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, August 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye to August




Orson Welles once said, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” That’s why, if you truly love to garden, at the close of any month or season, our garden story never ends. It only stops if we do.

So as we wrap up the August garden section, there is always another chapter in our labor of love. See you in September. It’s a whole new episode to look forward to…Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.

Image of a fading Sunflower 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, August 30, 2012

Bug-Free



Some friends recently decided to opt for a litter of guinea hens. Although the endeavor sounds like a bit of work, the diet of a guinea hen intrigues me. These hens eat all kinds of bugs we garden lovers loathe – Japanese beetles, ticks, snakes, rodents, those flying mosquitoes that hover around in the daytime. You do have to build a coop to protect them from the nightly creatures i.e., coyotes and fox. But another upside to the guinea hens – these critters supplement as a good watch dog by causing a racket when an intruder appears and the hatched eggs are loaded with protein.
So is anyone else game for setting up a tribe of guinea hens? Virginia Hutchinson reminds us, “An open mind, like an open window, should be screened to keep the bugs out.” As we head into a long weekend of labor, keep an open mind on simple ways to keep the bugs at bay.
Wouldn’t it be so nice to see the leaves and the Roses bug-free?

Image of Roses (In its second bloom) 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, August 29, 2012

Red Hot Summer Blooms




When our summer perennials offer a second bloom, it’s a big lift, especially at this time of the year. Today’s wordless Wednesday image is one of my favorites – Kniphofia. Its common name, Red Hot Poker provides a second bloom in the late summer garden. This perennial was newly planted this past planting season and cut back after its first bloom. As Arnold H. Glasgow reminds us, “Make your life a mission - not an intermission.” Enjoy the second blooms. P.S. You can check the archives for past postings on this perennial. Just type in Kniphofia under the search button. Have a great Wednesday.

Image of Kniphofia in its second bloom 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/

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fall Coming Too Soon





With the apples ripening ahead of schedule and the Farmer’s Almanac predicting a white winter ahead, (let’s see if it’s true) best enjoy the last remnants of summer blooms. Where are they? It takes a lot of digging. It’s typical at this juncture of summer, less the tried and true annuals and a few re-blooming perennials, the flower garden shows its early signs of fatigue. Use this week as a breather before you tackle the list of pre-fall garden chores; enjoy the subtle changes of a new season waking up. As Jim Rohn pointed out, “Some people plant in the spring and leave in the summer. If you're signed up for a season, see it through. You don't have to stay forever, but at least stay until you see it through.”

Image 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/

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Bloom Wrap-up



Dodie Smith reminds us how much we shall miss longer summer days and heat waves with her question “Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist sad?” Are you a hopeless romantic, in love with the lazy days and mist of summer? We are but a few weeks away before we skid into the fall garden season so let’s keep it light as we roll into Labor Day weekend. This week’s blog segment: ‘A what’s still in bloom’ summer wrap-up.

Post your favorite end of summer blooms! We just love the look of grapes ripening in our tiny vineyard.

Image of grapes 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, August 24, 2012

The Garden Sage




After yesterday’s post, http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/08/whats-in-your-dinner-bowl.html a loyal follower and client sent some interesting tidbits inspired by the tomatoes, lentil and pasta recipe. This is a must try if you like lentils.

“Since lentils are a seed, they contain phytic acid, which has been proven to inhibit proper digestion/ assimilation of micronutrients, and it is those critical micronutrients that our bodies need. The solution? Sprout them. Soaking legumes, then letting them sprout a tiny root not only neutralizes the phytic acid, it actually awakens and activates the enzymes in the lentils that are crucial for optimal digestion/assimilation, making them all that much more nutritious. So I'll sprinkle them liberally on top of that bowl of tomatoes, giving me some delicious extra crunch along with that big nutritional wallop.”

Thanks, Carol for sending this information along. And if you’re wondering about today’s image, Russian sage is a dynamite plant. Plus it seemed to fit perfect with the topic. There are so many garden sages with something to share and it is always a welcoming thought that many of you come and visit here.

As Lao Tzu reminds us, “The career of a sage is of two kinds: He is either honored by all in the world, Like a flower waving its head, Or else he disappears into the silent forest.”

I appreciate the flowers that wave…

Image of Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian sage 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/

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What’s in Your Dinner Bowl?



There’s nothing better than freshness straight from the summer garden. Tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt and pepper with some finely chopped basil is a meal in itself. There are so many creative recipes using your garden produce. What’s in your dinner bowl from this summer’s garden?

