This has been an amazing year and I have so much for which to be grateful.

My book, Garden Renovation, has been selling very well and because of it, I have traveled the country, speaking about it and other landscape design topics. I’ve been to Omaha, Portland, Seattle, Raleigh, Toronto, Chicago, and Des Moines as well as several venues in Ohio. Niki elected not to travel with me to Omaha in January (where I managed to avoid a major snowstorm) but did accompany me to the fun places. I’ll be on the road again in 2019. The book also engendered several consultations and designs in the Cleveland area.

I’ve met so many new and old friends as a result of the above. As is my customary practice, I thank all of you by donating to the Cleveland Foundation and to LAND Studio as a thank you instead of sending individual gifts.

Niki’s 80th birthday in NOLA

This year also marked our 56th anniversary as well as Niki’s 80th birthday. We celebrated by taking our children and grandchildren to New Orleans this past weekend where we enjoyed the New Orleans cuisine, listened to some marvelous jazz, and enjoyed each other’s company.

Christmas dinner 2018 at Brian’s

Upon our return, we unpacked and repacked for a trip to the Detroit area where our oldest granddaughter’s boyfriend’s family lives. His mother, stepfather, and brother had joined us for Thanksgiving and we were invited to spend Christmas with them. What a wonderful, loving, and large family. Dinner Christmas Eve at Pam and Tony’s, breakfast Christmas morning at Grandma Pat’s, and Christmas dinner at his dad Brian’s house. I need at least a week of watercress and water to recover.

Robin Williams

David Austin

Three special people died this year, two of whom I knew and one I didn’t. My brother Lee died unexpectedly in May and he will be sorely missed. He was also an avid gardener and missed it greatly when he and his wife moved into a condo. Robin Williams, an English landscape designer, became a friend when he started attending APLD conferences. His signature card was a robin and I am privileged to have one on my bulletin board above my desk. He had a wicked sense of humor as well as a brilliant mind. I did not know David Austin but he is greatly responsible for breeding roses that are disease resistant but have kept their fragrance.

I wish for all of you a happy, healthy new year.