As we gleefully sail into summer, a collaboration with our floral designer, Racquel of Rose and Olive Arrangements, felt just right. As girls who chatter away about digitalis, nigella damascena and baptisia australis amongst other things, Rocky and I decided to spill the dirt about all things garden. Enjoy!
For day-to-day floral farmer florist duties, these beauties from Meraki are my go-to. So many colors to choose from! The 6.7 inch pair in snapdragon have tons of pizzazz. Light and fierce.
This award-winning British membership association provides locally grown, seasonal blooms from their “Find Flowers” directory. In the USA, Floret has brought this same attention to the importance of supporting local flower farmer florists.
Specializing in family-grown and heirloom plants and produce, local resource Frog Hollow Farm has brought a refined selection of veggies and flowers to our small town. A wide variety of annual plants, grown from seed, is right around the corner.
An iced espresso from Colville Street Patisserie is a must when in town. Stopping in to order an iced espresso and a cannelle from “Patiss” just puts that extra pep in my step.
This 2 acre smallholding in Shropshire functions ecologically. Their workshops in regenerative gardens, edible ecosystems and elevated structures from branches and found wood are such an inspiration. When it comes to pruning our orchard, shade trees, and micro vineyard I am constantly thinking of how to use, and what I can make, with these trimmings that are seen as waste the USA.
Almost anything will grow in Walla Walla. When I am looking for something for a specific place or an unusual perennial or annual, I find myself blissfully wandering through Green Valley Gardens.
There is so much color in the world and I now approach it with the use of a color wheel thanks to this incredible educator. Floral coach Amy, along with her friend Passionflower Sue, have helped me in countless ways. I now relish creating exquisite living artwork.
Tunes get creativity flowing and I rely on a mix of artists from Led Zeppelin to Cold Cut. Right now, Makeba Radio or the Manu Chau Station on Pandora are at the top of my rotation. Raffi is next in line, thanks to my kiddos.
Last but not least, I find inspiration from the ladies at the Walla Walla General Store. They have welcomed and supported me since day 1 and I am grateful to them for the friendships we have nurtured as well as the opportunity to get to know these very fun and worldly people.
The gold standard of garden containers. A good garden pot will last through both smokin’ hot summers and icy winters without shattering. These pots are an investment and hard to find in the Northwest. I have two small ones and treasure them dearly. I consider the acquisition of roll rim pots a reasonable indulgence.
With this knife and a good set of shears I can tend my gardens with ease. I can dig a hole, root out a weed, cut twine, open a bag or box, etc. I completely rely on quality tools and this one rides on my belt at all times.
After a day digging and hauling and crawling around in the sun, pollen and dirt, a girl needs a head-to-toe scrubbing. To be out in nature, getting the dirt out from between my toes and behind my ears with a view of the labor of love that is a garden is a marvelous moment in a long life. Grab a bar of soap, a fluffy towel and get cleaned up!
A luminous escape into floral life in Amsterdam with the history of the Netherlands right up front. Fresh flowers, sugar flowers, Delft, cake... many marvelous things are discussed and investigated. This book is a confection of grace, content, and process. Dip in and out and/or read it from cover to cover.
In the dark of winter, when the nights start at 4 pm, the dreamy kind of garden books start to pile up here and there and everywhere. One could conjecture this is research. It is not. It is the stuff of fantasy. While the dirt slumbers, I list and plan, sketch and envision acres of natural ponds, swathes of blooms, layered shrubberies with established trees and tiny strawberries draping over perfect pots.
My birds love this feeder. Nuthatches swoop in and belly up to the bar, finch fests are a daily occurrence, and mourning doves saunter beneath, quietly commenting on the weather. And yes, the squirrels also frolic in and flash their tails at me before hanging from their toes while stealing seeds and fighting the louvered door that keeps them out.
Hydration is healthy. This beverage of choice from Hood River OR, the childhood home of my children and a wicked cool destination on any summer day, is a perfect balance of light and thirst quenching. I didn’t comprehend the glory of cold beer at the end of a long day in the garden until a wise fellow taught me in my mid-thirties. I feel I was rather late to the party. Makin’ up for lost time.
In 1993 my father regifted me a book. It was called Highgrove, Portrait of an Estate, and was the ongoing story of how Prince Charles was approaching his property in the Cotswolds. At the time I found the book extraordinary. The vision, the beauty, the sheer work, and the commitment to an almost unthinkable devotion to nature and community. And so began my quiet admiration of Charles, now King of England. The man has vision. And he digs in the dirt. Often.
Thanks for your time. We hop you enjoy our selections.