Yearly Archives: 2009

Where the Bubbly Reigns…

A hillside in French champagne country–Happy New Year!

LABELS: France, Seasons, Travel Leave a comment

Thinking Forward

This past  year was one of upheaval and profound change.  People, ideas and places were passed by, passed through, passed over and passed around.  New ways of thinking and doing emerged and evolved while some old ones became immediately antiquated … Read more

LABELS: business, Landscape Design 13 Comments

Making Glad the Heart of Childhood

This was my father’s favorite, first published in the New York Sun in 1897.  Christmas was his favorite holiday and he made it magic year after year after year.  Merry Christmas, all! DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.  Some … Read more

LABELS: celebrations, Seasons 6 Comments


Each year when the clock artificially falls back an hour my countdown to the winter solstice begins. After this, the shortest day of the year, each day will get imperceptibly longer (by about a minute) until it’s no longer dark … Read more

LABELS: Seasons Leave a comment

A possible Win-Win…

I have my hand out here. Once again I’ve been asked to create a garden for ‘Mansions in May’,  a local designer show house that will benefit Morristown Memorial Hospital, specifically the Emergency Services Unit. I want to give back … Read more

LABELS: Designer Showhouses, Landscape Design, Mansion in May, organic, organic vegetable gardens, volunteerism 1 Comment

A Great Read…

Yesterday was a really crappy day, weather wise.  Grey, cold and pouring.  It was the perfect opportunity to sit down with a good book.  For a single afternoon inside the warmth of my own small house in New Jersey I … Read more

LABELS: Garden Styles, gardeners, sunlight 3 Comments

Honest Scrap or Junkyard?

My friend Helen Yoest either has a wicked sense of humor or a need to know more…but  an Honest Scrap award–I’ve got enough baggage and randomness to fill a junkyard.  I’ll play because I’m a good sport and I was … Read more

LABELS: Uncategorized 6 Comments

Flowers for Myself

Sometime around Thanksgiving I bought two bunches of tulips for my winter work table – my other work table is in the unheated studio.  I splurge on fresh flowers for myself in the winter when none are available to cut … Read more

LABELS: bouquet, flowers 6 Comments

Etiquette + Pirates

I have always believed that good manners allow you to go anywhere.   Have you ever been to a party where one person has to dominate the conversation and no matter what the prior subject the new subject of the conversation … Read more

LABELS: Marketing, social media, Uncategorized 10 Comments

Do what I say…not what I do!l

As a landscape and garden designer, I only have one hard and fast rule:  create a space that compels people to venture out to use it.  Whether it’s a path, a patio, or just a comfortable place to sit and … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, landscape designer 13 Comments

Inspiration and Influence: Image Spark

I love tools that allow me to work intuitively.  I don’t mind spending time to master the use of a new tool, but when one comes along that is as elegant  as Image Spark  I have to share.  Image Spark … Read more

LABELS: Creative Process, Garden Design, image editors, inspiration, Landscape Design, landscape designer, social media 6 Comments

Garden A Go-Go

In an odd alignment of  things, one of the emerging trends in both fashion and landscape design is based on 1960s mod, so I thought I’d explore some of the possibilities for gardens starting with a groovy magazine cover as … Read more

LABELS: garden ornaments, Landscape Design, Outdoor Furniture and Accessories, plants, Trends 8 Comments

Show House Videos No. 1 and No. 3

It’s the beginning of designer showhouse season.  Designer previews for one that will take place in May 2010 are going on for those invited to submit their concepts for  a design space.  In the past I’ve kept an on-line journal … Read more

LABELS: Designer Showhouses, landscape designer, Mansion in May, Uncategorized Leave a comment

The ‘L’ Word

This post could also be called ‘What’s In a Name?” The new Twitter list tool has me thinking. I am thrilled to be included on so many people’s lists, but I’m wondering about the category most have put me in. … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, Landscape Design, landscape designer 4 Comments

Neutrality, Part 1

As the late fall of November turns into early winter, I am determined to find beauty and inspiration in the season’s neutral color palette.  Rather than trying to hold on to the lush landscapes of other seasons with evergreens I … Read more

LABELS: autumn, color, Creative Process 10 Comments


Maybe it was the high color of autumn sun kissed and back lit.  Or maybe it’s a reaction to all the hype black plants have been getting lately. Or maybe I was already thinking about it subliminally since I snapped  … Read more

