Saturday, January 28, 2017

Book Launching: Introducing My Second Book-Landscape Design Combinations!

Landscape Design Combinations
The Story Behind the Book:

I am very excited to be officially announcing the launching of my second book, Landscape Design Combinations! Fifty something years ago, I developed a passion for all things green and started digging in the soil by the age of five. In the 1980's, I entered the field of education and after sixteen years, with the encouragement of friends, started up a landscape design business in 1996. I took up an interest in blog writing and photography in 2010, and after retiring from 32 years of teaching in 2013, I decided to put all my experiences into a published work. I had quickly realized that writing and publishing a book was not an easy task, but persisted in accomplishing what I had started. By 2015, I published my first book A Guide to Northeastern Gardening. 

The thought of starting the process all over again was the furthest thing from my mind, but to my own astonishment, the desire to write within me grew even stronger. There was still so much I wanted to share. As I started to write, the words came easily, and a second book started to materialize.  Now, two years later, I have completed Landscape Design Combinations, which takes the first book a step further by going much deeper into the design process, while offering numerous landscape designs with labeled photographs and descriptions. One can say that it completes what I had started. I am now thrilled to be able to share my love of gardening and design with you through a second book. 

What does this book have to offer?

Landscape Design Combinations is a comprehensive guide to help you plan your outdoor space. If you have ever felt overwhelmed by “what to plant where” in your garden, or have spent months, or even years, not knowing where to begin, Landscape Design Combinations will help to facilitate the process. The first two chapters deal with the basic principles of landscape design and color coordination. You will get ideas for the desired function of your space and discover your own personal sense of garden style and color preference. Throughout the book, each chapter builds upon the one before it, discussing foliage combinations, then types of and proper placement of evergreens, followed by flowering shrubs and finally, perennials.

Numbered and labeled photographs are supplied throughout the book with information on each plant, such as common or scientific name, plant descriptions and cold hardiness. Once plant usage and placement is covered, the remaining chapters discuss hardscape, with directions on how to build a simple stone walkway or patio, along with more information on garden styles. Each chapter will incorporate plants discussed earlier and create designs starting from simple perennial combinations to full landscape designs.

Discussion of evergreens and flowering plants will focus on placement and interest provided, while perennial combinations will include bloom time for each plant discussed. As each chapter progress, more detailed design plan layouts will be provided as a guide to assist you in planning your space. In the later chapters, topics covered include designing for seasonal interest, container combinations and hardscaping, with easy to follow designs. The book ends with "Garden Inspiration", which discusses garden styles throughout the centuries and how various design elements have developed over the years. Finally, a glossary is included with definitions of design terms used throughout the book.

About the Book:
Landscape Design Combinations provides the necessary tools to help you easily plan your garden, while offering a multitude of design plans with labeled photographs and detailed descriptions. Topics such as landscape design principles, color in design, the use of foliage, designing with deciduous and evergreen plants, planter combinations and landscape planning are discussed. Additional topics include designing with hardscape with “quick and easy” landscape designs and garden styles throughout history, with colorful illustrations. The information presented is applicable to both novice or professional gardener alike, and is all based on Lee Miller’s personal experience as a landscape designer for over twenty years. Lee Miller is also the author of “A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer”, initially published in 2015.

About the Author: 
Lee Miller is a professional landscape/garden designer involved in the horticultural industry since 1996. Having started a gardening blog in 2010, she is the author of over 200 articles on general gardening, landscape design principles, gardening tips, planting, pruning, garden maintenance, feature plants and more. In addition, Lee Miller has donated her time as a contributing writer for the American Heart Association Gardening Blog, as well as Gardening Know How, and has been involved as a presenter at local gardening clubs. 

To Preview Landscape Design Combinations, simply click on the link or icon below. I hope to inspire you!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up January 2017: Snowy Views!

