Beginners

Review of Kiss My Aster by Amanda Thomsen

June 13, 2013 27 comments
Thumbnail image for Review of Kiss My Aster by Amanda Thomsen

Every so often, a book comes along which challenges the limits of the media and shows how much is still possible with old-fashioned paper and ink. Amanda Thomsen’s new book Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You, is just such a book.

Click here to continue reading →

The NEW Sunset Western Garden Book

March 22, 2012 65 comments
Thumbnail image for The NEW Sunset Western Garden Book

16 years ago, when I took my first horticulture class, The Sunset Western Garden Book was the very first book I bought. Its status in the West is such that I owned three copies by the end of my first year: one old edition which had the best basic gardening tips, one new edition with […]

Click here to continue reading →

Book Review: The Beginner’s Guide to Gardening

February 15, 2012 91 comments
Thumbnail image for Book Review: The Beginner’s Guide to Gardening

Katie Elzer-Peters is one of those dynamos of the gardening world who is so busy Getting Things Done that you may not have actually heard of her yet. But she’s been working behind the scenes on so many projects – nursery newsletters, writing articles for sites too numerous to mention, and mentoring authors with Cool […]

Click here to continue reading →

Workin’ Like a Pro: Gardening Tools I Adore Right Now

October 5, 2011 11 comments
Thumbnail image for Workin’ Like a Pro: Gardening Tools I Adore Right Now

You all know I’m a bit of a tool evangelist. After having countless employees bust up inferior tools during our 40-hour workweeks in the garden, I do get a bit swoony about the tools that last. But of course, merely surviving the garden isn’t good enough for pros. We do so much pruning, digging and […]

Click here to continue reading →

Five Books: for Beginning Gardeners

January 4, 2011 2 comments
Thumbnail image for Five Books: for Beginning Gardeners

Newbie gardeners are greeted to the gardening book section by thick encyclopedias on Crocus, for example, or how to design in specific styles. But when I was a new gardener, I didn’t know what style I wanted to design in. And I was still working my way through the common, easy-to-grow plants – I think […]

Click here to continue reading →

Fall Leaf Raking: Finding the Middle Ground

November 6, 2010 17 comments
Thumbnail image for Fall Leaf Raking: Finding the Middle Ground

All gardeners evolve. There is something about being outside and working hard in nature that inspires learning and growth. The issue of fall leaves is one I’ve been struggling with lately. Last year I wrote about why you shouldn’t let your fall leaves stay, and all of those reasons are still true, but… This year […]

Click here to continue reading →

Low-Maintenance Landscaping: How to Tim Ferriss Your Garden Routine

September 16, 2010 11 comments
Thumbnail image for Low-Maintenance Landscaping: How to Tim Ferriss Your Garden Routine

Do you have more garden than time? Even people who love, LOVE to garden sometimes find their landscape a source of guilt rather than joy. So many times when I’m visiting a garden, I’m making enthusiastic exclamations over the abundance and beauty of it all, the owner of the garden is saying things like, “well, […]

Click here to continue reading →

Coastal Gardening: How to Garden on the Seacoast

April 11, 2010 11 comments
Thumbnail image for Coastal Gardening: How to Garden on the Seacoast

Coastal gardening presents some big challenges. There is constant strong wind,  sandy soil that doesn’t hold water well and is lean on nutrients, and the salt! Oh, the salt. Of course, it has its benefits too. Nowhere else do you get such a sense of motion in the landscape, between the beauty of the waves […]

Click here to continue reading →

Gardening Basics: How to Water

June 21, 2009 6 comments
Thumbnail image for Gardening Basics: How to Water

Watering seems like one of those bonehead tasks that everyone should get right on their first try, right? I wish! The truth is, I see more gardens that are sick and unhealthy due to water stress than any other single issue. Luckily, watering properly isn’t complicated once you know a few simple things.

Click here to continue reading →

Gardening Basics: How to Apply Mulch

June 16, 2009 17 comments
Thumbnail image for Gardening Basics: How to Apply Mulch

We’ve talked about why a thick layer of mulch, composty soil, and good watering habits are important if you want to garden more organically; it’s all about giving your plants a foundation of good health so that pest problems will be few and far between. Today we’ll talk specifically about mulch: what it is, what […]

Click here to continue reading →