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Showing posts from July, 2018

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'…

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

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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

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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."