This Land is My Land, All Mine!

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about what it means, as a gardener, to actually own my own piece of property.  Sometimes when I am taking my vegetable scraps out to the compost heap, following a route that spans the full expanse of my backyard, I marvel at the fact that the entire vast swath... Continue Reading →

Annie Dillard — Suburban Pilgrim

For years I have worshipped Annie Dillard's book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, her Pulitzer-prize winning meditation on nature written back in the 1970's.  I keep a copy of it on my Kindle, and whenever the world feels too much with me, I like to retreat into a few of its pages.  Her descriptions of giant... Continue Reading →

“Malignant Magenta”

Some interesting revelations in a book I'm currently reading called One Writer's Garden, which is about the Jackson, Mississippi garden of Eudora Welty and her mother Chestina.  Last night I read this explanation for the shunning of magenta flowers back in Welty's day (early 20th century, but the magenta aversion continues today for many gardeners): "Historian Susan... Continue Reading →

Is Designing Solo the Best Way?

In the Final Comprehensive of my Landscape Design Course, we had to work in teams of three. I was in a group with two other talented people (both professional designers), and our task was to redesign a small park on the campus of GW. We brainstormed. We sketched. We had meetings -- many, many meetings.... Continue Reading →

David Culp’s Layered Garden Includes Black Walnuts!

More good news for those of us living with Juglans nigra! In his new book The Layered Garden, David Culp describes several genera that he has grown with success beneath these anti-social trees, including: Smilacina -- (Smilacena racemosa -- False Solomon's Seal -- an interesting perennial with white flowers in spring followed by green/red berries).... Continue Reading →

“Now Entering the Xeric Hardpan Forest”

Recently I purchased and read Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachians and Piedmont. Now, before you go labeling me as a mega-dweeb, you should know that plant communities are super hot right now. All the coolest middle aged suburban garden bloggers are talking about them and how they can be used as inspirations... Continue Reading →

Garden Designer’s Roundtable: Art and the Garden

Take a look at the pair of images below.  What would you say they have in common? Now, I'm pretty sure the garden vignette on the right was not modelled directly after Thomas Cole's painting (on the left), but the two certainly do seem to share some genetic material, don't they?  The arches, the vines, the... Continue Reading →

Keep Writing, Keep Digging, Mr. Merwin

Yesterday the Library of Congress announced Natasha Tretheway, a Pulitzer-prize winner and professor at Emory University, as the new poet laureate.  I'm not familiar with her writing, but I like that she is from the South and that she is very young for a poet laureate.  I will check out her poems soon. Meanwhile, I wanted to share... Continue Reading →

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