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]
Planting bulbs in a warm climate plus a HUGE Cyber Book Party!
I'm honored to be participating in Fran Sorin's Cyber Book Party (complete with two grand giveaways!) celebrating the updated 10th Anniversary Edition of her groundbreaking book Digging Deep - Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening. I've had the privilege of getting to know Fran personally over the years, believing our styles of gardening, designing and the way in which we view life to be in lockstep with one another. I've read her book several times and each time I re-read [read more]
My day with P. Allen Smith
I am filled with gratitude this morning as I wait for my airport shuttle in the beautiful lobby of the historic Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’ve just spent the past few days at Moss Mountain, 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, with the purpose of meeting industry leaders, discussing new gardening trends, becoming inspired with new ideas [read more]
Having three good friends and two of my favorite clients going through various stages of cancer right now, I'm particularly aware of kindhearted people and companies who are making an effort to help others.  Which is why I've become a huge fan of Glassybaby. While very well-known throughout Seattle (seen on the tables of at least half of the restaurants I visited, and on countless windowsills everywhere) these little candleholders are making their way throughout the entire country. And I'm [read more]
Hooray for Heucheras! An interview with Terra Nova Nurseries
Heucheras (aka: Coral Bells or Allum Root) are one of my favorite perennials in the garden, whether adding spots of color in the front of the border, massed together in drifts or nestled into a container.   I'd be lost if I couldn't use these little treasures in my designs, as their foliage comes in just about every color imaginable, they reliably return year after year and they're even somewhat deer resistant. The folks at Terra Nova Nursery (located in [read more]
With Mother's Day fast approaching, I've been giving a lot of thought about what to give my own mother.  My mom is an incredible gardener but can be pretty picky, so finding the perfect gift is always a bit challenging. Which means I'm always on the look out for something a little out of the ordinary. While I'm not going to say what I plan to give her (she does occasionally read my blog, after all) there are a few [read more]
Kniphopfias (aka: Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily) are one of my very favorite flowers to add vertical interest to the garden.  Seeing their snake-like stalks rise from a clump of grass-like leaves is always a joy to behold as they stretch their long necks what seems like several inches a day. I don't know why, but they're really not planted enough around here (IMHO!) While visiting a client's garden a few days ago, I was amazed at the size [read more]
 I'll admit it - I haven't included annuals in a design in a long, long time. Maybe even never. I'm not talking about the drool-inducing annuals over at Annie's Annuals.  I'm talking about the tried and true (some might say 'boring') ones that have been used over and over and over again. Now, it's not because I'm a plant snob, but simply a result of living in a mild climate.  Here in Northern California, many perennials are actually semi-evergreen, and [read more]
Last week I spent a few days with Jeanette Sinclair (of Woodside Images) in Southern California's charming little town of Santa Paula, visiting Ball Horticulture's Spring Trials to see what new treasures they had to offer the plant world. For those of you who aren't familiar with Spring Trials, Jeanette compares it to New York's Fashion Week.  And if that doesn't clarify things, then maybe their website's description will help: During the course of a week, the world's prominent plant [read more]
I can look at succulents all day long.  I never grow tired of their colors, shapes and forms and the infinite number of ways that creative gardeners use them in their gardens. A few months ago, while rushing to get to the airport, my friend insisted we stop at Corona del Mar's Sherman Library and Gardens, since I hadn't been there in at least 15 years.  Holy Cow how things have changed!  While the quaint and charming building was the same, [read more]