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The View From The Kitchen Door

Report From PIA – August 31

I’ve done numerous consultations for homeowners who are trying to landscape so that guests will come to the front door instead of the kitchen door. Often, despite new paths and plantings, they aren’t successful with this effort. In many houses the kitchen door is closer to where everyone parks […]

Process and Progress

Report From PIA – August 30

Every gardener knows that a garden is never finished. Some areas of the landscape are often further along than others, however, and each day, month and year brings new challenges and delights.

It’s tempting to look at those parts of the garden where it’s all come together well, and […]

Cultivating Character

Report From PIA – August 29

I did a consultation the other day where there was an old cherry tree in the back of the garden. The main trunk of this tree leaned at a 45-degree angle, and several large branches randomly twisted and turned. This funky tree had so much character that was the […]

A Shaft of Light

Report From PIA – August 28

Most of us don’t design our gardens around the rising or setting sun. These beams of light might illuminate our plants in beautiful and interesting ways, but their positions change from week to week and season to season. In years gone by more attention was paid to where sunlight […]

My Bad…

Report From PIA – August 27

I think that most gardeners could tell you about a plant that they wish they’d never placed in their gardens. If you’ve grown gardens in more than one location, you will be able to list plants that you were careful not to take from the old property onto the […]

Host Specific Problems

Report From PIA – August 26

As I walked around Poison Ivy Acres with my camera this morning, I noticed that the Asclepias tuberosa is still covered with aphids. These orange Aphis nerii are sometimes called oleander aphids, but in my yard they are asclepias aphids through and through.

I grow four types of milkweed […]

Nothing Ventured…

Report From PIA – August 25

There are as many different styles of gardens are there are gardeners, and thankfully, there is no one right way. Some want a landscape that they can keep “under control” (which usually means not too large) while others want plantings they can pretty much ignore.

Many desire plants that […]

Too Much Mulch?

Report From PIA – August 24

As you regular readers know, this is the end of our third summer on Poison Ivy Acres. All of the gardens here are new (and frankly, I think they look pretty damn awesome) so the main plantings have been put in the ground and now it’s a matter of […]

What The Rain Brings

Report From PIA – August 23

As a gardener, I do love a rainy day, or even several days in a row. Once I feel assured that the storm will deliver that ideal inch-plus over a 24 hour period, I love knowing that the entire landscape has been well watered for the week to come.


Continual Cultivation

Report From PIA – August 22

In early July I wrote about cutting my ‘Rozanne’ Geraniums down to the ground. They weren’t performing as this perennial should, so I cut them down and planted young Profusion zinnias in the spaces that were created. Within three weeks the zinnias were flower-filled and full, and they should […]