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, July 29, 2011

A Friday Ray of Sunshine



















On this overcast Friday, as we slowly eek our way into August, today’s post reminds us to check any last minute items in the garden before the potential storms move in later today. When bad weather was looming last August, this was the advice I gave my readers. “Check all plants that are susceptible to wind damage, especially your tomatoes. Any newly planted trees should be properly supported with guying systems. If a guying system is installed, check its tension – not too tight, not too loose.” It doesn’t hurt to do a garden walkabout before the weather hits. Don’t want any lost tomatoes or trees!


















Final advice - have a great Friday and remember to send out your ray of sunshine. 

Today’s quote is an excerpt from Jason Mraz’s song lyrics, ‘Sunshine.’  

“Well sometimes the sun shines
On other peoples houses and not mine
Some days the clouds paint the sky all gray
And it takes away my summertime
Somehow the sun keeps shining upon you
While I struggle to get mine
If there’s a light in everybody
Send out your ray of sunshine.”

Images by Greg Bilowz

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, July 28, 2011

Potato Banter





















While all the veggies we pack into our gardens, like tomatoes and greens make for a nice salad, one of the easiest crops to grow that is often overlooked by home gardeners is the potato. Packed with carbs and protein, this is a must-have staple for the kitchen and those long winter days. Here are a few good reasons to sow your own potatoes:

* With good growing conditions, 10 lbs. of seed potatoes can yield 100 lbs. of potatoes. An average of $20.00/bag for seed potatoes yields 100 lbs., which works out to be approximately .20 cents/lb.
* Price comparison for Yukon Gold potatoes: home-grown versus supermarket (.20 cents/lb. to roughly .75 cents/lb.)
* Drought-tolerant
* Space requirements for growing are minimal. (Same as beans and tomatoes planted in a row.)
* Stores for months if kept in cool, dry conditions. (Ideal for winter home-grown veggies.)
* Taste, flavor and texture is par to none; beats the pants off any store-bought potato.
* The nutritional value of potatoes cannot be understated - loaded with good calories and protein; an absolute necessity for vitamin C.

If you are looking for a recommendation for a certain potato, you can try growing some of the fingerling types. When roasted, the flavor and consistency is outstanding. Plus you can only find these potatoes in gourmet restaurants or select markets at a very dear price.

So don’t overlook the importance of calories and protein when those winter days roll around. And in the words of Oprah Winfrey, “My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.”

Image of Fingerling potatoes from the Internet

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, July 27, 2011

Straight to You



























Wordless Wednesday – it certainly is as I am completely washed out from a fabulous Josh Groban concert last evening. So I’m keeping it simple – a quote and photo of a straightforward path. Significant in the design world and in life, Henry David Thoreau explains a pathway best. “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” To give you a bit more to ponder on this beautiful summer morning, I’ve gone back to a couple of posts from the archives on paths. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/06/follow-flow.html http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/05/paths-of-least-resistance.html Straight to you on this wordless Wednesday.

Image by Ann Bilowz 

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, July 26, 2011

Flower Du jour

Let’s add a bit of splash and panache to Tuesday by selecting a Flower du jour – Annie’s pick of the day. A favorite of mine, Crocosmia 'Lucifer' (its common name, montbretia) packs in so much bold and vibrant red color that one might consider it the sports car version of flowers. 


























While it’s been mentioned a few times in my previous blogs,  Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is worthy of this Tuesday’s ‘Flower du jour’. (If you need some growing and plant combo information on this spectacular perennial, check out the past posts.) But back to today's menu.

Most of us struggle to find that much-needed zest and exuberance to pack a pleasant punch into our mid-season perennial garden. Look no further because here is the perfect suggestion, just in time for those drab-looking beds. Place your order with today’s flower du jour - Crocosmia 'Lucifer' to give a spring and a lift to those tired borders. Henri Matisse, the famous 20th century French artist and painter reminds us just how important it is to keep fresh in these dog-days of summer. “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” So make this Tuesday bright, bold and beautiful - add a splash of zest to your summertime garden. Go Crocosmia!

