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April 11, 2009


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Bridal jewelry, Wedding jewelry, Bridesmaid jewelry, Wedding jewelry sets, Bridesmaid gifts

As a bride-to-be on a tight budget, I recently discovered an online bridal jewelry store called GlamForLess.com.
Though their website is plain and simple, I found some great deals on jewelry sets for me and my bridesmaids.

I think other readers on a tight budget may also find GlamForLess.com to be helpful.
You may want to check them out at http://www.glamforless.com/ and inform other readers about it.

Keep up the good work.

Best regards,
Lisa Bloom

Sue N.

Really enjoyed reading Eugene's comments. Makes me suggest you look at Paul Miskovsky's work in Massachusetts. He's been winning the New England Flower and Garden Shows with his design work (yes, before they tanked this year, now he's on the board resurrecting, but I digress). He's got a fresh aesthetic, economical, but exciting.

Eugene Carlson

Good item, Val. Always interesting to read about the Oehme-Van Sweden way of doing things. They’re enormously influential landscape designers who, as you note, have done much to change the way we garden.

As one who gardened on the East Coast for many years, I sort of took them for granted since their ideas were literally part of the visual landscape.

But they’re not that well known in the West. I think that’s partly because their signature plant palette -- a combination of herbaceous perennials and grasses – was developed in their home base in the Mid-Atlantic states and does especially well in that climate – moderate to cold winters and warm, humid summers.

I also hadn’t thought, prior to reading your item, about the maintenance issue as it relates to their gardening style. One of the hallmarks of the OVS garden ideal is that you plant large blocs of a few plants that grow easily and that maintain interest year around, or close to it. That’s supposed to reduce the amount of time one has to spend fussing over individual specimens.

Still, there’s always a day of reckoning. Grass must be sheared once a year, perennials must be cut back and, in fact, you do end up with a sizeable pile of biomass. No free lunch.

I know you’re working on your own ideas of rejiggering the work/pleasure ratio for gardeners and I look forward to reading what you have to say about this in your upcoming book.

A final note about Oehme-Van Sweden. If one were to write a case study of how to create a successful landscape architecture firm, these guys would be the model.

Wolfgang Oehme was the plantsman. He brought an extensive horticultural background and a contemporary European aesthetic. Jim Van Sweden is a brilliant businessman and marketer as well as having a fine design eye. It was a great combination on which to build a firm.

They really got going in the ‘80s and the timing couldn’t have been better. There were plenty of clients with money and gardens were catching people's attention. And their ideas, based around a contemporary landscape aesthetic, actually created a new design niche. A couple notches above the well-tended but generic garden but below the landscapes that are more about the concepts (unintelligible to most of us) of the architect/designer than they are about the needs of the client.

OVS could give you a landscape that looked terrific and contemporary – in the Mid-Atlantic that meant it wasn't 60 per cent azaleas -- but one that wasn’t so pretentious that you had to justify it to yourself and explain to your friends.

An essential part of their plan was to take plant material considered common (Rudbeckia, Sedum), or ignored (grass) and show how it could be used in a new and interesting way. For example, there's nothing commoner in the mid-Atlantic than black-eyed susan and you have to hand it to them as marketers that they convinced their clients to pay for, and showcase, it in their gardens.

This meshed nicely with the increasing idea of natural gargening. It also gave them an edge on big commissions, public parks and corporate gardens. They could be competitive because the plants they specified are easy to propagate and not that expensive to buy or maintain. Plus, it isn't lawn, which was falling increasingly out of fashion.

I stopped by the OVS office a couple years ago on a visit to Washington. It’s still the same townhouse on Capitol Hill where they were 30 years ago. Something nice about that.

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New Book: Petal & Twig

  • Petal & Twig Made The New York Times!
    From Anne Raver's review: "Valerie Easton, a Seattle-based garden writer, discusses the art of growing and arranging cut flowers in “Petal and Twig: Seasonal Bouquets With Blossoms, Branches and Grasses From Your Garden” (Sasquatch Books; $16.95). Written as an informal diary, with photographs of arrangements from her own garden, and tips on cutting and keeping flowers fresh, the book inspires ideas not only on what to grow but on how to combine (or not) those beauties inside. See review here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/garden/new-books-on-growing-and-arranging-flowers.html?scp=1&sq=petal%20&%20twig%20anne%20raver&st=cse
  • The first reviews on the new book are in! From Publisher's Weekly:
  • "Open your eyes and keep it simple: those are two lessons Easton passes on from her own 40 years in the garden. When selecting and arranging flowers for bouquets, you needn’t spend a bundle buying a bundle of imported flowers.....The result will be unique, local, imaginative, and inexpensive. Color photos throughout illustrate and inspire."

In the News

  • Montreal Blogger Reviews "A Pattern Garden"
    I was so pleased to find that "A Pattern Garden" is still being reviewed...check out Allan Becker's generous review on his Garden Guru blog.. I felt like Allan really understood what I was working towards in that book....he writes...."There is a delightful abstract quality to this publication. In it, the author takes good garden design to a higher, more spiritual level. Instead of discussing the aesthetic and scientific elements of design, as so many traditional garden design books do, she focuses on the role played in garden design by archetypal ideas - a.k.a. patterns - that reference the longings of human beings. These pleasure and comfort-rooted ideas are those that inspire designers to create gardens that are satisfying beyond their beauty." see more at http://allanbecker-gardenguru.squarespace.com/journal/valerie-easton
  • Planting art
    Check out this interview with Val in the Chicago Tribune on using art in the garden...

The New Low Maintenance Garden

  • Reviews Are In....
    "Over the years, countless books have espoused a low-maintenance approach to gardening. None have been as engaging, practical, or inspiring as this latest of Easton's contributions to the gardener's bookshelf,"
    - Pacific Horticulture magazine, Jan/Feb/Mar 2010

    "A handy guide to a garden you can raise without a corresponding increase in your blood pressure..handsome and informative...."
    - Metropolitan Home, Dec. 2009

    "This book is an invaluable addition to the garden library – destined to be a classic for many years to come."
    - Garden Design Online

Photo Credits

  • The banner and portrait photos were taken by Jacqueline Koch; all other photos by Val Easton unless otherwise credited.


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