Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

.

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]
My mother and my garden
Boy, did I hit the jackpot when I was born. I’ve always felt that way, even in the midst of my rebellious, bratty teenage years. When my other friends would band together and badmouth their parents to see who’s was worst, I could never bring myself to join in because I knew in my heart just how lucky I was. And believe me, I gave my parents a run for their money and plenty of opportunities to temporarily [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]
Spooky South End Cemetery
While visiting New York this summer, I spent a glorious weekend touring the Hamptons.  Oh my.  I've never quite seen anything like it- the estates, the gardens, one charming town after another, the pristine beaches.  It surpassed everything I thought it might be - pure heaven on so many levels. One day, while touring the historic Home Sweet Home (you can read about it here) I noticed the most picturesque looking, ancient looking graveyard just down the street.  And since [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 Great Christmas Tree Chop
 Note:  This post is rated 'R' for violence Sometimes it seems my family lives to torment me - especially when it comes to choosing Christmas trees. It wasn't always be this way.  But one year, when the kids were young, I decided to surprise everyone by bringing home a beautiful living Christmas tree, in hopes that a new family tradition would be born.  I imagined the year-round delight the kids would experience as they nourished our little tree throughout the [read more]
Top 10 Favorite Orange Plants
It's that time of year again when our homes and gardens are decked out in orange and black, and mine is no exception.  And what better occasion than Halloween to talk about one of my favorite colors in the garden - orange!  Last year I wrote about my favorite black plants, so it's only fitting that this year's post is all about orange. In all the years I've been designing gardens, it goes without saying that orange is, hands-down, the [read more]
With Mother's Day fast approaching, I've been giving a lot of thought about what to give my own mother.  My mom is an incredible gardener but can be pretty picky, so finding the perfect gift is always a bit challenging. Which means I'm always on the look out for something a little out of the ordinary. While I'm not going to say what I plan to give her (she does occasionally read my blog, after all) there are a few [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]