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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thought for Thursday




The combination of art and science is what makes the landscape such an amazing and curious thing. Just look at this last day of January with wild winds and soggy land, presently mild temperatures and then cold weather back in soon. This is just a simple thought for Thursday with a stunning image of a Chinese witch hazel in bloom. Yes, it's from the photo archives as the skies today are not this blue. 

This Richard Feynman quote sums up this thought for Thursday best. “An artist friend holds up a flower and says, 'Look how beautiful it is,' and I agree. Then he says, 'I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist will take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing'... Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is... I see much more about the flower than he sees... beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes... It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.”

This upright shrub is underrated and scientifically interesting. But don’t miss the fragrant flowers that shall pop up soon.  And may we never lose the combination of art and science that makes our landscape such an amazing and curious thing.

Image by Greg Bilowz - Hamamelis mollis (Chinese witch hazel) in bloom

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, January 30, 2013

Still Life




Not much happening in the winter garden but if you look real close you can uncover some interesting things. I’ll just call today’s images ‘Still Life’. Let us count the days until spring.

 


And for today’s quote, it was a toss-up so I went with this one.



If you know the author, please do share. Until then I shall credit it to an unknown/anonymous author with great insight. Call it ‘Still Life’ because everything happens for a reason, including these winter days.  

Photos from today’s winter garden by Ann Bilowz
Quote image from Pinterest 

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, January 29, 2013

The Latest Kitchen Discovery




Grimod De La Reyni√®re gave his observation of one of my favorite rooms in the house. “The kitchen is a country in which there are always discoveries to be made.” And while trying to find a good use for expired orange juice, I discovered this Moroccan mess, which packs quite a punch with the old taste buds. If you like heat and messy finger foods, check out this recipe link. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-messy-moroccan-chicken-118799 

Although we were lacking a couple of ingredients, we substituted a combination of chutney and mango pepper jelly for the pureed and strained mango. Rather than use chicken wings, we opted for legs, which we think are a better choice. Besides being about a $1.00 per pound less, drum sticks are more meaty and flavorful in its own right.  

The cinnamon and cayenne pepper - for us, an unexpected match made in kitchen heaven. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. But we are hooked on this Moroccan mess. Sure glad we discovered this country in our kitchen.

Image of two leftover Messy Moroccan Chicken Legs 
P.S. What’s for lunch? Make sure you keep some extra sauce for dipping.

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, January 28, 2013

Monday’s Snow Clouds




Henry David Thoreau once said, “It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.” Oh, yes, and by the way, we're still in the midst of January about as far away from paradise as one can get.  Headed right for some nasty weather this afternoon, so why not take a slice of paradise from afar?

Looking for an exquisite gift for someone? Or were you always a National Geographic lover? Its photographs, the stories, or the faraway places discovered within its glossy pages? You must check out this new book by Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes, ‘Birds of Paradise, Revealing the World’s Most Extraordinary Birds.” I shall say no more. The front cover is only a smidgen of what you will see and learn about inside these stunning pages of photography and text. This is a keeper of a book to cozy up with by the fireplace and discover ‘the clearer atmosphere, and think that you are in paradise.’ 

For more information on purchasing the book, http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/books/new-books/birds-of-paradise you can also visit the authors’ websites at http://www.birdsofparadiseproject.org/ or http://timlaman.com/ to follow this intriguing story on ‘Birds of Paradise’.

Picture of the front cover of ‘Birds of Paradise’ - Cover photo by Tim Laman - Check out the webpages. My image of this cover does no justice to what's inside this incredible book.

 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, January 25, 2013

Fuel Efficient




Fooled you if you thought this post would be about something green. Well, it is if you stretch the imagination, which is always a good thing to be doing in these winter months. It’s just a simple thought today with a Mia Hamm quote. She sums it up best. “I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.”

Okay, where’s the catch? Well, compare what our landscape does during the wintertime; this very simple but scientific thing called dormancy. And when the match is lit, it’s a wonderful moment. It’s the scent of the Cherry blossom, the first daffodil popping. It’s that magical season called spring. So remember to keep your fire building. Train, plan and store your fuel for this very important season but never underestimate the beauty of winter. It’s that time to refuel and at the right time…blossoms, scents, soft dirt to run your fingers through. Set the alarm to light your match for Wednesday, March 20th, 2013!

