A hollow is a little fold in the hills.

All gardens are hollow by nature – a central core of land and psyche filled up time after time with whatever the current stewards and fate put into them. This particular Hollow Garden is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they fall into the Piedmont of Charlottesville and the sea beyond Richmond and Norfolk.

first winter after deer fence

We view the world from these foothills, a hollow-centric point of view dedicated to attempting a life well-lived, well-examined and well-informed in the company of nature.



I came to landscape design many years ago after leaving the academic track. I worked as a gardener at Monticello and as a landscape supervisor at Albemarle Farms and Morven uvafoundation.com/morven; studied at Piedmont VA Community College, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and J. Sargent Reynolds Community College, learning along the way to love to play with different puzzles of plants, microclimates and people’s desire to recreate their memories and project their hopes onto the land.

In addition to teaching at the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies (www.scps.virginia.edu) from 2004 – 2016 and consulting on the home landscape, I’m a proud past-president and board member emeritus of the venerable PLA, piedmontlandscape.org, and have written for Fine Gardening, Virginia Gardener (www.vagardener.com) and C’VILLE Abode http://www.c-ville.com/abode

Come visit and see how we’re getting along.


8 Responses to About

  1. roger walker says:

    I love your “we view the world” sentence in its entirety. I wish.

  2. Marcus says:

    My wife and I would like to add a vegetable garden to our yard and we are searching for a good looking deer/rabit fence to install. Would you mind sharing the details on your deer fence, namely the materials used for the posts/railings and metal mesh? Thank you.



    • Cathy says:

      Hi, Marcus,
      Our deer fence is a very simple 8 foot tall pressure treated wood post and wire mesh, posts set in concrete, basic fencing wire with 2 x 4″ openings, stapled into the wood, with wire a few inches underground to keep out burrowing animals. You could upgrade by using a more expensive wood like cedar and also by getting a better quality of wire, one that’s woven in the corners of the openings for greater strength.
      Good luck!

  3. Kate says:

    I like your stories of the hollow ,and I allways waiting for some news. thanks for it!
    Wish you and your family a wonderfull gardentime from the far away switzerland.


  4. Earlene Hogg says:

    Cathy, We must be kindred spirits. I do not live in an amazing hollow as you. I do have so many of the things you spoke of in my yard and surrounding areas. I have enjoyed having the time this year to bring so many varieties of the horticulture from daffodils, tulips and galanthus to hosta leaves and barberry branches inside. I love this blog and am sharing with all the gardening friends I can think of. Thank you for your lovely thoughts.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you so much, Earlene! I really appreciate it. Getting ready to post another one for June. I love the barberry branches inside. I remember first falling in love with their little yellow flowers before I even knew what they were. Stay safe and I hope to see you in the spring!

  5. DeAnn Clary says:

    My Dearest Aunt Cathy I wanted to let you know that I spotted This Bird at my Animal Recuse 2 months ago and no one I showed it two knew what it was. Thank you so much for letting us know. We now have a few of them and they are at my house on the Lake. I love them. If you have any more info on them just let me know. I love your website and Love you All miss you Bunches

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you so much, DeAnn! If you have bluebirds, you have a clean healthy environment!They like meadows and woodland edges. Congratulations!! Love you so much and so very good to hear from you. Love from the hollow!!

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