BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

To browse our award winning landscape design portfolios, click on our company website at WWW.BILOWZASSOCIATES.COM

Friday, April 29, 2011

No Weeding Them Sedums






















For all those reluctant gardeners that dread spending too much time weeding, seeding and watering, here’s a little trick. Plant Sedum combinations. Drought resistant and able to handle hot, hot places, this genus can save you on time and watering. Many of us want low maintenance from our outdoor spaces so investigate the abundant varieties of Sedums. This hardy vegetation fits into the Xeriscape arena (plant life that eliminates the need for supplemental water.) Sedums can tolerate some pretty tough conditions and you can have fun creating your own ensemble for the succulent section of the garden. Choose from ground-hugging to 2 footers to add various shape, variety and texture. Plus you won’t find too many weeds growing amongst the many Sedum color variations. Fiery red to blue-green and yellow, there’s a perfect shade for the garden lover in the Sedum category, including those with blossoms to boot.

This weekend is chockfull of planting new grape vines, fruit trees, potatoes and peas not including any transplanting we can squeeze in. So if you want to make more time to spend in your veggie garden, plant them Sedums. Save your water and your elbow grease for the food arena! Speaking of food, let’s end with a bit of weekend humor and use a Groucho Marx line. “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” Oh, good grief. The one thing nice about cool weather - no fruit flies! But don’t let time fly by. Get out and garden.

Image of this Sedum combination taken by the amateur - Ann Bilowz (But you get the point!)

If you like this blog, remember to post and become a friend on our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz (where there are even more shared tidbits) or subscribe on the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Questions, comments or thoughts, contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April: The Month to Plant Seeds






















What perfect timing. As we near the end of April, the month we celebrate Landscape Architecture, let’s indulge ourselves in the topic of planting seeds. It won’t be planting seeds in the usual fashion. We’re taking a different spin on the subject by reviewing a fresh off the press children’s book, ‘Planting the Wild Garden.’ And for anyone who thinks that writing for this audience is a cinch, think again! Where does a children’s author start when tackling such a complex and dynamic subject of sowing seeds cultivated by farmer and boy to the role that wildlife and nature play in the environment?  

Kathryn Galbraith embarks on this journey by capturing her young audience with expressive sounds and words that convey this multifaceted subject of nature taking its turn with ‘planting the wild garden.’ “Per-chik-o-ree” and “Out pop their seeds, like popcorn from a pan,” demonstrate Galbraith’s expressive ways to articulate the birds flitting through a meadow or seeds snapping from a pod, leaving behind what becomes the wild garden. Beautifully illustrated with an old-fashioned, ‘Peter Rabbit’ look and feel, the pages immediately catch the curiosity and wonder of any child.

How do I know? I tested it on a big kid! My husband, Greg fell in love with ‘Planting the Wild Garden’ on its first read, with only the words. The second time around he was exposed to the entire story; imagery, sounds, the whole kit and caboodle. This cinched the deal for him. He was sold on this book!

One of the many challenges of this wonderful profession called Landscape Architecture is teaching curiosity and wonder to children about nature and the surroundings. Want a quick tip on the how-to? Start them off young with well-composed books and constantly plant seeds, even if those seeds get stuck in their clothing. (You have to read the book to get it!)

On that note, as this blog always includes a quote, it becomes much easier to understand the words of Albert Einstein. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.” So make time to celebrate April as it nears an end. Start by planting seeds. I’m highly recommending this book, “Planting the Wild Garden.’ It receives the big kid, golden seal of approval!


You can also receive more information about the book by clicking on the above links to find out about the author and illustrator.

If you like this blog, remember to post and become a friend on our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz (where there are even more shared tidbits) or subscribe on the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Questions, comments or thoughts, contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do You Get My Drift?



Spring gardens are at the get-set mark for what in the horticultural world is called ‘the flowering sequence’. At this very moment, Forsythias showcase its colorful array with flowering Cherries, Magnolias and early blooming Azaleas. This is the first step of the tree and shrub flowering sequence.

Pulling together drifts of color throughout the season is what makes a space come alive. Creating a halo effect, i.e., lining both sides of an entrance with a similar tree or shrub draws one into the space. Now is the time to look and be aware. At this get-set moment, you can notice gaping holes or imbalance in the garden. Make sure your wow factor isn’t happening in just one spot. It’s tricky to find that balance and it’s even more challenging to carry ‘the flowering sequence’ throughout the blossoming months ahead.

