Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side


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]
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]
Color in the Garden – without the plants
You can always tell when people are sick and tired of winter when flashy accessories start popping up throughout the garden! This past week, while visiting Sunset Magazine's test gardens and those of the San Francisco Garden Show, I was struck by the amount of vibrant colors everywhere. And also, interestingly enough, how the color didn't necessarily come from plants but from various hardscaping elements - walls, dividers, arbors, trellises, furniture or artwork. (more…) [read more]
Yesterday I met my good friend Patty Craft (with Horticulture Magazine) at the National Heirloom Exposition in Sonoma, CA.  What exactly is the expo? Their website says it best: The National Heirloom Exposition is a not-for-profit event centered around the pure food movement, heirloom vegetables, and anti-GMO activism.     (more…) [read more]
 I'll confess - I haven't included annuals in a design in a long, long time.. I'm not talking about the drool-inducing annuals from Annie's Annuals.  I'm talking about the tried and true common ones that have been used over and over and over again. It's not because I'm a plant snob, but simply a result of living in a mild climate.  Here in Northern California, many perennials are semi-evergreen, and with our warmer winter temperatures it's much less of a [read more]
Last week I spent a few days with Jeanette Sinclair (of Woodside Images) in Southern California's charming little town of Santa Paula, visiting Ball Horticulture's Spring Trials to see what new treasures they had to offer the plant world. For those of you who aren't familiar with Spring Trials, Jeanette compares it to New York's Fashion Week.  And if that doesn't clarify things, then maybe their website's description will help: During the course of a week, the world's prominent plant [read more]
Many years ago I lived in San Luis Obispo, along the central coast of California, and loved visiting the tiny nearby town of Harmony.  And by tiny, I mean tiny! I found this photo the other day and it really struck home how much the word Harmony has been woven through my life since those long ago visits. The name of my garden design business is Harmony in the Garden, which is something I strive for, not only in my [read more]
Compliments of Ami Saunders, with Saunders Designs…. (more…) [read more]
Last week I attended Seattle's fantastic Northwest Flower and Garden Show, and was thrilled to see so many different interpretations of living walls. Here's a sneak peek - ranging from walls planted with tropicals (by far the most common), succulents, or even moss. My favorite are those using one-of-a-kind structures, using uncommon plants.  Like this delightful wall created by Judson Sullivan of Cultivar, LLC. Even the risers in between stairs are planted - sort of 'mini living walls'! [read more]
Okay, I know a lot of you don't use Twitter.  Many of you might think Twitter is a little weird. But did you know that I LOVE Twitter.  It's true. I looooove Twitter. It has introduced me to so many, many incredible gardeners.  Some are just the average weekend-gardener, some are professionals (landscape architects or landscape designers), some are magazine editors, some are book authors, almost all have their own personal garden blogs - but the one thing that bonds [read more]