BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

To browse our award winning landscape design portfolios, click on our company website at WWW.BILOWZASSOCIATES.COM

Friday, June 28, 2013

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

 

As many of us swing into 4th of July and vacation mode, finding something worthy to say about gardens and landscape design may go unheard, lost in the air waves. But a light went off in the old noggin. What seemed perfect for today was a reminder about sunscreen accompanied by an Annie image and this memorable speech by Baz Luhrmann. Do you remember listening to this on the radio?

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 99 ... Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists,
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead,
sometimes you're behind.
The race is long and, in the end,
it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive.
Forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this,
tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.
Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees.
You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance.
So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body.
Use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it.
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance.
Even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions,
even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines.
They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents.
You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once,
but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once,
but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths:
Prices will rise.
Politicians will philander.
You, too, will get old.
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund.
Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse.
But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”


So whether you’re packing for the summer vacation, meandering through your garden or simply hang out with friends and family, whatever you do, remember to pack the sunscreen.
 
Image by Ann Bilowz ©

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Summer Night

 

Wallace Stevens once penned, “The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” So on these warm summer nights, whether you’re off for a sunset picnic or attending a weekend barbeque, what makes that summer night perfect is an easy salad/side dish to pack for the excursion. So without further ado, here’s the perfect salad recipe from the Patricia Wells cookbook; Salad As A Meal – Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season.
Ingredients
Amount
Smoked Bacon, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3/4 cup
Fresh corn ears, shucked
2 ears
Multicolored heirloom tomatoes, cored, quartered & chopped
4
Greek Feta Cheese, crumbled
1⁄2 cup
Avocado, peeled and cubed
1 large
Scallions, white part only, cut into thin rings
2
Yogurt & Lemon Dressing:
Plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tblsp.
Fine sea salt
1/4 tsp.
Lemon zest
14 tsp.

Directions:
1. In a large, dry skillet, brown the bacon over moderate heat until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to absorb the fat. Blot the top of the bacon with paper towels as well.

2. Cut off the fat ends of the ears of corn, stand the ears on the flat end, and use the chef’s knife to cut off the corn kernels. Place the kernels in a large bowl.

3. Add the tomatoes, bacon, feta, avocado, and scallions to the corn. Toss with just enough dressing to coat the ingredients lightly and evenly. Season generously with pepper. Serves 4.

This recipe is one to try. Here are a couple of things you might do differently. One, we grilled the corn rather than use it raw. We also served it on a leafy lettuce. And if you do like hot peppers or even sweet peppers, you could swap them for the tomatoes or why not use both. And if you need it to be vegetarian, you can make the scallions crispy in a fry pan and it will add a similar crunch as the bacon. I could forgo the bacon bits. As much as I love bacon, it’s the feta cheese I couldn’t live without. 

But speaking of one thing I could live without and something that makes these summer nights less than perfect. It’s that batch of mosquitoes that never show up in pictures. The bad thing about these mosquitoes – they seem to be out at all hours of the day or night. So do you use Citronella candles for terraces and outdoor spaces? Unfortunately, these nasty buggers seem to fight through even rounds of DEET. I’m at a loss for a remedy but for atmosphere and casual fun, I love the tall Citronella torches. They add an ambiance to the summer night even if one must watch from indoors. On a summer evening, any hints of subtle light that don’t conflict with what’s already in place can enhance those little pockets of succulents or growies coming from a terrace wall. Citronella may not be optimal but we still buy them because it’s a familiar summer scent. There are mosquito repellant lamps and bulbs but mosquitoes seem to know when it’s time to eat and they seem to know what they like - us.

But it’s time to wrap up this salad mix and I couldn’t resist adding one more quote from Buddha. “Three things cannot be long hidden: The sun, the moon and the truth.” So on this overcast Thursday, if you can’t find the sun or the moon, remember to be truthful in all that you do.

Image of a summer night by Ann Bilowz ©  

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Words for Wednesday

 

The English Author, Arnold Bennett once said, “The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”

 
This volunteer Sunflower  reseeded itself from last year and was almost open yesterday. This morning, it came into fullness in its perfect, unspoiled way.

Images by Ann Bilowz ©

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz  follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz  or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Heat & Water – the Laws of Nature

 

If you love containers and window boxes in your garden, you know there’s daily maintenance to keep everything looking healthy and vibrant. Deadheading and watering should be part of your morning routine. But what about your entire landscape, the planted material that’s been there a while. Then there's the false sense of security that with plenty of spring rain that what you recently planted is set for the duration.

