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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday’s Seeds

  

This beautiful break in the weather reminds me that in our veggie gardens, we can still seed beans, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, lettuce. There’s plenty to still keep sowed in the soil. Plant them in the shaded side of pole beans, corn, tomatoes and it keeps them a tad cooler should the hot, sticky weather come back again, which we know it surely will.

So if you missed this image on Facebook that showed up last Friday as the flower break, it’s just a reminder to stick your head outdoors and enjoy this weather. Plant some Tuesday seeds and don’t forget to smell the roses.


Charles Reade, the English novelist once said, “Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.” There should always be time to smell the Roses.


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

Monday, July 29, 2013

In the Tiniest of Spaces

 

Whether what flourishes in the tiniest of spaces be succulents, sedums or strawberries, this Monday is a collection of just these types of garden images. Sarah Addison Allen reminds us “Every life needs a little space. It leaves room for good things to enter it.” 


Our garden walls, terraces and stepping stone crevices leave us plenty of room for additional plantings. Get creative and fill your spaces.


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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Your Place

 


The rain has things a bit messy this morning. Rather than dodge the puddles, let’s delve into what seems like a fitting topic for this soggy Friday. First, there’s a detour up ahead before we get to the subject matter at hand. These words from Alexander McCall Smith reinforce that life’s roadmap, like our landscape should be what makes us happy. “Regular maps have few surprises: their contour lines reveal where the Andes are, and are reasonably clear. More precious, though, are the unpublished maps we make ourselves, of our city, our place, our daily world, our life; those maps of our private world we use every day; here I was happy…” 

Segue into design. Let’s brake; there’s another detour up ahead. This excerpt comes from one of the archived posts written in August 2010. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/08/clarifying-your-vision.html Regardless, if you are working in small or large spaces, clarity executed in proper sequence is the only way to complete a project. Mapping it out sets your destination. If your intention is to go for a joy ride, then the end goal may not matter. But if you are undertaking a project of any size, it is advisable to create a road map. You can leave some wiggle room for creativity and even possible detours but it is important to establish a solid framework for your project. Time invested in thoughtful planning pays huge dividends during the process.

This is where these two thoughts mesh. The master plan serves as the regular map, revealing the contour lines, serving as the solid framework before you delve in. It keeps the long road ahead reasonably clear. But what makes the design more precious is adding in the unique. It’s those details that aren’t cookie-cutter, yet levels of unpublished that make a landscape your private world and happy. It’s what makes it you, your city, your place.

Design and 3D Image by Bilowz Associates Inc. ©  

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, July 25, 2013

See Beneath Your Beautiful

 

Besides falling in love with this recent release, ‘See Beneath Your Beautiful’ by Labrinth and Emeli Sande, these words certainly speak to our landscape. What’s beneath your beautiful this year?


For me, it’s Hostas. What’s not to love about this die-hard plant? Foliage, leaf form, its drift of flowers showering us in between the growing season is reason enough. Everyone has a place for Hostas, even in container plantings. And don’t forget how much beautiful they can add to your cut flower arrangements.


So as we get close to wrapping up another week of summer, it’s a quote from Rosalind Franklin, who lived a short but fruitful life. In celebration of her 93rd birthday, these words resonate. “Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”

And in case you need a bit of beautiful harmony on this Thursday, take a peek for yourself at this YouTube of ‘Beneath Your Beautiful.’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91-7YUp6VDM


It’s all about seeing 'beneath the beautiful' in your landscape.

Hosta 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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Garden Bumps

 

There are always rough spots in the summer garden. Let’s smooth out a few of those bumps. If one of your herbs in your kitchen garden is Basil, let’s be privy to this alert.  Chock it up as one more hiccup in the vegetable garden; it’s well worth the share and a must read.
 
