Showing posts from August, 2010

Pruning in the Late Summer Flower Garden - Prune Away!

Flower gardens in late summer in my part of the world can be likened to a slightly overripe peach: they are a little too juicy and softer than you would prefer.

They are, as Shakepeare's wrote, "too much of a good thing"....

Pink Chaos coleus, Double Impatiens (orchid) and euphorbia Diamond Frost
What, then, to do with that overflowing petunia, the overgrown mock orange, that out of control spirea?

Bring them back from sweet excess by judicious pruning. 'Judicious' is the operative word here,  but above all, PRUNE AWAY!

Clematis, Blue Salvia stalks and Vinca
At this time of year, do not be afraid to prune back, shape and rejuvenate. Of course, late pruning of spring flowering shrubs such as lilacs will mean sacrificing some of next year's flowers but if you are like me, the unkempt appearance now far outweighs the flower display 6 months hence.
Blue Angelonia, Cambridge Blue Angelonia, New Guinea pink Impatiens, blue star juniper
Of course, pruning purists would …

'Living in the Breath' by Richard Nedervelt

While I was on vacation in Hawaii I wandered into a wonderful art gallery in Honolulu.... Richard worked there and during my visit he shared a poem with me that was inspired by Hawaii. He had just written it in his notebook and he read it out loud ...
I would like to share it with all of you. Richard also features it on his new blog, Living in the Breath.

Living in the breath, standing in the waters, the Divine presence is all around us.

It is like a cool strong breeze flowing around, beside, and through me.
When I am balanced within, even the strongest storm cannot move me from where I stand, for I am purified by my thoughts, forgiven by myself, and loved by the Beloved.

I stand on the land as if resting in the hand of the Creator, and do nothing to the land I would not do to the Beloved.

Here in this moment,  I am like night and day sharing the Heavens. In sharing my space, my breath rises and falls, like a deep breathe uttering, "ALOHA"

Richard Nedervelt 08/17/2010 Living in the B…

Trees of Peace

"...Years ago I heard somebody say that all our political and diplomatic conferences ought to be moved out of smoke-filled rooms and held underneath trees...
-  Clyde S. Kilby,   page 159 of “The Lost Myth”, Arts in Society, Vol. 6, 1969.

from justfocus in New Zealand

Imagine if the United Nations met under trees? I imagine their discussions might be a little more fruitful...

Trees are a wonderful mediating influence in our lives.

If a child misbehaves, instead of sending them into a corner have them go outside and sit at the base of a tree...or better yet - in its limbs!

Tell him or her to talk to the tree and listen to its guidance...the children would know exactly what you mean (up until about age 9). No tree out there? ah! now is to the time to plant one.

Here are  2 trees where they gathered under to talk:

Great Elm of Pennsylvania (actually, Great Elm Tree of Shackamaxon)

In 1682, along the banks of the Delaware River, under the shade of a great elm tree, William Penn made a T…

The Lion Whisperer - Kevin Richardson

Lions have nothing to do with gardens for sure...but they are a part of Nature's magnificence and so I wanted to share this with theory is that avid gardeners also love I right?

The Flowers of Hawaii

The flowers of Hawaii are everywhere and are used in a variety of ways...You cannot be in Hawaii without noticing the flowers. Leis of flowers are worn on the head and around the neck by both men and women.   Flowers rule!

So without further ado, here are some luscious flowers I saw along the way....

and my absolute favorite, the fragrant Plumeria or 'melia' in Hawaiian  (I used to wear one in my hair to college classes:   if you are looking wear it over the right ear, if you are married wear it over left ear)

There are more than 300 named varieties of Plumeria. The flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers have no nectar and simply dupe their pollinators.

Its common name "Frangipani" comes from an Italian noble family, a sixteenth-century marquess of which invented a plumeria-scented perfume.  They are associated with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures, where they are known as "Champa".…

My first - very short - video garden tour!

I have joined the video revolution with this very short tour of my postage stamp garden and just as I began my neighbor chose to open his long ladder....

so here is a brief tour - with sound effects to boot!

The photos below show what my garden loooked like before....

Rocks and soil for mounding and bordering along drystream

layout for dry stream that you see in the video

National Tropical Botanical Garden - Kauai

Breadfruit at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai

In my opinion, an interesting garden blog entry is similar to a salad nicoise – it is best when a variety of fresh, bite sized ingredients that complement and enhance each other are used. It should be an appealing mélange of slightly filling information with a splash (not too much!) of vinaigrette opinions to round out the flavor.
So in the spirit of salad nicoise - not too filling but appetizing nonetheless -  I present to you my latest entry:

KAUAI! Almost forty years ago (gasp) I hiked the Kalalau Valley goat trail on the side of a cliff for 2 days to get to an uninhabited magical beach that you can now see in some episodes of ‘Lost’: Kalalau Valley - where I hiked to many years ago
Back then, the island of Kauai was a sleepy backwater where life moved slowly…it still is, although wealthy celebrities have since discovered it.  But here I am once again, enthrall to the ‘Garden Island’ and her sultry charms.

This is the home of …

Before and After - Garden Transformations

Everytime I show 'Before and After' photos in my popular garden talks people ask me for more...

It seems we can't get enough of the Makeover; the Transformation; the Hope Springs Eternal;

 and I love it!!

I just wish I had taken more 'before' photos than I see, I didn't realize that it is the 'Before' photos that are so valuable...once you change the scene you can never get that ugly situation back again.

take those ugly 'before' photos now - don't delay!

I used to think that my job is to change the world, one serene, beautiful garden at a time, but I was wrong...

it is to document the changes and then share them with you so you can be inspired to do the same or better...

It is the 'Pay it Forward' view of life...

so here you are:

and here are some more:

and here:

an inspiring dvd to watch -  'Pay it Forward':