Showing posts from May, 2014

The New Garden Design Magazine - Its Great!

The new re-imagined Garden Design book-a-zine is out - and what a first issue it is!

This is a completely new incarnation of the stalwart magazine that we have known for years. This new edition goes beyond the glossy photos of furniture and lush outdoor enclaves that dominated the pages of the previous Garden Design to delve into fascinating details, ideas, places, people and plants. It harks back to the early days of Garden Design when I would read the magazine cover to cover.  

I am an huge a fan of the new Garden Design (full disclosure: I am a contributing editor of Garden Design) - it is a basically a gorgeous book that has NO ADVERTISEMENTS. 

A big plus is that the paper quality is the best - book quality - and as you turn the fully illustrated pages you realize you are reading  a compelling new garden book - one that has been developed with care and an honest desire to create a publication that speaks to the Garden Design enthusiast. 132 pages of wonderful information.

The publishe…

Storm King Art Center - Serenity in the Landscape


What to do with your old jeans....Photo of the Day

A Unique Screening Idea! Who needs a fence?

Simplicity in Design - Quote of the Day

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”― Leonardo da Vinci

Sunshine, Little girl, Cat and Garden - Photo of the Day

A lovely morning in the garden.

Worm Tubes - A Great Idea for Your Garden

Want to know a great way to enhance biological activity in your garden? Think of it as adding probiotics to your soil.... Worm Tubes! It is a fun way to use your vegetable food waste without the hassle of true composting. Worm tubes attract worms to your garden and this, in turn, creates rich, worm casting-filled composted soil for you to use.  And did you know that worm compost suppresses plant diseases? Research has shown that worm compost can successfully suppress Pythium aphanidermatum - a mold responsible for the dreaded 'damping off', where seedlings and young plants rot away at the base of the stem. The microbes  in the compost are key. They chemically prevent (disrupts the signalling)  the Pythium pathogen from accessing the plant. 
This is why you should consider making worm compost with a 'worm tube' in your garden. They attract worms to your garden and the worm castings make great compost! Vertical tubes in the garden, with one section buried in the ground, att…

In Praise of Drumstick Allium (plant in fall, enjoy in June)

I must admit I first discovered Drumstick Allium when I could not find any other allium bulb to was late fall and I had waited too long to buy the popular Globemaster Alliums...
What to DO? I bought the Drumsticks and was thrilled at the result.
These purplish - red blooms are small - 1" -and oval shaped.  They bloom in my part of the world in June atop wiry 24" - 30" tall stems and wave in the breeze...and they make a superb cut flower (which you can dry to be an 'everlasting').

Drumstick Allium bouquet - Martha Stewart Photo Drumstick Alliums look fantastic tucked in the early summer flower border...You can add these small bulbs easily in the fall around clumps of established perennials such as Artemesia, Yarrow, Nepeta and Agastache. They peek out around these plants and are a delightful addition that come back every year!

Artemesia Powis Castle - Great with Drumstick Alliums - Great deer resistantCombo!
White Flower Farm sells Drumstick Allium bulbs …

'Angel Wing' Variegated Solomon's Seal - Photo of the Day

The wonderful Plant Delights nursery has introduced a sport of one of my favorite plants, the variegated fragrant Solomon's seal  (named the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year.)  It is called 'Angel Wing' (Polygonatum odoratum 'Carlisle') and has an extra wide, creamy leaf edge.

The fragrant Solomon's seal is a shade-loving perennial that typically grows to 18-24” tall on gracefully arching, unbranched stems.  In spring it is adorned with small, dangling, white tubular flowers that have a sweet, lily-like fragrance. 
Polygonatum is native to Japan, China and Korea. It is a hardy plant, Zones3a to 8ba, and is vigorous grower. A bright addition to a light shady area! 

Bluish Reds and Blues and Whites.. go together in a Garden

Always note if a red in your garden is a 'cool red', tinged with blue,  or a 'warm red', tinged with yellow. 
The Cool Reds or Bluish Reds go well with other blue-toned colors like a blue-toned lavender or pink. 
The sight of a warm color is a little jarring when you are aiming for a feeling of serenity in the garden....

