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Showing posts from 2018

Hip Hip Hooray for Rose Hips!

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rose hips photo by Jan Johnsen  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? from Monrovia - Japanese rose  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: Oso Easy Cherry Pie Rose -from May Dreams Garden Blog  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.   source: live by the sun blog  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 Winners   Deep 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

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. from gardendesign.com 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 (

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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Lady's Mantle is a dew catcher This is the time of 'White Dew on the Grass' in Japan Sept 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. Like jewels on the flowers - dew drops glisten

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. HOUSE   in 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&

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 an   Indian 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 is   Solitude, 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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Hakonechloa, catmint, perennial salvia The design of the landscape is all encompassing.  It includes urban spaces, civic squares, meeting areas, parks, gardens, linear nature corridors, waterfronts and more.  Phipps Sustainable Landscape in Pittsburgh 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. Dallas Arboretum - Rocks in landscape What? No plants? Well, landscape architecture should include plants in my opinion.   But the definition doesn't necessarily include them. Drumstick Allium - wonderful 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. Recirculating cascade - Johnsen Landscapes I prefer natural elements. Rocks. Trees. Soil.  Flowers.

Red Obelisk European Beech Tree - A Tree for Tight Spaces

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Red Obelisk European Beech 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.  Red Obelisk European Beech Tree 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. Young Red Obelisk trees Red Obelisk is quite tolerant of soil conditions - it needs adequate drainage but ot