P.S. Dave, my official counter keeps me up to date on such things. Thanks, Dave for your loyalty to keeping the count and reading this post on a regular basis.

Image of Spring Daffodils 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/

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Muse in Thought



Whether you patiently wait for this artic cold to break or more snowflakes to fall, the sudden realization that spring may be too far off can be depressing as heck. And if you can’t fly to some Polynesian island and sip on pineapple drinks than the next best thing is to get out of your winter shell. Thinking caps, please.

Create a list of five things you can do today to make this chilly situation a bit warmer. Many of us know all those garden items. Finalize your seed list, visit a botanical garden with an inside conservatory, read some garden books or dust off and re-launch your garden journal. But you can dig deeper for stuff. Remember any of those New Year’s resolutions? Don’t renege now. It’s only January. Here’s one that is pretty easy. Take out some perky garden note cards and send one (the old-fashion USPS way) to a friend or colleague. Maybe they’ve got bigger problems than cold weather so they could use the lift of a kind word. Forgo the text or email. Make it more personal; be old-school for at least a day.

Then there is always work, regardless of what you do. Add a touch of something extra to spiff it up. This thing called helpfulness, kindness, going the extra step can never be overrated. Offer great service; produce an excellent product. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.” A quote from Steve Jobs; remember him? Oh, yeah, it’s that Apple guy who left quite a legacy. 

And if all else fails as you muse this thought, make a cup of tea or cocoa. Spring is coming soon!

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 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, January 23, 2013

The Circumference of a Circle




It’s a perfect January morning to imagine what you want this spring. Albert Einstein put it brilliantly. “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Cultivate imagination into creativity! As Einstein put it, “Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Image of a creative design in progress by 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 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, January 22, 2013

History, Science and Poetry




In the winter, books for reading are stacked haphazardly. Some are peppered with receipts or whatever is available for a bookmark. Those in a tablet may be less messy but remain incomplete or undone. Call it multi-task reading during hibernation gone awry! The collection can include anything from poetry to science, leadership and business practices to garden design.

Now fast forward within my reading stack to a well-known and favorite poet, Mary Oliver. In her ‘New and Selected Poems - Volume Two’ the last few lines of ‘How Would You Live Then?” strike me deeper than some others. Here’s the reason why. “What if you saw that the silver of water was brighter than the silver of money? What if you finally saw that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day and every day – who knows how, but they do it – were more precious, more meaningful than gold?”

But how does this correlate to where I am going next? Buckle your seatbelts. Here comes the U-Turn before you get too deep into that thought. I also started chipping away at a book written a few years back by Steven Solomon titled ‘Water - The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization.’ This author taps into ancient history and catapults you into the 21st century regarding this precious element we so often take for granted. Yes, we talk a lot about water conservation, storm water management and other such topics as they relate to garden and design throughout the course of the year. But if history unfolds itself, be prepared for what is to become possibly the biggest dilemma of our current time. Here’s a brief synopsis in a recent article to let you know where some of this is headed. http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=263964

According to Solomon in his book (pg. 43),‘Water’, “World history is replete with societal declines and collapses caused by soil salinization. Ancient Egypt was spared crippling soil salinization and waterlogging only because the Nile’s propitious seasonal flooding and sloping valley drained away excess water and most salts in a timely manner. A second man-made environmental depletion also exacerbated Mesopotamia’s agricultural crisis – deforestation. Wherever humans have settled on Earth, they have chopped down trees – for fuel, houses, boats, tools and agricultural-land clearance – until their habitats were denuded. Many now-barren parts of Mesopotamia, as elsewhere in the neighboring Mediterranean rim, were once luxuriously verdant. Deforestation made landscapes drier and less fertile. It reduced rainfall as well as the capacity of the soil to retain what did fall. More of the fertile topsoil washed away in torrential downpours – a malevolent expression of water’s power as history’s greatest soil mover, surpassed only by modern industrial man himself.”

So where does Mary Oliver’s simple observation tie into the more in-depth historical analysis from Solomon’s book, ‘Water’? That’s for all to ponder and shall I say, be prepared to hear more about this as our biggest commodity and environmental concern.