But by no means should you be discouraged. First, gardening should be fun; experimental even. You can look back at one of my posts from last May and get the drift that we live in the research phase of our garden. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/05/garden-as-our-lab.html In a constant search for new combos and what can work together, we’ve allowed for a massive experimental center instead of a dynamite example of vision. We save creating design with harmony and balance for our customers.

If you take away the fun in finding balance, you definitely end up lopsided. Remember the words of Albert Einstein. I just love his quotes. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” Get my drift? If you have to keep your training wheels on, don’t fret. Eventually you move up to the two-wheeler. Just experiment and have fun. It’s the start of the flowering sequence so just keep moving and enjoy the ride!

If you like this blog, remember to post and become a friend on our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz (where there are even more shared tidbits) or subscribe on the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Questions, comments or thoughts, contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Tweet-day to Audubon


It must be rough to be 226 but that’s how old John James Audubon would be today.  Let’s celebrate this man’s contributions to our feathered friends by doing something special for the birds. Want to encourage some activity in your landscape? Planting habitat species offers a food resource and provides sought-out nesting locations. You can also put up houses and feeders in your yard, welcoming these critters during mating season when plumage is most brilliant and activity at its highest.

On that note, it’s time to get singing Happy Tweet-day and end this post with a funny quote from Bill Matterson, the Calvin & Hobbes cartoonist. “When birds burp, it must taste like bugs.”  So get out the birthday suet and candles. It’s time to celebrate the birds.


Remember you can always post and become a friend on our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz  or subscribe on the blog via email or a feed. Either way, hope you follow the postings somewhere. Questions, comments or thoughts, contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Monday, April 25, 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes

With April’s mix of rain, snizzle or snow (depending on your altitude) and a warm day or two in between, it’s amazing the difference a week can make in your garden. Here’s proof how quickly things are sprouting.






















































So on this overcast Monday, it is still April; don’t underestimate what today can bring. Ambrose Bierce’s definition of day is quite interesting although you won’t find this one in your tried and true Webster Dictionary. “Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.” Up and at ‘em; your spring garden awaits you!

Images of Rheum palmatum var. tanguticum (Common name - Ornamental rhubarb) and garlic taken last week by Greg Bilowz
Today’s images taken by Ann Bilowz (Remember I don't use the big boy camera!)

P.S. I’ll be posting a pic or two on our Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/abilowz of some not quite blossoming Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) found on my rainy Saturday morning walk with the Border Collies. I’ll have to see if yesterday’s warm air opened these early spring flowers up to a full blossom.

You can always post and become a friend on our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to our feed or via email. Any questions, contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com

Friday, April 22, 2011

Discover the Earth


Simple instructions for Earth day – get out there and discover it. Act like a dog. Enjoy whatever presents itself. And as Alice Walker reminds us, “In search of my mother's garden, I found my own.” Take time to celebrate, whatever your holiday, whether it’s Earth Day, Easter or Passover, make room for discovery.  

P.S. Don’t forget to send your questions. I’ll do my best to make them part of the posts! Annie

Images taken by Ann Bilowz

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Going Yellow



























If you love the soft hints of springtime yellow when your daffodils and Forsythia are in bloom, then don’t stop there when thinking punchy plants for your borders. Some of us may shy away from adding lots of oomph to the color palette and stick to the usual suspects. The number one rule: don’t be frightened by the endless choices of color. If you want to go yellow beyond the daffodils but also seek non-fussy, low-maintenance plants that many gardeners request, then check out these two posts from last year’s archives. One must click, read, and land back here but a couple of great plant suggestions (hint – the color is yellow) are in these blogs.
http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/04/hidden-jewel-groundcover.html
http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/06/all-time-favorite-herb-for-garden.html

The fun part of gardening is color and how you integrate it into your landscape but no overlooking your spring chores. Some quick headliners: Remove any of the protective mounding for your roses. We are at the tail end of cut back and clean-up and deep into the dividing department. Make sure you are spreading your perennials throughout your garden. Practice your spring mantra of propagate and cultivate. It’s also time for any veggie gardeners to get on deck with planting potatoes, peas and those cool weather crops. In other words, don’t miss out on the season!