Need some ideas? Here’s an easy tomato sauce with cooked lentils. Hint: prepare a cup of dry lentils the prior evening (cooked with fresh basil and garlic from the garden) and cooled in the fridge overnight.  This means less prep time for this dish because cooking lentils al dente requires a watchful eye. The other items needed: Penne pasta, Romano cheese, and San Marzano tomatoes.  

Take four to five ripe tomatoes, sauté in olive oil until the tomatoes are reduced to a paste. Peel off any skins and discard. Add in ½ cup of cooked lentils and simmer until the sauce thickens. Stir in a ½ cup of the pasta water, toss in your cooked Penne and the grated Romano cheese (1/2 to 1 cup) and you have a tasty evening meal. That’s it in a dinner bowl unless you want to enhance it a bit with your own creativity.

As Federico Fellini used to say, “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” Plus fresh ingredients from the garden; it’s the finishing touch!

Image of a simple tomato salad 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, August 22, 2012

A Hint of Autumn



Today’s wordless Wednesday image hints at the season that nature soon will reveal to us. Twinkling in this morning’s sun, this late season summer bloom, Eupatorium purpureum, commonly known as joe-pye weed is also a member of the Aster family. We all know that the soon to bloom Asters are a sure sign of fall. William Wordsworth’s quote best accompanies this image. “Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.” In the meantime, hope you are inspired about garden and design when you make a stop here. Nature is always our best teacher.

Image of Eupatorium purpureum (joe-pye weed) 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/

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unpredictable Beauty



It’s a Tuesday intermission with a photo and a quote. Call it Wordless Wednesday a little early. Enjoy!

As Mark Oliver Everett reminds us in Things the Grandchildren Should Know, “Life is so full of unpredictable beauty and strange surprises. Sometimes that beauty is too much for me to handle. Do you know that feeling? When something is just too beautiful? When someone says something or writes something or plays something that moves you to the point of tears, maybe even changes you.”  

Post your unpredictable beauty or surprise from the garden today.

Image 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/

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Lawn’s Blueprint


As we near the end of August, most of us are squeezing every bit of summer out of the next few weeks. Soaking up the last tidbits of summer juice, most of us subconsciously start to feel the effects of less daylight. But like most things in life, there’s an upside to everything, including those shorter days.

This is a friendly reminder for all the green grass lovers out there. The beginning of September to the middle of October is the ideal time to seed a lawn. Cool, moist growing conditions and reduced warm season weed competition make fall a perfect time to revitalize your lawn area. If you hit the timing right, it is amazing how fast a newly seeded lawn can take off with minimal effort.

A few things to remember as you charge ahead. Use a starter fertilizer. Don’t forget the pelletized lime; an often overlooked but necessary item. Most important – use the best quality seed-mix. We strongly recommend the latest, improved varieties of tall fescues and rye grass with little to no bluegrass. Fescues and ryes require a third less fertilizer and water than most bluegrasses. Remember, your largest water and fertilizer consumption is your lawn. Being conscious of what you plant and when you plant it can be one your best green steps forward.

This is also a perfect time to reseed some of those cooler weather veggies. Lettuce is an easy one so no excuses. Put some fresh greens in the salad bowl, too! As the motivational author, Robert Collier once said, “Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.”


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, August 17, 2012

Stocking the Pantry



The pantry seems to be one of those rooms missing from today’s modern kitchen although design rumor has it; pantries are making a comeback. Why? Because stocking the shelves with your own canning efforts is a mega benefit of the vegetable garden. Besides, there's something very homey about a pantry separate from the cooking area. Walking into a bountiful pantry is the equivalent of discovering the kitchen’s treasure chest. This is where all the good stuff making dishes taste wonderful is hidden. My grandmother’s pantry was always stocked full of ingredients for whipping up something delectable. Being the foodie that I am, it was my favorite room at my grandparent's house!

So how can you create your own kitchen treasure chest? With the tomato harvest busting at the seams, let the canning efforts begin this weekend. The deluge of tomatoes adorning our workbench, stockpiled and ready to be reduced for winter use is a must do before the opportunity is lost. Canning can be a bit more tedious than freezing but offers freshness worthy of that extra effort.

Don’t have an excess of fresh-grown tomatoes? You can usually find a farm stand where seconds are going for short money; this makes the perfect canning tomato. No excuses not to have fresh in your pantry. Seeing the tomatoes in the crystal clear jars are much more appealing than a labeled can that’s been sitting on the store shelves. Having decorative and fresh all in one place - what more could you want?

