Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

Federal Twist in Gardens Illustrated

September 1, 2016

An article on Federal Twist is in the September Gardens Illustrated. This issue won’t reach the US until sometime near the end of September. So here, forthwith, a scan, which I realize may be difficult to read (click images to enlarge them, click again to enlarge more).


20160830-Federal twist on GI - September 2016p2


20160830-Federal twist on GI - September 2016p3-3

As with any magazine article, space is limited and words are counted dearly. There’s a larger story here, but I’ll tell it elsewhere … and say thank you to Noël Kingsbury, Claire Takacs, and Gardens Illustrated.



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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam/Digging September 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Wonderful! I look forward to reading it!


James Golden September 2, 2016 at 7:02 am

Thanks, Pam.


Diana Studer September 1, 2016 at 4:40 pm


I have 6 treasured copies of old issues on my shelf.


James Golden September 2, 2016 at 7:04 am

I’ve noticed the issues in the UK have a month designation on the cover. For those that come to the US, there is no month, only a number. I suppose it’s to make us think we don’t get the magazine a month after readers in the UK. Is this the same in South Africa? It makes it very hard to look up articles in past issues.


Pat Webster September 1, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Noel’s word count may not be large but he makes each one count. I felt I knew Federal Twist from your blog; now, thanks to the words and photos, I feel like I’ve visited it. Congratulations.


James Golden September 2, 2016 at 7:05 am

Thank you, Pat. It’s ever changing. Those photos are two years old. But I think they do show what a high school friend termed “flow.”


Peter Hobbs September 2, 2016 at 5:03 am

Well deserved recognition…as Noel said this is a “truely 21 century garden”…an inspiration James.


James Golden September 2, 2016 at 7:08 am

Thank you, Peter. I’ve hesitated to keep the phrase “new American garden” because it’s now well over 40 years old. But I think still a useful term to distinguish how differently such gardens develop over here in our continental climate.


DC Tropics September 2, 2016 at 8:40 am

Wonderful article, great garden. I love the lushness of it. Would love to visit someday.


James Golden September 2, 2016 at 8:50 am

Please do come for a visit.


Lynda Harris September 3, 2016 at 11:17 am

Dear James,
I really enjoyed reading the article (would have liked it to be longer!) 🙂


James Golden September 6, 2016 at 11:21 am

Thanks, Lynda. I’m traveling and can’t seem to log in as owner of this site.


Helma Sjamaar September 3, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Dear James, I have been reading your blog for some time now. Very interesting and making me want to visit your garden. Congratulations on this article in GI!


James Golden September 7, 2016 at 11:32 am

Thank you Helma for the link to your blog.


Nell September 5, 2016 at 4:21 pm

That does manage to say a lot in a few words!

In the big picture on the second page, I was struck by the blue tones of the non-upright grass clumps, and couldn’t really remember seeing much of that in your pictures. Is it Panicum amarum? Whatever it is, is it still thriving? It’s a wonderful contrast to all the verticals, and carries the eye back to that Miscanthus giganteus in the back.

[Had to chuckle at your warning about the Misc. gig. during the annual burn; we have one here, and often use some of the previous year’s stalks, broken up, as kindling for the fire pit. Nothing, but nothing, creates a bigger flame faster; I’d like someday to know more about the chemistry behind that phenomenon.]


James Golden September 6, 2016 at 11:26 am

The blue-toned ones are Miscanthus in the foreground and, at the back, willows. I think the blue effect is caused by morning light, possibly with dew on them. This is an effect I’d like to make permanent, but I’m not sure how. Perhaps replace all the miscanthus with Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’ but I don’t think the effect would be at all the same. I do wonder, also, why Miscanthus giganteus burns so well for you.


Buffalo September 20, 2016 at 9:46 am



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