Posts

I AM MOVING TO SUBSTACK

Image
Life moves on and so do I. I am going from being a Blogger to a 'Substacker'! Please follow me there: Go to Jan Johnsen's Gardentopia   and please subscribe.  Every week I will post something of interest to garden lovers and garden designers. I started my new substack with a great quote. It is why I share all that I do. Please follow me on Substack. "The world is moving into a phase when landscape design may  well be recognized  as the most comprehensive of the arts. Man creates around him an environment that is a projection into nature of his abstract ideas." - Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe

'Being There' - Garden Wisdom for the Ages

Image
Peter Sellers in 'Being There'  One of my favorite movies is "Being There," a 1979 film  starring Peter Sellers.  It was directed by Hal Ashby, adapted from a novella by Jerzy Kozinski.    Sellers plays Chance, the gardener, who tends the grounds of an estate in Washington, DC.   'Being There' movie poster Chance  has the mind of a child ( the role is a forerunner to Forrest Gump )  and knows only two things:   gardening and TV .   He is reclusive and illiterate and has lived and worked on this property his entire life.  W hen his boss,  the Old Man, dies at the beginning of the film he finds himself on the street and is soon inadvertently walking the halls of power and prestige.  His encounters with highly placed people are  very  funny. They are charmed by his simplicity and honesty.  They think 'Chauncy Gardiner' is a wise and profound man who uses metaphors of the garden to answer deep and thorny questions, when

Time to Renew Your Garden Tools

Image
Every year I repost this at the right time.  Now is the time! - Jan Winter is the time to get your garden tools in shape... hand tools such as shovels, picks, trowels, loppers, etc. should be cleaned, sharpened and well oiled. Steel wool can clean off any rust or caked-on dirt. And pure white vinegar works to remove rust too:  pour into a bucket or small plastic tub. Submerse rusty pruning shears in the solution and soak overnight, or roughly 24 hours.  The acid of the  vinegar eats away  at most of the surface rust.  Wash off the next day...for more on this go to the  Backyard Boss article  on cleaning pruning shears.  This photo is from a great article about renewing your tools.  Click here .  But the most important thing I have found is to make sure to  oil the tools . It is a rust preventative and a wood saver.  Moss in the City A while back, in our shop (I own a landscape design/project management firm and we have lots of tools) we would have a lar

Hip Hip Hooray for Rose Hips!

Image
rose hips photo by Jan Johnsen  Allow your roses to form hips.   Did you know that, like  many plants that produce fruit, the formation of rose hips is a signal to the rose to go dormant for the season? from Monrovia - Japanese rose  Rose hips provide wonderful color in the garden and are a good source of vitamin C for birds in the fall and winter.  They are one of the highest plant sources of Vitamin C. 'Cherry Pie' Rose makes great rose hips: Oso Easy Cherry Pie Rose -from May Dreams Garden Blog  You can eat them too. Rose hips are used for jam, jelly, syrup, soup, beverages, pies, bread, and wine.  They can also be eaten raw if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit.   The redder they are, the softer and sweeter.   source: live by the sun blog  for more info on roses go to Chris Van Cleave - click here . 

Gaudi's Curves - Based on Nature

Image
Gaudi’s Curves The visionary Barcelona architect of the early 20th century, Antonio Gaudí, studied the spirals and curves of nature and utilized them in all his projects.   Gaudi, unlike other architects of his time, did not rely on rigid shapes. Consequently his buildings feature columns spiraling up like trees and ovoid windows peering out onto the world.   They are remarkable in their organic glory. Looking up in the Sagrada Familia cathedral. source- wiki commons. Gaudí’s love for curves is on full display in his Parque Güell, a municipal park on the outskirts of Barcelona. Here, he incorporated twisting paths, imaginative colonnades and naturally formed staircases into a steep hillside.  I took this photo of his famous colonnade there - based on a wave's action.  Gaudi copied Nature.          photo on left - Jan Johnsen The large open public area at the center of the park is surrounded by a long, curving wall and a bench covered with brightly colored broken tiles.   The

This Beautiful Fantastic - A Film about the Joy of Gardening and more

Image
 Join me as we discuss a charming tale about a reclusive old man and a budding children's book author and how they bonded through a discovery of gardening. A lovely film that includes gardening in it!  You can see it on Kanopy through the library system. I will be speaking about it in a film discussion-  This is the link to sign up for the Film talk for Friday June 4, 2021: https://greenwichlibrary.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=54309&backTo=Calendar&startDate=2021/06/01