Category Archives: Planting Design

Outlier–Maybe Not.

I promised I would be back here when I thought I had something new or interesting to say. There is no eye candy today–just words and thoughts. I also don’t feel the need to push my ideas on anyone else–so … Read more

LABELS: Creative Process, Garden Design, Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design 11 Comments

Narrow Fence Line Planting

In the suburban New York/New Jersey gardens where I do much of my landscape design work, fences are a part of the landscape. They become, by virtue of the height and length, a major landscape feature–whether intended or not. Creating a … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, landscape designer, Planting Design 4 Comments

Magnolia Lust

As part of my job as a landscape designer, I regularly walk the growers and nurseries to see what is new and what looks good.  I learn about plants new to me that I may want to trial and try. … Read more

LABELS: plants 1 Comment

Trials and Neglect in my Home Garden

I’m not a landscape designer who has a wonderfully designed garden that is a terrific advertisement for my craft at my home. I should, I live on a corner, but as I’ve shared here before it’s mostly a neglected mess with good … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Planting Design, plants 5 Comments

Garden Visit: Filoli

My visit last week to one of the great American gardens, Filoli, in northern California, was a revelation in many ways.  I have wanted to visit since I first saw pictures of it years ago. The garden was designed in … Read more

LABELS: California, formal gardens, Garden Art and Antiques, garden visits, Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design, San Francisco, Travel 13 Comments

Green Gardens

Green is a thing. Right now it’s a missing thing. It’s what I miss most during winter and what makes me smile first in the spring–those small green shoots pushing up through frigid earth. I’ve been thinking about making flowerless gardens. Gardens that … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, Gardens, Landscape Design, landscape designer, Planting Design 10 Comments

My Award Winning Garden Design

Last fall, I entered a garden I designed in New Jersey in 2015 APLD International Landscape Design Awards in the Planting Design category. It was awarded the highest honor, a Gold Award. To be honest, I knew the value of the … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design Details, Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design 19 Comments

Garden Design Details: Fall Beyond Foliage

I had some rare time in between landscape design projects and clients last week and as I’ve been meaning to take my new camera lens out for a spin, I stopped by Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown to search out some … Read more

LABELS: fall, Garden Design, Gardens, Planting Design, plants 5 Comments

The New Garden Design

The new Garden Design magazine promises to be full of inspiration and ideas for all of us.  I lamented when the previous one stopped publishing so I’m happy about this. Their primary focus is now American gardens and designers–not just the … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design, plants 8 Comments

Spring Bulb: Asphodelus fistulosus

I don’t usually write about plants I haven’t grown, but I’m so starved for spring I started looking through some images thinking to do a post about early spring bloomers. Instead I found some lovely images of  Asphodelus fistulosus (Hollow stemmed … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Morocco, plants 2 Comments

My Plant Picks in The New York Times

Of course I was absolutely thrilled to be in last Thursday’s Home section of the New York Times!  It was fun to think about what I would plant in a shady nook with deer.  It’s exactly what I have in my … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, Gardens, Planting Design, plants 2 Comments

Planting Design: Late Fall Texture and Color

Now that we’ve begun the season of darkness and it looks like midnight at 5 pm, bursts of golden color during the day is important. I love the last of the riot of color and texture that is in my … Read more

LABELS: deer resistant, Gardens, Planting Design, plants 2 Comments

Garden Designers Roundtable: Design on the Diagonal

Anyone who has tried to learn the art of garden and landscape design has had the unifying principles of rhythm, and repetition branded in their brains along with texture, form and color.  I always found this to be confusing and … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Planting Design 12 Comments

Planting Design: Planting for Fall Drama

I never tire of visiting other people’s gardens. Good or bad they always have something to teach me.  This past weekend I visited two.  One in New Jersey and the other across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania.  They both showcased … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Planting Design Leave a comment

Garden Visit: Atlanta Botanical Garden

I’m in Atlanta for the inaugural Garden Bloggers Conference and I came two days early to explore.  Yesterday, visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden with friends and fellow landscape designers Kathy and Tom Carmichael. we were beset by monsters! But seriously.  The … Read more

LABELS: Atlanta, garden visits, Gardens, Planting Design, Travel 2 Comments

Planting Design: Ornamental Grass Hedges

It’s the season when ornamental grasses are doing their best to be the stars of the landscape.  The current trend of naturalistic and meadow-like plantings are perfect for ornamental grasses, but so are hedges. In this garden, designed by Mien … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Planting Design 1 Comment

