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December 20, 2012


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Mary Balgaroo

I will never forget my visit to Heronswood about 10 years ago when driving up from Salt Lake City, it was the biggest highlight of my gardening life up to that point. So glad to read your update about this national (not just regional) treasure.

valerie Easton

Thanks, Helen, for your kind words...I really appreciate hearing from you..

Helen Engle

You are really pretty special. I like the way you think. (Celebrating the the renewal of Heronswood, about ” hosting gay marriages in the garden for good karma”; the text in Petal & Twig about using everything that grows in your garden, along the roadsides, etc. and re Christmas decorating “stay out of stores”; Plus keeping birds happy in the garden).
And also for taking time to send out Hinkley's reading list. . . . .
Please know you are appreciated! I forward your columns to our Arboretum Unit here in Pierce County.
Helen Engle, hengle@iinet.com

Peter/ Outlaw

The images of Dan standing once again in his garden make my heart sing. One thing that Mr. Ball never understood was that we enjoyed the constant evolution of Heronswood; discovering new plants as they were added, looking for old favorites. Simple preservation/ maintainence could never bring such a thrill.

Jennifer Titus

my favorite place on earth. so glad to hear of the reopening. heronswood is a labor of love and could only be tended by a team with a passion for horticulture. if dan and his crew can take care of a 5 acre garden and nursery, surely i can tend my humble half acre plot. the best news.


Startled to find myself tearing up a bit at the sight of Dan in the garden again. (however, the coffee cup he's carrying in the last pic looks a bit like a pepto bismol bottle on my monitor...could be apt).


In a month of so much hard news, both personal and global, this is a heartwarming and true holiday story!


This is wonderful!!

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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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