A Lesson Spiritual Gardening…

Well, the Ramapos are really taking off! I had to go and buy a 9′-0″ stake to support them… (Last year they were starting to grown on top of the garage roof)

Anywho :)

This past week I have been doing a lot of soul searching and re-reading one of my favorite books:
“All the Joy You Can Stand” by Debrena Jackson Gandy

Now inspirational and self motivating literature may not be your “thing” but I really felt like I needed to share this one section because it is something that I am forcing myself to live everyday – and I have come to lean on this philosophy in everything I do…
This past week was rough for me and I even found myself breaking down a couple of times… But I know that everyone has a set of cycles and seasons in their lives and everyday (no matter how rough) is just part of this journey and ultimate adventure :)

Becoming a Spiritual Gardener…

1. If you are not reaping the size, quantity or quality of the “fruit” in the form of results, outcomes, or goals you’d like, you must better prepare, cultivate, and fertilize your soil. Remember, manure is “waste”, but it makes for great fertilizer. A masterful “gardener” can take waste and transform it into something that supports growth. You recognize that the quality of your soil determines the quality of the ‘fruit” you bear.

2. Faith and patience are necessary in spiritual gardening because all growth is not above ground. God works in visible and non-visible ways.

3. You have to understand that God has placed the “blueprint” for success within the seed. It is up to you to activate it.

4. You understand that you will always be given other opportunities to plant. There are no mistakes, only “learnings“  with spiritual gardening.

5. Death is a part of the spiritual gardening process. When something comes to an end, it is transformed and the process continues. In the mind of the spiritual gardener, death is not inherently bad or negative. it is a part of the process. It can signify a rebirth or set the stage for a powerful new beginning.

6. When the seed, season, soil, timing, and conditions are “right”, the seed takes root, pushes up through the ground and bears “fruit”.

7. The spiritual gardener is able to take manure and transform it into fertilizer. You know that all that smells and looks bad can be used for good if you know how to transform it.

8. The spiritual gardener knows that even if all of the conditions are right, the unexpected can still occur and wipe out what you’ve grown. You are not in control ultimately. You also know that you can begin again. This, too, is part of the process.


After much inner turmoil…the photos were FINALLY selected and the album is finished!!…(at least we got it done before the one year mark :)

(Photography by Joshua Black Weddings – www.joshuablackweddings.com)


Mosquito Plant

The Mosquito Plant is a genetically engineered geranium hybrid with a unique characteristic: it repels mosquitoes! It is easily grown as a potted patio plant, and easily enjoyed for its attractive foliage and sweet lemony scent, as well as for its mosquito repelling powers. It produces a leafy, attractive, foot-tall plant during its first season.

The Mosquito Plant was created by a Dutch botanist, who genetically incorporated traits of the Chinese citronella grass into a scented African geranium. The resulting cultivar still had the growth and habit of the geranium, and its sweet lemony citronella scent. Citronella is the substance in citronella candles, which have long been used to deter mosquitoes. It doesn’t harm them, but they don’t like citronella and avoid it. It is most effective as a repellent if you crush a few leaves and rub them on your skin. This releases the citronella and a sweet perfume.

Like most geraniums, the Mosquito Plant is normally potted and grown outdoors during the warm season (after last and before first frosts). During the colder seasons the plants can be wintered-over indoors. In the warmer southern zones Mosquito Plants can be grown outdoors year-round where the plants can reach a mature size of 3 to 4 feet high and wide.


Garden Update #1

(everything’s growing great! here are a few pictures from the garden today :)
For more Photos go here:



Every once in a while a little project comes along that you can call you own…AND be proud of…
The client wanted a new identity for their “dated” office facade. The challenge was that the budget was very tight and the existing storefront facade could not be removed or altered in anyway. I decided that the best option was to split the facade up into planes and give hierarchy to the entrance. The main material used was EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System) due to the fact that its relatively inexpensive, flexible in terms of design, and it would be able to add insulation to their ridiculously frigid office space. (They sometimes call it out-silation…) We also used zinc at the main entrance…(That was the money piece :)

WELL – The construction of this office facade was just completed and the owners could not be happier!
(Don’t you love it when a good plan comes together?)

Here is a little photographic time-line of the project…

Original Rendering.

Existing Conditions.

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