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Exquisite Timing

Work put me in the Bay Area last week where I had the pleasure of connecting with someone who contributed a piece to the recent issue of the magazine. These digital acquaintences—I like to joke that all my friends are only 150 x 150 pixels big—make up the large part of my daily contact with […]

dianthus chomley farran

a botanical algorithm…

I would posit that the wonky but crisp and delicious purple kohlrabi is to the vegetable world as the hallucinogenic  ‘Chomley Farran’ carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus  ‘Chomley Farran’) is to the floral kingdom. Concur? ‘Chomley Farran’ carnation, a remarkable garden plant with gorgeous blue-green foliage and a terribly lax blooming habit is available from Annie’s Annuals.  […]

Trachelospermum jasminoides


No, this isn’t another Rolling Stones reference.  Simply the heartfelt aftermath of several very productive days in the garden this past weekend.  I hardly even mind the return of today’s rain; OK, maybe a little.  I could just have easily have entitled this post “the tyranny of the to-do list” but that didn’t in keeping […]

Upside down tree as arbor

Grow UP!

Last Saturday I taught a class on building easy, DIY garden trellises and structures.  The (free) workshop was offered at the Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS) located on the South Seattle Community College campus (find map here) and funded by a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods grant. Still in it’s building phase, when it’s completed […]

Cornerstone Gardens

Outside the box thinking

Giant dead tree in the middle of your proposed garden site?  No problem!  At least not if you’re Claude Cormier. New life was given to a diseased tree slated for removal by decking its branches with 75,000 retrofitted sky-blue Christmas balls. The landscape equivalent of a Photoshop eraser saturated this natural tree with the artificial […]

The “M” word…

No not that M word – I’m a garden writer.  Fear of commitment or choosing the right caterer is child’s play compared to the poor gardener who overplanted and now is faced with mountainous MAINTENANCE chores!!! How much time are you willing to allot to the care and maintenance of your garden? Who will do […]

Yard Garden & Patio Show, Portland Oregon

Small is the new Big!

Catchy huh?  This is the title of a presentation I’ll be giving at this week’s Yard Garden & Patio Show in Portland, Oregon.  (I do love me a road trip!) I’ve lived in cities all my life and my gardens have always been “modest”, i.e. –  small, if not teeny tiny.  Sure I complain about […]

Color, color, color

I’m on the hunt for my “Color Muse.”  I have a feeling she’ll be a fickle muse…subject to seasonal whimsy and the changing light.  For instance, like now (I’m pretending it’s spring) the skies are pale, wan, often watery but glistening with light.  So my color muse calls out for PINK, pale yellow, lime green, […]

Tillandsia air plant

The ideal houseplant

I’ve always maintained that it’s darn-right unnatural to bring plants indoors. Plants want sun, soil, moisture and fresh air.  Bring them indoors and pretty soon they’re awkwardly straining toward the light and leaving nasty water rings on the hardwood floors. Don’t get me started with house cats and soil.  However, I’m the first to admit […]