Our Small Space episode on Growing a Greener World


 ~GGW_logo_lgA few months ago I wrote about the fabulous day Susan Morrison and I had with the crew from Growing a Greener World (see below).  Well, I’m thrilled to be able to share the episode with you all, right here.

The topic is Small Spaces, and in addition to our two cents, you’ll also meet Baylor Chapman, who owns Lila B. Design, my very favorite floral design business in San Francisco.

I hope you enjoy the show!


June, 2011:

Yesterday, Susan Morrison and I had the great honor of having the crew from Growing A Greener World spend the day in my garden.  Why were they here?  To film part of a segment for an upcoming episode on ‘Small Space Gardening’ (which just so happens to be one of the chapters in our book, Garden Up!)

We had met Joe Lamp’l and the gang several times before (in fact, I wrote about it last year during their visit to Annie’s Annuals), but never did I think we’d get to spend the entire day (and well into the night) with them!  You know, when you hang out with someone for 15 hours straight you really get to know them, seeing sides that may not come out during brief visits.

While I’d love to talk about skinny spaces, designing focal point fences, creating edible living walls, going into great detail offering tips and design strategies, I have a feeling many of you would rather see a ‘behind the scenes’ post instead.  I know I would!  So here goes….

So, why did they come here in the first place?  My garden just so happens to be filled with skinny spaces where I’ve packed a lot of punch into beds as narrow as 8 inches:


And while you may think my garden would be the belle of the ball, alas it was not.  It was my tiny Nespresso machine that stole the show!

Seriously!  Everyone must’ve had at least 6 lattes throughout the day, and that little machine just kept cranking out the black gold non-stop.

And what do you get when you have a sleep-deprived crew all jacked up on caffeine?

Yep – good times is what you get!

Welcome to our day……

As you can see the caffeine hasn’t quite kicked in and people can hardly keep their eyes open.  But that doesn’t keep Chef Nathan from telling us scary stories about bedbugs in hotels and his scary bouts with sleep paralysis (or as he calls it: The Devil On Your Chest).

And then there’s Associate Producer, Theresa Loe, who is unequivocally the most organized human being on the planet.  Here she’s demonstrating her oh-so-cute apron she wears during filming to hold everything from small cameras to dental floss to bandaids to sunscreen.  But wait – it doesn’t stop there!  She also has a scarf with a hidden zipper pocket in it for even more storage.  And if those pockets get filled up, she has this cute little shoulder bag made out of an old pair of jeans with, yes, even more pockets.  In our book we talk a lot about the importance of layering.  Theresa has clearly mastered the art.

So now we move on to the actual interviews.  There’s Susan getting ready for her 37th take (just kidding – it was only in the single digits).  Carl Pennington, Director of Photography, waits for Nathan to say the classic “Take 4”!  We never really saw Carl’s face as its pretty much always behind the camera.

While our portion of the show only lasts about 16 minutes, it took hours to shoot.  This wasn’t anyone’s fault, but resulted from little distractions like crows camping out overhead, the random barking of the dog next door, the constant sound of airplanes overhead and the street sweeper.

So as you can imagine, there was a lot of down time.

A lot.

Joe's favorite chair….
…and his favorite couch
A true SoCal boy, worshipping the sun
David Pennington, videographer with super-human strength

Susan and Christa Hansen are a dead giveaway that something’s happening over by the swingset…

After all the footage is finally shot in my garden, everyone headed over to the garden of  my clients Bob and Margaret, who have successfully turned an ordinary side yard into a spectacular layered garden combined with total functionality (but to see more of that you’ll have to tune into the show!)

After the long, hot day everyone drove back to my house again to enjoy a little down time with some pizza, beer and wine.

It was at this point the cameras were all put away for the day and we laughed, ate and drank into the wee hours of the night.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!  I’ll keep you posted as to the exact airing of the show, but I hear it’s around the beginning of October.   More to come….


Update-This just in from Theresa Loe:  The episode is #214 “Small Space Gardening” and will air the week of October 1st on most PBS stations. (But each station is independent, so you need to check with your own local station). And remember, you can watch the whole episode on line beginning October 2 (the day after its release date).



Enjoyed this article?  Please share it with others: 

Please leave a comment below


  • I just watched the show and loved it! You and Susan are total pros onscreen, and your garden, as always, is stunning. Way to go!

    • Aw thanks so much, Pam. Hey – when are you going to visit in person, anyway? You must have a California trip planned sometime soon, don’t you? (as I type with fingers crossed…..)

  • Just finished watching Grow a Green World TV segment wonderful job Susan and Rebecca beautiful gardens, inspiring tips and that crew of GGWTV just got to love the whole package here. Kudos and Thank you Annie Haven

    • Thanks, Annie! We certainly had a wonderful day and it’s great to see how they boiled down many hours worth of work into a 30 minute segment. They are a talented bunch of people, that’s for sure!

    • Thanks Robert! And thanks for stopping by!

  • What an experience, such a lot of fun! I hope it will air in Austin. I’d love to see it. Maybe by October I’ll actually feel like gardening again. It’s way too hot now to think of it.

