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]
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]
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]
Saying goodbye to my garden
One of the smartest things I’ve ever done is to give myself a long, long time to say goodbye to my garden.  In just a few weeks I’ll be leaving it forever, and I can honestly say that my heart is at peace. I’ve given myself plenty of time to sit still and absorb as much as I can, filling my memory bank to the point of overflowing. I’ve given myself time to cry and mourn [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 birds in my garden (plus a HUGE plant giveaway from Sunset!)
  I simply adore the birds that visit my garden. Here one moment and gone the next, their fleeting presence and sweet, sweet songs never fail to cause my heart to skip a beat. And the entertainment they've provided over the years has been priceless, adding so much joy to our lives. Recently, someone was seeing my garden for the first time and wanted to know why I had so many birds when they had so few - what was [read more]
The mystery of the monarch
Throughout my daughter’s life, I’ve tried just about everything I could think of to pique her interest in gardening. And while she’s always appreciated playing in a beautiful garden, I realized early on that getting her excited about working in a garden just wasn’t going to happen. But, I figured if I can get her to enjoy eating from the garden, growing weird things in the garden, finding bugs, and watching birds in the garden then [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]
California Carnivores
  While visiting Sonoma earlier this summer, I told my husband that I just had to see a nursery located in Sebastapol, just a few miles away. He groaned, assuming that once again he’d be stuck wandering alone through the aisles of yet another nursery while I quickly disappeared, only to return an hour later with a cart full of plants. He’d be wrong. When we pulled into California Carnivores I could see his face light up. No [read more]
In just a few days I'll be saying goodbye to my daughter as she embarks on a new adventure in her life as she goes away to college.  And while I'm proud, thrilled and excited for her, I can't help but quietly mourn each passing minute, knowing I'll soon be face-to-face with the giant hole that will be left in my heart, home and garden. My daughter has never been one of those kids that have naturally taken to gardening, [read more]