Author: Mel Bellar

Divine Design

When someone asks me what I do, I tell them that I am a landscape designer.  I will very likely continue on to say that I have a landscape design, installation and maintenance business, because installation and maintenance are a huge part of what we do, but the emphasis is on design.  Clients and friends […]

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A Blast from the Grass

I don’t think I need to tell you again how much I love autumn, but it is my favorite time of year.  It always has been, even growing up in Louisiana when it meant going back to school (which I did not like!).   This year it was a bit of a tease as it seemed […]

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More Shady Characters – Ferns

Planting the perennial layer in the shade garden is the fun part since there are so many great plant choices and they don’t require such an effort to plant.  Also, if you happen to be working on hot day, you’ve got it made in the shade (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). I once took workshops […]

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Shady Characters – Trees & Shrubs

In February I wrote about some aspects of shade gardens and their creation, and promised to follow up with more thoughts and favorite woodland plants.  I got a little sidetracked last month with a trip to Mexico, but now I am back to work and thinking about some new projects with woodland areas. When I […]

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Monarchs, Milkweed and Michoacán

I know you were all holding your breath, waiting for the next installation of my pontification on shade gardens, but I happen to be in Mexico and decided to write about something more immediate.  First of all, Mexico is a beautiful country.  Simply put, it is hard to go wrong here; the food is incredible, […]

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Made in Shade – Getting Started

This winter I am working on designs for the upcoming season and attending seminars and lectures here and there (busy and happy).   A number of my upcoming projects involve shady areas, so I have been thinking about shade gardens a lot.  I also had the pleasure of hearing Ken Druse, one the shade garden gurus, […]

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Man versus Nature – What is a garden anyway?

Garden Therapy Column – January 2018 This is the time of year when it is hardest for me to get excited about writing a garden column.   After finally finishing (or not!) all of the tasks associated with the end of the season, I am inclined to wax on again about how much I love winter […]

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Balance – The Ongoing Struggle

Garden Therapy Column – September 2018 Balance is one of those “mushy” topics that can be tricky to discuss. It has very different colors in different contexts.  While it is pretty clear when trying to stay on the beam or wire, in other scenarios it can be much more subjective.  Struggling for a little balance […]

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Return of the Slippery Slope – Part 2

Garden Therapy Column – May 2017 Last month I discussed the challenges of the grade changes that make our Catskill properties so beautiful and yet oh so maddening at times.  The steeper and larger the slope, the tougher and more costly the solutions, especially when it comes to larger scale situations like house and driveway […]

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