Author Archives: writedesigner

About writedesigner

Graphic designer, writer, and gardener Ellen Shapiro is based in Irvington, New York. A frequent contributor to design blogs and magazines including Print, Imprint, Salon.com, Communication Arts, and Etapes, she writes about trends, issues and personalities in design, illustration, photography, and visual culture around the world.

Kiku at The New York Botanical Garden

An Immortal’s Elixir Chrysanthemum dew: Lift it up. Take a big sip And you will be immortal Not aging, not dying! –displayed on the Botanical Garden’s Poetry Walk   Kiku means chrysanthemum in Japanese, I’ve learned, and this is chrysanthemum-viewing … Continue reading

Posted in Art Inspired by Nature, Public Gardens, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Chinese Garden in a New York Backyard

At the end of May, I took my daughter-in-law, Yan Zhang Miller, to see the garden of the newest member of the Garden Club of Irvington, Dongkai Zhen. Dongkai, left, has lived Westchester County, New York, for 24 years. She … Continue reading

Posted in Food from the Garden, Horticulture, Private Gardens, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Along the Road

Her name is Bernadette, and she’s been living in the same light green ranch house, around the corner from our rabbinical house in Norwich, CT, for more than 50 years. When she’s not tending her own garden, she’s beautifying the … Continue reading

Posted in Community Gardens, Landscapes, Private Gardens, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Family Farm in the Hamptons

When you think of the Hamptons, do you think of boldface names, private jets, multi-million-dollar mansions, and parties you’re not invited to? Think again. Off Route 27, there’s a whole ’nother side of the Hamptons. Drive slowly and you’ll see … Continue reading

Posted in Farms and Farm Markets, Food from the Garden, The Hamptons, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamptons Designer Show House 2014

This year’s Hampton Designer Show House seems like its made for a huge extended family that entertains lots of guests. There are so many comfortable, inviting sitting areas that, say, you had a book in one hand and a drink … Continue reading

Posted in Beach houses, Interior Design, The Hamptons, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Streetscapes of San Miguel

Let’s say you’re visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for a few days or a week. On a typical morning, you might have breakfast in your hotel’s patio or rooftop garden and enjoy a view like this. When you’re ready … Continue reading

Posted in Travel-Mexico | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Desertscapes of Guanajuato, Mexico

Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden, located in the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, contains many surprises, including a heart-shaped cactus paddle that might be the ideal valentine to send to someone who’s giving you a hard time. … Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Public Gardens, Travel-Mexico | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment