Fabulous Fountain Grasses: “Temperennial” New Varieties

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While many in the perennial world seem to think that annuals have gone out of style, the “wow” factor they provide is undeniable. Tropical plants and annual flowers are perfect for temporarily filling in the spaces between slow-growing shrubs and trees, which is one of the many reasons books like Stephanie Cohen and Jennifer Benner’s […]

Designing a Meditative or Yoga Garden

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Guest post from Jan Johnsen, author of the new book Heaven is a Garden and my co-contributor over at Garden Design magazine. Yoga and gardens are a natural fit! Both are very personal endeavors – Yoga practice elevates our sense of wellbeing and makes us more aware of the present moment while gardens encourage us […]

Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Plant in Masses

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Think native plants and wildlife-attracting gardens look messy? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this series, we’ll talk about the techniques involved in designing a beautiful wildlife garden. Many native plant enthusiasts and wildlife gardeners start out by trying to replicate the randomized “design” of nature, by planting a lovingly-curated collection of individual […]

Backyard Landscaping Not Looking as Good as You’d Like? Here’s Why

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Gen here – today’s article is a guest post from my friend Rachel Mathews of Successful Garden Design. Rachel’s an established landscape designer in the UK, and I’ve been been enjoying her landscape design eBooks and courses for some time. Today she’ll share one of the biggest secrets to success in designing a landscape:

Drumroll Please: 2011’s Garden Trend Award Goes To. . .

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Succulents! Forget the “Year of the Protestor“, 2011 was the Year of the Succulent. From green roofs to succulent spheres, these low-maintenance, year-round plants have been everywhere. With Debra Lee Baldwin’s classy instruction in her books, we’ve been using succulents in rose gardens, container plantings, and some creative people have even used them as Christmas […]

Mediterranean Garden Design: How to Create a Tuscan Garden

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Recently, I was lucky enough to visit the Mediterranean garden of Lynda and Jack Pozel in Eureka, CA. Lynda’s a writer and artist, and until five years ago, owned a gorgeous cottage-style garden that was on our local garden tour multiple times. So when they moved and Lynda had a whole new garden to create, […]

Top Landscape Plants (Excerpts from Experts)

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When the Garden Designers Roundtable chose Top Landscape Plants as this month’s topic, I thought to myself, “Hey, no problem, I can write that in my sleep.” I mean, enthusing about plants is kind of my thing, you know? But given that this is book excerpt week here at North Coast Gardening, I thought it’d […]

Book Review: Understanding Garden Design

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Understanding Garden Design by Vanessa Gardner Nagel is billed as the “complete handbook for aspiring designers”, and that’s pretty accurate. Whether you’re a homeowner with a passion for gardening, or an aspiring pro, this book clarifies a number of professional tricks that Nagel uses to great success in her own landscape design business. So many professionals […]

Edible Landscaping Ideas at the 2011 San Francisco Garden Show

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I was inspired by the copious use of edibles at the San Francisco Garden Show this year. In true garden show style, displays ranged from practical to completely outlandish. The highlights for me were Johanna Silver’s gorgeous alternatives to raised beds in the Star Apple Edible Garden, and the combining of vertical gardening ideas with […]