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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Listen to the Seasons


As we begin the countdown for a brand new year, our garden slates can feel empty. So here’s an easy tip for your own garden resolutions. Keep one ear to the earth. Listen to winter and you might actually hear spring. Underneath that snow, all may be dormant but a true garden lover instinctually, almost immediately learns to persevere. With one foot in the earth, regardless of the season, perseverance is faith in disguise. 

While we settle in and listen to winter, keep one foot in the earth. This 2013 blog season ends with my own homegrown ‘Annie’ quote and what any person who truly loves to garden learns. "With one foot in the earth, regardless of the season, perseverance is faith in disguise." 

If you like these daily posts, come listen to the seasons as we launch into a brand new year. Keep this as your place to be and don’t forget to share, comment, like and follow. That is if you want to be tuned into 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. Don’t forget Google+ where you can find us under Ann Bilowz and Bilowz Associates Inc.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Still Spinning


In case you are still in  the holiday week tailspin, it’s a ‘keep it simple’ Friday image and quote. As Chica Umino reminds us, “It's okay to spin around and around in the same place. Just so long as you're singing your heart out. That's what life's all about.”

Missed yesterday's post? It's a picturesque reminder that this is the quiet season. Make the most of it. Everything design and #gardenchat will presume when that focus button is back on. 

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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Quiet Season

Quiet Season
Ralph Waldo Emerson once penned, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” One thing Emerson failed to mention was the long, arduous process involved in the creation of a thousand forests. It’s hard to be still like this one acorn found in the snow. Remember how much energy it takes to create the forest. Enjoy the gift of the holidays, this quiet season. Be still like this one acorn found in the snow. 

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.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On the Eve of Christmas


As Bess Streeter Aldrich penned in ‘Song of Years’, “Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart...filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.” Enjoy this eve of Christmas Day. Happy Holidays to everyone. 

Holiday Card – Bilowz Associates Inc. ©

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, December 23, 2013

A Holiday Garden Side-Dish Turn-ip’ed


David Tanis sums up the whole kitchen and cooking scene best. “Give two cooks the same ingredients and the same recipe; it is fascinating to observe how, like handwriting, their results differ. After you cook a dish repeatedly, you begin to understand it. Then you can reinvent it a bit and make it yours. A written recipe can be useful, but sometimes the notes scribbled in the margin are the key to a superlative rendition. Each new version may inspire improvisation based on fresh understanding. It doesn't have to be as dramatic as all that, but such exciting minor epiphanies keep cooking lively.” 

So let’s give this tasty turnip recipe a whirl. It works well for the traditional Christmas dinner or a healthy side dish for a winter party. Even if you aren’t much of a turnip fan, this tasty concoction of turnip, cheese and pears is one to recommend. Who would have thought? This kitchen epiphany knocks any other turnip dish out of the park. Even if you aren’t a gorgonzola fan, you won’t know such a strong cheese is one of the ingredients at all. You could give it your own signature and swirl with a different cheese or spice but just in case you like to follow straight by the book, what you'll need and directions below. Proportion wise – it serves 6-8. So double up if there’s more to feed. 

1 lb. turnips, peeled and cut in half
1 lb. pears, peeled and cored
½ cup minced shallots
2 tbsp. margarine or butter, melted
¼ cup (1oz) gorgonzola cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash nutmeg

Directions:

Place turnip in a vegetable steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 15-20 minutes or until turnips are tender. Set turnips aside. Place pears in steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 5-10 minutes or until pears are tender. 

Sautee shallots in butter in a small skillet until tender. Transfer shallot mixture to container of an electric blender or food processor. Add half the turnips, half the pears, and 2 tablespoons cheese; cover and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. Repeat this procedure until all is well blended. Sprinkle turnip mixture with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; serve hot or chilled. 

If you want a piece of trivia to share with your dish, the original Jack-o’-Lantern was carved out of a turnip, not a pumpkin. Different time of year and holiday but just in case you need some lively chew and chat.

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.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Farewell to Fall

Buying local holiday gifts

It’s hard to imagine, at least in New England that it is still fall outdoors. There’s more of a focus on recent snow, cold weather and the holiday season of gift giving. Speaking of which,  if there’s a few last-minute stocking stuffers or a hard-to-buy for relative or friend, don’t forget your local farmers when it comes to filling up the gift baskets. Still need a Christmas tree? You can find those, too.