Ball Publishing’s newsletter ‘Inside Grower’ had this to say.
“Basil Downy Mildew on the Rise”

“Umass Amherst Extension issued an alert for basil downy mildew, which was reported in two Massachusetts counties last week. The downy mildew pathogen is likely airborne and disseminating from infected plants to healthy plants. The pathogen is sometimes detected in basil seed, but seed transmission is probably a rare event, according to UMass Extension. Infected leaves develop diffuse yellowing on the top of the leaf but distinctly vein-bound patches on the bottom. When spores are produced, a characteristic gray, fuzzy growth on the underside of the leaves is evident. Control should focus on reducing humidity and leaf wetness period. Few fungicides are labeled for herb plants and there are differences in registrations for field grown plants versus greenhouse plants. Copper products, phosphites, azoxystrobin, and mancozeb are labeled for use on basil. Plant pathologists at UMass are investigating methods to control this disease with biological control agents and are interested in collecting live, infected plants from residential gardens, greenhouses and field grown basil. If you’re in the northeast and think your basil plants are infected, email Dr. Rob Wick. Click HERE to learn more about basil downy mildew.´”

As we decorate our salads and store this herb for later use, it’s wise to check everything growing in the garden to ensure it is healthy and not producing problems. Just a quick note from our end regarding any fungicide use: always read the labels carefully and confirm the days to harvest for anything edible. There was also info on whiteflies causing problems with tomatoes so there’s another pest to know during the 2013 growing season. Take a peek at yesterday’s Facebook link. https://www.facebook.com/abilowz

So it’s time to find a perfect quote to sum up today’s post. Penned by William James, here is today’s top choice. “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” Heck, I just like it plus it wraps up today’s middle of the week tip. Stay connected to your garden; it’s vital to its health. Otherwise, expect lots more garden bumps on your summertime journey. Wouldn’t you rather have a healthy crop? 

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Newly Established

 

Marcel Proust once penned that “A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.” So while the humidity still lingers, today’s much needed rain is appreciated in our gardens. It’s been over a week without a soaking, steady drink from Mother Nature. Heck, celebrate it’s a vacation day from watering paraphernalia. That’s bound to create an uptick in the spirit department. 

But let’s talk about newly planted material you may have purchased and put in the ground this season. If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a tough year to get things going and established. First, boatloads of rain and then came the long stretches of heat. This set off the schedule of when one could plant but the heat stress factor; it went right off the dial. And for new plants, this can be the ‘do or die’ scene.  

So keep your growing expectations where they ought to be – you might see some failed plant material because of these weather extremes. The perfect window of opportunity was small this season. Yes, there is such timing even when it comes to planting. Maybe some of you remember this post in late May. http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2013/05/summer-prep.html  

With constant monitoring of your newly planted material, especially for those that rely solely on irrigation systems, always make certain the installed system is running properly and check it on a regular basis. Like anything mechanical, it has that wonderful aspect to go on the fritz, especially when it is needed the most. There is always the more reliable method for watering, which requires the old-fashion ‘get out’ and water by hand. Deep root watering is critical for plant materials in any stressful heat situation. That’s why today’s rain is such a celebration. I may have spoken too soon, though. It is coming down in buckets!

With that point, let's call this subject a wrap and summarize it with a simple Tuesday thought. Lorri Myers sums up what is often most needed. “Resilience is not a commodity you are born with, waiting silently on tap. It is self-manufactured painstakingly over time by working through your problems and never giving up, even in the face of difficulty or failure.” So remember that during this tough summer of establishing one’s garden.

Image by Ann Bilowz ©

Yes, it’s those resilient Daylilies again!

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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Two as One

 

Shelly Crane reminds us, “You are the light in a dark place. You are the water to my drought. You are everything I never knew existed and everything I wanted all at the same time.” That’s how many may view that place we call ‘home’. It’s that place we find refuge; it’s our comfort zone. It’s where we spend large chunks of our time - both inside and out. So when your aim is to perfect where you spend most of your time, it’s important for two (architecture and landscape) to meld together as one.

A seamless sign of architecture and landscape flowing together came from an architect touring one of Greg’s recently completed design projects. “My favorite part was the fact that you worked the grades so that the terrace and the lawn were flush. It felt like the terrace connected to the rest of the landscape. So often we are lifting the house and creating steps down to the lawn.”    

This unsolicited comment sums up Crane’s observation best. “You are everything I never knew existed and everything I wanted all at the same time.” It’s two working as one.