With these last days of June bringing us July heat already, being smart about your irrigation plans is critical and smart tips are always worth repeating. It’s being more than just conscious of your local water ban. And if nature gave you some thunderous downpours last evening, don’t let that type of rain fool your landscape of what it might actually need. Runoff storms tend to bypass deep root watering. So with this law of nature, that vital aspect called water makes all the difference with this heat. But it’s how often, and when, plus watering correctly that can keep plants healthy and surviving this summer heat. 

Although water tips may seem repetitive as we head into the summer months, it can’t be stressed enough to pay attention to your overall landscape. Here’s a post from the archives to give you a perspective on when to water what’s already established in the ground. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/07/toughen-your-landscape.html

You can also search the archives for drought-tolerant plant material to make your landscape tough on its own but even with extreme heat, keep an eye open even on the drought-tolerant. And if you’re going away soon and missed last Friday’s post, there were some tips about watering while you’re off vacationing in the sun.

And here’s one more tidbit that can appear like a broken record - the biggest way to reduce your watering consumption is to let go of your obsession with the perfect green lawn. But if you must run your irrigation system, do so wisely (early morning or per your local water ban restrictions.) Make sure the system is functioning properly and never overwater. Another big pet peeve - a system running in the rain or the irrigation heads hitting unnecessary asphalt or other products not requiring a much needed drink.

Before we call it a wrap, here’s a quick tip if you do lots of container plantings. Keep some empty jugs near the kitchen faucet. When you run the water in the morning to clean out the overnight sediment that builds up in the pipes, fill the empty jugs with this water for your outdoor containers.

With water and heat, it’s bound to be a dissertation. So let’s finish today’s post with a quote from Antonio Gaudi, the Spanish architect speaking to the laws of Nature. “Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.” It makes sense to pay attention to summer heat and watering. Work with it wisely in collaboration to create the perfect summer landscape. 

Image (Container from the Newport RI Flower Show) by Ann Bilowz © 

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Monday, June 24, 2013

An Unexpected Guest

 

Inside and out, it was a beautiful day at the Newport Flower Show. Did you enjoy a garden tour, an arboretum or your own garden as we kicked off this first summer weekend? 

As Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer pointed out, “Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.” With summer temperatures sizzling, seeking garden inspiration is often quite welcoming. Share your favorite places to find the unexpected summer guest of garden inspiration.

 
All Images by Ann Bilowz ©

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc



Friday, June 21, 2013

Nature’s Path

 

Welcome summer after this unruly spring. Don’t you love what nature’s path has brought us today? There’s sunshine and warmer temps on the way with hints of vacations and outdoor adventures tugging us away...from all our endless garden chores.


So before you scamper and play in the dog days of summer; make sure you protect your garden and what you’ve planted to date. Here’s a post from the archives with some tips for the best way to maintain your garden while you’re off enjoying your summer ventures of sun and play.

http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/06/supplemental-loving-for-garden.html


Remember, if what you planted is anything like Ben, (feet in the water is a constant for him) best to make sure the watering is under control for those unexpected dry days or while you’re away. But as you can tell from the archived post, containers and newly planted material require extra special attention. And don’t rule out the vegetable patch. You’ll want someone to keep an eye out for more than just watering but unwanted critters and disease that can also take out your crops.

So what’s with this big summer splash? It can’t be stressed enough that water is vital but think smart and be water-wise. Don’t overdo anything, give it just enough. 

As Vicki Baum pointed out, “There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.” But don’t take any shortcuts on maintaining your summer garden. Return to a happy landscape by keeping it healthy and watered. Always pay attention to what nature’s path brings you.  

All Images by Ann Bilowz ©  

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Imagination = Everything

 


Before the days of your local Agway and the array of plastic products, old farmers intuitively created some pretty neat things. Take for example this stone watering trough. What once proved functional was also aesthetically pleasing. Which leads me to today’s question – can you create, enhance or decorate  something native from your landscape? It could be an old tree stump. Just yesterday I spotted the stump of a tree carved into a mushroom. That may not fit your garden style but the point is, with imagination, you can do some pretty creative and whimsical details. As Albert Einstein profoundly stated, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.”

As we leap into summer and all its outdoor fun, remember to pack the imagination in your garden toolbox. Rely on Einstein’s equation - imagination = everything. It’s just the preview of your garden’s coming attractions.

