Showing posts from November, 2012

Repetition Creates a Serene Landscape

San Diego - Martin Luther King Park, Peter Walker    To make a point, repeat yourself... This is certainly true in a landscape, no matter what the size.   Steps are the best example of a repeating element in a garden. Steps can make a strong, repetitive statement... They can be rustic:   (The Japanese gardeners knew it all) (johnsen landscapes & pools - ) They can be modern: Steps Paul Banguy Deliberate repetition in an outdoor setting makes a visual point and creates order which calms us immensely. Ordered vs. chaos - most of us would choose ordered ...  repeating plans, stepping stones, pavers, planters and more can create unity and rhythm...we like that. Here are some examples of repeating elements outdoors - there are so many. Try it at home - get a bunch of anything and line them up!             (Naumkeag, Stockbridge, Ma.      

Make a Tin Can Man in Your Garden

There is no more fun than using something you've retrieved, found, saved or salvaged in a garden.  It is especially fun if you make a  tin can man  from these items...   Its an old custom to reuse items wherever you can. Some call it Art, others call it Necessity. Artists do this naturally. To them, any item is potentially art. Garden Art. Landscape Art. And the can is so plentiful..and it rusts to a nice patina outdoors in the garden.  Did you know that  British merchant Peter Durand invented and patented the tin can in 1810 and three years later the UK’s first commercial canning factory was opened - but the can opener was not invented until 50 years later?!   how did they open all those cans?   A tin Can Man can have such personality too....look at this one above : looks like Woody Allen in Sleeper:   Richard E , made this sweet metal man below in Albany, NY....Richard explains, “I have been a Wizard of O

The Versatile Banana Leaf - Nature's Packaging

I attended the University of Hawaii and lived on an organic farm in Waimanalo. This was decades ago but I never lost my fascination with banana plants ( there are many varieties!) and their multiple uses. Banana trees make great windbreaks.   Banana leaves are a wonderful, versatile way to carry and serve food....Here are some great ideas:   Stir fry lunch, wrapped in a banana leaf tied with bamboo, with chopsticks cut from lotus or something like that..... It unfolds into its own little bowl. The person who took this photo writes:   "Cheap, readily available, secure, waterproof, light, strong, beautiful to hold and look at and it'll biodegrade with the rest of the forest. Brilliant."!/2010/06/eco-packaging-lunch-boxes-thai-style.html     The banana leaf is highly flexible. The shiny and natural waxy surface of the banana leaf is ideal for any wet

Stonework in the Garden - Class on Nov. 14

  Image from the book, 'Walls: Elements of Garden and Landscape Architecture' by Gunter Mader On Nov. 14 -  I will be giving a class on 'Stonework in the Garden' at the NY Botanical Garden. My aim is to inform, inspire and stimulate your curiosity.  I hope to see you there.   Andy Goldsworthy - Storm King Art Center I will be sharing several Powerpoints.  One is about the Spirit of Stone and reviews the many ways natural stones can be used in landscape design.   Modern landscape architecture is replete with examples, as well as ancient cultures. Detail from a plan - Johnsen Landscapes & Pools   The other two cover stone paving, stone wall and steps....there is so much to talk about!  

Great Garden Ideas - #4 of my Facebook Postings

Serenity in the Garden is my way to gladden someone's day and to share my wonder at people' s creativity and Nature's beauty. photo by Jan Johnsen Nov. 11, 2012 - I worked in the gardens of Mohonk Mt. House (a hotel) decades ago. Still one of my favorite places! In New Paltz, NY. I took this photo of their unique rustic gazebos that border Mohonk Lake. Nov. 9, 2012 - "Much patience required. VERY steady hands, heartbeat, breathing, one’s entire being.. required." - Michael Grab (shown here with his creation). Nov. 8, 2012 - Do you know what is missing in this Zen inspired sand garden? a leaf. lying haphazadly atop the sand. ah, so. Nov. 7, 2012 - W hy not a 'poetry wall' garden? this is in Brooklyn, NY. Design by Terrain.. photo by Jan Johnsen Nov. 6, 2012 - Look carefully - this is a photo on a banner affixed to a plain wall - makes it look like a real

Chanting and Gardens - 'OM' in the Garden

Om Stone in one of my landscapes- Jan We need to balance the pace and intensity of modern life with periods of what poet May Sarton has called " open time , with no obligations except toward the inner world and what is going on there." ~ Thomas Moore So how to touch the inner world in a garden ?.. I suggest chanting 'OM.' or really 'AUM'. , long and sustained, several times... “Om” is the oldest and most widely known one syllable mantra or chant.    It is said very, very slowly.   The Sanskrit symbol above represents “OM”. It does not say '30' as some might assume.   Look for this - click here: Wall Decal - OM     Though commonly spelled “Om.”, the sound is really 'Ahhooom" and the symbol consists of these three letters, “a,” “u,” and “m,” and includes an after-sound of silence : • The “a” (pronounced "ah," the upper curve) represents our waking state. • The “u” (pronounced "ooh,"