Allure of the Lurie: Piet Oudolf returns to Chicago

My first morning in Chicago, I found myself inside a giant silver bean.

Actually, it was a rare moment of solitude inside Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate on my way to see Piet Oudolf and his urban masterpiece, The Lurie Garden.

Not just any public garden, the Lurie is built atop a massive parking garage roof, transformed by architectural sleight-of-hand into a slice of incandescent prairie in the heart of the downtown’s Millennium Park. Continue reading

Winter Sowing: Visitations & Workshops

Yoo-hoo winter. Where are you? Can you come out to play?

Here in Toronto, you’ve been pretty much a no-show. Temperatures yesterday shot up to a record-breaking 15.5C for this date in February. The only snow in town are Snowdrops (Galanthus), which are strangely starting to bloom– months ahead of schedule.

For gardeners, winter is anything but dormant. It’s a season to dream, learn, think, and plan. Literally sowing the seeds for a new season of possibility. Continue reading

A Golden Year: The New Perennialist on a Roll

There’s a profusion of things happening lately – running on a scale from good to great.

Here’s the major bit of news: The New Perennialist recently won the Gold Award For ‘Best Overall Electronic Media’ in the 2015 Garden Writers Association Media Awards.

Gold winners were announced at the 67th GWA Annual Symposium held in Pasadena, California.

I was a little stunned by the news. And then elated. Had to pour a dram of single malt. My Facebook friends were euphoric, which is actually kinda touching. Continue reading

The Field Trip: A Perennial Summer Adventure

A friend once told me over a beer and frog legs in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Travel is not about the places – it’s about the people you meet.

So true.

Now home after several whirlwind weeks on the road, I’m taking a breather to retrace my steps.

It all started with a visit to Baltimore, Maryland in late July for my first annual Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium.

Next, my partner Troy and I buckled up for a 10-day road trip to Québec driving out along the silver-laced shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway to visit a pair of much revered gardens: Les Jardins de Métis and Les Quatre Vents. Continue reading