Garden Designers’ Roundtable: Entropy

“Just as the constant increase in entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy. “ – Vaclav Havel I think this photo of my side yard illustrates Havel's point pretty well: After I smothered the turf... Continue Reading →

Garden Designers’ Roundtable: Two Maintenance Ideas

True story: last week, while waiting to get a haircut, I flipped through a local home and garden magazine and stumbled upon an article about garden maintenance. Mostly I skimmed it, but then my eye caught a quote from a landscape designer based at a local nursery. He said, "If a landscape is designed right,... Continue Reading →

Garden Designers’ Roundtable: Transitions

One of Beatrix Ferrand's most famous projects is the garden at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC, which is known for its lavish garden rooms and magnificent attention to detail.   As you can see in the map below, each garden "room" has its own name -- Rose Garden, Urn Terrace, Pebble Garden, etc. -- and each room... Continue Reading →

Capability Gray

I may not be installing giant lakes, building fake temples, or displacing villages full of peasants, but I have been improvin' my landscape lately, indeed I have. First, an update on the play structure thingee I started building in February.  To refresh your memory, here is what it looked like several weeks ago: And here it... Continue Reading →

Garden Designers’ Roundtable: Mistakes

"A man's mistakes are his portals of discovery." --James Joyce Then again, Joyce was a man of ideas.  I'm sure no contractor ever said to a client: "Oh, that retaining wall I put in last fall is collapsing now?  But of course!  How could something so bourgeois hold back the anarchy of our modern age??  Don't you... 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 →

HGTV 2013 Dream House Has Lots of Plants!

It's a bit premature to make a final judgment, but it looks as though HGTV's 2013 Dream House  -- located on Kiawah Island, South Carolina -- might actually be worth cheering for! Over on their website HGTV has posted a series of time-lapse photos which show the house and landscape under construction.  Here's what I see that... Continue Reading →

Landscaping a School Sign

The high school where I work just built a new sign at the entrance from the main road.  Within days of being built, it was vandalized.  So last week my principal asked me if I could suggest some landscaping for around the sign that might discourage hooligans from getting up close to the sign and defacing... Continue Reading →

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