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In 1992, while living and working in New York City, Sally and her husband Anthony purchased an old rural farmstead in Sullivan County, NY. Though she knew nothing about growing plants, and had never once stuck a trowel in the ground, she surprised herself (and everyone she knew) by falling in love with gardening. Soon after, they left their city jobs and city life for good.


Thirty plus years after donning garden gloves and Muck Boots, her accumulated gardening experiences are recounted in Digging Up the Grass: Stories from the Flower Garden. Laced with humor, authenticity, and optimism, the book is individual stories within a larger personal one about how a novice-turned-amateur gardening enthusiast—uneducated in horticulture, botany, and garden design, and woefully innocent of the inherent complexities of creating an ecosystem—alters a space both aesthetically and ecologically, and how the act of making that space likewise alters her. Throughout the book, the reader accompanies Sally as she designs an ornamental garden from scratch, shops for fragrant plants, digs holes, overplants, contends with the most egregious re-seeders—and much more—while she shares everything she has learned about gardening along the way. “Sally’s Garden,” as it is called, includes over fifty flowering trees and shrubs, as well as dozens of perennial plant species and cultivars, with an emphasis on native and fragrant plants. On any given day, the scent of Azalea, Calycanthus or Viburnum can be found wafting through the air. 


In 2017, Sally’s Garden was featured on WJFF Radio’s locally-produced “Farm and Country” program, To listen, click the pink MP3 below. And here is a nine-minute video of me in the garden, courtesy of the Western Sullivan Public Library and Artists' Market Community Center:


On  July 27, 2024, her garden will be included for the first time in The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, and will be open to the public. Tickets go on sale May 1, 2024. To learn more, you can visit, and see my garden listing, "Sally's Garden."

Unknown Track - Unknown Artist
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