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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shall Winter Reappear?



Finally - that extra day in February that leaps upon us every fourth year. Plus, if you pay attention to the Google Doodles, it’s also the 220th birthday celebration of the Italian composer, Gioachino Rossini. Therefore, a simple quote from the musical guru seems most appropriate to keep our creative garden wheels in motion.  “Give me a laundry-list and I'll set it to music.”

So what are you waiting for? Use this extra day to tackle those last-minute winter garden chores. Pruning is one so sharpen those shears and by golly, place your seed order or there won't be any veggie garden this year. To set the scene, it’s the musical backdrop for your listening pleasure: The Barber of Seville - Overture YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OloXRhesab0 to soothe the ears while chipping away at the final, ‘end of the winter’ laundry list. Are you wondering if spring is really in the air?  

P.S. Didn't have a chance to put into motion my earlier suggestion for this extra day in February? Revisit the post. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/02/creative-leap.html It’s not too late to take advantage of the Leap Year. Let the music play and be creative while winter reappears.
 
Image of Ben and Cokie taken in January 2012 by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Staying Fresh



Ray Kroc, the man behind McDonald’s, profoundly pointed out, “When you're green you're growing, and when you're ripe you start to rot.” Staying fresh, like our gardens can be difficult. It’s not a ‘set it’ and ‘forget it' type of plan.  Even if you go the minimalist route, you can’t forgo the effort of keeping it sharp and neat.

It’s all part of making that exterior space special. So whether you’re a novice picking away at a simple perennial bed or you decide to undertake an entire outdoor area, keeping it fresh is what it’s all about.

The best advice comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson.  “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” If you lose the enthusiasm for the game, you’re good to go in the compost bin.

Image by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Monday, February 27, 2012

Restorative Days Ahead



There is something wonderfully restorative about the four seasons with winter being a resting period for our trees, shrubs and plants. That phase of dormancy allows rejuvenation and while the physiological aspects of this botanical downtime can be quite complex, when it is altered or interrupted, ardent gardeners must be more vigilant come spring.

For anyone experiencing this year’s Northeast winter pattern, it should be apparent that this is not typical weather. And for garden geeks, when spring officially comes knocking on the door, the lack of snow and higher than normal temperatures may equate to a less than sufficient resting period for many plant materials.

This spring, be cognizant of where your plants may need some restorative assistance. And if a sleeper snowstorm with lots of wet and heavy snow hits us like last October, expect to see more extensive damage; some that may be internal and difficult to detect. The best word of advice: keep in close step as the spring season unfolds and check here often for restorative tips as we advance with what Mother Nature dishes out. Let’s hope for a long, cool, moist spring that allows for a slow unfurling. I know that doesn’t sound enticing but if that snoozer button goes off too early, you may be replacing lots of suspect plant material in the garden.

So that’s a wrap for this chilly but sunny Monday February morning. Let’s end with some wise words from Nancy Kuhajda, which sum up the many beneficial aspects of gardening. “It's incredibly restorative. A lot of people find great solace in gardening. It teaches self-worth, patience, reliance, persistence. It teaches us the circle of life. It teaches us that things die, and from that new things come.”

P.S. If you haven’t hopped on board yet as a regular here, the train is leaving soon for that spring destination –our gardens! Below is where you can get your ticket to ride. Or you can jump in right now and share your questions and comments.


Images by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Friday, February 24, 2012

Email Subscribers

If you didn't receive today's posting due to the Google Feedburner not working, I am sending another link through for today's story.
http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/02/pay-attention-to-natures-story.html

Remember you can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz too!

Pay Attention to Nature’s Story



Frank Lloyd Wright, the influential American Architect once professed that if you “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Those most sacred outdoor spaces we create and design for enjoyment and pleasure in our own properties often contain elements and structural attributes derived from nature. One must confess to his or her obsession with stone and its raw beauty if angular shapes in the woods, the mountainsides or the jagged coastline simply fascinate you. Having this sharp eye also defines what make stone and hardscape convincing when it is maneuvered by man’s own hand.


As Linda Hogan, a Native American poet explains, “There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.” 