Image by Ann Bilowz © Old stone trough (Ben is wondering if he can use it as a drinking fountain.)

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Almost Summer

 

Wordless Wednesday it shall be. Enjoy what is left of spring today.

Image by Ann Bilowz ©
P.S. This was posted yesterday on our FB page. One of the reasons to follow in more than one place.

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Color and Flair

 
 
Looking for bright and tasty for your containers? Think Nasturtiums. Its edible flowers can be used to brighten up your summer salads. Infuse your vinegar with Nasturtiums, adding a peppery flavor to most any dish. How can you not love this powerful sensation to add color and flair to your summertime garden?

Speaking of summer, let's turn to the success of our vegetable garden.Well, if it's anything like ours, it remains in limbo state with these buckets of rain. But if you planted garlic last fall, don’t forget one of the bennies (pick those scapes.) Check back at this archived post or peruse the search button on the blog and choose a scape favorite. This one includes a recipe for those who want a quick Tuesday dish. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2012/06/no-escaping-monday.html 

So what makes your garden special this time of year? What are you adding to give it color and flair? Let’s cut to the flowers and use Margaret Thatcher’s words, which I find applicable for our spring/summer gardens. “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.”

As you know, a garden never stops – there is never enough something so it’s a constant creation to make it its own success story. And that certain sense of purpose, well, it’s that mixture of flair and color that make each garden shine in its own special uniqueness. In my book, that’s the success of any garden. Oh, and you can’t forget the hard work. If you forgo the hard work, you’ve lost that certain sense of purpose.

Image by Ann Bilowz © Nasturtiums in a punchy blue container

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc



Monday, June 17, 2013

Climbing to New Heights

 

Andy Rooney once said “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.” This insightful quote just gave me a reason to show off one of my favorite climbers, Rose New Dawn. But don't let this image fool you. ‘New Dawn’ showers you with profuse blossoms, giving the gardener an infinite supply of cut Roses for your vases. I just admired the way this one Rose stood proudly amongst all the inner growth.  

So as we get nearer to the official start of summer and the many trips that are in the works, I’ll leave you with these words from Terry Pratchett. “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

Hope you continue to come back here with ‘new eyes and extra colors’.


Enjoy what’s left of spring and as always send any questions, thoughts or comments.

Top Image of Rose New Dawn by Ann Bilowz © 
Bottom Image of an Echinacea purpurea Purple ConeFlower starting to wake up by Ann Bilowz ©   

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pinwheels in the Rain

 

Christopher Moore states, “Children see magic because they look for it.” So as this gloomy June 14th day starts off with more rain, think about pinwheels and the way they spin. Like magic, somehow its colors blend as one.

When I look at these Gerbera Daisies in the garden, they may seem a bit tattered from all the recent storms. But I see pinwheels ready to twirl; I want to see something colorful and magical. Look at these Gerbera Daisies from the eye of a child. And don’t forget, the National Garden Bureau declared 2013 as the year of the Gerbera. http://www.ngb.org/year_of/index.cfm

Why the pinwheels in the rain today? Shouldn’t we look at life and our own gardens through the eyes of a child? Pick up a pinwheel loaded with magic. Place it in your garden for the world to see. And don’t forget to place some Gerbera Daisies next to it. See magic because you look for it because that is what children see. 

On this day, June 14th, six months later our hearts still weep with Sandy Hook and Newtown, CT. 

Image of Gerbera Daisies planted in the garden this year by Ann Bilowz ©   

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday’s Garden Pick of the Week

 

Wow. Can you believe it? This Thursday’s garden pick is not a Rose or a Peony. It’s one of those underrated shrubs, Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel) and this particular variety, ‘Olympic Fire’ is a stunning feature if your garden offers the right growing conditions. If you happen to have partial sun and constant moist soil, then you can be dazzled by this ‘Olympic Fire’. The late spring, early summer blossoms start off as light pink and change magically to this red/pink mixture. This variety calls your attention to it so you can’t really miss the performance when it starts to show its fiery colors. As Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gymnast reminds us, “Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something. It's our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.”

There you have it – the Thursday garden pick of the week. Send your favorites that get your garden spirit burning and keep you lit.

P.S. If you don't have a spot in your garden, at least check out the Mountain Laurels blooming now in the woods.

