Green is a color. In fact, when you look at just about any garden, I bet you can pick out several shades of green. As I am sure you know, gardens can practically explode with colors other than green, but for some reason there is the misconception that a shade or part shade garden means green and only green. I love designing and planting shade gardens. There is a quiet energy about them, and finding ways to add color to them through plants and other garden elements makes them all the more attractive.
Here are some easy ways to bring color to a shade garden:
Plants can bring color to a shade or part shade garden through their leaves, flowers, or bark. Japanese maple trees (Acer palmatumvarieties) do really well in filtered light. Many varieties have red, orange, and even variegated leaves. For example, the Sango-Kaku or coral bark Japanese maple puts on a show with leaves that transition from yellow to orange to red AND has bark that is a vibrant red, which looks great especially in the winter.
Other favorite plants with colorful leaves that I regularly use in shady spaces include Heuchera and Solenostemon. Heuchera is…
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, ceramic containers
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If you live in Southern California, unless you’ve been living in the dust under a rock, you know we are in the midst of a terrible drought. When it does rain, people get all excited; the local news media goes on “STORM WATCH!”; and the complaining starts. No one can drive in the rain. Mudslides! No one can drive in the rain (yes, I know I said that twice). People are taking this drought seriously. Dead and dying lawns pepper our neighborhoods (well, maybe not in Beverly Hills – appearances need to be kept up you know). We show pride in how dirty our cars are. We discuss the merits of grey water and rain barrels. And we jump for joy that our Mayor, Eric Garcetti, just approved an increase to the Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) turf removal rebate program. If you are approved, you can receive a rebate of up to $3.75 per square foot to get rid of your water thirsty lawn and replace it with drought tolerant plants.
Herein lies the problem. Pulling up the turf and popping in a few Agaves and other succulents probably won’t do much for the…
“As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language that maketh it the chosen emblem of our funeral wakes and in our burial grounds.” — Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)
Indigenous to the rocky shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Rosemary officinalis is a versatile herb indeed. It is a woody perennial with short needle shaped leaves that are very fragrant with blue, white, or pink flowers. Historically it is associated with memory and friendship, weddings and funerals, powerful healing and sacred cleanses. Today while rosemary is still studied for is medicinal uses in certain cancers, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s Disease; it is primarily used as a culinary and aromatherapy herb.
Growing tips Rosemary is also one of the easiest herbs to grow, and for the home cook, believe me, you only need one plant. It’s best to buy seedlings and plant them in well draining organic potting mix. Once they are established, they need little water or fertilizer and can handle salty sea air and temperatures down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit.
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“The gardener cultivates wildness, but he does so carefully and respectfully, in full recognition of its mystery.” ― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education
Welcome to the Eden Condensed blog! So, finally three years after founding Eden Condensed and writing for various other blogs and publications, I’ve decided to work in my own garden as it were, to “cultivate wildness”, and launch my own blog. I think I have hesitated in starting a blog in the past because as much as gardening is my passion and my calling, I don’t always want to write about gardening. I find so many topics fascinating, and my observations of the world don’t always focus on plants.
So what will this blog be about? Well, first and foremost, it will be about gardening: garden design, planting tips, garden successes and failures, lessons learned from my favorite garden designers and clients, and lots of beautiful pictures. It will also be about my life in and about Los Angeles, my chickens, my…
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