Top Image of a reflective moment in nature by Ann Bilowz
Japanese Garden image with stone elements from the internet
Bottom Image of Ben and a natural stone sculpture by Ann Bilowz
P.S. If you were paying attention to Wednesday's post, you  might recognize that photo with Ben.

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Garden Imprint



Olga Korbut, the tiny gymnast (also known as the Sparrow from Minsk) who won four Olympic Gold medals said, “Don't be afraid if things seem difficult in the beginning. That's only the initial impression. The important thing is not to retreat; you have to master yourself.” That's solid advice for anything in life you may tackle, specifically the task of creating a beautiful outdoor space on your own.

If you think working with the soil, stone and plants too much to master, read on. Some of the most stunning gardens and exterior spaces are those created by people who simply have a passion and love for the outdoors and its surroundings. Frankly, their enthusiasm never runs dry; resting is only an option to take it all in.

With spring literally a few weeks away, this wonderful story from Garden Design Magazine is worth perusing. Each space within this woman’s outdoor sanctuary and its astounding beauty may give you the extra boot you need to explore what you can master this spring. Now get your favorite warm brew and peruse.  http://www.gardendesign.com/places/my-garden-color-massachusetts  Enjoy!


Images by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Imagery



“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.” ~ Jeremy Irons


P.S. I know - more dog photos but it is wordless Wednesday and these two furry friends help me see and be so much in nature. And without being immersed in nature, you cannot understand what makes the exterior places in your life so special. And one more thing, don’t forget your seeds. If you haven’t placed those seed orders yet, your summer garden could be just a dream.

Images by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Impulse or Inspiration?



The British Architect, Stephen Gardiner once stated that “the exterior cannot do without the interior since it is from this, as from life, that it derives much of its inspiration and character.” So where my inspiration came from this impulsive Saturday consignment store purchase, the jury is still out. Maybe it’s the coming season of the Pussy Willow that possessed me to acquire this unique and colorful interior piece for displaying dried flowers, twigs and branches. It hasn’t found a home yet and it’s not clear that it shall here. When I spotted it sitting on top of a consignment store bookcase, empty but sleek, something so not me, bingo! Intrigue - that’s the impulse part of it. Whatsoever would I do with such a piece?

The key to Gardiner’s architectural advice is finding a companion exterior urn that compliments this interior piece, if possible within eyesight of each other so as to bring it all together. So, here’s the Tuesday question. What perfect piece(s) display the exterior garden on the inside of your home or vice versa? Hope you share your architectural statements and photos. We need to get some interactive pre-springtime chat happening here.

Image by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lighter Days



Happy President’s Day! Are you off enjoying a sunny vacation? Don’t fret. Even if you’re stuck behind your desk, take in today’s sunshine. As we head closer to March 20th, the Vernal Equinox, it’s worth pointing out a basic but important sighting. Our morning light is slowly intensifying as the sun’s angle reaches higher in the sky each passing day. Have you noticed the stronger rays?

So before you sit back, relax and enjoy this holiday, a little note to all veggie gardeners: finish placing those seed orders. And if you think, “What’s the big deal? It’s just the sun’s rays.” Take a minute to read this wonderful poem by Hafiz. It sums up the beauty of the sun’s light and as garden lovers, we should never underestimate this one element so necessary in our ‘sow and grow’ life.

Even
After
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe me.”

Look
What happens
With a love like that.
It lights the
Whole
Sky.

Image by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Friday, February 17, 2012

Garden Boost



It’s a simple fact that fruits and vegetables, some more than others, hold high nutritional value. Consumer demand has skyrocketed as they seek the healthiest and most nutritional foods for their families. This keen awareness of fresh is best has created the home garden buzz and the rise in local farmers markets. With report factoids such as this one from the Nutrition Business Journal, “Healthy foods is set to increase, growing to 23% of the total food market by 2017”, it certainly turns the heads of growers and retailers.

