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Gardening to Uplift, Heal and Keep Alert

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Are you feeling a little down? depressed? Well here is a way to fix that -  go out and plant something...
Studies have found that an hour of gardening a day reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke and increases bone density more efficiently than aerobics or swimming!

In fact, even looking at nature can result in a drop in blood pressure within five minutes and lower our stress hormones.


One 16-year study in Australia revealed that those who did daily gardening even cut their risk of getting dementia in later life.

(Gardening boosts endorphins, the body’s good-mood chemicals. Personally, my theory is that we need the sunlight on our pineal gland and this can delay dementia, but I have no proof, its just a 'knowing')


Here is a lovely story from Timesonline United Kingdom, dated March 27, 2010

"...Jane Robertson was earning a small fortune in the pressured world of derivatives markets when she had a breakdown at the age of 27.

A spell in a psychiatric hospital followed, then ma…

Ten Things I Have Learned by Milton Glaser- a Classic!

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This has nothing to do with garden design and everything to do with garden design. (said the Cheshire Cat)

It is one of my favorite 'how to live well' articles. I agree with everything he says!

Milton Glaser is a giant in the graphic design art world. And now, after reading this,  I know he is a very wise man. I must share. 

His designs include the I ♥ NY logo, the psychedelic Bob Dylan poster, the Brooklyn Brewery logo. He founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968. And he went to my high school, High School of Music and Art. The artwork shown here was done by Milton Glaser.

Go to the Milton Glaser website for more essays and insights . 





Ten Things I Have Learned by Milton Glaser
Part of AIGA Talk in London     November 22, 2001 1
YOU CAN ONLY WORK FOR PEOPLE THAT YOU LIKE.
This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that y…

Beautiful Foolishness of Things - The Book of Tea

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'Too little tea' is a Japanese expression that refers to a person too busy to stop and smell the roses. 
From ‘The Book of Tea’:The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in the Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity. Knowledge is bought through a bad conscience, benevolence practiced for the sake of utility.

The East and the West, like two dragons tossed in a sea of ferment, in vain strive to regain the jewel of life. We need a Niuka again to repair the grand devastation; we await the great Avatar.Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the sighing of the pines is heard in our kettle.

Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things. Kakuzo Okakura

American Burnet - One of the last native flowers to bloom

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Do you have a slightly wet piece of ground? American Burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis) is an under-appreciated native perennial plant that might work for you! It is a fall bloomer that is still sporting its spikes of white fuzzy flowers in mid-October. 
Also called Canadian Burnet, it is common in the Eastern US and it is a large, graceful plant that is native to swamps and bogs but has a high degree of drought tolerance. It begins to bloom in August and continues through the fall. It grows between 3 ft and 4 ft tall and is hardy from Zone 3 - 7. 
This plant is clump-forming and spreads through rhizomes. The abundant spikes of bottlebrush-like flowers attract bees and looks especially lovely on the edges of ponds and banks of streams.  It looks great next to other tall autumn performers such as Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'.  

For a great post on other late fall bloomers go to A Garden For All - click here.
And if you would like to  order Sanguisorba click here: Prairie Moon Nursery









Quiet

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My Annual Reminder- Plant Drumstick Allium now

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I must admit I first discovered Drumstick Allium when I could not find any other allium bulb to buy...
It was late fall and I had waited too long to buy the popular Globemaster Alliums...


What to DO? I bought the Drumstick bulbs and was thrilled at the result. These purplish - red blooms are small - 1" -and oval shaped.  They bloom in my part of the world in June- July  atop wiry 24" - 30" tall stems and wave in the breeze...



They make a superb cut flower (which you can dry to be an 'everlasting').  

THEY ARE DEER RESISTANT. Drumstick Allium bouquet - Martha Stewart Photo

Drumstick Alliums look fantastic tucked in the early summer flower border...You can add these small bulbs easily in the fall around clumps of established perennials such as Globe Thistle ( a great combo) Artemesia, Yarrow, Nepeta and Agastache. 
They peek out around these plants and are a delightful addition that come back every year!

Artemesia Powis Castle - Great with Drumstick Alliums - Great…

A Hummingbird Magnet-VERMILION BLUFFS® Mexican Sage

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Do you want Hummngbirds to live in your garden next year?  Well, hummingbirds love red and they love salvia flowers. So next spring plant the hardy Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican Sage (Salvia darcyi 'Pscarl').

This 4 foot tall, easy to grow, perennial is a show stopper with its brilliant scarlet flowers that are borne on 3 foot erect spires from July to October. Not many garden perennials can boast this length of blooming season.The foliage and stems are very aromatic. After frost, the leaves die to the ground and then return in spring. 


Place it in a sunny area or in containers in loamy soil with good drainage. When its starts blooming the red color and sweet nectar in the bright flowers will bring hummingbirds to your yard. Its underground runners form a tough mat that blocks weeds.

Vermillion Bluffs is a registered trademark of Plant Select.

This selection has proven to be cold hardy to USDA hardiness zones 5-9 but for people in Zone 5 the plant should be situated in protected sunny…