As the Swiss architect, Le Corbusier once said, “The home should be the treasure chest of living.” And the stocked pantry, well, if you love to cook, that’s the kitchen’s treasure chest.

Image of a variety of tomatoes from our garden by Ann Bilowz
P.S. San Marzano pictured in the left forefront are the best for sauce!

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, August 16, 2012

Layers Within The Garden



Like an onion, there can be several layers to a landscape. Keeping those layers within a manageable realm, especially if you love to grow things can make experimenting in your landscape very difficult. We know that plants are living things, which means whether it’s a vegetable garden or a perennial border, lots more maintenance and attention is required.

To better manage your landscape, creating a balanced composition of hardscape to softscape can keep this in check but the trick is creating a certain flow. That’s design magic plus understanding what you really want, including how you use your exterior space.

As you know, we love experimenting. Our research garden has a little bit of everything! A favorite archived post reminds me just how much we live and love this daily garden experiment. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/05/garden-as-our-lab.html But remember, this is our business so we have the latitude to overreach and determine what works best in the real world.

Want the ideal way to create balance and harmony within your landscape? Add layers you know you can manage. Entertaining what is beyond your maintenance capacity spells disaster, unless, of course you don’t mind a bit of the mad scientist stuff happening in your landscape. Sometimes that means a messy lab with loads of great ideas bursting at the seams. As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Otherwise, add layers you know you can manage.

Image of onions drying from 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, August 15, 2012

Fresh from the Cabbage Patch



To honor Julia Child’s 100th birthday, a simple quote from Julia to accompany today’s wordless Wednesday image. "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces -- just good food from fresh ingredients."  Cabbage is one of those good foods!

P.S. It’s important to pick your veggies before the heavy rains or you’ll end up with split produce. A perfect head of cabbage picked before the morning’s torrential downpours.

Image 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/

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beyond the Summertime Weeds



Who thought cauliflower could be this beautiful? There’s something about these splashes of color that remind me of fall; heads of edible veggies the shades of vibrant Mums to be planted soon.


And then I see one of my favorite Hydrangeas, a variety called H. paniculata ‘Unique’ slowly transition from its brilliant white blossoms to a faded pink to mauve tone. Part of its beauty is watching the transformation.


So as we hit the midst of August, think colorful thoughts and gather ideas for your fall plantings. If you want a vibrant garden, you must always be one step ahead of it.

In the meantime, absorb all the summer beauty. I can still find these moments beyond the weeds! As Lauren Oliver reminds us, “So many things become beautiful when you really look.”

P.S.  Now is a good time to give your perennials a boost of mid-season fert in its dirt!

Images of cauliflower at the Jean Talon Market by Greg Bilowz
Image of H. paniculata ‘Unique’ 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/


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Time Flower




Also known as moss rose, Portulaca grandiflora is one of my favorite annuals. What is your preferred annual for container or border plantings? Is it still performing? It’s the number one reason I love this annual! Without much assistance, Portulaca holds it form and color without a lot of hard work. So if you’re keeping notes on what to add for next year’s annuals, don’t leave off the Portulaca. As the British novelist, Iris Murdoch pointed out, “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”

Image of Portulaca grandiflora 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, August 10, 2012

August Garden Moments



John Wooden once said, “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” And while I promise to be back with a bit more substance to the daily posts, it’s a perfect time to send your questions or comments. I received a great email from a follower just the other day about garlic scapes and loads of links. Hearing what takes place in your own gardens is always a pleasant surprise throughout the course of a busy day. And by the way, don’t forget garlic is a late Fall planting. And if you need more information, check the Annie’s Gardening Corner archives. Look for the search button in the left hand menu bar as there’s quite a variety pack of info in there, too.

So besides the Daylily workhorses (an obvious Annie favorite) that keep churning out dazzling daily blossoms even in this drought and heat, we can’t forget our produce as one of the garden stars in the team. Don’t you just love snacking on a sweet bite-size tomato while you do a daily garden check?


I promise to get back to a better routine with the blog postings. But for today, remember John Wooden’s words. “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” Hope to hear from you. And have a great weekend in the garden.
 
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/

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Thursday Moment in the Garden



The Daylilies can be one of the workhorses in the perennial garden. All shapes, colors and sizes and one of my favorite summer blossoms. The daily posts will get back up and running shortly … promise. In the meantime, enjoy the Thursday moment in the garden.

And as this Indian Proverb reminds us, “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”

Image 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, August 8, 2012

Wordless until...




P.S. The postings may be wordless for a bit. Enjoy...

Image 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/

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.)