Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Meet Our Community: Angela Judd, food grower, citrus lover, and YouTuber

 

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Angela Judd



Growing in the Garden is where I share inspiration and tips to help others be successful in their own gardens, with an emphasis on how to garden in the low desert of Arizona and other hot climates.

When I first began gardening, it was difficult to find specific information about gardening in my climate. I started my garden in Mesa, Arizona, with one 4x4-foot raised bed and gradually added one raised bed or container at a time. As I began to have success, I shared pictures of my garden and what I was learning on Instagram, joining the supportive gardening community there.

I started my blog to reach a broader audience. Blogging has pushed me to continually learn new things, practice them in my own garden, and then share what I’ve learned on my website, YouTube, and other social channels. 

My writing journey began with articles I wrote for a Master Gardener newsletter. Writing didn’t come easily to me, but I kept at it. My writing muscle was stretched even further this year by writing a book. How to Grow Your Own Food: An Illustrated Beginner’s Guide to Container Gardening comes out in May 2021. 

My favorite place, however, is not behind the computer, writing about gardening, but 
out in the garden with hands in the dirt. From only one small raised bed 12 years ago, I’m now up to 18 raised beds, plus several in-ground beds and containers. Vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees – I love growing them all. As the mother of five children, I especially enjoy growing and preparing food from the garden for my family.

Although gardening in Arizona has its challenges, we are lucky to be able to grow citrus easily. We almost take it for granted. I love the endless variety of 
available citrus (17 different types grow in my garden), its year-round greenery and fragrant blossoms, and the harvests. 

My favorite public garden is The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia – easily the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen. Difficult as it is to imagine, Butchart was once a worked-out limestone quarry. I had no idea what to expect when I visited, but then a curving path opened up to an amazing view, and it literally took my breath away.



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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Angela! You can follow Angela at her blog, Growing in the Garden, her Instagram, and her YouTube channel.

Photographs courtesy of Angela Judd.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Meet Our Community: Jim Charlier, Buffalo gardens advocate and garden art experimenter

 

Photo: KC Kratt

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Jim Charlier



My front garden
I consider my Buffalo, New York, garden a design lab for my garden art experiments. I’m an art director/graphic designer and spent my formative years in advertising agencies; since 2000 I’ve been self-employed. Gardening is my creative outlet, devoid of client input, opinions, deadlines, and change orders. But there’s still a budget to work within!

My artistic garden projects include a diamond-shaped dwarf pear tree espalier, a grass-and-paver checkerboard garden, a hanging sculpture with two fountains, and what may be Buffalo’s most famous garden shed, designed in the style and colors of our 1897 Dutch Colonial home. 

Everything about gardening is relaxing to me: weeding, watering, trimming, digging, planning, and planting. I lose focus on everything else when I’m working in the garden. Some days I forget to eat until evening. 

I started my blog, Art of Gardening, way back in the blogging frontier days of 2007, to share my own garden and those on my travels. I also showed off what other Buffalo gardeners were doing. At the time I was president of Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden tour in the U.S., which today features more than 400 urban gardens and 65,000 visitors. (We get more than 3,000 visitors at our garden alone.) This free annual event is always held the last full weekend of July. Because of Covid-19, Garden Walk Buffalo went virtual in 2020. 

The checkerboard garden & famous shed
I created a video about my garden in the summer of covid and am co-author of the book Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs. Teaming up with Elizabeth Licata of Garden Rant, I co-planned the 2010 Buffalo Fling, which was attended by 80 bloggers from around the country. I hope you had a good time! 

I also helped start a horticultural tourism group that eventually became Gardens Buffalo Niagara (GBN), now merged with Garden Walk Buffalo. I’m most proud of the fact that GBN has granted more than $100,000 to clubs and community groups for more than 100 garden-oriented beautification projects. 

I learn from any garden I’ve ever visited. That’s a reason I like the Fling so much. One garden that I think heaven will be like is the Gentling Garden, which we visited during the 2012 Asheville Fling. I revisit my blog post about it whenever I'm feeling wistful and want to be inspired.








