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April 11, 2010


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Saw your wonderful article in Pacific Northwest - DASH FOR THE SPLASH. I have been looking for the plants/flowers you mentioned but cannot locate them? Can you please let me know where I might be able to purchase these in the Seattle/Snohomish area?


We love Lakewold. We went Easter Sunday and had the gardens almost to ourselves. The Ukons were in full bloom. It is wonderful throughout the spring. A bit later the arbor is filled with wisteria. We also want to go back to see the Embothrium coccineum and Paulownia tomentosa in bloom. We also discovered that they have several big champion trees of note.

valerie Easton

Hello Florence,
I and other garden writers have written often about invasive ivy and the problems it causes in natural areas. Many area nurseries no longer sell the species. I've written about ivy's invasiveness for the Seattle Times, and there's a blog post from as recently as this March (see "Spring Promenade").


I have lived in the Seattle area for 47 years and have read ONE comment about the dangers of English Ivy. It should be labeled an obnoxious weed as it is not native and grows up to 120" a year. Why doesn't anyone write an article about how harmful ivy can be??? Kirkland City told us, when we lived in Watershed Pk, that we would have to keep it 18" from the park as it would destroy the park in 20 years. It is horrible stuff and there are so many beautiful ground covers.


Thanks for sharing Val! This is yet another among the many wonderful gardens we are so blessed to have that I have yet to visit. Your timely reminder may just be the poke I needed to get it on my calender.

Is tea served in the tea house? I adore visiting Pt. Ellice in Victoria and enjoying high tea on their lawns in the summer. To have a spot near Seattle with something similar...well, I keep searching. Perhaps you have a suggestion?

Keep up the fantastic work & good luck on the book :)

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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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