Image of the brightest Daylily in this morning’s garden 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

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stopper of Time

 


Has something stopped you in time besides this oppressive heat? Here's a Friday tidbit that confirms this theory. Did you know that the Hummingbird “because of its speed, is known as a messenger and stopper of time?” Why is this fascinating creature able to stop us? Perhaps what the Hummingbird symbolizes is truly believable. “When it hovers over the flowers while drinking nectar, we are meant to savor each moment and appreciate the things we love.”

Hummingbirds are attracted to the many plants and the natural habitat of our summertime garden. But I never noticed them floating above the beautiful, unique blossom of the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. It is only natural with its brilliant color that there is so much to love about this summertime wonder. It is true excitement when its fiery red flower stops the show. To see a Hummingbird flitting above it several times a day with Butterflies in tow, well, that's simply pure wonderment and stops me in time. Perhaps the Hummingbird, known as a ‘symbol of love, joy and beauty’ is trying to teach me how much I really do love Crocosmias and my summertime garden despite the heat.

And because Hummingbirds can fly backwards, what else can they teach us? Henry Miller summed it up best in ‘Stand Still Like the Hummingbird’. “...when you are convinced that all the exits are blocked, either you take to believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird. The miracle is that the honey is always there, right under your nose, only you were too busy searching elsewhere to realize it. The worst is not death but being blind, blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of the miraculous.”

There is no place I would rather be, stopped in time watching the miracles of a sweet landscape. And just in case you don’t follow on Twitter, https://twitter.com/annbilowz there was a great link retweeted for herbal infused honeys you can make yourself. It’s a perfect weekend endeavor with so much available from our own gardens. http://www2.fiskars.com/Gardening-and-Yard-Care/Projects/Garden-to-Table/Canning-Freezing/Herbal-Infused-Honeys-to-Make-Yourself#.Uek9z5PD-70

Image of the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ by Ann Bilowz ©

Hummingbird excerpts from http://www.symbolism.co/bird_symbolism.html

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, July 18, 2013

Five Tips for the Heat

  

  1. Baby steps 
  2. Tiny tasks
  3. A straw hat
  4. Water for hydration 
  5. And one big, comfortable seat in the shade
As Louisa May Alcott reminds me this morning, “The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them.” But until we get some relief, do everything slowly.
So besides that heat advisory advice, which everyone is aware of, let’s dig into some drought-tolerant plant material for your summertime garden. Sit back in your comfy chair; here’s a few of my favorites.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' - It's a plant often overlooked. Its salt-tolerance makes it a fitting choice for coastal plantings and it is eye-catching for cut-flower arrangements.

Daylilies are a must-have perennial; the varieties and colors are endless. Plus, you’ll get early green foliage and extended bloom with many of your choices.  



Ornamental grasses and sedums also provide varying height and textures to a perennial bed and require little water.

The prairie mixes contain flowers such as Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan), Echinacea purpurea, (Cone flower), Gaillardia aristata (Blanket Flower), Gypsophila elegans (Baby's Breath), Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) and Asters, requiring little water and offer stunning contrast. Creating these types of drought-resistant plant combinations also establish an enticing habitat for wildlife in your garden.



Agastache 'Blue Fortune' is a member of the mint family. Its soft lavender spikes offer structure to your sunny borders plus attracts butterflies. It is a great companion to Monarda ‘Coral Reef’, (known for its bright, punchy color and compact growing habits and is a tad more tolerant to powdery mildew, which can be problematic to Monarda.) The combination list seems endless but here’s a few deemed rugged and reliable for your summer flower garden.

Regarding the veggie and fruits, stay on top of any diseases or insects (we’re in the heart of Japanese Beetles season) that can defoliate plants very quickly. Stick with the watering to plump things up and pick your bounty at the optimum time. Don’t let beautiful cukes and zucchini get bitter, seedy and too long overnight. Add additional seeds like beans or squash sets to replenish the supplies. Yikes, I went overboard. That’s more than five tips for the heat. It’s a laundry list of humble tasks for those loving hands to beautify them.  



Images by Ann Bilowz ©

If you like this blog, hope you check in for your daily share's worth of inspiration, design, and garden 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 for inspiration. Like our Facebook follow on Twitter 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. You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Melody of Sorts

 
 

On wordless Wednesday, it’s a melody of garden images accompanied by a Candas Jane Dorsey quote. “I suppose that every wanderer started in a garden somewhere. So few of us are born into motion.”