While we may be busy still collecting our winter thoughts, the home gardener may want to consider testing out Burpee Home Gardens® new line - BOOST Antioxidant Collection. Per a recent Ball Publishing newsletter regarding this 2012 product launch, “the six BOOST high-nutrition vegetables were specially selected for higher antioxidants levels than any other home garden vegetable varieties. The BOOST selection includes three tomatoes, one pepper, one cucumber and one salad mix. According to Burpee Home Gardens, the BOOST selections are bursting with flavor and nutrition. For example, 'Cherry Punch' tomato delivers 30% more vitamin C and 40% more lycopene than the average garden tomato; ‘Gold Standard’ cucumber can produce five times the amount of beta-carotene of other garden cucumbers; and ‘Healing Hands’ salad mix boasts 20% more lutein, 30% more beta-carotene, 30% more total carotenoids and 70% more anthocyanins (those are all good things) than other garden salad blends.”

To wrap up this Friday garden boost as we head into a holiday weekend, even if you only dabble in this wide expansive world of gardening with a few fruits and vegetables in a pot or a raised bed, it’s always best to test, experiment, and reach beyond that comfort zone, especially if you want something that holds a higher value. As Martin H. Fischer profoundly assures us, “Education aims to give you a boost up the ladder of knowledge.  Too often, it just gives you a cramp on one of its rungs.” You can always work out the bugs in the garden. How many more days until spring?


Top image from the Internet
Boost Image and information from ‘Inside Grower’ Ball Publishing Newletter

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Routine Cut



P.G. Wodehouse, the English writer once said, “Why don't you get a haircut? You look like a Chrysanthemum.” Spoken like a true Brit. But back to serious garden matters. Let's take a look at those woody plant materials that may be looking a tad shabby, in need of a trim. If you haven’t noticed, this winter weather has been exceptional with little to no snow and above normal temperatures. It may be safe to say that jumping in with that routine cut, pruning your trees and shrubs is in order. Start with your established plant materials first. Remove any damaged limbs and prune for structure. Save the more delicate or recently planted materials until the season advances and extreme weather is less of a threat. Use this time wisely to evaluate your woody plants, specifically your deciduous stock and get pruning before the sap flows. And if my spring counters have it right, I believe we are 32 days away until spring. So sharpen the shears and let your garden take shape. It’s time for the routine cut.



Wondering what flower this is? A Spider Chrysanthemum – pretty cool for your floral bouquet until spring sets its own flowers into play.

Top image from the Internet
Bottom image of a Spider Chrysanthemum from the Internet

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nature’s Luster



When you think luster, one might think polished and refined. When you think manicured gardens, classical yet sophisticated may come to mind. We dig deep for elements that make a garden space unique. Looking for the best kept secret? Discover the luster in nature often found in stone elements that by an unknown force have come into their own. Thomas Guthrie captured this best with his quote. “As in nature, as in art, so in grace; it is rough treatment that gives souls, as well as stones, their luster.”

Image by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Not Indifferent



On this February 14th, 2012 Elie Wiesel’s powerful words tell today's story. “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.” Spread your wings. Be not indifferent. And if you can, make a difference in someone’s world today - Happy Valentine’s Day.

Image by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Monday, February 13, 2012

Super Rose Tuesday



Tomorrow sets into play the biggest game in the floral industry – Valentine’s Day. Knock yourself out. Treat someone you love with a favorite bouquet. If you’re a lucky recipient, share a flower or two with someone who recently lost a loved one. Small gestures like this can brighten a day. Take heed to what Anne Bronte, the English poet and novelist once said.  “But he that dares not grasp the thorn Should never crave the rose.” That goes way deeper than flowers but let’s keep it simple. Make flowers a centerpiece of your world. Get ready for the beautiful season of spring to unfold.


Rose images by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Friday, February 10, 2012

Snow Days




Maybe we can’t eek past this weekend without some white stuff falling to the ground but there’s always a bright side in the world of horticulture and design. Have your thoughts crossed over yet to plant palettes and nursery excursions, anticipating new texture and color for your landscape? If you’ve been counting down how many days until spring, it’s probably so. But let’s dig a little deeper for those underused and overlooked specialty shrubs when developing your plant list.

