we will go to one of our various gardening communities to help us pick out a winner). Weekly winners will be announced on Tuesday evening.

To enter:

  • Download the Garden Sketch App to your iPad for free;
  • Use Garden Sketch to create a design for a dream garden including  the week’s challenge element;
  • When you are done designing, select ‘Share’ and email yourself a .png of your dream garden;
  • Then share your Garden Sketch dream garden .png with us by posting it on our facebook page with the #DesignThis hashtag on your entry description, on twitter by including @GardenSketchApp and #DesignThis in your tweet, or by sharing a link to the image in the contest post comments; and
  • Check back on Tuesday evening to see if you won!

To make entering easier, we’ve written a sample tweet below, that you could use to enter:

#BeddingDown with the @GardenSketchApp ~ URL to image. I showed you mine, now show me yours! http://ht.ly/BNofB #DesignThis

For various tips and tricks to creating a Garden Sketch, check out our Garden Sketch Tutorial, by clicking on this link.

So what will the weekly prize for the winners be?  $50 (Canadian) gift certificate to a local-to-you garden centre (or in lieu of that, to an online seed catalogue or garden centre).

This week’s #DesignThis Contest Challenge is to include a theme area to your garden, using the notes to tell us about it, in the Garden Sketch dream garden design that you create.

Happy Garden Sketching!  We look forward to your entries!  Remember to submit them by midnight on Sunday October 26th, 2014!

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Water Features: #DesignThis Contest Week 2

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Contests, Do it Yourself, Garden Design, Garden Sketch, Gardening Apps, Gardens, iPad App, Landscaping |

Well I must say, the entries from Week 1 of our Garden Sketch App #DesignThis Garden Design Contest were all very diverse and excited us in how different each garden sketch was.

Which is your favourite of the three entries below?

 

Garden Sketch Patio Design

Design A

 

Garden Sketch App Patio Design

Design B

 

Garden Sketch App Patio Design

Design C

 

As a reminder, #DesignThis is a weekly Garden Sketch App Contest that will be hosted here, and on facebook and twitter, weekly until October 31st, 2014!

The contest is quite simple.  Each week, we shall post a different garden design challenge here, and on facebook and twitter, and we challenge you to create a garden design of your dreams while including that week’s challenge in the garden design, using the Garden Sketch iPad App. Challenges might be things like including a water feature, rockery, or themed area in your garden. For the purposes of this contest, the Garden Sketch App is free in the iTunes store until October 31st, 2014.

We will be accepting new entries each week, until midnight PST on the Sunday of the week, at which point our esteemed judges will select a winner (or we will go to one of our various gardening communities to help us pick out a winner). Weekly winners will be announced on Tuesday evening.

To enter:

  • Download the Garden Sketch App to your iPad for free;
  • Use Garden Sketch to create a design for a dream garden including  the week’s challenge element;
  • When you are done designing, select ‘Share’ and email yourself a .png of your dream garden;
  • Then share your Garden Sketch dream garden .png with us by posting it on our facebook page with the #DesignThis hashtag on your entry description, on twitter by including @GardenSketchApp and #DesignThis in your tweet, or by sharing a link to the image in the contest post comments; and
  • Check back on Tuesday evening to see if you won!

To make entering easier, we’ve written a sample tweet below, that you could use to enter:

#BeddingDown with the @GardenSketchApp ~ URL to image. I showed you mine, now show me yours! http://ht.ly/BNofB #DesignThis

For various tips and tricks to creating a Garden Sketch, check out our Garden Sketch Tutorial, by clicking on this link.

So what will the weekly prize for the winners be?  $50 (Canadian) gift certificate to a local-to-you garden centre (or in lieu of that, to an online seed catalogue or garden centre).

This week’s #DesignThis Contest Challenge is to include some sort of water feature in the Garden Sketch dream garden design that you create.

Happy Garden Sketching!  We look forward to your entries!  Remember to submit them by midnight on Sunday October 5th, 2014!

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#DesignThis ~ A Garden Sketch App Weekly Contest!

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in Contests, Garden Design, Garden Sketch, Gardens, iPad App, Landscaping | 5 comments

We are rather excited to announce our first ever contest!!!

#DesignThis is a weekly Garden Sketch App Contest that will be hosted here, and on facebook and twitter, weekly until October 31st, 2014!

