Blogs with a distinct point of view, with posts from a variety of authors, is surely where blogs are headed. And Gardenista, widely quoted, and shared all over Facebook, is my bet for the future. With its consistent aesthetic, crisp photography, and international perspective, Gardenista is both reference and inspiration, great fun, and so rich in detail I often take notes as I read.
"We're Remodelista's little sister," is how edtior-in-chief Michelle Slatalla describes Gardenista, which launched in 2012. (If you haven't yet found Remodelista, which is now also a book, you're in for a treat.) Both blogs have a similar look, which Michelle describes as "cleam, simple, modern lines, but also eclectic, with room for personal style." Gardenista is more about exterior design than plant details, but it includes DIY. Recent stories include stories on narcissus varieties and garden apps, a tour of a Scottish garden, stylish sheds, and a look at Sarah Raven's flower beds.
Michelle, who has written for Newsday and the New York Times, and taught at the Columbia School of Journalism, now lives in Mill Valley. This little town at the base of a mountain has more sun and less fog than nearby San Francisco. In other words, ideal gardening weather. She and her family bought a 1920's cottage, with an overgrown garden, worked for years by a previous owner who was an avid gardener. In the four years she's been in the house, Michelle has been busy uncovering paths and beds, weeding, trying out new plants.
One of the garden's romantic old paths, lined in herbs, salvia, roses, lavender and creeping thyme.
Michelle has made the garden her own, while making plans for a gentle renovation. She added this bronze scultpure of a Japanese student that her husband's grandfather brought back from World War II. It stands amid the shrubbery, looking right at home in the sprawling, cottage garden.
Michelle is planning to update the garden with more modern and drought-tolerant plants. And her plans for Gardenista? International garden coverage continues with a regular contributing editor in England who reports from around Europe. Michelle plans some design travel; she reported from Barcelona last summer. "And we're talking about a book," says Michelle. "It's the natural next step." Stay tuned....