Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Naming Your Garden

Image
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

Image
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'

Image
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

Image
(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'…

'Fire Marshall' Bee Balm - A New Take on a Favorite Perennial

Image
FireMarshallBeeBalm General Beebalm is a favorite for the perennial border, with a striking display of richly-colored flowers through the summer months.

'Fire Marshall' Bee Balm (Monarda) is a moderate sized perennial, growing 24 to 36 inches tall, with bright red, shaggy  flowers.  The flowers are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds, growing above the foliage in the mid to late summer. Good clump forming habit. The leaves have a nice fragrance and are significantly more resistant to powdery mildew than most older varieties.  Fire Marshall is a cross between two of the best beebalms, M. ‘Marshalls Delight’ and M. ‘Jacob Cline’. Developed by Dr. Jim Ault at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois.  Deer and rabbits largely leave it alone. A great cut flower. Add this new version of a classic perennial in your garden.  'Fire Marshall' grows best in well drained soils with moderate amounts of moisture.  Full sun. Overall, a fast growing, easy care plant. Zones 5 …

Fun Ideas for Your Garden

Image
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

Image
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."







'Being There' - Garden Wisdom for the Ages

Image
One of my favorite movies is "Being There," a 1979 film starring Peter Sellers. 

It was directed by Hal Ashby, adapted from a novella by Jerzy Kozinski.

 Sellers plays Chance, the gardener, who tends the grounds of an estate in Washington, DC.  



Chance has the mind of a child (the role is a forerunner to Forrest Gump) and knows only two things:  gardening and TV.

  He is reclusive and illiterate and has lived and worked on this property his entire life. 

When his boss, the Old Man, dies at the beginning of the film he finds himself on the street and is soon inadvertently walking the halls of power and prestige. 





His encounters with highly placed people are very funny. They are charmed by his simplicity and honesty. 

They think 'Chauncy Gardiner' is a wise and profound man who uses metaphors of the garden to answer deep and thorny questions, when, of course, gardening is all he knows.



He quickly rises to public prominence and becomes a media sensation. The film  exposes a soc…

Why I Design Gardens

Image
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

Image
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 …

Sun Loving Sedums for Your Garden

Image
SunSparkler™ SedumsIf you have a hot, dry garden and want almost 2 months of vibrant color then try Chris Hansen's collection of  brilliantly colored, quick-spreading, ultra-tough and long-lived sedum cultivars  - SunSparklers™.  Zones 4-9.


SunSparkler™ sedums stand up to cold as well as heat, and once established, do not mind poor soil fertility or long periods of drought.


They are great for containers that you often forget to water ( me...).


And there is no better plant for sunny banks, slopes, and rocky garden spots.


These perennials may reach 6 to 8 inches high and spread 18 inches wide within a single season. Butterflies adore the flowers and deer may avoid nibbling the leaves ( it depends). 
Sedum 'Cherry Tart'

'Cherry Tart' has cherry-red, 6" high foliage and 3 season interest.  Deep pink blooms appear in late summer (opening in clusters 5 inches wide) that butterflies love. In mid-fall the red foliage is ablaze in all its glory.

Given good drainage it will no…