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Tomorrow - Sunday Dec 10 I speak at the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons

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Tomorrow, Sunday Dec 10 at 2 pm I will be speaking about Serenity by Design to the avid gardeners  in the Hamptons on Long Island, NY.
I am excited to speak to this wonderful group at their annual holiday gathering. 
Please join us! It will be at the Bridgehampton Community House, 2368 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY 11932








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Benches make a garden....
After you arrange all the plants, the rocks, install the paving and whatever you choose...then you place the bench. 


The bench is what calls to us.

And the bench adds a special sparkle that touches the visitor directly.  After all, the bench seat is what we feel when we sit down.  :-)




So it must look great and feel good.  Here are some choices for your garden.
Roseto Bench by Crate and Barrel

This plantation harvested teak bench has a clean, contemporary double vertical slat-back design.  mortise-and-tenon joinery.


This red bench is in Croton on Hudson, NY . A great place to sit and look at the Hudson River....


 I love stone benches:



And modern ones are so fun - like this eye beam bench:


Lucky Beam Bench by Katch Design
The Lucky Beam bench by Brooklyn-basedKatch Design is made from 100% recyclable aluminum,  features a solvent free powder coat finish and a reclaimed  Pine seat coated with an all-natural oil base. The  Lucky Beam adds an urban feel

Lucky Beam Bench …

Gift Ideas for the Gardener in Your Life

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It is that time of year and you want to give wonderful, heart warming gifts to your garden lover friends. You want to find unusual and touching presents that acknowledge who they are and what they are into - not just hand cream. Right?


And you don't have a lot of money to spend and you would rather order on line than go crazy in a crowded shopping scene...


So,, in that spirit, I am going to suggest some inexpensive gift ideas for your gardening pals...the money limit is $20. and less for some fab ideas...
the market research is this:  If I want it then they will too.



You can use them as gift wrap or - better yet- frame them or laminate them and place in a suitable location.  Vegetable gardeners would appreciate the fruit and vegie gift papers. Succulent lovers will like this one:


And of course mushroom hunters will warm to this gift:




For the more practical souls, there is always Moo Poo Tea! This is the secret to healthy happy and thriving plants. And it is so easy to feed the plants wi…

Speaking with Earth Spirits in a November Garden

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"While my gardens, admittedly neglected this summer, have morphed mainly to daisy-yellows and a plethora of pink malvas, the flowers from my friend Sharon's garden in Watertown, Massachusetts still flourish.
But you should know that Sharon speaks with earth spirits and they obviously help.
Sophia Serve

Crabapple in my garden in November
Don't you love that? "....and they obviously help...."...of course they do!  Here is my November ode to Earth Spirits:
Hellebore from Pine Knot Farm in my garden
'Speaking with Earth Spirits'
Deep down, in the warmth of the fecund earth, the spirits sing songs of life. Hoping we hear, they inhale and exhale along with the seasons. Now, in the cool days of November, they sing to us of rest, replenishment and they ask us to be calm. The time has come to listen and of course, to rake the leaves...the leaves...

Crabapple again.....love those rocks!





Norm Magnusson - Artist in Nature

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Artist Norm Magnusson lives near Woodstock, New York.   Yes, that Woodstock...


Magnusson (see his website, Funism) is an artist that uses all media to get his ideas across.


In his 'Decorating Nature' series of art photos (giclee prints - they're for sale) Magnusson paints on or colors pieces of nature, like adding stripes to a fallen leaf, painting a pine cone blue or drawing concentric rings on a stone. He says,

(Blue Cone - Norm Magnusson)
"We use nature to how we see fit: we strive to bring order to it,
 we seek to explain it in a language that doesn’t belong to it, 
we try to make it prettier, 
we try to make it better, 
we try to make it more profitable. 
Some efforts succeed, some don’t."    

(amen to that - Jan)


(Tree Rock - Norm Magnusson)
But Magnusson also says that his art photos are all about beauty, saying,


"Beauty is the best friend of consideration."


(Eastern Hemlock - Norm Magnusson)

Some of you may want to replicate Magnusson's ideas in your ga…

The Blaze - Halloween Festival in Croton on Hudson, NY

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Its Halloween!...and you plan to carve the Jack O'Lantern TONIGHT...triangle eyes, triangle nose.....yawn.....
What you need is some inspiration!



You can find it at the Van Cortlandt Manor located in  my little village of Croton-on-Hudson because we have what must be the world's largest display of carved Jack O'Lanterns...it is called the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze.

Why do we have such a thing? 

Well, Croton is in 'Sleepy Hollow Country' and Sleepy Hollow is the home of the Headless Horseman. It is right down the road from us.

 (And he rides through the countryside every Halloween)....thus, we are a natural for Jack O'Lanterns.....




That is my opinion as to the reason why we hold it although the website Things You Should Do says this:
"Blaze’s creative director, Michael Natiello, said the true inspiration for Blaze is the landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor itself. 
The event is really a land art installation informed by artists such as Michael Heizer, Robert Smit…

Guidelines for the Size of Your Outdoor Lantern

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Hinkley Lighting - Harbor Lights
Outdoor light illuminates and silently leads us on.

I just had a discussion with a lovely friend about the lanterns by her front door. She is replacing them and that is why I am sharing this post  I wrote a few years ago. 

People invariably choose lanterns that are too small for an outdoor site. 

This informative piece is from a great lighting company - HINKLEY LIGHTING (click here).... can help change that.

ALL PHOTOS HERE ARE FROM THE HINKLEY WEBSITE.


The height of an outdoor lantern should be based on the height of the door:


FOR ONE LANTERN:

If you place a lantern on only one side of the door, it should measure one-third the height of the door. The center of the bulb should rest 66" above the threshold of the door.





FOR TWO LANTERNS:

When two lanterns are used, they should each measure approximately one-fourth the height of the door. The center of the bulb should rest 66" above the threshold of the door.



•TIP: In either case, if you choose a fixture w…