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Showing posts from June, 2014

Copper Poppies for your Garden

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If you want a nice touch in your flower beds try this: Copper Poppies!

Stephen Myburgh makes Copper Poppies in three sizes. They are easy to place – gently push the stem of the flower into the ground. Buy several and create a simple arrangement with a few of these. And the Poppies collect water for the birds or you can float candles in them. Great idea.

Bluebells in a Beech Forest - Garden Photo of the Day

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In Belgium, near Brussels, the floor of the Hallerbos Forest is covered with bluebells from spring to early summer. The wooded area covers 1360 acres...
When it is foggy the effect is positively ethereal!
Source: Earthporn.com

Summer Solstice and the Catalpa Tree - Garden Photo of the day

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Did you know that the Catalpa Tree drops its flowers, which look like orchids, on the Summer Solstice?

Catalpas are the last to leaf out and their flowers tell us when the longest day of the year is. On this day they fall like snow...

The Catawba Indians of Upstate New York, where the Catalpa is native, regarded this tree as sacred.  There is a great story about how they were seeded all over the midwest:  The Great Catalpa Craze. 

I love Christine Agro's messages and mandalas. Here is her 'Catalpa meditation':





STAIN A GARDEN BRIDGE OR NOT?

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So you place a lovely garden bridge in your garden..

now the question arises: to stain it a color or not?

Most people are inclined to say, 'let's let it turn gray naturally'....

But what about staining it with a wood stain in the color of gray or brown? is that better? 

Coral Coast Bridges say: 'Make your backyard or garden as pretty as a painted picture with a Bridge stained Dark Brown Stain.'






You can stain it a color or treat it with clear weather treatment, or both. I like the look of a stained, treated bridge. It lasts longer.  See above for a good comparison.

So here is are 2 photos below of a bridge I placed in a landscape over a stream I created. 

The one on top was 'before', the one on the bottom is 'after'...

Which Do You Like? Let me know.


BTW, the client always wanted red but I resisted....not brave enough, I guess. 







And if I were brave, here is what a red bridge looks like. I think it was the preservative treatment that made them look red  (simil…

Lovely Mullein - Garden Photo of the Day

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“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”  -   Ralph Waldo Emerson 
The long-maligned Mullein (Verbascum bombyciferum) is considered a weed by some but here its wooly, whitish leaves, rising four feet high, show off its yellow flowers amidst a glorious flower display at NY Botanical Garden's GROUNDBREAKERS display... It is NYBG's homage to the great Beatrix Farrand, landscape designer of the Eyrie and Dumbarton Oaks. 


Got Shade? 'Moonlight' Japanese Hydrangea Vine

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Got shade?
Try 'Moonlight' Hydrangea Vine! (Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight') Zone: 5 - 9  Height: 180"

I just planted this vine against a stone wall in a very shady site.  It tolerates part to full shade and adheres well to a wall...In midsummer, large, lacy heads of hydrangea-like flowers form along this cultivar's stems, offering a moonlit display. The flowers can last for up to 2 months! Disease and pest resistant.

But it can grow fast and be aggressive so think first before you plant it....

With lovely pewter mottling on each heart-shaped leaf, this rare vine is perfect for lighting up shadowy sites. It can easily cover walls on the north side of a home or on trunks of large trees.

While it is called Hydrangea it is not a real hydrangea...it is in the same family, however.  It may look like a climbing hydrangea but it hugs a wall more closely and it is more showy.









'The Designer' - a Great Magazine from APLD

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) has officially made its magazine available to everyone. For years, it was only open to the eyes of members but no more....

'The Designer' is a magazine that is full of fascinating advice, tips and examples for everyone who likes landscape design. I am proud to say I have an article on designing with the four cardinal directions on page 28 of this digital publication. Check it out!



'Blue Ice' Amsonia - A Deer Resistant Outstanding Perennial!

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The Blue Star perennial family has a hybrid cousin, Amsonia 'Blue Ice' that is an amazingly vigorous plant. It blooms from April and is still blooming right now in mid-June.


It grows in a 15" tall by 2' wide mound of narrow, dark green, deer-resistant foliage. And in spring it is topped with large clusters of lavender-blue flowers which are much more vivid than other blue stars. It  blooms prolifically and turns a golden yellow in the fall.  Amzonia Blue Ice is a member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) which means it has a white, milky sap that is toxic to deer and more. Yay!
The summer foliage looks great in combination with low grasses.

 I recommend trying it with the compact  heavily-banded Miscanthus 'Gold Bar' ornamental grass. 
This grass is also deer-resistant and is topped with a lovely inflorescence in late October. 

Zones 4-9 - Adaptable to most conditions, however if it is too shady they may topple over. 

Amsonia 'Blue Ice' is very easy to gro…

Westchester Home magazine - Heaven is a Garden featured

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I am happy to share this great review with everyone - Westchester Home Magazine has featured my new book in their summer 2014 issue!

