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,, Communication Arts, and Etapes, she writes about trends, issues and personalities in design, illustration, photography, and visual culture around the world.

It’s Not Tough to Make a Trough Garden

It just takes a little patience. The Garden Club of Irvington is having a flower and plant show next May and I’ve entered the category called “Alpine Garden Troughs or Containers: A collection of three or more of the following … Continue reading

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Propagate your Plants!

This is the big clean-up season before winter sets in. We’re all raking leaves, cutting back perennials, cleaning pots and tools and putting them away until next spring, and tossing out annuals. But wait, before you toss all the plants … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Design Projects, Horticulture, In My Garden | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Stop and Smell the Roses

On the way back to the subway from a client meeting yesterday I tiptoed into Bloomingdale’s. I didn’t get any farther than the main entrance, where this arrangement welcomed me, knocked my briefcase and umbrella out of my hand, and … Continue reading

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The Container [and Much More] Store

When I left San Francisco last month, my daughter-in-law Yan Zhang gave me one tiny cutting from each of the succulents growing on her rooftop garden. I wrapped them in damp paper towels, stuck them in a baggie, brought them … Continue reading

Posted in Flower Arranging and Decor, Nurseries and Garden Centers, The Hamptons | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamptons Show House 2016

From the outside, this year’s Hamptons Show House looks very much like so many of the $5 to $20 million properties for sale on the East End. There are the lawns, the pool, the tennis court, the decks set up … Continue reading

Posted in Private Gardens, Beach houses, The Hamptons, Travel-USA Northeast, Interior Design, Art Inspired by Nature, Show Houses | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

On (and Off) Dune Road

It was “just another” bike ride along Dune Road from Westhampton Beach to East Quogue—viewing various houses from the sublime to the ridiculous—when I spotted a path leading through the protected marshland. I got off my bike and began to … Continue reading

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A Garden Grows in The Bronx: Wave Hill

When I posted a few of these photos on Facebook, out-of-towners couldn’t believe they were shot in The Bronx. Yes, this is leafy Riverdale, just over the Henry Hudson Bridge from upper Manhattan, a mostly bucolic section of the Bronx … Continue reading

Posted in Hudson Valley NY, Public Gardens, Urban Gardens | Tagged , , | 1 Comment