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Dogwood – Finding the Photo

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It’s Spring !  At least here in California.  Since many friends across the country are still thawing out, how about we go looking for a photo in my garden?  My pink dogwood tree, Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’, is putting on quite a show.

‘Finding the Photo’ is a classic lesson from my Workshop series.  I ask my students to look at the garden and go beyond the snapshot.  Find that photo that tells a story, that narrows down the viewer’s attention to exactly what you want them to see. Continue Reading →

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7 Benefits of Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ – Why I Changed My Scathing Review

Several years ago I wrote an article titled ‘ Why I Won’t Plant Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia‘ again : A Love Affair Gone Awry.

It was about how I fell in love with a Golden locust some 2o plus years ago when I first saw it in London.

How I knew I was going to find a place in my garden for it at the right time and was able to do so after a major renovation.

How I was swept away by my vision of what the end result would be.

How I knew that the benefits of Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia‘ would be numerous. Within a year after buying these 2-3′ tall leafless sticks from Gosslers Farms Nursery, the first 3 Robinias had become stars of the garden.

What started out as 3 Robinia pseudoacacia ’Frisia’ on the top level of my garden, within a few years grew to 6, and then 9 .

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Robinia pseudoacacia ‘frisia’ – entryway at Chanticleer

The shortcut version of the story is that after 5 years of marveling at their early spring green ovate leaves, followed by fragrant white pea like flowers, the chartreuse/yellow foliage in summer, then a vibrant yellow into the fall before dropping their leaves, the Golden locusts had become problematic.

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Conifers, Containers, and Cold

I’m thrilled to have Christina as a Guest Contributor at GGW. I’ve been a fan of her work for a long time.

Christina is THE Personal Garden Coach. When she is not designing dramatic container gardens at a nursery in Newcastle, Washington, she is teaching clients about saving labor, time, and money with easy gardening techniques. Christina also writes for her own blog as well as being a founding member of The Garden Designer’s Round Table. She contributes to to magazines, newspapers and blogs… Fran Sorin

When the cold, gray season rolls around here in my Zone 7 part of the Pacific Northwest, I take advantage of the opportunity to buy some small-scale conifers that I can design with in my Fall and Winter containers and add to my gardens in Spring.

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A Love Affair Gone Awry – Why I Won’t Plant Robinia Pseudocacia In My Garden Again

I’m a pretty intense gardener. So when I love a certain specimen, I tend to use it with great abandon in my garden. Such was the case with Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ and ‘Purple Robe’.

I first came across this specimen on a trip to London in late spring, close to two decades ago. I was taken aback by its delicate, lime colored leaves in contrast with all of the green plant material around the base of its trunk. I made note of it and knew that at some point in the development of my garden that I would find a use for at least one robinia.

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