These palms have an inner glow that warms the soul.

Patterns and Politics

  For the last week I’ve been enjoying warm snow-free days on Kiawah Island, a vacation spot off the coast of South Carolina. One of the joys of being here (apart from the weather, of course) is seeing plants I can’t identify. This isn’t because they are rare, it’s because they are unfamiliar, and in vacation…

The contours of the terracing are visible when looking up the hill.

A Year of Visiting Gardens

2015 was a bumper year for garden visits. I’m almost overwhelmed when I realize how many gardens I visited — well over 100 by a quick count. Some days, I found the experience exhausting; every day it was fun. My year of visiting gardens started in February when I saw two outstanding gardens in South Carolina. Middleton Place…

The shingle house was designed by Meade White, one of the premier New York design firms of the Gilded Age.

Naumkeag, Then and Now

Naumkeag is one of America’s finest gardens. Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and designed over a period of 30 years from 1925-1956, the garden reflects the desires of the last owner, Mabel Choate, and the skills of her friend and collaborator, the landscape architect Fletcher Steele. Pushing the boundaries of the old Beaux Arts traditions, together they…

The statue of Diana Robing is a replica of the one placed there by Mabel Choate

What Makes Sculpture Work?

In the last week I’ve been visiting gardens and looking at sculpture and art installations, indoors and out. I’ve visited art museums, gardens where sculpture is integrated into the setting, gardens with temporary sculpture exhibitions and sculpture parks where commissioned pieces are site specific. It’s been a fabulous experience, instructive as well as enjoyable. I started my week…