Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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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]
Glaucous & Purple – a color combo that adds some ‘oomph’ to your garden
  I bet many of you are thinking ‘what the heck is glaucous, anyway?’ Well, according to Webster, glaucous means:   1.  of a pale yellow-green color, or of a light bluish-gray or bluish-white color       2. having a powdery or waxy coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to rub off And here’s a fun-fact from Wikipedia: the first recorded use of glaucous as the name of a color was in the year 1671. So, while [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]
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]
Kubota Garden – lessons in form and shape
One of the many reasons why I love visiting public gardens is that each one tells a unique story:  why it was created, who was the driving force, the inspiration behind it, etc. Seattle’s Kubota Garden is no exception. Located in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood, it’s somewhat of a surprise to find this secret gem nestled among its residential neighbors. Immediately I was intrigued. In the garden is a memorial stone dedicated to the creator [read more]
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]
Drought tolerant superstars for the fall garden
After a lifetime spent gardening throughout California, one thing I've learned is there's drought tolerant, and then there's drought tolerant. Many plants that claim to be low-water might do okay for the first year or two, but soon cry uncle when blasted with year after year of unrelenting drought. As a designer, it's a constant challenge to find beautiful and unusual plants that don't just eek along in these difficult conditions but to discover those that actually thrive. And that's [read more]
Wave Hill
I’m bursting with excitement, as my daughter and I are returning to NYC tomorrow for a week of fun and garden-touring. For those of you who don't know, we lived there for two months in 2014 and had such an amazing life-enriching time that I couldn't wait to return, even if only for a few days. Earlier this week I was reading my previous articles about the gardens we visited when I realized I never wrote about my trip to [read more]