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My Sketchbook

I always carry a sketchbook with me.  It's my place to capture ideas...whether in words or images.  I started this quest to save my...

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Narrowing Down Your Plant Choices
You've decided where to place your new planting bed, what size it should be and now you face the ominous task of choosing the plants that go inside...
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Cut and Paste Garden

A fun way to approach planting design is to visualize your garden in elevation (looking at your garden as if you were standing in front of it)....

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Garden Doodle Sheets

Garden design can be intimidating when we don’t know where to start, so let me help you tiptoe into this beautiful new world. I’ll...

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Chevron Garden
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines chevron as a shape, pattern or object in the form of a V or an upside-down V.  It can also be shown proudly...
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Activities for Garden Gatherings: Creating Outdoor Rooms
To help my students understand the concept of garden rooms, I created an activity called The Pop-Up Garden.  When temperatures...
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Rendering Plant Symbols with Color Pencil

We are currently learning about color pencil in my landscape graphics class, so I made this tutorial on rendering a plant symbol for my students....

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Activities for Garden Gatherings: Planting Design Tips

Marie Vidmar from the beautiful state of California, emailed to ask if she could use my planting design tips for a future plant trade day she was...

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Drawing Plant Symbols Practice Sheet

In a couple of months I'll be giving my first public workshop on landscape graphics. Since this workshop is only one of many at a larger conference...

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On-Center vs. Spread

Each year when I teach my students about drawing plant symbols there is always confusion about what I mean by on-center vs. spread, so in...

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Bed Edge Boost

I weeded a lot this summer and that means I had a lot of thinking time. Time to think about how the type of bed edge determined how much time I...

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Hello Mesic Prairie

Here in the US Midwest (zones 4 & 5) our predominant native plant community is prairie (what's left of it). Rolling hills, open plains,...

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Draw Your Plants Video: Contoneaster
In my last post I discussed how drawing your plants are a great way to learn them. It's easy for me to encourage you to try it, but I wanted to...
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Draw Your Plants to Learn Them

As gardeners we strive to learn as many plants as possible.  We learn by weeding around them, taking photos and notes, and simply working with...

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Two Trips: Wisconsin and Georgia
In the past couple of weeks I had the opportunity to visit two lovely states: Wisconsin and Georgia. The first is an old friend, while the latter I...
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Design at Disney

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to visit Disney World for spring break.  I think I was just as excited as my kids (maybe even...

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Garden Terms: Trellis, Arbor and Pergola

Garden design has a vocabulary all it's own and even though many of these terms are quite common, we often confuse them.  I've tried my best...

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Designing Your Garden: The Preliminary Design
Spatial design is a wonderful way to define your garden spaces and determine planting bed locations. Luckily there is a process to lead us through...
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