January 2017 Garden
Welcome to the first Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up for 2017! There is big news for the month of January, as I am very excited to be announcing the soon to be official launching of my second book! It is a continuation of the first and there will be a post forthcoming with the details, so stay tuned! In the meantime, it's Bloom Day and we've had a lot of snow in my Long Island garden.There will be some snowy views for January, so do come along and take a look.
Nandina domestica January
The month of January started off with normal temperatures for this time of year, in the 30's, with a light dusting of snow on the 6th. The forecast predicted another 2-4 inches for the next day, but winter storm Helena brought us 7.4 inches of snow to blanket the landscape. The garden turned into a winter wonderland!
Weeping Norway Spruce
To get these views I waded through the snow in winter boots to get to the gardens. There is nothing like the sight of the first white snow on branches of evergreens to show off winter structure and view the gardens from a different perspective. This glistening snow on this Weeping Norway Spruce is part of the pool garden.
Evergreens in the Winter Landscape
Along the driveway entry is Weeping White Pine (green foliage-closest), Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (blue foliage-center) and Golden Oriental Spruce 'Skylands' (golden foliage-end). The red branches visible in the background are those of Coral Bark Maple 'Sango Kaku'. The red hues are much more pronounced after a winter's snow.
Northern Cardinal
A northern cardinal visits the bird feeder in our backyard every morning and I can view him from our patio room overlooking the garden.  Sparrows, Chickadees, Morning Doves, Blue Jays, Mocking Birds and Juncos also visit the feeder on a daily basis. I used my telephoto lens to get this close-up, so not to disturb him.
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Coral Bark Maple
Here is a closer view of the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Coral Bark Maple along the driveway. In the same garden is Golden Oriental Spruce 'Skyland's displaying its bright yellow-tipped branches.

Skyland's Oriental Spruce
The tree, which was planted back in 2008, is now twenty feet tall by three feet wide.
Nellie Stevens Winter Berries
I enjoy planting trees that will supply winter interest on the property and this Nellie Stevens Holly is one of them. Its bright red berries that form in autumn become even more prominent in winter.
Dried Hydrangea Flowers January
Here are some of the remaining flowers from Hydrangea Tardivia, which I leave on the tree for winter interest. It blooms on new wood, so any dried blooms that don't blow away over the winter can be pruned in early spring.
January Poolscape
In the backyard, here is the covered mountain lake pool completely under a layer of snow. The pool area is surrounded by evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs.
Gold Mop Cypress Winter Color
Here is another of the many evergreens around the property. Gold Mop Cypress adds some color to the garden, especially in winter. As you can see here, many of the shrubs are snow covered with only the bottom foliage exposed, which creates an inviting haven for birds. I watch them tuck themselves under the branches to keep warm, and almost got a photo, but the little Chickadee hiding there went deeper into the shrub. I backed off not to scare him away.
Lamp post Garden January
More snow covered scenes around the property include this lamp post at the end of the driveway, where a Weeping Norway Spruce is the focal point...  
Weeping Japanese Maple Winter
and a snow covered Weeping Japanese Maple.
Feeder in Winter
As we head back towards the warmth inside, the cardinal is still enjoying the feeder, and the morning sun highlights the garden.
Golden Sweet Flag Winter
I couldn't resist capturing this as a photo. Even Bear cannot "bear" to look at the snow covered landscape before him, and dreams of warmer days ahead! He's counting, and there's 63 days to go until the official arrival of spring!
Garden Bear Winter: Hiding from the Snow!
The temperatures warmed up dramatically right before Bloom Day with some rain that melted all the snow, but I was able to get those snowy views to share with you! The forecast for the rest of the month calls for warmer days, going up into the 50's, then back into the 30's and 40's to finish out January. 
Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
Here is some anticipation of what is yet to come. I am sure there will be more snow covered days before the warmer temperatures arrive, and I do enjoy the beauty of a landscape covered in glistening white.
January 2017 Garden
I hope you enjoyed your stroll through my January garden. Special thanks go out to our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Today's FlowersFloral FridaysMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods. Also check out In a Vase on Monday at Rambling in the Garden, Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day and Saturday's Critters.

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved

Saturday, January 7, 2017

This Month's Color in the Garden: January 2017-White for Moon Garden

White Flowers for Moon Garden 
The color white is considered neutral in the garden and often radiates a sense of peace, romance and elegance. White blooms and foliage offer contrast in the daytime garden and make other colors "pop", but as darkness approaches they take on yet another role. Plants with white blooms or silvery-white foliage have a tendency to become more prominent during the early dawn and evening hours, and have become quite popular in the design of moon, or night gardens. Moon gardens are designed with plants whose foliage and blooms cause them to stand out at night and can be planned to create a peaceful oasis. Many night-blooming plants, such as Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) have blooms that are white and extremely fragrant, while some blooms, such as petunia, release their fragrance at night. When using foliage plants such as such as Stachys (Lamb's Ear), Dusty Miller or Artemeisia in a moon garden, their silvery-white leaves appears to "glow" in the moonlight.