Image of January ice in the birdbath 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, January 21, 2013

The January Chill




Elise Broach points out, “There is a difference between giving into something and accepting it.” But how do we apply this to January? It’s the month when snow comes and goes; the ground freezes and thaws and we experience wind that rattles the home. Just think of our poor plant beds wondering if it’s time to wake up, hydrate, start to sprout a bit or play it safe and remain dormant. These serious temperature fluctuations are what often damage the tender tissues of plant material.

Keep your fingers crossed if you have newly planted shrubs less an anti-desiccant spray. Giving your investment an extra protection can often pay off in the spring. Here’s a past archive with a few thoughts on why this is worth doing. It’s like wearing a pair of winter gloves when the temperatures drop. It’s the best layman’s way to explain it. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/12/gloves-for-your-greens.html

 

Yes, it is a glorious but chilly Monday. In case you missed last Thursday’s post, you may want to take a peek about my take on celebrating and honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2013/01/the-serve-in-service.html

Images of Lavender by Ann Bilowz – the top image of Lavender underneath the snow and today’s image hoping it makes it through this winter season P.S. Unfortunately you can't protect plants like this with an anti-desiccant. You have to wrap them with burlap. And this I did not do. It's called experimenting and hoping this southern exposure location will do the trick.

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, January 18, 2013

Empty Space




In a recent attempt to explain a room set-up for one of Greg’s upcoming speaking engagements, I described the connector between the shop and the lecture area. Call it a hallway connecting two rooms or spaces. But in my feeble attempt for the exact words to define it, I called it well, you know, ‘empty space.’

So the design question for today is how many empty spaces do you encounter throughout the day? Call them connectors or hallways in the architectural sense. In the garden, it may be a pathway leading you to another room in the landscape; whether in an arboretum, park or even your own garden. Where are those empty spaces?

How do you fill them or do you leave them untouched? Are they lit with fixtures or only by natural sunlight? Do you adorn these corridors that take you to another garden room with colorful plant materials, a sculptural piece or do you leave it as it is? Are you a minimalist or more classical? Do you prefer blank or full and active?

From an architectural standpoint, think about those outside pathways, connectors, or empty spaces. Consider it food for design thought. It’s a personal choice and very subjective. We have a bit of time to ponder this before the spring. As Dee Hock points out, “Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”

Image of a nook within a stone wall filled with Purple Sage by Ann Bilowz

P.S. This image was taken a few months ago. Though not an example of a connector or pathway, it shows how we often fill up those empty spaces.

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, January 17, 2013

The ‘Serve’ in Service



As the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. is fast approaching, we often look at these holidays as another long weekend for a ski trip or whatever else suits the day-off fancy. But if you listen to some of King’s powerful words, it’s a wake-up call for anyone in the service industry.

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” 

We all serve people throughout our day. Most of us may have to jog the memory bank of when we last received extraordinary service. Which leads me to this phenomena ‘The Fred Factor’ made popular by Mark Sanborn, the man that wrote the book. http://marksanborn.com/#&panel1-1

Fred isn’t some made-up character; he’s a real man. He takes the word ‘service’ to this higher level that Martin Luther King Jr. talks about in his words above. 

Here's hoping you take a few minutes from your Thursday to view The ‘Fred Factor Movement’.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1mqnO3Fpt0&list=UUu5y2nhhFwzIJL2j3jl6Z5w&index=1
It’s rated ‘G’ and animated so it’s great for everyone to watch. It sure beats that news loop we have little to no control over yet we keep that channel programmed, hoping something changes soon. Segue into - that change is you! 

Remember as this day of service fast approaches, it’s an opportunity to put the ‘serve’ in service. Take the challenge. ‘Walk the walk, not just talk the talk.’

Image of yesterday’s fresh snow lingering on the trees in this morning’s sunshine 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, January 16, 2013

Fresh Snow



Thank goodness for Wordless Wednesday especially when the flu has taken its hold. Today’s image is a sneak peek that despite being fooled by the recent January thaw, we still are in the throes of winter. It’s just outside our doors. As the French writer, Francois de La Rochefoucauld pointed out, “The intellect is always fooled by the heart.” Yes, once again fooled by the January thaw and all its hopes of an early spring. It’s time to hibernate and rid of this flu.

