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Taking On Lawn Alternatives With The Garden Designers Roundtable

Taking On Lawn Alternatives With The Garden Designers Roundtable

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Other than a place to teach your dog to play lacrosse, I don't see much use for conventional turf lawns. So I knew just what I'd write about when the Garden Designers Roundtable asked me to write an article about lawn alternatives. And the perfect topic for getting the discussion in gear is Reimagining the California Lawn, even if you garden 3000 miles away.

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Healthy Skepticism for a Healthy Garden - Win A Free Copy of The Informed Gardener!

Healthy Skepticism for a Healthy Garden - Win A Free Copy of The Informed Gardener!

71 comments

Linda Chalker-Scott, didn't set out to be a matador, hell-bent on goring gardening's sacred cows. But somebody needed to bust the myths we carry into our gardens.

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Airplanes In The Garden -- Kids, Butterflies, and Summer Fun

Airplanes In The Garden -- Kids, Butterflies, and Summer Fun

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Summer's almost here, so what better way to get kids outside than growing your own butterfly garden? Joan Calder's book will entertain kids and guarantees some good, clean, dirty fun.

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Before You Dig, Get Fit To Garden

Before You Dig, Get "Fit To Garden"

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Stacy Walters' website is filled with everything you need to garden strong, garden smart, and garden safely. There's no reason to stall the start of spring with a case of sore muscles.

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Im Branching Out Into Archaeology: Blame the Wisteria

I'm Branching Out Into Archaeology: Blame the Wisteria

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I’ve yet to see a documentary on the ancient migratory trail of the Wisterians, who evidently passed through Santa Barbara, leaving barely a trace. Without a reliable body of research I can only conjecture that they appeared about 14,000 years ago.

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Hot Tubbing with Jeffrey Gordon Smith?

Hot Tubbing with Jeffrey Gordon Smith?

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Jeffrey Gordon Smith’s designs are not about what he calls “the flavor of the month,” like “Muscany” (Morocco meets Tuscany). “I don’t think garden designers should be pushing the past on gardens,” referring to the typical cookie-cutter gimmicks some designers reach for.

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Foliage Foundations and Gnasty Gnomes (the Gs are silent)

Foliage Foundations and Gnasty Gnomes (the Gs are silent)

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What if the gnomes in your garden were practical jokers? You can outsmart them by planting a garden where form and foliage reign.

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Washing Machines and Art Collide in a Santa Barbara Garden

Washing Machines and Art Collide in a Santa Barbara Garden

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"Honey, I'm so proud of you taking a sculpture class. And I'm sure there's a perfect spot near the hose bibb." Unfortunately, that's how a lot of "art" winds up in the garden.

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Your New Years Resolution - Get Thee To A Garden Show

Your New Years Resolution - Get Thee To A Garden Show

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At this very moment some of the most imaginative garden designers are hunkered down at their drawing boards putting the finishing touches on displays that'll knock your socks off.

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Did Vertical Gardening Start During The Gold Rush?

Did Vertical Gardening Start During The Gold Rush?

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The eastern face of Telegraph Hill looked wild and inaccessible, like El Capitan rising from the floor of Yosemite Valley. The rock face cascaded with ribbons of green, framed by the shimmering golden foliage of poplar trees. Fortunately, we weren't going to need a Sherpa or oxygen masks to mount our assault - we'd hoof it a couple of blocks to the Filbert Steps and take the more civilized route.

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A Book That Fattens Your Wallet and Warms Your Home

A Book That Fattens Your Wallet and Warms Your Home

If you're interested in reducing your energy bills and making your landscaping more beautiful, Sue Reed's book, Energy-Wise Landscape Design belongs on your holiday gift list.

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Meet Fine Gardening's New Contributing Editors

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Fine Gardening, the nation's leading supplier of useful, trustworthy gardening information, announces the appointment of eight new contributing editors...

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Dumber Than A Potted Plant? Not So Fast

Dumber Than A Potted Plant? Not So Fast

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A drizzly day in San Diego, a camera, and mass confusion about what to write about. Then I noticed what brilliant structural engineers plants could be. It's all about resisting The Big G -- GRAVITY!

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Rain Dance

Rain Dance

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I'm a slug, not a lizard. I'd rather be under a boulder than baking on top of it. My ideal weather is the cool temps of a SoCal winter; my favorite sound is rain softly thumping on fallen leaves...

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Dallas in September: Sweatier Than A Bronco Riders...

Dallas in September: Sweatier Than A Bronco Rider's...

For all you folks who live where the summer norm is 90-plus temps and 2437.3% humidity, I am in awe of you. I've been back from the Garden Writers Association annual symposium in Dallas for a few weeks and I just don't know how y'all do it. My raging souvenir cold has run its course, induced, no doubt, by slogging from the uber air conditioned hotel, to vegetable-crisper busses, to jungle-steamy-hot gardens best described as "air you can wear."

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San Francisco Road Trip Part I - UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

San Francisco Road Trip Part I - UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

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Cool as it's been in my hometown of Santa Barbara, Lin and I decided to get out of town for a few days and subject ourselves to the San Francisco fog monster. Saturday was the big deal, horticulturally speaking. I've heard for years about the legendary 10,000-plus species collection ensconced at the 34-acre University of California Botanical Garden on the Berkeley campus. I headed into the wilds of the Garden with trusty camera...

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Five Step Program for SMS - Help Is On The Way

Five Step Program for SMS - Help Is On The Way

7 comments

Do you find yourself stumbling around your yard, arms extended zombie-like, a plant in each hand, mumbling "Where can I put these?"

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The American Meadow Garden :  Win A Free Copy of John Greenlees Book!

The American Meadow Garden : Win A Free Copy of John Greenlee's Book!

125 comments

I couldn't wait to get my hot little hands on The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn, (Timber Press) written by grass and meadow madman John Greenlee, and seductively photographed by Saxon Holt. The book promised tools for my landscape architect's bag of tricks-philosophical reassurance, design inspiration, a new palette of plants, how-to details.

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Great Garden Speakers - Coming To Your Town?

Great Garden Speakers - Coming To Your Town?

GreatGardenSpeakers.com is a brand new website helping garden clubs, Master Gardener groups, botanical institutions, nature centers, garden shops, flower shows bring informed and dynamic speakers to their programs and pack the house. Now, finding the right speaker is a near as your computer.

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Garden Design - A Dogs Eye View

Garden Design - A Dog's Eye View

6 comments

When I start a new design, I picture the plants the same way Biff probably sees them. I imagine they will never bloom—that I'll have to rely on something other than floral color for interest. I select and combine plants using all their other visual qualities—the silhouette of the plant, its foliage shape, leaf size, density and surface texture, for example. The flowers ice the cake.

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