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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.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pressed For Time


It’s going to take a lot of Halloween candy and many cups of Joe to keep me on my toes this October 31st morning. There’s been a sleepless night in #Soxnation. It’s all the buzz, at least in this neck of the woods. What many in the sports world thought could not possibly take place somehow occurred on the night of October 30th, 2013. The Sox clinched the World Championship at Fenway Park. It took 95 years to dazzle the fans. Though there were two championships prior, winning it at Fenway seemed to matter most, especially this year.

But for those who know about the story of my #Bostonstrong Rose, well, there it is up above, next to the chilly pumpkins this morning. Of course, one more image was necessary as it hung from its cane.


But what to do with memories as Marcus Aurelius once said, “The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time.” This Rose could not simply remain as just images in my posts. Robert Goddard, the author has this to say about photographs. “It doesn’t matter whether you look through a camera lens and press the shutter. It doesn’t even matter whether you open your eyes or close them. The pictures are always there. And so are the people in them.” But I wanted this special Rose to be more than just a photograph. But how does one save the memory of a withering flower? 

So I shuffle back in time to 1918. We, here in Boston know what that year means. It took 95 years to relive winning the biggest ball game in front of #soxnation. But how would folks like my grandparents ‘preserve this moment in time’ and keep this #Bostonstrong Rose just as it was – strong and intact, pressed in time? As an unknown author once said, "Love is like a rose. When pressed between two lifetimes, it will last forever." 

So here’s what I intend to do with this Rose. I plan on pressing it in time with these simple instructions. Pressing a flower is a perfect way to remember your garden. Can you remember the last time you found a pressed flower amongst a book’s pages? It was common when we were kids but now we might have to press it between a smartphone and a Kindle. 

Call me old fashioned but one of the influential reasons I love to garden is because of my grandmother and her love for Roses. But as a young child, I was also indoctrinated with my grandfather’s love for baseball, which carried down to my two brothers and spilled over to me. Gramps was a huge Sox fan. He never saw them win BIG again after that 1918 World Series but he continued to watch them every season and loved them just the same.

So why relive traditions that took place in 1918? Here in Massachusetts, it’s more about what happened on the day of April 15th, 2013. That Marathon Monday shall always be pressed into our memories and the reason I believe the Red Sox were just destined to win. But it goes deeper than winning the biggest baseball game – it’s about spirit and faith. It’s when a Rose blossoms late in its season and continues to hold on – it’s what we call in #Soxnation, the #Bostonstrong.

Hope you'll join in the tradition today and press a flower in time.

Images of the #Bostonstrong Rose 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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Imagine

Photography by Eric Roth
Imagine
Carl Sagan once said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” On this ‘Few Words Wednesday’, let us embrace this time of year when imagination might be all that is left. Often times, imagination is what carries us through to next spring, giving us the springboard and the dare to design, construct or plant what we might never think possible in our landscapes. As we round the end of this October season, now is the time to imagine because without it, we go nowhere.

© Copyright note: this image and design has been developed by and is the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and should 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.©
Photography by Eric Roth

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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday’s Garden Reflections

Tuesday's garden reflections
In the quiet of this chilly Tuesday morning, it’s a quick list of fall tips to think about before the ground starts to freeze up. So grab your coffee. It’s a list ready to go.

Get your garlic bulbs set aside – it’s just about that ghoulish time to plant them. And while on the subject of bulbs, get those in the ground, too.

But let’s talk light bulbs for a minute. It’s the perfect time to run a landscape lighting check. You want to make sure things are functioning properly before the winter weather catches up with us and we turn the clocks back. Is that this weekend already?

Here’s one that most of us dread. Clean up your leaf debris. (Did you read yesterday’s post on mulching and mounding your roses?) It’s a subtle reminder; you can’t do one without the other.
 
Need a good use for those leaves? It may be repetitious or some may think 'extra work' but mix your ground up leaves with some manure for winter ripening. It makes your spring soil a bit more premiere. Your plants will love you for the enrichment bonus.

Speaking of improving your garden soil, did you forget to run the soil test? Click back to my recent blog post, The Fall Wellness Check.

Yes, I patiently waited until the end to talk about our Red Sox team. Don’t want to jinx anything but if you’re a fan, last night was another amazing win! Which leads me to the Rose that’s been featured in my last few posts – let’s take a peek at it today. This is not a doctored image. This is the real thing on this 24 degree morning. It’s just that this Rose is starting to droop so I decided to take the image looking up into the sky. Let’s hope that’s a good sign.

