Showing posts from August, 2011

Why We Garden - Oneness with Nature

Holy Mother Earth,  the trees and all nature, are witnesses of your thoughts and deeds.
~Winnebago saying

A garden is nature, bounded  -  protected and shaped by human hands.  It can be a simple balcony filled with planters, a sweeping vista dotted with trees or a small courtyard bordered by plant beds.  

Our urge to co-create with Mother Nature has been with us since time immemorial. This impulse lies in the need to be connected to something greater than ourselves.  

Gardening enhances a heightened sense of empathy and expands our awareness of non-human life.  When we garden, we see how the lowly earthworm is as important as the forest. 

This, in turn, leads to an oceanic feeling that we are one with Nature.  Arne Naess, the Norwegian philosopher, called  this expanded sense of self,  ‘the ecological self’:

"We are not outside the rest of nature and therefore cannot do with it as we please without changing ourselves … we are a part of the ecosphere just as intimately as we are a par…

A Great Plant for Shade Gardens - Varigated Persicaria or Tovara

'Painter's Palette' Persicaria photo from Moose Crossing Garden Center
For the last 4 years, I have been creating an enchanting woodland garden for a favorite client.
It is a shady site that is very wet.  A challenge indeed.

In the course of planting up this garden I recently discovered:

Persicaria virginiana varigata (or Tovara)
from Forest Farm Nursery
Tovara virginiana, is an easy to grow perennial plant (hardy from zones 4 to  8) that thrives in shade and offers eye catching foliage color. It grows to 28  inches tall and spreads by means of underground stems. Each leaf has a different variegation pattern of green and white. The cultivar 'Painters Palette' has maroon markings as well.    Tovara has good drought tolerance and is ideal for mass plantings where its showy color and bold leaf size make a punchy display in shady recesses.
It is clump-forming but can spread rapidly.  It self seeds like mad and should be cut to the ground each fall. The best planting…

Tree Spirits, Einstein and 'Frozen Light'

Why do certain tree species evoke the same response from all people? 

The Oak, for example, was considered  by the Celtic Druids to be the 'King of the Greenwood' . To them, oaks represented mighty and enduring power.  

The ancient Greeks also revered oaks - groves of them were deemed sacred territory.   And Native Americans viewed the oak tree as a symbol of strength with supernatural powers. In fact, the tradition of “knocking on wood” is said to be of Native American origin  - they would knock on an oak tree in order to avert the failing of a hopeful prediction.

This similarity is true for many other trees from Ash trees to apple trees to maples.... So why do disparate cultures see tree 'personas' similarly?  
I think Albert Einstein figured it out.

  In  1905, Einstein, a young patent inspector in Switzerland,  came up with a simple equation that challenged the way we in Western society saw the  physical world:

Few people, at the time, realized what this mix of numbers a…
Show'r from Atelier Tradewinds
I guess I must really want an outdoor shower because I cannot stop looking at pics of them on the internet....and it doesn't hurt that right now the temperatures in my area are over 90 F everyday.

So here are a few more ideas for outdoor showers.

Show'r from Atelier Treadewinds is a mobile outdoor shower made out of galvanized and powder-coated iron tubes and a black locust wood base. (Cold water only)  Wheels are placed at the back to allow the shower to be moved easily. Just click your garden hose to the standard quick connector at the base and your garden shower is ready.  Show'r is also easily dismountable.

As I say, it is the setting that makes an outdoor shower outstanding.  Add color, texture, plants or all of the above!  Examples of showers and their enclosures below:

Paint a poured concrete and concrete block wall blue and it makes for a private 'Blue Lagoon.'
Sunset Magazine
Take some wood and box in the shower ( s…