Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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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]
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]
Design your Garden Toolkit – a review, a story, and a giveaway
  Recently my good friend, Michelle Gervais (who was also the former garden editor of Fine Gardening magazine for many, many years) asked me to take a look at her new book ‘Design your Garden Toolkit.’ I jumped at the chance, knowing that her years of knowledge and down-to-earth approach would make for a fantastic book. But it’s so much more. Michelle makes learning about the fundamentals of garden design easy to comprehend (perfect for new gardeners out there). [read more]
I’m back from a very long journey
Where do I begin? It’s been so long since I’ve written but believe me, I’ve thought of you all so often and have so many things I want to share with you during the coming months. I needed to check out for a while so I could be with my family as we navigated the dark and murky waters of my father’s unexpected blood cancer diagnosis. As you may remember, we moved to Granite Bay almost [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]