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June 20, 2010


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Catherine O'Connell

This is the second spring for my 2 carpenteria plants and once again, no flowers . They are in a partial sun location. I live in the Oakland ca hills, often foggy late in the afternoon and early morning. Any thoughts? Thanks btw the plants look healthy


You wrote "This mid-sized evergreen shrub may be native to California but it's dependably hardy here." Where is 'here'? Do you sometimes get winter temperatures around -10C ( I believe around 14 or 15F)? Thanks!

creative recreation

The opinions you provid are of grat help, I like your blog, thank you.


Read your article today....another good one, read as many of your articles as I can. Am a Manager/plant buyer for Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville. We have been recycling pots from 1 gal. size on up for about 18 yrs. now. We try to let as many of our customers know as possible. We re-plant with them & exchange w/growers we buy from!
I invite you to visit the Nursery. We have a good selection of everything, but perennials & annuals especially !
Sunnyside Nursery


Not a comment on your post, but since I can't find any other way to ask this question, I figure I'll post it here.

You wrote this today:

In the article you use the terms "strict budget", "affordable", and ""It's hard to figure out, really, what the green cost is," says Jans".

That's great, but what did it cost? What does "affordable" actually mean? Is this a house that's $100 sq/ft or $400 sq/ft. As someone who's interested in a complete tear down and remodel, why does the actual cost need to be such a mystery?

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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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