Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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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]
Decorating with Plants – book review and giveaway
I first met Baylor Chapman almost a decade ago when researching gardens for my first book, Garden Up!  (remember seeing these beautiful succulent shutters, below?  They’re Baylor’s.) I’ve since written about her floral design studio, Lila B. Design, and the fantastic shared courtyard where she lives (click on the links to read more.)   Well, when I found out Baylor had a new book coming out, Decorating with Plants:  What to Choose, Ways to Style, and How [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]
Monarch Mayhem: joy and heartbreak in the garden
Remember last year when I wrote about my daughter’s newly found passion for monarch butterflies? Well, I recently received this text from her: “Guess who’s back!’ Emily was thrilled to find two more emerald chrysalises hanging from her front door – a repeat performance of last spring!  (can you spot them?  It's the teeny tiny bright green dot at the very top of the door.)   Remembering the Butterflyweed (asclepias tuberosa) that had at one point re-seeded and grew [read more]
The Bold Dry Garden – a review and giveaway
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend a party celebrating Timber Press's new release, The Bold Dry Garden, written by Johanna Silver (who is also the garden editor for Sunset magazine). The event was held at one of my favorite places, The Ruth Bancroft Garden (appropriate, as that's the subject of the book!)  Not only did I get to spend the morning in a beautiful garden, but Ruth herself was there (no small feat as she's 108 [read more]
Garden therapy in the midst of trauma – a story and a giveaway
  I've been home from my trip to New York for ten days now and have been excited to share with you some of the gardens I visited but life seems to have gotten in the way - for now, at least. On the last day of my trip, I received a phone call from Dan, my ex-husband, letting me know that he was in a terrible biking accident and has been in the hospital's ICU for the past ten [read more]
The Water-Saving Garden book party and giveaway
I'm thrilled to be invited to help celebrate the release of Pam Penick’s second book, The Water Saving Garden, with a party that you’re all invited to attend (awesome prizes included!) As a follow-up to her first book Lawn Gone (and one of my personal favorites), The Water Saving Garden delves even deeper into the practical solutions of conserving water in the garden. Living and gardening along the West Coast, gardeners have learned to embrace the fact that [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]
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]
The High Line highlights
  I'm spending some time in New York City this summer and am thrilled to have finally visited the High Line public garden. Ever since its grand opening in  2009, I've been dying to see the transformation of this abandoned, defunct elevated railway into one of the city's most inspiring and innovative public gardens. First, though, to help you fully appreciate the genius behind it here's a little background. (more…) [read more]