images via ecossistemis
The very first lesson I was taught at Parsons


Location, Location, Location

image via kean development
Before size & shape,  Location , the first and formost decision to make when dreaming swimming pools.

 image via kean development
                images via kean development

When choosing a pool location keep in mind that across most of the country you will be staring at a pool cover 6 months out of the year. If  local codes allow and space is not an issue try situating the pool in an area of the yard not visable from your more formal rooms. Makes for easier fencing, which I always suggest as well as the fall football games. 
image via honeyman



California functional artist Jayson Fann creations serve not only as shelter but as  unique interactive sculpture as well. Made entirely of sustainable local woods the branches are gathered , sorted and then assembled into spiraling patterns for structural integrity as well as for artistic flow. Would love to see this in a garden of  ornamental grasses for the juxtaposition of texture. 

images Jayson Fann


Flanders Fields


Honoring those who paid the ultimate price for their country and the loved ones they left behind.
God Bless America


Gardens On A Roll

For all those wishing to wake one morning to a picture perfect perennial border, your wish is finally here. A company in the UK has come up with what I think is one of the most amazingly simple yet brilliant ideas to remedy your perennial planting woes.
Gardens On a Roll not only supplies you with the template, similar to those multi picture frame templates now available, but the plants you will need as well.
The paper template is simply rolled out in the area to be planted , once scored  and hole dug, the perennial is ready to be planting. Once planted, simplely mulch over the entire area as the paper will decompose naturally.


With so many books available now with perennial border plans, this idea makes for a wonderful solution when using your own plants in the garden.
images urban gardens and garden on a roll


When Summer is to Short to Wait for Tiny Annuals

With the mad rush to get all your flowering  pots completed in time for the Memorial Day celebrations do not limit yourself to those tiny little cell pots of annuals......those that have to be planted each year.......only to wait until late August for them to flourish.......Instead try using established perennials......those that return each year......along with your annuals and woody shrubs for immediate gratification.
When mixing different flower combinations in one pot try using just one type of plant in the accompanying pots. Visually it has a more pleasing almost calming effect on the eye.
 deborah silver
A combination of both woody plants and annuals helps to create a very stable arrangement and anchors the patio to the garden a bit more.
 deborah silver
For more interest try a little whimsy in your plantings. These cedar balls with grass base make a statement and would work in a traditional as well as contemporary garden. Again the accompanying pots are left simple.
 dirt simple
Not all plantings need to be flowering as this Coleus arrangement can attest to.
deborah silver
A combination of herbs, annuals and perennials would be perfect outside a kitchen door.
Fairy or iceberg roses and you will have blooms all season
Try planting established hanging baskets directly into standing pots
Single variety , single container, always a classic look

Mixing and matching , instant gratification!


The Ubiquitous Burgundy Tree

We have all driven by them time and again, the lone burgundy tree growing in a sea of green. Not relating, not communicating to anything around it. Yes they are beautiful and yes the do serve a purpose but one red tree does not a landscape make. What it is that prompts a property owner to plant that one lone tree I have never been quite sure of.
Just as a well designed room's elements relate to one another in color form & texture so should your garden.
A small planting of Rosy Glow Barberry tucked into an existing planting bed would make a world of difference.
Purple Smoke Bush in the rear of  a border or side yard would move the color along nicely.
 Wine and Rose Weigelia nestled among a Dwarf Blue Spruce would help with the color and texture contrast as well.
Heuchera-obsidia in a perennial border or rock garden bring yet again a wonderful contrast when mixed with juniper.
Flowering Purple Plum could be added  not only for color but height.

A mass planting of the ground cover Ajuga to tumble over rocks or tucked into walls could easily be done.

Black Lace Sambucus makes an excellent substitution for a cutleaf maple if pruned correctly, and again would fit nicely into any burgundy design palette.
A planting of summer flowering Diablo Ninebark can create summer screening if planted close enough making for a more color balanced design
Colored pottery could be used as well , not only adding a new element to the garden but also the color needed to strengthen the overall design.
Balanced color throughout your garden is one of the many ways in which you can create a more uniform, visually pleasing as well as professional look to your landscape.


Color Layout

With planting season in full swing across the country now, a simple way to ensure continual bloom all growing season long is to do what I call a "color layout". 

By roughly mapping out your garden and then adding trace on top, proceed to color in only what would be blooming during the particular season. Continue adding a piece of trace for each growing period from  late spring, to winter. By doing this a pattern will appear and you will be able to see where you would be lacking hue and balance in your garden and where you need to add to ensure continual color through out the seasons. This can be done with not only your perennial borders but with shrubs and trees as well.