Join award-winning landscape designer and garden writer Jan Johnsen to discuss the concepts in her latest book, Gardentopia.
About this Event
“Gardentopia is that rare marriage of the art of landscaping and the technical knowledge of how to compose a landscape―boiled down to readily understood and easily executed actions. This book puts you in the driver’s seat and shows you how to chart the course to your own personal garden utopia.” - Margie Grace, Grace Design Associates
Any backyard has the potential to refresh and inspire if you know what to do. Jan Johnsen’s new book, Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces, will delight all garden lovers with over 130 lushly illustrated landscape design and planting suggestions. Ms. Johnsen is an admired designer and popular speaker whose hands-on approach to “co-creating with nature” will have you saying, “I can do that!’
This info-packed, sumptuous book offers individual tips for enhancing any size landscape using ‘real world’ solutions. Gardentopia will inspire you with tips such as ‘Soften a Corner”, “Paint it Black”, and “Hide and Reveal”.
A speaker for botanical garden and garden show audiences, Jan loves to share her insights in the beneficial effects of informed garden design with others. Her unique approach, incorporating ancient practices with contemporary ideas makes for fascinating presentations. She combines the “why” with the “how-to” in an engaging and popular manner. And as always, she adds a large dose of stunning ‘eye candy’ to make everyone realize that heaven is indeed a garden.
(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, and depression.
Moreover, a deep blue/purple such as Indigo or Deep Violet symbolizes mystical wisdom and spiritual insight. It increases cont…
Try planting Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'. And pair it with Baptisia Cherries Jubilee.A deer resistant, native, drought tolerant, purple, long lived perennial! Wow! It is a hybrid of B. australis and B. alba and is a vigorous grower. Discovered by Rob Gardener of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, it has charcoal-gray stems and is purple. Baptisia is a native perennial that has a long taproot, loves sunny sites with lean or poor soil. Average to dry soil is best. Its deep tap root allows it to survive long dry periods, making it a challenge to move once it is established.
The flowers resemble lupines and are smoky violet. Numerous flowers open first at the base of the flower stalk in May and ascend upwards, topping out at 4.5' tall. It has fine textured, blue-green foliage. The flower spikes rise above the foliage for easy viewing. I love its unique flower color and strong vertical form. A Niche Gardens introduction. Steve Foltz, director of horticulture at the Cincinnat…
"How do adults recapture that feeling of joy that children get from play?" This is what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wanted to know. He is a Croation-born professor of American psychology at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA and has spent years studying the state of being that he calls "flow."
Flow is what we feel when we are totally absorbed in an activity for its own sake.
This does not refer to a game where you win or lose or to watching a game. "You don't get much out of the passive consumption of pleasure," Csikszentmihalyi* says, "compared to enjoyment which is much more active and creative and self-directive."
Gardening is a great example of an activity that is creative, self directed and gets you into the flow.
You lose yourself when outdoors, planting, deadheading, weeding, edging watering or even raking the gravel (!?)...well, maybe you don't actually rake gravel but you get the idea.
I had a book signing at NY Botanical Garden (NYBG) on April 25 - and as I walked in to the Conservatory, I snapped this photo of the weeping cherry trees in all their spring glory. Good timing - it poured rain the following evening.
(photographer - unknown) Everyone wants Blue Hydrangeas. The rarity of naturally blue flowers is an irresistible draw to gardeners.
How to Turn Your Hydrangeas Blue? Here are a few tips from Proven Winners:
Nikko Blue Hydrangea from Missouri Botanical garden 1. Be sure you’re working with the right kind of hydrangea. You must have a Hydrangea macrophylla or H. serrata to have pink or blue flowers.
(photographer -unknown) 2. Aluminum availability determines flower color. The availability of aluminum makes the flowers turn blue. Without aluminum the blooms will be pink.