And don’t overlook Easter and the hints of yellow blossoms in the air. Think about extending this cheerful color throughout your summer garden. Go beyond the Daffs and Forsythia. Take Robert Fulghum’s advice and pull out a box of crayons and color. “We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.” Get the big pack to expand your color chart! Annie

Here’s a quick link regarding Crayola Crayons if you want some interesting tidbits about colors! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Crayola_crayon_colors

Image of Forsythia blooming in our garden taken by Ann Bilowz
P.S. Some day I’ll move up to a big boy camera but in the meantime when my camera man is off duty or nothing presents itself in the archived photo files, you get Annie’s Blackberry! Happy Spring. Happy Easter!
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stuck on Tea

It’s about that time when a heads-up for fertilizing your lawns, pruning your ornamentals or penning a quick design tip for your spring pathways should be found within these blog pages but I’m still stuck on tea!  As I sip on my coffee, (I’m not a morning tea drinker) I find myself back on the subject of tea. 

Many of us are too familiar with the taste of the standard, supermarket quality tea bags, which are basically mass produced and taste like leftover churnings from the lawnmower. But loose tea found only in a quality shop is truly a heavenly experience, even for a snobbish coffee drinker.

To keep this brief and to the point, find a moment to ‘Indulge Yourself’ at the Cozy Tea Cart in Brookline, NH. Tucked away at the end of a neighborhood subdivision, Danielle Beaudette has a quaint tea room attached to her home. This lady is the real McCoy. Knowledgeable and trained in the subject, Danielle personally sources the teas found in her shop from throughout the world. She engages her customer with tips, tastings and offers plenty of gift ideas for the tea lover. If that’s not enough, she’ll explain the history, the intricacies and the process to creating the world’s best teas.

So get stuck on tea for an afternoon. When you open up the little jars to do a sample sniff test, you’ll think where am I? Check out her website http://thecozyteacart.com/ for hours, directions, and the many tea events she offers throughout the course of the year. Pick from the local author's evening accompanied with tea tastings, to lectures or an all-day June garden gathering that offers a hint of British tea time with scones and a Japanese tea ceremony at noon.

It’s hard to find impeccable service, knowledge and great product all wrapped up in one location but Danielle does this hands-down. Every package or tin comes with a personalized label instructing you on the brew’s perfect temperature. When you leave the shop, she guarantees you get the best flavors from your purchase.

For me, the thoughts of tea exude comfort and downtime. This unknown author describes this tea sentiment best. ”Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.”  But to lighten it up a bit, you can look at tea from the eyes of Nancy Reagan. “A woman is like a tea bag, you can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. “ Happy gardening. Annie (And if the ground isn’t too soggy in your neck of the woods, don’t forget to sow your peas!)

Image from the Internet

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Two Sides of Tea

Tea is one of those versatile beverages that offers coziness from the cold and quenches in the heat. Besides its warming and/or cooling attributes, teas also have many curative properties and taste lovely. As one anonymous author says, “Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.” This simple but poignant perspective leads me into my next thought. Those packaged boxes of tea can come at a dear price. So if you like to steep warm drinks on the drizzly days of April or create iced brews on those steamy July evenings, why not plan for planting and collecting your own stash of herbs to steep in the pot?

A handy little pamphlet (it can’t quite qualify as a book with 31 pages from front to back) might give you the inspiration you need to grow the perfect herbs for your tea garden. Marian Sebastiano gives you the ’15 Herbs for Tea’ as well as a bit of history, some planting tips, and everything that goes into harvesting, drying and storing your concoctions. There are some interesting recipes as well - all within an hour’s read.

When you check out the 15 herbs she recommends for tea, you’ll be interested to note how many are part of the mint family. Mint is an easy, low maintenance, non-fussy herb to grow so no excuses for why you can’t plant at least some of the 15 herbs for your tea pot. There is always a sunny window, a spot on a balcony terrace or a raised bed in the backyard. And as Alice Walker points out, “Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.” Remember the two sides to tea. Refreshment in the heat and warmth in the cold – it’s time for tea. Annie

Image of tea and herbs from the Internet

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

William Feather believes that ‘early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious.’ But how can you resist not being happy with all that is blooming in the garden? So take Thomas Jefferson’s advice instead. “The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years.” Don’t hit the snooze button. This is your Monday morning wake-up call. Create time to discover what’s in bloom. Remember, you can’t capture beauty like this in a drive-by. These are slow-down, up close moments. Happy Monday. Annie 



















Images of spring flowers unfolding in our garden by Greg Bilowz

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Private Space



















When you were a kid, did you plaster those signs to your door ‘KEEP OUT’, probably to no avail? Unfortunately those warnings never worked in a large family so finding private space was mucho important. Unearthing those pieces of real estate was challenging but it always made for fascinating discoveries.

