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March 13, 2011


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suzanne ferris

After participating in Earth Day volunteer weeding at the Arboretum this past weekend, I can vouch for the fact that volunteers are great but they are no substitute for professional horticulturalists when it comes to getting anything done properly. People SAY they will show up on time, but come four hours late full of cheeriness, with their children in tow, parents want to give their teens some real exercise so stop doing what is the task at hand and jump into 'moving mulch' before the weeding is finished on a site, hori horis are lost in the mayhem of 300 people mulching and weeding, and taking random breaks. Trust me... volunteers are well meaning, and a necessary part of the educational component, but please only in small doses! They are w/o the 'stick-to-itiveness' necessary to do 220 acres of maintenance at the UWBG: the jewel in the crown of our Olmstead legacy.


I agree with the previous commentor...it's very hard to know where to put our resources when so many are in need of it...especially education programs, elderly and many, many people not as fortunate as some of us.
Even if the park no longer gets the funding it enjoyed in the past, I really don't think it will go into decline as so many love it and I'm sure would be willing to pick up the slack with their time and donations.
This would be a great opportunity for the UW to incorporate it's care and upkeep into their many horticultural classes, etc.
In the meantime...we will write to help preserve this beautiful, living museum.
People will save what they love!! :)

Mary Perez

Gave this some thought and as an avid gardener and lover of nature it's a difficult call...How can we use our limited financial resources-- help the sick, elderly, children, education,roads. We may need a large volunteer staff to work at our parks and gardens until our state recovers financially. Know this is a far from perfect solution...Am a volunteer gardener at a Camp for Disabled kids- it's hard work, but rewarding. Creative thinking will be needed--work program for prisoners...bus loads of students to weed...college credit for volunteer work??

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Bayview Farm and Garden

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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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