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

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #5: Hardscape

God is in the details they say, and I can assure you that the garden deity dwells most happily where the creator has paid attention to the quality of the hardscape. Let’s face it. Perennials come and go, trees rise … Continue reading

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #4: Fabulous Foliage

Number four in a continuing series. Flower, flowers, flowers. “Does it flower?” I am always asked. And while flowers most certainly are important (though for me, they must have fragrance, but that’s a column for another day) what generally gives … 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

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

Autumn Color

Now that the leaves are gone, at least here in the Northeast, other sources of color in the garden begin to shine in the pale golden November light. Here are a few of my favorites in a brief photo essay … 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

The Garden Renovation Primer: Moving Established Trees

When renovating an old landscape, almost inevitably you’ll be faced with the issue of what to do with established plantings. On one hand large trees and shrubs add a dignity and grace to a property that is almost impossible to … Continue reading

The Garden Renovation Primer: Evolution

My grandfather’s mantra was: plan twice, plant once. As it turns out, that wasn’t quite accurate. In reality, it’s plan, plan more, replan, and plan again, and keep planning until the garden you’re searching for finally emerges from the design. … Continue reading