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.

And the Winner Is…

Dear Readers: I’ve been so busy gardening and with the Garden Club of Irvington Flower Show that I haven’t had time to post. Alas! I’ll post lots of pictures of our beautiful flower (and plant) show very soon, but I … Continue reading

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Here, Near the Corner of Deertrack Lane and Whitetail Road

Our deer fencing and compost heaps made it to the New York Times.

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The Most Colorful Day of the Year

Sometimes we feel so lucky to live in this beautiful spot only 35 minutes north of Grand Central Terminal.

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Climate Change = More Color

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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

Posted in Garden Photography, Horticulture, In My Garden | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 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

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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

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

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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

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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

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Surprise!

Nice to wake up to. Not so nice if you’re planning to go somewhere. Luckily, I’m working at home today. Hope you are, too.

Posted in Hudson Valley NY, In My Garden | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Artifacts of Civil War America

Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting the Freeman Store & Museum, a charming historic house in the Town of Vienna, Virginia, a Washington, D.C., suburb. Built in 1859 by storekeeper Abram Lydecker, a New Jersey native, the house … Continue reading

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Christmas Is Bustin’ Out All Over

’Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the (green) house The plants were going crazy, bustin’ out of their pots. The annuals, succulents, perennials and tropicals all loved the warm day Happy that this winter seems more like L.A. … Continue reading

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Sheep and Wool and Much More

When my friend Frana Baruch, artist, graphic designer and craft fair and flea market aficianado, first told me that the New York Sheep and Wool Festival was “the best thing ever,” I thought she was kidding. Well, several chapters of … Continue reading

Posted in Art Inspired by Nature, Fairs and Community Events, Hudson Valley NY, Knitting and Needlework, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vest-Pocket Nursery

This was not what I expected to find, walking down the street in Lower Manhattan on the way to a photo shoot on a weekday morning: an open-air plant nursery wedged into a narrow lot between two buildings. Most people … Continue reading

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Dahlias, Dahling

This is the season for those spectacular blooms that mark the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Here they are in a garden I spotted on a bike ride in the Remsenberg section of Westhampton, New York. If … Continue reading

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