Covering Ground

Formal gardens at Harkness State Park In full bloom: Wide Range of Landscapes at Harkness State Park

Have an hour to spare? Let's take a walk. First, take in the flowering meadows, visit a wildlife preserve, then saunter down the sweeping waterfront lawns. There, catch views of lighthouses and ferry boats. Next, walk the formal gardens, the cutting gardens, and see the new working greenhouse. 

Project Native, Plant and Butterfly Haven

Update on Project Native: New Owner, New Directions

View the photos from my 7/1/14 visit to this native plant nursery and butterfly sanctuary in Housatonic, MA: 

New healing garden at the Center for Hospice Care, Norwich, CT What makes a garden a healing garden?

I've heard the term "healing garden" more and more lately, particularly in relation to new or renovated health care facilities. At first take, it may seems a little obvious that any garden in a health care environment could be called a healing garden.

Or as a friend of mine asked when she heard I was writing about this topic, "Isn't every garden a healing garden?" Perhaps.

Yarrow in bloom at Lake Hayward, East Haddam, CT Lake Hayward buffer garden, year two

I had fun last year designing and assisting with the installation of an all-native, waterside buffer garden at Lake Hayward, East Haddam, CT. Now the garden is maturing and we saw yarrow and penstemon (aka beardstongue) in full bloom on June 21, 2014. Both plants have a lot of ecological value. Penstemon is recognized by the Xerces Society as attracting large numbers of native bees.

shrubs too close to house foundation Benefits of planning the landscape before planting the garden

Many a homeowner opens our conversation like this: "Something's missing."

The speaker is not talking about missing car keys or eye glasses, or lamenting an unsatisfying love life. It's the lack of curb appeal, an underperforming foundation garden, an unpleasant view, or the lack of privacy around their homes that's bothering them.

Connecticut meadow in June. Meadows where lawns once grew?

Ever hear of meadow-in-a-can? It's a clever marketing idea but ever so misleading to the would-be grower. A wildflower meadow is a special type of growing space, not a place where we toss some seeds and hope for the best. 

A meadow isn't a lawn gone wild. 

Five ideas to reduce yard work this year

When I meet a new landscape design client, the conversation almost always begins: "I want something really low maintenance."

Monarch butterflies require plants of the milkweed family to complete their life cycles. Love a monarch (butterfly), discourage a deer

Plant shopping, anyone? If you want to encourage our bees, butterflies and birds this year, think native plants. Monarch butterflies, for instance, require plants of the milkweed family to complete their life cycles. And--what a bonus--milkweed happens to be very deer-resistant. 

Marsh marigold, Caltha palustris April's wildflowers: Fleeting bright spots in the spring forest

I've heard them called ephemerals. Indeed, they tend to be small, bright, and short-lived. They sprout on the forest floor, peaking out from beneath leaf litter, or tucked between tree roots or along streams and vernal pools. Here are some that greeted me from April 20 -22 on forays into the woods of a western Pennsylvania town, McMurray, PA.

Beverly O'Keefe, Rhode Island Water Lady A visit to the Rhode Island Water Lady

In the middle of a dry July, wouldn't it be nice to have some rain barrels brimming with H2O? A visit to the Rhode Island Water Lady can make it happen.