Tag Archives | Fran Sorin

Guerilla Gardener – How The Art of Ron Finley Is Changing The Soul Of South Central L.A.

‘Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do.‘ Ron Finley, a guerilla gardener in South Central Los Angeles

If you’ve ever questioned how to transform an inner city culture, listen to Ron Finley.

If you want to understand the transformative power of gardening, listen to Ron Finley.

If you want to be inspired, listen to Ron Finley.

If you want to meet with Ron, come to his garden – with a shovel – ‘so we can plant some shit’.

After seeing this video on Brene Brown’s blog, Ordinary Courage, I returned to it to view again and again. To say that Ron has left an indelible imprint on me is an understatement.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. What do you think of Ron’s talk?

Comments { 22 }

Piet Oudolf – An Interview

With the publication of Piet’s latest book in collaboration with Noel Kingsbury, Planting: A New Perspective, I thought it worth re-visiting a 3 Part Interview about Piet that I wrote in 2009. Fran Sorin

Bonn 3

When I first saw Piet Oudolf’s work several years ago, it startled and provoked me. Since that time, I’ve bought every book that he has written, and I return to them time and time again for inspiration and his unique understanding of plants. So, when planning a trip to Holland last spring, I was hopeful that I’d be able to visit Piet and his gardens and interview him. Continue Reading →

Comments { 22 }

How A Child’s Passion Grew Into Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

 I’ve been following the growth of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Catalog for years. When ordering from them this year, I read about Jere Gettle, the founder, and in a split second knew that I wanted to interview him. He’s an innovator and visionary in the world of gardening. Fran Sorin

1.    You planted your first garden at age 3.  Do you come from a gardening lineage? 

My great uncle was one of the first organic farmers in California.  Many family members were market gardeners over the years.  I remember planting with both my parents and grandparents in their large gardens.

Flower Zinnia Will Rogers 592 wide text

2.    How does a 3 year old go about planting a garden?

I started by tagging along with parents and grandparents as they worked in their gardens.  When I began poking my own seeds into the ground, excitement and amazement grew along with the plants as I watched the flowers and fruits that came from those seeds.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 43 }

Why Pathways Are Such A Compelling Element In The Garden

When I began learning about garden design, I became intrigued with paths – no – make that obsessed. Maybe it dates back to my childhood memories of The Wizard of Oz. Who doesn’t remember when Dorothy reaches a crossroads on her journey to the Wizard and is confused about which way to go ~ and how the talking tree chimes in with his opinion?

Fran Sorin garden

Fran Sorin Garden – top level in backyard

 

Fran Sorin garden- front pathway

Fran Sorin Garden- Front Pathway

The dictionary describes a path as:

~ a way beaten, formed, or trodden by the feet of persons or animals.

~ a narrow walk or way: a path through a garden; a bicycle path.

~ a route, course, or track along which something moves: the path of a hurricane.4.

~ a course of action, conduct, or procedure: the path of righteousness.

Paths are a lot more than that. They can create a sense of mystery. Or a feeling of excitement, anticipation and fear ~ even a journey into the unknown. And when it comes to garden making, without well laid out paths, our gardens are chaotic.

Comments { 31 }

42 Top Seeds for 2013 ~From Some Favorite Gardeners and Seed Sources

I’m a seed-aholic. No matter how hard I try to control myself, each winter I can’t resist experimenting with new introductions. Oh yes, and I must have another variety of amaranths, nicotianas…or whatever. I convince myself that it’s inexpensive ~ after all, another $2.75 spent on what will surely be dozens of beautiful flowers …and as a steward of my piece of land, it’s important for me to do.

What started as a post on my selection of 15 top seeds for 2013 has grown into a list of the Top 42 Seeds for 2013 from some of my favorite gardeners and seed companies .

MY PICKS

Red Giant Mustard -Dan Benarcik at Chanticleer turned me on to what has become one of my all time favorites.

Red Mustard Leaves at Chanticleer Photo Courtesy of Fran Sorin

Red Giant Mustard at Chanticleer
Photo Courtesy of Fran Sorin

Red giant Mustard at Teapot Garden ~ Chanticleer Photo Courtesy of Fran Sorin

Red Giant Mustard at Teapot Garden ~ Chanticleer
Photo Courtesy of Fran Sorin

Red Mustard Leaves Taken at Chanticleer Photo ~ Fran Sorin

Red Giant Mustard
at Chanticleer
Photo Courtesy of Fran Sorin

Continue Reading →

Comments { 22 }