Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

Federal Twist in Elle Decor – Redux

March 14, 2015

Thanks to Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry, my garden makes a brief appearance in the April issue of Elle Decor.  I know Nancy and Susan from their recent book, Gardens of the Garden State, where they featured Federal Twist among the astonishing variety of gardens in New Jersey. Only one small caveat; I don’t agree with Elle Decor’s editor saying I “dispensed with a traditional garden all together, filling the area around the house with a meadow.” I see it most definitely as a garden, not a just a meadow. But that’s just a quibble. I understand a magazine needs to tell a compelling story in very few words.

I’m happy to be paired with Sigrid Gray, who formerly managed Piet Oudolf’s Battery Bosque in Manhattan. I met Sigrid once, in the early days of that garden on Manhattan’s Battery.

Yes, to those of you who’ve seen this on facebook, I’m double posting, just for the record.

If you click on the image below, it should expand.

Elle Decor-2


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Faisal Grant March 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Really, really nice, James, for your vision/pluck/work to get out to a wider audience, where I’m sure it will inspire!


James Golden March 15, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Thanks, Faisal. Best of luck in your new home.


Les March 15, 2015 at 6:57 pm

You might need a second cap to hold all of your feathers. What did you think of the phrase “highly cultivated disorder” ?


James Golden March 15, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Les, I like highly cultivated disorder. That’s what it is.


Amy Murphy March 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

Great coverage. Congratulations. And I agree with you about your garden not being a meadow, but a garden. That distinction needs to be made by a gardener, not a journalist, don’t you think?


James Golden March 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Thanks, Amy. It’s only a small mention, and I actually feel I’m nitpicking.


Diana Studer March 20, 2015 at 8:20 am

perhaps if the editor had a short video clip.
Certainly not a cookie cutter garden space.
Nor ‘just a meadow’.
Yours is a garden that would reward a leisurely stroll.


James Golden March 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Diana, Thanks. I wonder if we’re ever destined to meet. I have friends on a years-long sailing trip around the world, and they recently left South Africa after stopping there for several weeks of exploration. Now they’re somewhere in the Atlantic, heading for some an island I can’t remember the name of. If I get to South Africa, it won’t be by sailboat for sure.


Joseph Valentine March 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Congratulations, James! I’m so looking forward to seeing your garden (very clearly, not just a meadow) sometime soon!


James Golden March 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Thanks, Joe. I have it on Gardens Conservancy Open Days in late June and again in October, but I hope you can make it by at some calmer time. I’d have preferred to make the date late July, but we’re headed to the UK for a most of the month of July. I fear very crowded conditions in the gardens there.


gail deery March 21, 2015 at 6:13 pm

We subscribe to Decor and imagine our delight to see the garden. Fantastic. Also I know Joyce Scott. They are currently in discussion to install an exhibition at Grounds for Sculpture.


James Golden March 23, 2015 at 6:41 am

Hi, Gail. Who is Joyce Scott? I don’t understand your reference.


Lynda Harris March 23, 2015 at 6:15 am

Hi James,
Congratulations on having your garden featured in Elle Decor. You will inspire even more people now. I thought “highly cultivated disorder” was a great description.


James Golden March 23, 2015 at 6:44 am

Lynda, within the context of the article, this is just a very brief mention, so not exactly “featured.” Yes, I fully agree with that description, and like the implied apparent contradiction. By the way, I made arrangements to stop by Dan Pearson Studio in August, when we’ll be in England for a month. I’ve always wanted to see the garden behind the studio.


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