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

Cleaning Organically Grown Apples

If you grow organic or low-spray apples, especially heirlooms, and especially anywhere east of the Rockies, chances are you are going to experience two diseases, sooty blotch and fly speck, which can make your apples pretty unsightly. Here’s a really … 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 #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

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #1: Beautiful Lawns

Last year I was lucky enough to spend over a month touring the gardens of England and Scotland. Looking over the pictures the other day, I realized there were many wonderful, easy, lessons to be learned from some of the … 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

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