Everyone needs a private place to retreat: a space to gather and collect the cascading thoughts that encroach on a typical day. For those who take time to toil in the gardens, one may not need to go any further than the backyard. On occasion, our own created private space may not suffice. Finding a new hidden treasure to awaken our energy and spirit is often needed to bring us back to center.

So if you like traveling the back roads and don’t mind a little muck under the wheels of your buggy, there’s a perfect spot nestled away in the woods of Mason, New Hampshire. Pickity Place http://www.pickityplace.com/index.html is one of those private spaces. Some may already be familiar with the tasty lunch menu and its story of Little Red Riding Hood. And if you go on a weekend when the gardens are in bloom, the cozy cottage, gift shops, greenhouse and grounds may be buzzing with activity. But even when things hum in the background, a bucolic setting like Pickity Place can take away any extra chitter-chatter.

So if you need a private space to recharge the batteries, consider this gem. As Edwin Way Teale reminds us, “Time and space - time to be alone, space to move about - these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow.”

Don’t wait to discover your private spaces. Remember yesterday’s anonymous quote. “Someday is not a day of the week.” It’s Friday. It’s time to take a road trip and find your private space. Happy travels. Happy gardening! Annie



























Images of the not-so-often photographed spaces at Pickity Place by Greg Bilowz

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Someday

It’s quite often people request all these great outdoor spaces and gardens but they haven’t figured out what’s really applicable to their lifestyle, budget and site conditions. Indecisiveness can snuff out the best ideas. And if each of us were honest, we’d all be guilty of putting loads of things into those someday pockets. Yet when we check for the change, we come up empty.

Here’s the reality check. If you want to truly create something special, including an outdoor oasis, you have to dig deep for your own roots. Challenged by this assignment? It’s not as difficult as it seems. It does require you to put your foot out the door on this beautiful spring morning and ask yourself – ‘what’s important in my outdoor living space?’ Then work from there to connect the dots.

If you don’t want ‘someday’ creeping into your plans, dig deep for what works for you. As this anonymous quote points out, “Someday is not a day of the week.” Time is ticking with the spring clock. Today is Thursday, not someday so make each day count with your garden plans.




Images of early morning in our spring garden by Greg Bilowz

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday’s are Never Wordless




























This is my kind of spring morning. Damp, cool and not too muddy…yet! So if you can sneak in some time to do a little planting or dividing, why not utilize these perfect weather days that may seem drag-out dreary but are primo for plants.

Still not ready to get on your garden wet suits and delve into the dirt? Then at least take a spin around to see what’s blooming. So onto the real quest of today’s blog; it’s time to mention one of my favorite early flowering spring perennials – Hellebores, often referred to as Lantern Rose. Click on my archived blog of last February to see what I was yakking about then regarding this awesome perennial. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/02/hellebores-are-coming.html

Still not convinced to get outdoors on a damp Wednesday or maybe there’s only enough time to squeeze in a quick trip to the nurseries on your way home from work? This is when you find Hellebores for sale because its flower is in bloom.

So don’t make Wednesday’s wordless. Start talking Hellebores. And if you need a little chuckle in your Wednesday, think about Ralph Waldo Emerson’s infamous quote. “Earth laughs in flowers.” What a pleasant way to view spring as the blossoms unfold in our garden. P.S. There is no such thing as a wordless Wednesday in an Italian’s life.

Image of blooming Hellebores in our garden by Ann Bilowz

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Before Bud Breaks



























In this transitional season of spring, you must seize all opportunities when these rare and few moments are upon you. So don’t doddle with certain tasks in your garden. If you have fruit trees or ornamentals (from apricots to lilacs) this is the time to apply dormant oils (also known as horticultural oils). The tricky part is that applications must be done when temperatures stay above freezing for 24 hours and before bud break. With fruit trees, you must be vigilant. Look for the first signs of swelling buds as your indicator that it’s time to move. With ornamentals, it’s a bit more broad-brushed and flexible but you still must always apply with caution and the utmost attention to directions. The mantra with any product applied to your living plant materials is READ THE LABELS. Good quality horticultural oils can be used after bud break but check application rates carefully. You can cause leaf and tissue damage if applied incorrectly or at the wrong rates and times.

