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Monthly Archives: February 2015

To have or not to have, this is the question every garden owner asks as they listen to the garden trends of the moment. Because they are sometimes over used in the garden, some people find it to be busy looking and that you lose sight of the beauty of the plants and flowers.

Statuary and garden ornamentation can be as simple as a small stone bird to a statue of a god and goddess of angles,  then there are fountains and urns of stone, benches and bird baths and of just about anything we humans can imagine to be found in the garden. That is how and why some gardens can become crowed with so many. So with that knowledge in mind we might be a little more sympathetic to those who might have gone a little over board.

Outdoor ornamentation has been around a lot longer than cultivated gardens. Throughout history and as long as man has been on this planet we have  placed them as tributes to deities, or in memory of great leaders and famous warrior’s. They have always been linked to great civilizations of antiquity as their remains are found all around the world in the ancient ruins. All of this may have started with the early cave people who etched such things into their cave stone walls.

As the European world started to expand so did  great wealth, and the large mansions and gardens and grounds became show places for some of these great finds, although this is not the first time we find them in the garden, it is the first time they began to commercialize them for such use and it is the industrial Victorian age that we see it in full acceptance of use in the garden. It is during this time period, when great fortunes were made here in the United States. The wealthiest of wealth could commission great sculptors to create wonderful ornamentation for their large mansions and for their vast landscape and formal gardens.

Today we see all kinds of ornamentation being added to the garden because of reproductions and low-cost and the thing to keep in mind is that the true use of this garden art is to achieve balance and points of interest. You can also use this art to convey a message or to simply give tribute to an area or view, as well as a place to stop and to reflex for a moment.

You will find all kinds of price ranges out there and the best advice I can give is to take your time consider its placement and sun value upon its appearance and always look at the material it is made of, for that will determine its timely appearance and life span in the garden. Not all stone is equal and not all material last for ever.

So I will answer the question of just how many is too many? It’s your garden and as I’ve said it before and now, again, The garden is where you go to create who you are, in a way that only you know how. Just remember, not everyone will understand.

A thought; Beauty and knowing why, is in the eye’s and mind of the beholder.



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If ever there was a view that made you think that time had stood still it would be one of a snow-covered garden. The stillness as the snow falls blanketing the trees and ornamental’s with an outline of white lace that is so fine and soft. The softness is all about the garden, the quiet whiteness is like being in the clouds and there is a comfort in that.

The empty clay pots have beautiful white rings and the statues are topped with white hats and the evergreens bow their branches with white lace gloves. The vines twist and curl as the snow dances through them as if none of this existed at all. That some great silent white ball was taking place and only the garden was invited.

Everything seems as if time has stopped and much of the garden floor is deep below the snow and only small glimpse of what is there are now just mounds in the snow. The stone walls are gone from view and the whole Shire Garden is asleep beneath this white comforter and I know all is well.

We call this snow poor mans fertilizer for all of the nutrients it will deliver to the soil when it melts in the spring, and the flowers this coming year will be even prettier. us online mobile casinos

As the snow falls there is a magical feeling in the air and the cloud cover makes for hardly a shadow to be found upon the snow and that of its self is something to notice for it allows the red and yellow twigs of the dogwoods and willows to show more brilliantly against the white back drop. real online casino games

For us in the northern hemisphere snow is our friend, it insulates and protects our plants from drying out and or freeze. It reflexes light and that helps with our shorter days of light now. The snow also allows me to see where the Rabbits trails are, so that I might change that in the spring.

Snow, frozen rain, and each with its own shape and size how wonderful is that and here in the Shire Garden once again this snow gives yet another still picture of time standing still.

The quiet in this picture is one of knowing that there is a time for work and growth and a time for rest and it is that rest when most work is done.

A thought; Comfort is knowing that the snows of our life are there to protect and nourish.

We have had so much snow in the last two weeks that with today’s sun and cabin fever setting in, I thought outside air and a walk through the drifted snow was in good order. I saw an open spot of bare ground where the wind had blown the snow away up in Oak Grove and thought that was a good sunny spot to stand for a while and to look back upon the Shire Garden to see how things had weathered the storms so far.

Well getting there was quite a walk with snow drifts up to my hips, good workout though. As I stood in the cleared area and dusted the snow from my pants, the sun was warm and everything in the snow sparkled like crystals, with the sun light dancing through it, and it made me stop, just to notice such beauty.

Stomping the snow from my boots I noticed some green at my feet and I stooped a little closer to look at this green and to my surprise, it was Trailing Arbutus or May Flower and it was in bud with some bloom and all I wanted to do was to call out to someone to come and see, I found Spring here in all this snow, But at last, I was alone and shared my find with a fat gray squirrel heading to the bird feeder, he didn’t seem to care much, it was more about I was in his way.

Trailing Arbutus, May Flower, Ground Laural ( Epigaea repens ) meaning ” crawling upon the earth ” and should not be confused as the flower named for the Pilgrims ship the Mayflower, that was named for the European blossom of the crab apple tree. Arbutus have small up to two-inch evergreen leaves with a fine fuzz on them that helps to protect it from cold winters and the waxy five pedaled flowers form in small clusters and the fragrance is spicy sweet and are wonderful to eat as well. Member of the Heath Family a classified division, Magnaliophyta, order Ericales, family Ericaceae. Native habitat along woodland cart paths and pine and oak forest floors where mosses grow well. Poor to transplant and is best if left were found to enjoy. Bloom time is early spring through May but here in the Shire’s Oak Grove it seem to be in bloom year round. Once on the almost over collected list, to the point of rarity. The state flower of Massachusetts, its protected by law, and should not be picked or removed from public lands and road sides.

images61B9J142 images2I7Q4QZY wld2 wld2       Growing up in the rural country side it wasn’t unusual to know all of the secret spots of where the wild flowers grow and it was always gramma who would say to me I think we should see if the arbutus or the lady slipper’s are in bloom its close to that time, and we would head out on great flower finding adventures, the rule though was never reveal the spot where the wild flowers or blueberries are found because others will come and pick them. To this day I hesitate to tell where the wild things grow.

So here I stand out in Oak Grove in a sunny snow free spot enjoying my first glimpse of spring with no one but the birds, squirrels and the trees of the Shire Garden, and you know, that’s fine, because who better, than my best friends to share it with.

A thought; There is a first for a lot of things, but knowing there are always first’s makes life wonderful.

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