 
Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote


























As Ralph Waldo Emerson, a local Boston boy once stated, “Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up.” I still believe #Soxnation,#Bostonstrong, it’s the year for Boston to win the World Series again.

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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Roses, Luck & Mounding

Rose #Soxnation
According to Alice Hoffman, “Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender for luck.” 
 
Call it superstitious or as the commercial states it best, “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work." Here in #Soxnation, we’ll do whatever it takes. So there you have it. This Rose is still going strong despite another chilly New England morning. This after the Sox took game 4; it’s all the rage in #Soxnation.  
 
Just like baseball season, many may think the garden chores are wrapping up for the season. Not quite yet. Here’s that vital Rose tip for garden lovers. It’s still too early to mound those Roses. You need to wait until the temperatures drop and the Roses go fully dormant in order to make them winter hardy. It’s typically a couple of weeks after the World Series (mid-to late November) but first clean up any garden debris. That’s a big no-no to mulch or mound before fall cleanup is completed. Here’s one of my favorite links from UVM on mulching and mounding your Roses. Always go by your regional zone and fluctuating temperatures but these helpful tips should extend the likelihood of your Roses surviving into the next growing season.
 
So let’s go Sox – take game 5 tonight. And Jonny Gomes, the guy behind last night’s huge win, well, like this Rose, it’s still not dormant. Quite the contrary - it’s holding onto that blossom and we’re heading to take the big win!
 
P.S. If you’ve been following along, the image below was from last Friday’s blog post and the one below that was from yesterday afternoon, posted on our Facebook page. But I especially love this morning’s pic as the opener. You can see its hints of RED!
#Sox nation, Roses
Rose, #soxnation
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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.


Friday, October 25, 2013

The Bloom Says It All

#Bostonstrong
It is the Rose that still blooms in the fall garden that I appreciate most. During the summer months, I may take for granted what is so special about this flower. But today, this particular Rose still hangs in there despite chilly temperatures that dipped well below its comfort zone. It reminds me of this baseball quagmire we are in right now. Our beloved Sox lost one last night but here in Boston we believe in coming back and staying strong. I sense this is the year Boston takes the World Series again.
 
It’s the #Bostonstrong (not the hashtag or the words) but the families and the many lives changed after the Marathon bombings. On a recent hike, which was more difficult than I thought, had I considered giving up, I never would have made it to the top. But what kept me going was a flashback to all the Boston marathon survivors who lost their limbs. So I continued to hike to the top for them.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said it best. “The most beautiful people I've known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” For a lot of us, including the Red Sox team, the inspiring stories of these individuals have changed our lives forever. I retweeted this ESPN article on Twitter but for those who don’t follow or didn’t see it, it’s a must read. Thank You @jcrasnick for writing this piece.

Should the Sox win or lose, we will always be #Bostonstrong. Like the Rose that still blooms in the fall garden, these beautiful people are the strong ones who help us to carry on. Click on the article. Jeff Bauman’s face says it all!

Image by Ann Bilowz © The Bloom Says It All

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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Something Old, Something Blue

trends 2014
We all love trends. They start off slow and build up speed. Before you know it, there’s something old and something blue. And although these latest trends may not relate specifically to the garden and landscape design world, it’s my belief that just like flowing water, these trends trickle through to everything we do.

Here’s an interesting prediction for the 2014 spring fashion world – let’s go retro. When it comes to fashion, doesn’t every style rise up from the closet ashes again? Yes, there’s always the classic that outlives any current trend, which is why I guarantee that ‘heirloom’ (not necessarily retro) becomes the biggest buzz word with what we plant in 2014. Speaking of retro, you may spot some outdoor furnishings from those earlier years finding a new home in our terraces and urban rooftops. What do you think? Shop around at those last minute tag sales and flea markets as you might just kick off this retro outdoor furnishing trend.

Then there’s this thing with color - something blue. When it comes to paint, Benjamin Moore revealed its ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ a few weeks back. Just the name alone resonates ‘outdoors.’ The funny thing is, blue is the same color ‘moving up the ranks’ as a 2014 car color choice. Like I said, trends start to trickle, then slowly flow into our everyday lives. It just does what it does – trends. Then everything seems old and blue.

So there you have it. My prediction (besides the Red Sox taking the World Series): that these trends make their way into the garden and design world. So let’s get creative. Name an heirloom plant you might try next year or better yet, a retro furnishing you would incorporate into your outdoor spaces. And when it comes to something blue, can you envision a ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ making its way into your garden?

