Anne Raver is the long-time garden writer for the New York Times, now an occasional contributor there. (Because yes, coincident with the rise of gardening, especially among the young, the Times has reduced it to an afterthought.)
Over the weekend Anne spoke to the DC-area Rock Garden Society about “Great Gardens I Remember” and it turns out that her choices are far from what you might expect – the word “great” conjuring up gardens about as relevant to 21st Centery gardeners as Versailles.
What she showed us were the wild, funky gardens of people like Chuck and Leslie Close on Long Island (here’s her 2006 piece about it); Bill Noble in Vermont; Wayne Winterrowd, Duncan Brine, (here’s her article about him); and Abbie Zabar’s terrace garden in Manhattan. Plus Seattle’s Gas Works Park, a utility plant-to-park conversion, and the to-die-for new garden of Dan Hinkley on Whidbey Island overlooking the sound. (Aside to Dan: Put some photos of it on your website, will ya? It’s criminal not to share a spot that beautiful.)
Below, views of the wild and funky garden of Duncan Brine. Photos by Duncan.
Six years ago Anne moved from New York back to her family’s Maryland farm to take care of her mother, and is here to stay. She and her boyfriend Rock live in an apartment above the barn, and Anne’s now writing about farm preservation. They’ve converted fields of GMO soy and corn to hay, and the wildlife have responded by coming back to stay, too. They built a very cool labyrinth from a design they saw on Youtube, and I’m hoping to see it when it fills in next year. (Aside to Anne: Hint!)
UPDATE: Thanks to Duncan Brine, I just got connected to Anne on Facebook and discovered we were in the same class in college! Here’s the story – a Marylander and a Virginian set off for the wilds of Northern Ohio at the same time, then meet (ahem) years later through gardening. I love it.
Help Anne Get on the Web
Like all garden writers not regularly employed by a newspaper, Anne needs to get herself on the web, but doesn’t know where to start. So friends, what would you suggest for a small website that’s easy to keep current? And by “easy” I mean for a total nongeek. It must be pretty, of course.
On another technical issue, Anne revealed that a crash of her hard drive had wiped out years of photos. That nightmare is a lesson for us all, and a damn good reason to subscribe to Mozy for just 60 bucks a year. I finally signed up with Mozy after realizing that the external hard drives I thought were protecting my photos are still vulnerable to theft and fire.