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]
The mystery of the monarch
Throughout my daughter’s life, I’ve tried just about everything I could think of to pique her interest in gardening. And while she’s always appreciated playing in a beautiful garden, I realized early on that getting her excited about working in a garden just wasn’t going to happen. But, I figured if I can get her to enjoy eating from the garden, growing weird things in the garden, finding bugs, and watching birds in the garden then [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]
California Carnivores
  While visiting Sonoma earlier this summer, I told my husband that I just had to see a nursery located in Sebastapol, just a few miles away. He groaned, assuming that once again he’d be stuck wandering alone through the aisles of yet another nursery while I quickly disappeared, only to return an hour later with a cart full of plants. He’d be wrong. When we pulled into California Carnivores I could see his face light up. No [read more]
Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season of the year.  Once I spot the first signs of pumpkins and squash adorning grocery stores and farmers markets  I'm like a kid in a candy shop.  And don't even get me started on my obsession with glass pumpkins! I've admired succulent-topped pumpkins ever since I first saw Laura Eubanks' to-die-for gorgeous creations a few years ago. When I was asked to lead a workshop for the Polk County Master Gardener's Fall [read more]
In just a few days I'll be saying goodbye to my daughter as she embarks on a new adventure in her life as she goes away to college.  And while I'm proud, thrilled and excited for her, I can't help but quietly mourn each passing minute, knowing I'll soon be face-to-face with the giant hole that will be left in my heart, home and garden. My daughter has never been one of those kids that have naturally taken to gardening, [read more]
The other day I sat down with my father and we were laughing about the time when I decapitated my parents' very first little garden.  I was only two years old, and my dad was anxiously waiting for the day when the new 'seed mat' they had carefully tended over the past few weeks would transform into the promised lush and bountiful garden.  Apparently it was nothing more than a rolled up strip of coir and soil with common flower [read more]
Okay - you're in a hurry to plant your tomato plant...here's the quickest way to do it! [read more]
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at The Oregon Garden, located in the stunning Willamette Valley town of Silverton. I am so fortunate that I had booked an extra day for this trip as I was completely unaware of the sheer magnitude of this impressive garden. More than just a beautiful space, this garden consists of 80 acres of teaching and demonstration gardens, all seamlessly flowing from one to the next. Conservation is a theme that runs [read more]
 I'll confess - I haven't included annuals in a design in a long, long time. Maybe even never. I'm not talking about the drool-inducing annuals from Annie's Annuals.  I'm talking about the tried and true varieties (some might say 'boring') that have been used over and over and over again. It's not because I'm a plant snob, but simply a result of living in a mild climate.  Here in Northern California, many perennials are semi-evergreen, and with our warmer winter [read more]