As Friedrich Nietzsche once stated, “There are no facts, only interpretations.” How true, especially when it comes to trends. But one thing is for certain - get a breath of fresh air today. Winter is coming soon. And Red Sox, let's take game two!

Image by Ann Bilowz © Something Old, Something Blue

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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rightly Timed Pause

Pumpkins

Mark Twain reminds me on this crispy fall morning that “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” So there you have it. Wordless Wednesday purposely installed in our cyberspace world. Why else but to enjoy the beautiful fall moments still left in our gardens. No words on this Wednesday – just “a rightly timed pause.”
 
Images by Ann Bilowz © More Wordless Wednesday Fall Moments
 
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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.
 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Place of Places

Gertrude Stein once said, "This is the place of places and it is here." Yes, we are only a few more weeks until we officially enter 'winter' yet we are still in the midst of this beautiful fall season. What will you be enjoying in these precious weeks of fall? Garlic or bulb planting? Cleaning all your garden tools? Maybe laying out a terrace or designing an outdoor space to enjoy next spring? 

Whatever you may be doing in these last few weeks of fall, don't miss out on the most naturally colorful season of the year. Remember, "This is the place of places and it is here." Make this Fall 2013 memorable. There's still some lingering foliage on the nut trees and plenty of local farms with an abundant fall harvest. Enjoy your Tuesday. The clock is ticking - let the winter countdown begin. 

Image by Ann Bilowz

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nature's Path

Rembrandt once said, "Choose only one master - Nature." And so it is we start this Monday with Nature at the forefront. These two images were taken on a morning hike. It's what was spotted in nature this weekend - what is known as Tiarella or Foamflowers in the wild. Mixed in amongst the fallen leaves, there it was - these beautifully shaped fuzzy leaves waiting to be found. Although a favorite perennial for us, it was a first to spot it growing in the wild. There's always so much to see when you keep your eyes open to nature. As Emory Austin stated, "Some days there won't be a song to sing in your heart. Sing anyway." 

When you can't find a song, look to nature. You can always find something to sing about. 

All Images By Ann Bilowz

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Fallback


Call it Memory lane as I digress today. I fall back to what makes life so simple – the sun, the moon and the trees. And oh, how I love this particular season. Maybe it has to do with spending so much time outdoors as a kid. 

I should consider myself pretty darn lucky. Directly across the street from where I grew up was an extension of my childhood. Miles of woods and trails eventually connecting to an extensive botanical park, all there for my exploring and that I did many an afternoon. Although the park and a portion of the connecting woods still remain today, development, like it or leave it, has filled in what was once a bountiful and natural playground. Places like these can certainly be hard to come by for children today but as +Richard Louv, author of ‘The Nature Principle’ and “Last Child in the Woods’ points out, it might have more to do with the inability to unplug than treating ourselves to some time in nature. “The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.” Had I been tethered to a smartphone as a child, would I have found these woods or anything in nature as welcoming to explore?

So on these last beautiful fall days, enjoy the sun, the moon and the trees. There’s a lunar eclipse this evening, and us lucky East Coast folks get the best shot of seeing it here in North America. According to this report, the best viewing should be around 7:51 PM EDT. So enjoy the Hunter moon and heed to hunting out nature. Unplug and enjoy. Plus, unlike most of those junk Hollywood movies, it’s free.  

Images by Ann Bilowz © Fall Moments

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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Garden Leftovers


Let’s kick off with some imagery on this October morning with a couple stragglers of some late season blossoms occurring in the fall garden.
Late Falll Blossoms
Yes, consider them garden leftovers because even these late bloomers shall fade very soon. So speaking about leftovers and frostier days in store, let’s do another recipe; another garden soup. What better way to use up produce in the veggie bin. This particular minestrone soup calls for a few of those fresh tomatoes that are still hanging around saying, (that is if tomatoes could speak) ‘Can me, freeze me, or place me in the compost bin.’

So here’s what you need for this tasty fall medley turned into Sausage Minestrone Soup.

Ingredients: 

6 sweet Italian Sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
2 yellow Onions
3 ribs of celery
4 carrots
½ bulb of fennel
4 cups of chicken stock
¼ dry red wine
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. dried Rosemary
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. pepper flakes *(optional for heat)
4 medium size fresh tomatoes (you can also use canned tomatoes if you don’t have fresh)

Cooking Instructions:

Use a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Warm up the pot and place olive oil to coat bottom of the pan. Cut-up the sausage into 1” pieces. Brown the sausage. Add the finely chopped garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and fennel - sauté in pan until cooked down and browned (approximately ten minutes). Add red wine to deglaze the pan. Add chicken stock, herbs and chopped tomatoes. Cover and simmer away. The longer you simmer, the thicker the soup. When serving, grate fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese on the top and enjoy garden leftovers on a crisp fall day.

