When Everyone Is Watching: Garden Design for Non-Designers

By |November 19th, 2015|

Designing a garden is a humbling experience, period. But when your design is instantly on display because you are planting an entrance or a driveway, it’s a worrying experience. And, if you know that someday in the near future, gardeners will visit, scan your efforts and possibly pronounce them lacking, the process is just plain […]

The Garden Remembers

By |July 2nd, 2015|

This morning I caught my breath to find new shoots breaking through the soil on a St. John’s Wort I thought had died in transit from Oregon several weeks ago. Hypericum calycinum is not a difficult plant, nor as rare as the nursery finds that shared its cramped suitcase on the flight home; but as […]

The Gnat Hat

By |June 15th, 2015|

We’re on the Virginia side of the river now, but even so, I have read with interest the heroic efforts of a local Maryland citizen who is determined to eradicate our shared gnat problem by enlisting the big guns of the government. I must say, when we moved to this area near the Potomac […]

The Spousal Problem

By |May 21st, 2015|

My husband is frequently annoyed with me that I rarely indulge the ‘dreamer’ who lives deep inside of this pragmatic, 40-something frame. It’s one thing to remain practical over cars, electric bills and clothing budgets, he muses. But to apply such dull and dusty thinking to a garden is a crime against creative genius – […]

Deck That Deck!

By |April 26th, 2015|

The spring reclamation of patios and decks has begun across the Mid-Atlantic and New England. And, unlike our brother gardeners in sunnier climes, this will involve something more extensive than changing the cushions to reflect a seasonal change from warm to warmer.

Our outside rooms – be they patio, deck, balcony or front porch stoop – […]

Fickle April

By |April 5th, 2015|

The crocus and winter aconite have finally appeared, only to find me standing over them, tapping my watch. Everything is a little late this year, but I will take that as an omen for a long spring and a kind summer – just as kind and full of mercy as last year’s. Although I know […]

The Merry Month of Mud Time

By |March 22nd, 2015|

Whether Robert Frost originally coined the term or not I do not know, but ‘mud time’ must be the simplest and most accurate expression to describe the period from the last snow melt to the first tulip blush. It has arrived, and each day is a new adventure in negotiating paths, roads, chicken coops and […]

Find me in the NEW Spring issue of GreenPrints Magazine!

By |March 9th, 2015|

It’s a privilege to be a contributor during GreenPrints’ 25th year of publication, and I encourage you to subscribe to this very worthy magazine described by editor Pat Stone as “the most unusual, humorous, moving, entertaining, inspiring, simply special garden magazine in the country!” My article in this issue, “My Tulip Turnaround” is a story […]

Garden Where You Are, Not Where You’re Not

By |January 8th, 2015|

There are problem areas in a garden and then there are problem gardens, period. Poor drainage, terrible views, a neighbor with a security light fixation, barking dogs, chain-link fences, no fences, steep hills, deep gullies, dry shade, rocky soil, that neighbor with the security light fixation (worth mentioning twice) and a hundred other issues that […]

Sifting Through the Bytes

By |April 10th, 2014|

Thanks to the internet, if you are a beginner gardener you can ask everything from “What is a seed?” to “What does soil do?” and rest easy in the knowledge that the only people aware of your ignorance are yourself and the CIA.

Perhaps you don’t know an annual from a perennial, a corm from a […]