A deciduous beauty often forgotten is Exochorda racemosa (Common Pearlbush).  Its large springtime flower is a dashing snow-white. The common shrub can get a tad high (15 feet) but a weeping, dwarf variety that some plant lovers may be familiar with is ‘The Bride.’ To keep in today’s winter theme, Proven Winners has an Exochorda you may want to consider; The Snow Day™ ‘Blizzard’. This variety has ‘extra large flowers roughly twice the size of ‘The Bride.’ These plants do best in acidic soil and can handle some pretty chilly temps. It makes a perfect New England sampler shrub or one you can mass in drifts; no plows or snow blowers required.

What’s in your spring planting plan? Does it include deciduous shrubs? If so, think beyond the usual suspects. Think pearls. Think snow-like flowers called Blizzard and Bride. Add white to your springtime plant palette while remembering tomorrow’s snow shall quickly reside.

To end this February blog week, a garden quote from Barbara Winkler keeps our spring spirits chugging. "Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream."



Image of Snow Day™ ‘Blizzard’ from Proven Winners website
Image of Valentine’s Day card by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One More Countdown…



What to do with one more countdown… it’s just 16 weeks until Memorial Day! So here’s an Annie show tune. Clap your hands, whistle and sing. Come on now. Let’s at least get your feet and clippers tapping in place. First, some stout words from an anonymous but very tuned in author who once said, “Patience is counting down without blasting off.”

The question is – are you in the launching stance or are you still resting in your easy chair, comforted that planting and warm summer evenings seem ions away? Are you ready for that long, luxurious Memorial Day weekend that marks the calendar ‘GARDEN’ in so many ways?

Hopefully you’ve sorted through the seed drawer. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/01/time-to-be-rearranging.html.  And orders like your fruit trees are in place. And those liners like blueberries and raspberries and your favorite veggies are quickly taking shape. With this mild and snowless winter, pruning and miscellaneous garden chores are already under way.

Maybe you lingered through this winter, procrastinating the planning phase of your outdoor getaway. Not the cottage by the sea but your own backyard. There’s no more time to wait. What to do with one more countdown… it’s just 16 weeks until Memorial Day!

Image by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love is in the Air



And the best way to say ‘LOVE’ is with flowers.  John Lennon’s words express it, too. “Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.” There you have it. The words, the flowers! Love and spring is in the air!



And don't forget the chocolate!

Images by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Creative Leap



This February we have that extra 29th day. It’s leap year so why not plan on using that spare 24 hours we’ve been given to dabble with our creative side. Don’t think you have one? Then it’s time to take that creative leap! There are endless ways to find creativity in the garden and design world. Just being outdoors gets a different side of you moving and before you know it, you’ve designed a vegetable garden or you’ve planted an urn with a composition of your favorite herbs.

Agnes de Mille, a successful dancer, understood the necessity of taking leaps. “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how… The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”

That’s the beauty of creativity. There are no boundaries. So take that extra day this February and treat yourself to the depths of the unknown; your creativity. You may even try to incorporate that imaginative and spontaneous combustion into each day, not just that extra one this February.

Still hesitant about taking that extra leap day to explore a bit of creativity? Maybe Mary Oliver’s eloquently written last line in ‘Of Power and Time’ may convince you that it’s never too late. “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” What are you waiting for? It’s a leap year. Time to take that big jump into the creative pool; it’s never too late!


Images by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nature’s Souvenirs



A bit in blog mourning this Monday after the Patriots’ nail biting loss to the Giants; it’s a simple quote and some photos from nature to kick off the work week. You may recall one of the ways from last Thursday’s blog post to keep yourself balanced in February is to ‘make a date for a walk.’ It’s something my Dad and I did a lot. Here’s a refresher link in case you need this lift today. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/02/balance-act.html Plus some souvenir photos from a nature walk this weekend. As Susan Spano reminds us, “Souvenirs are perishable; fortunately, memories are not.”  

