Loading...

Follow Digging Blog By Pam Penick on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
Or

Valid



A balmy breeze smelling of spring convinced me to move my cold-tender potted succulents back out into the garden over the weekend. It’s so nice to see them gracing a plant table on the deck again, after several months in which they sat packed in a wagon that I could roll into the garage at a moment’s notice. But yesterday it was cold and rainy again, and I wondered if I’d unpacked them too soon.


At least I know my little Moby Juniors (look at how much they’ve grown!) will be fine with chilly weather, although I’ll still bring them indoors if it freezes, since they’re babies.


While I’m out on the deck, let’s say hello to Bathilda, a batty gift from my mom.


I seem to have a thing for rusty metal animals, eh? This crow has collected a pottery-shard necklace for his treasure trove.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Succulent pots set out for spring, but too early? appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


High-pitched, whistling cries have filled the skies lately, alerting me to our cedar waxwing visitors. Flocking into berry-laden junipers (i.e., “cedars”), possumhaw and yaupon hollies, hackberries, and even invasive ligustrum to gorge themselves, these beautiful crested and masked birds can strip a tree clean of berries in minutes.


Last weekend, a flock gathered for a nosh and a rest in a tall hackberry beyond my garden fence. I heard them before I saw them. Grabbing binoculars and then my telephoto lens, I got a few shots — muddy and silhouetted at this distance, but recognizable nonetheless.


Full? Nah, maybe just one more.


They are such beautiful birds! I hope to see a flock a little closer before they all head north for the summer.


We’ve had other visitors too — and their dining habits are even greedier.


Soon enough there will be fawns in our neighborhood again. But what I look forward to even more is the antler drop — when the bucks lose their antlers and my agaves, hesperaloes, and ornamental trees are safe again.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Hungry garden visitors appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Thank heavens for evergreens, grasses, yuccas, and structural features like stock-tank ponds, big containers, and low walls. After this withering, frostbitten winter, my garden would otherwise be flattened. Of course I’ve been moaning and groaning about the damage anyway. (Isn’t that what we gardeners do?) But taking stock a few days ago, I realized there’s still plenty to enjoy in my winter garden. Case in point: the stock-tank pond, seen here reflecting a mango-colored sunset sky. Let me also give a shout-out to ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood balls and winter-tough squid agaves (Agave bracteosa) in raise-em-up-so-you-can-see-em containers.


Cast-iron plant is a dependable (if ubiquitous) evergreen for Austin too. I may not notice those upright, broad green leaves the rest of the year, but I’m sure glad to have them in the winter. Similarly, Texas nolina (Nolina texana), which grows low to the ground, becomes a winter focal point when elevated in a pot, especially framed by the winter-tan foliage of a dwarf Barbados cherry hedge (Malpighia glabra ‘Nana’). In the background, winter-hardy Yucca rostrata stands tall like a blue Koosh ball atop a trunk.


More yucca goodness here, with a twisted-leaf paleleaf yucca (Yucca pallida) elevated for attention in a purple pot atop a concrete plinth. A squid agave in a culvert-pipe planter stair-steps a little higher. Filling in around them are evergreen shade lovers ‘Cream de Mint’ pittosporum and Chinese fringeflower.


In a sunny bed along the driveway, ‘Color Guard’ yuccas take center stage with bright yellow and green stripes. Evergreen gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida) is beginning to bloom in the foreground, while last season’s inflorescences still dazzle on the pine muhly (Muhlenbergia dubia). I’ll cut the pine muhly back soon, but for now, everything that remains evergreen or stands tall through winter is treasured.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post It’s been a cold winter, but the garden’s still got it going on appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I was in my 30s when I started blogging in February 2006. Now I am 50, a milestone year. Twelve years is kind of a long time to publicly document one’s life, even if it’s mainly the gardening side of my life that I share. I sometimes wonder if the blogging era is an aberration, a time of public sharing that our children, who prefer private texts and Snapchat videos, won’t relate to. Who knows what the future holds for blogs, but I’m grateful to still be here during this blip, if that’s what it is, when many of us are documenting publicly what would otherwise be a solitary pursuit behind the garden gate, connecting along the way with thousands of other gardeners and garden lovers.

Blogging is, as I’ve noted, about sharing and making personal connections. It’s a place of creativity and personal improvement. It’s about commemorating the ordinary yet extraordinary daily life of a garden — which represents all gardens — and what it means to be the one digging in it.

