Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Transforming awkward spaces in the garden
  I’ve spent the past two years working in my new garden.  And by working, I mean killing myself trying to fix one awkward space after another. I’ve finally got the upper hand on things (sort of) and just as soon as I can, I’ll share some pics with you. Above is a teaser of the first bed in my garden that I transformed.  I barely had my things out of the moving truck before I jumped [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]
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]
Designing a garden for Sunset magazine.  No pressure!
A few weeks ago, Johanna Silver (Sunset Magazine's Garden Editor) reached out and asked if I would be interested in designing a garden for a forthcoming article, with the emphasis on using plants from Sunset's new Western Garden Collection. Hmmmm....tough decision.  Let me get this straight, I thought, design a garden for Sunset?  Where I can use any plant I want from their collection?  As many as I want?  That's like asking a kid if they'd like to spend [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 garden tour 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 disjointed from one another, but I hope you find them interesting  nonetheless!  (To read about the other gardens I visited, click here, here, here, and here!) 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 [read more]
Celebrating Community Gardens
One of the many things I love about New York is the surprising amount of community gardens tucked in here and there just waiting to be discovered.  Some are small, some large, some created for children, some for quiet contemplation.  They're everywhere! As I've mentioned in the past, as much as my daughter enjoys hanging out in my garden she's not inclined to actually work in the garden.  sigh.  And I'll be honest in admitting she was getting a little [read more]
A luscious, lawn-free rock garden in Denver
Don’t you love the feeling you get when pulling up to someone’s home for the very first time, and the moment you see their garden you just know you’re in for a treat? That’s how I felt when my taxi slowly crept along the street, looking for the address of Sheila Schultz. This past May, I spent a week in Denver filming an instructional video for Craftsy (click here if you'd like to watch it!) and [read more]
My day with P. Allen Smith
  I’ve just spent the past few days at Moss Mountain, (in Little Rock, Arkansas) at the beautiful home and farm of P. Allen Smith. Twenty three bloggers from around the country were invited to participate in this 3-day event, called Garden-to-Blog. The goal of this event was to help bloggers meet industry leaders, discuss new gardening trends, become inspired with new ideas, and to take a step back from what we do day-in and day-out. As P. Allen [read more]
The French Laundry’s culinary garden and a sweet little house
Rounding out my Napa weekend, the Tanners treated us to a morning of impromptu garden tours.  The first stop, a visit to the incredible culinary garden of the valley's crown jewel - The French Laundry. Located directly across the street from the deceptively demure looking restaurant is this impressive 3-acre garden.  Open to the public, the garden not only supplies a large part of the restaurant's produce, but also acts as the chef's test site. Even though spring had barely [read more]