The contest is quite simple.  Each week, we shall post a different garden design challenge here, and on facebook and twitter, and we challenge you to create a garden design of your dreams while including that week’s challenge in the garden design, using the Garden Sketch iPad App. Challenges might be things like including a water feature, rockery, or themed area in your garden. For the purposes of this contest, the Garden Sketch App is free in the iTunes store until October 31st, 2014.

 

What would you do with this space using Garden Sketch?  The above garden was designed by Lori Yearwood.

What would you do with this space using Garden Sketch? The above garden was designed by Lori Yearwood.

 

We will be accepting new entries each week, until midnight PST on the Sunday of the week, at which point our esteemed judges will select a winner (or we will go to one of our various gardening communities to help us pick out a winner). Weekly winners will be announced on Tuesday evening.

To enter:

  • Download the Garden Sketch App to your iPad for free;
  • Use Garden Sketch to create a design for a dream garden including  the week’s challenge element;
  • When you are done designing, select ‘Share’ and email yourself a .png of your dream garden;
  • Then share your Garden Sketch dream garden .png with us by posting it on our facebook page with the #DesignThis hashtag on your entry description, on twitter by including @GardenSketchApp and #DesignThis in your tweet, or by sharing a link to the image in the contest post comments; and
  • Check back on Tuesday evening to see if you won!

To make entering easier, we’ve written a sample tweet below, that you could use to enter:

#BeddingDown with the @GardenSketchApp ~ URL to image. I showed you mine, now show me yours! http://ht.ly/BNofB #DesignThis

For various tips and tricks to creating a Garden Sketch, check out our Garden Sketch Tutorial, by clicking on this link.

So what will the weekly prize for the winners be?  $50 (Canadian) gift certificate to a local-to-you garden centre (or in lieu of that, to an online seed catalogue or garden centre).

For this week’s #DesignThis Contest, we are starting simple with the request that you create a Garden Sketch dream garden that includes a patio space. As an example, see the patio Lori added beside the tree to her Garden Sketch below.

 

The freehand draw option could be used to draw out a swing set, hang a hammock between a couple trees, or anything else you might be envisioning for your paradise.  If you'd prefer not to draw, you can simply leave a space for these items and add a note to explain what you plan to put there. (We will explain how to make notes in a minute!)

Lori added to her patio space beside the tree by using the freehand draw option of drawing in a chair and table to retreat to from the hot afternoon sun. If you’d prefer not to draw, you can simply leave a space for these items and add a note to explain what you plan to put there.

 

Happy Garden Sketching!  And remember to submit your entries by midnight on Sunday September 28th, 2014!

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It’s our Day! It’s our Special Day! Garden Sketch App Launch

It’s our Day!  It’s our Special Day! Garden Sketch App Launch

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Backyard, Do it Yourself, Flowers, Front Yard, Garden Design, Garden Sketch, Gardening Apps, Gardens, Inspiration, iPad App |

The long wait is over.  After much fussing, planning and worrying it is finally time for the Garden Sketch App launch!  It is now available for iPads in the App Store.  Click here to download.  Garden Sketch will be free for the next few weeks, after which the price will be set to $3.99.  So download it now!

Use Garden Sketch to map your yard with the house, sheds, existing trees and gardens, then create new plans of future garden designs.  There are preset logos for plants, shrubs and trees in three sizes and different colours.  There is also the option of straight or freehand lines and freehand shapes to define spaces.  You can easily add notes to create plant lists.   Export your designs to email or social media platforms as screen grabs or pdfs.

Garden Sketch has a quick and an easy learning curve, but also has plenty of subtlety.  As your skill improves and the designs get better and better and you can fine tune the details.  We’ve found that working with a Stylus really helps to get nice lines and precise plant placement.

Autumn is a great time to use Garden Sketch.  Your garden is still beautiful and full of summer colour.  Use Garden Sketch to record all the plants in your garden and get a head start on your ideas for next year’s plans.

Send your comments and questions to me via email to maija[at]gardensketchapp.com.

Thanks to Jane for sending us this design!  Feel free to share your plans on our Facebook page or with us on Twitter – @GardenSketchApp.  Stay tuned, for a contest with prizes!

Garden Sketch Plan

Garden Sketch Plan

We’ll have a series of posts over the next few weeks with tips for you to get the most from Garden Sketch.

