Friday, September 28, 2012

Design Elements- Garden Benches

To sit in a garden you have created is one of the greatest pleasures of all. From your seat you can contemplate your work in peace, feel the warmth of the sun, observe the play of light on the plants, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. From the seat, too, you notice what is wrong and make plans for action. --Sir Roy Strong, from A Small Garden Designer's Handbook

I couldn't agree more with Sir Roy.  However, based on my own observations, I would simply add that, when gardeners are seated in their own gardens, they usually spend a great deal more time noticing what is wrong with things than enjoying the play of light on the plants.  We are an obsessive lot.  Nevertheless, incorporating a garden bench into your garden might at least provide a comfortable spot for visitors to sit and feel the warmth of the sun, and perhaps more fully appreciate the fruits of your own obsessive labors. Besides, garden benches can do more for a garden than simply provide a place to sit:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Field and Forest

photo by Andrea Geesaman

There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
                              Robert Frost

Conservation biologists in eastern North America have a huge job on their hands trying to manage two opposing trends in native wildlife.  On the one hand, the populations of animals indigenous to our forests are on the increase while those of the grasslands are rapidly disappearing.  It is an ironic twist of fate for these grassland species since, for at least several centuries, they have had the upper hand.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rachel's Garden- Scarecrow

For more art from Rachel's Garden, click here.

To see what this is all about, click here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sleepless In New Hampshire

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.  ~Vincent Van Gogh

On a recent visit to the farm, Susan Hunter didn't let nightfall keep her from enjoying the meadows and the gardens as she used her trusty Nikon to capture these wonderful time-exposure images.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Man-Eating Plant, by Daniel Ljunggren

I am constantly amazed by what constitutes a "weed" in gardening parlance.  Not long ago we had a couple of visitors to the garden and when they came around a corner and saw an enormous pokeweed ( Phytolacca americana) that I have growing right behind a Japanese Maple, it was all they could do to hide the look of shock and horror on their faces.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Friends and Frogs: Build It and They Will Come

Some of the most enjoyable garden projects are those that involve collaboration with friends.  Certainly, the construction of our little frog pool this spring and summer was that kind of project.  Had it not been for the help of many friends and gardening colleagues, who not only offered their advice but also their encouragement, their muscle, and even some of their plants, this project wouldn't have succeeded.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


In the very first sentence of the introduction to his book, Your House, Your Garden, designer Gordon Hayward says..."Your house is the center of your garden."  And, if your definition of a garden extends to the beauty of the surrounding natural world, as it rightfully should, then perhaps no house in America epitomizes this statement more than Frank Lloyd Wright's, Fallingwater.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hedge Layering

photo by Piet Oudolf from Oudolf and Kingsbury: Designing with Plants

"I think of hedges as enclosures, and it is with hedges that you may best articulate the bony structure, and skeleton as it were, of a garden."
                                         Russell Page from The Education of A Gardener.

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