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, December 31, 2012

Wishes and Gratitude

 

Edith Lovejoy Pierce’s words seemed fitting for today. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

 
Just a ‘Thank You’ for all who visit here and hope you stay tuned in 2013. A little known tidbit: this blog started as my New Year’s resolution to write and inspire rather than be a naysayer that the horticultural and design world was going away. With wishes and gratitude as we ring in a New Year; that you always find time to sow a seed, plant a garden, or appreciate one during your daily journey. Have a safe and Happy New Year. With wishes and gratitude, hope you join me next year.

P.S. According to recent data collected in a national survey from the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF), ‘consumer interest in gardening blogs has remained relatively constant at 13% in 2010, 8% in 2011 and 12% in 2012.’ My New Year’s resolution is to keep you coming back for more garden inspiration in 2013.

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 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, December 28, 2012

A Secret Holiday Recipe

 
 
Suzanne Collins points out, “Some secrets are too delicious not to share.” And although every family has its secrets, here’s the crescent roll holiday recipe I promised to share. This is a family recipe that traveled from Poland with Greg’s great aunt and grandparents. These crescent rolls were made each Christmas and it continues to this day. To simplify it as best I could, it’s broken down into its four-step process. Yes, the length and involvement may scare some off but the delectable flavor and sweetness is one you don’t want to miss.

THE DOUGH:
½ lb. butter (2 sticks)
3 cups of all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
½ cup of light or heavy cream
1 tsp. of vanilla extract 

Mix flour and chunk the butter into the flour (like making a pie crust) and set aside. Warm the cream to lukewarm and dissolve the yeast. Set aside to proof (approximately 10 minutes). Mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add proofed yeast. Mix the flour and butter with the other mixed ingredients to make your dough. Knead the dough until satiny smooth; similar to bread dough. Do not over-knead your dough. Approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Cut your dough evenly into 4 to 8 pieces and roll into a ball. Typically we use 4 balls of dough if you like a bigger crescent roll. Cover it lightly with flour and loosely cover with Saran wrap. Set aside.

THE FILLING:

1 cup of dried apricots
Sugar to taste

Wash apricots. Add apricots with approximately ¼ to ½ cup of water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Stir so the apricots do not stick. If the mixture starts to dry out, periodically add a small amount of water while simmering until the apricots soften and break down. You can use a potato masher to break them up. We like to leave the mixture on the chunky side. To balance the flavor of the finished pastry, we do not sweeten the filling too much. The filling should be a tad tart. Let the filling chill. This can be done one day in advance.

THE BAKING PROCESS:

Roll out each ball of dough to approximately a 12 inch circle. Cut each circle into 8 even wedges *similar to cutting a pizza. Add one teaspoon of apricot filling on the wide end. Roll into a crescent roll and pinch the ends to contain the filling. Place on a baking sheet and let stand for twenty minutes to rise. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for twenty to twenty five minutes or until golden brown. Do not overbake - place on wire rack to cool.

THE FROSTING:

Any butter cream frosting can be used (except no ‘out of the can’ frostings) for a crescent roll made from scratch. Here’s a basic one or you can use your favorite butter cream frosting recipe. Maybe try a little cream cheese – how sweet is that on an apricot crescent roll.

1 cup of confectioner sugar
1 stick of butter
1 tablespoon of cream
1 tablespoon of vanilla to taste

For the holidays, you can use food coloring to enhance the frosting or a splash of colored sprinkles. It’s a bit tedious to frost the rolls but worth the effort. That’s the delicious secret for all to try - I cannot believe 2012 is almost over. Happy New Year and good wishes in 2013.

Image of crescent rolls by Ann Bilowz
You may notice this was the image from the Christmas Eve Day blog. Most of the crescent rolls are now gone. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/12/merry-christmas-to-all.html

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 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, December 27, 2012

Time is Ticking

 

This beautiful calendar from the American Forests’ 2013 National Register of Big Trees arrived last week in the mail. What perfect timing to talk about these beautiful living things. With today’s heavy snows, high winds and freezing rain, this type of winter weather can cause extensive damage to much of our woody plant materials, specifically trees. This is the time for obvious pruning; to remove the dead or weakened limbs and attend to any apparent structural issues. This is not the season for major pruning. The best time for that type of pruning is typically performed in late winter to early spring.

So make a New Year’s resolution for this coming January. Tend to what is weak or broken ASAP. It’s not only for aesthetical purposes but for safety and health. Ring in this New Year with less hazard and healthier trees. Need some tips about major pruning and when you might bring in the pros? Check out this past post http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/03/to-prune-or-not-to-prune.html to pencil in a late winter check-up on your 2013 calendar.

As Michael Ende once said, “Calendars and clocks exist to measure time, but that signifies little because we all know that an hour can seem as eternity or pass in a flash, according to how we spend it.” 