    And I LOVE your fireplace/mantel in your garden, Rebecca! With the sanseveria flames!

    • Pam – bless you for noticing my sansaveria flames!! I didn’t think anyone noticed (leave it to another designer like yourself!!) 😉

  • Rock stars abound! Can’t wait to see this episode. I’m with Town Mouse on the viewing party/pot luck idea. I’ll bring a batch of my killer Carolina Pulled-Pork sliders 😉

  • Wow! I’m so impressed. I’m sure it will come out beautifully. PLEASE let us know when the airing is. Or maybe we should have a viewing party & potluck? I’m happy to bring some food…

    • Sounds like a plan, Townie and Matt! If it airs in our area (and that’s a big ‘if’ since it currently does not!), I will most definitely invite you guys for a viewing!

  • Awesome, I cannot wait to see the segment! I have loved that little movie about your garden, and now I want more!
    Are your grown chick ladies going to be in it too?

    • Unfortunately my grown chick ladies are long gone, Christie. A woman who has a huge range took them off my hands as they were absolutely destroying my garden. I just can’t keep them in their coop (I always feel sorry for them) and let them roam free. This breed (Delaware) was particularly destructive and just would NOT stop their seek and destroy mission in my garden!

  • I can’t wait to see this episode!! Then I get to brag to my friends…”yeah, I stayed the night at co-author Rebecca Sweet’s house AND she made me breakfast. Oh…and Susan Morrison? Yeah, I had lunch over at her house and she gave us a personal garden tour.” Not that being being your friend is all about bragging rights, but it’s pretty darn cool!

    Congrats on the show and so jealous of the day spent with such a fabulous crew!

    • Jayme – not sure who’ll be bragging more! It’ll probably be me – the whole ‘Washington slept here” sorta thing!

  • Rebecca-you are such a fantastic writer! I love the way you write. I can totally hear you talking when I read it.

    • Awww….thanks, Katie! That means the world to me because you are truly one of the funniest people I know (AND one of the best writers!)

  • I LOVE this! And I only thought that trash trucks, airplanes and chain saws followed CTG. And I’m so getting a cute apron for my producer stash. Can’t wait to watch it; this garden is gorgeous!

    • Oh no, Linda. These things AND more. Did I mention the neighbor kids jumping on the trampoline? Or my canary that would launch into singing? It’s always something, right?

  • Nathan and I just flew home, but the rest of the crew stayed one more day to finish up a different episode. Yes, we are BEAT! So, you are right, we are always exhausted at the end of these shoots. We generally average 12-15 hours of shooting and less than 6 hours of sleep a night. We start running on autopilot at around day 3…But what makes it FUN are the people we get to meet and the great stories they have to tell.

    This episode was very special because we got to feature you two! You were such gracious hosts and kept us well caffeinated. Thanks for that! As you saw, we work hard but also laugh hard.

    You guys have a great story and it was fun to capture for the show. The episode is #214 “Small Space Gardening” and will air the week of October 1st on most PBS stations. (But each station is independent, so you need to check with your own local station). And remember, you can watch the whole episode on line beginning October 2 (the day after its release date).

    I will let you know how it turns out after Joe and I review the finished product in a few weeks!!!!!

    Thanks again for the great time.

    • Glad to know you’re home safe and sound, Theresa! And thanks for the update re: the airing of the show! Now go to bed for the next few days…..

  • Wow, the checkered flag and everything! Or whatever they call that black-and-white thing that they put in front of people’s faces when they say “Take 4!”

    • It is called a “marker” and yep…we use it for every take. Nathan got to take over that job for me while I did the interviews.

      • A Marker! THAT’S what it’s called – thanks Theresa!

  • So my question is… are you and Susan going to get swelled heads from being TV stars??? My guess that you might since it seemed to be pretty doggone fun 😉 exhausting, but exiting at the same time! I would put money on the fact that this crew has never had as much fun.

    • Sheila – definitely NOT! It actually gave me a whole new appreciation for how hard real TV stars work! Seeing Joe and Nathan ‘light up’ as soon as the camera is rolling, even though they’re hot, hungry, dog tired and saying the same thing over and over again is truly an art. We just stood back in admiration at their talent! Yes, we all were exhausted but you’re right – everyone laughed so much it made the day a really great one.

  • What a slanderous post! I’d like to point out for the record that I only had FIVE lattes! (But I did eat more than my fair share of chex mix).

    What a fun day – but exhausting! I have no idea how the crew manages so many days in a row.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to my blog

Upcoming Speaking Events

February 12,
February 26,
February 27,
February 28,
February 28,
March 20,
May 28

Don’t Snub the Shrub!

Merced Garden Club

Merced, CA

Topic:  TBD

Woodinville Garden Club

Woodinville, WA

When to Break the Rules
(and how to get away with it!)

Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

Seattle, WA

Container Wars!

Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

Seattle, WA

The 7 Sins of Garden Design

Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

Seattle, WA

Don’t Snub the Shrub!

Montelindo Garden Club

Lafayette, CA

Topic: TBD

Piedmont Hoe & Hope
Garden Club

Harmony in the Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to
provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and other affiliate marketing companies.

Scroll to Top