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

Monday, April 30, 2012

How Many Days Away?



Slowly but surely we are heading into another countdown – Memorial Day weekend, the milestone marker for outdoor fun and entertainment. Walking around your exterior space, you may not feel ready for that kickoff day. Which segues into today’s topic, pathways. Why we walk in the direction we do may never enter our mind but it is an important part of creating our outdoor spaces. Rebecca Solnit provides her definition of a path as “a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape.” Think about that? It's a fairly simple solution to where you place your paths. To assist you with dimensions, I’m pulling out an Annie archive to give you some tips on size and shapes. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/05/paths-of-least-resistance.html So now that we’re heading down the right path, I’ll be looking for those daily loyal counters as we head into the next big countdown for outdoor lovers. Memorial Day is how many days away?

Image and design byGreg Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc.

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Friday, April 27, 2012

Containing Yourself



What’s one of the best kept secrets of spring? Container gardening. Everyone can try their hand at it and the combinations are endless. In other words, it’s whatever fits your fancy. One word of caution: if you want to fill your containers with delicate annuals and herbs, you must plan on protecting your plants from what can still be the harsh elements of a frosty spring overnight. Just cover your pots with a container version of flannel pajamas and keep them protected until the sun warms up or bring them inside until the frost is cleared. Most of us wait to get the containers going because the above frosty issue can be trying or damaging, but it doesn’t mean we can’t start thinking combos. With so many plant choices, filling those containers becomes the best part of the fun. But we can’t leave out the pleasure of hunting for those unusual pots or urns that take a dull garden corner and make it burst with color. Containing yourself may be the hardest part of container gardening.  And as one of the great American Jazz musicians, Miles Davis once said “It's always been a gift with me, hearing music the way I do. I don't know where it comes from, it's just there and I don't question it.” So don’t question what makes a container beautiful. Listen to what works for you!


Images of container gardening by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What’s in your Basket of Gold?


Thomas Dekker, the Elizabethan poet and dramatist once said, “A mask of gold hides all deformities.” We all know there are a few places like that in our gardens. Are you looking for a perfect mass of gold? Don’t overlook Alyssum saxatile (Basket-of-Gold). This hardy perennial (Zones: 3-7) jumps out at you with sunshine oomph on these cool spring mornings. Its bright yellow blossom makes this mossy rock wall pop, welcoming one to stop, linger and enjoy. Drought-tolerant, this honey of a perennial does well in craggy spaces; perfect for an alpine garden. It’s another one of those deer resistant plants, which is always a plus for many gardeners.


So what’s in your basket of gold?  It’s the perfect time to try out this full sun perennial and mask a few of those deformities in the garden.  

Images of Alyssum saxatile (Basket-of-Gold) in our garden by Ann Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Bit Out of the Ordinary



Our image of Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ and Michael Porter’s quote offer a simple reminder on this wordless Wednesday. “Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it's about deliberately choosing to be different.” If you didn’t have a chance to read yesterday’s post, http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/04/what-makes-garden-smart.html you may want to take a quick peek about color sequencing. Today’s tip: when choosing material for your garden, running the gamut from softscape to hardscape, try Porter’s strategy: deliberately choose to be different. Delving into color sequencing requires stepping away from standard materials. So try soft yellow when your heart is set on the standard white or pink. Don’t be afraid to be a bit out of the ordinary. It sets you apart from the pack.

Image of a Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Makes A Garden Smart?



Albert Einstein’s words are perfect for this Tuesday post opener. “It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.” This should be the philosophy of those who dabble with making a garden pop with color. Let’s pull from an archived post, ‘Do You Get My Drift?’ http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/04/do-you-get-my-drift.html. One of the most challenging tasks of creating a spectacular garden space (large or small) is focusing on getting that color sequence right. Although the flower and blossom show started a bit early this year, creating continual color combinations with drifts of texture, structure and splash to happen throughout the entire flowering season is one of those nice problems garden lovers stay with for a long time in order to get it right. It’s dabbling and experimenting and sometimes falling flat on the garden shovel to realize something just didn’t work. So when you stop to ponder what makes your garden smart? There’s only one answer - staying with it!

