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Showing posts from July, 2010

Summer Flowers - Enter Laughing

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"The earth laughs in flowers..." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

If Emerson was right, then the earth in my part of the world, the northeast United States, is guffawing right now ... big belly laughs of coneflower, Shasta Daisy, Daylilies and more.
Chuckling up lantana...giggling petunias.....how could you not smile?
flowers make us happy...but why?
Well, a fascinating study in the journal of   Evolutionary Psychology – ISSN 1474-7049 – Volume 3. 2005. - 121 studied this very phenomenon.
Psychological reearchers from Rutgers studied the effects of flowers on people and wrote  "An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers"
Within their exhaustive study the scientists wrote this ( I selected these paragraphs out of the multi page report) :
"our results indicate that the simple presentation of flowers, even a single flower, will release a strong and immediate behavior reflecting positive affect...

Anecdotally, the responses are even more fervent than the behavioral obs…

Jim's Summer Garden in a Service Station

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poppies at Jim's Station
The local Gulf service station in my town is just uphill from the Metronorth train station and is located at one of our official 'gateway' intersections. How fortunate we are that Jim owns this particular fueling station!
Gardener/Business Owner, Jim

Jim, being an inveterate gardener and a firm believer in sustainable practices, does not operate a typical run of the mill gas station: he has installed 90 solar panels on his canopy roof (over the pumps),
he has a compost pile using some of the coffee grounds that he generates with all the coffee he sells every morning to the NYC commuters,
he installed new ethanol pumps for those who seek an alternative fuel
and he has an over-the-top flower garden! Cockscomb can draw your eye to a sign!
The flower garden surrounds the entire station. It greets commuters in the morning as they rush past his corner on the way to the train and welcomes them home in the evening. Grasses, butterfly bush, milkweed, sunflowers, J…

Art in the Garden - Ladder Art

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Ladder by Allen Buckoff
Ladders are the perfect 'art form' for a garden ...they are a homage to garden husbandry and speak to us of trees, of wood, of utility and craftsmanship. And  they can be accessorized, as seen above and below!

Ladder by Allen Buckoff
Ladders can also be fashioned from tree logs as done by David Nash, aculptor, below . This is in a museum in Espoo, Finland. It almost looks anthropormorphic - like a giant 'walking stick' or something..
David Nash, Ladder, Espoo, Finland
The most marvelous thing about a ladder is that is can be altered so that one end is more narrow than the other thus creating a forced perpective and  artificially diminishing the form to look as if it is longer than it is, traveling farther away from view. 
This one below by Martin Puryear was inspired by homemade ladders that he saw in the French countryside while he was working at Alexander Calder‚ Äôs studio, in 2003.  Puryear commented to Michael Auping:
“It just occurred to me that…

Greetings to all!

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Made with My Cool Signs.Net

Creating a Serenity Garden - why? how? NOW

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The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.
~ George Bernard Shaw (above photo - sculpture by Ruth Moilliett)
We now no longer see the natural world as something to be tamed or conquered but, rather, as something to be revered.


And we understand Chief Seattle's 1854 admonition:

“Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.”



This deep ecological awareness has compelled us to seek a more meaningful connection to the earth which, in turn, has led some of us inevitably to gardens and landscapes. This is the impetus behind this blog.  I have a strong desire to share my lifelong landscape design experiences in order to inspire others to ‘touch the earth’. by Jan Johnsen
And I want to promote a particular, reverent way of looking at the green world which sees the piece of ground outside our door as an ‘everyday conduit’ to the energy of life that flows within plants, water, trees, sunlight, rocks, …

Don't Forget to Hug that Tree, too....

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hug a tree today!
I try - I really try - to keep this blog focused on the physical, earthly environment and show how it can uplift us ... but sometimes I just have to share with you other items that also make us feel wonderful. 

This video has nothing at all to do with gardens, outdoor space or plants but, man, does it make me smile.

I hope you don't mind my little detour - and I send you all a BIG HUG!

Native Landscapes and 'sanctioned space': Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in South Wellfleet, Ma.

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As we all know, gardens are a contrivance. Designed landscapes are artifice.
Gardens are a grand collaboration, a co-creative endeavor with a certain Ms. Nature. Our partnership is an unequal one, for sure, as we are simply intruding on her domain, seeking to improve what is inarguably a perfect system.
With that said, I look to her - that grand dame we call Mother Nature - for inspiration and guidance. She never fails to renew and replenish.
Toward that end, each year I camp at the Audubon Society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts for about a week amidst 1,100 acres of sandy pitch pine woodlands, meadows, maple and beech forest, salt marsh and fresh water ponds. This gem fronts onto Wellfleet Bay where naturalists volunteer to explain the wonders of the natural world to any who show up.


I get recharged here. Cape Cod, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean more than any other place in the United States, is the world's largest glacially formed …