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Planting design Inspired by Arielle Vey’s Photography

Eden by Arielle Vey
I've got planting on the brain.  My planting design boot camp is currently enrolling for March 1st, 2019, and this week I start a new gig talking about plants live on nationwide TV. Even though it is literally snowing right now my brain is all plants, plants, plants! Check out this image by photographer Arielle Vey.  I'm seriously considering buying it to hang in my office - I just love the colors and contrast of blowsy flowers with the alien shapes of the cactus paddles. I've always loved translating art and images and ideas that appeal to me into planting and garden design ideas.  Usually I have to play with abstracting the inspiration into actual garden design ideas but this one is obviously completely literal. As ...
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What is the pv72seasons hashtag about?

What is the pv72seasons hashtag about?
Did you know that ancient Japanese calendars split the year not into 4 seasons or even 12 - but into 72 seasons? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ These micro seasons (each only 5 days) encourage us to notice the tiny, delicate changes in nature that constantly occur around us, year in year out.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A few years ago, I read about this and discovered the 72 Seasons app (it is available on iOs and android). It is beautifully made and enjoyable to follow along with the seasons of Japan. But it made me crave the knowledge of the micro seasons not just where I live in New England, but everywhere - worldwide. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So, I started a fledgling hashtag on instagram. It is #pv72seasons  and I have used it to share ...
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The Death of Anticipation

The death of Anticipation - tomato garden greenhouse
It isn't that I have a hard rule against it, but I don't tend to buy tomatoes out of season. We were having burgers for dinner last night, though, and I just wanted a tomato on top. The last time I broke my rule, I tossed the whole thing out before I even served it. You can absolutely tell, when you cut into a tomato, if it is going to taste like crap. There is no need to torture your mouth - color and texture are a dead giveaway.  Thankfully, last night's tomato was passable (especially with the addition of a hearty blob of siracha mayo). I have a similar policy on strawberries and maybe blueberries too (though I am still undecided on that).* Despite ...
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Do You do It From Seed?

I've been cleaning out the back end of this site. So far, I've purged over 6G of extraneous files - which translates to a lot in website hosting dollars as well as a real sense of "fresh-start" satisfaction - 10+ years of blogging creates lots of digital junk. As I've been moving through old posts and images, I came across these - my garden circa summer 2009. In the summer of 2007 I had an 18 month old and an almost 5 year old. We had recently removed some big trees and the soil was crap - filled with raw sawdust from ground out stumps. I didn't know what I wanted to do with the area (and I still don't... how is that?) so I ...
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Mushrooms to Save Bees?

Paul Staments, the famous mycologist, has inspired me for ages. His research is ever-promising and whenever I read something new about him, it always seems that he's found a mushroom to solve yet another planetary catastrophe. And again today - The New York Times has a short story about how he may have found a mushroom to treat viruses that are killing bees and causing colony collapse. "Our research shows that extracts from the living mycelial tissue of common wood conk mushrooms known to have antiviral properties significantly reduced these viruses in honeybee colonies, in one field test by 45,000 times, compared to control colonies. In the field tests, we used extracts from two species of wood conks, the red reishi and the amadou." If ...
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Is your garden an arbitrary stupid goal?

Is your garden an arbitrary stupid goal?
I’m looking for a new book to read over the upcoming holiday break.  I want something that lives up to my last read - Tamara Shopsin's Arbitrary Stupid Goal.     Any suggestions?   I was drawn to Arbitrary Stupid Goal when Austin Kleon mentioned it was a favorite from his own reading list last year.  He promised quirky autobiographical characters that live in my dream 'hood.  (NYC’s Greenwich Village).   The opening describes a family that once took a family vacation by mapping their way to places that had ‘Wolf’ in the name.  So, Wolfpoint, Wolfville, Wolf Lake, etc.  It’s all based on the fact that their last name was Wolfawitz. A random trip full of third rate or non-attractions that was actually amazing.   ...
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Inspired by Farlam & Chandler’s Pretty & Practical Garden Details

Practical plant supports at Perch Hill garden. image by @farlamandchandler
As we head into the final days of this year, I have a few new goals in mind.  The shorter days (where things start to get quiet) help me to recommit to writing and other creative projects. You know, things that can be done from the cozy chair in front of the wood stove (where I sit right now) while I typically have a blanket wrapped around my feet (it is not quite that cold yet). I am excited to get back to a regular schedule of finding and sharing new inspiration online. Farlam and Chandler caught my eye months ago and I’ve since been enjoying their beautiful projects and photography.  They are a great instagram to follow for planting inspiration as well as for ...
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A Record of Good Garden Plants in October

October plants for cutting in the garden
How do you keep track of things in your garden? With the exception of the odd instagram post, I’m pretty much a failure at documenting mine.  I romanticize early botanists and how they gathered scientific observations into tea stained art projects.  I’m pretty sure their pressed flowers, little charts and graphs and hand drawn sketches are the original inspiration for stay-at-home-mom scrapbooking pyramid schemes. I’d like to be better. I know some level of record-keeping would be useful and might actually make me a better gardener.  So, in casting about for a system that I will realistically maintain, I asked myself, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t develop a healthy over-reliance on flat lay photography?  I mean, I’ve hardly used the ...
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Why I Landscape – A Happy Career Story

Why I landscape - a happy career story. Ginko by Travis Cox - The Garden Scout
As part of an awareness campaign with the National Association of Landscape Professionals, I’m sharing my ”Why I Landscape” story. I hope it encourages you if you are thinking about a career change or trying to figure out what you want to do with your life. I don’t know many people who have come to landscape design in a linear path. I certainly didn’t. Of course, there are some wise young people who are inclined to study botany or horticulture or one of the related design practices in college, but that isn’t my story. I am one of the many people who seem to find landscape related jobs as an antidote to another era in the their working lives. When I was a kid I ...
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Inspired by jardinsurlaseine’s garden of textures in Paris

Muhlenbeckia and boxwood and grass by jardinsurlasiene garden inspiration
There is that moment with a single picture on instagram, where suddenly you must go find the account of the person who posted.  As it loads, you hope that every other picture is as good as that first one that caught your eye.  And the joy, when you’ve stumbled on a real treasure. The boxwood and the muhlenbeckia (two of of my favorites) were dancing with he wispy grass (not sure the var) and the purple drumsticks (again, I’d love to know the actual plant name) and with fingers crossed, I hoped to find more. Jardin Sur La Seine’s instagram is an homage to contemporary garden design and specifically one inspiring urban garden in Paris.  Follow it to enjoy a chic garden of grasses, floppy white ...
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