Why spray dormant oils? These oils are meant to control nasty insects that have overwintered and can cause damage to the plant’s overall health. Multiple applications of dormant oils are the most helpful. From the first sign of bud break until early leaf flush, spraying dormant oils stops insect eggs from hatching. It nips the insect cycle in the bud before these critters literally take out your buds. If done correctly, dormant oil application(s) drastically reduce the rate and frequency of insecticidal applications throughout the growing season.

So nip the nasty bugs in the bud before things start to sprout. It’s like breakfast in the morning. Start your plants off on the right foot. Rhoda Morgenstern gives us one reason why we should at least take good care of those fruit trees. "The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food." Happy gardening! Annie

Image of an apricot bud from the internet

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Daffodils: the Trumpets of Spring



















In the warm pockets of the garden, daffodils pop open everywhere. These spring trumpets dot the landscape and blanket the hillsides depending where you stumble upon the cheerful blossoms. For those wanting to dig into the soil but are hesitant gardeners, no need to take pause. A skilled hand is not a requirement for arranging a bold splash of spring color. Planting bulbs is the perfect project for the amateur gardener, especially children.

Let’s take notice now. Is the perkiness of daffodil blossoms absent in a corner patch near your walkway or one of your borders? It’s not too early to plan ahead. Mark your calendars and set aside a September morning to place your orders. Late summer/early fall is the optimum time to peruse and purchase your prime bulb selections. Before the ground freezes, sometime in late October to early November, get outdoors with shovel and gloves to dig and plant these colorless bulbs in the soil. Before you know it, every nook, cranny or slope in your garden can be blooming with a bright and lively horn section of daffodils. Richard L. Evans captures it best, reminding us what is committed to memory. “Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.” Make music in the garden. Plant plenty of trumpets for the spring.


















Images of spring daffodils at Tower Hill Botanical Garden by Greg Bilowz

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Friday, April 8, 2011

No Fiddling Around




























What’s coming soon in a garden near you? It all depends on your varied microclimates but some edibles should be popping up soon. Don’t forget to pick your dandelions when you start to see them sprout from the ground. As long as you don’t use chemicals on your lawn, these tasty greens are nutritious whether sautéed, blanched…check for recipes because the list is endless. Harvest the dandelions before it sets flower for the best taste. Another wild delicacy that could be growing in your own garden or woodland is the Fiddlehead. Like mushrooms, you need to know which species to collect for the dinner table.

Need a great reference book to help you out? Check your local library or one of the used bookstores to track down the Yule Gibbons book, ‘Stalking the Wild Asparagus.’ Although there may be some copycat books that have since surfaced, Gibbons was one of the premier sources for local foraging. The book of its time, the invaluable info still holds true.

So no fiddling around, especially when you take Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote into account. “All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud, you have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.”

P.S. Here’s a great link for fiddleheads. http://www.fiddle-heads.com/

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Image of an edible fiddlehead from the Internet

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creating a Spring Day Ritual



















Do you really have a desire to garden but you never move past go? Don’t have enough time to put the shovel to the soil? Okay, so there’s nothing revolutionary here. To squeeze what you really want to do into an already swamped schedule, one must prioritize. So let’s create an early spring day ritual. Use these still-frosty mornings to change one of your routines that can easily be swapped out for playing in the garden.

Here’s one that half of the breathing population is guilty of - instead of responding to your overnight emails or text messages with your first morning cup of coffee, tea or juice, slip outside to peruse the bird activity around your garden. If your next excuse is that you don’t have a viable plot or enough dirt to create one, then put on your sneaks for a power walk around your neighborhood to see what’s waking up. Discover how someone might be using small spaces to create an outside oasis.

This is the season when the warm weather quickly shifts. Before you know it, it’s a lost opportunity to do the many chores that either make or break your garden’s grand spring entrance. If you program yourself to get out there now, even on frosty mornings, you can swap these extra minutes for a garden ritual. That ½ hour squirreled out of a previous routine becomes your time for putting the shovel to the soil. As Michael Altshuler reminds us, "The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot." If you need some technical spring garden ideas or lists, there are plenty stocked up in the archives. I just want to know that when my plane comes in for a landing, that a good portion of my time was spent inspiring others to garden or I was out there doing it myself!