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 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, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

 
David Viscott pointed out the importance of following up with loose tidbits. “Lists today are a way of trying to get through the day, because we are losing a sense of time.” With this January thaw soon to be gone (Tuesday evening/Wednesday prediction is snow/sleet is on the way) we may well be losing a sense that it still is wintertime. So let’s keep winter moving forward by carrying that garden checklist in one hand. Here are a few items we should be checking off the list now if they aren’t already done:

Order your fruit trees.
Order your seed potatoes and seed garlic, too.
Pay attention to any rodent damage and nip it in the bud. Install protective collars. This is primarily for fruit and ornamental trees, especially when they are young but you want to give all your plants materials a once over during this January thaw.
Save a date for some interesting lectures, workshops or talks. Greg has two coming up in early spring. (April 20th and April 27th – two Saturday afternoons to fill with two very different topics plus interesting places so keep those dates free.)

So that’s it in a Tuesday tidbit; kind of like a New York minute. It’s a short blog post to kick your Tuesday morning off.

Image of our grape vines with very little snow left on the ground 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, January 14, 2013

Quiet as…


Rollo May suggested that “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” It’s one of the reasons I believe we create beautiful garden spaces, to dawdle and pause, to find a place for constructive solitude, to think and be peaceful. And dare I say it, sometimes to be alone.

With that said, rather than tell you about some of the fascinating garden and design books I’ve been perusing this January, I’d rather tell you about a book that has taken me by complete surprise. It’s one definitely worth the winter read regardless what you do or where you work. ‘QUIET’ – The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking’ by Susan Cain is fascinating especially to someone like me. I always tested on the Myer Briggs test with the Capital ‘E’.

As I read this book, I ask ‘Am I really an ‘E’ or is it what I became programmed through culture, school and workplace to try and be? It seems these days I can’t get enough solitude to write, to create, and just think. There is so much fascinating data and research in this book and I’m still in the throes of it. But I won’t divulge any info because there would be no incentive for you to read it.

So that’s my Monday observation as it relates to why we create garden spaces. When they say the next generation has no interest in gardening, I beg to differ. We all need a place, even the ‘E’s’, to dawdle and pause, to think and be peaceful. But that’s just my observation. What do you think? P.S. Plus the garden is a great place for a favorite pastime – a good read.

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, January 11, 2013

A Winter Sunrise



Marilyn vos Savant gives some great advice that takes only a minute to capture but the trick is timing. You have to be there, aware and present when it occurs. “Know where to find the sunrise and sunset times and note how the sky looks at those times, at least once.” When you take a minute to see these colors arranged in the sky, you begin to see where these hues embody your interior and exterior spaces. Plus, there's nothing more beautiful than a sunrise or a sunset.



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/

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weighing In


When life gives you rotten bananas, you can always make banana bread. Here’s a great recipe from the archives in case you have some close to toxic bananas ready for composting. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/04/going-bananas-over-bread.html

Are you still with me? Or are you checking for ingredients for this yummy bread? Well, before you skedaddle, here’s an article hot off the press worth reading today.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/half-of-the-worlds-food-is-just-thrown-away-8445261.html 

Just a quick synopsis – this is quite the mind boggling equation when you work out the math. Although not something new, it’s worth asking ourselves how much food each of us may waste during the course of a week x 52 = ??? And while there may be bigger fish to fry with the practices of mass production and marketing food, I’m just weighing in and giving you something to think about today.

As Mitch Albom reminds us, “It's such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it.” The same is true of our land, water and energy resources.

Image of bananas perfect for banana bread 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, January 9, 2013

Winter Photage Wednesday


Perfect timing; there is a workaround for the Blogger image bug. Seeing this as an opportunity, I ventured outside and took some winter landscape images for this wordless Wednesday. As Doug Larson reminds us, “Establishing goals is all right if you don't let them deprive you of interesting detours.” Enjoy the winter landscape while it lasts. It looks like there is a January warm-up on the way.



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/

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday’s Philosophy

Love this quote by Leonardo da Vinci. “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” So that is today’s motto. Do something else. Switch it up a bit.  

Because as Blogger once again fails me today with correcting this image dilemma, (we are into day 4 now) the best I can offer is a detour for today’s garden route. Now please be directed to your next right and open up to the winter archives for enjoyable coffee reading. It’s something to keep your winter interest in gardening by representing color from plant materials in the snow. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/01/winter-red.html

P.S. I’ll have another image on our Facebook and Pinterest page that I took in yesterday’s white-scape. But it won’t be red. Remember today’s motto. Mix it up a bit and do something else. 