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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Jim! You can follow Jim at: 

ArtofGardening.org

Instagram

Facebook

JCharlier Communication Design

Buffalo Style Gardens Book site

LinkedIn

YouTube

Pinterest

Photographs courtesy of Jim Charlier, except as noted.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Meet Our Community: Loree Bohl, fearless gardener and author

 

Photo: Gerhard Bock

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Loree Bohl



Danger Garden is about plants -- my love of plants and garden design. I started my blog to connect with like-minded gardeners, but it has turned into so much more. I’ve tracked the development of my Portland, Oregon, garden for 11 years and along the way met many interesting people. I hear from followers who say that I’ve inspired them to look at gardening (and spiky plants!) differently. That’s a huge compliment.

The Pacific Northwest is home to great gardeners and fantastic nurseries. We’re lucky to be able to grow so many different kinds of plants here. I love to push the boundaries of what people expect to see in a Portland garden, and, yes, that means agaves and cactus, yucca and nolina, along with hardy ferns and proteaceous plants. We really do have winter here, complete with ice storms, snow, and a record low of 14 F in my garden. But I don’t let the fact that something isn’t hardy stop me from growing it. This means that every spring the Great Migration occurs as container plants are moved out to the garden for their summer vacation, and then in fall they’re moved back undercover to stay cozy over the winter months. 

I love agaves maybe most of all but also adore mosses and ferns. Currently I’m rather obsessed with bromeliads. I have at least a half-dozen favorite gardens, but at the top are
Lotusland and The Ruth Bancroft Garden. Each was created by a woman with a strong vision and the passion and work ethic to make it happen. 

My first book, Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love, is coming out in January 2021. The pandemic has changed the way I’ll promote the book, with no big garden shows or in-person events for the foreseeable future. On the upside I’ll be able to talk to groups across the country via online webinars, so I’m all ears if you’re part of a group that might want to have me give a talk. Let me know!




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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Loree! You can follow Loree on her blog Danger Garden and her Instagram.


Photographs courtesy of Loree Bohl, except as noted.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Meet Our Community: Julie Thompson-Adolf, food-growing evangelist and nature nut

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Julie Thompson-Adolf



Garden Delights follows my adventures as an obsessive organic gardener, local food lover, nature nut, eco-adventurer, and writer as I grow food and explore the world with my family. I started my blog during the last recession. Many of my friends were worried about their ability to feed their families, and I wanted to help alleviate those fears. Anyone can grow a garden to sustain their family or offset a reduced grocery budget. Even without access to a backyard, it’s easy to grow food in a container on a balcony, porch, or even a stairwell. These days I share more on my social accounts like my Instagram page than on my blog, but I still focus on growing organically, both food and ornamentals, as well as wildlife and nature.

I started a boutique heirloom-plant business back then too, growing organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers and selling online and at our local farmers’ market, where I used my booth to educate customers about growing food. I always had a free kids’ activity to help them learn about growing plants, whether it was planting “magic beans” they could take home or sowing sunflower seeds. It was such a pleasure to talk to both parents and kids and get them excited to garden together. While I don’t sell plants anymore, I still love helping people learn how to grow food, which is especially relevant during the pandemic. Everyone wants to garden now because we’re all stuck at home and because of uncertain economic times. And it can be frustrating when you first start gardening. Whether you’re growing your first tomato plant from seed or want to create a tropical retreat by the pool, I’m excited to help.

I’m a tad obsessed with bulbs. Every fall, I plant thousands of tulips, daffodils, and minor bulbs. Knowing those babies will begin popping up in January helps get me through gray winter days. And I have about 30 orchids that I’ve kept alive for a few years, and that bloom each year! I’m very proud of those because I’m terrible with houseplants.

I dream of owning a flower farm. Seriously. Sadly, we live in the middle of a forest with little sun. Instead, I focus on edible gardening, trying to grow every weird, funky, heirloom veggie possible. One year, I grew 168 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, just because I wanted to try them all. That was a delicious summer! I also grow from seed and save seed, and I even wrote a book about it, Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Your Garden.

