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December 02, 2011


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Apple a few surviving old branches cheered me and gave me the spectacle of my first shake a little holiday cheer.

Christina Wilsdon

I love that most of our decor is family stuff handed down through generations. I love Christmas but hate the merchandising of it, ever earlier each year...Every December it feels as if I'm seeing a bear, beautiful as its own natural self, captured and made to dance on its hind legs in the town square! Your apple tree is definitely like one's own home--a place to escape the forced merriment.


I would have backed out too! I work in retail, and what I dislike most is that holidays aren't holidays in retail, they're just another opportunity to squeeze just one more dollar out of customers.
My favorite Christmas decoration is my family! Sure we have decorations and lights we put up, but what makes it Christmas is spending time and celebrating with all the people I love.


You could not have said it any better. I don't want to go into any stores right now, it just seems so forced.

valerie Easton

Very well put - "decorating glitz and manufactured hominess" - I'm going to run a contest next week asking readers to send in descriptions of how they decorate using nature; maybe we can all get inspired to stop spending money and be creative with what is all around us. Bogs has donated a great pair of gardening boots as a prize...stay tuned...


I'm right there under the apple tree with you...
The decorating glitz and manufactured hominess is just too much to bear.

wendy john

So great to hear this point of view! When will this madness ever quit?

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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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