lessons in ecology from mount auburn cemetery, with david barnett

YEARS AGO, a friend who founded a botanic garden in Massachusetts took me to visit a landscape that he had long loved and admired. It was not just beautiful, but a designated National Historic Landmark—and one that was also a cemetery, on land that was consecrated for the purpose in 1831.

Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts is still all those things—historic, beautiful and a place of burial—but in more recent years, its mission has also been one of environmental stewardship. How has that been accomplished, and continues to be accomplished, in an established landscape is our topic today.

leaves first: favorite foliage to unify the garden, with ken druse

KEN DRUSE AND I both love leaves, and so do the naughty furbearing herbivores who have been visiting our gardens with a vengeance this season—but that’s another story. Today’s topic is leaves to love from the gardener’s point of view, not the woodchucks’ or the rabbits’.

Ken Druse, friend of many years, and author and photographer of 20 garden books, including “The New Shade Garden” and “Making More Plants,” and most recently, “The Scentual Garden” about fragrance, is back to talk about what’s getting our gardens through the midseason slump: leaves, whether big and bold or fine-textured, and in

‘spirit of place:’ designing and defining a garden that belongs, with bill noble

GARDEN DESIGNER Bill Noble starts his new book with this promise: “I’m going to tell you a story of the pleasures and challenges, both aesthetic and practical, of creating a garden that feels genuinely rooted to its place.”

His book, called “Spirit of Place,” profiles the making of his own garden in New England, but at the same time teaches us to take contextual cues from where we are gardening, along with other guiding principles of good garden design for any place—like how to create distinct outdoor spaces and also a sense of privacy, something that we all struggle

fragrant plants in ‘the scentual garden,’ with ken druse

WHAT KIND OF SCENTS that plants offer up please you, or don’t? How do you even describe what things in the garden smell like? I spoke with Ken Druse, author of the new book “The Scentual Garden: Exploring the World of Botanical Fragrance,” about his fascination with fragrant plants.

There are a lot of good things I could say about having known Ken for many years, and one of them is that we’ve had each other to talk to along the way while we’ve been writing each new book, someone to ruminate with and refine ideas with, time and

how conservation starts in your yard: doug tallamy on ‘nature’s best hope’

‘NATURE’S BEST HOPE’ is the title of University of Delaware professor Doug Tallamy’s new book, and the subtitle reads like this: “A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard.” In other words, you and I are nature’s best hope. Our actions count, and they add up to counteract a fragmented landscape and other challenges to the survival of so many critically important native creatures and the greater environment we all share.

Doug Tallamy’s 2007 book, “Bringing Nature Home,” (Amazon affiliate link) has been, for many of us, a wake-up call into the entire subject of the unbreakable

create a pollinator victory garden, with kim eierman

ONE OF THE MOST common questions that garden centers and other garden professionals are asked these days: How can I add more pollinator plants? Kim Eierman designs ecological gardens with such beneficial insects in mind, and is the author of the new book “The Pollinator Victory Garden,” and I got some advice from her on subjects ranging from wildlife-supporting spring cleanup tactics and timing, to how much of each plant is “enough” to make a difference, and which plants are native, anyway.

Kim is also founder of the garden business called EcoBeneficial, consulting on ecological landscaping and design, based