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February 23, 2012


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These violets are well behaved. They spread a little by runners and seeds but that's the nature of ground covers, to some extent, isn't it? I'm happy for any surplus (I have a big garden and a rental property), but if I had a small garden, I'd still want them there. They also tolerate wind well.

valerie Easton

Thanks, Daria, for your list - since winter seems to be continuing its grip, trillium, violets (not too invasive? They sure can be....) and snowdrops really help us make it through 'til narcissus, fritillaria and tulips...I have a bunch of buttercream-colored little crocus growing up out of black mondo grass which is cheering me up this morning...


Love your "this rag-tag tail end of the season." May I put in a good word for a few plants that get me over the hump at this time of year? Snowdrops look lovely with hellebores, are very amendable to dividing, which I do before, during, and after blooming, and have presentable foliage after. It may just be viola odorata, but it's a violet I inherited when we bought our house and it's a mainstay groundcover for me, one of it's virtues being that, starting in late October, it blooms sporadically during the winter, but in February goes into high gear. Plus, it's evergreen, tidy year round, sun or shade, and without supplemental summer watering. Underplanted with snowdrops and hellebores it makes for a charming vignette. And, if you can get it, the mottled leaves of Trillium kurabayashii, and it's very long lasting wine colored flowers, which sometimes show as early as Valentine's Day are a treasure at this time before real spring.

Scott Weber

OMG...those spiral leaves on the Begonias are AMAZING!

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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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