Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Repurposing trash into treasures for the garden
  I love repurposed items in the garden. Things that may be broken or have lost their usefulness are all too often headed to the dump, which is such a shame! Sometimes, though, all that's needed is a coat of paint, a little sprucing up, and a healthy dose of creativity to figure out how to use that item in a brand new way. Not only are repurposed items being kept out of our landfill, but they can add such [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]
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]
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]
The art and soul of Freeland Tanner
What do you get when you combine a pile of twigs, sprinklers, and watering cans with the right side of the brain that just won't quit? It's not what you get, it's who you get - Freeland Tanner. I've written about this exceptional man and his equally impressive wife, Sabrina, many times before (here and here), as well featuring their garden in both of my books. Some of you might even think I'm a bit of a stalker (debatable). But [read more]
Pyracantha Pandemonium
Today started out just like any other January day. For the past week, I had been admiring one of my favorite shrubs growing in my side yard - the humble pyracantha. I had been wondering to myself why more people didn't love this shrub as I do. Don't they realize all the seasonal beauty it freely offers the gardener?   First, in early spring, I’m rewarded with a spectacular show of slender branches cloaked in cascades of dainty white [read more]
Transforming a side yard from Blah to Beautiful
In honor of my new book, Refresh Your Garden Design, I'll be spending the next few months writing about the many different aspects of color, texture and form. Whether its gardeners I've met who have embraced these design principles to the fullest, simple solutions you can use to transform your own garden, or perhaps  specific plants that serve double (or even triple!) duty in the landscape - my goal will be to inspire while showing how the smallest changes can [read more]
I don't typically read fashion magazines, but living with a teenage daughter means a stack of them are usually lying around the house in one room or another. While I can usually pass them by without feeling the urge to read about 'The Top 10 Must-Have Heels For Summer', I'll admit I'm a sucker for titles such as '10 Ways to Wear 1 Dress'. So with a slightly different twist, here's my version, where the star isn't the little black [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]