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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Catch Up in One Day

 

Tomorrow is March 1st, which means we miss that extra day of February in this calendar year of 2013. So rather than delve right into the hopes of spring, let’s play a little catch-up with February. Try to accomplish at least one of these activities from an archived February post today.  http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/02/balance-act.html There’s something for everyone. As Elizabeth Gilbert reminds us in her book, ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” Catch up - it's the last day of February; be ready to roar into spring.

P.S. A shout out for those folks who celebrate a birthday today or tomorrow when it’s really February 29th. That’s catch-up at its best. For everyone else, let's enjoy this last full day of February.  

Image of a February Moment 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, February 27, 2013

Wednesday’s Flower Power

 

On this rainy Wednesday, this quote from Kakuzo Okakura rings true. “In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.” And if you are looking for words on Wordless Wednesday, hope you can peek through the archives. Send your questions or comments as they are always welcome too.  

Image by Greg Bilowz ©

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz 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, February 26, 2013

The Originality Factor

 

With mounds of data at our fingertips, what we like or need should be available to us in a nanosecond. If you jump, live and breathe in this 21st century, the info about each and every one of us is simply stupendous. It’s a data explosion of unfolding trends but don’t fall too deeply into the trap of ‘this is what you want because everyone has it’. We all know there’s something more original that makes each one of us tick. Shouldn’t that be part of your overall design? You, that is, and what you really like; your personal signature. The things that make you jump, live and breathe, especially when you venture into your outdoor space. 

Need to step out of virtual reality for a day or two? Consider a real honest to goodness road trip to an arboretum or a hands-on workshop to get the creative juices flowing. There’s a tangible landscape waiting for you at a moment’s notice.

Roald Dahl points us in the right direction with his profound message. “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”

And what makes magic? It’s that originality factor. Your world is only as fascinating as you make it. 

Image by Greg Bilowz © - H. paniculata 'Unique' - a favorite Hydrangea in an October snow 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, February 25, 2013

Winter’s Love Letter

 
Capturing winter moments in the landscape is the best remedy for waking up to a fresh coat of snow. Rather than grumble, find winter’s love letter written within this fresh snow. Spring is soon to follow with all its colorful treasures.


Until then, a simple quote by Mother Teresa to begin the work week and this Monday morning. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Rather than grumble, find winter’s love letter written within this fresh snow.



P.S. If you need a tropical boost, you can search through the Annie archives. And for the local folks, I’ve pulled one out for you. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/10/postcard-from-tropics.html Plus a photo album from our Facebook page that gives you a reason to go, especially if you don’t like the ones of this morning’s snow shots. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.449167024444.246107.325316334444&type=3

Morning images in the 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/

Friday, February 22, 2013

Simply Standing Out



Robert Henri, an American artist once said, “Do whatever you do intensely. The artist is the man who leaves the crowd and goes pioneering. With him there is an idea which is his life.”

It’s a short Friday message with a quote that speaks volumes about separating the cookie cutters from the true artists. In this world of reinventing oneself, be a pioneer; stand out.

Image by Greg Bilowz © - a simple but beautiful plant composition creating habitat and artistry in our own summer garden 

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz 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, February 21, 2013

Each Small Step

 

With spring exactly one month away, one of the priorities being promoted by the Home Garden Seed Association in conjunction with the Xerces Society is to plant more flowers and help in the cause of pollination. Is this simplifying a larger challenge related to diversifying our food supply and less disturbance of land? Either way, promoting native flower cluster plantings and limiting the use of pesticides are always worthwhile practices for the individual gardener to adopt despite that many of the challenges afflicting our society are more global and bigger than us. However, all great solutions, even those global in nature, often start with small, incremental steps.

As the spring 2013 release from Home Garden Seed Association www.ezfromseed.org states, “Every flower border, bed, and window box helps!” If nothing more, it is a perfect way to reign in the new spring by beautifying your own space. As Georgia O’Keeffe, the American artist pointed out, “If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment.” Imagine when you plant flowers for yourself and all the invertebrates.

Image of a Gentiana andrewsii (Bottle gentian or Closed gentian) by Ann Bilowz 

Why did I choose this archived image today? 

Although this flowers in the fall, Gentiana andrewsii (Bottle gentian or Closed gentian) has an interesting blossom; staying almost completely closed, which is rather unusual for a flower. Bottle gentian is pollinated by bees that actually open up the closed blossoms and crawl inside.

 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, February 20, 2013

The Right Light

 

In the midst of the winter garden, this week’s blog topics have focused on the importance of light. With today being wordless Wednesday, it’s a quote from one of my favorite books this year and what can be so exciting when exploring the landscape – capturing the right light.

 As Susan Cain, the author of ‘Quiet’ reminds us, “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting.”

Soon enough shall be springtime so enjoy the solitude of the landscape in its right light.