Image and design of perennial border popping with color and structure by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bark – It’s Not All One Thing



When you think trees, you may not think bark. But on dreary days like today, sometimes the springtime color in the garden may need an extra lift. If you look to your trees to assist with that process, an Annie favorite that offers year-round seasonal interest is the Acer griseum, the Paper Bark Maple. On a recent nursery jaunt, I spotted a hybrid of the A. griseum and A. nikoense, the 'Ginzam' (Gingerbread™), which has that same coppery color but claims to grow a bit faster than the species. Although this hybrid lacks the Paper Bark Maple’s curly bark appeal, which for many is a big plus, not everyone prefers that shaggy look. Maybe just its rich, deep coppery tone situated correctly within the overall garden design proves to be enough. As Jeremy Piven reminds us, “We all have so many different elements inside of us and we're not all one thing.” So it is with trees. There may be certain elements that one may overlook and another adores. It’s just the beauty of growing living things!


Top image Acer griseum x nikoense 'Ginzam' Gingerbread™ Paper Bark Maple
Bottom images Acer griseum Paper Bark Maple in our garden in the snow and summer (Sorry, today's rain could be snow!)

All Images by Ann Bilowz
 
If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Friday, April 20, 2012

Smoking Hot Garden Pick of the Week



Looking for another drought-tolerant garden specimen that can take up some real estate plus act as a hedge, be deer resistant and handle chilly temps (below -20 to -10 F)? Annie’s pick of the week is the Cotinus coggygria purpureus, the Purple Smoke Bush.  Just imagine what these feathery-like plumes could look like as a cut flower in a sleek glass vase? Although its showiness can be short-lived, it’s worth that extra summertime splash. And as Oscar Wilde pointed out, “No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.” Enjoy the beauty of the blossom!


Cotinus coggygria purpureus - Purple Smoke Bush - Images by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Thursday Tidbit about Herbs



Thursday is a perfect day for garden tidbits so here’s one that came in recently from the Garden Media Group. “The National Garden Bureau has designated 2012 as The Year of the Herb, and gardeners are planting both traditional and exciting new varieties, according to The Growers Exchange, a leading online purveyor of herbs.”

"Some of the bestselling herbs for spring may surprise gardeners," says Briscoe White, head farmer of The Growers Exchange. "Stevia, rue and comfrey are ranking near the top. Each year the best sellers vary," he explains. "A TV chef only needs to mention Stevia and all of a sudden everyone wants to grow it in their garden."

So what makes you plant a particular herb? Is it because you read about it or heard somewhere such as the case with Stevia that it is “the fastest growing all-natural sweetener. It is 300 times sweeter than processed sugar and has little to no calories, and according to White, it's easy to grow in your garden. "Stevia may be healthier for diabetics because it does not raise blood glucose levels." He adds, "The leaves themselves are incredibly sweet, it's like herbal candy." 

What do you look for from your herbs? Do you have a favorite? Most know mine is Spearmint but I’ve ignored the Comfrey growing in our garden. It takes up a lot of space in a hidden slope area but I might be paying a bit more attention to its medicinal purposes, especially if I get too much sun. If made into a cooled tea for sunburned skin, it is said to “reduce pain, discomfort, and promote healthy skin regeneration.”  So don’t ignore herbs as part of your planting regime. It is the Year of the Herb. And as William Lawson poignantly reminds us, “What is Paradise? But a Garden, an Orchard of Trees and Herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights.”

Comfrey growing in our garden - Image by Ann Bilowz
P.S. This is what the Comfrey looks like in our garden this morning but this plant takes up a lot of real estate so give it some room to grow. It also sports a pretty flower but it can become a bit shaggy; best to trim it back often.

