Monday, January 25, 2010

ZesterDaily articles

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bees are a buzzing in the Valley O!

A few weeks ago (Oct 4th to be exact) I got delivery of my bees from Kirk Anderson of The Backwards Bee group. They have settled in beautifully and are busy making new comb in the frames either side of the frames they arrived with. It is fascinating to observe them up close. Very clean creatures they defecate in flight and remove the dead bees with haste, unceremoniously dumping them off the edge of the landing area into the murky depths below. Its not easy to be a bee....

Monday, September 21, 2009


Lovely healthy eating blog by my friend Linda Koones

We had a little chat about how to ripen green tomatoes. One other tip I forgot to mention was: Pull entire plant up , shake off soil and hang upside down from the garage rafters. Tomatoes will ripen soon afterwards.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Writing for Zester Daily

I will be writing for this wonderful new site called Check it out at



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The High Line Park- a new jewel in the Manhattan firmament

On a recent trip to New York I was determined to see the new High Line Park on the west side of Manhattan having just caught the end of a report on NPR About the park while stuck in traffic on the 405. My son and I had a lovely morning wandering Central Park and then jumped on the subway getting off at 23rd st for the trek west to 10th ave.

The park currently runs from 20th st to Gansvoort St in the meatpacking district. The Park is owned by the City of New York and is administered by the not for profit conservancy Friends of the High Line. The High Line is the name of an elevated train line that ran from the west village to 34th and carried dangerous freight 30ft above 10th ave. 25 years ago it was closed and stayed idle and abandoned until moves were afoot to demolish the railway. A few local community activists mobilized and led a campaign to keep the structure intact. In 2002 the city of New York formally backed the plan to develop a public park on the site and it opened in June.

The simplicity of the design is oddly beguiling. The train track is left intact in large sections with a walkway of concrete meandering down the center between an array of plantings (210 plant varieties in all). Simple slatted wooded benches line the walkways and in one section there are large wide sun chairs where New Yorkers relax, read the paper and catch some sunshine. Beautiful public restrooms and elevators make for a really pleasant visitor experience.

Grasses and native flowers intermingle with sage , heuchera and sedum. No mechanical irrigation is installed and the plant choices were chosen with drought tolerance in mind. New trees are currently hand watered by the gardening staff and perhaps in time they too will be able to survive with seasonal rainfall. Seeds were collected from the wild flowers and grasses that grew in the abandoned space before the restoration began. They were grown out at a Nursery and replanted . The overall effect is stunning. A wild tapestry of colour and texture that catches the slightest breeze.

I was so taken by the beauty of it all that I stopped various strangers telling them how wonderful it all was. They were quietly amused I dare say.

It will be fascinating to see how this new creation will grow and mature. Very attentive staff weed and water taking care to keep the wildness under check but not allowing the landscape to look too manicured, This new treasure is a thoroughly modern Park and a model of how one can transform a relatively mundane space into a magical natural and green elevated mini beltway.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Perennial beds and benificial insect attracting plants

Here are a few photos of a garden I designed with a perennial cutting flower bed that has lots of beneficial insect attracting flowers. These insects readily take care of most of the pests that attack the summer crops.