The More Things Change (in The Garden), The More Fun I’m Having

Many of us have entered the season during which we gardening mostly in our heads. We are thinking about what plants to add, move, or replace. We are poring over old garden books and catalogs (the 2016 catalogs have yet to arrive, but the 2015 issues sit in a convenient pile by my side of …

A Marvelously Varied Patchwork of Plants

So let’s travel back in time to early June and the Garden Bloggers Fling in Toronto. I’ve done a few posts already about the Fling (this one and this one about the Toronto Islands and then this one about Swansea), but I’ve been holding most of Judy’s photographs in reserve for when our own garden was …

Curb Appeal

The front garden is the one thing that really brings out my exhibitionist tendencies. I want it to grab the attention of people walking or driving by. Late summer is one of the times when the front garden has its greatest visual impact. Some of the blooms of mid-summer become even showier and more prolific. …

These are the Gardens in Your Neighborhood (Veronica’s Garden)

Judy and I have done a lot of traveling to visit gardens in other states and even other countries. But it is worth remembering that there are unique and remarkable gardens literally right around the corner. One such surrounds a small, single-story brick bungalow on a busy street about three blocks from our house. I …

Book Review: Hummelo, by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury

Chicago’s Lurie Garden and New York City’s High Line are two of the most popular gardens in North America, yet they would be barely recognizable as “gardens” just three decades ago. Piet Oudolf, a designer for both those gardens, is one of the pivotal figures in this shift. He is not a landscape architect but …

Naming My New Border … We Have A Winner!

Back in early May I launched a contest to name the new border I have planted in the parkway where a maple recently died, creating a new sunny spot. Well, I am pleased to announce that we have a winner … the Lamppost Border, submitted by Sunil of Sunil’s Garden. Congratulations, Sunil! As promised, you …

Is Gardening a Hobby or a Crusade?

Is gardening a crusade or a hobby? This question occurred to me after reading a New York Times article about a symposium featuring Douglas Tallamy, Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. Tallamy is also the author of “Bringing Nature Home”, in which he argues for the environmental importance of using native …

Can Naturalistic Landscapes Make Us Happy?

My son sent me a link to an interesting post by Chicago Magazine’s Whet Moser. The post deals with some current research on identifying the elements that make a park look more “natural” to most people. It was more the purpose than the results of this particular research that interested me. I’m not sure that anyone …

Orange Makes a Lasting Impression

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I like orange flowers. Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia), orange roses (‘Westerland’, for example), orange Zinnias, orange Asiatic Lilies, etc. One of the gardens we visited as part of the Portland Garden Bloggers’ Fling last July was that of JJ …

Book Review: Is There Such a Thing as an “American” Garden?

Recently I finished reading Great Gardens of America by the English garden writer Tim Richardson. The book has much to commend it, but I would have liked it a lot more if I had skipped the introduction. In this book, Richardson describes 25 American gardens that he considers superlative (two are actually Canadian, but let’s not …