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Showing posts from July, 2016

Cottage Garden Primer

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  I once worked with a lovely client ( now a dear friend!) who wanted a cottage-style flower garden.
Now there are cottage gardens and then there are cottage gardens...know what I mean?


In Great Britain, it seems everyone has the most magnificent flower garden, each more spectacular than the next...

their lushness sets a standard of perfection for cottage gardens that makes me want to say to someone here in the Northeast U.S., 'Would you like to consider an ornamental grass garden instead?"


But of course, the call of a cottage garden, filled with a profusion of  flowers and smelling of roses, peonies and lilacs, makes one dizzy with anticipation.
All you need in my part of the world is a deer fence, deep fertile soil, constant watering and someone to tend it lovingly... a tall order indeed.  

But it can be done.  And that is what we did - installed a deer fence, brought in great topsoil and carefully amended it and added irrigation. My client followed through and tended it with a l…

Win a free issue of Garden Design Magazine right here!

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As you may know, I love Garden Design magazine. It is gorgeous, each issue is 148 pages thick and packed with fascinating gardening info and landscaping ideas and, best of all, it has no ads!  It is published quarterly, one issue per season.

How can they make it work? Well, it is a subscriber-supported magazine. Jim Peterson is the publisher and Thad Orr is the editor. I think they have made it the best garden magazine out there....Would you like an issue? I am giving out the current issue to 3 lucky winners...see below for my random drawing.  And I am thrilled to say that Garden Design chose to feature my ideas on Creating a Relaxing Retreat in their current issue which features Serene Spaces. I am honored and so happy that it is being shared by such a prestigious and elevated magazine! The 6 page article, 'Serenity and the Sweet Spot', offers my tips for creating relaxing outdoor spaces that I have refined over the years. I look to ancient sources and have used them in my l…

Loren Eiseley's Prescriptive for Our Times

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"Let it be admitted that the world’s problems are many and wearing, and that the whirlpool runs fast.  If we are to build a stable cultural structure above that which threatens to engulf us by changing our lives more rapidly than we can adjust our habits, it will only be by flinging over the torrent a structure as taut and flexible as a spider’s web, a human society deeply self-conscious and undeceived by the waters that race beneath it, a society more literate, more appreciative of human worth than any society that has previously existed.  That is the sole prescription, not for survival — which is meaningless — but for a society worthy to survive." Loren Eiseley,  Firmament of Time For more excerpts from Loren Eiseley go here: http://alexsheremet.com/8-great-passages-loren-eiseleys-firmament-time/





Garden Design Magazine - My Tips and Interview

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Garden Design Magazine interviewed me for tips for blending ancient and modern ways to create gardens that simply make you feel good.  
They also had the fabulous illustrator from Spain, David Despau, illustrate photos of some of my landscapes.
 I am honored.  It is in the summer issue of Garden Design:


It is such a great magazine. 

You can use this link to subscribe to garden Design and get your first issue freewww/gardendesign.com/janjohnsen

You can also order just this one issue herehttps://subscribe.gardendesign.com/store/#







“Learning the Trees” - Howard Nemerov

I used to teach Tree Identification at a community college decades ago.
 I also wrote the book, 'Ortho's's All About Trees' which introduces trees to the reader. 
This poem reveals the beginner mind.   Watch for samaras and drupes.... Jan Johnsen


Learning the Trees
Related Poem Content DetailsBY HOWARD NEMEROV Before you can learn the trees, you have to learn  The language of the trees. That’s done indoors,  Out of a book, which now you think of it  Is one of the transformations of a tree. 
The words themselves are a delight to learn,