New plants for crazy cold USDA Zone 4

Whew! I apologize for disappearing for so long. A family member has been ill for several months, and I haven’t had time to post. Things haven’t really calmed down, but I’m going to try to get back in the groove of writing more regularly so, here goes: Let’s talk about new plants for 2015. Or more specifically, new plants that can survive Minnesota’s horrifyingly cold, Zone 4 climate. For those of you who live where it’s even colder, I’ve got a few plants that are hardy to Zones 2 and 3. If you live in much warmer climates, you have the opposite problem. So you’ll want to check to see how much heat the plants I’m talking about can take before you buy them. Continue reading

A beautiful landform garden

Landform design Michael Bates

Landform design Michael Bates

Proving that good landscape design is not always just about plants, Michael Bates of Bates Landscape has made his own exquisite landform garden in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Continue reading

Review: ‘Connected’ by Phillip Johnson

If natural, Australian style gardens are your thing, you’d have to go a long way to find a book more inspiring than Phillip Johnson’s ‘Connected – The Sustainable Landscapes of Phillip Johnson’. From the moment you pick up this exquisite book, you won’t want to put it down; everything from the cover onwards is beautifully presented and the talented Claire Takacs’ photography makes you hungry for more with every page. Continue reading

Poking about in ‘The Potting Shed’, Bowral

I had one of those lovely discoveries on the weekend. And social media made it seem all the more serendipitous. I had been befriended a couple of days earlier via Instagram by the ‘The Potting Shed’ in Bowral but, as is often the case with social media, that knowledge existed in one part of my brain but not in my reality, until I found myself two days later in the village of Burrawang for a feast thrown by some friends of mine. The following day, after a short sleep in an anonymous motel in Bowral, Continue reading