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cat relaxes on garden boulder

In the Garden; Play, Relax…. Repeat

There’s still time. There’s still a little more time before summer is over, so I always feel the responsibility to make the most of it. Entertaining a few more times, playing a little harder and generally having as much fun as possible in the time available. But, of course, to do that well you also […]

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edible flower salad with radish pods and tulbaghia

Foraging; Edible Flowers in a Dry Summer Garden

My garden had some special visitors recently, when my niece and my god-daughter came to visit for a couple of days. The girls both love exploring the outdoors, cooking and learning new things, so it was a natural that we would head out to the garden to see what we could nibble and pick.   […]

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succulent wreath

Succulents; Adapting Big Ideas to a Small Space

Even if we don’t all have the means to take advantage of succulents on a grand scale, like some of the West’s famous estate gardens, most of us can find a pocket of space to enjoy a bit of nature’s drought-tolerant botanical-sculpture. The lack of rain in California makes this a good year to have fun with water-wise plantings but even […]

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deer fence raised bed

Oh Deer; Protection for an Edible Garden

Dining out…that phrase has different connotations depending on your point of view. If you are an edible garden enthusiast, your perspective may still be influenced by whether you have two legs or four. If you plant an edible landscape in deer country, it goes without saying that you have to consider how the plants should […]

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Armeria; Versatile Water-Wise Beauty

Armeria, also known as Sea Pink or Sea Thrift, is a lovely plant for adding texture to small scale plant combinations.  It has neat-looking foliage, can take occasional foot-traffic and is deer resistant as well. Sea Thrifts have flowers that form a globe-shaped inflorescence at the top of a leaf-less stem, looking a bit like pink lollipops. […]

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King Protea Cape Town

Cape Town; Five Favorite Gardens

This is the year to highlight some of my favorite gardens in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. The New York Times has named Cape Town as the #1 travel destination for 2014, for it’s rich heritage and the “renaissance of it’s creative class”. The city is also the 2014 World Design Capital […]

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purple kale with dew drops

The Color Of The Year; Favorite Uses In The Garden

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones”, that’s how the Pantone Color Institute describes color # 17-5641, Radiant Orchid, their choice for the 2014 Color of the Year.  The executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman, goes on to say; “Radiant Orchid…emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you […]

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citrus_perjoy_4147crop

Citrus and Rosemary; A Refreshing Combination

Fresh and clean….that’s what most of us crave this time of year. Thankfully, just as we are clearing the pine needles and the last of the holiday decorations, the western garden is capable of giving us a revitalizing gift; citrus. There’s nothing I love more than piling a big platter of lemons or grapefruit in […]

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Pinecones; Celebrating Nature’s Forms

This time of year I love to bring out my collection, yes I have several and no I don’t have Victorian cottages or snow globes or anything else that would officially be considered “collectible”, but what I do have is cones. I have been fascinated by the sculptural quality of pine cones, and other conifers, […]

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perjoy_PebblePaving_IMG_4283crop

Paving with Pebbles; Timeless Inspiration

There is a picture of me in the gardens of the Alhambra, in southern Spain, many years ago. There are multiple elements of classic design in the photo, although my permed hair and leashed sunglasses certainly don’t qualify. The view of this iconic hilltop palace and garden contains, among other things, an arched hedge to […]

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