Category Archive: Garden

Feb 20

Long Division (landscape design-wise)

In a matter of weeks you can begin adding plants to your landscape design for free…yes free! Often when I visit a new client’s home, I will point to hostas, astilbes, echinacea (coneflowers), irises, and more plants and explain that by dividing perennials, they can have at least 10, sometimes 20 free plants. While hostas …

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Feb 05

Rugged Lenten Rose in Your Landscape

How’s this for a resume: Lenten Rose or hellebores prefer shade or part shade, bloom in very early spring, oftentimes popping out of a light snow cover in zones 4 to 9; the shiny green leaves stay luscious throughout the summer and most of the winter (except when I accidentally step on them); they are …

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Jan 30

Whoosh in the Landscape

Wind, like the mythical and elusive town of Brigadoon, appears only occasionally, and when it does, magic happens. Nothing celebrates that magic element like tall grasses. Grasses also can provide privacy as they do for this firepit by the water, and they come in all sizes and can even grow in the shade like Hakone grass, …

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Mar 09

Moira Banks-Dobson & Sanjiban Sellew

Garden is about growing and beauty, but so much of life is also filled with sadness. In the Berkshires where I live, two people who made the world a better and more beautiful place recently died. Sanjiban Sellew, a filmmaker and so much more, died because cancer still has the last word. His short films Road Kill …

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Feb 24

Spring Yesterday, Winter Today

One day the air brims with geese Vs returning, damp warming soil aromas, and tufted titmouse birds performing mating calls. The next day, heavy, gray/white snow, somber, quiet stillness, and chilly, wet intruding cold. As my hubby would say, “Just like real life.” Yet, given our lack of snow and rain of late, mercifully, you …

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Feb 24

Winter Vegetable Gardening

Coldframe Magic Fresh greens for dinner. What a wonderful phrase to use in the winter… Here’s how you do it: Purchase a coldframe – I like the company Juwel, because their products last. Purchase one of Juwel’s automatic openers. This ensures plants aren’t killed on on warm and/or  sunny days. Plant spinach and other cold …

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Aug 02


This summer I’ve had many new clients from whom I have learned much.  One client wanted a predominantly blue garden. My research led me to “Twist-N-Shout, a blue lace cap hydrangea for zone 5.  Just looking at it makes this crazy world in which we are living disappear.  Another client had recently purchased a home …

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May 02

A tools for all reasons

Karen Shreefter Landscape Design’s Favorite  Tool! Hori Hori – Japanese Farmer’s Knife It will dig out most weeds;  it’s great for dividing plants, and even planting plants; and it will slice fingers (I know from experience).

Mar 29

Spring always arrives

The grey/brown got to me today. So I kept peeking at the yellow flowers of Hamamelis or spring witch hazel (cultivar Arnold’s Promise), and decided to take the plant at its word. And, just to be on the save side, I’m off to the south to see colors.

Mar 15

Japan in Happier Days

I gardened today to ease my worry and sorrow about Japan’s tragedy. It didn’t help. When I saw the moss I have been cultivating, I remembered the moss gardens in Kyoto that brought such calm. When I used my Japanese tools, I ached, worrying about my almost Japanese cousin Hiromi, who brought them to me …

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