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 →

The Optimism of Tiny Trees

I have a vivid memory of eating a Red Delicious apple when I was seven years old and, afterward, regarding the dark seeds embedded in the core. I asked my dad if I planted one of the seeds would we get apples on our own tree next year?  No, he said.  Not next year. Then when?... 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 →

Garden Designers’ Roundtable: Memory and Plants

I'll I'll be honest.  I had a hard time figuring out how to approach this topic.  As I have mentioned before, I am New Dirt and not Old Dirt, meaning I do not come from a long line of gardeners, but rather picked up this obsession at age 36 with no influence from parents or... Continue Reading →

Garden Designer’s Roundtable: How to Terrify Young Children With Your Landscape

Folks, it's not too late to completely re-do your landscape for Halloween! Whether your goal is just to have a little spooky fun, or to actually terrorize the children so they will not set foot in your yard, here are some "go-to" plants! 1. Poncirus trifoliata A couple of large Trifoliate Orange planted right alongside... 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 →

Garden Designer’s Roundtable: By the Sweat of Your Brow Will You Weed Your Bed.

My husband and I moved into our house in Burke, VA (Zone 7a) early in 2003 and immediately got to work on "letting the yard go" for about, oh, 4 years or so.  I'm sure the neighborhood was horrified by our neglect, as I know you will be when you see the "before" pictures.  2007... Continue Reading →

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