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.

It’s Spring! (in Northern California)

The snow is falling again in the Northeast, and I look out at the fading light in my garden, which is two colors: the gray of the tree trunks and branches and the white of the snow. In San Francisco, … Continue reading

Posted in Horticulture, Nurseries and Garden Centers, Public Gardens, Travel-California, What's Blooming Now | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Julia Child’s Kitchen

On a recent visit to Washington, DC, there was nothing I wanted to do more than visit Julia’s kitchen at the new Smithsonian National Museum of American History on the Capitol Mall. The museum has the vibe of the office … Continue reading

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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 , , , , | 1 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