Soil pH must be low or acid (5.2-5.5) for the plant to absorb the aluminum.
from nely.bluehortensia blogspot.com
3. Color changes need time to take effect. Consistent treatment is necessary to turn your hydrangeas blue:
Plant your hydrangeas in a phosphorous-free medium, and use a phosphorus-free fertilizer with lots of potassium (i.e. 25-5-30). PHOTO BY DEBORAH SILVER - CHECK OUT HER GREAT WEBSITE- http://deborahsilver.co…
Nothing like piano keys to liven up a garden space....(above photo from Stone Art Blog) Recycling can be many things to many people...
or, in other words, "One man's trash is another's man treasure"
from Stone Art Blog
This piano was placed here in the garden. Here is what Sunny Wieler of Stone Art Blog wrote about this: "Besides being a passionate gardener, my dad is also a passionate piano player, so a few years back we got him a new piano for his birthday. So the old piano spent a while in the shed before he had the great idea to put it out in the garden..."
Little did Sunny's dad know that he was at the forefront of the conceptual art movement:...they would say something like this is a testament to the natural decomposing processes, a statement of the fragility of life, the impermanence of existence...
his dad would say, 'Hey, why not put it in the garden?" photos of broken concrete from Bourget Bros website
What was one of Mahatma Gandhi's favorite foods? and what did Henry Thoreau eat while residing at Walden Pond? PURSLANE.
Purslane, long considered an obnoxious weed in the U.S., is, in fact, full of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids! And now this overlooked gem - considered 'oneof the most nutritious greens in the world'- is receiving the attention it is due. Usha Palaniswamy of the Department of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, reports that, "Purslane is receiving much attention for cultivation by the United States Department of Agriculture as part of their effort to bring about a modification in the western diet with increased intake of fresh fruits and vegetables." Purslane contains a high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the highly sought-after Omega-3 fatty acids. It has several times the concentration of ALA than is found in spinach. So throw away those fish oil capsules and grow your own Omega-3 fatty acids! It literally gr…
I am teaching a one day class on Wednesday April 16 at the NY Botanical Garden It is a fun, eye opening and fun class! (class size is limited.) I share my insights into landscape design and how to use various cultural and ancient traditions in a garden. I discuss how to use the compelling duality of Yin and Yang in a setting, explain how each of the four cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) affects us differently, which proportions create a more harmonious setting. I also show how to place rocks in the landscape according to the Japanese understanding. Everyone loves this. and of course, I discuss Color and its effects on our wellbeing... I show 2 beautiful powerpoint to illustrate my talk.. Handouts reinforce the information I provide. Here is what students have written: No
wonder you were instructor of the year! Your talk was delightful, Jan. You gave
us all a thoughtful, colorful start to planting season. I have some great new
ideas. Much thanks!AP, garden design…
The Tradition of Hanami
When I lived in Kyoto, Japan I was lucky to see Hanami in action. In Japan, the seasonal blooming of cherry trees is celebrated nationally in an event known as hanami(flower-viewing). The practice of hanami is centuries old; it began during the 8th century, when it referred to the viewing of the ume, or plum tree. But later hanami was synonymous with 'sakura' - cherry - and the blossoming of the cherry trees was used to predict the next year's harvest.
Hanami was a time to perform rituals marking the start of the planting season. These rituals ended with a feast under the cherry trees, and this persists to today. Starting in late March, television weather reporters give the public daily blossom forecasts, tracking the "cherry blossom front" as it progresses from the south to the north. Families, coworkers, and friends rely on these to quickly organize hanami parties as the cherry trees begin to bloom locally.
Every year I reprint this at dandelion time where I live-
The dreaded Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), for which we spend tremendous amounts of weed killer money to eradicate, has been prized over the years for its medicinal and nutritious properties.
In fact, dandelion roots, flowers and "dandelion greens" (leaves) are all edible!
Dandelions are a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. And in traditional medicine, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans used dandelion decoctions (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water) to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and stomach upset.
• Dandelion roots can be roasted as a coffee-substitute, or boiled and stir-fried as a cooked vegetable.