Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #3: The Power of the Vignette

The third article in a continuing series… Little is big. That’s it. That’s the lesson. You can stop reading now. But seriously: that is essentially the lesson. As gardeners we tend to think in broad strokes, and that’s fine, generally. … Continue reading

Tips for Designing and Building Decks

I suppose I should begin by admitting that I’m generally not a big fan of decks in the landscape. In fact, the only kind of decks I’m really fond of are the ones attached to large, luxurious ocean liners. It’s … Continue reading

Trees for Small Gardens

Whenever I am called upon to design a small garden, my first concern, after having determined the overall style and feel of the space I’m contemplating, is how to make the garden appear as large as possible. A good designer … Continue reading

A Tall, Dark Stranger

I have a romantic story to tell you, of a tall dark stranger that first appeared in European gardens almost a millennia ago – althea rosea, the hollyhock. But not just any hollyhock, the dusky mysterious one the Spanish called, … Continue reading

Cutting Garden Tips

Until recently, my ideal cutting garden had always been a place where someone else (preferably your grandmother, spouse, partner, or if you were really lucky, your gardener) went to plant and gather flowers, bring them back to your house, arrange, … Continue reading

Garden Travels – Lessons from Three American Gardens

It’s a well known fact that artists draw inspiration from travel; new scenery, new people, new cultures all heavily influence artistic impression. So it stands to reason that we gardeners – who are, after all, at our most basic “plant … Continue reading

Garden Renovation Primer: Building a Sunken Garden

Under the old mantra that you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs, we are about to break a few dozen in starting our new sunken garden. Why, you may ask, build a sunken garden in the first place? … Continue reading

Confronting Change in the Garden

Change comes hard in the garden. If you think about it, all of our gardening activities could be viewed as an attempt, futile even though we know it is, to fix nature in a moment, to lock a particular piece … Continue reading

Hydrangeas

Plant enthusiasts have a tendency to use language rather floridly, if you’ll pardon the pun, when they describe their favorite plants. But hydrangeas are one of those species were the word “remarkable” is truly no exaggeration. How many plant families … Continue reading

New Mulch for Squash and a Hose Reel to Die For

Hello everyone! I’m back! Five broken bones and two wrist surgeries later, I can finally spend time at the keyboard without having my entire hand go numb. I know we missed a lot of ground this spring, but ah well, … Continue reading