Gardening in Drought – the importance of planting design

Image of drought tolerant planting in California

We had a little drizzle in Carmel Valley this morning, which is not so common in September, especially in a year of serious drought. It got me to thinking, with all the implications of the drought, how plausible is it to raise an ornamental garden with little added water? It’s a challenge we deal with … Read more Gardening in Drought – the importance of planting design

In Defense of Ferns

  I have heard ferns maligned in a surprising number of places lately, and I want to do my part to set the record straight. There seems to be a misconception that ferns are scraggly and awkward or difficult to grow. Allow me to argue the opposite. Ferns are no more difficult to grow than … Read more In Defense of Ferns

Does DIY = Sustainable?

There’s a lot of romance to the idea of DIY. The rugged individualist is part of our national culture, part of how we see ourselves and our role in the universe. Not that everyone aspires to that goal, but it holds enough sway to merit an entire television network in its honor, plus countless books, … Read more Does DIY = Sustainable?

The Economics of Street Trees

EcoGeek recently ran a post highlighting the correlation between income inequality and street tree inequality. The study in question was completed in 2007, and it’s certainly been true in my experience in cities that the fewer the street trees, the more marginal the neighborhood tends to be. I’ve heard all sorts of things about the … Read more The Economics of Street Trees

Growing a front yard garden

You might think that a landscape architect would always have a perfect garden, but that’s not the case. As with most gardeners, mine is a work in progress. I have lived in my rented row house in Washington, DC for over a year, and I am still working on getting the front courtyard completed. Last … Read more Growing a front yard garden

The Romance of the Seed Catalog

If you’re reading this, chances are you are enamored of plants, and for people like you and me, one of the great joys of January is the arrival of the seed catalogs. The variety of catalogs reflects the diversity of the garden, and delving into each is a journey through one grower’s curated collection. That … Read more The Romance of the Seed Catalog