Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Post Tag: Lawn alternatives

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]
The Water-Saving Garden book party and giveaway
I'm thrilled to be invited to help celebrate the release of Pam Penick’s second book, The Water Saving Garden, with a party that you’re all invited to attend (awesome prizes included!) As a follow-up to her first book Lawn Gone (and one of my personal favorites), The Water Saving Garden delves even deeper into the practical solutions of conserving water in the garden. Living and gardening along the West Coast, gardeners have learned to embrace the fact that [read more]
A life changing journey for me and three gardens
It’s taken me several days to write this, as I just can’t seem to grasp that a year has already passed since I posted my glass pumpkin photo with the accompanying news of my cancer diagnosis. Some days it feels like it was a lifetime ago, while other days it feels like only moments have passed. Yet here I am, unwrapping my treasured pumpkins.  And just as I had predicted, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of [read more]
Goodbye Lawn, Hello Garden –  Part 3 (plus a giveaway!)
  Here we are at the end of May and I'm happy to share with you the final phase of my front garden re-do! As you may recall, in January I finally decided to remove my little-used front lawn and replace it with a low-water garden (you can read about it here and here). After moving around my new little plants at least a half a dozen times each, most of them have finally found their permanent homes.  Going back [read more]
Goodbye Lawn, Hello Garden – Part 2
Phew - I've been busy!  As promised a few weeks ago, here's the next phase of my front lawn-removal project. After deciding on the materials and final shape of the pathways, the next step was to remove the lawn.  A physically grueling task to be sure. Enlisting help from one with a much stronger back than I, we (the British 'we', that is) removed it by hand, making sure to dig deep to remove any stray lawn roots that might [read more]
Goodbye lawn, hello garden  – Part 1
It's a new year and with it comes the oh-so-familiar new year's resolutions.  And while I rarely keep the ones I make, this is a resolution that's long overdue and one that I'm thrilled to undertake: getting rid of my unused front lawn. With California's lowest recorded rainfall in its history (that's over 160 years!), the timing is perfect to practice what I preach.  Even though I remove lawns for many of my clients, I just haven't been able to [read more]
Shades of Gray in a No-Lawn Front Garden
I'm thrilled to announce that one of the gardens I designed for a client is featured in this month's Sunset magazine. In today's post, I thought I'd talk about another aspect of this garden - using the very-gray colored dymondia margaretae as a lawn substitute. And not just the ground cover itself, but the tricks I use to keep the color looking lush. But first, a little background and a few before & afters... (more…) [read more]
Lawn Gone!  Book Party, Review and Giveaways
To celebrate the release of Pam Penick's new book, Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard, you’re all invited to attend her Lawn Gone Book Party – with some very cool party prizes! Six garden blogging friends and I are hosting 7 great giveaways this week, all related to the theme of – drumroll please – lawn alternatives. Lawn Gone! is, of course, about alternatives to the traditional lawn: all kinds of ground-covering plants, functional and appropriately scaled hardscape, [read more]
The grasses at Cornerstone Gardens
Sonoma's Cornerstone Gardens is one of my very favorite public gardens to visit any time of year.  In my opinion, though, the fall is the best time of all. Not only are the summer crowds long gone but the colors of fall are just beginning to explode.  No longer filled with grapes, the surrounding vineyards shimmer with shades of gold and red, and fall's soft and slanted sunlight peeks through the olive trees. And to top things off, the grasses [read more]