Category Archives: plants

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 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

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

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

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

Late Winter Plants in glorious bloom!

Earlier this week I walked around The New York Botanical Gardens with landscape designer Naomi Brooks of Verdant Landscapes.  The two of us were like kids released into the sunshine after a day too long in school.  Our walk was … Read more

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

My lowly daylilies…

One of the first perennials I bought more than 40 years ago with allowance money was a daylily.  It was probably plowed under when new owners renovated my parents’ house. I take cast off daylilies (I have no idea what … Read more

LABELS: Daylily, Gardens 5 Comments

Field Trip: Mariani Gardens

Enroute to Connecticut for a party two weeks ago, I stopped for a second look at Mariani Gardens, an upscale garden/design center in Armonk, NY.  My first visit was four years ago just after it had opened. Their specific specialty … Read more

LABELS: Betula jacqemontii, garden ornaments, Gardens, Outdoor Furniture and Accessories 2 Comments

A Garden is a Lovesome thing…

The poem in the title (and below) , by Thomas Edward Brown, is carved in stone at the entrance to the private pleasure garden Ellen Biddle Shipman designed for Gertrude Seiberling at Stan Hywet Hall. There is an innate femininity to Shipman’s gardens.  As a divorced, … Read more

LABELS: Design, Gardens, inspiration, Landscape Design, landscape designer, native plants 3 Comments

A Garden Unexpected…field of dreams

Driving back from a client’s project the other night I was stuck in traffic.  I was thinking about a post I wanted to write about my ambivalence about local solar farms and their impact on open space and the beauty … Read more

LABELS: Foxgloves, Gardens, inspiration 6 Comments

Early April Gardens

I know that T.S. Elliot’s poem The Wasteland isn’t about gardens.  It is idiosycratic, densely symbolic and ultimately about beauty and meaning in a modern world in ruins.  Kind of appropriate for the way things seem in the world right … Read more

LABELS: Cercis canadensis 'The Rising Sun', Gardens, Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes', spring 1 Comment

In my Reader…Suzanne Cummings

I’m not a houseplant kind of girl and it’s the middle of January.  The only chance I have at bloom color at home is cut  flowers.   Enter designer Suzanne Cummings.  I ‘met’ Suzanne via Twitter and we’ve been chatting back … Read more

LABELS: bouquet, flowers, Garden Styles 3 Comments

Plants to try in 2011

In my landscape design practice, my primary focus isn’t plants, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in them.  In fact, in a garden, plants are the workhorses that hold a design together in a specific season.  I have to … Read more

LABELS: native plants, perennials, Planting Design, plants 6 Comments

Abies koreana ‘Silberlocke’

If you are looking for a festive evergreen that looks like it has come pre-decorated with snow and ornaments…try Abies koreana ‘Silberlocke’ (also known as Horstmann’s Silberlocke and Silver Snow).  When I first saw this small evergreen tree (15-20′ at … Read more

LABELS: Abies koreana 'Silberlocke', Garden Styles 5 Comments

Monday 41 | A Year of Mondays

I have a new contender for the last blast of color for the year.  One of the new plants I added to the garden this year was a Cotinus coggygria ‘Golden Spirit’.  I used the one I planted for a … Read more

LABELS: autumn, Cottinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit', fall, Fothergilla gardenii, Year of Mondays 4 Comments

Monday 40 | A Year of Mondays

The view from my studio is totally red…but this is about the garden.  Every year in mid-November this street tree, an Acer rubrum, puts on the most reliable and spectacular show.   It is only marginally visible from the far end … Read more

LABELS: autumn, fall, plants, Year of Mondays 3 Comments

Fall as Spring Garden Inspiration

This fall has been particularly inspiring for its color.  It’s been a while since I did a post on color and this one is going to be a little bit different.  I want to try and use the fall foliage … Read more

LABELS: color, Garden Design, Garden Styles, Gardens, inspiration, plants 3 Comments

Monday 37 | A Year of Mondays

This seems to be a visual oxymoron.  Is there such a thing?  I bought this beautiful Cornus kousa ‘Samaritan’ earlier in the season as a gift to myself.  I rarely buy plants. Its red tipped fall color seemed to be … Read more

LABELS: Cornus kousa 'Compassion' Leave a comment