CHIHULY NIGHTS at New York Botanical Garden - Spectacular! Last few days

ALERT!   Only 7 more days until the  fabulous Dale Chihuly exhibit at NY Botanical Garden closes: Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. CHIHULY Nights: Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through October 2017, plus Wednesday, October 25, and Sunday, October 29; 6:30–10:30 p.m. 


This is your last chance to see the immensely popular show - by day or night. I suggest you start in early evening and watch as the darkness brings out the glass sculptures in a way nothing else can. It features 20 installations!

That is what I did with my family visiting from Florida. We entered, visited the phenomenal bookstore ( another must for garden lovers) and then walked  the grounds  in the late afternoon light. The sweeping vistas and art contributed  to a memorable evening.

We then had a great dinner near the entrance in the Visitor Center plaza, listened to the live music, and made our way to the conservatory for more Chihuly wonders.

My guests, als…

Purple is Becoming the Most Popular Color in the World

Purple is fast becoming the most popular color in the world, surpassing the perennial favorite color, blue.
Why? It vibrates at a higher frequency. The younger people are drawn to this. 
Natures uses purple to communicate to pollinators. They like purple too.
Here are some 'purple in the garden' photos I have taken ( except for the bee photo):

Christopher Alexander - A Pattern Language

illustration of Christopher Alexander's 'Positive Outdoor Space' by Matt Noiseux
One of the books I used in my Landscape Design Studio class in Columbia University is the classic, 'A Pattern Language' Towns- Buildings- Construction by Christopher Alexander and others. 

It offers 'patterns' as basic design templates for you to follow. 

These are principles of  design that are founded on common sense as much as anything else. 

Alexander says his design language  is based on human and natural considerations.

Adding to the delight it that they are numbered for easy reference in the book:  

'Accessible Green' is # 60.    'Quiet Backs' is #59. 
One of the more elusive patterns is  #106 Positive Outdoor Space.It is a favorite of mine.

 It talks about manipulating outdoor space and refers to space as being 'negative' and 'positive'.
 Yin / Yang anyone?

The gist of this pattern says that there are two fundamentally different kinds of outdoor sp…

Oak Trees and Einstein

Why do certain tree species evoke the same response from all people? 

The Oak, for example, was considered  by the Celtic Druids to be the 'King of the Greenwood' . To them, oaks represented mighty and enduring power.  

The ancient Greeks also revered oaks - groves of them were deemed sacred territory.   And Native Americans viewed the oak tree as a symbol of strength with supernatural powers. In fact, the tradition of “knocking on wood” is said to be of Native American origin  - they would knock on an oak tree in order to avert the failing of a hopeful prediction.

This similarity is true for many other trees from Ash trees to katsura trees to maples.... So why do disparate cultures see tree 'personas' similarly?  
I think Albert Einstein figured it out.

  In  1905, Einstein, a young patent inspector in Switzerland,  came up with a simple equation that challenged the way we in Western society saw the  physical world:

Few people, at the time, realized what this mix of numbers …

The Key to Design Perfection

A designer knows he has achieved perfection  not when there is nothing left to add,  but when there is nothing left to take away.   

 -  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Meet everyone and everything through stillness

Meet everyone and everything through stillness rather than mental noise.
 ~ Eckhart Tolle

I like to create  'stillness' gardens.

These are outdoor spaces where 'mental noise' may cease, if only for a while.   In this tranquil atmosphere, forgiving thoughts take root....and healing begins.

Cascade by Johnsen Landscapes

Forest Therapy - A walk a day keeps the doctor away....

I often take a walk in the woods near my house.
I walk on paved streets to reach this forest trail, taking rapid strides and often breathing  in chilled morning air. I catch the early sunlight through the trees. It is such a wonderful time and I feel calmer and more centered.

My little morning reverie has a name: ' forest bathing' or, in the original Japanese, 'Shinrin-yoku'.  
This arboreal therapy, the Japanese tell us, literally instills peace, calms us and promotes immunity to disease! 

Like a walking healing meditation, "forest bathing" coordinates breath and movement in the presence of the scent of forest trees to uplift us.
Ever since a Japanese government agency coined the term, 'forest bathing'  in 1982, 'shinrin-yoku' has slowly made its way into the vernacular in Japan  It has a great many Japanese fans who now can visit forty two'forest therapy' parks for stress relief. 

Their goal is to set up 100 within the next decade.

The phra…