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

Dethroning the Heirloom Tomato

I was putting together my seed order this morning after suffering another disastrous year with late blight in which the majority of my tomatoes, mostly heirlooms, were dead by early August along with most of the harvest, and I came … 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

The Original Victory Garden

As host of the Victory Garden on PBS from 2002-2007, I started to collect WWII Victory Garden memorabilia — posters, brochures, signs, that sort of thing. Then, a few weeks ago I came across this 1942 film on the FDR … 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

Creating Effective Seasonal Indoor Displays

Every year at this season my mailbox bulges with questions about how to create effective indoor seasonal displays. I’m always a little loath to give advice on this subject, for fear of going down the Martha Stewart road. Now don’t … 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