Sunday, February 03, 2008

Garden Diary: The Wet Prairie in February - a Turning

I woke just in time to see the garden covered in hoar froast on this Sunday morning, the day after Ground Hog Day. Yesterday was mostly cloudy, following heavy rains, and the air was saturated with moisture. The ice crystals caught sideways sunlight streaming through surrounding forest, leaving a visual remnant that recalls Andy Goldsworthy at work.

This is the first day since winter arrived that I've felt a sense of the coming spring. Though we face many weeks of winter yet, there's been a turning. Here are a few images. Click on the photos to see the ice crystals up close.


  1. You have one of the most beautiful gardens in New Jersey. I live in Chatham, not too far away, with a much more modest garden.

  2. Thanks for the compliment, but it's really not one of the most beautiful gardens in New Jersey - yet. After clearing about 60 cedars, I decided to use only plants that could thrive in my heavy, wet clay soil. So I'm working with the concept of a wet prairie. My last garden in Rosemont, near here, was very "Oudolfian." This one is too, but it's very different because of the very different environment - much more naturalistic (Oudolf's work is highly designed and requires considerable maintenance). My new "mentor" is Noel Kingsbury. I've read just about everying he has written (and he's co-written a couple of books with Piet Oudolf). Kingsbury's work is full of hard-to-find information on current trends and research in gardening. He's a writer who takes gardening very seriously. Check out his work if you don't already know it.



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