There is a time and a place for everything- and that includes the boxwood: A stoic topiary at the corners of an unbridled flower bed. Fine. A trim, undulating hedge embracing and framing a luscious garden. Ok. You could even put one, perhaps, in a planter- a deep and calm centering point in a sea of color and texture.
But not on a terrace or roof.
Boxwood must be the number one plant city dwellers spring for and I cannot figure out why. Prone to burning from heat, and calling cards to the white flies and psyllids that flock to the often crowded spaces of city gardens, boxwoods are really not all that interesting! I admit, they can play their part, but why when you have limited space grow such a monotone, insipid plant? Here are some better (if you ask me) alternatives:
Switch grass: I once planted switch grass on the 34th floor of a southwest facing building on the Hudson River. Full sun, blasting heat in summer, freezing ruthless wind in winter. Switch grass looks great, always. The end of day light catches the loose, elegant seed heads just beautifully, and the grass can be grown tall enough to create a translucent, wafty hedge. Oh, and it’s native too.
Winterberry: Another ultra hardy native, winterberry is evergreen with dainty white flowers in summer and rich red berries in autumn and winter. It also makes an excellent hedge plant if you keep it pruned and trimmed. To get ample berries and attract cedar waxwings and more to your terrace make sure to get a male and a female plant.
June berry: This tree/shrub is so named for its load of antioxidant rich summer time fruit. Depending on the species, it can grow up to 10 feet tall. A member of the rose family, its sparse, delicate flowers resemble those of its close cousin, the apple. The fruits are abundant on roofs where sun is plentiful and if they don’t all get eaten by birds, make great fruit leather, or pie!
Barbara and Michael Leisgen
We’re thrilled to have some new stockists for the Summer issue:
Mohawk General Store in Silverlake, California
Confier in San Francisco, California
Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Kelly’s Fuel and Provisions in Yountville, California
Amelia in Oxford, Mississippi
Marfa Book Company, in Marfa, Texas
Marigold & Mint in Seattle, Washington
Steven Alan in both New York and Los Angeles
For a full list of stockists, please see here.
Pable Picasso, 1949 shot by Gjon Mili
‘I wondered why so many gardens around the world focused on the healing power of plants rather than their ability to kill… I felt that most children I knew would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it and how gruesome and painful the death might be.’
- The Duchess of Northumberland
The Duchess is the master of a 14 acre gardens, which surround the castle that doubled for Hogwarts in The Harry Potter series. The property boasts of a much celebrated, 100 variety strong Poison Garden, as well as gardens featuring European plants, Roses, Bamboo, and lime trees.
Summer cover photographer, Grant Cornett, took so many amazing shots that we decided to create a limited edition poster of one of our favorites. This poster went to subscribers with their Summer issue, but we have some left over in limited quantities. They’re too gorgeous to not make available to everyone.
Racing clouds shadow the face of the Koolau Range, a 2500ft high volcanic barrier on the east coast of Oahu that towers above Kaneohe Bay.
Via the fantastic tumblr Vintage National Geographic Scans
Wilder writer and food photographer Rory Gunderson sent me an email long ago pointing to a fantastic video chronicling the story of photographer Roberta Price. I just got around to watching it and immediately wanted to share.
Price moved to a 360 acre counterculture community in the late 60s. Her photographs, which have been compiled into two books, “Huerfano: A Memoir of Life of the Counterculture” and “Across the Great Divide: A Photo Chronicle of the Counterculture,” speak to the idyllic nature of communes – flowing hair, wild children, good food, marijuana, counter culture heroes and DIY.
Looking to join a commune? Hell, why not? Check out the very up to date and well organized Commune Directory for guidance.
Page 2 of 4