What is it like to be a landscape designer?


This week I did something terrifying and lived to tell about it: I spoke to several marauding groups of middle school kids. The fine folks at Marsteller Middle School in Bristow asked me to come be a part of their career day. It sounded like a fun time, so I said sure, I'd come. It was actually a lot of fun, and I met some bright kids who I really enjoyed talking … [Read more...]

It must be fall ‘cuz people are griping about leaf blowers


Ah, autumn. Crisp, cool nights, apple cider donuts at the farmers markets, the crunch of leaves underfoot… and the infernal, deafening, aggravating noise that accompanies every fall season. I refer, of course, to the din of people whining about leaf blowers. Incessantly. On blogs, on social media, even at storied publications like The Atlantic, equal parts scorn and anger are … [Read more...]

Grilling vegetarian food is awesome. I’m serious!

Don't abandon your grill!

A few weeks ago we got the unsurprising news that processed meats were bad for you. Look, if you thought eating hot dogs and Spam was going to make you healthier than your crazy paleo/crossfit neighbor, you get a big ol’ “come on, son.” But now another study has come to light that makes a lot of unpleasant claims about grilled meat. Grubstreet sums it up thusly: The study's … [Read more...]

Case Study: Virginia Landscape Design with Native Plants


Several months ago I got a call to do a Bristow landscape design project (for those not in the know, Bristow is a little town in Prince William County, Virginia). The client, Janice, wanted to take the boring expanse of soggy grass in her backyard and create a space that would be welcoming to her and to wildlife. As you can see it was  a pretty bleak setting, even … [Read more...]

Cook outside AND stay warm with a wood fired pizza oven!

tuscan chef oven

Pizza is good. Pizza done on the grill is better. The absolute best pizza you could hope to have is made in a wood-fired pizza oven. We all know that. But why? The main reason a wood oven does so much better of a job than your kitchen hotbox is heat. Your home oven maxes out at around 500 degrees. Depending on fuel source and oven construction, a wood oven can exceed 800 … [Read more...]