American Grown – The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America

The Read I just finished reading 'American Grown' by Michelle Obama and it is a fascinating account of the garden and landscape evolution at the White House. From the very first vegetable garden installed by John Adams, our second president, the book mentions a variety of plantings and gardens until it ended up being a hodgepodge of styles …

Magical Mystery Tour – Ladew Topiary Gardens

I feel fortunate that I live just 6 or 7 miles from one of the most innovative and beautiful public gardens in the United States, right here in Monkton, MD, called Ladew Topiary Gardens. I first saw these whimsical and  enchanting gardens about 25 years ago that were created by, Harvey S. Ladew, a traveler, fox-hunter, …

The Great Sunflower Project – The Backyard Bee Count

The Great Bee Count Within the past couple of years, you might have heard that bees are in trouble, growing scarcer, and suffering from a mysterious ailment called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. A variety of culprits have been fingered in causing this syndrome, including pesticide use, parasites, and diseases. To study bees, scientists decided …

Miniature Gardens – Whimsical Creations

Trough Gardens  I am a garden designer by trade and normally design gardens in full size, but also love to design gardens in miniature! There is something unique about creating a complete space in small scale that is so satisfying and fun!  I can have garden features that I have only dreamed about - like a bridge over …

Innovative Garden Design of a Small Property

The Challenge What do you do when you move from a large beautifully landscaped property that is overflowing with texture and color, to a retirement community that is populated with yews and swaths of mint? Oh, and did I mention overrun with deer? That was the tall order that I as the landscape designer had …

Transforming a Patio – An Outdoor Living Space That Looks Like Home

The Challenge I was asked to decorate the bluestone patio space for the Baltimore Symphony's Decorator Show House this spring. Normally I 'decorate' gardens, not patios, but I was up to the challenge!  The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra chooses a house every year that is usually vacant and/or for sale, and invites interior and exterior decorators to design their …

Beehives and Bears: An Accident Waiting to Happen!

I was introduced to beekeeping in Virginia while visiting my brother-in-law Bruce. He had several beehives and I wanted to try my hand at working the bees before I made the plunge on my own.  Since then, Bruce has moved to Vermont with his hives -  prime bear country. In Vermont, he set up a remote …

Danger – Poison in the garden!

If you ever venture to Montreal, be sure to visit one of the most interesting botanical gardens in the world that includes unique themed gardens. One of the more unusual gardens was the poisonous plants area surrounded by a high wooden fence with a very noticeable danger sign. You have probably heard one of these sayings: Raggy rope, …

Swarming of the Bees – It is That Time of Year Again!

Honey Flow With the coming of spring a couple of weeks early this spring, I am getting a little nervous about my bees. The honey flow which is the frantic bee activity of bees collecting nectar from spring flowers will be here very soon. I have a strong hive that made it through the winter and I am on …

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