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Archived Blog Posts

When good plants go bad

I have always loved the pristine white bark of the Himalayan white birch (Betula utilis var. jacquemontii) and it was an obvious choice to anchor the far end of our island bed  where it was highly visible from many vantage points. When a colleague offered me two more I created a small grove of these,…

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Color-Changing Evergreens

Funnily enough, no-one has ever asked me to design a high maintenance garden, yet there is a common misconception that low maintenance translates to an endless row of boxwood or a border entirely devoted to rhododendrons. While these may be easy care they certainly won’t win any design awards. Yet evergreen trees and shrubs are…

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Design Evolution: doing it your way

As an independent designer I’m in the fortunate position of being able to design gardens that will be professionally installed by my recommended contractors*, by the homeowners themselves, or even by another preferred and local-to-the-site contractor. (*I never accept a referral fee so my recommendation is  based on the fact that they always do outstanding…

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New Year, New Vintage(s)

It’s no secret that I enjoy a glass of wine in the garden. So imagine my excitement when I received an email from Proven Winners a few days ago, where the word “wine” appeared SEVEN times in just a few short paragraphs! Naturally they knew they would have my attention, so as I continued to…

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From My Garden to Yours

May the true spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path. From my garden to yours xx  

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Gifts for Adventurous Gardeners (& More)

How much more STUFF do we need anyway? This year has changed my shopping habits. I visit stores as infrequently as possible and when I do it’s because I need to hand pick something specific. Most of my purchases have been made online, whether  a wetsuit or new walking shoes. With the Holidays just around…

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Reflections on Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is going to look different for most of us this year. Rather than a large gathering with family and friends and the table groaning under the weight of an excess of delicious dishes, there will just be the two of us (plus an ever-hopeful pup!) and a simplified meal. In fact if the weather…

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Layers in the Winter Garden

Layering is a way of life here in the Pacific Northwest where on any given day, regardless of the season, you may be reaching for a fleece jacket one minute and peeling down to a T-shirt the next. As I looked outside early this morning the sun was just beginning to rise over the tree…

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The Role of a Garden Designer Part 2: Deck Design

A beautiful home, a delightful young family, and a garden full of potential; I knew this was a design project that I was really going to enjoy. Adding a family-sized patio, kid-friendly play spaces that would encourage adventure and exploration, a new kitchen garden within an enclosed courtyard, and low maintenance, easy-care plantings that offered…

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Planning Fabulous Fall Combinations

Stop what you’re doing for a moment, look out of the window, and take a long, hard look at your fall garden.  What do you see? I’m sure there are individual trees or shrubs that are breathtaking, but are they shown off to their best advantage? Do they read as random sparks here and there,…

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