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring’s Magic



With Wednesday being wordless, the image should provide the message. But because I love quotes, Beverly Nichols’ words accompany this apple blossom image best. “To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.” It’s just part of the magic of spring!

Apple Blossoms in the morning sun – Image by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plants for Sizzling Occasions



Drought conditions coupled with hot, sizzling temperatures always make plant lovers long for beautiful yet reliable material that can step up to a stressful situation. No worries. Here’s my list of a few favorite sizzling perennials to recommend as we battle summer temps in the middle of April.

A Sea Holly cultivar that we just love is Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'. Not only is this perennial drought-tolerant, it’s also salt-tolerant, which makes it a fitting choice for coastal plantings. And if you like making your own cut-flower arrangements, this one is an eye-catcher.

Day lilies are another great choice; the varieties and colors are endless. They offer early green foliage and some even produce extended blooms.

Ornamental grasses and Sedums provide that varying height and texture; so important to a perennial bed while meeting the criteria of minimal water requirements. As pointed out in past posts, Sedums are a perennial camel so we know that means drought-tolerant!

To wrap up the sizzler list, consider the Prairie mixes that can cover a massive area plus give you bountiful color in the garden. Prairie mixes contain flowers such as Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan), Echinacea purpurea, (Cone flower), Gaillardia aristata (Blanket Flower), Gypsophila elegans (Baby's Breath), Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) and Asters.  Although typical to wildflower plantings, any one or a combination of these still meet the requirements of the job: less water and stunning contrast.

When you plant any or all of these drought-resistant plant combinations, don’t be surprised by the enticing habitat that’s created in your garden. Butterflies, birds, bees…it’s all part of the wonderful planting experience! To summarize the garden rewards, the words of Liberty Hyde Bailey stated it best. “A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” Expend your efforts on these plant sizzlers and your garden rewards shall be many!

Image of wildflower/Daylily combinaton taken by Greg 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! We invite you to contact Bilowz Associates, Inc., or to browse our portfolios for inspiration. 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. You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.
 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Focal Point

Is the central focus of your indoor living area the kitchen? When it comes to creating a functional kitchen,  expansive and spacious is not always necessary.  Some of the most functional and intimate kitchens can be designed within a small amount of square footage. The same holds true for creating your outdoor kitchen/dining space as well. Even if outdoor acreage is dear, finding optimal functionality comes in choosing the right equipment, furniture and being creative with the available space. 

With this toasty mid-April heat wave upon us, now is a perfect time to mull over how you can create a seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces. As the Italian designer, Elsa Schiaparelli once stated, "Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale."


Image and design by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring’s Simplicity



Keeping our perspective simple can often be the most challenging task. We love to overcomplicate, overdo and on certain occasions, outdo. The ‘more is better’ principle creeps into our daily lives, eventually seeping into our physical spaces - our home and garden. Restraint and control, the ‘less is more’ philosophy can often bring a physical space to its highest level. Why clutter your outdoor space? Consider John Fogerty’s philosophy. “But I think beautiful is simple and elegant, like a ballad with simple harmony.” What do you find unfolding in spring’s simplicity? This weekend, discover what’s simple and elegant in spring and bring just enough of it into your garden space.

Image by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Thursday, April 12, 2012

If it’s Looking Vertical


John Dryden once said, “We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” So if the reason you don’t garden is limited space, well you can still find a balance of greenery in your tiny outdoor digs. Try growing vertical. There are plenty of veggies and fruits (cukes, beans, tomatoes, grapes) that naturally grow vertical. With so many plants that can be trained or espaliered against a sunny building or supported by a stable trellis system in a dynamite urn or pot, why limit your options to wide open garden spaces? You can create the habit of growing vertical in the tiniest of places.



