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Hot Plant Introductions from the Cool Pacific Northwest: Terra Nova

Hot Plant Introductions from the Cool Pacific Northwest: Terra Nova

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Dan Heims, founder of Terra Nova Nursery in Portland, says his "rock star" idol is Luther Burbank. Well, Dan's another hybridizing hero, churning out great plants for gardeners across the country. Check out my picks for 2013...

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Garden Design Lessons from Nature, In a Concrete Box

Garden Design Lessons from Nature, In a Concrete Box

Imagine designing gardens that come to life almost overnight, then just as quickly disappear. Months of planning, locating beautiful plants and tons of soil and rock, followed by a mad dash to bring...

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The Bloedel Reserve Whispers Wow

The Bloedel Reserve Whispers Wow

The first "take my breath away" moment hit me at the Bird Marsh at the Bloedel Reserve. Nothing disturbed the mirrored surface and no bird songs interrupted the muffled drops of rain on the duff.

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South African Coral Tree is the Star of the Show

South African Coral Tree is the Star of the Show

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This magnificent Erythrina caffra was well established when I was asked to redesign this west facing garden off the master bedroom. It became the centerpiece for a composition using grasses, succulents and snow-in-summer ground cover.

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Chardonnay and Herbs Meet in Sonoma Wine County

Chardonnay and Herbs Meet in Sonoma Wine County

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Saxon Holt and Tammi Hartung's book about herbs is the perfect excuse to share my recent speaking trip to the Bay Area. And I got a whole day to just play.

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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!

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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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Cornerstone Sonoma: Where Art, Imagination, and Plants Come to Play

Cornerstone Sonoma: Where Art, Imagination, and Plants Come to Play

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I had heard so many wondrous things about Cornerstone: Festival of Gardens. It was one of those breathlessly spoken, Oh, you have to go there, places my designer friends insisted I visit.

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Another Definition of Vertical Gardening - Marcia Donahue

Another Definition of Vertical Gardening - Marcia Donahue

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There's vertical and there's vertical. Artist Marcia Donahue's Berkeley, California, garden is a botanical and imaginative wonderland filled with humor, whimsy, and sensitivity to nature.

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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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Book Giveaway Exclusively for California Gardeners

Book Giveaway Exclusively for California Gardeners

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I'm sorry. I'm really late. I should have posted this blog before you sent your letter to Santa. But there's a book that needs to be in every California gardener's collection, right next to the big green one I'm not going to mention by name. (Hint: it rhymes with "Unset Cistern Pardon Crook").

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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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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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