Showing posts from July, 2019

Heaven is a Garden-a wonderful endorsement

Sometimes I find something that makes me so happy - I just read this post which was written several years ago by Kurt Fromherz in his Natureworks blog -

I never know how or if what I write reaches people..and now I know...Thank you so much Kurt Fromherz. Here is what he shared - I am so honored:
This winter I made the trek up to snowbound Boston to see a woman speak that I have been following for many years. Jan Johnsen is a garden designer and writer. Her Serenity in the Garden blog caught my eye a long time ago and I fell in love with her posts. When I heard that she had published a new book, Heaven is a Garden, and would be speaking at New England Grows trade show the first week of February, I signed up. She was AMAZING! Her book is all about designing serene outdoor spaces for inspiration and reflection. I read it cover to cover the minute I returned home. I have to admit at times I was moved to tears by her words. She exp…

Song Of The Flower by Khalil Gibran

I am a kind word uttered and repeated 
By the voice of Nature; 

I am a star fallen from the 
Blue tent upon the green carpet. 

I am the daughter of the elements 
With whom Winter conceived; 

To whom Spring gave birth; I was 
Reared in the lap of Summer and I 
Slept in the bed of Autumn. 

At dawn I unite with the breeze  To announce the coming of light; 
At eventide I join the birds 
In bidding the light farewell. 

The plains are decorated with 
My beautiful colors, and the air 
Is scented with my fragrance. 

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of 
Night watch over me, and as I 
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is 
The only eye of the day. 

Hide and Reveal - The Mystery of the Unseen (Excerpt from Gardentopia)

I am sharing excerpts from my new garden design book, Gardentopia:
If you want a small outdoor space to appear larger or more interesting, you can use an ancient Japanese design technique known as miegakure, or 'hide and reveal'.  This technique involves partially screening a view or section of a garden with a strategically placed shrub or wall to create the illusion of distance.

By providing a half-hidden vista, you encourage people to go farther into a space. This is effective because people cannot help but want to see what is around a corner or a blocked view. This popular garden design technique is used for making smaller yards appear larger than they are.  People will invariably walk forward to see what lies ahead, unseen.

You can hide parts of your garden by planting a leafy plant by a curve, angling a set of steps, or locating a mound in front of the view. You can even plant a mass of plants to create shadows. The shade they produce “darken” an area, which makes it appear t…

Bubbling Urns - A Summertime Joy for Your Garden

Its 92 degrees outside. Sweltering. The air hangs like heavy drapes upon the landscape. There is no breeze. The garden quietly endures.

So what can you do to lighten the oppressive atmosphere?

ADD A BUBBLING URN -  a recirculating water feature

Why do this? Because the sound of water and its dynamic presence ( ask the great Dr. Emoto) add life and energy to a stultifying summer garden... 
Bubbling urns and fountains bring sparkle to your garden. You can build a recirculating water fountain cheaply by buying parts in a hardware store or more expensively by going to a pond supplies vendor....I am not good at hardware so I buy kits.

Bubbling Urns are set atop an underground reservoir that keeps re-circulating the water. Once the urn fills with water, the water spills over into the underground basin, which pumps the water back up through the urn.
flavio website

There are many how-to do-it videos on You Tube...The one I like the best comes from the pond supplier AquascapeL…

Stone Benches in the Garden

In the summer, gardens in my part of the world, are a tangle of foliage, flowers and dense tree canopies.

We know we should start cutting back, limbing up or clearing out the overgrowth but what we really want to do is sit in the cool shade and drink a glass of iced tea.

Stone Bench by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools What better contrast to the green lushness that surrounds you than a stone seat or bench, grounded and cool to the touch!

Stone seats in the garden have a storied history. The Druids of Northern Europe fashioned stone chairs out of boulders. It is thought that they were used for rituals and perhaps coronations of a sort.

Today, in the British Isles and in France, you can find ancient stone seats in fields, woods and near sacred springs.

See some great stone benches at the Stonepost website
Sunny Wieler, an Irish stonemason / artist, follows in his ancestors' tradition and wrote about making stone seats in his marvelous blog, Stone Art Blog (check it out!).  Stone Art i…

Hydrangea Tardiva - Late blooming Hydrangea to Extend the Season

I must admit - I love Tardiva Hydrangea.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva' is a loose, carefree shrub that defines exuberance. It is one of the panicle hydrangeas that received a 2010 Cary Award for Outstanding Shrub for New England Gardens.
It adapts easily to many situations, blooms late in the summer which extends the garden season into October and can be pruned as a small tree if so desired.
Tardiva is known for its long, lacy white flowers. They are tinted a pale pink which become darker as the season progresses. This hydrangea can tolerate half shade and is disease resistant.

I prune Tardiva in very early spring, leaving just a few buds on the stem - this ensures larger flowers on stiffer branches.

Tardiva hydrangeas fit in well in a woodland theme garden as well as in classic mixed flower borders. They make a great screen in the summer and are striking when planted in a mass planting. 
They also make a wonderful dried cut flower.

In the photos shown here from one of my land…

Blue and the Deer Resistant Angelonia flower

This is the most popular blog post in Serenity in the Garden so I decided to re-post it...
The wonderful Deer Resistant Blue Angelonia flower. (Angelonia with Helichrysum, petunia, Johnsen Landscapes)
Blue is everyone's "favorite color."  It is, hands down, the most popular color worldwide and is the least "gender specific" color, having equal appeal to both men and women. Now Purple is giving blue a run for its money as the second favorite color....
Blue is the favored color for toothbrushes, so that says it all!  (this info is from a great website: Sensation Color) but can purple be far behind?
Scientists have found that the color blue causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming. This may be why we all like to be around blue....stare at this square and see if it calms you.
In fact, over the past decade, scientists have reported the successful use of blue light in the treatment of psychological problems such as addictions, eating disorders, impotence, a…

The Wonderful Little Quick Fire® Panicle Hydrangea

The outstanding Quick Fire® Panicle Hydrangea can grow to be as high as seven feet tall...But what if you have a small outdoor space, such as I do?  Try Little Quick Fire®  hydrangea!
It grows to only 4 feet tall and has long lasting flowers with excellent fall color...and best of all, it is more cold tolerant than most other hydrangeas. And you can grow it in a pot during the summer...
Proven Winners has a winner for sure! It starts out with white flowers in late spring which then darken to pink in summer. And by fall, the flowers are a light red. You can cut them and dry them for winter displays indoors. My favorite thing about Little Quick Fire® is that the leaves turn a fiery orange in the autumn.  
It loves morning sun and shade in the afternoon. A little protection from winter winds is helpful. Make sure to mulch around the base to protect roots in the winter. 

Love the earth and sun and the animals - Walt Whitman

Love the earth and sun and the animals.
Despise riches, give alms to every one that asks. 
Stand up for the stupid and crazy.
Devote your income and labor to others...
Re-examine all you have been told
at school or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
and your very flesh shall be a great poem
and have the richest fluency
not only in its words but in
the silent lines of its lips and face

and between the lashes of your eyes and
in every motion and joint of your body.” ― Walt Whitman,
Leaves of Grass