What Is A “Sense of Place”?

Posted by & filed under Nature and Stress Reduction, Sense of Place, Sustainability, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  Last week I promised that we would explore the principles of designing a shade garden using the concept of a designed plant community. And we will be doing that — just not today. Today I want to answer a question that was posed to me after last week’s blog.  A reader contacted me and …

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Green Spaces for Cities — Part 2: Living Walls and Green Roofs

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Houseplants, Benefits of Nature, Deflecting sound, Green Roofs, Health & Wellness, Indoor gardens, Interior landscaping, Living walls, Uncategorized, Water Management

One of my favorite sessions from the recent Perennial Plant Conference I attended in Chicago was on Living Walls. It had been a reluctant choice at first — a lesser of two evils type of choice. Surprisingly though, after the first few minutes, I was hooked. The presenter didn’t try to teach me how, instead …

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Green Spaces for Cities — Part 1

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  Perspectives change over time, don’t they?   We were on I -90 headed to Chicago’s Union Station when I glanced out the window and noticed the downtown skyline. Ten years ago I would have commented on how exciting it was to see all of the sleek buildings dominating the landscape. This time the view made …

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The Sounds of Silence — In Your Own Backyard

Posted by & filed under Deflecting sound, Health & Wellness, Masking noise, Nature and Stress Reduction, Noise pollution, Sound abatement, Uncategorized, Water features, White noise

The Sunday before Easter was beautiful here — an absolutely perfect day for working leisurely in the yard. About ten minutes into our afternoon, the peace and quiet of the day was shattered by the the deafening roar of a neighbor’s leaf blower running full blast. The first hour was unpleasant but tolerable. The second …

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Feel the Need for Green? Add Some Houseplants!

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Houseplants, Health & Wellness, Houseplants, Interior landscaping, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized

If I had to choose one word to describe this winter so far, I would use the word bleak. The sun has been absent so the sky has been consistently grey, the temperature has been too cold to enjoy being outside and it has either been raining, snowing or unbelievably windy. All in all, the …

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Bring Nature In — Let Stress Out

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized

I have been feeling incredibly stressed lately.  Unfortunately, when I am stressed, I just shut down which, of course, increases my stress level and renders me virtually useless. My “To Do” list gets longer and my “Done” list stays blank.The only way I can interrupt this cycle is to take a nature break.     …

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Memory Gardens — A Natural Lifeline

Posted by & filed under Alzheimer's Gardens, Benefits of Nature, Design, Garden Design, Gardens, Health & Wellness, Landscaping, Memory Gardens, Uncategorized, Wellness Gardens

Watching someone you love slowly disappear from the present, fade into the past and eventually lose the ability to function is both frustrating and painful. Millions of American families are currently experiencing these emotions as their loved ones struggle with the challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the …

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Rest, Relax and Rejuvenate — In Nature

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Children and Nature, Health & Wellness, Uncategorized

I honestly thought that when I retired from teaching the pace of my life would dramatically change. I imagined spending hours outdoors — working in my gardens, exploring new places and just generally basking in nature  — since I wouldn’t be tied to a desk grading papers anymore. What I discovered was that the ending …

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The Golden Hour Garden

Posted by & filed under Design, Designing with Color, Designing with Light, Garden Design, Health & Wellness, Landscaping, Lighting, Night lighting, Nightscaping, Uncategorized

Every now and then it just so happens that you are in the right place at the right time and something extraordinary happens.     Bear with me while I explain. The presenter at the last design workshop I attended spent a large portion of the time talking about the importance of light in the …

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Water Features: An Oasis of Your Own

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Landscaping, Outdoor Living, Urban Landscaping, Water features

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”     The words of John Lubbock, an early British statesman and naturalist, hold enormous truths …

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