Image of Kalmia latifolia ‘Olympic Fire’ (Olympic Fire Mountain Laurel) by Ann Bilowz ©

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday’s Words

 

Yes, it’s wordless Wednesday but it never fails, there are usually words in my posts on Wednesday. So it is a quote from C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, which seemed fitting to accompany this poor ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ Peony hanging heavy in all the recent rains.

“We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”

So no sense waiting; get out and enjoy what this day has brought you. Wind, clouds, more rain, a hint of sun. Be like the Peony shrouded in Lavender. Even if you hang heavy, let what’s favorable and what surrounds you help you shine and still be stunningly beautiful.

Image by Ann Bilowz ©  

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cut Flowers

 

On this dreary Tuesday, it’s a personal statement that I find important in a garden one creates. Fresh cut flowers are one of the key ingredients in a landscape, at least for me. Whatever blossoms or sprouts in the garden are perfect treasures for an otherwise vacant vase. What does your empty vessel hold during the garden months? 


I borrow Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s words once again, which bestow a perfect remedy to restore this otherwise soggy morning into something bright. “Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”

Arrange your day wisely and keep your empty vessels full of fresh cut flowers. 

Images by Ann Bilowz ©   

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Monday, June 10, 2013

Naturally Sculpted

 

Ana├»s Nin once penned, “We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.” 

But like this image above proves to us, some things are meant to just weave and be. A walk in the woods can teach a simple lesson about not overcomplicating our own garden space with elements that might fit someone else’s landscape naturally.

A Monday June reminder as we scurry about making our exterior spaces shine and glean, often trying to compete with what’s being created on someone else’s property. Find what fits you best. Don’t sculpture something that in the end is a disappointment. Make it fit you, your lifestyle, but most of all, the natural contours of your landscape. 

Image by Ann Bilowz ©  

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Heart of the June Garden

 

Milan Kundera reminds us that “When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.” On this rainy Friday, it’s just a sneak peek at what’s speaking in the garden today. I love Sweet William Dianthus barbatus (Caryophyllaceae) in all its gallant colors. This coral tone one above is a favorite of mine.

For whatever reason, our Peonies are a tad slow to bloom this season.
 
 
As you can see from the above image of this Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ it is taking its time. But here’s one I snapped last year at the end of May. She’s a beauty. Pink ruffled edges that can speak to any heart.

 
 As we prepare for the deluge of rain on the way, be certain the next time you see the sunshine to check for disease and pests. Let’s end with a colorful Geranium. Her official name is Geranium x oxonianum 'Claridge Druce'. The blossom is elegant and dainty all at the same time.
 
 
I couldn’t capture ‘Rozanne’ because she’s not quite showing off her purple blossoms. But just an FYI on great Geraniums - the Royal Horticultural Society named “Rozanne’ Geranium “Plant of the Centenary” and previously (in 2008) it was named Perennial Plant of the Year.
 
One can never object when the heart of the garden speaks. Now got on those galoshes and build an arc for all this rain.

All Images by Ann Bilowz ©  
Sweet William Dianthus barbatus (Caryophyllaceae)
Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ Paeonia lactiflora 'Sarah Bernhardt'
Geranium x oxonianum 'Claridge Druce'
If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rosemary & Beans

 

Don’t let the title or the image fool you. Today’s post is not a recipe. If you plant beans in your garden, there’s a bug that could present problems to your crop, tiny bean patch or not. Even though this pest is related to the ladybug, this ain’t your friendly type ‘dressed in red, strolling through the flowerbed.’

This Mexican Bean Beetle can take a bite out of your bean crop. One might keep an eye open for this distinctive bronze colored beetle. You don’t have to be a commercial farmer to be concerned with what might be ailing any of your crops. Planting beans in your garden this year and not familiar with this pest? Read more here but come back to finish up. http://extension.umass.edu/vegetable/insects/mexican-bean-beetle Though this UMass Amherst link may be a bit more technical and made for the commercial farmer crews, knowing how to identify and understand the life cycle of any pest is a testament to being a good gardener. While reputable garden practices can control some of these nasty pests, when something infects your plants, you must treat the problem, like it or not. If you want to try a benign way to deter this nasty beetle, it is said to plant Rosemary around your bean patch. I love planting Rosemary so what the heck, it’s worth the try. Rosemary is a staple of the summer garden so place it wisely. Your plantings should always be strategic so why not plant it near your bean patch? As you can see from the above image, this container of Rosemary may be relocating soon. Although conveniently located near the kitchen slider to clip and snip for cooking, it's time to pack your soil, Rosemary. Bean patch here we come.