I make my living as a garden writer, working with many fabulous clients and brands. From writing articles and product copy to managing their social media accounts and designing marketing campaigns, I adore my job and clients. Plus, I’m privy to the latest plant introductions, which is always fun! Recently I worked with Bonnie Plants on an Instagram campaign, promoting their partnership with Ample Harvest and encouraging gardeners to donate their excess harvests to food pantries. Gardeners can find a food pantry in their area by visiting AmpleHarvest.org. It’s a terrific way to help people in need of fresh produce.

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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Julie! You can follow Julie on her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and her blog Garden Delights.


Photographs courtesy of Julie Thompson-Adolf.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Meet Our Community: Gerhard Bock, fusion gardener

 

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Gerhard Bock



Succulent mounds in the front garden. Cluttered, yes, but filled with treasures.
I want to inspire other gardeners to be bold and adventurous, constantly try new things, and never be afraid of failure. It's nice when a great plant does well, but you learn more when it doesn't. 

On my blog Succulents and More I chronicle the evolution of my garden, with all the successes and failures that come with it. I also write about other gardens I visit, both private and public, as well as cool nurseries, interesting books, and anything else plant-related that catches my attention. My blog is also my personal gardening journal, and I often look back at older posts to see how a particular plant or section of the garden was doing at a particular time. 

I was born and raised in southern Germany, but I've lived in the U.S. for most of my adult life. I garden in Davis, California, in a Mediterranean climate with virtually no rainfall between May and October. Our USDA zone is 9b, so temperatures below freezing are fortunately rare. 

Others may call my garden a collector’s garden or (gasp!) an unfocused hodgepodge, but it’s exactly what I need it to be. This year in particular it’s been a sanctuary, keeping me grounded and reasonably sane. For lack of a better word, I call my style Fusion Gardening. I’m into succulents, especially agaves and aloes. Cycads and bromeliads. Southern hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, southern Africa) and Mediterranean plants. California natives. The odd tropical (I love my Ensete 'Maurelii') and a bamboo or two. My garden is a wild combination of all these. I have bougainvillea growing next to manzanita, with cycads and agaves nearby. I also bring home rocks from road trips, and they get tossed into the mix.

The planting strip along the sidewalk combines most of my favorite plants.


One thing I don’t like about my property: it’s too small. At 8,100 sq. ft., there just isn’t enough room for all the plants I like. I constantly remove and add, depending on what thrives or struggles and on my current favorites. That’s why this garden will forever be a work-in-progress. Ideally I’d like an acre or two, maybe on a hill so I'd have different levels to play with, and closer to the coast so there’s less chance of a hard freeze. Zone 10 would suit me just fine! 

My favorite plant at this moment is Hechtia argentea, a terrestrial bromeliad from Mexico that forms a rosette of brilliant silver leaves. There's nothing like it. The leaf margins are armed with barbs that can draw blood. I love plants that know how to defend themselves. It's the perfect combination of beauty and danger. 

I have quite a few favorite gardens, but The Huntington in San Marino, California, is at the top. It has all my favorite plants in one place, from Old and New World succulents to a world-class cycad collection, not to mention a palm garden and both a Japanese and a Chinese garden. It also has an incredible art and book collection – ideal for visiting companions who aren't into plants the way we are.


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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Gerhard! You can follow Gerhard at Succulents and More and on his Instagram.


Photographs courtesy of Gerhard Bock.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Meet Our Community: Beth Stetenfeld, pollinator gardener, naturalist, and Madison Fling co-host

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Beth Stetenfeld



Endangered rusty-patched bumblebee on allium
I absolutely love gardening for pollinators! It’s a thrill to create a native perennial border and see bumblebees covering the blooms, or to grow annuals and perennials from seed and then watch butterflies and hummingbirds feeding on the nectar of the flowers. I’ve been pleased several times in recent years to observe and document for citizen science the presence of the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee in my Madison, Wisconsin, garden. 

