Showing posts from July, 2012

Curves in the Landscape

( Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Mass...a must-visit)  “In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.” ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (pool and landscape by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools) Perhaps it is my reaction against the tight grids of modern site design, or maybe it is my love of natural forms, or possibly it is due to my being a female... but I love curves in the landscape . I am not referring to the squiggly kind or the ill considered hose-on-the-ground variety but the sweeping curves that draw your eye around and onward. (Red and White Border - Jan Johnsen, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools) The lure of a curve entices you to see what is on the other side. (no Belgian Block here! - Jan Johnsen, Johnsen Landsapes & Pools) A curving line makes you feel good. (The Mastery of Gaudi - Parque Guell, Barcelona) It may even make you stop and ponder the scene sometimes. (Naumkeag again, photo by Jan Johnsen)

#3 Garden Inspirations from Serenity in the Garden Facebook Page

Photo by Jan Johnsen all rights reserved   July 20, 2012 - Several years ago I planted small vining plants at the base of a black railing along some steps... I wanted to soften the look and add some green. I used Dutchmen's Pipe' (Aristolochia macrophylla Zones 5-8). It was named for a Greek named ... Aristolochos in the first century, who had learned from a dream that it was an antidote for snake bites. Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia Snakeroot) is thus named because the root was used to treat snakebite, as "so offensive to these reptiles, that they not only avoid the places where it grows, but even flee from the traveler who carries a piece of it in his hand". Many species of Aristolochia are food for larvae of swallowtail butterflies as they become unpalatable to most predators by eating the plants. Plant Dutchmen's Pipe for a dense cover, to feed the butterflies and to keep the snakes away!             July 19, 2012 - This is a

Foot Chi for All! A Reflexology Path for Your Garden

I have a dear friend who loves to walk barefoot in his garden. I know he enjoys the sensation but I wonder if he knows how good it is for his health? In fact, I am thinking of suggesting the addition of a 'Foot Chi Path' to his amazing landscape... Have you ever heard of the Chinese tradition of Stone Stepping? This ancient practice recommends walking barefoot on a surface of rounded, small stones for a variety of health benefits. When the scientists at the Oregon Research Institute control tested Chinese cobblestone stepping thay found that the older adult participants "experienced significant improvements in mental and physical well-being." Their study suggested that this simple activity could be an answer to the quest for a "simple, convenient, and readily accessible exercise program that will reduce health problems and improve quality of life of the aging population." foot chi walkers The names for this cure-all vary: st

#2 - Garden Ideas and Inspiration from 'Serenity in the Garden Facebok

photo by Jens Kolk 'Serenity in the Garden Blog' is the name of my Facebook Page. Each day I post a photo of something garden is an eclectic assortment and I post whatever I think might appeal to other kindred spirits out there. You can click here to go to the site: Serenity in the Garden on Facebook. This is #2 of some photos from June 2012 on my FB page. I am trying to catch up and post them so they will be available to non-Facebook users.  I have a lot more to post! This is dew garden time! Photographer Jens Kolk captured this photo of a ladybug covered in beads of morning dew in his garden: "I went out into the garden with my camera on a cold Sunday morning. The very special light shining just the right way led to to dozens of little sunstars."       Pavers in the lawn create a great pattern - by Peter Walker and Associates, 311 West Broadway, NYC I am planting a mass of CIRCUS coralbells today in a garden.

Gardens for Spiritual Renewal

Alfred Savinelli writes in his book, ‘ Plants of Power’ :   “ To bring our lives back into alignment with the cosmos, to reconnect with the source that deeply feeds us, to remember that life is but a dream and we are, collectively, its dreamers, requires vigilance. We must keep remembering” ‘Remembering’ to him means we recognize “the spiritual aspect that lives within and behind all forms and structures that we take for granted” (Savinelli, p 6). Native Americans and aborigines use ritual to remember their connection to the plant spirits and sky gods. Churches and temples conduct prescribed ceremonies to remember transcendent stories and events.   Buddhists and monasteries use chants and meditation to illuminate the unseen world around them.   Gardens, too, can be quiet places of spiritual ‘remembering’.   Through careful selection and placement of walks, plants, water, rocks and features we can create a garden space that will help us view Nature – and ou

Enlightened Awareness in the Garden

The Latin word for ‘cultivate’, colere, means both ‘to till’ and ‘to cherish’ . How appropriate! ‘Tilling’ your garden helps you to cherish Nature and become more 'watchful' of nature's processes. Going out before the heat of the day in summer you can see Nature’s serendipitous ‘co-incidents’ close at hand. The fragrant, multihued display of flowers is not meant to delight us but to catch an insect’s eye - this is a glorious way to ensure pollination of each blossom and hybrid seed production.      Indeed,  the symphony of the natural world is a medley of synchronous events working together, ever changing throughout the “striped coat of climates, this fourfold year…” that Ralph Waldo Emerson termed it. Cultivating our observation of Nature leads to serene acceptance.   For example, in spring, you may see the fluffy white seedpods of the Cottonwood trees on everything, making a 'mess'. But this ‘cottony’ mass  that covers everything is used