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July 05, 2009


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Sue N.

I grow roses as I just love the fragrance (and it's fun to say I have Queen Elizabeth and Mr. Lincoln in my garden). I always remember Richie doing a lecture at NHS, and flipping back and forth between a rhodie slide and a rose slide, saying "Good", "Bad", "Good", "Bad", just like being at the eye doctor's. Very funny.
But they're indisputably gorgeous, thorns and all.


See, I love gardening, but I just don't get roses. Maybe because I love foliage plants and when a rose isn't blooming, there's nothing but thorns.

valerie Easton

Hi Riz,
It does sound quite insane, but I can imagine kind of addictive - thanks for the explanation of how judges distinguish between all those beautiful blooms....

Riz Reyes

Oh wow, I can't believe I missed out on this show. I would have LOVED to see this show! A few years ago, I would have gone out of my way to exhibit a few stems, but my competitive days are over (for now...maybe when I retire) LOL.

I remember studying the judging criteria for the different classes of roses and it's remarkable what growers will do to get the most perfect blooms possible.

The hybrid tea classes are extremely competitive as an untrained eye will simply say they all look the same and beautiful, whereas an accredited judge will spot the slightest blemish, an off center spiral, and even the angle in which the flower is held on the stem. Stem and foliage count as well. It's quite insane, but really fascinating!


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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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