garden design

Planning Now for a More Manageable Garden Later

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Many believe wholeheartedly that the time to plan your garden is in the depths of winter. Perhaps this is true in terms of the minutiae; but after years of implementing the overreach that winter weather inspires in the bedraggled, I cannot recommend it.  No, the time to plan next year’s garden is now, before the [...]

Should You Plan (and Plant) a Cutting Garden?

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I have a friend who has always considered a weekly bouquet of fresh flowers a necessity.  She is French however, and they are presumably taught such things at their chic mothers’ beautifully sculpted knees. For years I have secretly admired her resolute stance on the subject, but as the daughter of an English father and [...]

Every Garden Has Its Weakness: Here’s Mine.

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For all the successes I have had with our new garden at Oldmeadow, there are parts of this space that defy any attempts to create beauty.  They are so awkward, so large, so weedy and so uninspiring that had I ten times the budget I am not certain I could solve them, unless that budget [...]

Here We Go Again….Or Will We?

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There’s an extremely serious discussion going on at my place right now.  At issue is whether or not I go to the trouble of setting up a large water feature on the deck and create tropical madness for future August dinner parties.   It was lovely, lush and tropical, but I'm itching for something [...]

The Beauty and Balance of a Small Garden

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As is usual at this time of year, I am touring other people’s gardens one day only to spend the next 48 hours in mine, rethinking everything from plant choices to maintenance plans. It’s one of the best ways I know of re-charging the batteries during a season that doesn’t stop for stragglers, but it [...]

Garden Book SPRING GIVEAWAY!

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It’s the first day of SPRING and in celebration I’ll be giving away a copy of my new book 'Big Dreams, Small Garden' each month of the growing season ahead! If you’re struggling with a tough space or budget and need a bit of guidance/inspiration/commiseration and a ton of gorgeous photos to get you excited [...]

The 2017 PHS Flower Show – “Holland” is So Much More Than Bulbs

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Choosing a theme like “Holland: Flowering the World” gives the Philadelphia Flower Show a great opportunity to surprise and delight the public.  After all, attendees already think they know what they’ll see when they walk through that bank of doors and onto the show floor of the Convention Center:     Bulbs, and lots of [...]

Big Dreams, Small Garden

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Over the last eight years, I have written many columns encouraging people to face the space in which they find themselves and to create the garden that lives within them. Particularly in the midst of the difficult economic period of the last decade. Disturbingly, one of the things that I often heard when I initially [...]

Gardening With a View in Mind

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A view does not merely exist in the world of sweeping Montana pastures or rocky coastlines in Maine. It is as simple as a framed viewpoint – a scene on a micro or macro level that encourages you to stop and absorb it.  Whether we obsess or merely potter, it’s our job as gardeners to [...]

Raised Beds – Not Blood Pressure

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Definitely not taking his measuring duties seriously. I have been in a discussion this week with a friend who has just bought a new (old) house and is about to claim a bit of the brushy, overgrown seven acres for a small vegetable garden. The conversation began with matters of tilling: Did I [...]