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Variegated Solomon’s Seal - Deer Resistant, Spring Bloomer in Shade

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Variegated Solomon’s Seal was the2013 Perennial Plant of the Year. It is deer resistant and loves shade. It flowers in spring.
It is a shady woodland gem...

Variegated Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’) grows 18 to 24 inches tall and tolerates full-shade.


It is a great companion plant to hostas, brunnera, dicentra, ferns, and astilbes.

 The sweet fragrance of its small, bell-shaped white flowers will enhance your walk along a pathway on a spring morning. And you can use its variegated foliage in spring floral arrangements. And finally, this all-season shade lover offers yellow fall foliage color.


photo by George Weigel

It will spread by rhizomes to form colonies. Increase by dividing clumps every two to three years.
photo by Rush Creek growers

Below are all of the Perennial Plants of the Year since the beginning of the program in 1990. Click on the name for more info on each plant. 
2017  Asclepias tuberosa2016  Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ 2015  Geranium × cantabrigiens…

Planting Design for Dry Gardens by Olivier Filippi

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Do you garden in a dry area? I love this teaching approach by Olivier Filippi.














1: Salvia chamaedryoides2: Rhodanthemum hosmariense3: Artemisia abrotanum 'Silver'4: Phlomis 'The South'5: Senecio vira-vira6: Salvia fruticosa7: Salvia leucophylla8: Artemisia lanata
This photo and information is from a French website that I cannot translate into English. It is by the authority on dry gardens, Olivier Filippi, and is very good. Check it out:  http://www.jardin-sec.com/
Also he wrote a great book called 'Planting Design for Dry Gardens'. 
Nigel Dunnett says, "In Planting Design for Dry Gardens Olivier Filippi has charted a future for garden and planting Design. Combining authoritative practical advice with deep ecological insight, Olivier shows how learning from nature can give us the best of all worlds: beautiful and sustainable gardens with a unique sense of place. I challenge anyone not to be inspired by this important work". 
You can click on it on the sideb…

NYBG Library Review - The Spirit of Stone

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A Solid Take on Landscaping Meets a Perennial ClassicEsther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.Jan Johnsen’s The Spirit of Stone is a new book from Pittsburgh-based publisher St. Lynn’s Press. Johnsen, an instructor with The New York Botanical Garden’s Adult Education Department, brings 40 years of experience to bear in her newest book. In the introduction of The Spirit of Stone, Johnsen writes:
Stone is often an overlooked player in a landscape. While we may swoon over the many shapes and colors of plants within a garden, the stone walks and walls stand silently by, perhaps unnoticed. This book shines a light on the beauty and enchantment that natural s…

Stone Benches - Grounding does it.

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In honor of my new book, The Spirit of Stone - 101 Practical and Creative Stonescaping Ideas for Your Garden  (St. Lynn's Press, 2017) that was released last week I am sharing this post about stone benches.


Buttercup Winterhazel - An Early Spring Fragrant tree

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What blooms earlier than forsythia, has a delicate fragrance and is an easy-to-care for  compact delight ?  It is also hardy to USDA Zones 6-9 and native to Japan and Taiwan.


Buttercup winterhazel(Corylopsis pauciflora)
Toward mid April (depending where you live), the bare branches of buttercup winterhazel hang with inch-long clusters of soft yellow flowers that appear as little lanterns.  

The fragrance is noticeable, making it perfect near a sitting spot.  It was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993. 


Winterhazel (pauciflora)is good in a small city garden or as a woodland underplanting in open shade. It glows in front of evergreens and is a perfect pairing with purpleRhododendron mucronulatum since they flower at the exact same time.

 And winterhazels look wonderful with snowdrops and hellebores! 

As the flowers fade, the leaves unfurl to 3 inches long, bright green with red edges before darkening to rich green. In fall they turn a gold-bronze.

Thought for the Day - Rumi

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Never lose hope, my dearheart... miracles dwell in the invisible. - Rumi



'Om' in the Garden

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We need to balance the pace and intensity of modern life 
with periods of what poet May Sarton 
has called "open time,
with no obligations except toward the inner world 
and what is going on there."

~ Thomas MooreSo how to touch the inner world in a garden?..


I suggest chanting 'OM.' (really it is 'AUM'), long and sustained, several times...“Om” is the oldest and most widely known one-syllable mantra or chant.    It is said very, very slowly.

Mantras are believed to contain a vibrational power that can lift us to higher states.

Scientists recently discovered that rhythmic recitations of a mantra can slow breathing and regulate heart rhythms, this in turn oxygenates the blood, lowers blood pressure and induces a feeling of calmness and well-being.
The Sanskrit symbol above represents “OM”. It does not say '30' as some might assume.The Om symbol (in photo above) consists of three letters, “a,” “u,” and “m,” and includes an after-sound of silence:

• The “a” (pr…