Designer, PhD Biology / Ethology,
Author @ AReasonedLandscape.com
STONE GARDEN DESIGNS INC.
Landscape Composition with Stone and Plants.
Residential Garden Design, Creation, Restoration.
With 30 years of Immersion in the Work of the Land.
“The Parable”, our display garden, is open by Appointment.
19 Circle Street, Marblehead Massachusetts
“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 outdoor places in Zone 5B on the Atlantic Coast .
All the photographs on this website are of Stone Garden Designs Inc. Landscape and Garden projects, unless otherwise noted.
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.
The Advisories herein have been given to me as essential guidance by the many exceptional Mentors and Masters that it has been my privilege to come across in my work, in person and through their writings. Time and time again in my projects, their particular guiding thoughts come to mind. Whenever I have come across such resonant and easily remembered Tools of Thought and Rules of Thumb, as each has proved itself useful in attaining quality outcomes in some aspect of landscape design, building or tending, I kept it at hand for my work and saved it for you.
Knowing some rules can provide a safe beginning from which your artistic interpretation can leap with confidence.
These things have come to me through many different disciplines, but no matter what source or medium the advisory came from, each one found invaluable to landscape thought and work has been gathered in like a precious jewel.
“Design takes from everywhere.” Sonia Rykiel
Once the artistic and building principles are considered in the work, while the creative opportunities remain, the solutions derived have a greater probability of providing comfort and beauty for those who are the subjects of the landscape. 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 particular circumstances, 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 them 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 (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD)
My second useful collection is my ‘essential plant list’, a juried list of the Best Plants for our local ecotome……….plants that are so wonderful that we want to be sure to preserve them for the future. I look forward to telling you about these stellar characters of my close acquaintance.
All the Greenscape materials I recommend herein are exceptionally handsome, reliably hardy and behave admirably in the contexts described. They are the best that I have found for our typically Zone 5B circumstances, each having been watched for many years in my various proving grounds, with outcomes as credentials.
To be portrayed in the Plant Portraits, each kind has to satisfy numerous criteria of quality for landscape use, so each one whose portrait I provide is a treasure. What I am presenting is a lifetime collection of best friends in the garden. Materials recommended herein are 100% tried and true.
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. Don’t believe everything one source tells you either. Sometimes it may simply be that no one has reported the results of trying a particular candidate plant in your zone, or perhaps a kind returns reliably by seed though it doesn’t overwinter – so cross check, wonder. Most of the good doers to which I will refer are very adaptable plants, and often think little of a zone change, one way or another. I hope you can grow many of them.
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 hundreds of topics I have written about, 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 parts of a patchwork quilt. I will be providing finished segments as I can, or am encouraged to, 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.