LABELS: color, Containers, Creative Process, inspiration 3 Comments

Slowing Time

A blank piece of paper is staring back at me.  A new project awaits my creative design impulse and I’m stalling.  It’s November and I’ve been going at it full tilt for months on end… I need and want things … Read more

LABELS: Uncategorized 2 Comments

Inspiration and Influence: Craftsman Farms

As the brilliant fall foliage fades, I find myself thinking more and more about larger themes in the natural world and how they directly inform my own landscape design work.  Response to concerns about the health of our planet and … Read more

LABELS: environment, inspiration, Landscape Design, New Jersey, sustainability 6 Comments

In Praise of Craftsmanship

As a landscape designer who runs a design only practice, I am dependent on those who build my work to realize my vision.  I have, over many years, through trial and error, found several contractors and artisans who embrace excellent … Read more

LABELS: craftsmanship, dry stone walling, Garden Design, Landscape Design, landscape designer, stone work 6 Comments

Late to the Party

It’s been a while since I wrote about a plant.  I tend to leave that to other, better horticulturists. Spotted, driving down a country road, Hamamelis virginiana’s yellow puffs tell me it’s time to turn on the heat and hunker … Read more

LABELS: autumn, deer resistant, landscape designer, native plants Leave a comment

Shift in Perception

I had occasion this past weekend to visit the center of the country–no not New York or Los Angeles, but Iowa.  Being a hardcore, jaded metropolitan New York area resident, I had preconceived ideas of what I would see and … Read more

LABELS: Creative Process, environment, inspiration, Travel 7 Comments

National Design Week

Did you know that this week is National Design Week?  The 10th in fact. Did you also know that there is a national design awards program that coincides with this celebration of design?  If not, it’s not too late to … Read more

LABELS: inspiration 3 Comments

Inspiration and Influence: What I Like Now

As a designer, I am constantly exploring  in search of  new ideas and inspiration.  It’s part of my job life.  I spend a chunk of time each day on what I call ‘input’.  Without it, my output gets stale.  In … Read more

LABELS: blogs, Creative Process, inspiration, Landscape Design 7 Comments

Climate Change | Plan, Plant + Protect | Trees

I am not a scientist. I am a landscape designer.  I thought I wasn’t an active environmentalist until I started to think about participating in this year’s Blog Action Day on Climate Change.  Sure I talk about it, but if  … Read more

LABELS: sustainability 14 Comments

Field Trip: Wave Hill

I didn’t set out to go to Wave Hill on Saturday, but it was a better day for ending up there.  I was surprised that on a glorious fall day there weren’t more people in this remarkable garden.  Each time … Read more

LABELS: autumn, garden visits, Landscape Design, plants 3 Comments

Don’t Mind the Gap

There’s been a lot bluster going on in garden circles since the Garden Writer’s Association presented a breakout session at their annual symposium entitled ‘Gardening with a Generation Y’.   Kelly Norris, the presenter, who at an accomplished 22, tried his … Read more

LABELS: Uncategorized 9 Comments

Field Trip: Atlock Farm

I’ve known Atlock Farm and its owner Ken Selody for years.  We were comrades in arms at the New Jersey Flower and Garden show for several seasons where each time I created a display garden, I gave Ken the forced … Read more

LABELS: Garden Centers, Garden Design, garden ornaments, inspiration, Landscape Design, Outdoor Furniture and Accessories 7 Comments

My Life on the A List | New Jersey Life Magazine

I’m thrilled.  This doesn’t happen often…Susan Cohan Gardens was named to the 2009 Editor’s Choice on New Jersey Life’s A list as one of the best exterior designers in the state.  I’d love to thank whoever nominated me–but I have … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, Landscape Design, landscape designer 7 Comments

Field Trip: Montrose Gardens

Close to twenty years ago, as a serious home gardener, I discovered mail order plants–from a paper catalog with a paper order form that you had to send in by mail.   Some of the first plants delivered to my front … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, garden visits, inspiration, Landscape Design 11 Comments

A Gathering of Garden Writers

I’m at my first Garden Writer’s Association symposium in Raleigh, NC.  I decided to attend just to see what it was like and well, it’s different than I expected. Also, the Raleigh location and the planned garden visits were places … Read more

LABELS: garden visits, inspiration, Travel 5 Comments