Moon gate Blithewood Mansion Rhode Island

Hardscape elements can also be added to highlight a moon garden. This rounded structure is known as a moon gate, named for its shape, but would look lovely as an entrance to your night time garden. White gravel paths and lighting can also enhance your space for viewing in darkness. When it comes to selecting plants, Spring blooming flowers with white blooms include Allium 'Mount Everest', Crocus, Hyacinth, Tulip, Lilly of the Valley, Candytuft and Snowdrops. Summer blooming white blooms include Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer), Astilbe 'Visions White', Aruncus (Goat's Beard) and Oriental Lily Cassablanca. Late summer blooms include Dahlia, Montauk Daisy, Echinacea 'White Swan' and Clematis 'Sweet Autumn'. Shrubs with beautiful white blooms include Azalea 'Autumn Angel', Hydrangea 'Pee Gee', 'Limelight', 'Annabelle' and 'Blushing Bride', Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake' and Butterfly Bush 'White Profusion'. For silvery-white to white foliage try Dusty Miller, Lamb's Ear, Artemeisia or variegated plants such as 'Patriot' Hosta, with green and white variegated leaves. There are numerous plants to choose from. Here are some suggested plants with their descriptions. 
Allium Mount Everest Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, N.Y. 
Plant Type: Bulb, Perennial
Hardiness Zones:  5-9
Height: 3-4' Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring
White Crocus Jeanne D'Arc 
Plant Type: Bulb, Perennial 
Hardiness Zones: 3-8 
Height: 4-6" Tall 
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring
Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer) 
Plant Type: Perennial 
Hardiness Zone: 3-7 
Height: 4-8" Tall 
Lighting:  Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring-Early Summer
Aruncus dioicus (Goat's Beard)
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones:  3-7
Height: 4-6' Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Early-Mid SummerOriental Lilly Casablanca
Plant Type: Bulb, Perennial 
Hardiness Zones:  4-9
Height: 3-4' Tall
Lighting: Full Sun
Bloom Time: Mid-Late SummerDahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum Long Island, N.Y.
Plant Type: Bulb (Variety: Brookside Snowball)
Hardiness Zones:  8-10
Height: 4-6' Tall
Lighting: Full Sun
Bloom Time: Late Summer
Nipponanthemum nipponicum (Montauk Daisy)
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones:  5-9
Height: 24-36" Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Summer-Fall
Hosta 'Patriot'
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones:  4-8
Height: 14-24" Tall
Lighting: Part-Full Shade
Bloom Time: Mid-Summer (Light Lavender Flowers)
Dusty Miller
Plant Type: Annual
Hardiness Zones:  8-10
Height: 12-24" Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: None-Foliage Silvery-White
Stachys (Lamb's Ear)
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones: 4-9
Height: 8-12" Tall
Lighting:  Full Sun-Part Shade 
Bloom Time: Early Summer (Purplish-Pink Blooms)

 Summer Snowflake Viburnum
Plant Type: Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Hardiness Zones:  5-8
Height: 6-8' Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring-Summer

 Annabelle Hydrangea
Plant Type: Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Hardiness Zones:  4-9
Height: 3-5' Tall
Lighting: Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring-Fall

Pee Gee Hydrangea
Plant Type: Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Hardiness Zones:  3-8 
Height: 10-25' Tall 
Lighting:  Full Sun-Part Shade
  Bloom Time:  Mid-Late Summer
Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, N.Y, Springtime White Azalea Blooms

Any combination of plants with the characteristics discussed can be used to help plan your moon garden and bring another dimension to your space. I hope you enjoyed This Month's Color in the Garden. Next up is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up on the 15th. and Color Our World Round Up on the 30th.

Have you read my book, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Zones 3-9, covering plants hardy in a range of zones from 3-9 and gardening techniques? Learn about landscape design principles, butterfly gardening, deer resistant plants, long blooming perennials, globe and weeping evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs, native plantings, shade gardening and more.  Come along on my journey into the world of gardening! To check out the preview at Amazon, simply click on the image or links for details! Also, watch for my second book, soon to be officially announced!

It's official as of January 13th! Read about the launching of my new book: Landscape Design Combinations

As Always...Happy Gardening! 

