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.

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 Art Inspired by Nature, Beach houses, Interior Design, Private Gardens, Show Houses, The Hamptons, Travel-USA Northeast | 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

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

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

I Left My Heart [at the Green Wall] in San Francisco

I went to San Francisco for ten days to meet my new grandson. Of course I fell in love with him. On Saturday afternoon I took a break from family to visit the newly reopened San Francisco Museum of Modern Art … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Design Projects, Horticulture, Public Gardens, Travel-California, Urban Gardens | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Tree Man of Holbox Island

I was touring Holbox Island on my bike. I just had to stop. The signs were so intriguing: “Adopt a Tree” in more than a dozen languages and “Vivero Plantas Endemicas” (garden center for native plants). I got off my … Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Horticulture, Nurseries and Garden Centers, Travel-Mexico | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Hand-Painted Advertisements of Holbox

My husband and I recently had the pleasure of spending a week on Isla Holbox, Mexico, a tropical island/wildlife reserve about 30km off the coast of the Yucatán. We stayed at Villas Flamingos, a low-key resort where the main activities … Continue reading

Posted in Art Inspired by Nature, Travel-Mexico | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment