Step by step

A busy time of year for me: filming, designing and working on new holiday and Spring articles. Truth be told, I love this time of year, and on Tuesday I did a demo/lecture on how to make your own holiday/winter door wreath. I demonstrated to the Saqua Garden Club, along with two of the members who helped me, how to do the same at home. We had a blast, as I can talk, walk and do a demo all at the same time. My book was a hit and many holiday gifts this year will be a personally-signed copy of my book. What a wonderfully active garden club with so many attractive members. Being the only male in the room I felt honored to have been invited and speak to them. I thank Robert, my personal assistant, for booking this and staying at the office so I could have all the ladies to myself.

Now just when you think it’s time for me to put away all my garden tools and close up the Garden Studio I decided to take advantage of the good weather we’ve been having here in Connecticut and do a project. I built two rustic stone steps for my side garden.

I must say that although I come up with the designs and concepts I do have to occasionally rely on others to help execute my sometimes-crazy ideas. This idea was not so crazy, but the weather was getting colder and so I needed to complete this project ASAP. That said, over the years I have built many wonderful relationship with what I call my “Mar Approved” service providers, so when I had this idea to upgrade the side garden I knew who to call: Enviro Design, located on Turkey Roost Road in Monroe, CT. They came quickly and assured me my design would be executed correctly and would last the test of time. I had only three main criteria for this project: 1. It needed to look as if we excavated and found the rocks. 2. The rocks had to have interesting shapes with some wonderful history and age to them. And, 3. The execution of the project had to preserve the existing garden and plantings, not destroying any of it. Once they agreed we got started—and I was in there with them every step of the way.

As if that was not enough, today I added two large boxwoods to each side and planted an assortment of white and purple grape hyacinths bulbs. The Spring will bring a beautiful new focal point to my already-popular sunny side garden. My big challenge will be growing grass early enough in the season for it all to appear effortless and as if it was always there. The results are amazing, as you can see in the photo—I hope you agree. I’m so pleased with the results I’ve already began to write an article about it: “Stepping up the garden,” but you’ll need to wait just a bit for it.