Creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape......
"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.
Gardening is an instrument of grace. "
Gardening is an instrument of grace. "
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
from the website : www.soulofthegarden.com/
Chess players in Bryant Park
Ice Skating in Bryant Park
from the book, 'Plants/People/ and Environmental Quality' by Gary O. Robinette
Gertrude Stein in Bryant Park - given to the park by Maury Leibovitz (he was a client of mine and had this statue at his house before donating to the park)
Monday, June 27, 2011
The Tibetan mandala speaks to us of a greater reality. It illustrates the flow of all life radially outward from the center.. Flowers do this too. Flowers are Nature's Mandalas.
Coreopsis at Jim's by Jan Johnsen
You can be surrounded by Nature's mandalas if we choose - round, radial wheels that are colorful celebrations of Life and continuity...Flowers uplift our awareness and well being. Flowers remind us of the true nature of the world.
Photo by Divine Nature Essences
This flower talk, of course, brings us to the sage Deepak Chopra and peace summits.
In a recent Peace Summit in Newark, New Jersey (click here) that was sponsored by the Drew A. Katz Foundation, Deepak answered a question about peace that struck a chord:
What changes do you think humanity needs to make to achieve lasting peace in the world?
DC: The only way lasting peace can occur is when we become the change we want to see in the world.
Peace can only be created by those who are peaceful. ....
(note pink shirt = love and compassion)
Photo - Jan Johnsen ..planted Queen of Night and pink tulip
Other thinkers and speakers addressed food, war, community, monetary policy regarding peace ...but no one discussed Creating Peaceful Environments as a way to Promote Peace.
If Peace can only be created by those who are peaceful then we should create Serenity Gardens aka Peace Gardens all over the globe....and now. Peaceful environments aid us in becoming aligned...
Peace can only be created by those who are peaceful. ....
photo by Rupert Jeffries
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
photo by Keith Albarn : Rhododendron - Almost forms a dodecahedron of pentagonal florets.
Keith Albarn says his Game of Life has a set of essentially simple rules. These rules generate the richness and diversity that we experience in our lives. Albarn notes that we all seek insight and are all potential see-ers and visionaries.
by Keith Albarn
From simple rules emerge complex consequences
Constraint encourages creativity
Everything is interdependent
Things are determined by relationships
Relationships depend on communication
We live on the Edge of Chaos
willow spheres - Garden Beet
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
garden by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools
Are you one of those people who respond to their surroundings more deeply than others?
garden by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools
Then this talk will appeal to you greatly. If you are inextricably drawn to bring forth the highest vision of the natural environment around you, you will enjoy the images and ideas I present in this talk.
Innisfree, Millbrook, NY
I share with you fascinating insights on how we can order a space that optimizes a feeling of harmony and renewal. For example do you know why East is considered the most beneficial direction by all cultures? You should conisder this in placing benches, garden gates, etc.
Did you know that the octagon is a powerful shape? Perhaps this is why Thomas Jefferson designed his home at Poplar Forest as an 8 sided octagon...
Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's 'getaway' home
Also the energy of trees affect us. Maples affect us one way; Oaks in a different way. The ancient Celtic tree calendar discusses this at length.
Please join me for this one hour Powerpoint talk - you may see the natural world a little differently when you leave.
Serenity in the Garden
Friday, June 17, 2011
George wrote a touching essay on the power of flowers that I would like to share with you. Here the vibrant and beneficial energy of flowers soothes even the toughest of NY city psyches.....
“Our urban spaces provide little excitement or visual variation and virtually no opportunity to build a kinesthetic repertoire of spatial experiences…Man can be viewed as having visual, kinesthetic, tactile, and thermal aspects of his self which may be either inhibited or encouraged to develop by his environment."
Edward T. Hall, 'The Hidden Dimension'
[click here for a video of a similar garden there ...]
I was unprepared for the reaction I got from passersbys. Gushing with gratitude is one way of describing it. I never attributed this to any special talent on my part, but rather to the lack of varied plantings visible from any sidewalk within 20 blocks.
But one particular reaction stunned me. An attorney told someone in the building that that summer’s litigation had been particularly stressful for him as he was defending the most hideous client of his career. What got him through it, he said, was taking a couple minutes each day to look at my hurriedly planted annual border. That’s when I began to understand the power of public horticulture.
In light of Hall’s insights about how we experience space, I understand now that this attorney got solace from this little garden because it was varied in texture, height, and color, and also because it was legible—it cohered in a way that held his attention and relieved him temporarily from the daily stress of his work.
Amen to that.
Coherence and the potent energy that flowers exude. We are hardwired to respond to these gems of Nature.
Thanks George! - Jan
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Every year you go out in Spring, determined that this will be when you get your yard all put together. One beautiful Saturday morning you go to the garden center and buy whatever looks good at the moment. You plant it all up and - tired but happy - you say 'this will be great'.
But the moment passes and it doesn't quite do the trick.. Maybe it is because you should first find YOUR TRUE GARDEN PERSONALITY....
Harmony Gardens' Questionnaire
1. How much privacy is important to you?
a. I am a private person and don’t like to be too close to my neighbors
b. I am fairly private and while I like to talk to neighbors, I don’t want to socialize too much with them
c. I love to be part of everything. I have had neighbors as best friends and love to socialize with them as well as others.
Jim's Garden - Coreopsis and Spiderwort
2. Which aspect of your home are you most happy with?
a. It’s cozy and comfortable.
b. My house is very stylish. It is fashionable and hip.
c. My house is so exciting. Everywhere I look I am delighted by what I see.
d. My house is elegant. It is what some people call formal but I think of it as traditional.
e. My house is flexible. I can dress it up or dress it down and I love to move things around.
