Verbena Bonariensis – Verbena on a Stick

Verbena Bonariensis is tall and airy and one of my fave flowers. It blooms like crazy all summer into fall. I plant it next to walls and fences for a stunning effect. Here I mixed it with white cosmos – purple and white is such a great garden combination. The lavender clusters are held high […]

The Sky and Earth – a Union We Overlook at Our Peril

I often write about creating beautiful outdoor environments to lift our spirits and enhance our wellbeing but we cannot be comfortable if the health of our planet is deteriorating. We talk about restoring balance to the earth. This starts with the soil. Once the soil is revitalized the atmosphere and weather will correct itself. Here […]

Garden Photo of the Day – Late Summer Foliage Tapestry

This is a foliage tapestry to plant in a pot or in a bed or around rocks…Sedum Lidakaense ( purple), Sedum Angelina (yellow) and Cerastium or Snow in Summer (silvery-white). Easy to grow, loves the sun and heat, and needs little root room. Voila!

A Great True story about Organic Soil

On April 29, 2010 Anne Raver of the New York Times asked: “How does Tony Avent, the horticultural mythbuster, grow so many plants successfully in his garden? Rule No. 1: he uses the same mix of 40 percent native soil, dug on his own land, and 60 percent compost for every plant. ”The soil for […]

Cottage Garden Primer

I once worked with a lovely client ( now a dear friend!) who wanted a cottage-style flower garden. Now there are cottage gardens and then there are cottage gardens…know what I mean? In Great Britain, it seems everyone has the most magnificent flower garden, each more spectacular than the next… their lushness sets a standard […]

Win a free issue of Garden Design Magazine right here!

As you may know, I love Garden Design magazine. It is gorgeous, each issue is 148 pages thick and packed with fascinating gardening info and landscaping ideas and, best of all, it has no ads! It is published quarterly, one issue per season. How can they make it work? Well, it is a subscriber-supported magazine. […]

Loren Eiseley’s Prescriptive for Our Times

“Let it be admitted that the world’s problems are many and wearing, and that the whirlpool runs fast. If we are to build a stable cultural structure above that which threatens to engulf us by changing our lives more rapidly than we can adjust our habits, it will only be by flinging over the torrent […]

Garden Design Magazine – My Tips and Interview

Garden Design Magazine interviewed me for tips for blending ancient and modern ways to create gardens that simply make you feel good. They also had the fabulous illustrator from Spain, David Despau, illustrate photos of some of my landscapes. I am honored. It is in the summer issue of Garden Design: It is such a […]

“Learning the Trees” – Howard Nemerov

I used to teach Tree Identification at a community college decades ago.    I also wrote the book, ‘Ortho’s’s All About Trees’ which introduces trees to the reader.    This poem reveals the beginner mind.   Watch for samaras and drupes….    Jan Johnsen Learning the Trees BY HOWARD NEMEROV Before you can learn the trees, […]

Beautify Your Vegetable Garden with These Ideas…..

The French have long understood that vegetable gardens can be places of beauty. They located their traditional potagers, or kitchen gardens, outside their kitchen windows and included vertical structures, flowers, and artistic plant groupings designed for aesthetic appeal. Flowers look beautiful and attract the all important pollinators to your garden. Read the wonderful article I […]