Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Transforming awkward spaces in the garden
  I’ve spent the past two years working in my new garden.  And by working, I mean killing myself trying to fix one awkward space after another. I’ve finally got the upper hand on things (sort of) and just as soon as I can, I’ll share some pics with you. Above is a teaser of the first bed in my garden that I transformed.  I barely had my things out of the moving truck before I jumped [read more]
Have a sloping garden?  Tiers can stop the tears (sorry – couldn’t help myself)
Steep slopes in the garden are problematic at best.  Ever try and plant, prune, or deadhead on a steep hill?  NOT fun. I should know.  I've spent the past 2 years working in my new garden , trying to tame a pretty slope that has caused me to shed a tear or two in frustration. And you can imagine what it looks like after a pouring rain, right?  A big, muddy mess at the bottom of the hill. That’s where [read more]
Taking ‘gardening is therapy’ to a whole new level
  At one time or another, most of us have said 'gardening is therapy,' right?   But seeing an actual therapeutic garden work its magic right in front of me is a whole different experience. Recently, my mother and I visited my mom’s cousin, Carol, to see the incredible garden she helped create for her adult daughter, Karen. Karen has nonverbal autism, in addition to being blind since she was nine years old. A few years ago, Carol enlisted [read more]
The Sacramento Historic Cemetery’s Native, Perennial, & Rose Gardens
I can't believe it, but I'm coming up on the 2nd year anniversary since moving up north to Granite Bay from the Bay Area.  During the past two years, I've been having so much fun touring lots of public and private gardens in the area. It seems like a lot of my favorite gardens are linked with historical sites, which is no surprise since I live in the middle of gold rush country. The 30-acre Sacramento Historic Cemetery is one [read more]
Multi-Purpose Mediterranean Makeover
  While most of us are still recovering from a punishing few weeks of winter weather, longing for the first days of spring,  I thought I'd share with you another 'Before-and-After.' As you may remember, in my last post I showed a transformation that involved removing my client's pool and replacing it with a beautiful and functional garden. Today I'll show you an entirely different scenario.  In this Mediterranean garden, the pool is a actually cherished part of the [read more]
Good-bye Pool, Hello Garden – another makeover
  Everyone loves a good makeover, right? Especially us gardeners.  Whether we're talking about ripping out a giant lawn, or ripping out a giant pool - the results can be pretty astonishing. Over the next several months I have lots of gardens to talk about.  Some belong to my clients, others are near my new home in Granite Bay, some from around the country, and a few surprises I'll share with you later. So as we enter into another cold [read more]
Drought Tolerant Superstars for the summer garden
I’m finally able to catch my breath after my big move, and now that the suffocating summer heat has passed and I can think and write clearly again!   It’s been a hot, hot summer with temperatures averaging in the 100’s for weeks on end (definitely not the norm, locals assure me, as they see me slowly begin to lose my mind.) And while some of the plants that I hauled all the way up here have melted away [read more]
Drought tolerant superstars for the spring garden
As I write the latest installment of my drought-tolerant series, yet another storm is heading our way.  Its been a soaking wet, record-breaking winter this year, with most counties having now lifted their mandated water restrictions. But there's still a few cities that realize this annual rainfall won't last, and continue to mandate strict water restrictions. Santa Barbara, for example, has recently banned watering residential lawns to help achieve their city-wide goal of 40% water reduction. (Click here to read an [read more]
Drought Tolerant Superstars for the Winter Garden – Part II
The other day someone asked me if I thought California's Governor would declare that we are no longer in a drought.  And if so, would I continue to focus on creating low-water gardens. While I’m rejoicing with all the rain that we've had, the question caught me by surprise. Of course, I’m going to continue with my low-water designs! For me, gardening with the drought in mind is a way of life. The fact remains that we live [read more]
Drought tolerant superstars for the winter garden
I’m excited to share with you the second installment of my drought-tolerant seasonal superstars. Winter is the time when I tend to receive the most emails from past clients, who are surprised and delighted with how their gardens look during this typically bleak time of year. Even though our Bay Area winters are mild compared to the rest of the country, we do get consistent temperatures that dip into the mid-twenties, along with bouts of heavy frost. Luckily, many  [read more]