Strawberry Moon in June

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June's full moon is called a 'Strawberry Moon' - The "strawberry" name comes from the fact that it's strawberry season, and Algonquin tribes knew this was the time of year to gather them, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.  Other names for this moon include Rose Moon by Europeans as roses bloom this month. June's moon is also known as a "Honey Moon" because it can have a slightly golden tint, according to EarthSky.org.  That's because it appears low in the sky, meaning we are viewing it through the lens of more of the Earth's atmosphere. This is the lowest moon of the year, the moon's path across the sky this month actually mimics the sun's low arc across the sky in December, according to EarthSky. The June Full Moon rising appears to loom impossibly large near the horizon. That effect has long been recognized as the Moon Illusion. The cause of the giant Moon illusion is poorly understood and not explained by atmospheric opti…

'Dancing Queen' Hosta - Garden Photo of the Day

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'Dancing Queen' is a true yellow Hosta that will stand out in any shade garden.  This large, wide Hosta is exquisitely quilted and has bright gold leaves in spring that turn a lighter shade as the season progresses.  The heavily rippled foliage is held elegantly up and out from the center of the plant. With each passing year, they grow more beautifully substantial. 'Dancing Queen' eventually reaches 18 inches high and spreads about 30 inches wide. Spectacular in the border, woodland settings, or in a large container.  'Dancing Queen'  thrives in partial to full shade. Very hardy and long-lived, Zones 3-9.




Feng shui, dowsing and more in a Great Upcoming Class

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Luminous Spaces MASTER series presents...

'Heaven is a Garden: Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces'


with Maureen Calamia and Jan Johnsen

Saturday, June 14th
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
BTE Center for Conscious Living at Nassau Hall 1864 Muttontown Rd Muttontown,NY 11791
Join landscape designer and author of Heaven is a Garden, Jan Johnsen, and feng shui expert, Maureen K. Calamia for a workshop that will inspire you to create a nurturing environment in our outdoor spaces. 
In this workshop, you will learn:

- How to use the basic principles of feng shui, such as yin and yang, chi flow and the 5 natural elements in your design
- How you can use specific colors, shapes and textures to create a balanced setting
- Learn to dowse and find energy pathways
- Learn how to use the power of the four directions in your landscape

Workshop Fee: $45; Lunch is optional at $20

This lecture is geared to gardeners, holistic health, spirituality, feng shui and earth conscious people. Reserve your spot today! 
Seats are limit…

JEWEL TONES in the Garden - Clear and Bright

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Every so often, I write about the beauty of jewel tones in the garden. These are rich, bold colors with a high level of saturation. They are vibrantly distinctive and resemble the color of gemstones, such as emerald green, amethyst purple, ruby red, topaz yellow, sapphire blue, tourmaline green, and turquoise blue. 


They draw the eye and 'sing' on a sunny day. Jewel tones and sunlight work well together. Or you can light a vivid color from below as they did here in Cornell University:



The richness of jewel tones touches us at a deep emotional level.  For example, the 2014 'Pantone Color of the Year', Radiant Orchid, is a jewel tone, a magenta with red/pink undertones. This color has an element of fire (in feng shui terms), is stimulating and can generate catalyzing change. Its violet base alludes to the mystical and higher vibrations.


In the garden above, orchid-colored Cosmos flowers reinforce the Radiant Orchid wall. The abundance of dark green and deep blue cools it …

'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass - Garden Photo of the Day

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by Burlington, VT  Landscape Architects & Landscape DesignersWagner Hodgson


 This is a stunning use of Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass ( Calamagrostis  x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'). 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year.

Strongly vertical and heat tolerant, 48 - 72 inches tall, perennial, hardy to -10 degrees.

Does well in heavy clay soils, unlike many of the other ornamental grasses.

In late fall cut back but leave 1/3 in place - do not cut back too harshly. In late winter cut back rest of plant.

Photo - www.wagnerhodgson.com 






'Apricot Surprise' Deciduous Azalea - one of my Faves

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Some plants take my breath away when they are in full bloom. 'Apricot Surprise' Northern Lights Deciduous Azalea does that to me. 
'Apricot Surprise' is one of the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experimental Station's "Northern Lights" hybrid series. They are very cold-hardy and are heavy bloomers. I love the clear colors of deciduous azaleas. 
The buds of 'Apricot Surprise'are darker colored so the blossoms appear multi-hued with apricot-peach tones. The flowers also have a cinnamon/clove fragrance! Its blooms can last weeks in spring. How lovely. 

This plant requires protection from direct sun in the afternoon. I planted it where it gets lots of morning sun (5 hours) and placed it with other plants in a woodland plant bed so that its roots are protected. Important!  It grows to 5 feet high.
The planting shown above is in a wooded area and is set against a leafy green backdrop. This makes all the difference when you want a color to pop out. …