Keeping Company -  Fall 2014
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With its eye-catching fruit and vivid foliage, Viburnum is a winner in the fall and winter garden. 'Brandywine's' berries change from green to pink to blue as its leaves evolve from rich green to dark maroon. A sun-lover, viburnum will tolerate partial shade and most soil types. It is also deer resistant. At maturity, the shrub is 5 to 6' tall and wide. 'Brandywine' is a good partner with 'Winterthur,' another lovely Viburnum variety. Each will support the pollination of the other, resulting in a more abundant supply of berries. 



Elegant, white, conical flower clusters on the Oakleaf Hydrangea fade to dusky shades of pink reminiscent of

Victorian times. With foliage ranging from muted green to mauve to burgundy, the overall effect is striking. These plants love sun but can handle partial shade and are very cold tolerant. Native and deciduous, one of the most appealing features of the Oakleaf Hydrangea is revealed when they let go of their leaves in late fall. The bark on these beauties, with its varying shades of warm orange-brown, sheds in large flakes on older stems. 

Betula nigra 'Dura Heat' 
Betula nigra 'Dura-Heat'  
A smaller more compact form of the 'Heritage,' this River Birch offers year round interest and is a welcome companion in the landscape. As the name implies, it tolerates heat while also managing well in wet soils. Glossy green leaves turn to creamy yellow in fall, complementing pink-orange bark. Birds enjoy the seeds of the River Birch, and shade lovers of all kinds appreciate its rapid growth; it will make up 30 to 40 feet in 20 years. River Birch can be grown with single- or multi-stemmed trunks, and they are deer, insect and disease resistant.





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Jan Kirsh Landscapes & Jan Kirsh Studio


As we eat, and shop, and make joyful for the upcoming holidays, we'll be rubbing elbows with all manner of family, friends, colleagues, and customer service reps. The harmonious interactions will be remembered fondly. The disagreeable ones? Well, we can try to be polite. 

In my work, I pay close attention to harmony. I study the interplay between texture and color, between light and shadow. The right combination makes for a splendid encounter!

Color is paramount. Nature doles out greens and browns in every imaginable shade, but she enlivens the plenteous earthy tones with vibrant flowers and foliage. My plant selections feature colors that work well in partnership with one another. 



Muhlenbergia capillaries ( Muhley grass ) partnered with Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' 
The color wheel is a useful resource for building harmony in the garden. Pairing complementary colors creates a lively balance that is both eye-catching and satisfying. Partnering analogous colors brings about a coordinated, homogeneous effect. 
Three different varieties of Achilea (Yarrow) share the stage during sunny summer days, 'Terra Cotta', 'Paprika' & 'Moonshine' 
Tomato Partners
Photo: Melissa Grimes Guy 
When I created my heirloom tomato series, I pictured them as individuals, free-spirited singles with all kinds of character. They certainly have personality enough to stand alone. But during the sculpting process, my creative muse worked a little matchmaking magic, and suddenly they made an entirely different statement as couples.


Photo: Stephen Cherry 
Tomato Partners include four sets of partners: (l-r) Plump Pals, Saucy Sweethearts, Tender Twosome, and Luscious Lovers.They remind me of some of the friends and family I'll be spending time with this season. 

Successful planters depend on an appropriate balance of shapes and textures. Tall or short, rounded or spiky, rough or soft - different combinations of plants yield stunning effects to suit your style. Pot groupings can be treated the same way. 
Colocasia (or Elephant Ears) made a bold statement in this Corten steel trough planter 

A fun, mnemonic device to remind you of the formula for attractive individual or groups of planters: select a spiller (something low to soften the edges), a thriller (something tall that acts as a focal point), and a filler (something interesting between the other two).

                                                                            Photo: Stephen Cherry

Leaf Mulch 


Another terrific garden partnership starts with leaves. Instead of setting them out with the trash, consider using leaves as mulch instead. Shred them first with your lawn mower, then rake or bag and spread them under trees or in planting beds. If you're concerned about aesthetics, top dress with a thin layer of your regular mulch. As they decay, leaves create rich organic matter which your plants will love!  

Got more leaves than you can use? Check with your town or lawn service for information about programs, like one in Maryland, that converts yard waste into bagged compost.  


In my garden, the mature Sycamore has huge leaves which become mulch when shredded.
Come Visit at Waterfowl Festival

In collaboration with some of my gallery partners, I will be out and about for  Waterfowl Festival of Easton, Maryland.  I'll be talking with folks about my 6' Avocado Half at Bartlett Pear Inn, and about my new fiberglass Avocado Half at South Street Art Gallery. Both locations, as well as Cottage Studio and Gallery, have selections of my sculpture available for purchase. 
The 34" Fiberglass Avocado Half with a gel coat finish attracts real song birds too in need of a drink or a quick dip
(Little Birds, set of 3, sold separately) 

Hoping you can take the time to notice Mother Nature's glorious show.   


Best regards,


Jan Kirsh Landscapes and Studio | 410.745.5252 | |
PO Box 246
Bozman, MD 21612

...Reflecting the intimate wonder of nature.

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