My Approach

Naturalistic Landscape Design

Gardens and designed landscapes intend to settle our residences, offices, public buildings and factories gracefully into an environment that hints, even if sometimes only faintly, at a natural world beyond our human constructions. Within that broad goal landscape design tends to take two distinct approaches: formal and naturalistic. In my own garden-making, much as I appreciate both types of design, I prefer the naturalistic approach, because it provides for a greater variety of visual effects. The continuous change in plant forms, textures and colors, experienced at distinct moments but also over time, is what gives me joy in my own garden and makes my work fascinating to me. (Read more)

Native Plants

As much as possible, I use native plants in my gardens. North America has a rich and varied flora, yet the plants in our gardens rarely come from our woods and prairies. Instead they are native to other continents. This is true for tulips, iris, peonies, astilbes, forsythias, lilacs, ginkos and other beloved garden species. Despite the fact that many plants native to eastern North America are stunningly beautiful, most have failed to find an entry into this country’s horticultural trade and from there into our gardens. Fortunately, this is now changing. In recent years, the call for sustainable landscapes has become urgent, and native plants play an important role in the quest for ecological health. (Read more)

Invasive Species

Invasive plants are a huge threat to the beauty and ecology of our urban and suburban spaces and to the areas surrounding our cities. Invasives are non-native highly competitive species that have escaped from the sites where they were originally planted, and colonize natural environments. Their seeds are dropped by birds, or sometimes by the wind, in places that can be at a good distance from the mother plant. As they establish themselves they form monocultures and suppress existing vegetation by depriving it of nutrients, space, and above all light. In our Bluegrass region, the two most devastating invasive plants are bush honeysuckle and winter creeper. (Read more)