Images by Greg Bilowz of grapes growing in our mini vineyard (a hobby run amuck)

P.S. Because we are running out of open area, this year’s grapes that just arrived will be planted against a sunny wall with limited space. Hoping it meets the zone 6 & 7 exposure for Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. This sunny wall offers one of our best chances for a mini-microclimate to grow these types of grapes. Think vertical when planting your next green space!

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Over the Horizon



Here’s a Dale Carnegie quote to set your self-improvement wheels in motion on this wordless Wednesday. “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” It may not be blooming roses yet but don’t miss out on the botanical magic taking shape in the spring gardens on this wordless Wednesday.

Image of the British Virgin Islands by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Are You Digging the Dirt?



The soil is perfect right now to be turned and worked for your vegetable gardens. With little to no moisture, you won’t be dealing with clumps and bumps.  Cool weather veggies like peas, lettuce, and spinach are in line to be planted. Seed potatoes should be getting in the dirt soon, too. Although some folks have different opinions on working the soil, if you aren’t digging in the dirt right now, you’re missing out on the experience!  

It’s worth repeating a few easy soil tips to get you digging the dirt:

  1. Test your soil for pH levels and nutrients.
  2. Turn the soil with care. One word of caution: don’t overwork with a Rototiller. Going gung ho with this handy piece of equipment can break down beneficial soil structure. Arm muscle and a four tine rigid pitch fork works best but with large areas, a Rototiller does the trick.
  3. Top-dress with compost, lime and fertilize per your soil tests.
  4. Rotate your crops whenever possible to limit pressure from disease and insect problems.
Follow these easy tips and you’ll have richer soil and awesome fresh veggies. As Mahandas K. Gandhi reminds us, “To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”

Image by Ann Bilowz – Border Collie Ben digging the dirt
(Just like him, this four tine pitch fork is missing a front tooth!)

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Daffy in Me



A favorite spring blossom – daffodils it is! What one, easy to grow flower symbolizes such cheeriness and sunshine in one tiny stem. If you’re daffy about Daffodils, just like me, here’s a simple floral arrangement for your desk, coffee table or anywhere you need a shot of spring! As L.A. Davidson pointed out, "Flower arrangement: just two yellow daffodils, the first to bloom." Add an extra blossom so it floats in your favorite glass or crystal bowl to make it three. It’s your arrangement; just make it sing spring!

A simple Daffodil floral arrangement and image by Ann Bilowz

P.S. My, the spring garden peepers have been very quiet. So unless you send along those questions or comments, the only peeps you hear are from me! Do you have garden questions or a topic you’d like to read about? The usual ways are listed below. Most important, remember to check in frequently.

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Friday, April 6, 2012

Interpreting Trends



Rachel Zoe sums up best what to do about seasonal trends. “When you look like you stepped out of a catalog, that's never good. People shouldn't succumb to trend, they should interpret trend.” That’s the beauty of plants; there is so much to interpret! And no worries about the Latin names; just find your perfect colors. What works for you in the small corner pockets of your home is all based on your interpretation. Here’s a pair that we have combined: Amethyst Sea Holly (Eryngium amethystinum), a phenomenal drought-tolerant perennial with this dynamite annual, Red-leafed Dracaena (Cordyline baurei Red Leaved Dracaena). This packs punch and texture all in one.

As we head into planting season, do you dare to bend beyond the classic colors and textures? If so, don’t expect for everything to look catalog beautiful and better yet, reach for your own garden interpretation. Most of all; enjoy the earth! Happy Easter or Passover everyone.

Planting Combination and Image by Greg Bilowz -Amethyst Sea Holly (Eryngium amethystinum) and Red-leafed Dracaena (Cordyline baurei Red Leaved Dracaena)

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. Also starting to dabble on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Visually Prepared



We experience so much in the world through our eyes. Our connection to imagery sets the stage for what we create in our own surroundings. “What we see, we become.” Hence, it may be the reason why Pinterest has taken off in its visual clipboard format. But let’s jump to the real subject at hand.


