Building stone steps with a retaining wall—part two

I often tell people about the old man who taught me to lay steps with stone. This morning I got tickled when I realized that that old man wasn’t any older than I am now. He has gone on to his great rewards and I have become the old man teaching people.


Rock garden steps with a retaining wall–part one

How to build stone garden steps with a small  retaining wall for erosion control–part one step by step instructions with photographs.   Ann is a gifted gardener and she is proud of her beautiful pool. Ann knows a lot about building and landscaping, but she decided to call in some help on this project. The problem was […]

The boiler drain–An easier outdoor faucet for older gardeners

The boiler drain–An easier outdoor faucet for older gardeners  I have found over the years that there comes a time in a gardener’s life when simple things become more difficult. One of my clients, Micky, is an amazing gardener with a good sense of design and a feel for plants that allows her to grow […]

A nice landscape garden and dealing with the stump from a large uprooted tree

A garden visit and Dealing with a stump from a blown over tree  “Oh, My God, the wind is doing something weird. The trees are dancing through the sky, There comes a tree top into the middle of the back yard. This is scary!!!” It was April 27, 2011, a little after eight in the morning. […]

Planting a flower bed with leftovers, or, “Happy wife, happy life”

Planting a flower bed with leftovers, or, “Happy wife, happy life”  She said, “I want my yard to look like a landscaper lives here.” I replied, “It does look like a landscaper lives here. Remember the cobbler’s shoes.”  I plant a lot of flowers every spring.  Actually, I plant a lot of truckloads of flowers […]

An over the top vegetable garden sprinkler and a Father’s Day present

Over the top vegetable garden irrigation—A well received Father’s Day present.   The garden got planted late this year-probably because of the preparations for the  wedding at the farm on May 14. About a month prior to that date, though, in a conversation with The Gentleman Farmer, Bob Hicks, who would soon be my father […]

Foundation planting with containers creates “a changeable garden”

Foundation planting with containers-a “changeable garden”  Today’s article is about what I call a “Barbie Doll Garden.”  Here’s the story: One of my favorite clients for a number of years is very easy to please as long as she gets ­exactly what she wants.  The problem is that I sometimes have to get really creative […]

Drainage management with an Ikebana flair

Fixing a small drainage problem with an Ikebana flair.  The rather large yard is always well kept and immaculate, but there are lots of little areas that need ‘fixing.’  This week the main emphasis was an area where soil was washing across part of a driveway and into a catch basin.  The ordinary thing to […]

Mondo grass for beauty and erosion control

Mondo grass on a hillside.  “Cost effective”—I like that phrase.  A few years ago I was doing some work for a rather wealthy client on a very well landscaped estate.  My job was to fix problem areas. On one project I asked the client, “How shall I approach this project and what is the budget?” […]

Renovating an overgrown landscape, part two of a series

Renovating an overgrown landscape-part two of a series  The back yard of the house is dominated by a delightfully whimsical pool, jacuzzi, and a terraced deck.  The back side of the deck is bordered by a lovely brick retaining wall on two levels.  There are a lot of nice azaleas, sasanquas, and lorapetalums planted for […]