As a master naturalist and instructor, I focus on how elements of ecosystems fit together. Madison is ecologically diverse, with woodlands, prairies, oak savannas, wetlands, and lakes. It’s surrounded by green spaces, which have been described as “a necklace of green,” and it has 6,431 acres of park space — 13.5% of the total city area! Residential and public gardens add to this treasure. The only problem is that our winters are just a little too long, but that’s a good time to travel. 

My favorite plants are the ones that surprise me — either old standbys seen in a new way or new plants discovered for the first time. For example, it’s magical to chance upon downy gentian along the edges of a prairie in its native habitat, with companion prairie plants in bloom and the sun hitting the flowers at a striking angle. New plants discovered while traveling are special too, like Apache plume in Santa Fe or echium in San Diego. It’s fun to learn something new. 

October marks the 10th anniversary of my blog, PlantPostings, which is about all kinds of plants and gardening but most often about specifics like plant families, growing conditions, native origins, my experiences with plants, and so on. I consider blogging a conversation. During the past 10 years, I’ve made many online friends with whom I could talk for hours about gardening. It’s been a thrill to meet some of these friends in person through travel and through the Garden Bloggers Fling annual meetup. 

I’m serving on the 2021 Garden Bloggers Fling planning committee. After rescheduling Madison Fling because of COVID-19, our new dates are June 24-27, 2021. We’re planning three full days of garden touring, plus an opening event on Thursday afternoon. Details will continue to be posted on the Garden Bloggers Fling website in the weeks ahead. Announcements also appear on the Fling Facebook page.


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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Beth! You can follow Beth at PlantPostings and on her Instagram and Facebook.


Photographs courtesy of Beth Stetenfeld.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Meet Our Community: Jen McGuinness, author, blogger, zinnia lover

 

Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Jen McGuinness



When we moved into our Central Connecticut home, I immediately began tearing up the lawn in favor of flowers and vegetables. My front garden can look a bit wild, but I feel it’s very important to provide food for insects and other critters. I like to blend pollinator and wildlife-friendly plants, especially for butterflies and songbirds. 

My favorite flower, unsurprisingly, is the zinnia. Not only did it inspire my blog name, Frau Zinnie (aka Mrs. Zinnia), but it’s easy to grow, provides food for pollinators, and comes in a variety of bright colors. Indoors, houseplants occupy every available window in my house, and grow lights brighten darker spaces and help me start seeds indoors. I have several orchids and have recently started collecting philodendrons. 

After a bleak winter I need exclamation points of color all across my property, so I grow many muscari and daffodil bulbs. My favorite garden is Winterthur when the bulbs are blooming in spring. I was blown away by the garden’s March Bank when I saw it in peak bloom with millions of scilla and glory-of-the-snow, as well as naturalized daffodils and thousands of minor bulbs. Winterthur practices “succession of bloom,” so something is always flowering – the ultimate garden! 

Due to limited areas of full sun, I’ve had to get creative to grow edibles. Compact and dwarf varieties, especially dwarf tomatoes, offer a way to grow food in a small space. 
I’m excited to share that my upcoming book Micro Food Gardening: Project Plans and Plants for Growing Fruits and Veggies in Tiny Spaces will be published in March 2021!

At Frau Zinnie, in addition to sharing my gardening experiences, I interview other garden experts. One of the things I like best about gardening is that there is always something new to learn, and I like to be part of the conversation. Gardeners are so friendly and always willing to share tips about what worked for them and what didn’t. I feel that gardeners share a common goal: getting other people as excited about growing plants as they are. I hope that readers of Frau Zinnie will find useful information and try to grow something too.



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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Jen! You can follow Jen at Frau Zinnie and on her Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.


Photographs courtesy of Jen McGuinness.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Meet Our Community: Benjamin Vogt, prairie advocate, designer, writer

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Benjamin Vogt



Plants matter. They matter for wildlife, air quality, runoff, soil microbes, and people. One aster can make all the difference in an ocean of blacktop and lawn. In a time of mass extinction and climate change, it behooves us with whatever land we have to not only set a higher example but understand our home places with more urgency and intimacy. 

