Showing posts from October, 2014

Ideas for a Fall Garden - Garden Design

Check out 'Ideas for a Fall Garden' on

Please click on the article name above for some great end-of-the-gardening-year ideas for your garden.

Their website accompanies the new magazine that I really like, Garden Design. Click on it to see more.

The Garden of Oz, Los Angeles

Somewhere in Beachwood Canyon in the Hollywood Hills (beneath the Hollywood Sign) in Los Angeles, way up high, is a hidden private garden that you may have heard of, once in a lullaby.

It is a treasure trove of recycled garden art - multi-color mosaics and hand painted tiles mixed with old Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels embedded in the rockwork.

Add to this vision a plethora of plants and flowers cascading over benches and walls.  The garden even contains a 'road' ( really a walk) paved with yellow 'bricks'.

An iron gate and sign announces the Garden of Oz.The  mailbox outside the gate reads “Letters to Oz”.

(Perhaps a flying monkey swoops down each day to pick up the mail.)

The story goes that the wonderful Gail, the garden's owner and creator, was an adviser to the Pope (which one? I don't know). She created this multi-faith garden and gave all the children who live nearby a key to get inside the gate whenever they please.

And it's also been said that the D…

An October deer resistant Plant Tour - short video

Here is a short tour of some plants you can use for a great deer resistant  Fall Garden in temperate regions....

I designed this landscape, steps, fencing, etc.- Jan Johnsen

'Fall, leaves, fall' - Emily Bronte

Fall, leaves, fall
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow Blossom where the rose should grow; I shall sing when night’s decay Ushers in a drearier day.

Designing in the Prairie Spirit: Darrel Morrison

I had the pleasure of teaching along with Darrel Morrison at Columbia University for these last few years. Darrell is an outstanding landscape designer, thinker and teacher. And you should know about him.

While he was teaching he also worked on several wonderful landscape projects including the NY Botanical Garden's new Native Plant Center.

Here is a lovely video that I think anyone would thoroughly enjoy! His words are so heart felt and eloquent.

Bravo, Daryl! I hope you spread your magic around the world.

Garden Photo of the Day - The Incomparable Japanese Maple in Fall

"The fact that time is moving faster means that it is getting more and more difficult for people to take control of time, or even just to take time off and relax. 
And it is precisely this dilemma which led to the demand for gardens today to be sanctuaries of contemplation, where one feels embraced by nature.
In essence, gardens which provide people with peace of mind, a sense of stability and a feeling of contentment. It’s no longer enough to merely provide a green zone here, or an occasional floral embellishment to a skyscraper there. 
What we need today are gardens that can reach deep into people’s hearts.” 
- Shunmyo Masuno 

Garden Photo of the Day - A Flowering Labyrinth

Walking a labyrinth helps relax the mind and engage the body.  It provides a venue for a moving meditation and appeals to people of all ages and cultures.

The West Bend Labyrinth Gardens in West Bend, Wisconsin provides a beautiful setting for meditative walking. Retired schoolteacher Barb Robertson first saw a labyrinth garden in Montana and decided to build a labyrinth garden in her town. 

After gathering a few grants to get started, permission from the city and a core of dedicated volunteers, the West Bend Labyrinth Garden Earth Sculpture became a reality.

Designated a Daylily Display Garden in 2009 by the American Hemerocallis Society, the garden has become a showplace each summer.  The garden is located within Regner Park, 800 N. Main Street, West Bend. 

'Heaven is a Garden' - Landscape Design Ideas For You

The aim of my book, 'Heaven is a Garden', is to have people to see their garden in a new light.  I share landscape design ideasthat resonate with the earth and the heavens and I show how these can be used to create outdoor spaces that enhance wellbeing.

My intention is to re-awaken interest in ancient wisdom and its connection to the natural world. Plants, trees, stone, water and more are highlighted and the book includes ways you can use these natural elements to create a calming atmosphere.  

I talk about the effect of simple, defined forms and how they affect us in a garden layout. Circles are powerful. Ellipses encourage movement and are inviting. Rectilinear forms are familiar and comforting. 

I also address color and show how gardens can use color in all its manifestations. Flowers, trees, water and artful objects inject color in wonderful ways that attract the eye and calm the mind. In 'Heaven is a Garden' I show how colors can affect our state of our being outdoor…

Momiji-gari - 'Hunting Red Leaves' in October

"I can see clearly now, that the rain is gone
...its gonna be a bright sunshiney day"
~ Johnny Nash

There is no more glorious time than a sunshiney day in Autumn in deciduous woodlands. 

Native Dogwood (Cornus florida) against a native Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

The native trees in these forests put on their cloaks of color and literally take your breath away... I walk along public trails near my house and exult in Nature's show.

Sleepy Hollow Maple Tree

Sometimes I want to literally stop and applaud, crying'BRAVO!' to a particular tree or scene. Wouldn't that be wonderful if we had crowds of people standing in front of a particular colorful sugar maple on a street applauding?   That would be outstanding.

In Japan, there is something like that in their Autumn tradition of viewing the changing color of maples. 

Called  "momijigari", which literally means 'hunting red leaves',  the Japanese people flock to places of natural beauty to see the shor…

Garden Photo of the Day - 'Cityline® Paris' Hydrangea

Tired of floppy, weak stemmed hydrangeas, especially when they're in full bloom? 

This new deep pink dwarf hydrangea hybrid from Germany has sturdy stems and excellent mildew resistance. 

It is a maintenance-free plant that requires no pruning - this means more flowers the next coming summer! 

Its intense pink-red color summer flowers are long lasting and age quite nicely into fall as well...

Cityline® Paris will add a deep pink zing to your garden and fill your home with beautiful fresh or dried cut flowers. 

Note: Soil pH will affect flower color.For blue flowers, the soil must be more acidic and for pink flowers the soil must be more alkaline. 

Among the Trees - Inspiration

It’s no coincidence that we go to out to nature when we want some peace and inspiration. The Buddha found enlightenment under the Bodhi tree (a fig tree). The poet / essayist Wendell Berry wrote,  “I go among trees and sit still, all my stirring becomes quiet around me like circles on water. My tasks lie in their places where I left them, asleep like cattle.”

When I Am Among the Trees
from Mary Oliver's Thirst: Poems
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
   but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world …

Garden Photo of the Day - In praise of country walls

"Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast..."
Mending Wall, Robert Frost

Garden Photo of the Day - Red Gomphrena, Strawflower

 Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)

This strawflower is one of my favorite flowers. 

It is an annual plant from Central America that features rounded flowers that look like clover flowers although they are more stately and long lasting. 

It comes in  a variety of colors such as purple, red, white, pink, and lavender. 

It looks great with other plants or by itself. 

It is a tough survivor in the heat and a good flower  for drying. It comes in short and tall forms.  The tall varieties can grow to  2 feet  tall and 1 foot wide. 

Gomphrena is a profuse bloomer and goes on all summer into the fall. Like I said, it is  a great plant!