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August 13, 2013


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My husband once bought and raised cardoon seeds, not realizing that they weren't artichokes, because Territotial Seeds uses the same illustration on the packet for both. It's too much botheration to blanch the leaf stalks so we grow them as ornamentals. You get the same great artichoke flowers, in multiples, only on stalks that are 6-8' tall. So you get nice height, and once you cut the flower stalks down, a little foliage regrowth for winter presence. I like them as a cut flower, but dunk them in a big bucket of water for awhile to get all the earwigs out, first. They've lasted, as plants, for years even through very cold snowy winters.

Sara Chapman in Seattle USA

Dahlias, black-eyed susans, hardy and regular fuchsias are still going strong. The hydrangeas are gorgeous right now. The roses look pretty good, too, but of course they all take a ton of water and care, but to me it's worth it.

valerie Easton

Hi Tannie,
This seems counter-intuitive, but plants get mildew because they haven't been watered enough. And everything needed far more watering this year because of the long drought and warm days...

You'd probably do fine with a fresh batch of impatiens next year if you put down soaker hoses or installed a drip system to keep them well-watered.Or if you're looking for more drought-tolerant plants, you could try sedum or agastache, but neither have anywhere nearly as long a bloom season as impatiens. Ice plants would be a long-blooming annual that is more drought tolerant...but they aren't as showy as impatiens...


I live in the Bothell, Kenmore area and was wondering if anyone else out there got downy mildew on their impatiens? I had to dig up about 300 hundred plants. Any ideas on what to plant next year? I was very sad!

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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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