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, July 16, 2013

Meet You Halfway

 

Jarod Kintz wittingly says, “I want a 100% kind of relationship, and I’m willing to give it 50%.” But let’s not dive too deeply into the swimming pool of relationships. Let’s talk about this relationship with our landscape instead.

What makes an outdoor living space work? Well, that’s really up to the person(s) who engage with it. This may be repetitive or sound like common sense to most. But how often do you hear someone say they want a beautiful garden or landscape but can only give 10% to making it dazzle and sparkle. A stunning landscape, just like a relationship is only as good as what you put into it. For those with the ability to have hired hands to maintain it, you should employ a knowledgeable crew that understands what is valuable to you and your needs. For everyone else, put on the work gloves and make sure you have the chutzpah to give it 110%. 

This is just a little tidbit of what is commonplace once a landscape is created. The honeymoon is over, the kids are growing like weeds and the sparkle went out because someone forgot that relationship formula.

So a little humor on Tuesday never hurts, especially when it is meant to drive home an important point - if you are looking for a successful landscape, someone has to give it 110%!

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

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sunburn Colors

Orhan Pamuk states that “colour is the touch of the eye, music to the deaf, a word out of the darkness.” He reminds me why color is so important in our garden. With the summer heat upon us, do you have a favorite color and do you ever think red? Maybe the first thing that pops in your mind - summer tomatoes.  But let’s switch to ornamentals and think beyond edible moments. Here's a quick Monday round-up of a few of my favorites.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ - Its common name is montbretia and is hardy to Zone 5.  


Hemerocallis ‘Moses Fire’ – This is a favorite Daylily. Hard to capture its true fiery color, try it yourself if you want instant radiance in your Daylily collection.


And if you don’t follow on our Facebook page, I posted this ‘Red Flash’ Caladium over the weekend. This is great for adding a sense of tropical; plus it’s a totally different red.


With a color so bright, it can stand on its own. I add red with everything imaginable under the sun including purples, yellows and soft tones as well.

So have fun with red. Don’t shy away. As Tae Yun Kim points out, “When you are fatigued, lethargic or sluggish for any reason, red has an energizing influence.” Who doesn’t need that on a hot and humid Monday?

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

Friday, July 12, 2013

'Oh, how beautiful!'

 

Rudyard Kipling once stated, “Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful!' and sitting in the shade.” But the Friday garden/design thought is do you have comfortable places to sit? It’s a logical question to ask yourself and it is one you may not ponder too often, especially if work is more prevalent in the garden than relaxing in it for a bit. You may forget that your garden visitor may seek a comfortable place to take it all in.  

Whether the design and flow of your landscape is open or if intimate spaces exist, when one wanders through, think about the perfect place where one might sit. And what elements do you prefer? Sitting walls versus a comfy chair and is there a view for one to take in? You may ask yourself would one linger long or seek only a fleeting moment in the summer air?

With so many options to consider, just remember to give your garden visitor a chair. Whether it’s a built-in or something flexible, possibly serving more than one purpose, you want your visitor to be comfortable and to linger so someone can say how beautiful your garden is. 

 

Top Image by Ann Bilowz ©  
Bottom Image - Landscape Design by Bilowz Associates Inc. © Photography by Eric Roth

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, July 11, 2013

Head in the Fruit

 

Unfortunately, my head has been in the fruit lately as this muggy weather takes its toll on my energy level. The one topic of conversation I may be overlooking with this type of humidity - insects and disease. While I’ve been aware of this nasty insect, Spotted Wing Drosophila through various alerts, I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it to folks who follow in these daily posts. According to our friends at UMass Amherst, this is a very problematic pest we are contending with this fruiting season. http://ag.umass.edu/news/spotted-wing-drosophila-pest-year 

The Spotted Wing Drosophila is hitting the soft fruit category, mainly blueberries and raspberries with the potential of other fruit that could be infected. Ask any of our local farmer friends and this pest is raising havoc and causing major concern. Read any of the various UMass postings or other University extension alerts and you soon realize this pest isn’t easily going away and we should all be concerned. As I always state, the home gardener is no exception to this rule on being savvy and aware. Understanding what’s happening with your fruit is critical – we should all know when an insect has infested us and the vigilant actions we should be taking to make certain it does not get worse.