Make slipping into winter a bit more green when you shop from that local farmer up the street. For urban dwellers, depart on a peaceful back road adventure to find those meaningful last-minute gifts. There’s plenty of farm stands in every region and it sure beats filling up the stockings with plastic doo-dads, electronics or gift cards. 

Keep fall in your holiday baskets and consider a treasured find from one of your area farms. Wine, cheese, honey, maple syrup, there's something for every taste bud. Here’s a holiday link for local readers but there’s sure to be one of these agricultural resources in every state around. Plus there’s plenty of parking and friendly faces unlike what you might encounter at the malls.

+Joel Salatin sums it up best. “A farm includes the passion of the farmer's heart, the interest of the farm's customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm -- it's everything touching, emanating from, and supplying that piece of landscape. A farm is virtually a living organism.” Sounds like the perfect holiday spirit to share as we bid our farewell to fall. 

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.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday’s Garden Shed Thoughts

Garden Shed thoughts
With the garden shed and all its tools packed up for the long stretch of winter ahead, it’s a perfect time to remind ourselves of what nature brings us each day. Enjoy the gifts in the surrounding landscape. Yes, it’s been a favorite topic this week – my obsession with light.
Snow & Sun
But no #gardenchat or design talk this morning - 'tis the season to shed our garden thoughts; just get outside, play, enjoy the day.
Ben's face after making snow angels 

Enjoy the spirit of the season. Before you know it, we skip into another year.
Ornaments
John Kuypers reminds us, “When you are present, you are not needy.”

Quick Thursday Garden Shed Thoughts - short and full of images as our winter and Christmas countdown begins. Enjoy the light; get out and play.

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.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Light on Words for Wednesday


On this white but bright New England morning, the above image portrays a sunrise in Southeast Utah casting its light over a meadow. Karen Cushman sums up our relationship with light. “When I was little, I used to try and capture the colored light. I thought I could hold it in my hand and carry it home. Now I know it is like happiness-- it is there or it is not, you cannot hold it or keep it.”   

For more reflective thoughts on light and its use in our exterior spaces, you can catch my recent guest blog post in New England Home, ‘Lighting Your World'

Safe travels on the snowy roads and share your thoughts on one of the true necessities in keeping our lives merry and bright – light!

Sunrise in Southeast Utah - Image by Greg 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.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Top of the Trees

Spotting Bluebirds
These first lines in Mary Oliver’s poem ‘White Eyes’ sums up best where we should pay attention this time of year. “In winter all the singing is in the top of the trees...” Today’s image shows the place where a migratory lot of Bluebirds were spotted yesterday. Although it was easy to observe them enjoying a snack from this Sumac Bush, it is never an easy accomplishment to actually capture the Bluebird; at least not for me. 

With the start of winter just days away, if you still love to spot nature, remember to look up. All the singing is happening in the top of the trees.

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.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Full Flavor of Herbs

Sage & Rosemary Sprigs holding onto the recent snow
Herbs are a gardener’s treasure during the long, winter months. Heck, one scrawny sprig of Parsley was saved from the summer herb patch and bunged into a tiny pot. It’s amazing what can be clipped and rescued as a sprig of Parsley replenishes itself daily in a sunny window. That snowbird Parsley is definitely enjoying the warmer side of plant life. 

In the above image are recently clipped sprigs of Rosemary and Sage from the artic garden. Though it’s a given that this outdoor Rosemary plant is officially done (it will not come back next season like the Sage) these outdoor sprigs still have essential oils and can be harvested for a soup or stew. While one Rosemary plant managed to get shuffled indoors, clipping sprigs from what herbs still remain in the frigid outdoors makes holding onto those outside garden roots strong. It keeps the growing season, the summer months closer to our hearts. Planting herbs indoors or out (or both) can be satisfying and tasty as well. A sprig of Rosemary, Sage, Parsley or Thyme to a simmering stew adds a flavor never achievable from a jar of dried herbs. 

Speaking of soups and stews, it’s about time to call this Monday herb fest a wrap with a Marge Kennedy quote. “Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.” 

Tip for this chilly Monday: if you aren’t growing herbs, start an extended family this season indoors and include an easy one like Parsley as a new-found family relative. Your taste buds should appreciate it plus it’s a great day for a warm pot of soup. 

P.S. Ashley Petersen would like to keep the 26 days of kindness going strong. She has made today Fierce Fallon Day! Fallon loves pizza, Chinese food, sports and games, especially crossfit, softball, and swimming. Her idol is Dana Linn Bailey- Ms. Olympia. Her favorite colors are pink, blue and red. Most importantly, her favorite thing in the world is her little sister, Mae. Here is the event or FB Page where you can post a kind thought or act. Just like the herbs that keep our garden hearts ticking through all the seasons, you can participate and keep 26 days of kindness chugging all year long. 

