Monthly Archives: February 2010

Tokyo’s Potted Gardens

My good friend Don Shadow has told me that he had always thought the British respected, and were more obsessed with plants than anywhere else, until he went to Japan.  Tokyo is obviously an extremely densely populated city.  This leaves very little room for gardens.  They have proven themselves as plant obsessed after I found the flickr stream of a graphic designer from Tokyo named Tsuya Tsuya.  He has documented  the potted gardens of Tokyo with near obsession.  If you look at the pictures closely you can learn so much about the Japanese mentality.  Even in what appears to be the poorer neighborhoods look how clean everything is!  The streets are spotless, the plants don’t have a spot or  a dead leaf on them.  I hope you enjoy these; if you do you need to have a look  at his photo stream as this is just a small selection of his pictures.

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Filed under Container Gardening, Japanese Gardens

Petersham Nurseries

When I came back to Lexington I got my start in the industry with a garden center.  It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing in the industry but its a lot of fun and I always love a good garden center experience.  A friend of mine had been visiting stores in England and told me I had to check this out.  So I went to to their website and an hour later I left.  To me, this is the perfect combination of an amazing store, with beautiful merchandising and products along with an award winning restaurant.  This would be my heaven I think…..


Filed under Garden Centers

The Laskett

I have just finished reading the most wonderful book about the creation of a garden known as ‘The Laskett.’  In 1973 Sir Roy Strong and his wife Julia Trevelyan Oman purchased a country house and four acres, which together, they turned into what has been billed as ‘the largest formal garden created since the great war’ (that may have lost that title to the Alnwick Garden now).  Well, it is large for sure, and amazing.

Sir Roy spent his career surrounded by the arts having acted as the director of both the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum.  His wife Julia (who sadly is deceased) , spent her life creating set and backdrops for some of the most famous ballets in Europe.  The creativity of these two found a voice and release outside of their jobs on their new property.  Over time, the acreage was divided into room and avenues.  Hedges were planted and garden ornament was procured, and soon, the hard work and patience paid off.  One of the most unique aspects of the garden is the use of garden ornament.  You will see in some of the pictures below the diversity and amount throughout the garden.  Also note, that there is not fear here in the use of bright color.

What hit home with me the most, aside from the amazing garden they have created, is their patience.  I am always want new plantings to be instant, and have little patience for waiting to see if the effect I had in my mind is what is correct for the site.  I have always been told that gardening is a game of patience but it is a tenant that I have never heeded.  It was eye opening to read about hedges that they wanted to be 8-9′ tall getting planted at 18″!  And then, they waited.

Sir Roy and Julia also had the blessing of having such wonderful plantsman as George Clive and designers such as Rosemary Verey to critique their work.  Rosemary became a constant friend to the two gardeners trying to create their own paradise.  What they were doing was so appreciated that Ms. Verey even invited Sir Roy to trim the topiary and the Prince of Wales estate, Highgrove.  This is an amazing book that I want to recommend all of you read.  It is filled with advice and inspiration; if nothing less it is the story of a marriage between two wonderfully eccentric people, who lived a life worth reading about.

If you want to order the book click on the jacket cover above.  If you would like to visit the garden’s website go here.


Filed under The Laskett

David Austin Roses

I just got my order placed with David Austin Roses.  They have the most amazing and complex roses I have ever worked with.  I used to think roses were too much work, as did a lot of other people who starting hybridizing and breeding all of the interest out of them and creating bland representations of the genus coming up with things like the Knock Out Rose (I would rather eat one than use it on a project).  But now, after some experience I wouldn’t have a garden without them.  Here is a little bit of info. on Mr. Austin himself and the company:

David CH Austin is a rose breeder, specialist grower and author.  His first rose, the fragrant Constance Spry, was released in 1961.  Since then he has released nearly two hundred English Roses.  Few new flowers have caused such a stir in the horticultural world.  David Austin Roses was established in 1969 and remains a family business.  David JC Austin has worked alongside his father for over fifteen years.  Today the English Roses are grown in every rose-loving nation in the world, winning awards in many different countries.

His introduction ‘Graham Thomas'(seen above with Mr. Austin), has just received the rose worlds greatest honor of being named ‘The worlds greatest rose.’  He is also in the business of selling and delivering cut roses and bouquets now.  If you are interested to see what they have to offer look here and at the photo below.

Here are five of his new introductions for this year.  These are all amazing plants worth trying in your own garden.

Princess Alexandra of Kent

Sir John Betjeman


Munstead Wood

Young Lycidas


Filed under Roses

Lonny #3

For those of you that don’t keep with it I wanted to let you know that the third edition of the fabulous online decor mag. Lonny is now available.  Check it out; this is worth keeping up with.  They do a fantastic job of keeping up with the up and coming designers and trends.  Here is a very small teaser of what’s in this issue..

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Filed under Decor

Sanctuary in the garden

I am not used to getting all of the snow we have received.  It is fun for the first hour or two and them I am ready to move on.  It has me pining for warmth and the option to go hang out outside.  These are some options and inspiration of where you might want to hang out this spring.


Filed under Garden Architecture

A Winter Garden

I love the way a very light coat of snow changes a garden so much.  This is a project I designed that still has some maturing and a few changes to go, but, for the most part it is developing the way I want it to.

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Filed under My Garden Design