Showing posts from November, 2014

Pantone's Advice for 2015: Serenity in the Garden

"There is a growing movement to step out and create ‘quiet zones’ to disconnect from technology and unwind, giving ourselves time to stop and be still. " 
- Pantone 2015 Color Forecast

Colorful Garden Ideas...

Those of us who love color (me! me!) can’t resist the urge to include all the hues on the color wheel in our gardens. 

Color does add a dramatic punch to a garden but it can result in visual cacophony (aka : a colorful mess).

Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, Pa addressed this dilemma in their 600 foot long ‘Flower Garden Walk’. They decided to feature one color at a time..

So along this broad brick walk is a mix of flowers, spring bulbs, shrubs and grasses that showcases one individual color followed by another. 
As you stroll, you experience the full impact of each color of the rainbow, before going on to the next.
At the start is a grand sweep of lavender, purple and blue

courtesy: historicfloralgardens.blogspot 
which melds into soft pinks and reds then changes to oranges and warm yellows,

Ultimately ending in white.

Some of the plants in this garden :

butterfly-bush Golden oriental arborvitae, panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Unique'),purple smoke-bush (Cotinus c…

'Touch the Earth' through a Garden

The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Many of us turn to gardens and landscapes as a way to create a more meaningful connection to the earth. This urge is the impetus behind this garden blog.

I share my experiences in the garden world as a way to inspire others to ‘touch the earth’.

 I believe the piece of ground outside our door can be a conduit for us to appreciate the energy that flows within plants, water, trees, sunlight, rocks, birds and assorted creatures.

It is in a garden, as George Bernard Shaw declared, where we can touch the divine.

Looking at the natural world in this way is nothing new. The idea of sanctified outdoor space was the genesis for the sacred groves of the Egyptians, Indians and Greeks.

It birthed the medieval labyrinths and Native Americans’ 'medicine wheels'.

And ancient Chinese geomancy, ‘Feng Shui’, and Indian ‘Vaastu’,  sees the earth and her directions as living, vibrant forces.

In my blog (an…

Create a Circular Peace Garden

Our natural inclination, when in a group, is to gather in a circle.

The ineluctable unity of this shape gives each person equal standing, equal voice and equal support. It is a perfect shape for expressing ourselves to others.  The result? A unified purpose or intention arising from talking and listening, in turn.

Yay for the circle!

Like theater in the round, no one has a better seat than anyone else. It is no wonder that circular gathering spaces are popular for group activities and in various spiritual traditions.

The Contemplative Mind is enhanced through circular gatherings

This is why I advocate Circular Peace Gardens wherever people may gather.

A circle is a nurturing form that invites us in - there are no hard edges, corners or angles.

So what is the perfect size for a circular 'people space' outdoors?

 It is all a matter of proportion, scale, context and intended use.  If you are in a dense urban neighborhood - the size of the circle may be decided for you by what is …

Aexander Calder and the Phi Proportion

Alexander Calder was a famous  artist that used shapes that are 'biomorphic'.  They recall shapes found in nature such as leaves, flowers, clouds.

Calder's other interests included physics, astronomy and kinetics.  He was inspired by color and composition and Piet Mondrian's paintings.

In some of Calder's signature hanging mobiles, he arranged colorful natural shapes in a mathematical pattern found in Nature called the Fibonacci sequence which is based on the proportion known as PHI (1:1.618).

In the Calder mobile below, called, 'Back, White and Ten Red', the shapes are arranged in the Fibonacci sequence, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5.....(each number is the sum of the two preceding it).

 Perhaps he got this idea from Mondrian who also used Phi in his famous artworks.

The mobile has each number as a separate hanging unit on the mobile like this:

Calder and Mondrian knew about Phi, the Golden Proportion, and now we all are learning about it!

Japanese Bridge - Garden Photo of the Day


Take a Seat - Garden Photo of the Day

 “If you’re too busy to sit still for 10 minutes, you need to sit still for an hour.”
 – Zen proverb 

Sparkling White Plants in the Fall

White elevates a garden. It soothes us.  Uplifts us.  It adds sparkle to any outdoor space. This clear and crisp color shines brightly on a misty autumn morning like a beacon that offers us sweet tidings. 
Because white flowers 'glow' in dark autumn evenings, I place white mums in pots by my door to greet people. I also plant them in the ground to light up dark corners.

white mums - photo by Jan Johnsen
I also enjoy how white Angelonia flowers (an annual here)  keep blooming in the coolness.

And of course, Montauk Daisies are the stars of October...shining ever so freshly on cool afternoons...they are perennial and come back every year.

And don't forget those plants that have variegated leaves!

Outside my window in the northwest section of my little yard is a variegated dogwood shrub.

I prune it back in early spring and then the green and white leaves grow in to cover the compact bush with a cloak of brightness, which I especially admire in autumn.

Variegated iris ensata is …