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Showing posts from 2018

Hip Hip Hooray for Rose Hips!

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 Allow your roses to form hips.
Did you know that, like many plants that produce fruit, the formation of rose hips is a signal to the rose to go dormant for the season?



Rose hips provide wonderful color in the garden and are a good source of vitamin C for birds in the fall and winter. They are one of the highest plant sources of Vitamin C. 'Cherry Pie' Rose makes great rose hips:



You can eat them too. Rose hips are used for jam, jelly, syrup, soup, beverages, pies, bread, and wine. They can also be eaten raw if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit.  The redder they are, the softer and sweeter.  




for more info on roses go to Chris Van Cleave - click here.

LITTLE BLUESTEM = a native grass you will love

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'Blue Paradise' Little Bluestem courtesy of Proven WinnersDeep wine purple fall color.
When the American Horticultural Society decided to create a large meadow at their headquarters, River Farm, in Virginia the first plant they seeded was Little Bluestem.( I wrote about this earlier but have added to it. )
Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm
 They applied 100 pounds of Bluestem seed. The Latin name is Schizachyrium scoparium or skiz-ah-KEER-ee-um sko-PAR-ee-um.
Why was this the first plant they seeded? Because Little Bluestem is a NATIVE, wonderful, durable, upright,clump forming grass that is eminently suitable for 'meadow making'. 'The Blues' courtesy of the Battery Database
Little Bluestem is native to almost all of the United States and parts of Canada. It is found in  45 of the 50 states, making it the most abundant of all native grasses.

It is drought and flood-tolerant, can grow in light shade and thrives in relatively poor, sharply drained soil. It is found …

Ideas for a Fall Garden - on Garden Design

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Check out 'Ideas for a Fall Garden' on gardendesign.com. I share some ideas I have used in my landscape projects. 
Please click on the article name above for some great end-of-the-gardening-year ideas for your garden.
The Garden Design website  is a virtual compendium of ideas for your landscape.











Naming Your Garden

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Imagine if there were no street names, no names of places, no identification of any kind...our world would be very difficult to navigate. A name is essential - it gives form, meaning, and creates a concept or image for us to attach our thoughts to.
A good place name instills good feelings, excitement or anticipation...it has the ability to change our perception immediately.  A flower patch can become 'Mom's Garden' and, in a wink of an eye, the rag tag assortment of flowers is a special place indeed.


"I believe in the power and mystery of naming things.... I believe in naming what's right in front of us because that is often what is most invisible. "  Eve Ensler
A name is the first step toward making the invisible, visible, toward manifesting....
If you name your idea for a screenplay, well then, there it is...you just have to write it now....or if you name your budding business it makes it much easier to create those business cards ( that was my experience).

Tried and True Perennial - 'Honorine Jobert' Anemone

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Do you want to be immortalized? Just have someone name a fabulous plant after you.



 Honorine Jobert was a very lucky lady because this flowering Japanese hybrid anemone - Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' - 
is a wonderful bloomer and extremely adaptable. 

Lovely in a woodland setting or in rock gardens. An excellent cut flower. Naturalizes by spreading rhizomes in ideal conditions. Herbaceous perennial.

Blooms from August through September, every year. Zones 4 - 8.

Low maintenance and great in perennial borders, cottage gardens, and city gardens 

Named a 'Tried and True' plant by the Missouri Botanical Garden. 


The week of 'White Dew on the Grass'

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This is the time of 'White Dew on the Grass' in JapanSept 8 - 12 Microseason 43: 白露 Hakuro (White dew)  Now is when you notice white beads of dew in early morning. They say 'on grass' but I see it on flowers and leaves too.   Dew appears between summer and fall when the temperatures drop during the night and moisture in the air solidifies. A magical time indeed.

Annual Flowers - Colorful, Joyful and So Rewarding

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(Jan Johnsen - angelonia, vinca and dusty miller)  

  Annual flowers - those that bloom all summer into late fall then give it up for good - are the secret to a joyful and colorful garden. 
I know people think planting annual flowers take too much work in spring but I say, "go ahead, try it! The rewards in your garden continue into the late fall."
(Jan Johnsen - profusion zinnias, marigolds,salvia, plectranthus)

Colorful annual flowers make us happy, enrich our lives and then sometimes take our breath away, to boot.

(Jan Johnsen - coleus, plectranthus,angelonia, and more)


I know all about annual flowers because after graduating college (landscape architecture focus) decades ago, I went to work in the display gardens at MOHONK MT. HOUSEin New Paltz, NY.

 I was not very happy about the situation because back then, in Landscape architecture school, flowers were not popular. In fact, not even considered!

I thought flowers 'beneath' me because I had drunk the 'koolaid'…

Fun Ideas for Your Garden

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The infographic below illustrates some current garden design ideas. It helps to have some visual inspiration. You can spruce up with lights or add anIndian fire pit .  This is a fun way to think of something more for your garden:









Breathing Space

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The following is an excerpt from a post on the blog, Creative Countryside. The post isSolitude, Spontaneity and Sanity  written by Sarah Hardman.




"Give yourself a bit of breathing space, time to reset. 

By wandering up that footpath – even if you’ll be turning back around again after ten minutes – you’re doing something very important. 



You’re switching off. 

From the requests of others, from conversation. Instead you’re tuning in to the seasons and the details around you: nature. The sound of birds and buzzing insects and the wind in the trees. 

The smell of the earth and sun-warmed grass, the feel of leaves as you brush past.



 Indulge your curiosity. Reset. The obligations and their accompanying emotions: stress, resentfulness, mild anxiety: they can be let go for a little while as you take some time for yourself and savor your surroundings."







Why I Design Gardens

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The design of the landscape is all encompassing. 

It includes urban spaces, civic squares, meeting areas, parks, gardens, linear nature corridors, waterfronts and more. 


Landscape design can be defined as an outdoor area that is molded and manipulated for an intended outcome. It can be stark, sleek and bold. It can be quaint, cozy and comforting. The common denominator is the modification of outdoor space.


What? No plants? Well, landscape architecture should include plants in my opinion.   But the definition doesn't necessarily include them.


With that said, you can follow your own star as it relates to landscaping.  Concrete plazas are your thing? Then so be it.

Co-creating with Nature is my mantra.

I prefer natural elements. Rocks. Trees. Soil.  Flowers. I celebrate the idea that we are one with the earth.  

Landscape design can enhance a feeling of unity with our environment and remind us of the reasons we must facilitate its survival. 

That is why I design gardens.




Red Obelisk European Beech Tree - A Tree for Tight Spaces

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Red Obelisk European Beech is a 2015 Cary Award winner and for good reason:

it is a narrow, columnar tree with wavy, lustrous, burgundy-black foliage all spring and summer. And it is a great deep red exclamation point for your garden.

!  !  !  !  
 Ideal for tight planting areas, it can grow 40 ft. high and no more than 10 ft. wide after several decades. Tolerant of urban pollution so it is good for city landscapes. 


It is a pest-free cultivar, shows good tolerance to road salt, compacted soils and a little light shade (which reduces the intensity of foliage color).

In fall its foliage turns coppery-bronze, holding for weeks, eventually dropping to display a distinct winter-branching outline against the sky.

Plant it  for a strong vertical accent. Or use several trees to form a hedge.




Red Obelisk is quite tolerant of soil conditions - it needs adequate drainage but other than that, fares well in almost all soil types. It  prefer lots of sunlight. 

Red Obelisks are able to handle temperatures …