Images from the Internet

Hint – scroll down to ‘Search This Blog’ on Annie’s Gardening Corner and search for past mentions of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. Enjoy!

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Floppy and Flagging





















With the recent stretch of extreme heat, this is when you see stress even with the toughest of plant materials. You may notice floppy and flagging trees, shrubs, perennials etc., which is typically a sign of moisture and/or heat stress. Within your own landscape, you can take the necessary precautions when noticing these signs. See last year’s post on woody plant materials http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/07/toughen-your-landscape.html when we were experiencing similar conditions. Understanding the dynamics of how weather extremes cause even the hardiest of plant materials to look a bit tired is important for keeping your cool when things get hot. Determine when and how much supplementary irrigation is necessary for your garden. If nature is not divvying it out, you may have to supplement the balance. Last week’s weather made even the Monarda (Bee Balm), a resilient, drought-tolerant plant look like a Bernzomatic torch had visited the garden party. As George Chapman reminds us, “Extremes, though contrary, have the like effects. Extreme heat kills, and so extreme cold:…” So when we experience these extreme hot weather conditions, soften the edges for your plants with a little TLC. And don’t forget the water to help with the flop and the flagging.

Image of a deciduous tree shedding excess foliage during the summer heat from the Internet

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spare Me the Spearmint



























Not! If you have spearmint growing in your garden, one of Annie’s favorite herbs, there are countless uses for this sprawling growie. One in particular perfect for this summer heat is the popular refreshing drink, the Mojito. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojito Considered the Cuban highball, you could try making this less the rum to keep it kid, driver and heat friendly. Everyone knows that alcohol is not a good thing in this excessively hot weather. It just turns up your thermometer gage and who needs more degrees, at least those kind when it’s already 100 +.

In our garden, I’m never short on spearmint. So spare me the spearmint? Never! Anyone can grow this herb - no excuses. Mine came from my grandmother’s garden so its flavor is tons better than those cultivated ones but still give this herb a try. There are loads of ways to get creative with spearmint. Adding it to home-brewed iced teas gives it a settling flavor. I’m always chopping up spearmint and garnishing egg, potato, macaroni salad…anything that you want to boost with some spearmint personality. And when the weather turns a bit better for drying herbs, this is a must for a winter stash of minty flavor.

But who is thinking winter right now? A blast of cold air could be rejuvenating. With that thought, we’ll end with a Jane Austen quote to appreciate this sultry summer heat. “To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” Add a nice minty drink and you should be able to make it past this heat wave.

P.S. Here’s a Mojito recipe with watermelon (Yum – that thirst-quenching summer fruit) from Ina. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/watermelon-mojitos-recipe/index.html Happy Friday!

Image of Mojito from the Internet

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, July 21, 2011

Resilient Ways to Beat the Heat


What better way to beat this sticky, gooey heat than with an interesting read. Need to add to your gardening book collection? Kick back under a shaded tree or seek that AC and check out Annie’s pick by Carol Deppe, ‘The Resilient Gardener – Food Production and Self-reliance in Uncertain Times.’ I have yet to make a big dent in the book but what I’ve scanned through so far, I like. The book’s premise is ‘the five crops you need to survive and thrive – potatoes, corn, beans, squash and eggs.’ Deppe breaks down these five components in its own section with chapters on soil, labor and exercise and water and watering. That’s a must-read chapter just about now! So take a peek at this book published by Chelsea Green Publishing from White River Junction, VT. Or check out the author’s website for more information. http://www.caroldeppe.com/

To wrap up this sizzler, if you are looking for a great place to find used gardening books, check out a hidden jewel on Route 9 in West Brookfield, MA called the Book Bear. They may not have AC so call ahead and check (508) 867-8705 for that and their summer hours. But the extensive collection of books, specifically gardening books is one not to be missed. Bring cash or a check as they don’t accept plastic.

