Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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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]
New Year, New Changes!
January has been a busy month for me, full of exciting changes (including a new look for my website and blog.)   And, in addition to my landscape design business, and writing for Horticulture magazine, I’ve also accepted the position of Seminar Manager for the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. For the past few months, I’ve been working away lining up some fantastic speakers, (click here to see!)  This year, the show runs through March 16-20 at the [read more]
Pumice versus Perlite – Q & A
I was recently introduced to the dynamic brother/sister team, Lexi and Austin Petelski, who own General Pumice Products. These young and dynamic gardeners have recently acquired ownership of two California pumice mines and are here to help explain the differences between pumice and perlite. Those of us who garden in El Nino's predicted path will find this information particularly useful, as pumice not only helps absorb and slowly release water, but it helps aerate the soil at the same [read more]
Tantalizing Tillandsias
It's no secret that this past year has been a whopper for me.  During most of my chemotherapy treatments I was able to continue writing and public speaking, but it became increasingly more difficult as time went on. After my mastectomy (and a few 'hiccups' along the way) I just needed to hibernate for awhile and take a break from everything - including my garden. While my garden continued just fine without me (though a bit unruly at times) my [read more]
Heavily Pruned
Today my mother and I took a little field trip to Palo Alto’s Elizabeth Gamble Garden. Even though it’s still early spring here, with our unseasonably warm weather, we couldn’t wait to see what early surprises we might find. As was expected, there was plenty to see in this early-spring garden. Like the Easter-egg drifts of 'Lilac Wonder' species tulips that seemed to carelessly meander throughout the garden...   Or the brightly colored flowers of this chorizema [read more]
Planting bulbs in a warm climate plus a HUGE Cyber Book Party!
I'm honored to be participating in Fran Sorin's Cyber Book Party (complete with two grand giveaways!) celebrating the updated 10th Anniversary Edition of her groundbreaking book Digging Deep - Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening. I've had the privilege of getting to know Fran personally over the years, believing our styles of gardening, designing and the way in which we view life to be in lockstep with one another. I've read her book several times and each time I re-read [read more]
A Jewel Box Courtyard that’s Wheelchair-Friendly
Three years ago our local newspaper ran a story on our (then) new book, Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. Within 24 hours, I received a phone call from Judy, who was in desperate need of transforming her tiny, overgrown courtyard into one that appeared spacious, bright, lush, and tranquil. Judy had always loved gardening but didn't quite know how to tackle one that was this small (27'x 21') with so many challenges. And, as if [read more]
NYC summer wrap-up
As summer comes to a close, I thought I'd share with you the last gardening tidbits from my summer in New York. They might seem a little random, but they're interesting nonetheless! 1.  Guy Wolff Pottery I've long been a collector of Guy Wolff Pottery, but when Smith & Hawken closed their doors (moment of silence, please) it became much harder for me to find the pots. So while visiting my friend in Connecticut, she insisted we stop by his studio. [read more]
The art and soul of Freeland Tanner
What do you get when you combine a pile of twigs, sprinklers, and watering cans with the right side of the brain that just won't quit? It's not what you get, it's who you get - Freeland Tanner. I've written about this exceptional man and his equally impressive wife, Sabrina, many times before (here and here), as well featuring their garden in both of my books. Some of you might even think I'm a bit of a stalker (debatable). But [read more]
Five ways to warm a winter garden
A few days ago I spoke to my friend who lives in Boston, and when I complained that my garden was taking a beating during a recent week of unrelenting 28-degree temperatures, he was shocked - in California? Yes, even in the land of sunshine it often dips below freezing on a cold winter night, surprising out of town visitors as much as it surprises our succulents, bougainvillea, and citrus. A favorite vignette in my garden is this tough Octopus [read more]