Blue Bayou Mix Impatiens and perennial salvia - Jan Johnsen
3. Which of your senses is most important to you?
4. What element of yourself would you like to see more balanced?
a. I tend to be moody and want to hide away?
b. I overwork and overstress?
c. Sometimes I am moody and reclusive and other times overworked and stressed.
Claire's antique planter with pansies
5. What types of rooms do you like best?
a. I love rooms that open, light and airy. I need to open windows and see outside.
b. I am never happier than when I can find a warm darkish corner to curl up and think about life and its opportunities.
Heliotrope Fragrant Delight
6. What is your lifestyle like?
a. I am a family person. I love to spend time with my family and invite friends over for fun.
b. I’m too busy for entertaining. Let others have parties. I need a place to unwind and relax.
c. I’m a jock. I love to be active sometimes on my own and sometimes with others.
d. I like to putter around. I like to garden and do crafts and experiment with different hobbies. It is a creative way to live.
e. I am involved in many organizations that like to use my house as a showcase to benefit them.
Shelley writes: "This section will help you structure the look and feeling of your garden based on what general theme you would like. If you have enough space on your property, you can pick two or three themes to express. This can only be the case if you separate the areas adequately."
7. I want a drought tolerant garden and would like to know what my options are.
a. I love being out on the prairie where the grasses are waving in the wind.
b. I was fascinated and delighted by the cactus garden I saw recently.
c. I would love to recreate the feeling of hiking or walking out in the wild areas of my state.
d. I have always loved those rock and sand gardens that the Japanese make. I would like to have a place where I can quietly enjoy the scene.
e. I would like to have a garden with a cottage feeling but that doesn’t require much water.
8. I dream about traveling to different parts of the world and would like to bring back a wonderful garden.
a. Every picture I have seen of Italy makes my heart sing. I would love to have the whole country transported here.
b. People in Spain and South America have such great outdoor entertaining spaces. I would really be happy with that.
c. The French are so sophisticated. It seems like all the best gardens started there.
d. England is so natural and the gardens seem as though they are not created but have always been like that. Even when you know they have put a lot of work into it, it is like a slice of nature.
e. I love the simple rock and sand gardens of Japan. I would like to have a place where I can contemplate and quietly enjoy thee surrounding.
f. I love the Greek classics. Their gardens are places that seem to lend to fun in a structured space.
g. Hawaii and everywhere tropical is my favorite weather. The feeling I get when I visit there even in my mind set me free.
Allerton gardens Kauai - all rights reserved Jan Johnsen
9. I love the idea of my garden being expressive of my style. I would like to have a theme garden in my yard.
a. My life is about romance. I want a love garden to attract a relationship or to express my love relationship
b. I could sit and watch the birds and bees all day. I just wish for a space where I can attract as many different kinds of birds and bees as possible.
c. I have a tiny space and yet I feel like my inner artist needs to be expressed in my garden. I would love to see my creative energies expressed.
d. My dream is to have my house seem like I am in the middle of a forest.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
What is a water butt?
This is what I thought when I looked at Hermes' posting in his marvelous 'Gardens of a Golden Afternoon' blog....
If you live in an area where the summer months are dry you may want to collect rainwater from your roof to keep your garden watered. This can be done in a rain barrel or as the people in the UK call it, a water butt.
Plastic rain barrels (in various sizes and styles) can be connected to a downspout of a house to collect rainwater from the gutters. They can collect water through the top lid or through the side through a pipe diverter. If you use a diverter then the rain fills the barrel (or water butt) first then, once it's full, flows down the drainpipe as usual. A gutter filter can be used to will keep out unwanted debris.
I found several water butt sites and want to share a few fun items with you:
The Cascatia Decorative 245 Litre Waterbutt
is made of plastic, but looks like a terra cotta pot. At the top is a planter! It was designed in Canada and is manufactured in the UK. This fun water butt features an outlet with an attached section of hose so you can water nearly plants with it. It also has a shut-off valve, overflow spout and a screen guard. Direct your downpipe straight into the top or attach with an optional divertor.
Rustico Walnut-Effect 275 Litre Waterbutt
The attractive Rustico Water butt looks like authentic woodgrain Walnut but will last much longer. It adds a rustic touch and is supplied with a plastic tap and downpipe connection kit.
Roman Column Waterbutts - Green
These decorative columns collect 333 liters of rainwater and add a touch of class to any property. It has a brass tap and a Downpipe Connector.
Noblesse Decorative 270 Litre Waterbutt Sandstone
This is my favorite - plastic 270 Litre waterbutts that look like sotne. They come in Granite, Sandstone or Charcoal. Complete with plastic tap and downpipe connector kit
Wall-mounted Water Butt
This attractive wall mounted water butt collects 100 liters of rainwater and can be fixed to a house wall at a convenient height. The compact design has a tap (included) that on can be fitted either side of the butt for easy access. There's a built-in overflow system that automatically tops up the butt when it rains, diverting excess water back down the drain pipe.
Old Fashioned Rain Barrel
And to collect the rainwater like the US settlers in the Wild West used to do then this 59 gallon white oak barrel (recycled from whiskey barrels and wine casks) fits the bill!
The wooden whisky barrel is 30 inches in diameter and 40 inches tall. When its full of water, it would take a strongman to move the barrel. The barrel comes with brass spigots and a brass overflow with a 3/4 inch hose and a downspout filter.
There are so many more models to choose from but these water butts and rain barrels should get you thinking of ways to collect the rain before the hot weather comes along.