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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I have always been a huge admirer and fan of advice columnists like Dear Abby, Ask Amy, Dear Prudie. When I was still in Human Resources, I was thrilled when my boss asked my to write workplace advice column called ‘Dear Gabby’. I admit, I’m a helper, and I love giving advice when it is solicited. I know you have garden questions because I get dozens of them emailed to me every month, so I am starting a garden ‘advice’ column as part of the Eden Condensed blog. I hope you’ll learn something, get some advice, and feel more confident about your gardening skills by following along. And send me questions!! You can comment here with questions or fill out my message form.
Here are today’s garden issues:
Wilting Hydrangea Q. I just planted a big leaf hydrangea in a shady area of my garden and it’s not doing well. It’s wilting and the leaves are starting to fall off. What did I do wrong?
A. The prefix ‘hydra’ means water, and hydrangeas need a lot of water. They have fleshy roots, and if they don’t get consistently moist soil, they will wilt very quickly, especially when they…
While I wait for potential clients to decide whether or not to hire me, I contemplate my own garden. It’s November, and in most parts of the country, gardens have been put to bed for the season. It’s already snowing in so many places. Hey, I wore a sweater for most of the day yesterday – it only got up to 68 degrees AND it was cloudy! Unfortunately, I can’t use the excuse of the impending winter to keeping me from garden chores. My garden has been a bit of a disaster lately, but there’s nothing like having company over to get me moving and cleaning. I am doing a series of DIY terrarium classes in my front yard, so some sprucing up was in order. The tables for the class got set up over the patch of n0-lawn, and I went to work dead heading and popping in some fall color.
Thankfully my white iceberg roses decided to bloom again just in time for the first class. I also planted some drought tolerant plants along my fence (mallow, salvia, and milkweed for attracting butterflies). Now that the two dead Elm trees are gone, there is more sun on the…
“How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden?” ~Chinese Proverb
Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) is considered by many cultures to be a sacred herb. In fact, Salvia means ‘savior’ or ‘sacred’. It has been used since ancient times as a medicinal herb to cure everything from sore throats to rheumatism, as a sacred ceremonial herb to cleanse spaces of evil spirits or negative energy or to impart wisdom and immortality, and more recently as a culinary herb.
As a garden designer, I like to use culinary sage planted among ornamental plants. Its many varieties show off soft grey green, purple, and even variegated leaves. The plants grow in low, mounded clumps, and in the summer they bloom with purple flowers. Sage reminds me of fall: fireplaces, roast turkey, and pumpkin ravioli. As I write this, however, it is 106 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles, and, frankly, roasting a turkey is about the last thing I want to do. But I have sage in the garden, and as long as I keep watering it, it…
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I’ll admit that I am an introvert. I’m not shy, but I am pretty much a classic introvert. Situations with too many people drain my energy and make me cranky. With that said, it is pretty unusual for me to tell my husband (who is an extrovert) to pull the car over because I wanted to introduce myself to a lady who is in front of her house tending her adorable cottage garden.
We were in Santa Rosa, CA having a long overdue weekend away sans kids and pets. Being that spring was beginning to pop out all over, I warned him that I would be Instagramming the trip (you can follow me on Instagram here). Daffodils were everywhere, and the streets were lined with flowering pear and plum trees. We had finished walking through the Luther Burbank home and Gardens, and had driven away when I saw the garden with its stacked stone beds, sweet white fence, and lots of containers of spring…
“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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