Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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The birds in my garden (plus a HUGE plant giveaway from Sunset!)
  I simply adore the birds that visit my garden. Here one moment and gone the next, their fleeting presence and sweet, sweet songs never fail to cause my heart to skip a beat. And the entertainment they've provided over the years has been priceless, adding so much joy to our lives. Recently, someone was seeing my garden for the first time and wanted to know why I had so many birds when they had so few - what was [read more]
Kubota Garden – lessons in form and shape
One of the many reasons why I love visiting public gardens is that each one tells a unique story:  why it was created, who was the driving force, the inspiration behind it, etc. Seattle’s Kubota Garden is no exception. Located in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood, it’s somewhat of a surprise to find this secret gem nestled among its residential neighbors. Immediately I was intrigued. In the garden is a memorial stone dedicated to the creator [read more]
The Getty Museum’s Central Garden
Two days ago I flew to LA for the day to visit my daughter, and on a whim decided to visit the Getty Museum's Central Garden. While I've been there before in the spring and summer, I've never visited in the fall and was excited to see the seasonal changes. The Central Garden differs from many of the other public gardens I've written about in that it was specifically created to be a permanent piece of living art for the [read more]
Garden therapy in the midst of trauma – a story and a giveaway
  I've been home from my trip to New York for ten days now and have been excited to share with you some of the gardens I visited but life seems to have gotten in the way - for now, at least. On the last day of my trip, I received a phone call from Dan, my ex-husband, letting me know that he was in a terrible biking accident and has been in the hospital's ICU for the past ten [read more]
S.F. Conservatory of Flowers, Aquascapes, Pitcher Plant Bonanza and a HUGE Giveaway!
This past weekend my husband, Tom, and I spent an afternoon wandering through the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, enjoying the rare chance to sneak away and visit a different world for awhile. I have a confession - while I've been there at least a half dozen times in my life and, yes, it's truly a jaw-dropping historic building (the oldest public glass & wood greenhouse in North America, built in 1877), I've never really been a huge fan of [read more]
Jewel Box Courtyard
I'd like to introduce you all to my friend and client, Judy Minium.   Three years ago our local newspaper ran a story on our (then) new book, Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces.  Within 24 hours I received a phone call from Judy, who was in desperate need of transforming her tiny, overgrown courtyard into one that appeared spacious, bright, lush and tranquil. Judy had always loved gardening, but didn't quite know how to tackle one that [read more]
My day with P. Allen Smith
I am filled with gratitude this morning as I wait for my airport shuttle in the beautiful lobby of the historic Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’ve just spent the past few days at Moss Mountain, the beautiful home and farm of P. Allen Smith. Twenty three bloggers from around the country were invited to participate in this 3-day event, called Garden-to-Blog, with the purpose of meeting industry leaders, discussing new gardening trends, becoming inspired with new ideas [read more]
The French Laundry’s culinary garden and a sweet little house
Rounding out my Napa weekend, the Tanners treated us to a morning of impromptu garden tours.  The first stop, a visit to the incredible culinary garden of the valley's crown jewel - The French Laundry. Located directly across the street from the deceptively demure looking restaurant is this impressive 3-acre garden.  Open to the public, the garden not only supplies a large part of the restaurant's produce, but also acts as the chef's test site. Even though spring had barely [read more]
The art and soul of Freeland Tanner
What do you get when you combine a pile of twigs, sprinklers, and watering cans with the right side of the brain that just won't quit? It's not what you get, it's who you get - Freeland Tanner. I've written about this exceptional man and his equally impressive wife, Sabrina, many times before (here and here), as well featuring their garden in both of my books.  Some of you might even think I'm a bit of a stalker (debatable).  But [read more]
Color in the Garden – without the plants
You can always tell when people are sick and tired of winter when flashy accessories start popping up throughout the garden! This past week, while visiting Sunset Magazine's test gardens and those of the San Francisco Garden Show, I was struck by the amount of vibrant colors everywhere. And also, interestingly enough, how the color didn't necessarily come from plants but from various hardscaping elements - walls, dividers, arbors, trellises, furniture or artwork. (more…) [read more]