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July 21, 2011


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Valerie, you inspired me to add more yellow and orange blooms to my garden.......adding that sunshine we so often miss in Seattle! One of my, and the hummingbirds', new favorites is Kniphofia 'Shining Sceptre'. It glows on a grey day....like today!

valerie Easton

Hi Denise,
I agree about the weather - have you ever been with a group of gardeners when the topic of weather didn't come up in the first five minutes? You can always count on a gardener to give you the specifics of rainfall, temperature and wind....it's endlessly fascinating to us...and, yes, we've had record lows here all spring into summer, with more thunderstorms and rain today...


Nobody watches the weather like gardeners, and it's garden blogs that really bring home the weather to me from other regions. I had no idea the PNW was having unusually cool summer conditions while a good deal of the rest of the country broils. So far So. Calif. has been pleasant -- not too hot yet, mostly just in the 80's near the coast. But we certainly can't grow wallflowers in July!


Hi Valerie, that is one awesome marble-leafed nasturtium. Personally I enjoy the foliage and the habit of nasturtiums in general rather than the blooms, but the flowers are an additional plus! Love the way the foliage holds the raindrop so perfectly like epimedium, lady's mantle, akebia, etc. Definitely a plant to be cheerful about. (-: Thank you for sharing those photographs.

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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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