Showing posts from November, 2010

The Therapeutic Benefits of Gardens.

photo - Jan Johnsen, Croton Point Park Robert Ulrich was in the hospital with a badly broken leg. Forced to lie flat on his back, Ulrich, an environmental psychologist, stared for hours at a too bright ceiling light surrounded by acoustic ceiling tile.  “I much I wished I had an attractive image on the ceiling,” Ulrich recalls. White Birches - Jan Johnsen, Boscobel Now the director of the Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University, Ulrich produced groundbreaking research that found that viewing natural scenes in a hospital aids stress recovery by evoking positive feelings, reducing negative emotions and blocking or reducing stressful thoughts. When test subjects viewed gardens as opposed to urban scenes, they exhibited lower alpha rates which are associated with being wakefully relaxed. Garden by Jan Johnsen Further research by Ulrich indicated that surgical patients who had views of nature had shorter post

another Steve Jurvetson photo

Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson (he brought you Hotmail) is one of the most influential funders and thinkers in Silicon Valley. He's also an enthusiastic rocket hobbyist, blogger and Flickr-er. I think of him as a science genius who takes great has nothing to do with horticulture, design or anything similar...but I follow his photostream avidly...Here is why..this is today's photo on Flickr   (click here).

Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter what religious tradition you follow - this will give you a warm feeling....Happy Thanksgiving!

Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Gardening Pals #1

It is that time of year and you want to give wonderful, heart warming gifts to your dear friends...unusual and touching presents that acknowledge who they are and what they are into...not just hand cream.... right? And you don't have a lot of money to spend and you would rather order now, from the computer, than go crazy in a crowded and crazed shopping scene... So in that spirit I am going to suggest some inexpensive gift ideas for your gardening pals...the money limit is $15. and less for some fab ideas... the market research is this:  If I want it then they will too. and remember that the gift wrap is as important... recommends getting flour sack dish towels and using them as gift wrap - two gifts in one! and no waste. Here are some ideas ( click on the titles for the websites) 2008 Horticulture Magazine Issues on CD  $6.99 Enjoy a full year of Horticulture on one handy disc. This CD contains the 7 Horticulture issues published

Autumn, the year's last loveliest smile

Autumn, the year's last loveliest smile. ~ William Cullen Bryant It is November and here, in the Northeast of the U.S., the brisk breezes are blowing, the rain is coming down and the leaves are falling, falling.... So we must content ourselves with the sweet leftovers - the berries, the cabbages, the mums and some lovely remaining leaves. The ones on the Japanese Maples are brilliantly stunning this year: The berries on the winterberry - Ilex verticillata - are in their glory. All ready to be made into a Thansgiving wreath. from The planters are filled with mums,pansies and more.  The crabapples are studded with their finest jewelry:  And even the puddles don't look so bad at this time of year.
from Toronto Gardens blog I am heading out to teach today so I do not have time to write at length..the class is 'Secrets of Creating Serenity Gardens' they are 'secrets' I don't write about them here - Rainbow Swiss Chard   but please note the 'Color Energy' insert on the sidebar on the right -   Gomphrena 'Buddy Purple' and 'Jack Frost' Brunnera Color is energy and you are energy , put them together and you get an omelette! (so to speak). When I was in college decades ago we were asked to write our vision of the future...Everyone wrote about a 'Jetson-like' (a cartoon about flying cars and robot maids)  reality... Dwarf Iris I wrote about how everyone would wake up and 'know' what color the day was...and would wear that same color by you ever notice how you end up wearing the same colors everyday as someone in your life or surroundings? its uncanny.... Plants use color and light energy to l

Hellebores - The Enduring Mid-Winter Flower

one of my landscapes - Jan Johnsen What is evergeen, deer resistant , thrives in shade, has flowers and comes back every year? You could answer Andromeda (Pieris) - but it doesn't really like shade. Perhaps you answered Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass) but it doesn't have flowers. Barberry (berberis) and Daffodils are not evergreen. Grasses, Boxwood and sedges don't meet this criteria either.... from Debs Garden The problem free, shade loving Hellebore (Helleborus) is the answer. They are a perfect plant for a Serenity Garden.... The Perennial Plant Association's Plant of the Year for 2005, Hellebores bloom from winter to early spring across the United States, depending on USDA zone and variety. They like light to moderate shade, especially an area shaded by deciduous trees, with full sun when they flower, and protection from summer heat. Hellebores sport drooping, buttercup-like flowers colors of pink, mauve, white, green, burgundy, yellow, black-purple, bi

What makes a garden special....more musings

I am interested in what opens the inner eye that children have, that makes you aware of what matters.  Gardens are good at that. ~ Mary Keen Gardens and children go together. Like the little girl in the garden in the children's classic, ' The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett, we are exposed to a world of wonder if we only stop and peer into its mysteries... this is a book for all ages - a great read! Of course, the garden described in Hodgson's book was an English walled landscape but it could have been any kind of outdoor space devoted to bridging the gap between the human and the green world..... This is the purpose of a Serenity Garden...I don't care so much if it is a magnificent boxwood construct filled with flowers or if it is a little sunny spot carved out of a wooded hill...a serenity garden is a place where 'feeling ' is paramount, where the atmosphere tingles with Nature's radiance. 'Crystal Palace' Lobelia in a h

Next Friday - My One Day Class at NY Botanical Garden

Next Friday - November 12, 2010, I am giving my one day class at the NY Botanical Garden, Designing Outdoor Spaces that Relax and Renew the Spirit I will share how to look at the physical world from a unique perspective which will strengthen your ability to create serene and harmonious outdoor spaces. I received the 'Instructor of the Year' award from NYBG and I will do my best to live up to that honor. I love to share what I have learned over the decades and I do so with enthusiasm, Powerpoint presentations and in class demonstrations are included... I will show how to incorporate various cultural and ancient traditions into a garden. Specifically these include : DISCOVER THE POWER POINT IN YOUR BACKYARD   HOW THE DIVINE PROPORTION CAN CREATE HARMONY IN YOUR GARDEN WHY EAST WAS JEFFERSON'S FAVORITE DIRECTION WHICH TREES BRING HAPPINESS (literally) TO A LANDSCAPE HOW TO USE THE POWER OF COLOR TO ENHANCE A SERENE ATMOSPHERE so please join me - it will be fun