I’m into stylized urban prairies. What that means is a 60/40 (or even 50/50) forb-to-grass/sedge ratio. A nice, thick grass matrix can provide an underlying sense of order for anyone viewing a wilder space, as do masses and drifts of perennials blooming in succession through the seasons. And let's not forget autumn and winter, perhaps the most ornamental seasons of them all. Brown is a color! 

My favorite plant is the one getting eaten right now by insects and other bugs.

I'm currently writing Prairie Up: An Introduction to Natural Garden Design (2022), a basic guide for weekend warriors and new gardeners to the theories of new naturalism, naturalistic design, and new perennial design, but with a strong focus on ecology alongside aesthetics (something that's lacking in the garden design world). Our plant selections affect not only what we find beautiful but what wildlife finds beautiful, so we should learn as much as possible about each plant and its communities before we put trowel to soil. Prairie Up will be a much more practical guide than my philosophical book A New Garden Ethic.

Monarch Gardens is the nexus for everything I do, including my blog, design portfolio, online classes, and links to my 200+ Houzz articles. My blog, The Deep Middle, concentrates on native plant communities of the tallgrass ecoregions, as well as my desire to re-prairie suburbia. I share images and stories from local wildlife refuges and my own quarter-acre urban lot in Lincoln, Nebraska, which stands in polarizing contrast to the lawns around it. You have to be the change since hope is nothing without action.

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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Benjamin! You can follow Benjamin at The Deep Middle and his Instagram.


Photographs courtesy of Benjamin Vogt.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Meet Our Community: Christopher Carrie, blogger, gardener, mountain man

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Christopher Carrie


I’m a long-time peasant gardener for the well-to-do. What that means is I have been a working gardener doing design, installation, and primarily maintenance in private gardens for the last 33 years. The first 20 years were spent gardening on the island of Maui. My focus has always been on the plants that make a garden, not the lawn.

Today I live in the middle of nowhere at 4000-ft. elevation in the mountains of western North Carolina. I started a garden blog in 2006 while on Maui and have been blogging ever since. I was part of the planning team for the Asheville Fling in 2012. That is about as far as I’ve gotten with social media. Most people would be appalled by how slow my satellite internet speed is, and there is no cell signal at my house. Besides, I am a gardener, not a garden communicator.

My blog Outside Clyde is mostly a personal photo diary and ponderings on the 3+ acres of wild cultivated gardens deep in the forest that I share with my mother, known as Bulbarella, who lives next door. At home, the longtime maintenance-gardener turns wild.

Stone sculpture creation in late February, "the barren time"
The land here is planted in, added to, and maintained as flowering meadows lapping right up to the trees and shrubs using many of the native plants and wildflowers found in these mountains. That works for the growing season. Coming from Maui I needed more. The barren time is a good five months here. In my own part of the gardens I’ve planted an evergreen under-garden that comes out from hiding in November and takes me into March, when thousands and thousands of spring bulbs rise from the earth to bloom. That is Bulbarella’s doing.

Currently in September, my favorite plants are Angelica gigas and ironweed. I have everlasting fond memories of Cochlospermum vitifolium ‘Florepleno’. It’s a tropical flowering tree with a trunk like a baobab and the flower of a peony.

I’ve had many favorite gardens over the years, but my current favorite is the Inn at Tranquility Farm in Waynesville, NC, one of the newer proper gardens I planted and tend. It is a nice thing to garden with a healthy budget.




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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Christopher! You can follow Christopher at Outside Clyde.


Photographs courtesy of Christopher Carrie.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Meet Our Community: Jennifer Jewell, explorer of gardening "why"

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Jennifer Jewell 



I write and host Cultivating Place, a weekly public radio program and podcast. I believe in gardens and gardeners as powerful agents for change, from individual and communal health and well-being to community activism, social justice, and environmental healing. As a lifelong gardener, I’ve found there is plenty of how-to out there but less information about WHY, and how the “why” of our gardens can have greater positive impact in our lives as well as in the world. We have the bad habit of seeing gardening as a sweet, pretty hobby, not necessarily as an economic, cultural, and environmental change-maker. With every person I interview and every word I write, I am striving to illustrate how powerful gardens and gardeners are, and to encourage every gardener out there to embrace, celebrate, and work towards this power ever more intentionally. 

