Everybody's a Critic

Garden Design’s New Issue Comes with 5 Videos and Sadness, Too


I’ve done nothing but heap praise on Garden Design Magazine since its relaunch as an ad-free, more plant-focused publication under the direction of its new publisher, Jim Peterson. And I savor every gorgeous issue before reluctantly loaning them to my nonsubscribing friends. (Full disclosure – thanks to Jim’s attendance at recent Garden Blogger Flings, he’s become a friend.)

Still, there’s something new to gush about at Garden Design – videos! There are teasers for each new issue, like these:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

And here are three more videos about topics covered in the issue: Honey Crisp apples , American Bonsai, and Desert native plants.

Because I’m all about videos these days, I asked Jim what’s coming next from the magazine, video-wise.

The first type of videos supports stories in the magazine…and then can go in the appropriate section of the web site permanently. Our goal right now is 3 videos per issue and we start planning these early in the issue development process. Our goal is to make the videos highly educational on their own.

The second type of video is content that supports major sections of our web site where there is huge interest: small gardens, landscape design tips, container gardening, etc. Being useful in providing education written, with pictures, or with video is our goal.

Like you, I think video is so important to telling stories. We are dedicated to working at being very good at it.

And coming soon: 11 videos about design, made with collaborator Richard Hartlage of Land Morphology in Seattle. In my exhaustive video-searches I’ve found almost none about garden design, so this is welcome news.


Garden by Tom Mannion. Photo by Roger Foley for Garden Design Magazine.

About the Sadness

For many of us in the DC area, the Autumn 2016 issue’s inclusion of a garden by Tom Mannion was bittersweet – bringing attention to this world-class designer who passed away very recently. Here’s a brief tribute to Tom by Roger Foley, who photographed this and many other gardens designed by Tom.

I was lucky to have worked with Tom Mannion for 20 years. Tom was a landscape designer who never settled for cliches, but was always pushing plants into unfamiliar roles in his gardens, forcing you to see them in fresh ways. He would have me photograph a garden three or more times during the year, to capture his ever-changing plant combinations or the peak bloom of a new specimen placed for maximum surprise and delight. I knew him as a kind and gentle man, but he could be quite firm in his design ideas when necessary. One client told me that they were reaching the end of a long project, but Tom had a few more ideas. “You know,” he said, “It’s very hard to say ‘No’ to Tom.”

Tom Mannion. Photo by Barbara Katz

mannion-gardenI first met Tom in 2006 and wrote about one of his gardens (right), jealously calling it a “Rich People’s Garden.” Two weeks later the same garden was featured in the Washington Post.

I just hope that Tom’s rich clients preserve his brilliant designs, as the rest of us preserve memories of this wonderful man in our hearts.

Photo of Tom by fellow designer and his good friend Barbara Katz, with permission.

Posted by on October 7, 2016 at 7:23 am, in the category Everybody's a Critic.
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7 responses to “Garden Design’s New Issue Comes with 5 Videos and Sadness, Too”

  1. Malek says:

    Thanks Susan for your kind words. I’m a architect specific in landscaping & garden design , and this a great post read it today.

  2. Paul Grant says:

    Wow! Such a wonderful story Susan.

    I especially like Tom’s garden. I’m sure his clients preserved his brilliant garden designs. Thanks for sharing this.

    All the best!

  3. Garden Rant Garden Rant says:

    Back atcha! Susan

  4. Garden Rant Garden Rant says:

    So glad you said that! So encouraging for us regular people. Susan

  5. Susan, fabulous story! You change our world!

  6. Roger Foley says:

    Thank you Susan. It’s appropriate that Barbara’s photo of him was taken at the Vollmer garden in Baltimore, one of Wolfgang Oehme’s early creations, since Tom was very inspired by Oehme, van Sweden’s work. That garden is a testimony to that fact that you can keep a garden in tact for many decades, so Tom’s garden owners have no excuses!

    Sorry, but I don’t know what your definition of rich is. Mine may be jaded from photographing for landscape architects for so long. One of the many things I always liked about Tom’s gardens was that the garden owners were not ‘rich’, the spaces were at a more personal scale, suburban mostly, and the gardens were real, useful spaces for daily life, and not made for some opulent weekend retreat where there was hardly any evidence of them being used at all. Gardeners could take so many ideas from a stroll thru one of his gardens and not think that they were out of reach.

  7. Jim peterson says:

    Wow. Thank you Susan for your kind words. And thanks for being a subscriber!

    Your readers can get their first issue free when they subscribe (so they get 5 issues for the price of 4) by going to http://www.gardendesign.com/rant

    Tip for the weekend:

    Try the Honeycrisp Apple salad recipe in the video- fantastic!