Roses – Prune in the Spring

October 27, 2011

roses in vaseI get a lot of questions about when to prune rose bushes. Of course, it depends on where you live and the type of rose.  But, as a very general statement, “prune roses when the forsythia blooms”.

The hard pruning of old and damaged canes, crossed canes and removal of suckers should take place before new growth begins — and the threat of frost has passed.

Dead-heading of old blooms can take place during the entire bloom cycle. And don’t forget to clip a few for inside enjoyment.

Grass is Always Greener

October 13, 2011

If you still have moderate weather with warm days and cool nights, go ahead and add seed to your lawn to fill in bare areas. Look for a seed suitable for your area — sun or shade or mixed. Some seed packages also are indicated for fall.

It is best to seed when it’s not windy. Clear area to expose soil. Apply one half of the total seed mixture in one direction. And the remaining amount at right angles. After seeding, rake the lawn area (light touch with the rake) to mix the seed into the top level of soil.

Keep the surface soil moist. Sprinkle with water set at a low level to keep seeds in place until the seedlings start to grow. And then keep watered on a regular basis if no rain in forecast.

If all works out — you’ll have more grass to mow next spring!


Divide and Be Plentiful

September 2, 2011

This weekend, why not divide a few plants — such as day lilies, iris, and hostas?

You can pot them up to give to friends, or find a place in your garden beds to balance the design.

The repetition of similar plants creates balance.

Hurricane Irene On Her Way

August 26, 2011

With heavy rain and wind on its way this weekend, if you live in the storm’s path, here are some landscaping precautions. It is expected the winds and rain will be coming from the northeast. So, trees and sections of your yard in this direction will be at the highest risk.

Clear drains with garden hose to remove any soil or debris that may have built up over the summer.  Place bags of mulch, top soil or other bagged material around vulnerable window wells — to direct water away from the house.  Place light weight outdoor furniture, garden art and umbrellas inside. Pull other furniture and the outdoor grill near the house and under roof overhang.

My mom always put pots filled with water on the counter. It seemed to make us all feel better. Have a safe weekend.


Did Recent Virginia Earthquake Help Break Up the Soil?

August 25, 2011

Good question. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer. As far as I can tell, the soil’s surface in areas around Arlington, VA remain intact. But I suspect it gave the underground critters quite a start. I know my table was a moving around on its own like a Ouiji board.

Happy Together

July 25, 2011

What a combination of greens. I wish my vegetable garden looked so good.

Ranch or vinagrette!

Vertical Herbs – Garden in Maine

July 22, 2011

I saw this vertical herb garden at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, Maine a few days ago. ( Don’t you love it! Could be used as privacy screen, to add scent to a outdoor patio area — an no more bending over to snip what you need for your favorite recipe.

The gardens are not to be missed. A whimsical children’s garden, a rose and perennial garden, a kitchen garden, amazing sculptures, a garden of the senses and more.

Plus, a fine cafe for a cool drink.

High Line Garden in NYC

June 27, 2011

The NYC 1930’s rail transport line was saved from the wrecking ball and reinvented as the High Line Garden. The garden design was inspired by the native plants that once grew on the old line before it was transformed. Many people worked together to revitalize this public space. The details of removing toxins from the old tracks, installing proper irrigation, selecting plants that could survive without deep soil conditions were some of the challenges they faced. The first section opened in June 2009 (Gansevoort St to W. 30th St, NYC, NY).

The High Line offers a garden stroll 30′ above the ground passing lawn areas, trees, butterfly gardens, sculpture and benches. Plus, terrific views of the neighborhood.

Green Grass of Home

June 14, 2011

When it comes to watering  and making sure your grass gets just enough H2O —  water deeply and infrequently. This approach enables the grass to develop deep roots to make it stronger. And therefore, it’s not as affected by temporary drought conditions.

I suggest using a sprinkler the shoots water horizontally across the lawn area.  While you are out there, go ahead, run through it a few times. It feels so good!

Garden of Kitchen Delights

June 12, 2011

My lunch at the Blue Duck Tavern ( filled my senses. While sitting at an outside cafe in the middle of  busy Washington, D. C. , I dined surrounded by a lovely potager. Growing willfully before the summer heat takes it’s toll: sage, tomatoes, fennel. strawberries, rosemary and more.

My waiter says the kitchen garden was planted by the chef and staff. And it’s enough to last one day for the busy hotel restaurant. If herbs aren’t your thing, take in the gorgeous shrubs and trees surrounding the sunken garden while you sip a cool drink.

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My Philosophy

I am dedicated to enhancing the beauty of nature: designing a landscape that achieves an outdoor experience beyond your expectations.