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-an independent landscape designer with over 2,700 projects since 1981, giving me tremendous insight and expertise that allow me to solve design problems quickly. Services and styles are tailored to the specific needs of the client; ranging from scale drawn master plans with hardscapes and plantings to on-site consultations utilizing spray paint and flags for instant visualization. My specialties and services offered include residential and commercial, both large and small.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Why is this woman smiling?

................................because yesterday was pot day!
 This is the day each spring when I pull the plastic bags off of the good ceramic containers and arrange  all the flowerpots for the season. The story of my addiction is a logical sequence of events, but, it is a cautionary tale, as container gardening is a slippery slope.

I was younger then. We had a Gordon Setter who looked fabulous on furniture, but not so great in the gardens.
Then we had puppies and kept one! I had gone to the dogs.
I wanted the all-summer long high of COLOR that annuals provide. But dogs and bedding annuals play Rock, Scissors, Paper: the dogs are the rocks and the annuals are the scissors. I began with whatever small pots I had, but I quickly realized that larger containers were necessary-so my pot collection grew along with my addiction to COLOR.
I would spend the entire month of May visiting every garden center and greenhouse in northern Ohio fulfilling my lust for color. Soon I became obsessed with sampling every exotic new plant. My forays expanded far and wide-east on Route 2 to the Pennsylvania border; south to Columbus to Baker's Acres. I stopped bringing my husband with me, because he took up space in the car that could be filled with plants! A plant junkie lives a solitary existence.
My garden became ungaptchka! a Yiddish word that describes the overly ornate, busy, ridiculously over-decorated, and garnished to the point of distaste
Many years passed. I aged considerably. I took to drinking wine to quell the boredom while watering all of these pots for the second time on hot summer days. I gave up golf because I couldn't be away from the pots. Bill cooked all of the meals because I was always watering POTS! There were rarely any new annuals to satisfy my thirst for visual stimulation.
The pendulum swung, my budget and my energies had bottomed out. I had to fill the pots, but how? Out of desperation, I looked around at what I already had in the garden. Like Scarlet O'Hara and the draperies, I turned my little chin to the west.....and saw hostas. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I divided them with a fury, filling most of the pots with ribbons of green, leaving only a few spots for my coveted COLOR.
Miraculously, by having the courage to change, I found serenity.
But I have an addictive personality and having discovered that the hostas were surviving our zone 5 winters, I began to experiment with other perennials. My curiosity was rewarded. Delphiniums came back year after year by not having wet feet in cold clay beds. Sedums dripped over the edges of my moss baskets. Burgundy foliage heucheras, silvery grey cerastiums,  strippy yellow hakonechloas, fern leaf filipendula vulgaris and even ferns were all thriving. All I had to do was buy a few flats of low maintenance annual color like impatiens and coleus.
It didn't take long for me to want to experiment with the the continuous high of evergreens.
Discovering that a big dwarf Alberta spruce would survive in a container, I scored a load of starter evergreens from  the Lowe's Home Improvement Store. At only $6@ the tiny dwarf Alberta spruces were comparable in price to fancy annuals.
They have survived a brutally cold northern Ohio winter. With the money I've saved, I have installed drip irrigation.
Arborvitae have been planted, in pots, to create privacy for the courtyard potting bench/bar that our son, Greg, built for us. Clematis and hops vines are filling the trellises.
Bill and I spend the golden hours of early evening together.
Fellow pot queen and gardener Linda Klein, nationally regarded for her exquisite gardens in Shaker Heights, is happy that my landscape is no longer "ungapatchka."

              Perhaps, bugs will be the only problem this year.
If you know anyone with a garden problem, please give them my number 216-381-1827. If you know anyone who likes to laugh- please send them this blog.

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