Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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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]
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]
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]
Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season of the year.  Once I spot the first signs of pumpkins and squash adorning grocery stores and farmers markets  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 gorgeous creations a few years ago. When I was asked to lead a workshop for the Polk County Master Gardener's Fall [read more]
Mixing flowers with succulents in Debra Lee Baldwin’s garden
There's no doubt about it, Debra Lee Baldwin certainly knows her succulents. But while visiting her Escondido, CA garden again a few months ago, I was struck by something else - the flowers! Not succulent flowers, but perennials, annuals, and native flowers that are planted throughout the garden. Sure, she's known as an expert and authoritative figure on everything succulent-related. But does that mean her garden has to be 100% succulents?  No! Debra takes a casual approach with her garden.  [read more]
Euphorbia euphoria
This weekend my garden will be one of several featured during the 5th annual Garden Bloggers Fling Garden Tour. Am I nervous having my personal garden shown to 75+ of our country's most amazing, talented, and influential garden bloggers?  Uh...YES! So every day this week I've been working in my garden, trying to keep up with what Mother Nature has been dishing out (crazy winds, rain, and 100 degree temps - all within a single week)! While my roses are [read more]
My impromptu succulent cutting tower
Last month I dismantled one of my favorite garden beds so we could finally finish painting the house. A year ago we had our house painted, but I wouldn't let them paint one remaining wall, as my bougainvillea was in full bloom and there was no way I was about to cut it back prematurely! Luckily, I had the world's best painters who completely understood how crazy we gardeners can be, and were willing to come back in the early [read more]
Danger in the garden – The Formidable Four
There's something alluring about beautiful plants that have a bite to them. While I don't go out of my way to design gardens that will intentionally impale or poison people, I also don't go out of my way to avoid plants that might have potential for pain. Just like lots of people I know, sometimes the most fascinating characters have a prickly side to them.  All you have to do is pay attention to the warning signs, and adjust your [read more]
I've been wanting to write about this garden for a long time, and have finally found the perfect opportunity with today's Garden Designers Roundtable topic 'Focusing on the Details'.   While touring gardens last year with Debra Lee Baldwin, she insisted I meet her good friend, Jim Bishop.  And, if I was really lucky, I might even get to see his garden. Thank heavens it was my lucky day.  Jim Bishop is pretty amazing - he's not only an incredibly [read more]