Moshe Waldoks' quote seems appropriate for the closer. “A sense of humor can help you overlook the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected and smile through the unbearable.” This heat is pretty much unattractive, unpleasant and unbearable but not unexpected for July. So for resiliency, stay hydrated - keep cool. Don't forget to grab a good gardening book. That’s it in a sun ray!

Image of book cover for ‘The Resilient Gardener’ from the Internet

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, July 20, 2011

What Matters in the End



























It’s another wordless Wednesday and how perfect to share these images from an unexpected visitor in the garden last evening. Ursula K. LeGuin’s words resonate best when watching this butterfly dance from cone flower to cone flower. “It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” This butterfly performance lasted until Cokie, our curious Border collie came over to see for herself. To see more photos, you can log onto our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/abilowz to view more of the action. Don’t forget to hit the like button on your visit there.

Image of a Butterfly dancing on a Cone Flower by Ann Bilowz

(I’m still using that Blackberry phone for a camera - the thought of big, clunky equipment and me together…not a good match! But maybe someday soon I’ll take the big plunge!)

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, July 19, 2011

Grubby Tuesday



























Things are heating up in the garden, especially the Japanese Beetles. These flying buggers are munching on just about everything. We are coming up to the sweet spot for controlling Japanese Beetles and other grubs that live in your lawn. Here’s a quick article http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/jul/17/how-to-deal-with-grubs-in-the-lawn-g/  that gives you the Grubs 101 - everything you need to know about grubs. So don’t ignore the best time of the year to treat for these grubbies. Diagnosis is important. There are tests out there determining how many grubs per square foot is considered acceptable and when it is deemed an infestation and should be treated. Although I don’t like chemicals, this is the one insect that can raise havoc on your lawn, especially during hot, dry summers. I’ll wrap up this grubby Tuesday post with a Bill Vaughan quote. “We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.” And how they always managed to show up in the garden pictures, too!

Image of Daylily and a Japanese beetle munching its morning breakfast by Ann Bilowz

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

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Sting of Summer

When growing conditions become desert-like, do your days in the garden feel like a hose is attached to your hip? Other than the edibles, containers and a few select beds, we keep the watering to a minimum. One of the easiest ways to plan for a low-maintenance garden is to use succulents and drought-tolerant natives. If you want to be water-wise but search for a bloom with some interest, you must try the Desert Rose (Adenium obesum). This succulent is a great indoor plant to move outdoors in the sting of the summer heat. Give it full sun on a stone terrace or place under an overhang or front porch that gets little rain but lots of sun. As long as arid, dry conditions exist, blossoms are certain to appear on a steamy summer morning. Then you can start tapping your toes, keeping in beat to Sting’s song ‘Desert Rose’. “I dream of rain, I dream of gardens in the desert sand…” We do need some liquid sunshine from the sky but I’ll take watering over a deluge of downpours, which can be a more damaging present from Mother Nature. On that note, I’ll end Monday’s blog with an Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote. “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” Or a lovely flower that appears in the desert sand.  


Images of Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) ‘Uranus’ on the back terrace by Ann Bilowz

Here is a link with Desert Rose growing tips. http://houseplants.about.com/od/succulentsandcacti/p/DesertRose.htm

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

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fabulous Friday


















Yikes, it’s been an extremely busy week so this hammock is looking good just about now! On this fabulous Friday, especially in these summer months, here is a ‘just in case’ Will Rogers’ reminder of why we shouldn’t overlook spending quality time in our gardens. “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.” So why dash off so quickly? Kick off this weekend with a rest in your garden! Summers were meant for relaxation so design your garden oasis accordingly!

P.S. Don’t forget to check back in the blog archives, where you can find loads of plant ideas, design tips, and guidelines for growing and cooking those luscious garden goodies. Looking for some quick recipe ideas? I noticed some delectable squash blossoms popping up in the garden. A favorite Mario Batali recipe is in this past post. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2009/06/living-in-moment.html Time to find that hammock. My batteries need a recharge!

