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Dry Stream Beds in the Garden

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The desire to get rid of water-thirsty, high-maintenance lawns has led to the rise (no pun intended) of dry creek beds. After all, you have to replace all that garden space with something. Rocks and boulders are fairly inexpensive and create a natural setting. A dry stream bed can add a sense of motion (rushing water) to the garden. Here are a few dry stream beds I admire, and why.

The one above looks like something you’d see in the backcountry. Boulders are semi-buried, and amid them grow annual wildflowers. You get a sense that water once flowed through here but no longer does. It’s believable. Continue Reading →

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Planning A Community Garden – With You!

After spending the past 5 years in Tel Aviv, several months ago my instincts told me that it was time to return to my hometown of Philadelphia this spring.

Chanticleer Cutting Garden

Chanticleer Cutting Garden – June 2013

I wasn’t quite sure why but over time it became clear that my inner motivation for going was a deep desire for  planning a community garden.

My dream location for it? West Philly. This section of Philadelphia, where The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University are located, is filled with a vibrancy, richness, and diversity that I crave.

It is also an area that is in dire need of economic repair. As a matter of fact, it is one of the 5 U.S. Cities that is part of Obama’s Promise Zone Initiative.

For me, it is a ‘soulful’ place where I have always felt at home and been involved with and developed several community programs over the past 25 years.

 

Continue Reading →

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My Succulents Model for Manju

Born and raised in India and now living in San Diego, my friend Manju Raj combines a love of the ornate and colorful with an appreciation of the colors and symmetry of succulents. Recently Manju began making succulent-inspired jewelry. I knew GGW’s readers would enjoy seeing out-of-the-ordinary, garden-inspired earrings and pendants, so I posed a few with the succulents on my patio. (Of course Manju’s jewelry looks good on people, too!) To see more of her items, visit Manju’s website.

Echeveria imbricata pendant w euphorbia

Above: Euphorbia polygona ‘Snowflake’ models an Echeveria imbricata pendant. Continue Reading →

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It’s All About the Glaze

I had some fun recently selecting glazes for pots for succulents. The pots are by Mark Rafter (marktrafter@gmail.com); I chose the plants and potted them up. What do you think?

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Succulent Plant-Pot Pairings

What comes first for you, the plant or the pot? For me it’s usually the pot. When a friend presents me with a special pot, it’s a given that I’ll plant it with succulents. But I don’t always know what will look good in it. So I ask the pot what it wants. I take it to the nursery, and walk the aisles with it, trying on plants. What I look for are  good scale and proportion; repetitions of shapes, colors or patterns; and (sometimes) an element of whimsy.

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Above: This was a gift from potter Don Hunt, whose work I collect, and who sells at San Diego’s Cactus & Succulent Society shows. Dots in the glaze, and the fact that the pot seemed to be asking for a trailing plant, inspired the selection of string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus). I added beads for bling. Continue Reading →

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