Here’s one more link, an article just written yesterday in the Greenfield, MA local newspaper. It gives you a quick snapshot on this fruit fly and the stark reality of why the life of a New England fruit grower is so darn hard. http://www.recorder.com/home/7433448-95/little-fruit-fly-moves-makes-big-impact-on-berry-growers This as the fresh fruit in our bowls this morning were raspberries from the garden. Awfully tasty and sweet but hopefully it will not be short-lived.  

So when you’re looking for a new word to add to your garden vocabulary, make sure it includes ‘Spotted Wing Drosophila.’ As Oscar Wilde penned years ago, “Ignorance is like a delicate fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone.”

P.S. We’ll be attending an upcoming UMass Grape Twilight meeting next week to discuss Spotted Wing Drosophila management in Grapes. I’ll keep you posted on what we learn.

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Screened In

 


If you haven’t noticed the ‘out of control’ mosquito population at all hours of the day and night, then you’ve been screened in my friend. It’s been absolutely brutal to be outdoors, let alone to garden or to even pull a few weeds. And that’s in broad daylight, when mosquitoes should be sleeping.

So what outdoor activities have you successfully accomplished with this overrun of mosquitoes taking its toll on our summertime fun? Okay, just for the record. Here’s a $20.00 endeavor I just had to share. This handy dandy mosquito net sized to fit over a standard patio umbrella came in handy last night. With a table and four chairs, yes, the confines are a bit tight but if you tag along further, it all worked out. Although the two dogs had a look of ‘this is a large crate with our owners to boot' but we all managed to enjoy a bit of fresh night air. And if you can believe it, it was all done mosquito-free.

For once this season, we enjoyed a fire in the fire pit, a summer pasta dish with canned tomatoes, garlic and basil all from the garden while listening to country music (can you believe it – I guess I’m hooked) until the wee hours of mosquito feasting without getting one single bite. No sprays and no doodads other than this $20.00 purchase from the Christmas Tree Shop – what a bargain! One warning - getting the water inside the bottom tubing (it holds the netting in place) was a two-person operation and a tad messy at times. But we had a few laughs getting wet so chock it up as an extra bit of $20.00 fun.

So that’s it in this world of fashionable garden chic. Yes, there are more expensive screened-in options but this was a ‘$20.00 on the cheap’. The only thing missing last night were s'mores; Robin, we were looking for those tasty supplies.

It's about that time to wrap it up with a quote. No matter the pesky obstacles, let’s remember the niceties of summer as Hal Borland reminds us. “Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.”

And if you think this weather is giving you bad hair days,  just look at Ben’s.

Happy Wednesday - we're halfway there until the weekend.

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, July 9, 2013

Shaped & Fashioned

 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once penned, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” If you love your summer garden, how does it shape and fashion you?  
 

What I love most about mornings in the summer garden is that despite today’s heavy mist and recent heat, if I stop long enough and look at everything, I can find something beautiful that speaks to me. Take for instance this lovely Daylily; it appears to almost weep. It reminds me how much the Daylily is so much like the butterfly. Both are handed a short life span but it does not take away its beauty. So rather than cut these weeping stems for a vase, I leave it to drape gracefully over the stone wall. Shaped and fashioned, it creates its own beauty even if it was meant to stand up straight.

Like the Butterfly and the Daylily, our New England summer garden may seem short-lived. That’s why to embrace it each morning, to find out how it can shape and fashion you is the most important gift a garden can give. It's why creating one shall always be worth it to me.


P.S. If you missed my butterfly image above that I shared on our Facebook page yesterday, https://www.facebook.com/abilowz there’s a great quote by Haruki Murakami that accompanies it. Just look below in the comments. Thanks everyone and have a wonderful Tuesday.

