Gardener’s Journal

5 days ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

Every day, take time . . .
to still your soul, savor the beauty, and say thank You!

This hunt for joy--in relationships, in our garden, in the world--has become a daily practice that nourishes my spirit and enriches my life. A gratitude journal and my phone camera are the best ways for me to record and remember these everyday grace gifts. How about you?

Shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& daily joy seeker)

1 week ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post


"Garden time is time that involves itself in the moment, that passes each moment fully alive, that focuses on the soaring stateliness of trees and the minute scale of the tiniest blossom and insect. I go to my garden to discover that kind of time. And I have to take time out
. . . to discover it."
~ Emilie Barnes (Gardener and author of Time Began in a Garden)

Gladly shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& "garden time" joy seeker)

Whether you stroll beneath stately trees or watch a bee gathering nectar from blossoms, I hope you are able to enjoy the refreshment of some garden time today!

1 week ago
Life is full of beauty . . . .

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Life your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams."
~ Ashley Smith (Author of Unlikely Angel; motivational speaker)

2 weeks ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post


Before the first Earth Day in 1970, American automobiles were using large amounts of leaded gas, Industries were pouring smoke and sludge into the air and waterways, and most Americans were unaware of the effects of environmental pollution on human health.

However, in 1962, Rachel Carson’s bestseller Silent Spring was published and began to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms and their habitats, and drew a connection between a clean environment and a healthy population.

After a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in January, 1969, conservation-minded Senator Gaylord Nelson and Congressman Pete McCloskey began to take action. Wanting to increase public awareness for the importance of a clean environment and inspired by the energy of student anti-war protests, Nelson and McCloskey birthed the idea of teach-ins on college campuses. They enlisted the help of Denis Hayes, a young activist, to organize the campus teach-ins and chose April 22, a weekday between Spring Break and finals, hoping to garner the greatest student participation.

It seems Nelson, McCloskey, and Hayes were successful in raising awareness and enthusiasm for a cleaner, greener, and healthier earth because today, Earth Day is 51 years old!

Information credit:
Shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& daily celebrant of God's beautiful creation)

Taking our first God-given responsibility seriously ("to tend and watch over", see Genesis 2:15), Hanselman Landscape is privileged to bring joy into our clients' daily experiences by installing and nurturing beautiful gardens. Photos below show a dwarf Eastern White Pine being dug for planting at a local business, and the Japanese Black Pines HL planted and now tended at MIT in Cambridge, MA.

2 weeks ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post


In the development of a vibrant, beautiful garden it is beneficial to build on good soil. Another important consideration is the type of mulch you apply, since mulch will eventually break down and become the soil that surrounds your plants.

In Central Pennsylvania, the mulch that is cheapest, most readily available, and most commonly used is hardwood mulch. Unfortunately, this type of mulch is the worst type for most plants. As it decomposes, it becomes a dense, impenetrable carpet that restricts air and water to plant roots while providing a fertile surface for weeds. This type of mulch does not provide the acid that many plants require, so the addition of an acid supplement is often necessary.

A far better choice are mulches made from Pine products, such as Pine bark or Pine straw. These mulches are permeable even as they decompose, allowing adequate air and moisture to reach plant roots. Pine mulch products are also acidic and therefore provide the acid many plants need in order to thrive. Although Pine mulch products are slightly more costly and not as readily available as hardwood mulches, we recommend, sell, and install Pine mulch products in the gardens we develop. Pine mulch products are a better value than hardwood mulches since they provide the nutrients and growing conditions that promote health, beauty, and longevity for your valuable plants.

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& Pine product promoter)

Japanese Maples, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and other acid-loving plants thrive in Pine product mulches such as Pine nuggets (top) and Pine straw (bottom).

3 weeks ago

"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!"
~ Sitting Bull (Teton Dakota leader; 1831-1890)

Shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& spring celebrant)

Azalea blossoms and boulders border a hand-cut stone staircase in this country garden, Central Pennsylvania.

3 weeks ago


Success in a garden is from the ground up--literally! The health and beauty of garden plants depend on the soil in which they are planted, so investing in high-quality soil, soil amendments, and the right type of mulch is important and justifiable.

In many locales in Central Pennsylvania, new homes are built on soil that has been depleted of nutrients. This type of soil will inhibit rather than promote plant health. If this is your situation, when you begin to develop your outdoor spaces we advise you to spend the money to add topsoil that is nutrient rich, loosely textured, and as weed-free as possible. Good topsoil will provide the nutrients plants need, allow for adequate water penetration and drainage, and reduce competition from weeds.

If your garden is already established but not thriving, it may be that a fertilization regimen and an irrigation system will correct the nutritional and moisture deficits. Hanselman Landscape can provide fertilization, irrigation, and weed control to encourage healthy, robust plant growth.

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& advocate of nutritious dirt)

This Lancaster County garden view highlights well-nourished, irrigated, and regularly-maintained Boxwoods, Pines, and Japanese Maples. These plants are thriving in good soil and have been mulched with Pine products.

1 month ago

LIFE FROM LIFE: A Full-Circle Journey

When James Hanselman of Hanselman Landscape needed containers for young nursery stock, he commissioned Jeff Hershey, his friend and a neighboring wood craftsman, with a sustainable option: build the new "grow boxes" from trees that had been removed from a nearby property.

"In keeping with our traditional hand-crafted approach in every aspect of garden care, it seemed fitting that we find a local craftsman to help us build these boxes," smiles Hanselman.

The photos below show the full-circle journey from live trees, through the milling and assembly processes at Jeff's lumber mill and workshop, to the final stage--as life-support structures in which saplings can receive nourishment and nurture in the HL nursery, until they are ready for installation in client gardens.

Gladly shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife

1 month ago
Photos from Hanselman Landscape's post

Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
With the wonderful water round you curled,
And the wonderful grass upon your breast--
World, you are beautifully dressed.

The wonderful air is over me,
And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree,
It walks on the water, and whirls the mills,
And talks to itself on the tops of the hills.

You friendly Earth! How far do you go,
With the wheat-fields that nod and the rivers that flow,
With cities and gardens, and cliffs, and isles,
And people upon you for thousands of miles?

Ah, you are so great, and I am so small,
I tremble to think of you, World, at all;
And yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
A whisper inside me seemed to say,
"You are more than the Earth, though you are such a dot:
You can love and think, and the Earth cannot!"
~ William Brighty Rands

Gladly shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& grateful grandma!)
(Poem from my first "Childcraft" poem book)

Wherever you find yourself this spring, I hope you take time to seek the wonder and beauty to be found in God's garden--the great outdoors!

1 month ago

Wishing you a joyous celebration of new life this Easter!

"Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world."
~ Virgil A. Kraft (American minister, 1910-1988)

Azaleas in vibrant springtime color surround this custom-built swimming pool complete with nature-inspired stream and swim-in water fall, Manheim, PA.

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