Sage & Rosemary - 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.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Spilt Kindness

26 days of kindness extended
Joyce Rupp reminds us that "...the main purpose of a cup is to have its contents given away." On this snowy December 15th, it’s an extra day of kindness to honor the survivors, teachers, first responders, friends and family of Newtown, CT. Though this is the season of giving, we often forget that specifically with first responders and teachers, their job is to be of service, to aid. This extra day is to share an act of kindness in honor of the survivors, teachers, friends and family of Newton, CT; to fill their cups that may still be empty. It’s just one extra day. 

This unknown quote states it best. “So when your cup is full, spill some ‘kindness’ into the wind; for in a thousand songs, it will return to you. And when your cup is empty, just lift it up and sing; and it will fill itself slowly with the ‘kindness’ that each of you spills into the wind.”

Here is the FB and event page to post your thoughtful acts of kindness on this extra day of 26 days of kindness. Ashley Petersen, the champion behind these 26 days of kindness intends to keep this page open for those who want to share their experiences and continue spilling their cup of kindness onto these pages.

One note regarding the above unknown quote – where you see the word ‘kindness’, it was actually ‘wine’ but kindness is more appropriate so I made that one adjustment to this unknown author’s quote.

And to Chris, Jen & Mattie, my family connection to Newtown, CT - my personal reason for taking part in these 26 days of kindness. 

An Extra Day of Kindness Cup - 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.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Eternal Ripples of Kindness


On this 26th day of 26 days of kindness, we honor Dawn Hochsprung. She was Sandy Hook Elementary's brave, hardworking, fun principal who always dressed in costume to encourage reading at book fairs. She loved chocolate, books, kids, being silly and above all she loved her family. One year later, for this Connecticut town and Dawn Hochsprung, offer a reflective moment of quiet, an act of kindness or thoughtful prayer. As Mollie Marti reminds us, “Our power lies in our small daily choices, one after another, to create eternal ripples of a life well lived.”
26th day of 26 days of kindness
Here is the FB and event page. You may post your thoughtful acts of kindness on this 26th day of 26 days of kindness for Dawn. Newtown, CT and its families request just this - acts of kindness, quiet and reflection on this difficult one year anniversary.

Lily 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, December 13, 2013

Draw To Remember

25th day of 26 days of kindness

On this chilly Friday, December 13th, today’s image is a photograph of an oil painting done by an artist friend of ours. I chose this particular painting because it has vibrancy and depicts the simplicity of a home and its surroundings. It speaks to the importance of form and composition often seen through art and drawing. Let's use an excerpt from my August 2009 archived post. ‘A great exercise when starting to develop a new garden is to look for landscapes that impress you. Now look at them through the eyes of an impressionistic artist. Don’t look for too much detail at first; simplify your perspective. See the form and color composition; envision what soothing elements may apply to your own garden.” Here’s the link if you’d like the remainder of the post. 

But the real reason today’s image is an oil painting is stated best by David Gentleman. “Drawing things makes them seem more real and makes me feel more alive. It also makes me pin down and remember things - landscapes, season, weather, occasions, incidents, people - that would otherwise have melted from my memory.” On this 25th day of 26 days of kindness, we honor Caroline Previdi. Nicknamed "Boo" due to her resemblance of the character in "Monsters, Inc.," Caroline loved gymnastics, drawing and dancing. Today’s post represents Caroline’s love for drawing and the opportunity to do an act of kindness in her honor. 26 days of kindness will be extended until December 15th. There will be one extra day of kindness to honor the survivors, teachers, first responders, friends and family of Newtown, CT.

A footnote: This personal journey started out when my niece-in-law, Jen, a lifelong resident of Newtown, CT invited me to join Ashley Petersen’s 26 days of kindness event. Each day, each post was done through the eyes of our gardens, our landscapes, flowers blooming brightly in the sun. The effort was always to combine the short bio that Ashley would send and touch upon something each one of the lives being honored enjoyed and loved. But the part that was most important was to consciously think about an act of kindness for each one. Here is the FB and event page where acts of kindness will continue as each day moving forward Newtown, CT heals as a town. These acts of kindness help. P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom. 