Image from the Internet

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, July 14, 2011

Nature’s Poetry





































The outdoors, our gardens, and even our summer getaways can be simply spectacular when we notice nature’s poetry. Mary Oliver captures this best in ‘Summer Poem.’ Her descriptions are absolutely brilliant but my favorite part of this poem is her description of:

‘…the white heron

like a dropped cloud,
taking one slow step

then standing awhile then taking
another, writing

her own soft-footed poem
through the still waters.’

I can picture this elegant scene unfolding; I can visualize those footprints penning that ‘soft-footed poem.’ Use these summertime experiences to help enhance poetry in your own gardens - the humble beginnings of your own design. Learn something from every creature you encounter in your summertime jaunts. When you go back to your own outdoor space, enhance your habitat. Create organically and make whatever size space that is yours a space that welcomes nature’s poetry.

Images of White Heron from the Internet – amazing image!  


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, July 13, 2011

Post Your Potpourri


What’s popping up in your vegetable patch? Do you have all the fixings to make a fresh salad from the garden? Our tomatoes aren’t quite turning red and juicy just yet. Supplementing the freshness of our greens and cukes with the plastic red cellophane tomatoes from the grocery store is an abysmal ending for what started off as a fantastic salad. So that’s a quick Annie bulletin on the veggie scene in our garden.

But before I run, I have a mid-week garden request. Has anyone made their own potpourri? I’m looking for a quick trick or a simple recipe as we celebrate the mid point of July to keep summer memories lasting throughout the remainder of the year. Eleanor Sinclair-Rhode gives us a hint on how to do this. "No bought potpourri is so pleasant as that made from ones own garden, for the petals of the flowers one has gathered at home hold the sunshine and memories of summer, and of past summers only the sunny days should be remembered." So please post your potpourri (any gardening comments, questions, tricks, recipes, pics or tips) to keep the summer memories and sunshine fresh in our minds. Cokie is helping in the sniff project. 


























Images by Ann Bilowz

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, July 12, 2011

Morning Magic

Early morning is that perfect time for watching what I’ll coin ‘Floga’ – the morning stretch of the flower petals. In the early hours of dawn, this is, at least for me, that magical moment when the garden glistens and exudes a flawless synergy. It’s that ideal time to water the plants and tend to small chores that keep the garden tidy. Before too much starts to clutter the mind, use the early part of your day to stretch with the flower petals. Practice Floga. As Rabindranath Tagore reminds us, “Do not say, 'It is morning,' and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.”


Images of Daylily (Hemerocallis ) 'Bama Music' from our garden by Ann Bilowz

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

Merry Berry Picking

























Though the strawberry picking season has passed, the endless fresh berry picking list is coming into its own. All these tiny bursts of sweetness are dangling from its branches and canes, waiting to be picked and enjoyed in some culinary delight. Blueberries, raspberries, mulberries – what tops your list of a favorite berry to pick? I’m a huge raspberry fan! But the one real trick, at least for me during the fruit-bearing season is finding easy, delicious ways to savor that fresh and intense sweet berry flavor in a simple dessert. Did I say how much I desire simple, especially in the kitchen? So if you are like me, always scouring the cookbooks for an easy berry dessert, one that won’t heat things up during the summertime sizzle, here’s a Cooks.com recipe (with Annie alterations) that whips up faster than a pop tart and tastes absolutely gorgeous.

All you need is:

A store bought graham cracker crust (If you want to make your own graham cracker crust, it’s not too difficult, but I believe it does require the oven.)

1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup cream cheese
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

The recipe calls for canned fruit but here’s where you can add either your own preserves you canned last year or fresh fruit that you just picked from the local grower, a nature walk or your own garden.

Whip/blend the cream, cream cheese and confectioner sugar for three minutes in your Kitchen Aid. Pour and spread into the graham cracker crust. Let it set up for about 30 minutes in the fridge before adding your fruit. I added last year’s raspberry freezer jam, which tastes as good as fresh picked berries.

Some other tips for mixing this recipe up a bit:

Add a touch of vanilla to your creamy blend.
If you are doing fresh blueberries, add a tsp. of vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg and you’ll get a crumble flavor without making the crumble. This would also make an easy key-lime pie if you want to add the lime flavor but this is a berry blog so let’s stay fruity right now. Test this one out on your family.

