Creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape......

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace. "

May Sarton

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Best 30 Plant and Seed Companies

Now is the time in the northern hemisphere when we itch to go out and start to turn the soil...

Birds are chirping and we peek out to see if the robins have arrived....

Green Jean talks about this in her great garden blog, Green Jean.

 The website, Dave's Garden,  keeps a list of the top rated companies (by their readers) in their large database. If you are looking to buy garden plants these are some great sites to check out.

And I want to add a favorite of mine: Comstock, Ferre and Co. to the list

(The Dave's Garden site has them all with their websites linked in.)

A Nearly Native Nursery
Almost Eden Plants
Annie's Annuals and Perennials

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.

Bluestone Perennials

Brent & Becky's Bulbs

Brushwood Nursery
Chamblee's Rose Nursery

Classy Groundcovers

Diane's Flower Seeds

Easy to Grow Bulbs
Garden Crossings LLC

Garden Harvest Supply
Hallson Gardens
High Country Gardens
J.L. Hudson, Seedsman
Lazy S'S Farm & Nursery
Made in the Shade Gardens
Nourse Farms Inc.

Oakes Daylilies

Old House Gardens - Heirloom Bulbs
Onalee's Home-Grown Seeds & Plants
Pedricks Corner
Premium Plant Plugs (
Santa Rosa Gardens

Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner)

St. Clare Heirloom Seeds
Summer Hill Seeds

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tree Stump Poetry

The tree stumps say 'We are tree stumps torn out of the ground by men, sometimes by the wind, we have big tendrils full of earth that drink out of the earth'  - Jack Kerouac, 'Big Sur'

Tree stumps are the remnants of a life. Strong, rooted and vibrant...a living memory of a place. Logs from these stumps should be polished, oiled and celebrated....

This is what the King of Thailand did when he halted the heavy logging that threatened to destroy Thailand's teak forests. He first replanted thousands of trees and created more than 100 teak farms and then offered dense and fine-grained teak trunks for sale. When polished with teak oil they develop a softly lustrous patina and are, indeed, living 'odes to a tree'.

In the Celtic language, “trees” meant “letters,” and “Beech” was a synomym for “literature.” (Robert Graves) My course of study in tree stump 'poetry' began in a beech forest amidst ancient stumps and shady woods.... Working with a dear client, Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein, I reveled in the magic of beech trees in his hidden gem of a wooded slope and stream...Grand Beeches towered overhead as we carefully created a path and steps into this wonderland. Rotting stumps lay all around and Jeff knew immediately what to do with them but did not say a word. When I returned 3 weeks later to check on our woodland garden I discovered what he had done:

Sculpture by Jeffrey Goldstein - Ode to Tree Stumps (my name for it )

by Jeff Goldstein

by Jeffrey Goldstein, Tree Stump Tower ( my name for it)

I was amazed..Jeff had said nothing to me at the time but when I returned there it was - a woodland sculpture!  He has done so much more since was as if the trees unleashed this good doctor's 'inner artist' and he has done amazing things in the past year...(more on his garden at a later date)...but I credit the tree stumps for it all. 

So if you have some tree stumps lying around in your garden - do not despair! There are myriad things you can these:
Make eco-planters like Aris Georgiades did along a about this fun idea.

fashion a log bench from one big tree....

make some stools....

or a light - this is 'Burn' by Gail Simpson...

make some bowls and paint them ( Loyal Loot) ....

pave an area in your garden with them...gaperville

or use them in a natural fitness trail! (cool idea)

If you have any ideas on re using logs and stumps please comment and share them - I would love to hear all.....and this is the master of them all :

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Eastern White Pine - The Tree of Peace

Did you know that the native Eastern White Pine of the Northern U.S.was, in a sense, an inspiration for our consitution? The role of the Iroquois in the creation of the United States government has been largely overlooked but their Tree of Peace, the White Pine, was part of the great legacy they gave to our founding fathers.

About 1000 years ago the tribes of what is now the Northern U.S. were mired in violent bloody feuds. According to the Native American legend, the Creator sent a spritual teacher, a Peacemaker, who appeared in the Finger Lakes region of New York to show the way to establish a higher order of human relations.

He called all warring people together and said there must be a concerted effort by all for peace to prevail and through his Great Law and spiritual inspiration, he convinced the warriors of the five warring tribes to form a confederacy, a league of tribes.

 His Great Law of Peace laid out a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" with three branches.

The Onondaga, the Firekeepers, are the heart of the Confederacy. Similarly, the U.S. presidency forms an executive branch.

The League's legislative branch is in two parts: Mohawk and Seneca are Elder Brothers who form the upper house, while Oneida and Cayuga are Younger Brothers, similar to the Senate and House of the United States Congress.

The Iroquois' equivalent of a Supreme Court is the Women's Councils, which settle disputes and judge legal violations. (I love that part)

(go to this site for more - Iroquois Nation)

The Peacemaker's Great Law showed how to establish unity and balance amongst diverse human communities and distribute power in a democratic society to assure individual liberty. It was also perhaps the oldest effort for disarmament in world history.

It was called the Path of Peace.

Through their direct contact with the Iroquois League, our founders discovered the model for transforming thirteen separate colonies into the United States. George Washington, after a visit to the Iroquois, expressed "great excitement" over the Iroquois'  two houses and Grand Council. And Ben Franklin, after meeting with the Iroquois in 1754, proposed creating a colonial Grand Council that strongly resembled the Iroquois Grand Council. (from 'The White Roots of Peace' by Dr. Paul Wallace).

And at the drafting of the consitiution, one of the framers, John Rutledge of South Carolina, read portions of Iroquois Law to members of the committee.

The Peacemaker called for all warriors of all tribes to bury their weapons and then planted atop them a sacred Tree of Peace, a White Pine. He proclaimed, "If any man or nation shows a desire to obey the Law of the Great Peace, they may trace the roots to their source, and be welcomed to take shelter beneath the Tree."

He also included, in a symbolic darawing, an Eagle-that-sees-far atop the tree and four long tree roots that stretch out in the four sacred directions -- the "white roots of peace."

Thomas Jefferson adopted the specific symbols of the Iroquois League, giving the U.S. The Tree of Liberty and the Eagle clutching a bundle of thirteen arrows.

Jake Swamp, a spiritual elder and leader of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk, founded the Tree of Peace Society to promote awareness of Native cultures and spiritual values. He has traveled the world planting trees as symbols of peace, and teaching about Mohawk and Iroquois spiritual and cultural values. To date more than two hundred million trees have been planted, from the Catskills to China. The ultimate goal: plant one billion trees becuase, as the Peacemaker said, " in every action we must first consider the future of the children for seven generations to come."