Wild-ish at Heart: Naturalistic planting design

It’s about setting aside our desire for control to instead work in partnership with nature. This is essentially the guiding principle behind the naturalistic garden, a plant-driven approach to landscape design that has been around in one form or another since Englishman William Robinson first published his first edition of The Wild Garden in 1870.

But now with signature projects like the High Line in New York City and Chicago’s Lurie Garden, a growing global movement in planting design has found a bolder, modernist expression of this ideal with a collective dream to re-wild our nature-deprived urban worlds. Continue reading

Enter the Matrix: New Perennial Planting Stratagems

It feels like forever since I’ve been able to post photos of an actual garden of my own.

Let me change all that with spring fresh images from the past few weeks of my new pond garden up at our cabin in Mono, Ontario. It’s zone 4b at elevation, so we’re a month or more behind Europe.

There’s been ceaseless rain in a cool extended spring, helping my young woodland garden find its feet. I’ve been planting up adjoining areas and getting busy with my Dutch hoe while watching this section burst to life. Continue reading

Spring Theories: Ghost Deer in the Garden of the Mind

It’s now full-on spring in the sheltered woodland of my northern un-cottage garden.

The crabapple tree is weeping shell-pink blossoms as the red lady ferns unfurl from beneath its dappled shadow. Spiky filaments of Camassia and Allium light up the sunnier beds in a wandering halo of purple and blue.

If spring is about new life, it’s also about unearthing fresh ideas. With that in mind, here are my ‘spring theories’ – designed to either stir the imagination or stir the pot, as you will.

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