And how much easier can it get? Plus it’s a big hit and no one knows it was that simple except for you. Now that’s a secret worth keeping. Madam Benoit understands my way of cooking best. “I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.” So vary your summer dessert ideas and get creative with this easy recipe.

Image of raspberries from the Internet – this morning’s sun angle is just too difficult for that tiny Blackberry camera.

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

Friday, July 8, 2011

By the Way
























It’s a repeat performance of a ‘knock your socks off’ plant for this cloudy Friday. So if you happen to sneak into a garden center this weekend, check out last year’s post on Kniphofia, A.K.A. ‘Red Hot Poker’ and add this stunner perennial to your garden. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/06/lets-rock-and-plant_22.html Another big plus about Kniphofia – it attracts hummingbirds.

And by the way, I’m still rocking with those drum sticks. Thanks to my newfound instructor, Alex, Thursday nights are going to rock! So on that note, I’m ending this holiday week with an inspirational music quote by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. “The pleasure we obtain from music comes from counting, but counting unconsciously. Music is nothing but unconscious arithmetic.” And like planting in your garden, it’s all about timing!

Image of Hummingbird and Kniphofia from the Internet

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, July 7, 2011

Hanging Out




































It seems that the airwaves are extremely quiet this week. Everyone is hanging out by the pool, at the beach or hunkering down in the coolness of AC. So while you are just chilling, keep in mind the quote of James Russell Lowell. “The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere.” Every summer these stunning Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars hang out in the fennel. Go figure! But wherever you are, hope your summer garden is going bonkers. And remember to water all your veggies and keep an eye out for pests and diseases.


























Image of Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar and Brussel sprouts in our garden by Ann Bilowz

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, July 6, 2011

Simple Words for Wordless Wednesday





































Oscar Wilde best describes these easy-to-grow natives, Echinacea (Cone Flowers) growing in the garden. “Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” This drought-tolerant plant can easily survive while you wander off on summer vacation. Its long-lasting pleasures, its simplicity are what make this flower a keeper.

Image of Echinacea (Cone Flowers) in our garden by Ann Bilowz
P.S. I just love its form and structure! Try some of the introductions but the straight species is the tried and true!

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, July 5, 2011

Gathering the Garlic





















Did you pay attention to the late fall planting bulletins? Were you sowing your garlic bulbs during the last cool days of autumn while other less enthusiastic gardeners were packing away their trowels? Lucky you because now is the time to gather the garlic!

Here are just a few tips when picking your cloves:
  1. Gently dig around the garlic stock to expose the head. You can see if it formed and is ready for picking.
  2. Don’t let the heads split apart, exposing the individual cloves. The garlic will not store as well.
  3. Dry the heads on an old screen, keeping even air circulation or you can hang them until the entire garlic plant is dry.
  4. When drying your garlic heads, keep out of direct sun. It should be a dry location; not a damp area. If you leave garlic to dry in a sunny location, it must be carefully monitored so do the stress-free technique and keep it out of direct sun.
  5. Save about a 1/3 of your garlic in a cool, dry place for your upcoming fall planting. No excuses why you can’t keep growing one of the oldest known medicinal plants that also has a variety of culinary uses. To wrap up this warm, sultry July morning post, William Shatner reminds us of the similarity of roses and garlic. "Stop and smell the garlic! That's all you have to do." And don’t forget to stop and smell the beautiful roses in bloom now, too!
Image of garlic from the garden by Ann Bilowz
 
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Friday, July 1, 2011

My Favorite Friday


















This is it – the kick-off to the long holiday weekend. Just when all the flower petals open up in the gardens, it’s time to celebrate and enjoy the Fourth of July festivities! This is the month to relax and take it all in. Gilbert K. Chesteron reminds us in his quotation just how important it is to enjoy your surroundings, wherever you may be. “All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.”
Stay safe and remember yesterday’s advice - keep all your plantings hydrated in the garden. 

Images from the Internet

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

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/

© 2009

© 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.)