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July 16, 2009


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Compost tea is probably a useful thing. But the matter is that it takes a lot of time to be prepared and nobody knows what kind of bacteria and funguses he grows. Instead of it you can take already done and guaranteed microorganisms which will work in the soil and on plants as fungicides and insecticides. Any harm, any lost time, any equipment. The whole you need is the biological preparation and water. To be sure visit the page www.zahyst-agro.com.ua Do not forget to push button English above to translate.

valerie Easton

"The New Low Maintenance Garden" is at most bookstores, or any could order it for you. Or you could get it from Amazon.com....thanks for asking....

Margaret Hynes

Hi Val,
Thanks so much for the follow-up. I'll look forward to the article in Pacific Magazine, and now that I have the artist's name, hopefully I can locate him somehow.

We recently built a garage on our property, so our yard area is a huge "clean slate" of dirt and weeds. Where can I find your book "The New Low Maintenance Garden"? I need all the help I can get!

valerie Easton

Hi Margaret,
That is a cool railing, isn't it? It was made by a metal artist named Wil Case (yes, the Wil has one "l"). The railing is in Tina Dixon's garden, and her entire garden, with more information about the artist, will be in the Easter Sunday issue of Pacific magazine. Some of Wil's work will be in the cover photo if I remember correctly. Wil is a local artist, but I'm unable to find him on Google - you could always email Tina Dixon for more information if your questions aren't answered in that April 4 issue of Pacific magazine.
Best regards,

Margaret Hynes

I loved the railing in the photo for the article "Odd is Good"... can you forward some info on the artist and perhaps some contact information? It's exactly what I'm looking for in my "odd" garden. Loved the article,too!


carol king

May I please have the name of the person who made the turned rail in seattle times picture today thank you

Union Glashutte

I believe that even if it is more costly, that because it is better for the environment, AND because it IS A ZOO (and should be having a positive affect on the community) they should be doing what is right, regardless of cost and economic conditions-- ugh.


Harvard yard just completed a study on compost tea this year. Here's a link:


As for compost, there are plenty of studies and research to support it's use. No one argues about the benefits of using compost, but rather that it's costly and labor intensive.


I think you're missing the critic's point. As I understand the story, Mr. Hook's presentation noted that compost tea is one component of a number of actions taken to organically care for the roses. I don't hear in Mr. Wemer's argument that he opposes an organic approach at all. I think he's saying the same thing that you admit--that the jury is out on compost tea. So to attribute any of the garden's success to that one component is pure speculation and not particularly prudent. Unless Mr. Hook has specifically isolated the impact of the compost tea on the garden's overall success, he might as well advocate dancing a naked conga line at every full moon in the garden. The same defense--that the overall impact is positive-- would work.

sue n.

I admire and applaud your frank open discussion and examination of all sides of the issue. Nicely done.

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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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