And throw in some white in for a little respite!

The Magic of Water - Diana Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park

Gustafson-Porter designed the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in the UK.  The design firm describes the water effects as such: 

"Dividing at the top, detailed grooves and channels combine with air jets to animate the water.  Sparkling, energetic effects include,  Swoosh’, ‘Steps’  and ‘Rock and Roll’ At the base, the two streams of water merge to form a still, reflective basin."
I love that - swoosh and rock and roll effects in a fountain.
The 545 pieces of Cornish granite that make up the fountain were designed and cut using ground-breaking digital technology.  A great way to use modern methods in landscape elements. 
The design works with the natural slope of the land. Site-sensitive, as well.
This is a beautiful memorial that engages people (and their feet!) and epitomizes Serenity in the Garden.   Bravo, Gustafson-Porter and Hyde Park!

Butterfly Gardens and Happiness

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. - Nathaniel Hawthorne
And this is why a butterfly garden should be in everyone's life.  In the photo above, I planted 'Lucky White' Lantana and purple Callibrachoa to attract the summer butterflies....they love lantana!
Also perennial coneflowers, agastache, bee balm, and many more are butterfly attractors.  These all have nectar, a butterfly's delight. So if you have a sunny open spot, some shelter from wind and fresh water (butterfly puddles) then plant some butterfly flowers and enjoy a bit of happiness.
I have to run off to work but I did want to leave you with a wonderful butterfly garden plant list from the Farmer's Almanac
Common NameLatin NameAlliumAlliumAsterAsterBee balmMonardaButterfly bushBuddleiaCatmintNepetaClove PinkDianthusCornflowerCentaureaDaylilyHemerocallisFalse indigoBaptisiaFleabaneErigeronFloss flowerAgera…


All we are saying is 'Give Bees a Chance'

Dandelions deserve a gold medal. 

This sunny flower is one of the first spring foods for bees.

 If bees survive the winter, they look to dandelions and other wildflowers for nutrition — so they can begin the work of pollinating our fruits and vegetables. The all-important bees are threatened right now. 

Their population is dwindling due to a type of pesticide that is being applied to flowers and vegetables and fruit trees....we must alert everyone!

Let's not kill off anything that helps the bees.


'Graham Thomas' Climbing Rose - Garden Photo of the Day

Beth Owl's daughter took this exquisite photo of Graham Thomas Roses at her home in Laurel Hill, North Carolina in late May.

Probably the best known of all the English Roses and one of the most popular roses in the world. ‘Graham Thomas’ has been voted the World’s Favorite Rose by the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) which represents over 100,000 rose lovers in 41 member countries. It was bred by the incomparable David Austin.
The award was announced at the 2009 World Rose Convention in Vancouver, when the rose was inducted into the society’s ‘Rose Hall of Fame’.

It is a vigorous variety that makes a good climber and it has a fresh tea rose fragrance, being awarded the Henry Edland medal for fragrance in 2000.

Ideal when grown on a wall where it will repeat flower in several flushes. 10 - 12 ft as a climber.

Nature Speaks - a great radio program!

This past week I was interviewed by Christine Agro about the ideas in my book, 'Heaven is a Garden - Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection'.

Christine is very insightful ...she searches for the answers to why things happen, how they connect and what we can do to assist all of this. 

She says that Nature is not a backdrop for humanity to live against; it is a wise and powerful guide that we can all learn from.

Her website says,

'She seeks to find a simpler, more gentler way to live our lives and when she does,she passes this information on to you!'
That is why Christine Agro contacted me. Her internet radio show 'Nature Speaks' talks of how we are a part of nature and how we can get in touch with this understanding. She says that all the support and guidance you need is literally right outside your door.  Her guests are fascinating people and her questions open up a whole new world that listeners enjoy.

 She wants people to learn from the wi…