For my 12th blogiversary, I thought it would be interesting to see what I was thinking about as I marked my first blogging milestone in February 2007. Unsurprisingly, I was feeling introspective and family focused. Here it is again:


My grandmother and I in her garden, circa 1969

A couple of months ago, Carol at May Dreams posed the questions, “What makes a gardener? Do you consider yourself a gardener? How did you decide you were a gardener? When is the first time you referred to yourself as a gardener? Where and how did you learn to be a gardener?”

I answered in her comment section:

Though I’ve been gardening for 12 years, I don’t believe I ever referred to myself as a gardener until about two years ago. People who came over to my house might say something nice about my garden, and I’d say, “Thanks, it’s a hobby of mine.” What I didn’t admit—and what must have been obvious to the visitor—was that gardening was a compulsion for me, and that I loved it.

I began to realize that my interest was more than a hobby when people would see me reading a book like Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners or Jill Nokes’s How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest, and they’d raise their eyebrows. One day I was going on about some plant or another to someone kind enough to listen, and she said, “So, are you a gardener?” Without hesitation I said, “Yes!”

A year ago today I started blogging here at Digging. At first I posted my best photos of my prettiest plants, adding notes about the plants’ habits and the weather. To keep a record of my garden’s changes and growth, I posted a backlog of photos and notes from earlier years (these comprise the 1st–4th years on my blog). I wrote to my favorite garden bloggers to ask if they would visit my blog. They did, and even commented, and I felt like I’d joined a club that I’d been wanting to get into.

Garden blogging connects me to a like-minded community. It’s social. It’s informative. It’s fun. It makes me think about gardening, the world, myself.

But it isn’t much related to being a gardener.

What makes a gardener? It was Carol’s first question, and I didn’t answer it. But what else could it be? You just want to grow things.

Maybe it’s in the genes. My mother has always gardened, from simple sweeps of annuals when she was younger to the exuberant cottage garden she tends today. And her mother—who scraped by in rural southeast Oklahoma—gardened as well, planting roses on her fence, moss rose in troughs, annuals in tire-lined flowerbeds. A quiet, mild-tempered woman, she’d shout at us kids to climb down out of her prized mimosa tree that smelled heavenly, worried that we’d damage the limbs. I understand that now.

My mother was her last child, a late-in-life baby. To me, my grandmother was always old and frail, her back eventually bent nearly horizontal from osteoporosis. Yet I remember her regularly hoeing and weeding her garden, wearing a faded dress and an old-fashioned sunbonnet like a pioneer woman.


My mother and grandmother, circa 1960

My grandmother died years ago. Her gardening legacy carries on though. My mother’s garden is a tumble of old favorites like hollyhocks, irises, lilies, and roses. When I talk to her on the telephone, I often picture her in the garden, checking on her plants or resting in the shade of a jasmine-covered trellis.

As they say, blood will out. Probably I owe my love of plants and digging to them both. And so, on my first blogiversary, I dedicate this post to my mother, June, and my grandmother, Demma, who taught me a love of gardening.

The post Digging is 12! A blogiversary retrospective appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Twice last week I visited buzzed-about Fareground food hall on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, killing time before shows at the Paramount Theater. I’ve yet to see Fareground in the daytime, but at night the softly lit landscaping and plaza sure are enticing. (The stairs and outer plaza seating could actually use a little more light, for safety and usability.)

Looking down into the sunken plaza from street level, you view a hillside planted with Texas dwarf palmetto, sedge, and other low-maintenance, shade-tolerant natives. Stairs and a zigzagging ramp lead you toward a perforated white arbor sheltering a few dining tables.


The shade arbor floats over the outdoor dining area like a paper airplane wing. Daniel Woodroffe of Studio DWG, the landscape architect for the project, commented on one of my Instagram pics that the shade structure is called Nimbus.


Nearby, in the center of the plaza, stands a light sculpture consisting of 12 tall rods, which Daniel called Cloudscape. He said it “atomizes water into actual clouds that are choreographed into a show with light.” According to Studio DWG’s website, “Cloudscape, the iconic water feature at the center of the project, is powered by AC-condensation harvested from the tower.” Both times I visited, Cloudscape only shifted color slightly, from violet to purple, with no cloud-like formations that I could detect. Does it happen at certain times, I wonder? I’d like to see it.


