Maria von Brincken

About Maria von Brincken

Award-winning landscape designer, garden journalist and lecturer, certified practising designer with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), former contributing editor to Landshapes magazine. Sudbury, Massachusetts. Read Maria's full blog at A Garden Maker's Notes

Reuse and transplant for an instant new garden

Transplanting exisiting plants is a great way to make an instant garden and it’s a natural part of the reuse and recycle approach that I bring to all my garden designs. In this garden there were several overgrown evergreen foundation plants at the front door that could have been consigned to the compost pile as they needed to be removed to make way for a new house extension. But by transplanting them elsewhere in the garden I could create structure and enclosure Continue reading

Ideas for summer plant-filled containers

Sitting in Boston Public Garden I’m enjoying a special early-morning moment on a lovely summer-like day. Relaxing on a shady bench in front of an active fountain, I embrace its gentle sound – except when the tourist with the creaky wheeled cart goes by. I’ve rediscovered that when you have a house guest from out of town, you become, for a while, a tourist in your own town, and take a mini vacation. Continue reading

Patio garden makeover blends new with old

Here’s one of my recently completed projects – a patio garden make-over after a kitchen and family room renovation. I love it when existing clients call me when they are doing a renovation. I already know their garden style, family lifestyle, how they use and enjoy their landscape, color palette, and the land’s orientation to sun and shadow.  Continue reading

Stunning perennial and shrub combinations

Often gardeners grow really beautiful plants well, but they don’t look like much. That’s because they’re just randomly plunked in the garden or at look that way. Gardeners don’t think about creating stunning perennial and shrub combinations. Usually it’s because the flowering perennial or shrub lacks a contrasting background that also may enhance the color. I’ve snapped a few photos within the last week from landscapes I’ve designed that illustrate my point. Continue reading

A well-designed entry garden

A well-designed entry garden welcomes you, your family, and guests daily. It’s the place you trek through on car or foot to gather the mail and perhaps the newspaper. It’s the first place you see when you return home and also the last place as you travel to work, school, or wherever. Its beauty can cheer, soothe, delight, and relax you. Continue reading

Marsala colors my day

Aren’t these peonies luscious? The burgundy wine pink Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 color pick, is embodied in these peony selections. These yummy visions are from ‘Peony’s Envy’ collection. I can envision them growing in my garden and enlivening my vases. I need such feast for the eyes and soul this freezing Mid-January day. The wind chill factor creates a single digit number to greet me today. Continue reading

Autumnal pink – alternate palette

Orange, vermilion, scarlet, burgundy, and yellow – they’re the colors we usually associate with the fall garden palette. We rarely think about pink. As I walked within my garden this morning less than twelve hours from the Fall Equinox, I realized the predominant flower color is pink. And I love it! Better yet, these flowering plants may well continue into late October. Continue reading

Masses of yellow light up a gloomy day

Winter seems to be dragging along. It’s early May, but feels and looks like March. The antidote to the gloom appears to be the bright yellow of the massed planting of the Forsythia shrubs. It adds a glow to these driveway gardens that I designed when one psychologically needs it most – in the drab days of early spring. Continue reading

Early spring bulbs add much needed color

It happened this morning. I noticed it. Blue tones of black, white, and a range of grey. Textured shapes of sky, clouds and evergreen trees softly back-lit by the sun rising below the trees. Fleeting beauty framed by my bedroom window. Engrossed, I just watched. And then, the thinking crept in. I realized that I had not appreciated a predawn sunrise in a long time—a time so long I couldn’t count it in days or weeks. Continue reading

The new ikebana – Yuji Ueno style

Not my mother’s ikebana! That was my first response as I beheld the beautiful cover of japanese ikebana for every season by Rie Imai and Yui Ueno with photography by Noboru Murata. You see I lived in Tokyo as a toddler. A US Army Officer’s wife, my mother took classes in Japanese Flower Arranging. When we returned to San Francisco I grew up with her ikebana arrangements of camellias or calla lilies with foliage that grew in our gardens.

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