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Image of early morning April frost by Greg Bilowz

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Divide, Conquer and Seed
















Spring is here,which puts us past the point of the recliner and remote. The only exception: ball games or American Idol. With temperatures rising a bit this week, it’s as good a time as any to get outside and scout out what crowns are popping up in your perennial beds. When was the last time you divided some of your favorite plants?

For proper health and cultural practices, many of the perennial crowns should be divided every few years. The center of certain perennials can die out. Cleaning up and dividing these crowns rejuvenate the plant. The bonus: additional, healthy plant material to expand your garden vision.

This is harvest season for perennials. Use the months of April and May wisely. The ground is cool, the soil is moist and the perennial crowns are easily accessible without damaging tender, new growth.

If you already divided your perennials last year or your young collection is not quite there, you may want to conquer the veggie garden. If your soil is frost-free and not saturated, it’s workable. So get the packets of pea seeds and start sowing these nutritious sweet tasting veggies. Why reinvent the wheel? Burpee’s home garden link gives you all the details for planting your pea garden. http://www.burpeehomegardens.com/VegetableHerbGardening/PlantDetails.aspx?plantid=5149

Spring is our season to perk up with the flowers; divide, conquer and seed. An old inspirational Latin saying from Horace states it best. “He who has begun has the work half done.” If you read this blog to the end, you’re half-way there. Happy gardening. Annie.

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Image of Cokie deciding on her American Idol Choice by Greg Bilowz

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Why’s of Spring


Today’s warm air collides with what little remains of the melting snow. Underneath the native canopy, regeneration and growth takes place. It is here you may understand the why’s of spring.






















Why would a tree’s roots hug the hardness of a rock, when one might think it could only survive in rich soil?

Why does moss blanket a stone when there are more fertile or inviting sites to be had?

Venture out and explore the why’s of spring for a clear perspective when you land in your own garden! Take on this season of awakening like everything else in life. Thomas S. Monson simply states what we too often forget. “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” Happy Mud Season – we’re in it.
P.S. Why do Border Collies love mud puddles?

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Images by Ann St. Jean- Bilowz

Monday, April 4, 2011

What We May Not See



























A bleak spring day it seems to be but what is it that we may not see? Last week I posted one of my quick shot photos from my camera phone on our fan page http://www.facebook.com/abilowz. with a Peter Drucker quote about reflection. I’m using that same image and quote for today’s blog post because Monday mornings are always a good time to catch ourselves before we get too busy. Take Peter Drucker’s advice. “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” Always include moments of tending your garden and taking contemplative walks in nature for your effective action to follow. Happy Monday. Annie.

Post on our fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bilowz-Associates-Inc-Our-Blog-Annies-Gardening-Corner/325316334444 or http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz. For anyone subscribing via email that prefers to reply direct, agbilowz@comcast.net or you can always post your comments on the blog.


Image of early morning reflections by Ann Bilowz

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Snowy Slow Start for Spring






















It soon shall melt is the best way to look at today’s spring storm but it still can put a damper on getting the garden going after a long, hard winter. So in case you haven’t been paying attention to your indoor house plants lately, this upcoming weekend might be an opportune time to get a few of these tenders repotted. Let’s go back to an archived blog from this January, when we thought that spring would never show up on our doorstep. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/01/soul-soil-and-sun.html

Focus on the inside if Mother Nature won’t let you pay attention to the outside. And take heed to Houssaye’s famous words. "We must always have old memories and young hopes."

Post on our fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bilowz-Associates-Inc-Our-Blog-Annies-Gardening-Corner/325316334444 or http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz. For anyone subscribing via email that prefers to reply direct, agbilowz@comcast.net or you can always post your comments on the blog.

Image of April Fool’s Spring Snowstorm by Ann Bilowz

About Me

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Check in for your daily share's worth of garden inspiration, landscape architecture and design tips; always original, not cookie cutter and copied. Just like our design work, we strive for unique! We invite you to contact Bilowz Associates, Inc., or to browse our portfolios. Like our Facebook follow on Twitter or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.  You can also find us back on our Google+ Business Page. (Landscape architects/Landscape Design/serving Massachusetts and New England.) Visit our landscape architectural design firm's website where creating design with balance and harmony is our story. http://www.bilowzassociates.com/

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)