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April 29, 2012


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Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to find myself warning someone not to pick the lacy blossoms of poison hemlock when they're in bloom along the trail here, which sounds like it's just plain dangerous to handle, but I pick where I know the county's going to trim, and I pick invasive weeds, like tansy, in massive armfuls. We just don't have many showy natives suitable for picking along the side of the row here. Sambucca racemosa smells too bad.


I'd love too! :)

Lynn Wohlers

I'm all for this color on an overcast day, and I'm all for finding what you may in back alleys and on roadsides. I trust you pick carefully & know what's what. There are always extremists.

Valerie Easton

Hi Chris,
That's just how I feel about doing a bit of scavenging for wild (or more likely escaped) flowers and grasses. If you wanted to make a similar comment on the "Petal & Twig" page on amazon, I'd appreciate it...I need some ballast to the very angry, accusing "review".....


Wow!! those are some eye-popping colours!! Amazing that you could find all that sizzle this early in the season! Very pretty!! He looks a little like a frog to me but what do I know?? :)
Hey, if flowers are growing along a road or in an alley, they can hardly be rare, endangered natives! Usually they're weeds in disquise and are free for the picking!! :)

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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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