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March 23, 2011


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Jim Fox

The "little" in 'Little Gem' refers to the leaves, not the growth. It can get quite large - if not organically pruned back by the past cold winters. On the plus side, it takes quite well to pruning by a gardening so could be kept narrower

Michelle Mole

Hello. I am wondering if you can tell me where the beautiful table and chairs are from that are in the healing garden at the Fisher House. They are in the photo in Pacific Northwest Magazine March 6th. There was no mention of who designed that table/chairs or where there are from. I love them! Hope you can help.
Many Thanks,

valerie Easton

Thanks, Glenn - I grew 'Little Gem' in my old garden and it never suffered from the cold...but that was years ago and winters have changed...I'll add this information to the original post....

Glenn Withey

Many 'Little Gem' magnolias were hammered this past winter (and come to think of it, the two before)...

So, I would plant with caution.

Nell Jean

I have both Leonard Messel and Little Gem. The final choice is between spring blooms, summer green and winter blah until the fuzzy buds come on, or magnificent fragrant summer blooms and year-round evergreen foliage. I hope she has room for both.


I came across your blog and fell in love with your final post with more beautiful pictures.,, www.vivamagonline.com Very simple and best article to read,Just thank for the interesting article....

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Bayview Farm and Garden

Far Reaches Farm

Swansons Nursery

B&D Lilies

Renee's Garden

Dig Nursery

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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