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

Monday, July 8, 2013

Garden Reflections

 

Sylvia Path, a local poet once said, “She stared at her reflection in the glossed shop windows as if to make sure, moment by moment, that she continued to exist.” Hopefully all, including our gardens continued to exist through this heat and humidity. And hopefully all enjoyed their Fourth of July celebrations. The trick was to keep cool and shaded. It was a perfect time for garden reflection; maybe you managed to squeeze in more than watering and pulling out a few weeds.

So here’s the quick Monday tip – it’s for those who planted garlic last fall. Yes, more reminders (taken from one of my past blog posts) when picking your cloves.


  1. Gently dig around the garlic stock to expose the head. You can see if it formed and is ready for picking. 
  2. Don’t let the heads split apart, exposing the individual cloves. The garlic will not store as well. 
  3. Dry the heads on an old screen, keeping even air circulation or you can hang them until the entire garlic plant is dry. 
  4. When drying your garlic heads, keep out of direct sun. It should be a dry location; not a damp area. If you leave garlic to dry in a sunny location, it must be carefully monitored so do the stress-free technique and keep it out of direct sun. 
  5. Save about a 1/3 of your garlic in a cool, dry place for your upcoming fall planting. 
And as we venture off into the work week, remember these words by Bryant McGill. “The outer world is a reflection of our inner selves.” 


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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Fourth

 

Because most folks are already in fireworks mode and jet setting off for their Independence Day, it’s just a simple quote with two garden images for this wordless Wednesday. I spotted the quote yesterday hanging in the rafters at an eatery. It was one of those painted wooden signs you buy at a quaint country store or a Christmas Tree Shop. But the words stuck with me so it’s what I’m using for the quote of the day. I believe John Cassis deserves the credit for these words. 

“It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.” 

A good reminder as we go off to celebrate Independence Day. Have a safe and happy 4th of July.   


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, July 2, 2013

A Gadget for the Serious Gardener

 

Robert A. Heinlein once stated that “Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” So goes the world of gadgets and trinkets and all the stuff we fill our lives with. And although I don’t promote too many gadgets, here’s one for the serious gardener or lazy homeowner who absolutely hates weeds. This hand-held ultra-low volume herbicide applicator is made to handle weeds that can overtake a vegetable garden or clog up the fine crevices in your terrace. Warning – this is not for everyone, especially lazy folks without a brain as you would typically use this handy dandy gadget to apply RoundUp® selectively and sometimes laziness may overcome common sense. You might just end up killing what is meant to grow. The beauty of this sprayer is how you can selectively choose spot areas but the biggest benefit is how little chemical you actually use. So here is the skinny on the homeowner’s gadget as you don’t want to confuse it with the fancier one hiking upwards to $900.00. This applicator is the best bet for the serious gardener from our friends at Oesco Inc. located in the western part of Massachusetts. 

http://www.oescoinc.com/pulmipur-hand-held-controlled-droplet-applicator-ultra-low-volume-herbicide-sprayer.html

So if you’re not online yet buying your gadget, when applying any chemicals best to consider Eleanor Everet’s words. “For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind.” Sometimes for the average homeowner, safety and gadgets don’t go together too well.

Daylily 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

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tomato Groove

 

Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.” Call tomato lovers thoughtless, but when it comes to perfecting the tomatoes in the garden, conforming to a few good patterns may be all that you need to ensure sweetness and disease-free plants. And with this being the first of July, the treasured tomato plants are in the midst of a critical growing period. While the posts below may seem like beginner's tips, repeating phrases is always worth it, especially now when disease can run amuck. Plus, tending to the veggie garden can get lost in the summer fun shuffle and these simple steps can keep a consistent tomato groove.

http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2011/06/simple-steps-for-tomatoes.html
http://blog.bilowzassociates.com/2010/06/tomato-tip-of-week.html

So before I shove off, apologies abound for the short and sweet of things. But that’s the nature of the beast around this time of the year. Besides, I can’t tell what flavor people enjoy unless I hear from you. There’s a mixed audience that visits here, so sometimes it’s best just to serve up plain vanilla.

If you need a different flavor or twist, send your requests, comments or questions. Now off to celebrate – it’s the first day of July. You have to celebrate everything in life, even those small sparkles, otherwise, it all breezes right by you and you miss out on the grand finale. 

Image of tomatoes in the garden 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

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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.)