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April 04, 2009


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I drove past DIG four (!?!) times during the past few weeks and never had time to stop. Agonizing! I love that place. I was somewhat concerned to see a realty sign on the property - do you know if they're selling up, or was that unrelated? I had one of those plastic rugs in my hands once last year but ended up putting it back. Now we're maybe re-purposing some pea gravel from paths into a seating area and of course I wish I'd bought it now!

valerie Easton

Hi Kelly,
I think you should return those plants to the nursery where you bought them - they certainly shouldn't look pale and droopy, and the soil shouldn't smell nasty.

If you do try to salvage your Spanish lavender, plant them in full sun and well-drained soil. Loosen the too-tight rootball, or score the sides of it, and when you settle them into the garden be sure and water them in well.....they may well recover, but they've certainly had a setback....hope you can return them and get a healthy batch...
Best regards,

Kelly Tiedemann

Hi I live in Berkeley, CA (near San Francisco) and I bought some spanish lavender. When I took them out of their pots, the bottom of the roots and soil fell off and smelled badly. I'm guessing they have root rot. The remaining roots are tightly packed to the soil. Before I repot them, should I try to loosen the packed soil from the remaining roots? Should I cut some of the roots off, if so how much do I cut off?

How do I tell if the lavender is dead? The flowers looked healthy when I bought them. They had beautiful dark purple flowers, but now, only a week later they have lost their color and are drooped over. Is this normal for them to do what they're doing?

I hope you can help me. I bought about 20 of these and all of them have the same problem.

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Bayview Farm and Garden

Far Reaches Farm

Swansons Nursery

B&D Lilies

Renee's Garden

Dig Nursery

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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