Planting Bambi’s Buffet

Twelve years ago I built a garden on what was a deer path in my narrow side yard.  Why? To experiment with plants primarily for deer resistance, but also to know and grow new plants for my landscape designs.  I … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design, plants 5 Comments

Planting Design: A Wet Shady Meadow

I will admit to having to take some time to wrap my head around an addition to a garden that we installed last year.  Although we have improved the overall drainage on the expansive site, there is one pesky area … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, native plants, Planting Design, plants Leave a comment

Field Trip: Native Plant Garden at NYBG

When a new garden destination opens, I always like to wait a bit and let the crowds simmer down so I can explore it in peace. I need that space to process my ideas and to really see a place. … Read more

LABELS: Design, Gardens, Landscape Design, native plants, Planting Design, sustainability 2 Comments

Planting Design: Wave Hedges

As always, I’m primarily interested in how people move through a three dimensional outdoor garden space.  I’m also interested in how to guide the experience–whether it’s an arrival sequence or just a meandering walk.  Lately I’ve been experimenting with what … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design Leave a comment

Native Plants: Cladrastis kentukea – Kentucky Yellowwood

My little town has an unusual collection of street trees.  On my block alone there are red maples, dogwoods, redbuds, oaks, and two native beauties – Cladrastis kentukea all planted in the hell strips.  1′ to 2′ abundant clusters of … Read more

LABELS: Cladrastis kentuea, Garden Design, Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design, plants 8 Comments

My Wee Spring Plant Nursery

Here I go getting all plant-y again… In January I offered to share a snippet of  my favorite  Heuchera ‘Molly Bush’ which I’ve grown for almost 20 years back to Allen Bush who bred it to begin with.  He graciously sent … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Heuchera 'Molly Bush', native plants, plants 1 Comment

In Praise of Pieris

Every March I am enchanted with Pieris japonica and then I promptly forget about it as other more intriguing options catch my attention and it fades into the background. I found three varieties worth planting during a hunt for spring at The Farm, and … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Pieris japonica 2 Comments

Spring is Sprung with Leaf Magazine

I hope you’re not tired of hearing about the new issues of Leaf and my involvement with them.  I think the latest issue–out today– Spring 2013–is as good, if not better, than those that have come before it. It’s a great … Read more

LABELS: Garden Centers, gardeners, Gardens, Hamamelis x intermedia, Landscape Design Leave a comment

Witch Hazels…I’m bewitched.

It started out simply.  Admiration in a late winter garden. I’ve planted them for my clients for years, but have never had one of my own. Then I wrote a piece for the upcoming issue of Leaf.  Then I became … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Hamamelis x intermedia, plants 2 Comments

Garden Designers Roundtable: Winter Inspiration

I’m totally obsessed with winter gardens.  The thing is though, by spring, just like everyone else I get caught up in the sexier spring and summer seasons and completely forget to plant for winter.  This year I’m going to try … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Heptacodium miconiodes, inspiration, Landscape Design, winter 16 Comments

Hubert de Givenchy and Gardens

Hubert de Givenchy is better known his couture creations for Audrey Hepurn than he is as a champion of gardens.  But champion he is. Upon retirement in 1995, he was a key player in the restoration of the Potager du … Read more

LABELS: France, Gardens, Planting Design 2 Comments

My Dirty, Little Garden Secret

Yes, I have a secret.  You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything about my own gardens this year.  That’s because I have a dirty, little secret about them. Here it is.  For the past year I have done … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, Landscape Design, Planting Design 10 Comments

Spring Brights in the Garden

Early spring is coming early here this year.  Gardens are bursting with unseasonably warm weather.  Here are two stars of the early spring garden (blooming this week) that are much more interesting and super substitutes for the ubiquitous forsythia. Cornus … Read more

LABELS: Cornus mas, Gardens, Jasminum nudiflorum, Planting Design, plants, spring 2 Comments

Flower Shows vs. Garden Shows

There is an important distinction other than age (183 years) for the Philadelphia International Flower Show and most others…it’s a flower show…not a flower and garden show.  Floral designers, event planners, amateur and professional horticulturalists show and compete alongside landscape designers and nurseries.  This … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, inspiration, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flower Show, Planting Design 8 Comments