Images by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Friday, February 3, 2012

Six More Weeks



A headline in this morning’s paper made me chuckle.  “GOOD WEATHER POSTPONES TOWN’S WINTER CARNIVAL.” That’s different! Usually it’s the rough winter snowstorms that reschedule or cancel events but even more hilarious; the carnival was postponed “until Feb. 18 because of a lack of snow.” While most winter events have a back-up plan in store, obviously this carnival depends on the white fluffy stuff.  The new date must be based on our favorite rodent from Gobbler’s Knob, Phil the Groundhog indicating that ‘six more weeks of winter it must be’ or the Farmers Almanac predicted snowfall for that day.

Either way, the lack of snow and above average winter temperatures has many of us thinking that we can’t possibly have six more weeks in store. We are currently on track this winter to setting a record for the least amount of snowfall. What are your predictions? Bill Vaughn states it perfectly. “The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears.” And the prediction for the Super Bowl winner is…


You're not a true New Englander if you don't recognize and remember this!

Images from the Internet

If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Balance Act



Nicolas Chamfort lightens the morning with the simplest of thoughts. “The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed.” Or thought about gardens or connecting with nature! Unfortunately, most of us allow those deadlines and schedules to take over and we forget how to stay centered when those feet touch the floor in the morning. So with the start of February and all the hoopla that goes with Groundhog Day, let’s focus on balance and get this month off to a steady start. Plus, let's not forget love during the month of Cupid.

Speaking of love, here are a few heart secrets for American Heart Month (from Blue Cross Blue Shield):

Week 1: “Get together. Ongoing social activities – lunch groups and book clubs for example – can help lower risk factors for heart disease.” Annie’s take for week 1 – ease up on social media and connect face to face. Garden clubs run all year round if you are looking for an old-fashion social activity.

Week 2: “Watch a funny movie. Laughing improves blood vessel function, which helps prevent heart attack and strokes.” Annie’s take for week 2 – Take Nicolas Chamfort’s advice: find something to laugh or at least smile about each day. And if you’re not in the mood for a funny movie, watch an old classic like ‘Pollyanna’. Play the glad game!

Week 3: “Make a date for a walk. Losing as little as 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure if you are overweight.” Annie’s take for week 3 – Make a date with nature every day in February! If the weather deters you, find a botanical treasure for your walkabout: a greenhouse, a conservatory or even a consignment store. Search for that unique urn or pot that you can plant in the spring. Find the incentive and you can do anything!

Week 4: “Plant herbs in your garden. Using herbs and spices instead of salt is an easy way to lower your risk for hypertension.” Annie’s take for week 4 – While most of us can’t plant in the garden quite yet, we can pot some of those herbs to sit in a sunny window. Take a look back at my easy Egg Lemon soup. It may give you that extra incentive to get those herbs growing now. Or you can always find fresh stashes in your produce section. It’s just cheaper to plant your own. Plus it’s a great way to dabble with easy gardening!

So steady yourself with February’s balance act. Just think, when it’s all said and done where we’ll be in that countdown for spring!  And if anyone caught that Groundhog report, postings are always welcome along with your questions, photos, comments…and any other ideas for balancing those four weeks in February. Remember to jump right in. How many more days until spring? 


©Image by Ann Bilowz 

If you like this blog, hope you check in for your daily share's worth of inspiration, design, and garden tips; always original, not cookie cutter and copied. Just like our design work, we strive for unique! Like our Facebook follow on Twitter or subscribe to 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too. Don’t forget Google+ where you can find us under Ann Bilowz and Bilowz Associates Inc.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Doors We Open


"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." ~ Flora Whittemore



It’s a double header: the first wordless Wednesday on the first day of February. What better way to kick it off than to jog our garden memory. Yes, eventually the shed doors open to spring plantings. For those that may be closed to picking up a pair of garden gloves and getting dirty, well, you may want to stay open to that idea. And if you didn’t get enough words to fill this wordless Wednesday, there’s a rerun playing today from the archives. It’s a reminder four years later why I continue to open this blog door each day. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/01/life-moves-fast.html

Images by Ann Bilowz


If you like this blog, remember to post your comments, questions, even your garden photos. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow 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. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com Happy Gardening. Annie

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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.)