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Showing posts from June, 2016

Beautify Your Vegetable Garden with These Ideas.....

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The French have long understood that vegetable gardens can be places of beauty. They located their traditional potagers, or kitchen gardens, outside their kitchen windows and included vertical structures, flowers, and artistic plant groupings designed for aesthetic appeal.  Flowers look beautiful and attract the all important pollinators to your garden. Read the wonderful article I have linked here for learning how to include beautiful flowers and more in your veggie garden. 





A Rare Honey Moon on the Summer Solstice - Tomorrow, June 20

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On June 20, 2016 there will be a very rare Honey Moon at the same time of the summer solstice - the longest day of the year.  


June's full moon is  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 optical effects, such as scattering and refraction...they cannot fully explain this !


Btw, is this why they call the sojourn after a wedding a Honeymoon? Did everyone get married in June and so that was how the name c…

'Purple Smoke' - The best Baptisia

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 This year I am planting Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'. 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 Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, says …

Muhammad Ali's Peace Garden Initiative

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photo courtesy of business wire
The Muhammad Ali Center of Lexington, Ky and Yum! Brands Foundation launched the global Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens project on September 21, 2010. 

This coincided with the United Nations International Day of Peace.


Peace gardens focus on using edible plants from different cultures to teach youth about the world through culinary delights. 

They also teach children how to "nurture and care for other living things" and remind them about the importance of fruits and vegetables  in their diets.  


Through the process of growing food students learn about nature's processes and increase their access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

What better way to create awareness about hunger than to have them actively involved in growing a garden, taking food home to their families, and giving to the community?


The model for this idea came from the John F. Kennedy Montessori school.  Children participated in all aspects of the garden including planting, nu…

Add a Lively Red Accent in Your Landscape

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(Red New Guinea Impatiens,landscape and photo by Jan Johnsen)
Bold. Bright. Pop.

This is what RED adds to a garden.

RED, an eye catching hue, stands up to the summer sun's withering glare in the afternoon.

When all pastels fade away, red, orange and yellow sing their hearts out....and RED always steals the show.

RED has a vivid history - Check it out on the sensational color website. It is the color of the root chakra (this means 'energy point) of the body:
"Thischakra is located at the base of the spine and allows us to be grounded and connect to the universal energies. Groundedness, belonging...."

(sounds perfect for all us grounded gardeners)



In Japan RED is associated with certain deities. Their “Shinkyo” (Sacred Bridge) in Nikko, Japan is a wonderful example of the contrast REDmakes with greenin a natural setting.

You can also see how effective RED is in the modern Chinese Red Ribbon in Tanghe River Park, designed by Turenscape :



This use of RED has always been pop…