Caveat Emptor

While I was host of “The Victory Garden,” Scotts was our sponsor, and every spring, a huge semi-truck would pull up in front of my house, loaded to the ceiling with free Scotts products for us to use during the … Continue reading

Mulching Made Eas(ier)

Here’s a dirty little secret your landscaper would prefer you not to know: your annual application of shredded pine mulch is one of their highest mark-up activities of the entire growing year. Why? Because the process is highly labor intensive; … Continue reading

Legacy

Legacy is an amazing thing. As a child growing up in the 70s, I was captivated by the TV gardener and garden writer, Thalassa Cruso. I’ve written about her several times before, so I will only add here that my … Continue reading

A Typical Spring Day

So ladies and gentlemen, in case you’ve ever wondered, this is what a busy garden designer’s desk looks like on a March morning. In addition to adding and amending to a stack of clients’ plans, I have a bucket load … Continue reading

Weather Whipsaw

Predictably, when the weather briefly moved into the 70s last week, my phone began to ring. Excited clients were wondering about getting started with planning (certainly) and with planting (certainly not.) A few seemed disappointed by my lack of enthusiasm … Continue reading

Biennial Pleasures

There’s a whole group of wonderful plants that have fallen from favor in American gardens — biennials. The reason why is not hard to fathom, because there is so much confusion and misinformation out there about how to grow biennials … Continue reading

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #8: The Collector’s Garden

Last summer on our way to Scotland we stopped in the ancient market town of Ely to see the cathedral. Ely’s was one of the first of the Gothic cathedrals, and a trip from Cambridge through Ely, Lincoln and then … Continue reading

Frost Against the Panes

It is in the dead of winter that the greenhouse is at its best, for then is the contrast of life and death the greatest. Just beyond the living tender leaf — separated only by the slender film of the … Continue reading

Care About the Environment? Get a Few Chickens.

I’ve had chickens on and off now for over twenty years (the off periods were the one or two times the fox got into the hen house) and I’m here to say that if you care about any of the … Continue reading

Ephemerality

  Since June the tropical plants that winter in the greenhouse have been enjoying the summer weather outdoors. They are quite spread out — some in the orchard, others on the back terrace, the pool terrace, the parterre garden. Today … Continue reading