Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Going, going, gone
When the garden begins to shut down and take on its melancholy tones this time of year, I often think of my grandmother. I don’t know why, exactly, but one of the things I often remember is her empathy for fading flowers, in particular roses, that are just a bit past their prime and barely hanging on. ‘Oh, don’t prune that one quite yet – it’s still so pretty’ she’d say as I’d help her clean [read more]
My Top 10 Favorite Black Plants
One of my all-time favorite colors to use in the garden is black.  While it can be tricky to find plants that have true black foliage (most are closer to maroon or deep purple), here are some of my favorites that come pretty close. And just in time for Halloween, too! (more…) [read more]
Designing a garden for Sunset magazine.  No pressure…
A few weeks ago, Johanna Silver (Sunset Magazine's Garden Editor) reached out and asked if I would be interested in designing a garden for a forthcoming article, with the emphasis on using plants from Sunset's new Western Garden Collection. Hmmmm....tough decision.  Let me get this straight, I thought, design a garden for Sunset?  Where I can use any plant I want from their collection?  As many as I want?  That's like asking a kid if they'd like to spend [read more]
Scent in my late winter garden – my favorite top 5
Here we are in the early days of February, and my garden is filled with heavenly fragrance. In my temperate Zone 9 garden, there's still a few  leaves hanging on to their deciduous branches for dear life.  But with each gentle breeze these dying leaves quickly lose their grip and leave behind one skeletal shrub after another.  Thank heavens for the evergreen shrubs in my garden, as they can finally take their turn on stage.  And with them brings another [read more]
New Year’s Resolutions & the final holiday giveaway!
  The new year is almost here and with it comes my new year resolutions for my garden. Last year, my resolution was to remove my front lawn and replace it with less thirsty plants (that I'm thrilled to say I finally did!) This year, though, I have a few more things that I hope to accomplish in my garden. (more…) [read more]
Quiet reflections, gratitude and a holiday offer for you
This is the fourth night in a row where I've awoke at 3:00 in the morning, not feeling sick and nauseous as I typically do during this week of my cancer treatment, but wide awake and filled with gratitude and happiness. Night after night I've quietly laid here, letting my mind wander to where it wants to go.  And oh, where my mind takes me!   I can't believe all that's happened in one year, and it fills my heart with [read more]
Lessons from my mother’s fall garden & another holiday giveaway!
If you've read many of my past posts on this site or heard me give one of my presentations, you probably know that I think my mother is an amazing gardener. I'm always telling her she's one of the best designers I've met (which she never really believes). Even after I show her why a certain planting combination in her garden is pure genius, she still just shakes her head and says "hmm.....if you say so, dear." My parents [read more]
Central Park’s Conservatory Garden
Without a doubt, one of my very favorite places in New York is the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. This was my first time visiting this garden, and I wasn't in much of a hurry to do so as I mistakenly thought it would be yet another formal garden filled with the predictable evergreens, fountains and acres of lawn.  Pretty, but probably not the most inspiring. Wow, was I ever wrong.While, yes, it is a formal garden (complete with [read more]
Flowers and Fireworks in the garden
I'm a sucker for good ol' American holidays, with the Fourth of July being right up there at the top of the list.  But with California's severe drought amplifying threats of wildfire you won't be seeing many firework shows this year. But that's okay.  This summer I've been organizing my zillions of garden photos and am seeing exploding fireworks everywhere.  Whether they're grasses, flowers, seedpods or succulents all seem to shout 'Happy Fourth of July!" So enjoy my version of [read more]
The High Line highlights
  I'm spending some time in New York City this summer and am thrilled to have finally visited the High Line public garden. Ever since its grand opening in  2009, I've been dying to see the transformation of this abandoned, defunct elevated railway into one of the city's most inspiring and innovative public gardens. First, though, to help you fully appreciate the genius behind it here's a little background. (more…) [read more]