Being a garden geek, I didn’t take a single picture inside the beautiful food hall itself. But I admired the contemporary seating options in the plaza and on the hillside, where turquoise Acapulco wire chairs are gathered around portable round-top tables. The lawn is faux, which is a smart choice for this dry-shade hillside that will see tons of foot traffic and butt lounging.


A wintry tree — a redbud, by the looks of it — awaits spring’s greening touch.


But overall the grounds look green and lush, in spite of our unusually cold winter. On the chilly nights when I visited, only a few hardy diners were sitting on the patio. Everyone else was packed into the indoor seating. But soon enough Fareground’s plaza and hillside lawn will be filled with happily noshing Austinites and visitors.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Fair grounds at Fareground food hall in downtown Austin appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Have you ever seen a bowerbird’s elaborate, woven-twig structure? That’s what the Stickwork creations of North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty remind me of. I’ve admired his twiggy sculptures in other cities and gardens. And now we have one in Austin at Pease Park.


Titled Yippee Ki Yay, Austin’s Stickwork consists of 5 woven-branch structures that resemble slumping hay bales, with slanted oval windows and doors. (From above they look like mushy alphabet-soup letters.) It’s sculpture with which you’re meant to interact, to touch, to walk inside…


…or perhaps to play hide-and-seek in.


The weaving itself is fascinating.


In some ways it resembles an oversized bird’s nest.


Of course the artist and his helpers have hands. Imagine how birds do this, with only beak and claw.


The straw huts lean fancifully, as if peering over each other’s shoulders.


The short passageways inside them twist and turn, maze-like.


Gazing through tilted, twiggy windows, you see frame after frame after frame.


If you visit, you can frame yourself.


In a Statesman interview, Dougherty says he expects a Stickwork to have one great year, then one pretty good year, and then start to fall apart. When it’s finally ready to be condemned, the sticks will be shredded and turned into mulch for park plantings. Ashes to ashes and twigs to mulch.


The sculpture is already open to the public, but a public opening ceremony is scheduled for next Saturday, February 10th, from 1 to 3 pm, and even the mayor will be there. Now that sounds like a “yippee ki yay” kind of celebration.

By the way, if you were one of the many local volunteers who helped build this Stickwork, I hope you’ll leave a comment telling us what it was like, or what the artist is like, or anything interesting you learned about weaving a giant stick house.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Yippee Ki Yay! Austin has its own Stickwork sculpture in Pease Park appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Central Texas gardens got walloped by Old Man Winter this year, and a lot of plants that normally contribute to Austin’s evergreen palette — bamboo muhly, sago palm, flax lily, even ‘Alphonse Karr’ bamboo — are sporting sad shades of tan or brown. With a garden tour coming up in just 3 months, my emotions about this winter have ranged from pique to gloom. (Ironically, from a personal standpoint, I’ve enjoyed the cold weather and have been wearing boots, jackets, and scarves every time it dips below 65 F.)

Yesterday I made myself do one garden tidying chore — one thing that wouldn’t be too early (I’m still saving the big cut-back for closer to mid-February), and that would help prepare the garden for spring: I charged up the electric mower and ran it over the winter-browned sedges. What a difference it made for my mood and for the late-winter aesthetics of my garden.


Now instead of yellow-brown, tired-looking lumps, there are tidy tufts of emerging green leaves in the ‘Scott’s Turf’ sedge “lawn” that I planted last February.


The more-established Berkeley sedge lawn in front of the house got a few passes with the mower too, and now it looks very much like a shorn traditional lawn. It’s funny how mowing those sedges turned into an act of faith that spring will return and green things up again.


There are other things that need tidying, like my “totem pole” prickly pear that fell over in our first winter blast. Drat!


Here’s how it looked a few months ago, growing straight and tall like no Opuntia I’d ever seen. It should be easy to replant by sticking the broken end into the soil, although it’ll have to be staked.


I’m not sure if two of my ‘Platinum Beauty’ lomandra trial plants will pull through. I planted them in the front garden last fall, eager to see how they’d hold up in dry semi-shade and with deer. No problem there, but two deep-freezes-for-days later, they’re bleached and brittle.


