PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston April 2024

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Page 68 of 115

when there was no garden. I didn't have much money, and I started gardening in the most plebeian way with two perennial borders. So, this has been a journey over many years. It was very moving to sit back and look at these pictures. My nephew-in- law wrote a highly personal essay about it for the book; the house and the garden have become a refuge for my family. Schooled. When I bought the house and started gardening, I realized I just didn't know anything. I went with a friend to England to look at all the classic gardens. We visited Sissinghurst, which was like the Holy Grail. Then we went to Italy to see Gamberaia. When I realized that you have to see gardens to learn how to garden, it was monumental. The four seasons. Many garden books suffer for the fact that they only have two sets of shots: one taken in spring and another in late summer. All the individual flower photographs in my book are taken by my nephew, who lives across the street in our guest house. He comes over and takes pictures of the flowers every morning in different seasons when they are perfect. A garden is never the same every month, and luckily photographer Annie [Schlechter] was not so far away. There were times when I said, "The apple trees are in perfect bloom," and she flew over with her camera. There wasn't a list of things to shoot; she shot whatever caught her eye. Lightbulb moment. Gardens, like interiors, must have structure — you need a room, you need a wall, you need a hall to get from one place to another. When I first started gardening, a light bulb went off in my head, and I thought, 'I've got to create spaces, and I have to create Clockwise from top: Towering yew topiaries frame the house. A porch with vintage and antique garden ornaments and furniture. The flower arranging room in the main house. Bunny Williams. the connections to them.' The great gardens of the world are a combination of a great plan and great plantsmen. Somebody can be an amazing gardener, but maybe they're not a good designer. Often a great designer isn't the best gardener. Digging it. I really love getting out, getting dirty, digging in the ground. When I first started gardening, I would spend every weekend in the garden. I loved buying the plants, planting, deadheading — the whole thing. Enough already. Bugs, bugs, bugs. You have these plants that you care about and they're growing and thriving, then you go out and there are holes in the leaves from slugs. It's my least favorite part of gardening. We try to be an organic garden, and it's boring to deal with bugs, but, boy, do you have to. (Continued) 67

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