My Conversion to Gunslinger

Once upon a time, I had a kind and peaceful nature. Live and let live was my philosophy. I would no more think of wantonly killing another of god’s creatures than I would of harming myself – despite having been … Continue reading

New Mulch for Squash and a Hose Reel to Die For

Hello everyone! I’m back! Five broken bones and two wrist surgeries later, I can finally spend time at the keyboard without having my entire hand go numb. I know we missed a lot of ground this spring, but ah well, … Continue reading

Garden Travels: Lessons from Spanish Gardens

I’m just wrapping up a three week trip with a Harvard alumni group to Portugal and Spain, and while gardens weren’t the particular focus of this trip, we did see some spectacular landscapes that I thought held valuable lessons for … Continue reading

False Spring

We’re only two days into the official spring season, and already in my garden the crocus, early daffodils and hyacinths are in bloom, the Star Magnolia in full flower, and the Ogon spireas are beginning to leaf out, along with … 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

The Garden Renovation Primer: In the Beginning There Was… A Lovely Old House

So many of you have asked me for advice on how to renovate old rundown landscapes over the years that I thought I would start a new series of postings taking you through the process step-by-step with one of my … Continue reading

Garden Refreshers

My grandfather used to say that anybody could garden in the automatic abundance of June: it was the rest of the year that tested the gardener’s mettle. This is especially true in August, when the heady display of spring and … Continue reading

Shade Gardening 101

Mention the world shade, and average gardener’s brow will start to furrow, already calculating ways to escape the dark menace. That’s really a shame, for while gardening in the shade often presents a number of challenges – poor soil, competition … Continue reading

Dahlias

Hurrah! ….it is a frost! The dahlias are all dead! Surtees, Handley Cross 1843 Alas the poor dahlia has been something of a garden misfit since it first departed the New World for the Old. Beloved by the Aztecs as … Continue reading

Daffodils

“Daffodils, That come before the swallow dares, and takeThe winds of March with beauty.” — William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale Right now as you read this, the first daffodils are pushing up through the still half-frozen soil in my garden. … Continue reading