For years Jon McGoran cranked out a cheeky editor’s column for my local coop’s newsletter. With wicked wit (and well aimed puns), Jon poked at the serious GMO, gluten-free, locavore issues of the day or just playfully skewered fellow staff members. At night, he penned gripping ecological thrillers, most recently Drift, to be released in July. Jon is now the new editor of Grid magazine, and for his first issue, he asked me for photos relating to seed saving and celebrity food historian Will Weaver. I didn’t expect the cover but I’m delighted with their choice along with the excellent design by Jamie Leary of Red Flag Media.
Envisioning grand landscapes is one thing. But sculpting them out of the natural world is a god-like activity that both thrills and eludes me. Private Edens showcases twenty one seldom-seen estates from Massachusetts to Virginia unearthed by friend and author, Jack Staub, who happens to call one of them, Hortulus, his home. We visited most of these destinations together, often staying on site to better witness dawn. Jack pulled poetry out of the heady horticultural vapors while I chiseled pixels in the spectral light. Big beautiful gardens, big beautiful book. The publisher, Gibbs Smith, did a five-star job on the printing too.
Michael Trapp’s splendidly decayed garden gets the cover treatment from Design New England. Michael and I both share a love for the cracked and the crumbling, the old and the imperfect. I will post more from this dramatic garden once the magazine is out. BTW, Design New England is a gorgeous new regional. With the downfall of Garden Design, I’m hoping more of these regional gems pop up.
What a gift it is to work with friends! When Timber Press asked me to join forces with David and Adam to create a book on David’s garden in Chester County, PA, I agreed at once. We originally planned for six visits over the course of a year but it took a second year and 32 total visits to get the full range of seasons. The publisher asked for 200 images but we couldn’t whittle the count down past 300. So they published all 300+! and used a format that fits the verticals nicely. The design and print quality is exceptional, and the writing is personable and informative. David’s a gifted story teller and Adam, a brilliant interviewer and wordsmith. You’ll certainly want to visit his garden this spring — he opens it up to tours. You can buy the book here.
I’ve been shooting for the Gardener’s Supply catalog for a few years and this is the first cover I’ve done. It’s a great company. Sure, they carry a remarkable selection of cool garden tools and innovative products, but they also employ some of the nicest people around. Everyone I deal with there is so darn generous and friendly ! Maybe it’s the Vermont water or the nearby Ben &Jerry’s discount outlet or the fact that they’re employee owned. Whatever it is, I wish we all had more of it.
Styling and plant wrangling by the talented Nancy Ondra. Her mom made the little purple fence– a perfect counterpoint to the poppies.
When I built raised beds last year, I struggled with the corners. Tried 4×4 blocks at first-but getting them assembled required two more arms and three more hands than I had. Finally got the Gardener’s Supply pre-made corners for the second set and the beds flew together. Highly recommended!
A few random images from a day in San Francisco
No one loves the rain — especially when you’re a tourist in sunny California. Or a garden photographer heading to the unusual gardens of Alcatraz. All the beds I had planned on shooting were wind tossed and soggy so I turned my lens on my fellow visitors shielding themselves from the nonstop downpour.
Way before the movie Hugo, I’ve been fascinated by those mechanical arcade gypsies who moved, blinked and delivered a fortune when you dropped a coin in the slot. I fell upon a treasure trove of them this week along with ancient pinballs, hand cranked animated stereographs and creaky orchestrions in the Musee Mechanique by Fisherman’s Wharf. My inner ten year old was in heaven…
Just spent a fun weekend with master light painter Harold Ross. He’s been making this magic for twenty some years and his techniques, tools and teaching methods are brilliant. Using little flashlights with diffusing tubes, we painted each tool and surface in a darkened studio and then composited the 20+ exposures in Photoshop. I’ve never made friends with Photoshop so learning the language of layers and masks was challenging. But I can see so many applications to landscape work..
The tools are heirlooms passed down from my Grandfather, Harry Logiodice. By trade a carpenter, plumber and mechanic, his multicolored approach was more than a way to identify his tools at a job site — it was his art. And combined with the patina of use from his large, callused hands, they’ve become wonderful keepsakes.
Late afternoon light, busy street, conversations stopped.