Hardening Off

With the price of nursery plantings heading north of the Pole this year, there is every impetus in the world to grow your own annuals and vegetables from seed. (For a complete how-to on that process, click HERE) But now … 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

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

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #7: Using Water Successfully

The seventh in a continuing series of design articles… Walk into any box store or garden center these days, and you’ll find an entire section devoted to water gardening. Tubs, pumps, basins galore; fish, tubing, filters and more — water … Continue reading

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #6: Go Big, or Go Home

The sixth in a continuing series of design articles… Outdoors, it’s all about scale. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of the vignette in small gardens. In large gardens, on the other hand, small features have … 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