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Bush Beans A-Plenty

Bush Beans A-Plenty

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 in Backyard, Do it Yourself, Gardens, Recipe, Vegetable Gardens |

In addition to the joy I get from my flower gardens, I love being able to go into my own yard and pick vegetables for dinner.  One of the easiest things that I have found to grow are Bush Beans.  Unlike pole beans they do not require any special structures. They grow about 30 cm high and produce lots and lots of beans.  If you are very organized, it is worth planting new batches about every two weeks so you spread out your harvest and you can enjoy fresh beans for a month or six weeks. The big caveat with beans is that they are best planted when the soil is warm, so I waited until nearly June to plant my first crop.

Last year I purchased this package of tricoloured seeds.  Of course you can tell from the seeds whether you can expect yellow, green or purple beans.

Bush Bean Seeds

Bush Bean Seeds

I planted the seeds in front of a south facing fence that received full sun.  The seeds sprouted within ten days.

Bean Sprouts

Bean Sprouts

They grew with little intervention on my part, save having run the weeping hose down the middle to water them most days.

Young Beans Plants (about 4 weeks)

Young Beans Plants (about 4 weeks)

Then about six weeks or so, they began to flower.  They really filled in the empty spaces in my garden quite nicely with a beautiful green ground cover.

Beans a-blooming

Beans a-blooming

At about nine weeks, we were able to begin harvesting.  I think I might have planted them a little too close together, but they seemed to do alright.

Thick with Bush Beans

Thick with Bush Beans

I was able to harvest at least three times from these plants.  The results were beautifully colourful.  The purple ones are my favourite.

Tricoloured Bush Beans in Yellow, Green and Purple

Tricoloured Bush Beans in Yellow, Green and Purple

What to do with all those beans, especially if you plant multiple times?  Bush beans seem to freeze well and I was able to share lots with the office.  My all time favourite recipe though is for spicy Szechuan Green Beans courtesy Gwendolyn Richards of the Calgary Herald.  It smells amazing when you fry up all my favourite things: garlic, ginger in some sesame oil, then topped off with some toasted sesame seeds.

Spicy Szechuan Beans

Spicy Szechuan Beans

Interestingly, the purple beans turn a shade of green when sautéed this way.  Enjoy!

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Gardening as an Act of Creation

Gardening as an Act of Creation

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Backyard, Flowers, Front Yard, Garden Design, Gardens, Inspiration |

I’ve always brought green things into my life.  My first year of university, I bought a plant so I could share my boarding house room with another living thing.  I always pulled the weeds and planted annuals in the gardens of our rental houses, but it has been here in this house that gardening has become an act of creation.

Breaking it down, I would say that I garden for three reasons: beauty, to create spaces and joy. The beauty piece is self evident.  It’s why we buy tulips on those grey days when winter seems in its final convulsive fits.  Beauty seems like a luxury in tough times but it is also very powerful.  Beauty draws us in and brings us closer.  And as fleeting as it seems, it connects us with the human condition as Robert Frost once said, “Nothing gold can stay.” Wandering my yard, I have realized that what gardens do is create spaces, like small acts of architecture.  As someone walks by on the sidewalk, they are invited into the space created by the ridiculously cheerful wall of Black Eyed Susans.  I’ve watched the smiles come over their faces as they reach out to check if the flowers are real.

The front sidewalk

The front sidewalk

On the other side of the same garden bed, there is a completely separate space–one that is shared with the people invited into my home.  It’s a view that is private and separate from that public facade.

The Other Side of the Garden

The Other Side of the Garden

In the backyard, the cute low fence keeps the dogs in, but still grants a view.  Here the pergola gives us a place to site our deck chairs as we enjoy the coolness of the evening.  With a few bird feeders, we’ve also created a space for creatures to visit.  The chickadees, juncos, finches and sparrows hover and flit, filling the space with life.  Our most welcomed guest is the Rufous hummingbird, who always exits the yard with an acrobatic flourish. IMG_0874 When we create these spaces for beauty in our lives, we can’t help but create joy.  I feel it as I sit here in the early morning scribbling my words.  I know it as I putter, watering my charges and pulling weeds.  I indulge myself as I daydream about the plants I will add next year.  The beauty of the garden is a luxury, but there are precious few things that we can do that bring us such joy.

What about you?  Why do you love to garden?

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