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A Snowy Full Moon in January

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Two evenings ago, driving along a road in open farm country, I watched as the January full moon rose over a snowy landscape...
The large white disc shining brightly in a liquid gray sky was spectacular!
 I now understand why animals howl at the moon - it must be a sympathetic show of appreciation and awe. The grandeur of the full moon made me reflect on moon gates, the traditional Chinese circular entryways that lead into contained gardens and cities. The rounded opening alludes to the full moon and the Chinese adage that says, 'Flowers are more beautiful when the moon is full.'
Stepping through a round portal is symbolic of so many things. Like our entrance into this world, an enveloping enclosure calls to us to see what is on the other side. This sort of entry speaks to us of mystery and delight - no soaring Calatrava-like bridge or ornamented portico -  a moon gate beckons quietly, saying 'all is well, come see for yourself..."

photo by Jan Johnsen
One of the most lovely…

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Serenity in the Garden

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Happy New Year to You!  2018 will be a wonderful year. I wish you all the blessings that a New Year brings. And I aim to bring more serenity and inspiration to garden lovers next year.
 Love the Earth in 2018.
Yours, Jan Johnsen




Greetings of the Season from Serenity in the Garden

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"What matters most are the simple pleasures so abundant that we can all enjoy them... Happiness doesn't lie in the objects we gather around us.  To find it, all we need to do is open our eyes.” 
― Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ryThe Little Prince

Tomorrow - Sunday Dec 10 I speak at the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons

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Tomorrow, Sunday Dec 10 at 2 pm I will be speaking about Serenity by Design to the avid gardeners  in the Hamptons on Long Island, NY.
I am excited to speak to this wonderful group at their annual holiday gathering. 
Please join us! It will be at the Bridgehampton Community House, 2368 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY 11932








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Benches make a garden....
After you arrange all the plants, the rocks, install the paving and whatever you choose...then you place the bench. 


The bench is what calls to us.

And the bench adds a special sparkle that touches the visitor directly.  After all, the bench seat is what we feel when we sit down.  :-)




So it must look great and feel good.  Here are some choices for your garden.
Roseto Bench by Crate and Barrel

This plantation harvested teak bench has a clean, contemporary double vertical slat-back design.  mortise-and-tenon joinery.


This red bench is in Croton on Hudson, NY . A great place to sit and look at the Hudson River....


 I love stone benches:



And modern ones are so fun - like this eye beam bench:


Lucky Beam Bench by Katch Design
The Lucky Beam bench by Brooklyn-basedKatch Design is made from 100% recyclable aluminum,  features a solvent free powder coat finish and a reclaimed  Pine seat coated with an all-natural oil base. The  Lucky Beam adds an urban feel

Lucky Beam Bench …

Gift Ideas for the Gardener in Your Life

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It is that time of year and you want to give wonderful, heart warming gifts to your garden lover friends. You want to find unusual and touching presents that acknowledge who they are and what they are into - not just hand cream. Right?


And you don't have a lot of money to spend and you would rather order on line than go crazy in a crowded shopping scene...


So,, in that spirit, I am going to suggest some inexpensive gift ideas for your gardening pals...the money limit is $20. and less for some fab ideas...
the market research is this:  If I want it then they will too.



You can use them as gift wrap or - better yet- frame them or laminate them and place in a suitable location.  Vegetable gardeners would appreciate the fruit and vegie gift papers. Succulent lovers will like this one:


And of course mushroom hunters will warm to this gift:




For the more practical souls, there is always Moo Poo Tea! This is the secret to healthy happy and thriving plants. And it is so easy to feed the plants wi…

Speaking with Earth Spirits in a November Garden

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"While my gardens, admittedly neglected this summer, have morphed mainly to daisy-yellows and a plethora of pink malvas, the flowers from my friend Sharon's garden in Watertown, Massachusetts still flourish.
But you should know that Sharon speaks with earth spirits and they obviously help.
Sophia Serve

Crabapple in my garden in November
Don't you love that? "....and they obviously help...."...of course they do!  Here is my November ode to Earth Spirits:
Hellebore from Pine Knot Farm in my garden
'Speaking with Earth Spirits'
Deep down, in the warmth of the fecund earth, the spirits sing songs of life. Hoping we hear, they inhale and exhale along with the seasons. Now, in the cool days of November, they sing to us of rest, replenishment and they ask us to be calm. The time has come to listen and of course, to rake the leaves...the leaves...

Crabapple again.....love those rocks!