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

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

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 #2: 3-D Gardening

The second in a continuing series It’s very easy when gardening to get stuck in two dimensions. After all, most garden plans are in two dimensions; as humans we tend to think in two dimensions; pictures, television screens and computer … 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

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