On that note, drive safely to your destination today and tune in for tomorrow’s post. By request, my Friday blog shall be claimed for recipe day. The traditional crescent rolls we make at Christmas time to be divulged tomorrow.

Image of the month of January American Forests’ 2013 National Register of Big Trees Calendar by Ann Bilowz compliments of Davey Tree - http://www.davey.com/

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 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, December 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday it is…

 

William Arthur Ward once said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

And if you missed the Christmas Day image on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/abilowz here’s another look.


This first-time tradition is one we shall keep each coming year. Happy Holidays to everyone. 

Images of our Border collie models 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 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, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

 

Yes, it’s the holiday season and this week’s messages shall be quick; none about plantings or design to be sure. While these traditional homemade crescent rolls (started last evening) receive the final frosting, it reminds me that traditions are vital to this holiday season. As Caroline Kennedy once said, “It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.” 

Start one tradition this Christmas Eve and participate in lighting a candle at 5:00 PM tonight. Check out our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/abilowz for details under the Merry Christmas candle light picture.


Not all Christmases may feel bright, especially for the families in Newtown, CT or anyone who has lost a loved one during this holiday season. So if you are blessed this Christmas Eve, be that candle light for someone else’s world. Say a prayer, light a candle and send your blessings of peacefulness to make this world a better place.  Start one tradition this Christmas Eve and light a candle at 5:00 PM tonight.

A Merry Christmas to all on this silent night. Be a symbol of true light.  

Image of homemade crescent rolls by Ann Bilowz
Image of a Merry Christmas Candle from the Internet

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 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, December 21, 2012

Let the Slumber Party Begin

 

If you weren’t paying attention, winter began at 6:12 AM. So here we go, into the sleepy days of our gardens that shall not awaken closer to spring. But where oh where might one find winter interest as the slumber party begins? Consider planting Ilex opaca commonly known as American Holly. You can dabble with Ilex verticillata, Winterberry holly if you have moist organic soil. If you need another colorful choice for the winter landscape, plant one of the red-twig colored Dogwood varieties like ‘Winterflame’, ‘Bailey’ or ‘Cardinal’. But if you are itching to see an early bloom, plant a variety of Witchazel, for instance Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'. With so few days left until Christmas, there may be little time to think about our garden. As this unknown author reminds us, “I'm not a morning person, but on December 25th, it's a totally different story.”

Image of Cokie ready to slumber 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 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, December 20, 2012

My Favorite Card


 
Gone are the days of stamped envelopes that land in your mailbox around or on Christmas day. It seems that the new trend for sending holiday wishes is all being done electronically. Call me out of date but I still love holiday cards; ones that I can tear open the envelope and discover its contents. It’s feeling the paper’s texture in my hands. It’s seeing its colorful scene before my eyes. It’s flipping the card open to read the message inside. I’m picking a favorite that arrived yesterday via the USPS way. It’s from an elementary school in Leominster, MA that has this season all figured out.  St. Anna’s, hands down, you sent my favorite holiday card.

To wrap up this thought, Anatole Broyard, the American writer, literary critic and editor for the New York Times once said, before electronic holiday cards were inundating our inbox, “In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people's lives.”

Image of the St. Anna School Christmas card 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 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, December 19, 2012

Wednesday’s Image

 

Charlotte Carpenter reminds us “if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree.” Today’s image hopefully tells the story without too many words. It looks a bit like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Simply put – if you have Christmas in your heart, you can find it almost anywhere. 

Image of a scraggly Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the woods 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 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, December 18, 2012

A Different Kind of Light

 

When we see the tiny Crocus blossom, often beneath the snow, it brightens what can be an otherwise dreary day. It’s a sense of knowing that spring is coming soon. During this month of December and time of giving, let’s lighten up a room with a different kind of bulb. It’s a simple gift yet one of promise - infuse your world with bulbs. Plant a bulb in a small pot and wrap it with a bow. Come the thaw, past the winter freeze, Sophocles’ words will come true. “Gratitude to gratitude always gives birth.”  

So rather than light a candle or send a flare in the air, give 26 bulbs away in memory of those precious lives lost in Newtown. It’s a simple gift yet one of promise – it’s a different kind of light. “Gratitude to gratitude always gives birth.”  

Image of a Saffron Crocus by Greg Bilowz 
(Although this particular bulb flowers in fall, it is one of my favorite bulb photos taken by Greg. )

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 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, December 17, 2012

Frozen in Time

 

Early this morning, the ice coats my outside world, reminding me how everything feels frozen in time; its beauty and numbness all in one. And on this seventh day before Christmas, all I can do is pray. If words could heal, I would send millions of connected thoughts into the universe today. Yet it is seven short days before Christmas and all I can do is pray.