© Andy Newman oil painting - 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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tomorrow’s Garden

 
An unknown author once stated, “Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow.” As we near the winter solstice on December 21st, we often forget what is happening in the surrounding landscape. It is easy to forget our gardens that offer us a flush of hope. It’s a gardeners’ sixth sense that assures them of one thing. Some, if not most of what we planted, though it may wither down to the bare bones of the earth, shall find its rebirth come spring.



We each state our own personal reasons for why we garden. There’s a mile long list for many but the common thread is a symbiotic connection to the earth. It’s something all garden lovers share. It is proven to us time and time again. It’s this belief that there is a tomorrow; that what we planted last season comes back to us in the early months of spring. 
 

 
On this 24th day of 26 days of kindness, we honor Mary Sherlach. She enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, reading and going to the theater. What an essential message, a belief in tomorrow to send with your acts of kindness today to honor Mary’s love of gardening.  Hope is often that little extra gift someone might need. It’s not money or lavish presents but that lift for today to believe in tomorrow.

The last of these 26 days of kindness are nearing this Saturday though an extension is planned for December 15th. There will be one extra day of kindness to honor the survivors, teachers, first responders, friends and family of Newtown, CT. Remember it’s not about money or lavish presents but that lift for today to believe in tomorrow. As always, the event and FB page to take part in the acts of kindness.

© Images by Ann Bilowz © Ornamental Kale in the November Garden

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, December 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It’s wordless Wednesday so let’s celebrate with an abundance of flower power. Straight from the archived garden images, today is in honor of Josephine “Joey” Gay. On this 23rd day of 26 days of kindness, “Joey” would have celebrated her 8th birthday. She loved the color purple, Barbies, peanut butter, singing and swimming. This quote by Thomas J. Peters sums it up best. “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Let’s spread kindness just like peanut butter on a piece of bread. Celebrate the color purple and don’t forget to sing. Clematis in Bloom



Images by Ann Bilowz ©

The FB and event page for 26 days of Kindness.

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, December 10, 2013

Stand In the Sunshine

22nd day of 26 days of kindness

Bryant McGill’s words articulate a simple message. “Life has a way of shining on people who stand in the sunshine of kind actions.” On November 19th, a chain of kindness began its journey (created by Ashley Petersen) with this Tuesday marking the 22nd day of 26 days of kindness. Today we honor Anne Marie Murphy.   

Anne was hardworking, artistic, she loved the outdoors and working with children. Today’s image depicts a glimpse of what Anne loved; it articulates this simple message. “Life has a way of shining on people who stand in the sunshine of kind actions.”

Here is the FB and event page to post your sunshine acts of kindness for the families of Newtown CT. Even if the sun isn’t shining where you are today, stand in your own sunshine with one kind action in honor of Anne Marie.

© 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.©

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, December 9, 2013

Finding Your Green Space

21 days of 26 days of kindness
Step into the design world and imagery is everything. Critical in defining the vision, imagery is collectively understood. A picture defines the place, the purpose. There aren’t words to explain it but we get it. We live by what we see. 

How people perceive imagery and visuals was stated best by the Walt Disney Company. “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” With it being Monday plus the 21st day of 26 days of kindness, there’s an exercise in honor of Rachel D’Avino. Rachel’s passion was working as a behavioral therapist and making children's lives easier. She enjoyed baking cakes, karate, photography and she loved all types of animals.

In honor of Rachel, it’s her love of photography I chose to touch upon today. During these dreary garden months, we subconsciously miss the lush, deep tones of green. We long for vibrant spring and summer colors but the lush green backdrop sets the entire scene. So here’s the Monday morning activity - envision your favorite spring and summer exterior spaces or a favorite park or arboretum you visit. No need to be elaborate. Take your own photos or find the ones that speak to you. As Disney reminds us ‘pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” 

And don’t forget the small act of kindness. Maybe share your photos with a friend or someone you haven’t seen for a bit. Or better yet, it’s a great night to bake a cake. Or do a little something extra for your pet or a sheltered animal. As always, the links for the FB and event page to help the families of Newtown, CT while this community approaches a very difficult day. 

21st day of 26 days of  kindness
Images by Greg 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.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday's Flower Break

20 days of 26 days of kindness
Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.” Do you make time for flower breaks? Do you take time to really see a flower or a landscape the way O’Keeffe may have seen it? A major figure in American art, she truly saw the landscape and her surroundings in a creatively clever and abstract way. What made O’Keeffe’s work astounding was her ability to carry out her craft over time without pressures to current day trends.

