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July 18, 2012


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I'd vote for replacing with a Styrax Japonica. So delicious when it blooms, pretty in the fall, lovely branching pattern!


That mystery plant looks like sansevieria to me, some of which are also succulents.


Sorry about your redbud. Maybe it's a disease related to the weather we've been having, in which case, who knows what to do? Hire a psychic? If you end up replacing it, though I'm sure you've got scads of ideas, let me campaign for stewartia monodelpha. I first fell in love with them when I came upon a grove of them in the dead of winter at the arboretum. The one in my garden is 20 yrs old, and not a big tree, but nice in every season. It has a lovely structure, bark color and texture, the leaves show a little reddish color at the tips, and have good fall color, though maybe buying in fall and choosing the best color would be advisable. It's blooming now and is charming, like the glitter on a Christmas card, rather than super showy like most spring blooming trees. Stewartia chinesis has bigger flowers, but I don't know anything else about it. So far, no problems with disease or bugs. Of all the trees in my garden, I probably like it the best, even more than the Japanese and coral bark maples. It's definately worth investigating.

Scott Weber

That lily is crazy! So sad about your Redbud :-( Our neighbor has the same situation this year, for some reason, his lovely Redbud barely leafed out at all this spring...and looks like it is on the way out...really sad, it was SO pretty.

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Bayview Farm and Garden

Far Reaches Farm

Swansons Nursery

B&D Lilies

Renee's Garden

Dig Nursery

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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