Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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The Fall Garden’s Bounty – Hachiya Persimmon Cookies
***Every few years I re-post this recipe on my blog for all my new readers.  I hope you enjoy!  Oh, and make sure to read the comments for other ways to cook with these persimmons!   Each fall I look forward to a call from one of my former clients,  letting me know it's persimmon time!  Her very large and very old persimmon tree has been generous (to say the least) with its persimmons over the years.  I always take [read more]
Four Fab Faves for the Fall Garden (say that one fast three times!)
Fall is taking its sweet time showing up where I live in Granite Bay. As I currently write this, it’s late October and a way-too-hot 87 degrees outside, but my garden is loving it. Insects and hummingbirds are everywhere, buzzing from plant to plant, storing up as much energy as they can before cold weather finally makes an appearance. Late summer/early fall can often be a tricky time in the garden.  Lots of plants are feeling like I do [read more]
Top 15 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!  Awhile ago year I wrote about my favorite black plants, so it only fits that this time I talk about orange. In all the years I've been designing gardens, it goes without saying that orange is, hands-down, the [read more]
Making succulent pumpkins
Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season of the year. Once I spot the first signs of pumpkins and squash adorning grocery stores (which happened this week, btw!) 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 creations a few years ago. So when I was asked to lead a workshop for the Polk County Master [read more]
Repurposing trash into treasures for the garden
  I love repurposed items in the garden. Things that may be broken or have lost their usefulness are all too often headed to the dump, which is such a shame! Sometimes, though, all that's needed is a coat of paint, a little sprucing up, and a healthy dose of creativity to figure out how to use that item in a brand new way. Not only are repurposed items being kept out of our landfill, but they can add such [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]
Visiting Chihuly’s Garden and Glass
After spending several days at Seattle’s Northwest Flower & Garden Show, with all the glorious display gardens and spring blooms around every corner, I was feeling pretty antsy for spring to finally arrive.  It’s been a whopper of a winter, and while I’m not complaining (after all, last night’s news said California is officially out of our seven-year drought!)  I must say, I’m feeling pretty starved for garden tours right now.  Name a gardener that [read more]
Takeaways from the Northwest Flower & Garden Show
I recently returned from a fantastic whirlwind week in Seattle, where my mother and I attended the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. In between my presentations, including a riveting 'Container Wars' challenge (yes, that's me showing off my blue ribbon!!) I had plenty of time to wander through this year’s display gardens, the theme being ‘Gardens of the World’. I wanted to share with you three display gardens that felt were particularly stunning this year and takeaway ideas that [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]