On this Sunday, this 20th day of 26 days of kindness, we honor Allison Wyatt. This Georgia O’Keeffe quote and two archived flower images were chosen because Allison wanted to be an artist and she loved the color red. With a great sense of humor and a big heart, she often did random acts of kindness for strangers. What will your random act of kindness be today?
20 days of 26 days of kindness
To post something special for Allison Wyatt this December 8th, the FB and event page for 26 days of kindness. 

Images by Ann/Greg 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.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

What Shapes Us

19 days of 26 days of kindness Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” These topiary animal shapes in this image appear both whimsical and playful; Yews (Taxus) in disguise standing proudly in front of an English carriage house. In fact, this is one of the many buildings of an old medieval manor and gardens that lay dormant for over two hundred years. ” Nestled in the beautiful Peak District National Park of England, in the mountain range between Manchester and Sheffield, this gem, +Haddon Hall is considered “the most romantic house to survive from the middle ages.”

On this chilly December morning, this image might stir an English venture in the springtime or perhaps just a hot cup of freshly brewed tea. But there is another reason. Today is the 19th day of 26 days of kindness in honor of Benjamin Wheeler. Ben loved soccer, the Beatles, lighthouses and taking swimming lessons. He wanted to be an architect and a paleontologist because that's what his older brother, Nate, wanted to be and he wanted to do everything Nate did. 

Today, remember what shapes us is what we build and what we create. As we venture off to enjoy our Saturday, what kindness will you shape today? Here is the FB and event page to share your posts on this 19th day of kindness in honor of Ben. 

P.S. There is an extension planned for December 15th. Ashley Petersen is doing one extra day of kindness to honor everyone else: the survivors, teachers, first responders, friends and family.

Image of Haddon Hall carriage house by Greg 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, December 6, 2013

Timing is Everything

18 days of 26 days of kindness  
What makes something fit or feel right, taste perfect or just look like it is in the correct place? Timing, like a drum beat fitting into a song, well, it’s everything that makes it perfect with a capital ‘P’. It takes me to an archived post written two years ago in January titled ‘Nature’s Crescendo’. It touches upon the musical term, a crescendo and how this applies to nature and light; take a peek. But there is a flip side during this month of December. The amount of natural light we actually absorb decreases.

For many, this light deficiency makes December equally, if not more challenging as the middle of winter; the bitter month of January. Our natural ability to feel lighthearted is affected by sunlight and weather. These natural elements  determine our thoughts and our decisions. Candles and holiday lights become a large part of our December evenings to give us a lift in spirit. This imposed light weaves a certain rhythm into what is naturally occurring and keeps us moving full steam ahead. But even this can find us looking for more magic than these flickering bits of lighted hope can give.
 
As we start the 18th day of 26 days of kindness in honor of Avielle Richman, this collage of archived images hopefully lift these dark December days of decreasing natural light with a bit of magic. Nora Roberts penned it best. “Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 










 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Avielle Richman’s favorite color was red. She loved Harry Potter and took horseback riding lessons. She even tried archery after watching the Disney movie "Brave." In honor of Avielle, create some magical light where none might exist. This is the beauty of kindness. Timing is everything and today is the perfect day to give a piece of your light away. Take part in these 26 days of kindness. It is not too late. Here is the FB and event page

Images by Ann/Greg 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, December 5, 2013

Imagination is...

day 17 of 26 days of kindness
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination encircles the world.” On this 17th day of 26 acts of kindness, today’s image of a Unicorn, part of the ‘Imaginary Worlds’ display at the +Atlanta Botanical Garden is to honor Jessica Rekos. Jessica was a Girl Scout and was excited to start selling cookies in January. She loved horses and orcas, she even kept a journal of "whale research." Jessica also took horseback riding lessons and had won a blue ribbon at her one and only show.  

Jessica loved animals that jumped high and free – a simple lesson to learn from this young spirited girl. Take your own leap of faith today. Imagine kindness encircling the world for Jessica on this December 5th day.

The FB & Event Page for 26 days of Kindness for Newtown, CT. As this anonymous quote reminds us, “The Unicorn - The beautiful white horse with the magical horn that heals.”

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, December 4, 2013

Where Only One Grew Before

Day 16 of 26 days of kindness
As the December sun starts to brighten, waking itself from behind these early morning clouds, this beautiful native New England shrub is today’s archived garden image. The Rhododendron vaseyi (Pinkshell azalea) is an all-time favorite. In the spring, its dainty pink blossoms exude softness and beauty.  It is an extremely hardy shrub with an additional fall feature. Its leaves change to a sunburst of fall color. The foliage turns red, yellow, and orange. It is truly spectacular. As always, when designing a garden for color, form and texture, always look for something that gives diversity throughout the year. 

