Owls and evergreens

  I’m not much of a fan of winter but I do have a very soft spot for owls. I don’t think I need to explain why- you all get it. They’re flying sorcerers, the stuff of other worlds, the perfect (confounding!) union of lots of beauty and lots of deadly tools to dispatch little […]

“Beauty Is Not Enough.”

Posted by on Feb 8, 2015 in Gardening, Landscape

An excellent article from the New York Times on Doug Tallamy and the new gardening.  Money quote: “We have to raise the bar on our landscapes,” said Mr. Tallamy, a professor and chairman of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. “In the past, we have asked one thing of […]

Rosa multiflora, Robinia pseudoacacia & Populus alba

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Invasives, Landscape
Rosa multiflora, Robinia pseudoacacia & Populus alba

Maybe call this: addendum. Today, I’ve temporarily taken over a supervisory role monitoring landscape restoration efforts in Pelham Bay, Bronx.  Today validated a few things for me – which I hope is quite clear from the snap taken. Now, I realise Pelham Bay is a far, far, far away URBAN place, practically the antithesis of […]

Residential Landscape and Ecological Restoration

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Gardening, General, Landscape, The Catskills

As a trained landscape architect, I have found my industry to be a tad much in the grey area when it comes to ecological restoration.  We are often not plants people.  We are also not often scientists.  We are often chained to desks working on drawings on drafting programs for long hours without a relationship […]

Redwing blackbirds and willows

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Landscape, The Catskills

I love this photo by Christopher Martin . What says ‘spring’ in the Catskills better than these two earliest heralds of the season? The redwing blackbird is unmistakable with its flashy red epaulettes but the willow- well, I’d need a good hand lens and a working knowledge of willow stamens to tell you which species the […]

Fagus grandifolia

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Gardening, Landscape, Plant Profile
Fagus grandifolia

Fagus grandifolia, the American beech, as a young tree or whip can often hold it’s leaves throughout the winter when found in the understory of the forest.  In the UK, F. sylvatica, American beech’s European cousin, is used often as a hedge responding well to structured pruning.  Have you thought to use our native woodies […]

Hard rime

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Hikes, Landscape, Science, The Catskills
Hard rime

One of the most enchanting seasons is winter in the Catskills.  Hands down.  Are you with me?  Its best after a storm, before the trucks plow and sand.  Pure magic.  In the interior of the mountains, its beyond serene.  The snow is often powdery, maybe with an icy crust.  Can you hear the sound of […]


Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Edibles, Gardening, Landscape, Plant Profile, The Catskills

Sorbus americana is one of the prettiest white flowering, under utilized, red cluster berry producing, Northeastern favorite tree o’ mine.  I mean I literally freak out.  Have you ever been on a hike with me?  I repeat myself in the latin and the common name, I point, I even jump up and down, ok almost jump […]