As Donald Trump puts it so bluntly, “Get going. Move forward. Aim High. Plan a takeoff. Don't just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won't happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me; you'll love it up here.” When life gives you garden leftovers, it’s time to make soup.


Images by Ann Bilowz © Garden Leftovers

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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday's Seeds

Collecting seeds
Okay, it's another image of these colorful Marigolds. I love its kaleidoscope look and feel in the garden. So why not collect these seeds for next spring? Just the other day a neighbor hesitated when I asked if she wanted some for next year. Her response - "I don’t do good with seeds.” Well, if there’s one ‘keep it simple and easy’, Marigolds would fit that bill when it comes to collecting and replanting the seeds for next spring. And if you grow a veggie garden, this is an annual ‘must-have.’ You’ll notice less insect problems with your tomato plants. Plus you can’t beat the bright and cheery color when the rest of the garden is in its ‘growing out’ stage. So if you planted any annuals this season, give a go at drying, storing and collecting seeds for next season. It’s really not a huge investment. Plus, this whole process can be extremely meditative. If they sprout, well, you guessed the upside – it’s incredibly rewarding.

But onto one more thought or Wednesday seed. It’s what’s trending in the garden world for 2014. I mentioned a few trends (per the Garden Media Group) in previous blog postings but this one might seem surprising for this gender & age group. “Young men 18-34 are spending $100 more than the average gardener. They are grilling, growing their own hops for beer, and taking the kids out to play in the dirt.” Maybe it’s that reward factor as John Lubbock wrote years ago. “All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind.” 

So there you have it - Wednesday’s seeds. It’s a substitute for Wordless Wednesday. I’m always trying to mix it up a bit to hold your interest. P.S. Hopefully for the email subscribers, you’ll receive today’s post and yesterday’s as well. Oh, these daily technical dilemmas. It makes you want to do something meditative. Hmmm, like setting aside time to collect seeds for next spring.

And if you missed the spicy pumpkin soup recipe on Holiday Monday, make sure you check the post link here. It’s great weather for soups and toasting pumpkin seeds.

Image by Ann Bilowz © Wednesday's Seeds (Marigolds) 

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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Between the Seams

Give Plants the Right Light & the Right Conditions
Susan Cain states it best. “Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” Oh, how true this is when it comes to our plants. So today’s post is brief and to the point. It’s an image of a Lemon Coral Sedum planted this summer in between the seams of a bluestone terrace. It offers lovely foliage and the last bits of garden color on this fall morning, shining through because it was given the right lighting.

Image by Ann Bilowz © Lemon Coral Sedum         

 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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spice it Up Please


What do you with your pumpkins? Are they merely a fall decoration for your front stoop or do you take the leap, maybe toast the seeds? Which leads me to the final question - what do you do with the insides of the pumpkin if you go this route? Do you toss it or find another use?

For me, when I started down the road of toasty pumpkin seeds, it was find a use or toss it into the compost bin. I had no idea that I’d be entering the ‘spicy pumpkin soup’ zone. Yes, it turned into a weekend event. But the end result, well...here's the story.

Where do I begin sharing a recipe for something that was bunged together from the start? My Monday morning point is that the pumpkin inners should not be wasted, specifically if you have one that is more like butternut squash. When you cut into some of those larger pumpkins, they can be quite gooey and stringy. But our volunteer pumpkins that grew in this summer’s garden are perfecto for pumpkin soup. Although the seed quantity was limited, I washed each individually of pumpkin residue. Laid out flat on a cookie sheet, it was into the oven to dry. There was a chicken roasting when I did this, so they toasted up quite nice. The seeds were in for about 15 minutes before the oven was turned off. I left them in overnight to finish crisping off.
 
Now onto the soup, these pumpkin parts and a recipe that started off in my head. So right there, this spells trouble. Best to dig for a tried and true recipe; this is the spicy pumpkin soup recipe I used (just bits and pieces) to give me a little boost.

Here are some of my deviations:

I peeled and boiled the pumpkin in water with chicken broth, a chopped onion, a cinnamon stick and Grains of Paradise. The broth and pumpkin sat for a couple of days refrigerated before it was churned into a soup. It may have enhanced certain flavors but the next time, I would roast the pumpkin. By the time I sought a U Turn for this concoction, this is where I was in the process. But let’s get back to the soup recipe.
 