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, January 7, 2013

Monday Tidbits

With a busy week ahead, it may be time for a short blog break until this image bug is worked out with Blogger. But before I scoot off, here’s a Monday morning tidbit. If you have a chance, take a glance through the January/February 2013 issue of Design New England http://digital.designnewengland.com/designnewengland/20130102#pg77 where one of our recent projects was mentioned.

Although the highlights of the above article feature the interior of the house, particularly the kitchen, we hope you’ll visit our website www.bilowzassociates.com to see some of the intricate landscape details involved in this Lexington project. It was truly a collaboration of a number of talented folks. With that said, it’s worth shining a spotlight on R.P. Marzilli Landscape Contractors for their fine attention to every landscape detail created by Bilowz Associates Inc. The exterior project was more than just plantings. Every masonry and site detail Greg etched in his drawings was brought to its highest level with R.P. Marzilli’s talented team.  

So that’s it in a Monday newsflash. As Henry Ford pointed out, “I could use a hundred people who don't know there is such a word as impossible." That’s the nuts and bolts of what makes a great team on any design project.

Until blogger comes back with images, you can always check our other social media places to see what is getting posted.

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, January 4, 2013

Stuck in the Mud


Think you need talent to plant a garden? As Natalie Goldberg, the American author reminds us, “I don't believe in talent. Talent is like a water table under the earth. You tap into it with your effort and it comes through you, from the bottom of the earth.” That pretty much sums up what you need to make any garden a reality. Put a little effort into it and make plans for when spring rolls around to start digging in the dirt. You’ll be amazed at what can start sprouting from the bottom of the earth.

With the real thrust and interest in gardens these days focusing on edibles, starting with fresh seed is always a good thing. So if you are holding onto treasured packets that you hope to plant someday, check the expiration dates. If you want a high yield rate, you don’t start off with sour milk. With so many seed companies to choose from and catalogs to peruse, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds http://rareseeds.com/ is one to check with its unusual heirlooms including Asian and European varieties too.

A little factoid before I wrap up this Friday post. – From the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF) Gardening Trends Research Report collected in October of 2012. “In 2012, consumers continued to spend most of their gardening dollars on vegetable and fruit growing while their second most common purchase was for lawn and grass.”

Don’t be a stick in the mud. Collect your seeds and plant for success.

Image by Ann Bilowz - NOTE - Today's image does not seem to be uploading due to some glitch via Google blogger. So rather than wait to post the content of today's blog, you can check our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/abilowz to see the image of Baker Creek's beautiful 2013 calendar.

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, January 3, 2013

How Sweet it is

 

Jens Jensen, a well-respected Landscape Architect known best for his ‘prairie style’ design work suggested that “Trees are much like human beings and enjoy each other's company. Only a few love to be alone.” What a perfect quote to segue into today’s design thought. When I wandered outside briefly in this morning’s frigid temperatures and knee-deep snow, I spotted one of our favorites trees draped in white and of course, all alone. 

If you scroll back to 2011 and peruse this past blog post, http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/06/have-sweet-bay-of-day.html you’ll discover why this specimen tree is one we love to plant someplace special and enjoy throughout the year. Get out your garden journals and start keeping your winter notes. It makes the snow melt faster and this garden hibernation much more bearable.  In the meantime, keep warm!

Image of a Sweet Bay Magnolia in the winter snow 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, January 2, 2013

Tricks for the Troubles


 
It’s a known fact that writing in a journal, spending time with a pet or taking up a hobby such as gardening can relax rather than stress you. Relaxing is a positive thing. So as we kick off this first Wednesday of 2013, we can fall off this fiscal cliff or we can start gathering our packets of seeds for the spring. Plan for what can relax rather than stress you during your busy days. P.S. Another way to relax plus I loved doing it as a kid - create your collage. You may recall this garden collage idea from the trusted archives written about this same time last January and repeated this past October. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/01/collage-to-live-by.html
http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/10/cut-and-paste.html

Make a New Year’s resolution to relax by doing positive things. Scott Cann, the actor reminds us, “Good things happen when you get your priorities straight.” Or as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German poet pointed out, “Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.”



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/

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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/

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© 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.)