Where are the Women Designers?

In the aftermath of this year’s Chelsea show, the dearth of entries by women is discussed in this provocative article from the Telegraph.

The article quotes a Sue Hayward, who wonders if the deficit can be due to the fact that, instead of burly construction matters and hardscape, “women have more affinity with plants – […]

Mergers & Acquisitions

If nature abhors a vacuum, then I am nature’s willing handmaiden. By late May, the garden is stuffed, bursting at the seams like this potted Euphorbia tirucalli.

Echevarias and sedums tucked into every available spot. Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ filling in again after laying low over the winter.

Atriplex hortensis, the purple orach, and […]

Small Moves

“Small moves, Ellie.” No, I didn’t read the book Contact by Carl Sagan but am quoting from the movie, where Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway is advised as a child by her father to take it slow when scanning for alien radio transmissions, and cover small patches of space at a time. So I […]

Need A House? Call Ms. Mouse!

Meet my heroine, Ms. Henrietta Mouse.

“…she is an artist, a designer, a dreamer, a builder, a creator, all that and more too.”

The Venice Garden Tour got me thinking about Henrietta Mouse again, a children’s book that was a particular favorite in our house over 20 years ago. Ms. Mouse, architect extraordinaire, designed […]

Esquisses Pour Le Boulanger

Spoke to MB Maher earlier this week as he edited a small road movie from his time in Northern California. He emphasized the throw-away nature of this piece, but also his embarrassing need to keep shooting, even with a 50-dollar video camera, after his main DSLR bit the dust in Marin. Soundtrack by West African […]

The Succulent Lady

I kept telling everyone, “I’m going to a talk by the Succulent Lady!”

Unlike my friends and family, most garden bloggers need no further description to know I’m talking about Debra Lee Baldwin, in Southern California promoting her new book Succulent Container Gardens.

A brief digression, in words and pictures. The talk was […]

The Smoke Monster

You know what I’m talking about, and it’s not bronze fennel, though he does a pretty good impersonation.

The Shuffle

The annual summer pot shuffle. Which pots shall be plucked from the margins and take pride of place, beautiful specimens of their kind? Every summer brings a different answer.

This Agave parryi’s spikes are kept well out of corgi eye range, elevated by the plant stand.

Agave geminiflora was borrowed from the front […]

On A Misty May Morning

Heavy mist, almost a full-blown drizzle. This has been one long, cool spring, with rain forecast for the weekend. Unheard of for May!

Carex and Echevaria nodulosa

Agave impressa, brought home from the Huntington Botanic Garden’s plant sale over the weekend, estimated size about a foot, planted in a very crowded front garden. Blades […]

The Angelic Ones

I’m so glad I planted this Angelica stricta ‘Purpurea’ (from Annie’s Annuals, of course) in a pot rather than dooming another angelica by trialing it in the garden.

I’m not completely convinced the problem was soil (amended clay) but more of finding the right exposure; a good dose of morning sun and then partial […]