As pointed out in many of the Annie blog posts, it is recommended to clean your garden at the end of the harvest season. You should also till the soil before your spring plantings to unearth any overwinter guests. And plant beans less susceptible to this pest. Bush beans versus pole beans. Research what you plant. 

Remember, your garden standards should always be exemplary, not ho-hum. With that Thursday thought, let’s wrap it up with a J.R.R. Tolkien quote. “Shortcuts make long delays.” And when summer comes, we want beans we can eat.

Image of Rosemary by Ann Bilowz © 

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Easy Pieces

  

Do you find yourself adding certain easy pieces to the garden? Commonly known as the moss Rose, Portulaca grandiflora is one of my favorite yearly purchases to brighten the landscape. Although today’s image shows its tiny blossoms just waking up, the colorful flowers love full sun and can handle dry soil and drought. It’s a perfect annual to hang out by the rocks or add to a container planting on your terrace. Its low maintenance means less watering but the flowers won’t open when the sun is not out. But if you look closely, the blossoms remind me of a colorful umbrella.

What do you like to add as annuals to your small crevices or your containers? There’s so much to choose from but I always go back to my favorite. So I will wrap up this post with a quote from Robert Schumann, in Advice to Young Musicians. “Endeavour to play easy pieces well and with elegance; that is better than to play difficult pieces badly.” Portulaca grandiflora is one of those annuals for me. That’s why I gravitate to it.

The question for this sunny Wednesday – What annuals do you gravitate to and always add to your garden or container plantings?

Image of Portulaca grandiflora by Ann Bilowz ©  

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday’s Track

 

It’s just too darn beautiful a morning to get wrapped up in loads of words and thought. So on this Tuesday, let’s keep a simple track. The direction we shall go in, well, it’s a quick design thought on pathways. Just for the record, what materials you choose aren’t required to be elaborate or complex. A pathway's main purpose is to indicate where you want to direct traffic to walk, perhaps meander. It’s your lead, your path. What would you like it to be?


For example, this simple bluestone pathway set in the lawn leads you directly to where a visitor is intended to land. It is a subtle and less structured approach than a pathway made from bricks. Pick materials for a pathway that feel comfortable for you, your lifestyle and a choice that blends tastefully with the architecture of your home. And always pick a material and installation that can handle your climate and temperature changes. What works in a warm climate may not hold up in a colder, thaw and freeze type of weather.

As Libba Bray points out, “What happens if your choice is misguided, you must try to correct it but what if it’s too late? What if you can’t? Then you must find a way to live with it.” Fortunately, most paths we opt for can be altered and changed. As Steve Maraboli states, “The road to success is always under construction.” But construction is messy so choose pathway materials that best reflect you and your lifestyle so you can entertain and relax in your landscape rather than fret about the wrong choice.  

Images by Ann Bilowz ©   

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can ollow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/ and you can also find us on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/bilowz/bilowz-associates-inc

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday’s Literary Compost

 

It’s a rainy Monday so I’m looking through the literary compost to see what can make do. Let’s pull out an awesome perennial that’s a perfect choice for a late spring to early summer bloom. As you can see from the above image of this Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo', the pale pink to near white blossoms add a soft hue to the surrounding greenery often heightened during this time of year. This Geranium can handle full sun to partial shade. Its velvety textured foliage makes it a wonderful addition to the perennial border. Plus its hardiness zone is 5-9, which makes it quite attractive for many climates.

So while this weekend was a hot one to handle in this neck of the woods, there's some great planting weather headed our way. Seize the opportunity to get your woody plant materials and perennials in the ground. If you happened to catch last Friday’s flower choice, http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2013/05/fridays-flower-choice.html here’s an updated image taken one day later of the Hybrid Tea Rose, ‘Peace’. It’s always nice to see what things can dare to be.


Though I may be short on my own words this Monday morning, Steve Maraboli captures it best with his words, ‘Dare to Be’.

"When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great, too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”

Images by Ann Bilowz ©

If you like this blog, hope you check in daily. Like our fan page https://www.facebook.com/abilowz follow on twitter https://twitter.com/annbilowz or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening friends. Contact me direct at annbilowz@gmail.com You can now follow with visuals on Pinterest, too! http://pinterest.com/bilowzassoc/       

About Me

My photo

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.)