Ah, it kills me! Still, I see a little fresh green at the base of the plants, so I’ll leave them alone for now and wait until after our last freeze date to cut them back and see if they recover. The third trial plant is in a container up by the house, and it came through the freezes just fine with a protective cover over it. I covered the two in the ground too, but they are in a more exposed location.


More brown, which should be evergreen, around the pool: a brown hedge of dwarf Barbados cherry continues to provide structure on the left, but brown stems are all that remain of a beautiful stand of Mexican honeysuckle at the far end of the pool. I can only avert my eyes for now and hope for a recovery by early May.


But why dwell on the brown when I can dwell on the green? And there’s still plenty of it, like the blue-green of paleleaf yucca underplanted with heartleaf skullcap…


…and silver Mediterranean fan palm doing its year-round fan dance.


We just need to keep the green in our hearts a little while longer. Spring is coming.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Mowing the sedge, and other expressions of hope for spring appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Last August a family road trip took me through Sonoma, California, where I had the pleasure of seeing a garden I was writing about for Garden Design magazine. The owner, Marilyn Coon Stocke, had generously extended an invitation to me and my family, and so we stopped by after a visit to Cornerstone Sonoma and its gardens.


My earlier phone interview with Marilyn had been mainly about the garden inside the courtyard walls, which she’d hired landscape architect Mike Lucas to build to block the wind and provide privacy from the road. But as we approached her garden gate, I was wowed by the waterwise exterior garden. Blazing orange flower spikes of kangaroo paws towered over tuffets of chartreuse lomandra. Both plants hail from Australia and are water thrifty and heat tolerant, allowing Marilyn to focus limited water resources on her interior courtyard garden.

By the parking area, a tumbleweed-like sphere of barbed wire makes a sculptural, Wild West-style accent.


How I wish we could successfully grow kangaroo paws here in Austin! Alas for our sauna-like summers.


Majestic Weber’s agaves punctuate a meadowy front garden of lomandra and tall verbena.


Large cutout windows in the white walls of the courtyard offer peek-a-boo glimpses of the secret garden inside. A barn-door-style shutter can slide closed to keep out the wind.


Eucalyptus and bottlebrush (Callistemon) add more Australian foliage.


Inside the courtyard, a sheltered, green oasis greets you, and a trough-style water feature flanked by an elevated terrace leads to the front door.


A bisecting path frames a view of the trough’s scupper fountain through towering agapanthus blossoms.


The agapanthus flowers were nearly spent by early August but still lovely.


To the right you see steps leading up to the front door, and a row of ‘Livin’ Easy’ rose standards.


The apricot-orange roses echo the orange of the kangaroo paws outside the wall.


Boston ivy traces green-leaved tendrils across the white walls, making a green frame for the window views.


And what a view through this window! I love seeing that big Weber’s agave flexing its muscles amid purple salvia, with a row of eucalyptus trees and golden hills beyond. In the foreground, a firepit and built-in seating offer a reason to stay a while.


Opposite the window, the firepit axis leads straight out of the courtyard and through an allee of ornamental pear trees, which reference the property’s history as a pear orchard.


As a focal point at the end of the allee, a water feature made from a manganese rock crusher — essentially a giant dish — bubbles gently. From here, the garden proper ends, and the path leads to the wilder parts of the property and, eventually, to a borrowed view of a neighbor’s vineyard. Ah, the beautiful Sonoma wine country.

My thanks to Marilyn for the tour of her lovely home and garden! It was a treat to meet her too. If you’d like to read more about her garden, just get your hands on a copy of the Winter 2018 issue of Garden Design and look for my article on page 54.

P.S. Marilyn’s home and garden fortunately escaped damage from the Sonoma wildfires last fall, which I was relieved to hear.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Waterwise outside, oasis inside a walled Sonoma garden appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Exploring the High Line in October 2014 remains a highlight of my garden travels, and I’d love to go see it again. Until then, reading about it keeps the fire burning, gives insight into the origins and design of this unique public garden/nature walk/civic space, and offers the advantage of seeing the garden in all its seasonal variety. Here are two books about the High Line I’ve recently read and recommend.

Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes
by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke (2017, Timber Press)

If you want to luxuriously examine the plants and garden spaces of the High Line in all their changeable, seasonal glory, Gardens of the High Line is the book for you. The majority of its pages are filled with beautiful, expansive photos of the garden’s flora, from the lowliest sedges to the tallest gray birches growing in what is essentially a 1-1/2-mile-long green roof. Starting at the park’s south entrance and working its way northward, the book explores the 13 garden spaces that make up the High Line experience, lingering on the magical Gansevoort Woodland, Washington Grasslands, and Chelsea Grasslands.

Late autumn and winter scenes — blazing, then bleached foliage and blackened seedheads topped with caps of snow — are sprinkled amid the expected green and lush spring and summer scenes. For those of us in faraway cities who may visit only once or twice, the generosity of garden coverage is a delight. Text is minimal, mostly photo captions, although a brief introduction for each garden space helpfully explores the overall design and how visitors interact with the garden.

The only disappointment was a relatively lengthy essay at the beginning called “Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes,” which I was keen to learn about. It traces the history of garden design up to the cultivated-wild style popularized by Piet Oudolf; the evolution of industry, leading to the High Line’s disuse and eventual transformation; and how grasses and North American prairie plants came to be seen as garden worthy rather than as weeds. All of this should be fascinating stuff for garden-design geeks like me, but it bogs down in sluggish phrasing:

“With the clarity of hindsight, the gardens of the High Line are an elegant solution to an obvious opportunity that remained obscured until an unprecedented awareness of social, economic, industrial and biological trends came into focus.”

Whew. Happily, Gardens of the High Line is primarily visual and will prove fascinating to anyone curious about — or looking for a memento of — this singular, unforgettable garden and cultural landmark. Get ready to spend hours poring over garden views and then making travel plans for NYC.

The High Line: Foreseen/Unforeseen
by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (2015, Phaidon Press)

Where Gardens of the High Line lingers on the plants and garden spaces built on the old rail line, The High Line: Foreseen/Unforeseen shows how the landscape architecture came to fruition, transforming a derelict elevated rail line into a civic space designed for people, while preserving the sense of nature reclaiming the city. The weeds that colonized the abandoned rail line inspired and galvanized the activists who worked to save the High Line, and who so improbably succeeded. The design team felt it was critical to honor those weeds and their melancholy beauty with their design, which proved to be revolutionary.

The High Line contains illuminating and thoughtful interviews with the 5 principal architects and landscape architects who designed the structure’s conversion and its look and function; with Piet Oudolf, who designed the plantings; with the engineers who implemented the design; with the lighting designer; and with the graphic designer of the High Line’s logo. All bring their unique perspectives to bear on what the High Line represents and what it brings to the city. Never dull, their discussions are insightful and inspiring about the power of good design, and if you have any interest in landscape architecture, garden design, or city planning — not to mention the experience of visiting the High Line itself — you’ll be fascinated by this book.

A meaty and oversized hardback, The High Line is incredibly detailed and must have been an expensive book to produce. Probably a hundred design specs are reproduced, and dozens of pages are split and open up like shutters to provide closeup looks at design details, as you can see in the examples below.

Together The High Line and Gardens of the High Line offer the in-depth information and comprehensive images of the park and its gardens that its fans and design lovers everywhere will enjoy.

Disclosure: Timber Press sent me a copy of Gardens of the High Line for review. Phaidon’s The High Line was given to me as a gift. I reviewed both at my own discretion and without any compensation. This post, as with everything at Digging, is my own personal opinion.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Read This: Gardens of the High Line and The High Line, two books about NYC’s most influential public park appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


It may be cold and gray outside, but that means it’s a perfect time of year to curl up with the new Winter 2018 issue of Garden Design magazine. I got my copy today and am excited to tell you about my article “Modern Mission,” which appears on page 54. It explores a lush, oasis-style courtyard garden and outer garden of drought-tolerant Australian plants on the site of an old pear orchard in Sonoma, California. Photos are by the inimitable Marion Brenner.


Dream gardens indeed! Get your copy by subscribing to Garden Design. You can also sometimes find it in bookstores and garden shops. The quarterly magazine is packed with in-depth articles and beautiful photos — and zero ads.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Calling all garden bloggers! You’re invited to register for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling tour and meetup, which will be held in Austin this May 3rd-6th! Click this link for information about registering, and you can see our itinerary here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. The 2018 Fling will be the event’s 10th anniversary, which started in Austin in 2008.

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post On a “Modern Mission” in Garden Design magazine appeared first on Digging.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview