Design

Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Plant in Masses

July 13, 2012 9 comments
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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 […]

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

June 15, 2012 42 comments
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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:

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2012 Garden Trends: What the Cool Kids are Planting This Year

January 16, 2012 26 comments
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I have a weakness for all the trend reports that come out at the start of each new year. While I have my own ideas about what’s going to be hot, I love to pore over these reports and alternately nod my head or think (hope!) the writer is crazy. Trend reports are a fun […]

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

January 9, 2012 8 comments
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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 […]

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Mediterranean Garden Design: How to Create a Tuscan Garden

September 4, 2011 20 comments
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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, […]

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Top Landscape Plants (Excerpts from Experts)

April 26, 2011 30 comments
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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 […]

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Book Review: Understanding Garden Design

April 7, 2011 2 comments
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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 […]

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Edible Landscaping Ideas at the 2011 San Francisco Garden Show

March 30, 2011 9 comments
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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 […]

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Rockin’ It: Innovative Use of Stone at the 2011 San Francisco Garden Show

March 29, 2011 7 comments
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Running through the back of my mind when I visit a garden show is the knowledge that most of what I see isn’t really workable at home. The displays are pure fantasy – a chance for designers to show off what they could do if practical matters like watering and maintenance weren’t an issue. I’m […]

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Contained: Planter Ideas for Balcony Gardens from the 2011 San Francisco Garden Show

March 28, 2011 16 comments
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The San Francisco Garden Show had a ton of container plantings accenting the display landscapes, and standing on their own. The nice thing about displays of containers is that you can generally recreate them at home with little fuss. Here are some of the highlights from the show:

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