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Showing posts from January, 2015

Goodbye Radiant Orchid (color of year 2014)

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As you may know, the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year is Marsala, a toned down, wine-red color that is good in the background, useful for setting off other brighter hues. Last year's color, Radiant Orchid, was another story. Described by Pantone as "a captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones," it demands attention and is, in my opinion,  slightly jarring. But I was getting used to it and was even accepting it in the garden. And now, we go back to the more staid colors....but here it is, one last time, in all its 'wowie-powie' glory: I give you 'Radiant Orchid in the Garden.' Radiant orchid bench amidst hydrangeas- I don't know who took this photo Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime'  Sunset Colors Garden by Amber Freda, NYC Raindrops on flower Radiant Orchid Chairs Jersey Shore Zinnia Goodbye Radiant Orchid..now we may calm down a bit.

Just a reminder....

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So you're walking along, feeling blue when you look up to see a leaf. A reminder...love comes in all forms.  Now you're feeling green, the color of love. (Red is passion,  green is love.)

'Sun King' Aralia - Bold and Stunning in Part Shade

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   Sun King Aralia - photo by Wayside gardens  A shrub for part shade, Aralia cordata ' Sun King', grows 3' - 5' tall and wide and is a great companion to Hosta.  Many sources say it is deer resistant - so maybe it is.... Aralia Sun King on Right..Great photo by Karl Gercens Brought to the US and named by Barry Yinger, who found it in a Japanese department store nursery, Aralia 'Sun King' is one of the most amazing new perennial introductions in the last decade!  The Golden Japanese Aralia grows in USDA zones 4a - 8b and e merges with bold, gold compound leaves. The foliage will remain gold all summer given a few hours of sun a day. In heavier shade, foliage will be lime green. photo by Plant Delights Nursery  It has bright red stems and later in the season it features small white flowers that attract plenty of pollinators like honeybees. This is followed by masses of beautiful purple/black berries that birds (especially thrus

10 Great Garden Photos of 2014 - Serenity in the Garden

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Allium 'Millenium' by Laura McKillop What makes a great garden photo? Anything that delights you. But if I had to put my finger on it - salient aspects would be the  quality of the light  and the  richness of color. And composition figures prominently.  That said, here are some memorable photographs that have been featured in this year's 'Serenity in the Garden' blog posts. My criteria? Whatever grabbed my eye as I perused the photos.. moongate by Richard Hartlage Andy Goldsworthy Spire, San Francisco Cornell Blue Moon Bridge by Virginia Small  Meadow flowers Baptisia Purple Smoke, Bluestone Perennials bicycletteboutique.com Jan Johnsen, landscape design  From the film, Being There

Red Bridge in Snow - Garden Photo of the Day

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Red bridge in snow - a garden's  beauty in winter.

Trompe l’oeil for 21st Century Landscapes

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Michael Krondl - waterworks in Katonah, NY One day in 2007 I was driving along a road in my area when I saw a long wall of falling water that wasn't there before. The water was gushing over the wall but I saw no evidence of any water beyond that . Hmmm..... Photo by Jan Johnsen I had to stop the car and take a picture. Then I had to walk up there and see what was going on.... It was an art installation using photo-derived imagery of a waterfall.  A digital print on vinyl  - trompe l’oeil for the 21st century!   The artist is the talented and inventive  Michael Krondl . The 200-foot long waterfall called 'Rising Water/Falling Water' was in front of the Katonah Museum of Art. I was struck by this vinyl wall of water..I had to see how he attached it to the existing wall...ah yes, grommets! photo by Jan Johnsen The possibilities of this trompe l’oeil in a landscape or public setting are vast- Walls of water on subway platforms, sides o

Henri Matisse - Quote of the Day

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"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity..." -   To the end of his days, the French artist, Henri Matisse created visual art in any way he could.... His works continue to attract the admiration of many around the world.  Purity and serenity win out every time.

'Illumination Flame' Foxglove - Super Star

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 'Illumination Flame Foxglove - Digitalis (Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame') Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 American Garden Award . This half hardy perennial (USDA zone 8- 10) is taking the hort. world by storm.  Charles Valin crossed the common garden foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, with its Canary Island perennial cousin, Isoplexis canariensis to create this stunning, 2'-3' tall beauty. Digiplexis is its name. It blooms continuously from Spring thru Fall and, even though sterile, attracts butterflies and bees. Magnificent, huge, non-stop, 3' tall bloom spikes hold large, rich pink and orange blooms with  spotted golden throats. A great cut flower too. Easy to grow, give it good loamy soil with compost added to see what it really can do! And it’s adaptable to full sun thru bright shade. A dark foliaged companion would be lovely next to it.  With its endless blooming, it also makes a terrific choice for a large pot. 'Illumination Flame&#

The Keys to Wellbeing - A Scientific Study

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What factors influence wellbeing? According to The Daily Life Study from New Zealand that tracked nearly 1500 young people  (average age, 19) the   pursuit of happiness needs  fruit, nature, sun,  sleep, selenium. • Fruit and vegies:  Healthy amounts can elevate moods and raise curiosity and creativity. • Nature:    The project found spending time in nature was good for the soul -  a walk through the botanic gardens improved emotions.  So a daily walk in a park can i mprove emotional wellbeing. • Sleep and exercise:  At least seven hours' sleep and a daily run improves wellness. • Vitamin D:  Reduces the risk of depression, if only because of getting outside in the sun. • Selenium:  Can trigger depressive symptoms if too low or taken in amounts too high.  The source of selenium is oysters, tuna, whole wheat bread, sunflower seeds, poultry,  and eggs.   Overseen by Otago University psychologist Dr Tamlin Conner, the research proje

This Tent of Dripping Clouds - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The misery of man appears like childish petulance,  when we explore the steady and prodigal provision that has been made  for his support and delight   on this green ball which floats him through the heavens.  What angels invented these splendid ornaments,  these rich conveniences,  this ocean of air above, this ocean of water beneath, this firmament of earth between?  this zodiac of lights, this tent of dropping clouds, this striped coat of climates, this fourfold year?  Beasts, fire, water, stones, and corn serve him.  The field is at once his floor,  his work-yard,  his play-ground, his garden, and his bed. - Ralph Waldo Emerson Chapter II from   Nature , published as part of   Nature; Addresses and Lectures

Moon Gates

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My blogoversary (a 'new word ') passed and I didn't notice... So in the spirit of belated celebration, I am reprinting one of the very first blog posts I wrote.  Two evenings ago, driving along a road in open farm country, I watched as the January full moon rose over a snowy landscape. The large white disc shining brightly in a liquid gray sky was spectacular! I now understand why animals howl at the moon - it must be a sympathetic show of appreciation and awe... The grandeur of the full moon made me reflect on moon gates, the traditional Chinese circular entryways that lead into contained gardens and cities. The rounded opening alludes to the full moon and the Chinese adage that says, 'Flowers are more beautiful when the moon is full.' Stepping through a round portal is symbolic of many things. Like our entrance into this world, it is an enveloping opening that calls to us to see what is on the other side. This sort of entry speaks to us of myster

Weeds are Flowers too - Garden Photo of the Day

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ox eye daisy  Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.’ – A.A. Milne ox eye daisies in Ohio