But today’s image is also chosen to honor Victoria Leigh Soto. On this 16th day of 26 days of kindness, let these soft pink blossoms remind us to share something wonderful in honor of this spirited teacher. Victoria knew she wanted to teach since the age of 3 and loved having fun with the kids. She collected flamingoes and Christmas was her favorite time of year. 

As this holiday season fast approaches, remember what Elbert Hubbard once said. “The teacher is one who made two ideas grow where only one grew before.” Share an act of kindness for Victoria. Make two acts of kindness where only one grew before. 

FB page and Event page for 26 days of kindness.

Image Ann Bilowz © Rhododendron vaseyi (Pinkshell azalea)

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, December 3, 2013

This Day

Day 16 of 26 days of kindness
On this 15th day of 26 days of kindness, it’s a collage of Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp) to honor Daniel Barden. Daylilies bloom for only one day but like these 26 acts of kindness, a Daylily has prolific buds, guaranteeing colorful blossoms in our summer gardens for weeks at a time. A Daylily is that one workhorse perennial that can be counted on to always show up, be of service, much like the firefighter that Daniel hoped to be. 

The first image shows two beautiful Daylily blossoms in the hot July sun. It is symbolic of the first post written on November 20th to honor both Daniel & Noah Pozner. The last two images are a favorite Daylily in our summer garden. It is called ‘Moses Fire’ and seemed appropriate to honor Daniel on this December 3rd, 2013, this 15th day of kindness. Richelle E. Goodrich states it best. “When you tend to another's dying embers, you find both warmth and an increase in the glow of your own fire.”



 
Daylily Images by Ann Bilowz ©

The FB and event page for 26 days of kindness.

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, December 2, 2013

Winter Blossoms

day 14 of 26 days of kindness
With winter upon us, it is often hard to see the beauty in the landscape. But if you like to extend the seasonal interest in your garden, some of us keep a flower’s faded blossoms intact during the winter months. Take for instance Hydrangeas. Deadheading its faded flowers is subjective but if you prefer something sculptural, it is recommended you leave a few of these faded blossoms until late winter/early spring. At that time, you can thin out its stems and give your Hydrangeas its complete seasonal pruning. 

Here’s a little tidbit about where many flowering plants store its energy supply. Open up the stem of a Hydrangea and the pith, the cavity in the middle is where its spring start-up food is stored. Because of this much needed energy for the plant to rejuvenate itself, you do not want to prune your Hydrangeas until the real chill of winter has past. If nature hasn’t already removed the faded blossoms left on its branches, you can deadhead those extra showy puffs of magic when you do its pruning come early spring. 

Why did I choose archived images and tips about Hydrangeas today? It is the 14th day of 26 days of kindness to honor Jack Pinto. He loved sports, especially football. He also enjoyed baseball, basketball, skiing and wrestling. On this overcast December morning, remember your gifts of kindness, especially as we approach the heart of winter. 

Darrell Royal reminds us, "The only place you can win a football game is on the field, the only place you can lose it is in your hearts.” Event and FB Page for the 26 days of kindness.

day 14 of 26 days of kindness
Images by Ann Bilowz/Greg 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.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Seeds of Kindness

day 13 of 26 days of kindness
Gertrude Jekyll, a famous English garden designer and artist once said that “The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” Jekyll created some of the most outstanding color and textural compositions in her art and garden designs. Though her vision was impaired, her philosophy was ‘you should be able to strain your eyes and see the forms, masses and drifts of color and texture.’ Her lack of consideration to fads of the day and ‘going against the grain’ is what makes her still remembered today.

On this 13th day of 26 days of kindness, we remember and honor Emilie Parker. The archived garden image to honor Emilie is the ‘Red Flash’ Caladium. This plant’s tropical red leaves edged beautifully with green give a hint of Christmas color on this overcast December 1st day though an artist might notice the raindrops cupped within the foliage.

Like Jekyll, Emilie was creative and artistic. She was always writing down her ideas for projects and loved going to the craft store for new supplies. She also loved to dress up and read stories with her sisters. And like Jekyll, we should always remember Emilie for the things she loved so much in life so ‘a seed once sown never dies.’

Plant your seeds of kindness on this 13th day of 26 days of kindness. Sow them wherever you may be on this December 1st. Kindness, like a garden, can always find a place to sow a seed.

Here are the links for the event and FB page to share your seeds of kindness. 
Image by Ann Bilowz © ‘Red Flash’ Caladium

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.

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.)