Mary Oliver, a New England poet defines prayer in its simplest form, even for those who don’t believe. Pray a prayer for the community of Newtown, CT, which includes my nephew and his family who feel that their lives have been frozen in time. May you feel these millions of connected thoughts in the universe today, may you feel the world’s healing prayers.


Praying

It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~

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 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, December 14, 2012

Still In the Garden

 

One quick garden tip to share on this frosty Friday – ornamental grasses are easy to maintain and worth planting for accent and year-round interest. In the case of Ben, it’s a good spot to hide. Keep ornamental grasses in mind when putting your spring planting list together.

And just to follow up with yesterday’s giveaway of the colorful children’s book, Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers. The contest is complete and the winner is in. As Frank A. Clark once said, “It's hard to detect good luck - it looks so much like something you've earned.” So check out today’s winner on our Facebook page. It was a toss-up. If you entered, the winner will be announced at noon.

Have a great Friday. And if holiday shopping is still on your list to do, post your favorite stocking stuffer for the garden lover. Books are always wonderful for wintertime reading. And consider planting ornamental grasses. You’ll be sure to have outdoor winter interest in your garden, too. Here’s a Better Homes and Gardens list of the top 17 for you to peruse. http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/perennials/ornamental-grasses/

Have a great Friday and get ready for winter! It’s just one week away.
Image of Ben behind the ornamental grass 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 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, December 13, 2012

Thursday’s Giveaway

 

It is giveaway Thursday including a brief book review, too of Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers, a colorful children’s book that commemorates the 100th birthday of Miss Lady Bird Johnson this December 22nd. So while the giveaway book may not reach you by the holidays, it is still worth taking a chance. 

Now, first a few ground rules. You must have a US address to enter and win. So darn it all for any of my UK friends. The other contest rule: on our Facebook page today http://www.facebook.com/abilowz name your favorite wildflower and why. A selective group of judges shall pick the winner. That’s it; fairly simple and when the winner is announced tomorrow, a complimentary book will be shipped to your address from Blue Slip Media. 

But back to the important stuff – what’s in the book. From an adult who loved reading since I was a child, what is most appealing is its colorful art work woven with history of Lady Bird Johnson’s life. All is certain to keep little eyes and minds attentive on learning about this influential first lady and the many reasons why wildflowers were so important to her. For teachers, there are activity books available as a free download on the author, Kathi Appelt's website and the illustrator, Joy Fisher Hein's site.

So don’t miss the Thursday giveaway. This book is age appropriate for the 2nd to 4th grader. And if you missed any chatter from the previous blogs about this book, the links are posted below.

http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/11/a-preview-of-whats-to-come.html
http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/12/last-minute-stocking-stuffers.html

Time to get involved in the Thursday giveaway – name your favorite wildflower and why! As Lady Bird Johnson said in 2002, “My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder of the flowering earth. I wanted future generations to be able to savor what I had all my life.”

Image taken of a colorful page in Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers book 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 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, December 12, 2012

The Unwrapped Gift

 

As we rush through this holiday season, hustling and bustling and hyperventilating to boot. Don’t ignore the unwrapped gift; the one we often overlook or take for granted on these chilly December days. Even if for a split second, look around you. Can you see it? It surrounds you. It’s the earth - this incredibly amazing unwrapped gift. As Wendell Berry reminds us, “The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”

Here’s hoping when you visit here that this mish-mash of daily garden/design thoughts make sense or at least jostle your curiosity. My only intention every day is to inspire you or someone new to garden, plant a seed or simply enjoy a walk in this incredibly amazing unwrapped gift.

Image of the unwrapped gift 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 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, December 11, 2012

Tuesday’s Thoughts

 

Today’s thought is brief and yes, it’s another cold-weather exercise for the mind. Keeping those batteries charged is a good thing to do when we spend less time outside. Tuesday’s thoughts center on architecture we drive by all the time. Hit your pause button, stop and view what buildings are around you. See them for more than bricks and mortar. Look at the design as this always reflects what was popular and creative during that time. And if it is still standing, it’s a testament to being solidly built and well-designed. 

So keep your eyes open to the different structures erected in the cities and towns you may travel through today. Be observant to timeless buildings as you buzz around on autopilot. What strikes you as being frozen in time? Johann Wolfgang von Goethe called ‘architecture frozen music.’ When you start to notice this frozen music, it’s an automatic reflex. You begin to view your entire surroundings; you pay attention to what’s happening outside.



Top Image of our holiday card by Ann Bilowz
Bottom Image of the monastic ruins at Whitby Bay, UK 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 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, December 10, 2012

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

 

The children’s book, Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers finally arrived this past Saturday. But with the holiday rush and lots of catch up to do, the review of this colorful children’s book is coming sometime this week soon. Today’s image is a quick peek at one of the illustrations, so beautifully done by the artist and illustrator, Joy Fisher Hein. 