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Long Island Garden: A Year in Review

January 2016 Garden
As 2016 comes to an close, it is time to reflect on the past year in the garden. The year started off with no snow and milder than normal temperatures in the mid-upper 40's, but "Mother Nature" works in mysterious ways, and decided to bring in winter towards the end of the month! On January 23rd, winter storm Jonas came our way and delivered 20.2 inches of snow, as the thermometer plummeted to daytime highs struggling to get out of the 30's. The once green landscape had been covered in a blanket of snow. 
February 2016 Garden
February arrived with remains of snow on the ground and an early show of spring weather was predicted by the infamous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. More scientifically, the National Weather Service forecast had also called for the continuation of the "mild winter". It was mild, after all, all the way up to the first, with only one significant snow in January. After that news we were hit out of the blue with another snowfall, winter storm Lexi on the 5th, bringing seven inches of glistening white to cover the landscape. Another snowfall followed on the 8th and temperatures had plummeted into the 20's. As time went on in February, any remaining snow had melted and temperatures were back up into the mid-40's. 
March 2016 Garden
Despite the few snow falls we experienced, the winter of 2016 went down as the mildest winter on record since 2003. March came about with windy days and temperatures rising into the 50's and 60's. Blooms started appearing in the landscape as crocus and hyacinth bulbs emerged from their sleep. The arrival of spring had come early, like all the forecasters had predicted. March was so much different from the year before, as in 2015 the gardens were covered under a blanket of snow.  It seemed as if an "early spring" was to be expected.
April 2016 Garden
The start of April brought in an unexpected last snow of the season, as much to say it was the last hurrah. The white covering on the ground quickly melted within the same day to expose the spring bulbs that had been well under way. After an unusually mild winter, the temperatures were much lower than usual for April. The official start of spring surprisingly ended up being one of the coldest on record, along with prolonged periods of rain.
May 2016 Garden
After a very chilly April and start of May, the temperatures finally started getting back to normal with highs up into the 60's and 70's. Spring was on full speed ahead as Viburnum, Azalea, Rhododendron, Salvia and spirea were all in bloom. The new gardening season was well underway, and the month of May was fabulous with all its bursts of color throughout the landscape.
June 2016 Garden
June came along with more colorful displays of blooms, as temperatures rose up into the mid to upper 70's with some days in the 80's. The perennials seemed to be bigger and brighter than usual after the snowfall in January and chilly spring. At this time, some of my favorites in the garden, including giant Allium, Knock Out Roses and Peony Bartella were all in bloom, and life was good!
July 2016 Garden
With July came a succession of more colorful blooms throughout the landscape. While June temperatures had remained in the upper 70's to lower 80's, the month of July brought a warming trend with some days reaching into the upper 80's and low 90's. The perennial borders had a continuous array of color, along with the arrival of new blooms daily. The month of July went by with some record temperatures and little rainfall.
August 2016 Garden
The month of August was a transitional time for the garden. There were subtle signs of fall approaching, as the early summer blooms had faded; however, a whole new wave of blooms and color were arriving for late summer interest. Heat waves came and went as temperatures lingered in the upper 80's and 90's for days, then slowly returned to what was normal for that time of year.
September 2016 Garden
September arrived as Hurricane Hermine was lingering off the eastern coastline. We were thankful that we had been spared from the storm making landfall, and the effects had brought the much needed rainfall that we have been waiting for. The temperatures had finally gone back down into the 80's and the rains brought relief, revitalizing the garden.
October 2016 Garden
The month of October arrived as the temperatures declined into the 60's, and there was a refreshing chill in the air, but still warm enough for the garden to keep on thriving. An array of both new and established blooms continued on in the garden, as roses, lilies, butterfly bush and viburnum continued to flower, joined by chrysanthemums, liriope and daisies. 
November 2016 Garden
As the temperatures dipped into the 50's, November brought many changes as foliage that was once green turned to hues of orange and gold. I remember it being a lot colder in November growing up as a child, so temperatures in the 50's were not all that bad, and still warm enough to be outside and enjoy the garden.
December 2016 Garden
December on Long Island brought in normal temperatures for the time of year in the 30's and 40's with a week or so in the 20's, which felt much colder because we had been fortunate to have pretty mild temperatures all winter. With a lack of snow, except for one dusting, I could still go out into the garden and do some cutting back of perennials and weeding. It seems as if the gardening season gets longer every year, and this gardener does not mind a bit!

Overall, it was a wonderful year in the garden and now that winter has finally set in, my love of gardening moves indoors as I resume my writing. It keeps the mind fresh during the winter months and after publishing my first book last year, the desire to write is within me. As a matter of fact, my second book is actually nearing completion! During writing about my passion, I do take that occasional walk outdoors into my own garden and plan for those days ahead when the landscape awakens from its winters sleep. After Marie Huston put it..."The gardening season officially begins on January 1st, and ends on December 31" I go with that thought and garden on!

As 2016 comes to a close, I wish all of you a very Happy and Healthy 2017! Happy New Year! 😊

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved