A Garden You will Love

By on Feb 10, 2018 in Houseplants |

A GARDEN YOU WILL LOVE Time spent in a garden is a metaphor on life. The objective is not to “prove” yourself. Your intent should be to “improve” yourself and the quality of your environment. A garden by definition is a space, a plot, a pot, a place where plants are cultivated. This can be just about anywhere and size does not matter. It’s the cultivation part that matters. It is projected that in the coming years the percentage of city dwellers will increase from 54% to 66% of the world’s population. A move from the rural to the accessibility of city life. Older generations like the convenience of walking distance and younger generations like the opportunities for experience and lifestyle. This move will change how we love our gardens and we will use plant material in tighter or smaller spaces. It has also produced a resurgence in indoor foliage plants for “breathing” rooms. Cultivate...

Two Plants with a lot of character

By on Jan 27, 2018 in Houseplants |

As always some stress will reveal character and in the case of plants show how well grounded they are. Plants with fibrous and shallow roots tend to be less adaptable or easy to grow than those with tuberous, thick or rhizomatous roots. When people complain of their vines not blooming or their houseplant’s demise the root of the problem is exactly that, the roots. Take as an example a couple of houseplants that are the closest living thing to plastic known to man. The Zamioculcas zamifolia and the Sanseveria plant. Often seen in office environments or airport terminals these two seem to thrive on neglect. Both have thick waxy leaves and low rates of transpiration. You have to however look at the business end of these plants to see thick roots, in the case of a ZZ plant tubers allowing it to go long lengths without water. Adaptable to harsh environments the ZZ plant is native to Africa...

A lesson from a Ficus tree

By on Jan 27, 2018 in Houseplants |

I watch the Ficus benjamina trees that are shipped from Florida to Michigan. When they arrive their glossy leaves have a very pronounced midrib. That’s the visible line right down the middle of the leaf from petiole to the tip. Over time as they endure the cloudy low light seasons of Michigan weather, that midrib begins to disappear on the foliage. Important when it lived in the Florida sun, the midrib would cause the foliage to fold up in half to conserve moisture. Not needed in Michigan the foliage indoors becomes flat trying to absorb what light it can. In addition seasonally up to half the foliage drops off the plant as a defensive mechanism. When that happens if you run for the watering to can and apply more water you simply rot the roots and speed the decline. Here too I see a correlation between the landscape and our lives. When plants are situated in a shaded or dark place they...

Heaven let your light shine down

By on Dec 26, 2017 in Lake Michigan |

Had a friend compliment me as a modern day “Ansel Adams.” I don’t deserve that high praise however if it means my love for nature, writing and photography is appreciated I’ll accept that. Here are some Pere Marquette Lake Michigan shoreline photographs I took on Christmas morning 2017.                  

Holiday Hanging Baskets

By on Oct 24, 2017 in Christmas |

Why should the seasons of spring and summer get all the fun when it comes to hanging baskets? A holiday basket can be made incorporating materials from the landscape along with some ornamentation to make a hanging display for porch or patio. The arrangements are a unique and festive welcome to guests who arrive and an enjoyable everyday sight for you. View from indoors looking through the window as it hangs in an entryway or on a deck. These holiday baskets use natural materials featuring aromatic boughs of evergreen. The gift that keeps giving they are inviting and attractive from November through February. As Jack Frost adds his natural touch in the cold months the basket will glisten and dazzle. Their appeal and glitter is enhanced by the natural movement of a hanging arrangement versus a static pot or planter. Place the basket to be arranged in a pot on a table to make arranging...