Are you visually prepared? Do you keep an illustrated journal of images; an invaluable collection of what truly draws you into a space? What do you envision in your own spaces? The tricky part of becoming visually prepared is embracing the art form of your images and then implementing a piece, a part or a whole vision into your surroundings.


Dan Rice described it best. “There are three forms of visual art: Painting is art to look at, sculpture is art you can walk around, and architecture is art you can walk through.” That’s the Thursday Brain Twizzler to think about today!


All images taken by Greg Bilowz
(Top Image by Greg Bilowz – Kniphofia)
(Second Image by Greg Bilowz – Chatsworth Gardens, UK)
(Third Image by Greg Bilowz – Castle Howard, UK)
(Fourth Image by Greg Bilowz – Harlow Carr Gardens, UK)

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. Also starting to dabble on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A True Wordless Wednesday



“Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Image taken by Greg Bilowz (Italy)

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. Also starting to dabble on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What’s Pinning Today?



Cruising around the garden, it’s hard to imagine there is another underused perennial in the typical spring plantings. Wanting that instantaneous splash of color has many of us overlooking some spectacular perennials to use. Hellebores, this fetching plant is worth another peek. Though mentioned in past posts, don’t overlook this perennial during your yearly nursery rounds. Add Hellebores to the top of the shopping list!

Skim this link http://www.hellebores.org/growing/propagating.html to get your growing tips because once you plant this exceptional perennial, which did take high honors as the 2005 ‘Perennial Plant of the Year’, you’ll just fall heads over Hellebores in love with it. Henry Ward Beecher once stated, “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” So what shall be the fairest blossom which springs from our gardens? The underused perennials, like Epimediums and Hellebores. Make your spring plantings unique and add those lesser known’s to the top of your nursery shopping list!

And if you’re wondering about today’s title, it was such fun to see the Pinterest in yesterday’s Epimedium shot. This whole pinning thing is new to me http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/  but here’s hoping that underused perennials get a better shake in the midst of the typical spring planting spread of Tulips and Daffodils. Although, don’t get me wrong. I still go daffy over spring bulbs in bloom, too!  

Image by Greg Bilowz of Helleborus foetidus in our spring garden

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. 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 P.S. Also starting to dabble on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tag – You’re it!



Here’s hoping you took a bit of this past weekend to catch up with some of those outdoor chores. Sore muscles and blisters may be an obvious sign for folks who picked up the garden tools and dug into spring clean-up. If you took that plunge, you may have discovered many of your perennials coming to life. Makes sense to unearth a couple of Monday morning archive posts.Why? Because Epimediums are one of our favorite trouble-free perennials but still underused; probably because it’s not over-the-top splashy or often suggested to the novice gardener. 

Our Epimedium collection came from Darrell Probst. His former wife, Karen, now the owner, has moved the gardens to Templeton, MA. As of last spring, she still had the usual ‘once a year’ open garden and nursery sale but the mainstay of this Epimedium business is through mail order.

If you’re wondering what the title means, ‘Tag – You’re it!’ your questions, your feedback, your comments are always welcome. Otherwise, you only get what I celebrate and today, it’s Epimediums.

To wrap up this Monday blog post, this Sydney Smith quote sums up what might keep the best things in life humming slowly but surely. “Do not try to push your way through to the front ranks of your profession; do not run after distinctions and rewards; but do your utmost to find an entry into the world of beauty.” Hope you find the beauty in Epimediums.

Here’s the Garden Vision Epimediums Nursery Info:

Karen Perkins
GARDEN VISION EPIMEDIUMS
P.O. Box 50 Templeton, MA 01468-0050
Phone/Fax: 978-249-3863 Email: epimediums@earthlink.net

Image by Greg Bilowz of one of the many Epimediums in our garden from the Darrell Probst Collection 

If you like this blog, 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.  And you can also find us back on our Google+ Business Page. (Landscape architects/Landscape Design/serving Massachusetts and New England.)

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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.)