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June 11, 2009

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Karen Platt

As the goddess of black (named by a Californian nurseryman) I am not over black at all Val. Brown has never been a favourite colour of mine. No wonder they have to call brown coffee or chocolate. I quickly eschewed Heuchera 'Palace Purple' with its ghastly brown tones for the darker, nearer to black tones of the newer heucheras, but these do not grow as well for me as the earlier and lighter ones such as 'Velvet Night'.
Black, I love it in combination with itself, the range of tones is such that you can do this. Of course the sun helps and Seattle and Sheffield are not too sunny. If you do not fancy such a dark combination, I also grow my dark flowers amongst chartreuse foliage or with green flowers, and combine black foliage with silver or gold foliage. Strictly no gravel -ugh, sorry that is a deadly sin. Underplant Ophiopogon with sedum, ranunculus etc.
We discuss this sort of thing in the International Black Society newsletters and of course, in my plant books on these fabulous colours.

Karen

I recognized that as a Swanson's tag right away! I spend way too much $$ there. I have trouble buying dark foliage low-growing plants - they always just seem to blend in with the soil. I guess you have to put them at the edge of a gravel path or in a container or next to something brighter. I'm with you, that first plant looks pretty silly! Yet, the coffee-related name will probably make it sell.

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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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