Just before the churning occurred, the cinnamon stick was removed. The only ingredients I used from the recipe above were brown sugar, milk, heavy cream, cayenne pepper and pepper flakes. I also added about a tablespoon of creamed honey with cinnamon. Did this add to its sweetness? I couldn’t tell you as I’m a challenge in the kitchen when it comes to following any recipe rules.

The toasty pumpkins seeds add a bit off nutty to the soup and might even balance the spice and hot. I did give the seeds a final toast; I placed them in olive oil in a hot pan, tossing them with some salt. It gave the soup a little extra pinch of savory. But overall, the soup was a hit. As Julia Child reminds us, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Have a great Monday. Thank goodness our New England teams won big!
































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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Friday, October 11, 2013

To Touch Every Flower


The landscape design and flower blogging train is taking a short pit stop today. When you notice people aren’t flocking to content but to images instead, give them something easy for the eyes and a quote to make their day. Plus, it’s Friday, the start of a long holiday weekend, which means some of you may be off to do all kinds of fun fall activities. If so, please share them.  It’s always welcomed here. For me, it’s just testing my hand at a spicy pumpkin soup recipe, canning operations and cleaning up the garden beds. So far the pumpkin soup is off to a rough start but if it comes out stellar, I’ll try to remember what I did.  

So that’s it in a Friday nutshell but before the engines rev, there’s a special footnote of ‘Thanks’ to share. We so appreciate the kind words, Mary. To be considered more than just your design firm speaks volumes; it’s what makes all the difference in the end. Leo Buscaglia put it best.  “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Your kind words are much appreciated; it reinforces what we try to do each day – to touch every flower. Have a wonderful Columbus Day weekend.
To touch every flower
 
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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Summer Garden Withdrawal


Why is it some of us dislike the changing colors of fall? Do you sense it's more to do with summer withdrawal than fear of winter storms? For those of us truly attached to the outdoors, fall inevitably deems itself a ‘mixed emotion’ season despite the substitute activities of apple picking, leaf peeping, pumpkins and cider donuts.
Ask yourself what it is you truly miss about summer. For me, just like the young girl in this image I captured at the +Atlanta Botanical Garden, it’s simply being able to discover the garden.
So what’s the best way to engage for an all year-round garden experience? Getting a family membership to a nearby botanical garden certainly helps and one we definitely promote. But here's one the design industry needs to bring to the forefront. Landscape architecture is more than designing for simple observation and beauty. Engaging design is meant to be discovered, explored, and best, to be engaged with.
If you've made it this far, here’s the Thursday challenge - engage your children in the garden for one  main reason. It pays off in dividends later down the road. For those in need of formulas, here's the basic math equation. Just the other day, a client mentioned wanting to plant bulbs with her son. These are words we love to hear most… that there’s youthful engagement and discovery in the garden including bulb plantings that shall blossom when the snow melts. While this may only be applicable to those of us living in these less than friendly climates, this is one of those subconscious lessons that remains forever implanted.
Engage now as a child in the garden and it inevitably wears off on you later down the road. Introducing gardens at a young age increases a child’s awareness of the great outdoors. And there’s nothing more invigorating than discovering a summer garden, someone else’s or your own. Teaching children that you can plant in the fall what will blossom in the spring is bigger than a lesson on horticulture or beauty. It’s about hopefulness, which as adults we need in big doses, especially during the changing colors of fall that lead to winter and an elongated quietness in nature.  
As L. Frank Baum pointed out about imagination and children discovering what is around them, “The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”  As Baum stated best, “Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities.” While all those inventions may seem passé, engaging our children in the garden pays off later down the road, wherever his or her road shall lead. The Thursday challenge: plant some fall bulbs and watch them pop in the spring.
Image 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! 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. Contact me direct at Annie You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Worlds Apart

wordless Wednesday
This path, this road could be anywhere in the world but too often we are worlds apart. We disconnect to nature because buzz, noise and crowds make us feel less isolated and connected to something outside of ourselves. We deny knowing these special places, these quiet moments because it is easier to stay busy, be worried, and in the end, rob ourselves of what we claim seems worlds apart from where we are.

On this beautiful fall October morning, connect with the world that is in front of you, even if it is just in these photographs. As Jodi Picoult points out, “Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?” Nature has a way of giving us that feeling. Connect with it today. Do not allow it to be worlds apart from where you are.
Mushrooms on a trunk
© All Images – Property of Bilowz Associates Inc.

If you like this blog, 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.  And you can also find us back on our Google+ Business Page. (Landscape architects/Landscape Design/serving Massachusetts and New England.)

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.)