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

Spring says Hello in Yellow

Here in the Northeast we were visited by another snow storm bringing our total since early February around 100 inches! Ninety something inches more than last year. But who’s counting? The news reports individuals who are angry with the Groundhog. Remember, this year the Groundhog predicted an early spring. Who can you trust? Continue reading

Enchanted by a fleeting view

Darkness accompanied me as I trod downstairs to make my daily latte. A bit later, I climbed the day-lit stairs, and I was awestruck by the view created by last night’s snowfall. I marveled at myself because I thought I was tired of looking at snow. Yet there I was – captured by the beauty outside my windows. Enchanted, I savored the subtle coloring of the sky and the snow flocked forest. Continue reading

Groundhog Day

Yesterday, February 2nd, was Groundhog Day. On this day, according to quaint custom, we watch to see if the groundhog sees its shadow or doesn’t. The shadow or lack of, forecasts an early spring or a much longer winter. I celebrate this mid winter day by watching the movie of the same name. For years friends organized a party just to do that – I continue the tradition. Continue reading

An antidote to winter’s blahs

New England midwinter and I find myself contemplating the snow patterns on the roof. Wondering how I can use the patterns I see in my current design work. No brain storm to date. But understanding the fascination drove me to my local garden center seeking some intense new color for my winter weary soul. Continue reading

Pink roses counter winter

So much depends on the crystal vase filled with pink roses on the black counter mid winter. That’s my paraphase of William Carlos Williams poem about white chickens. I’m constantly amazed to discover what an inexpensive grocery store flower bunch does to counter the frozen winter landscape. It brightens the scene and adds a splash of color and life. Continue reading

Orchids and still life

Late November in North America, New England, this Sunday before Thanksgiving forms today’s perspective of this time of transition. My days and scheduling go from the active creative process of landscape design installations and studio work to only studio work and “office chores”. Continue reading

Fall in New England

Songwriter Cheryl Wheeler sings “when fall comes to New England, the sun slants in so fine”.  Indeed, and misty mornings greet the superb range of coloring in this part- shade garden.  Rusts, yellows, greens, and blues all add to the texture of the different plant forms and masses. I always find it amazing that dying fern fronds become lovely features in this garden at this time of year. Continue reading

Savoring the late summer garden

Geese squawk over head as I watch the black cat’s head turn up to follow the sounds.  The tropical storm has passed taking with it the high humidity and leaving a drenched garden.  I love the tapestry of foliage shown in the photo of the shade garden. It needed a good drink. Continue reading

Composting in a small space

Out the kitchen door, to the right off the landing, I’ve positioned the compost bin for easy access. I’m rewarded with views of my back garden and this one of my front. It’s a view ofthe front I only see from this angle so it’s a treat. Today I was rewarded by pink dianthus (cheddar pinks ‘Firewitch’) and pink rhododendron blooming with a bit of the bluish purple nepeta (catmint ‘Six Hills Giant’) and the chartreuse alchemilla (lady’s mantle). Even without the sun shining it’s lovely!

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