About Ellen Cool and ‘A Reasoned Landscape’


Designer, PhD Biology,  Author @ AReasonedLandscape.com


Landscape Composition, Stonework.
Garden Design, Creation, Restoration.

With 34 years of Immersion in the Work of the Land.

Garden Visits by Appointment
781 856 5600
19  Circle Street, Marblehead,  Mass  01945

Arthur Schwartz

“As time went by I realised that the particular place I had chosen
was less important than the fact that
I’d chosen a place and focused my life around it.”
…………………………………………………………………….Richard Nelson , Alaska

All the methods and plant materials discussed in these pages come out of
personal experience in my own, my client’s and other
graciously shared landscapes and gardens.
in Zone 5B on the Atlantic Coast
All the photos on this site are of Stone Garden Designs’ finished projects,
unless otherwise noted.

Collected Advice

I am a Gatherer, a Collector of things that I think belong together because of some commendable qualities they share. This is part of my nature, and I have fully embraced it.

One of my very favorite collections is of Priceless Advice that I have been given over the years with regard to the making and keeping of landscapes. My intention is to provide you with the most useful thought tools that I have found through personal and professional devotion to designing, building and experiencing of outdoor places for 30 years.

Tools of Thought

Many of the Landscape Advisories in ‘A Reasoned Landscape’ have been given to me by the exceptional Mentors and Masters of all kinds that it has been my privilege to come across in my work or through their instruction and writings.
Time and time again in my projects, certain advisories come to mind because they are invariably useful tools of thought when looking for landscape solutions in the circumstances to which they apply.
All those that have
proved reliably useful for attaining quality outcomes in some aspect of landscape design, building or tending have been gathered in like precious jewels.

“Design takes from everywhere.”
Sonia Rykiel

There have been Masters of many different disciplines and mediums, but no matter where the guiding thoughts came from, if they proved reliably useful for my Landscape work, I saved them for you.

Knowing some rules can provide a safe beginning from which your artistic interpretation
can leap with confidence.

Once the artistic and building principles are considered in the work, the creative opportunities for originality remain, but the solutions derived have a greater probability of providing comfort and beauty in the resulting landscapes.
Some of these helpful thoughts can be communicated in only a few words and yet are universal and priceless. Others take longer explanations or are more specific to but many are likely to make a contribution to thoughts about design and creation all along your landscape making journey. I hope that you may usefully call the applicable ones to mind when they can come into play in your own work.

“Precepts or Maxims are of great weight;
… a few useful ones on hand do more to produce a happy life
than the volumes we can’t find.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Best  Plants

The second useful collection is within my Plant Portraits.
This is a short list chosen from my estimation of the Best Plants for our local ecotome , coastal Zone 5B . I will mostly be writing about those plants that are currently uncommon, but are so wonderful that we want to be sure to preserve them by growing them into the future. I look forward to telling you about these stellar characters of my close acquaintance.
All the plant materials I recommend in my writings have been trialed over many years. They are exceptionally handsome, reliably hardy and behave admirably in the contexts described. To be portrayed in the Plant Portraits, each kind has to satisfy numerous criteria of quality for landscape use, so each is a tried and true treasure.
What I am presenting is a lifetime collection of best friends in the garden.

If you are not in my zone, I’ll leave you to check elsewhere on the internet for the particular zone appropriateness for each of these plants that you might like to have.
Many of the kinds to which I refer are very adaptable plants, and may think little of a zone change, one way or another. I hope you can grow lots of them.

For You

Originally, this material was collected for multiple separate books, but now the Web seems the best place to find people passionately involved or at the ready for the creation of things which bond them to their landscapes and gardens.

There are many dozens of topics I have written about in rough drafts, but all the pieces need polish and finish, some helpful imagery, and so a lot of time. I am enjoying the process as one would the sewing together of the patches of a patchwork quilt. I will be providing finished segments as I can, or am encouraged too, so perhaps the advisories will come to you as you need them. I hope that you can have patience with the handmade way I will be giving you these things.

I look forward to giving you many lovely pages.


* Lucius Annaeus Seneca / 4 BC to 65 AD

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  • All written and visual materials on this site are Copyrighted. (C) Ellen Cool 2010 - 2021


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