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Health, Wellness, & Nature

Rain Gardens -- 2021

If the term RAIN GARDEN brings an image of a weedy bog teeming with scores of mosquitoes and other unpleasant flying insects to your mind, then it’s time to update and edit that picture! 

Go Outside And Play

For many, myself included, the idea of going outside in cold, snowy weather is absolutely ludicrous. We prefer to enjoy the outdoors sitting by the fireplace and gazing out of a frost covered windowpane. Unfortunately staying indoors during the winter months may keep us warm and toasty, but it can also add to or even cause some health-related problems.

Using Your Winter Eyes

In winter everything gets stripped down to its very essence and becomes sculptural. Details and views hidden by summer leaves are revealed. Structure, form and the quality of light and atmosphere become the stars of the show. By using the cues that nature gives us, we can fill our yards with winter beauty. “

Welcome back to our virtual tour of some of the world’s outstanding --  and unusual  --  botanical gardens.

Touring The World's Gardens -- From Home: Part 2

Welcome back to our virtual tour of some of the world’s outstanding --  and unusual  --  botanical gardens. For this trip, I thought we would start right here in the United States with a visit to a garden that is one of my personal favorites, the Desert Botanical Garden in  Phoenix, Arizona.

Touring The World's Gardens -- From Home

Just when quarantining was starting to get to me, I discovered a way to travel the world from the safety of my favorite chair  -- I found a treasure trove of virtual tours. With a few clicks of my mouse, I joined a Smithsonian tour of Egyptian Heritage Sites, rode an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower and came face-to-face with the wildlife of Antarctica. Best of all though, were the breathtaking botanical gardens I meandered through.  If you’re ready for a break from the humdrum pace of everyday life, then join me as we stroll through ten of the world’s best.  We’ll explore five of my favorites this week and five more next week. I hope you’ll join us for all ten. 

Great Winter Reads

Here in the Midwest, with its frigid days and frequent snowstorms, the winter months are the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature. No, you can’t head to the garden to putter, but you can curl up with a good book  --  or a magazine  -- or a blog -- or even a stack of seed catalogs to expand your horizons, learn something new and get your nature fix. 

I’m always searching for something new to dig into and through the years, recommendations from friends and from professionals in the field have led me to some outstanding reads. This year I asked the staff at Embassy Landscape Group to share some of their wintertime favorites. 

Not surprisingly, they’ve suggested some great choices.

The Gift of Christmas Tradition

My oldest daughter called me the other day asking if I still had our old nativity set. She was so excited because she had found a stable that looked “just like the one we had...the one I played with every Christmas.”  What she was really asking, I realized, was whether or not she could have the nativity set so her children could play with it just like she did. In her own way, she was telling me how important the tradition of setting up the nativity set had been to her and she was signaling that she wanted to carry on the tradition.