16 May 2017

Redbuds and Spring, 2017 in Twin City Land

Nearly no one gardens anymore......whether the vegetable or the flower one.....even in Minnesota. Seventy years ago, even during World War II and its previous Depression years, most city folk did manage to garden for food and flower .....as did our local  farmers who hadn't lost  their land. "Working" the land was still common regardless of 'plot' size.    People knew what  kohlrabi and  bleeding heart were. Redbuds were understory trees, weeding throughout  eastern forest openings incapable...

08 May 2017

Spring is an A Plus for the Home Landscape This Year

NOT ALL SPRINGS ARE EQUAL There is no doubt from my life's experience  especially in the  landscape garden arts  that winters were colder, more brutal,  and longer during my outdoor life as a child  compared to the last five decades of Twin City, Minnesota existence.    I was raised in a five room bungalow house in St. Paul, Minnesota.  My outdoor winter life began "in earnest" around 1940 when I was six.   Despite being...

09 Apr 2017

Twin City Spring…2017 in Our Northland

It's been very dry this Spring of our Minnesota northland.   It also has been warmer than usual, thank God!   Yes, Winter in Gopherland....which  should be called Rabbitland,  was colder and longer when I was four years old back in 1938, the first year  I discovered "garden". Minnesotans, at least we urban ones, had tons of close  friends and relatives who had to be visited including many owning a family farm.  I loved visiting...

07 Apr 2017

Today’s “Garden” Conditions AD 2017 and the Landscaped Garden

Most folks who own 'grounds' are not landscape garden gardeners.  Especially these days of cultures of different drives and habits. Beauty has disappeared from today's American cultural experience and has been absent for more than two generations.   Yes, this is a matter of opinion, but most of you readers and "non-readers" aren't old enough to remember the late 1930s through the 1950s when Americans of the Great Depression became dedicated to win a World...

26 Oct 2016

Without Decay, There Is No Life…Especially in the Landscaped Garden

Dear Minnesota  Homeowner....It's late October in the Twin Cities.   What are you planning to do with all of those falling leaves now swirling around your grounds? Most likely you'll do what you've done as long as you have lived in your Twin City house...either rake the leaves up,  or  very loudly power blow them into a pile, bag them up and have them  driven  someplace  to make them disappear. I have lived on my...

23 Oct 2016

The Art of Landscape Gardening #1

Beauty as a value in our western culture began its death throes from the unspeakable horror of the industrialized slaughter of countless millions of  World War I.   It stands to reason its disappearing  accelerated into oblivion with the slaughters which followed....World War II, and the estimated 20,000,000 in the USSR murdered by Joseph Stalin and the 60,000,000 killed by Mao Tse Dung to rearrange China into  police states. Music is an aural experience to...

20 Sep 2016

How Beautiful is the Drive to Your Garage?

BEAUTY AND YOUR GARAGE So, you're driving home from work.   Traffic is miserable.  Every day traffic seems to become more consuming of  the world in which  you  live.   Home.....to home,  paradise at last? What would paradise be....a bath?....a nap?.....playing with ones kids?.....supper?......a beautiful family  living in a beautiful setting,  all of these pleasures at their proper time? We at Masterpiece Landscaping are in the beautiful-setting business for homes and businesses.   The following...

12 Sep 2016


We human animals  spend much our life "avoiding"  falls. This is particularly true when the coming "fall"  happens to be your 82nd birthday.  Yet, without it I'd be already dead.  (Oh, the irony of Life!)   And without that fall there'd be no blessed Spring. Fall, that is the autumn one in our Minnesota , is a very short Fall, often barely over a month long  with every day the prospect of  colder, much colder...

31 Aug 2016

When Color Conquers the Landscape Garden

BUTCHART GARDENS // VANCOUVER ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA   Color in the well developed landscape garden usually conquers all other senses and moods possessed by the human visitor.  It is the most enticing lure collecting visitors.  Spring is usually the season when the   most spectacular  of color shows occur.   The foliage is fresh in color and texture especially in our Minnesota location. It is obvious to us northern landscape gardeners the beautiful colorful display...

30 Aug 2016

Not all Beauties in the Landscape Garden World are Equal

 STOURHEAD // WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND   "Beauty" is a word which has disappeared from today's American vocabulary. For centuries in our "English" cultural past,  the adage, "ONE IS CLOSEST TO GOD WHEN IN THE GARDEN",  was taken for granted as nearly a universal truth.   Paradise was God-centered where   perfection, goodness, peace,   reigned in God's Beauty  on Earth,  a gardened landscape named Eden in the JudeoChristian tradition. Modernity has put an end to such...