Sunday, October 20, 2019

Balcony and Apartment Gardens with Succulents

Barry Parker taught Animation at Sheridan College, and his students work at Nelvana, Pixar, Disney, etc. Barry also helped design animation programs in India and Singapore and has been an international judge at film festivals. 

Barry Parker tufa trough with alpine scene
one of Barry's troughs
But I know Barry best as a fantastic gardener. The garden he and Michel LeFebvre created in Toronto was a wonderful place to learn about new plants and new techniques, all arranged and executed with a very acute sense of design. He ran courses on how to make your own tufa containers for succulents on your porch or balcony.                                                                                                                                                                        But, (alas!) on retirement Barry left us for a lovely second floor apartment with two balconies in MontrĂ©al. He now gardens mostly in pots, growing a wide range of succulents and other plants, often from seed. When I visited him in September he had some very nice aloes he grew from seed with fascinating new colour patterns on the leaves - and they were blooming too!                                                                                                                                                               
seed-grown agave by Barry Parker
one of Barry's seed-grown aloes
So, I'm very happy that Barry will be speaking to us on Monday October 28 (details above). All year long, members of the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto have been making divisions of succulents to bring to this meeting. A little bird even told me that one of Barry's larger agaves will be at the meeting to be given away. I myself have divisions of my night-blooming cactus and of my Madagascar Milkweeds (Stapelia) and their Canary Islands relatives Caralluma to give away.                                                                                                   We really hope to see some apartment/condo gardeners at our meeting. Attending the meeting is free as always, but for this special event we are giving new members first choice of the succulents and indoor gardening books (1 per new member, please!).

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