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1 day ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

SAY "HELLO" TO A FRIENDLY NATIVE: SERVICEBERRY (Amelanchier spp.)

Several months ago, I was delighted to discover that we have several of these friendly natives in residence on our property. My father had been reminiscing about our family's camping trip across western Canada during my college years. At one of our campsites, my father recalled, we picked "Saskatoon" berries and added them to pancakes. In response, my husband noted that the Saskatoon (also called Pacific or western Serviceberry) is a relative of the eastern Serviceberry trees we have in our garden! He mentioned that they are also called Juneberries, because they happen to produce fruit in June.

What was I waiting for?!? It was June and, to my great joy, our Serviceberry trees were laden with luscious blueberry look-alikes that were quickly picked and stirred into some pretty amazing pancakes the next morning! (See July 3, 2017 post.)

My fascination with this recent discovery keeps growing! Apparently, this native plant has more than 20 varieties with an interesting assortment of names (based on location, which fish are spawning when the flowers bloom, and all sorts of fun asides!): Pacific Serviceberry, Sarvisberry, Shadbush, Sugarplum, Indian Pear, May Cherry, Juneberry, Saskatoon, and (my favorite) Chuckley Pear, to name a few. Of special interest to gardeners are the four-season attractions of Serviceberry plants--a profusion of lacy white blossoms in early spring, delicious berries in summer (sure to attract birds and grandchildren!), stunning fall color, and striking silver-gray bark in winter.

While the other features of the Serviceberry plant are appealing, throughout history the main attraction has been its tasty berries. Early Native Americans combined serviceberries with dried meat to make pemmican; today's gardeners are baking them into pies, puddings or muffins, dehydrating them to eat like raisins, making them into jams, ice cream, and juices, or, as I am re-discovering, mixing them into pancakes. What fun to discover a native plant in our garden that can be enjoyed in so many ways!

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& garden berry enthusiast)

Photo credits:
Blossoms and berries--Courtesy of Mt. Cuba Center, a "living collection of native and historic plants" in Hockessin, DE (http://mtcubacenter.org)
Serviceberry plants in spring and fall--Courtesy of The Honeytree Nursery (www.thehoneytreenursery.com)

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1 week ago

"My garden is a place that nurtures quiet in the midst of noise and makes it safe to listen to bird song and bee buzz and the trickle of water."
~Emilie Barnes (Time Began in a Garden)

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2 weeks ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

COLOR YOUR WORLD!

Snow-white clouds scudding across skies of intense blue; Goldenrods dancing in the afternoon sunshine to the tempo of a gentle breeze; fuzzy orange Wooly Bears scuttling across roadways . . . . Nature is hinting that autumn is just around the corner. And soon, God will flick His paintbrush and splashes of orange, red, and gold will appear on hillsides, in meadows, in our own gardens. Without a doubt, autumn will be here in all of her radiant splendor and we will be wishing that October lasted five months instead of just one!

I have an idea for prolonging the colors of autumn for at least one more month: This October, when the trees in your garden or a nearby park are flaunting their colors, pack a picnic lunch, rally the kids (or grandkids), and head outside for a leaf-collecting adventure. Bring home the leaves you gather and place them between the pages of the phone books you keep forgetting to recycle. In November, as you set your Thanksgiving table, bring out the leaves and scatter them across your table for a spectacular second showing of autumn's extravagant colors!

(The leaves on the phone book shown below are about 12 years old and still look amazing!)

--Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& avid leaf collector)

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3 weeks ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

"In the garden I tend to drop my thoughts here and there. To the flowers I whisper the secrets I keep and the hopes I breathe. I know they are there to eavesdrop for the angels."
~Dodinsky (Contemporary inspirational writer)

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4 weeks ago
National Geographic

Apparently this is what a hummingbird does in a hurricane . . . or at least, in the rain! Thank you, National Geographic, for capturing this beauty and sharing it with us!

Using a high-speed, high-resolution camera, photographer Anand Varma captures what the naked eye can't see.

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4 weeks ago
Hummingbird hymn

"And here are the hummingbirds, humming a hymn to the morning . . . . It is time for hummingbirds to leave the island. It is the end of another summer. It is time to reset the clock from the rise and fall of the tide, to the come and go of the school bus. It is a time of quiet wonder -- for wondering, for instance: Where do hummingbirds go in a hurricane?"
~ Robert McCloskey (from Time of Wonder, one of our family's favorite read-alouds)

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& hummingbird enthusiast)

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1 month ago

A PRAYER FOR PEACE ON THIS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE . . .

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
~Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi

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1 month ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

FALL IS FOR . . . FERTILIZING?

Most people fertilize their lawns in spring, but did you know that late fall is actually the best time to perform this task? Fall fertilization will help your lawn recover from summer stress and prepare for next year's growth. According to researchers and turf grass practitioners, "the application of nitrogen fertilizers in late fall results in lawns that are visibly greener in color through the summer of the following year . . . ." (http://www.greenviewfertilizer.com)

Applying nitrogen fertilizer to lawns during the the late season months of September through December--while the grass is still green and growing--provides several benefits not realized by spring and summer fertilization:
1. Better fall and winter color;
2. Earlier spring green-up;
3. Increased shoot density;
4. Improved fall, winter, and spring root growth;
5. Enhanced storage of energy reserves (carbohydrates) within the turf plant.

Researchers and turf grass experts find these advantage far outweigh the disadvantages (greater chance of snow mold injury and decreased cold tolerance), and heartily recommend fall application of nitrogen fertilizers to lawns.

To give your lawn the advantages of fall fertilization, call us today to schedule a visit (717-653-1273). Sean will be happy to come out and give your lawn a healthy head start!

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& green-lawn endorser)

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1 month ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

BAREFOOT DAYS

In the morning, very early,
That's the time I love to go
Barefoot where the fern grows curly
And grass is cool between each toe,
On a summer morning--O!
On a summer morning!

That is when the birds go by
Up the sunny slopes of air,
And each rose has a butterfly
Or a golden bee to wear;
And I am glad in every toe--
Such a summer morning--O!
Such a summer morning!
~Rachel Field

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife
**This treasured poem from my childhood was resurrected in my memory by James' photo showing the sun-streaked "slopes of air" early on a summer morning-O!

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1 month ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

A RETURN TO PARADISE (Part 6)
Plan for the Long Term

When seeking to restore Eden in your back yard, James Hanselman cautions against quick fixes: “In garden planning and budgeting, it is wise to invest in a well-thought-through, long-term plan. Impulsive projects often need to be redone in a few years, if a larger theme is not considered.” He states, “A garden plan that prioritizes suitability, elegance, and sustainability will prevent wasted effort and provide so much more enjoyment over time."

The area showcased below was developed to its current beauty by Hanselman Landscape for clients in Manheim who originally bought a home with an uninspiring pool. Hanselman explains: “Our clients asked if we could build a pool for their grandkids with a swim-in waterfall that resembled one they had seen on a trip to Central America. These photos (below) show the fulfillment of their dreams. They only wish they had done it sooner!"

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& grateful beneficiary of long-term commitment)

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