P.S. Just in case you missed the post about this book, here’s the link. Have a great Wednesday and enjoy your right light. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2013/01/quiet-as.html 

Image of Arches National Park 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/

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In Celebration of the Sun

 

In honor of the 540th birthday celebration of Nicolaus Copernicus, celebrate a moment in the sun today. Ironically, yesterday’s post was about the importance of natural light in our lives. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2013/02/lighter-days-and-nights.html  And we can’t forget how critical sunlight is when planting our exterior landscapes. 

So why celebrate another day in the sun? Copernicus, an astronomer of his time, discovered with his naked eye (no fancy telescopes or technology) that “the sun was the true center around which everything else revolved.” http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2013/02/happy-birthday-nicholas-copernicus/

 The sad part of the story is, like most discoveries ahead of its time, Copernicus’ findings were condemned while he was alive. But in Copernicus’ own words, “At rest, however, in the middle of everything is the sun.”
 

Two favorite archived images of Sunflowers reaching for the light 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, February 18, 2013

Lighter Days and Nights

 

A sure sign that spring is coming soon. As Al R. Young reminds us, “Find the light. Reach for it. Live for it. Pull yourself up by it. Gratitude always makes for straighter, taller trees.”  

Plus a quick tip about the importance of natural light. http://nutrition.about.com/od/askyournutritionist/f/sunlight.htm

Even if you can’t fill all the Vitamin D requirements during these winter months, seeking the sunlight, even on cold winter days give us a leg up on spring.

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/

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Greener Side of Life

 

Jack Kerouac pointed out a simplistic truth. “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” If you apply this to a garden and design perspective, it simply means staying ahead of the curve. Be your own trendsetter and create not just a sustainable landscape but one you are living, too. A simple Friday observation until I’m back in the writing groove.

P.S. It’s a perfect weekend to balance out your garden seed order. Remember, great things are not accomplished by those who procrastinate. Don’t be afraid to get your hands in the soil if you seek the greener side of life. 

Image of summer vegetables harvested from the 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 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, February 14, 2013

Round and Round

 

It’s been tough hopping back on the ride again but eventually the rhythm of brainstorming and creative thinking shall return to this daily blog. Until then, if you missed yesterday’s post, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, take a peek again. Just a simple reminder about the real meaning of love.
http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2013/02/wordless.html

And if you fail to pay attention to the Google doodles, today is a two-for one; plus it’s worth the quick read. http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/2013/0214/George-Ferris-How-a-farmer-s-son-invented-the-best-ride-on-Earth

As E.B. White stated, “I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.” In other words, don’t miss out on today’s ride. Hop on board and give a little something special in honor of Valentine’s Day. A rose would be nice to someone needing a smile! It’s what makes the world go round.

Image of a single rose 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, February 13, 2013

Wordless



Yes, it’s been a bit quiet on the blog posts and it may stay that way for a few more days. But here’s a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that sums up what this month of February, the month of love represents and a little bit about my whereabouts since the beginning of February. Just a few favorite images; I encourage everyone else to experience your own mission wherever that may be.




“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Images by Greg Bilowz

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz 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, February 1, 2013

Kick Off February







































With a good garden book, that is. Okay, so you’re scrambling for some kick off Super Bowl appetizers? Don’t forget the messy Moroccan chicken wings recipe http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2013/01/the-latest-kitchen-discovery.html from earlier this week.

But back to a great garden treasure; the close-up photography and content is a keeper for the library shelves. ‘The Layered Garden’ reinforces design tips, plants and shrubs covered daily in this blog, giving your garden year-round interest. Another plug: the author, David Culp developed the Brandywine Hybrid strain of hellebores. Hellebores are one of my favorite perennials.

There’s nothing like a colorful spread to kick off February. ‘The Layered Garden’ is my pick for the month. There’s a myriad of reasons to read this book but I love the Prologue which goes like this – “One fall when I was about nine, my Grandmother Thorpe gave me a bag of bulbs and said, “You go and plant them.” I felt more than a little trepidation – I had never planted anything without her supervision – but she reassured me, “You can do it. You won’t go wrong.” Her generosity could have been ruinous to her flower border, but I got the bulbs planted with no mishaps. The next spring, when they bloomed, I almost burst with pride when she told all her friends, “David did that!” From that moment I knew I was a gardener, and after all these years it remains the core of how I define myself.”

Kick off February not just by reading this spectacular book. Share your love of gardening. Give the little tikes that are the next generation of green thumbs a bag of bulbs or seeds to plant. Inspire them to love the earth and all good things that sprout from it.

As Dejan Stojanovic reminds us, “There can be no forced inspiration.” In memory of my Dad, who passed five years ago today; he gave me more than my love of nature and the earth, he inspires me each day. I’m kicking off now to do something in honor of my Dad. Catch up soon. Let's kick off February as the month to share your love for gardening with someone else. Better than a Valentines, buy someone you love this book.



Top Image of Hellebores blooming in the April garden by Ann Bilowz
Bottom Image – Cover shot of ‘The Layered Garden’

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. You can like our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/abilowz or follow on twitter http://twitter.com/annbilowz 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.)