Artists’ gardens


In today’s New York Times.
Check it out. I think I like the Sonnier property the best, judging by the limited slide show.
 Though the Blell garden is magnificent in a way,
I can’t imagine trying to relax around all that severely clipped shrubbery. The grass and pavement checkerboard concept I've seen before (in a magazine, maybe)  and admired it, but again. Too much control—for me. 

At $100 a pop (excluding airfare and hotel) you can see these for yourselves! $500 if you want cocktails.

Previous articleIn CA it’s always about the water
Next articleHard Truths of Gardening from Sunset
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. That has got to be the absolute opposite of low maintenance gardening. But it is attractive and makes a fabulous photograph. And she speaks of letting things go because there is clover and moss in the grass? Like she is a wild and crazy gardener. The caption did use the phrase, obessive clipping, or something like that. To put it mildly.

  2. I’d be one heck of a disappointed garden gawker if I paid the publicized entrance fee to view these Long Island gardens.

    Thank goodness for open garden tour events like the Buffalo Garden Walk , The Garden Conservancy Open Garden Days and the various garden clubs across America that have their own open garden tour days.

    This weekend I’m attending the annual San Francisco Bromeliad Society garden tour ( free ) and pot luck cocktail party.

    Judging from last years gardens , they ‘blow the doors off’ of those gardens in Long Island.

    Link to photos of last years Bromeliad Society Garden Tour :

  3. Bleah. If you are not interested in nature’s caprices, I am not interested in your garden. You can do all that crap indoors with a box of LEGOs, lady.

    And Michelle, your Bromeliad Tours sound WAY BETER to me. Those photos you posted are much more interesting gardens, and I bet the tour is amazing. Can I come?

    Alas, Nevada.

  4. This is not good design – first home. I’m okay with formal gardens or naturalistic as long as they’re done well.But the overall effect of the first garden is contrived with all the little ‘meatballs’ and strange little water garden in the first two thirds of the garden. The backdrop looks better. The rest needs to be seriously rethought.

    The second garden has beautiful trees but what’s with all the dull one type groundcover?

    I would however, for the money, expect much much more.

  5. Contrived Gardens belong in theme parks like Disney World…. or fairyland stories like Alice in Wonderland with the checkerboard theme… ok… I’ll admit I like the checkerboard theme but my need for creative curves just can’t succumb! I love your rantings! I think HgTV should be looking at your blog!

  6. It’s a beautiful garden and I do have a place in my heart for formal gardens but I just keep getting this image of an overly manicured poodle in my mind…sorry I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  7. Thanks for the link, but I wasn’t that impressed with the gardens. Sonnier’s didn’t have much going on except grass. I did like the checkerboard though, it made a nice little patio.

Comments are closed.