Author Information

Articles by this author:

  • I suppose all of its legions of fans have their own favorites at Breadzilla in Wainscott. For me it’s the oatmeal sunflower-seed bread, just about the best loaf I’ve ever had. Whether it is lunch, dessert, or a loaf of bread, the high quality shines through.

  •    Yellow chard, of all things, is the “it” plant in Parisian gardens this year.  During a sunny and warm week in early September, the light was at the perfect angle to show off the luminosity of its stems.
        Yellow chard was the star of gardens from a small, well-used and loved neighborhood park in the Marais to potagers in an interior courtyard in the 16th century Hotel de Carnavalet, and in an extravaganza of urban agriculture at the renowned Bagatelle Gardens in the Bois de Boulogne.

  •    It’s difficult to focus on next spring’s garden before Labor Day has even come and gone.  However, it is already too late to order fall-blooming crocuses and colchicums, and the deadline for ordering spring bulbs is fast approaching.

  •    The plants a professional selects for his own home garden are worthy of a close look. When that professional heads a research program that develops, evaluates and selects new trees and shrubs for introduction, his personal choices are worth at least two looks and the beginning of a search to obtain them.

  •    Centuries ago there was tulipomania. More recently and on a larger stage, there was the dot-com bubble, followed by the housing bubble. We know what happened to them.
        Gardeners now seem caught up in a hydrangea frenzy. There are mopheads, lacecaps, and Annabelle types, not to mention oakleaf and Japanese panicle hydrangeas. For the truly smitten, there are Japanese mountain hydrangeas (serrata), villosas, and other more tender species and varieties.

  •    In today’s popular culture the only thing worse than bad publicity is no publicity at all.
    That has been the fate of deutzias, June-flowering shrubs related to mock orange. Both members of the Saxifragaceae family seem to be hopelessly out of fashion, and undeservedly so.

  •    To what can we attribute the enduring popularity of hostas? They can be likened to the Helen of Troy or Cleopatra of the floral world, seducing non-gardening homeowners and casual and obsessed gardeners alike.
        All this passion for a plant that can be destroyed by deer, voles, and slugs. In my own garden the voles sometimes get them even when they are sunk into the ground in plastic pots.

  •    How can you shed a little light on densely shaded corners of the garden? Or, better yet, how can you transform a black hole into a destination?
        Inadvertently this is what happened last week at the Mimi Meehan Native Plant Garden behind Clinton Academy, after I stumbled upon both a shrub and perennial with ice-blue foliage.

  •    Planting containers can be a daunting task, but it needn’t be. The more you play with the plants, their colors and textures, the easier and more fun it becomes.
        Last week I had one of those epic, serendipitous moments: At Amy’s Flowers in Water Mill, I took multiple images with a digital camera until I saw the plant combination I preferred and would like to live with this summer. There is nothing like a photo image to focus the eye.

  •     Look at photographs and paintings of early 20th-century gardens on the East End and what do you see: roses, first and foremost. Climbing roses, frothy with blooms overflowing pergolas, arbors, walls, and fences. At the very pinnacle of high fashion were beds filled with the new, repeat flowering China and tea roses, surrounded by low clipped hedges of boxwood.
        Surprise of surprises, ornamental grasses crop up, used in a variety of ways.