A landscape I love in the Trinity Mountain Range, Northern CA
My small suburban garden in northern California displays my enthusiastic willingness to try anything – and my lack of any clear focus. What it lacks in elegance it makes up for in cottage garden exuberance. I have native trees (oak, cottonwood, redbud) and flowers (salvia, buckwheat, monkey flower, manzanita, ceanothus), wildlife habitats, cutting flowers (roses, gardenias, narcissus, and peonies), vegetable beds, and a LOT of Mediterranean herbs: rosemary, lavender, thyme, and oregano. I love the entire genus of buckwheat (Eriogonum) because they are diverse, hardy, grow all over the West (like me), and are gorgeous, from tiny ones the size of my little finger to those with stems arching up past my chest. They age beautifully, feeding an array of insects while they do it.

My favorite garden will always be the garden(s) of my mother, a woman and her place that grew me into who I am. When I was little, it was a 1-acre garden at 8,000 feet in Colorado under aged ponderosa pines. Her final garden, on the edge of a tidal marsh in South Carolina, was filled with ferns, camellias, lilies, night-scented moonflowers, and night-blooming cereus under architectural live oaks, with loads of frogs, toads, and marsh birds. 

My first book, The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants, centers on the impact of diverse women working with plants. Its reception, especially by young women around the world, makes me so proud every damn day. My second book, Under Western Skies: Visionary Gardens from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast, a collaboration with photographer Caitlin Atkinson that is coming out in April 2021, explores the importance of us as gardeners knowing our place in the world, literally and metaphorically.



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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Jennifer! You can follow Jennifer at Cultivating Place and on Instagram; learn more on her author page at Timber Press.


Photographs courtesy of Jennifer Jewell.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Meet Our Community: Tamara Paulat, blogger and native plant gardener

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Tamara Paulat


My blog Chickadee Gardens is all about our adventure of gardening on two acres outside of Portland, Oregon, with an emphasis on native plants and sustainability. My husband, David Pinson, and I started from scratch 5 years ago on this land and have since created a large dry garden, a shade garden, shrub gardens, and a rather decent-sized veggie patch and orchard. We also raise chickens and honeybees. We want to share our experiences with interested people who can help us along the way and people we can help. It’s a community after all, and growing things is a healing practice. Also, I work for Joy Creek Nursery and have access to a bazillion interesting plants. OK, hundreds.

I’m into native plants and drought-tolerant gardens that can also handle our wet winters. I love sweeps of plants harmonizing with their surroundings and enticing wildlife to visit – like the annual gorging of echinacea seeds by goldfinches, and the sunflowers by chickadees and blue jays. I love seeing plants grow and change in different lighting throughout the seasons, and I find beauty in every season.

Arctostaphylos ‘St. Helena’, my favorite plant, is a beautiful evergreen manzanita with rounded silvery green leaves, pretty flowers, and a beefy trunk with exfoliating bark. It needs no summer water and is native to the West Coast. I live in Saint Helens, so the name fits too. It has a gorgeous presence in the garden year-round. My three are 8 to 10 ft. tall and add the best structure to my dry gardens.

I love the garden of my boss, Maurice, and his partner – 10 acres of incredible vistas on an island in the Columbia River. Formal clipped hedges form the core, and it gradually dissolves into wild bliss and the Multnomah Channel beyond. It’s an example of gardening with nature, reflecting the plant palette of my region. The wildlife they encourage is exceptional, and the blend of plant material (he's a nursery owner after all) is superb. It's a foliage-first garden with many "wow" factors including fabulous stonework using indigenous stone, a fern berm from felled poplar trees, and mown paths through several acres of field grass that encourage a journey and quiet contemplation.


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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Tamara! You can follow Tamara on her blog Chickadee Gardens, on Facebook, and on Instagram.


Photographs courtesy of Tamara Paulat.