If you happened to catch the post a few weeks back, http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/11/a-preview-of-whats-to-come.html you may remember the 100th birthday of Lady Bird is coming up soon. Her love of wildflowers and her legacy is one to celebrate and to carry on. That's where this book comes in, capturing Lady Bird's story for children to learn, too.

So perhaps you’re still scouting for an extra special Christmas gift for a teacher or a child. The thought of a hardcover book with color and text should not become a memory of Christmas pasts. As the opening line of Kathi Appelt's book reminds us, “Wildflowers,” she says, “are the stuff of my heart.” Speaking of stuff. Still looking for the perfect stocking stuffer? This book sounds like a great gift to me. Look for the giveaway and full book review later this week.

And as Dr. Seuss reminds us, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Image of a page in Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers book - taken 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 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, December 7, 2012

Inside a Pine Cone

 
 Inside a Pine Cone - Image by Ann Bilowz
 
Have you ever wondered what a pine cone really is? It’s not a seed and it’s not a fruit. Think of a pine cone as its own architecture. “A cluster of highly modified woody scales tightly packed together to protect the developing conifer seeds inside.” Sounds a bit like shelter and what architecture is meant to do. As Philip Johnson, the American architect reminds us, “All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” Or in the case of a pine cone, its seeds.

That’s why this whole outdoor/nature/garden thing is so cool to explore at any age. So much of what we discover on the outside relates to what we try to achieve on the inside. It’s why architecture and landscape architecture tightly woven together work best when this concept is understood and put into place. So when you pull out those pine cones to glitter and decorate for the holidays it’s more than a pine cone. It’s architecture in its simplest form. But don’t forget the outside space where the seed finds its home and eventually becomes the next tree.

P.S. The definition of a pine cone is from the UCC Biology department. And in case you missed yesterday’s post about pine cones, here’s the link - http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/12/all-that-glitters.html

Image of a pine cone in nature 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 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, December 6, 2012

All that Glitters

 
Anne Frank firmly believed that nature brought solace in all troubles. In this season of fading light, how important it is to take a minute, pause and rediscover what is still outside. If you look around you, there are trees and sunlight. Just bundle up. Find some pine cones to decorate with glitter or just leave them as they are…perfect signs of nature in our lives.   
 



P.S. Share your favorite pine cone decorating ideas. There's always Martha Stewart to get your creative juices in gear. http://www.marthastewart.com/274350/pinecone-crafts/@center/307034/christmas-workshop  

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 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, December 5, 2012

Wednesday’s Image

 

Our gardens are in that freeze/thaw moment. We are counting the days to the official start of winter. Today's image serves as a reminder that our gardens are transitioning into full dormancy. Michael Pollan sums it up best. “The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.” There’s no fighting it. Winter is coming so make a compromise with nature. Rediscover the charms of the garden in these freeze/thaw moments and as nature tells us, it is time for the garden to sleep.  

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, December 4, 2012

Miracle Gro

 

It’s that extra juice made famous by the Scotts Company. We give it to our plants, soil and lawn waiting and hoping for miracles to grow. So a quick reminder: if you did bring your indoor plants outside during the warm weather months or you are trying to nurture herbs like Rosemary and Basil indoors this wintertime, a shot of extra fertilizer is helpful right about now. Extra care for your plants though is an ongoing treatment, not a one-shot deal, which segues right into the plant/life message of the day.

As Hugh Elliot pointed out, “Miracles: You do not have to look for them. They are there, 24-7, beaming like radio waves all around you. Put up the antenna, turn up the volume - snap... crackle... this just in, every person you talk to is a chance to change the world.” So as I wait for a simple miracle that someday soon our new gas boiler system might do what it is supposed to do – give us hot water, a shower, and oh yeah, that thing called heat. But then life often gives us back-up plans including friends and family that take the edge off these situations. And it makes you realize how it’s the simple things we take for granted every day. So if you are experiencing a set-back, look around and check out this season of miracles. As Fannie Flagg once said, “Don't give up before the miracle happens.”

Image taken by Ann Bilowz of a bay leaf wreath (a wonderful Christmas present received yesterday.)
Thank you for such sweet neighbors and loyal blog followers, too.

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, December 3, 2012

The Season of Waiting

 

What better time to take out those cameras and capture the magical moments of the season. As the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell reminds us, “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” So in this season of waiting, find what is most beautiful in this magical time of the year.


Images of all that is magical on this December 3rd morning by Ann Bilowz

P.S. I had a bunch of other images that I captured this morning but I loved these two images best.  It reminds me that when things seem unclear, broken, or pending, it's important to be patient. Things have a way of being what they will and coming together as one.The most important lesson in this magical season of waiting.

 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.)