Learning to garden again, this time in my living room

When I moved into my apartment a couple of months ago, I was determined to have a garden. My balcony was large enough to accommodate ten smaller containers from my old garden, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough to satisfy my plant cravings.

My landscape had changed from a quarter-acre suburban yard to a few hundred square feet of carpet. Indoor gardening was not my wheelhouse; I’d killed more plants indoors than I’d grown. I took what I knew about outdoor garden design and combined it with sage inspiration from friends of mine, who also happened to be indoor gardening gurus and authors. Continue reading →


I can garden anywhere

With a few quick snips, I cut the tops off a few of the remaining healthy coleus plants in my balcony garden. My overwintered coleus won’t be the operation it’s been in past years, because I don’t have the room in my new apartment for a wall full of plant racks and lights. That doesn’t mean I can’t grow some of these easily-rooted plants on my kitchen windowsill. Continue reading →

Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’

There seems to be a bit of disagreement when it comes to pronouncing Agastache (with the consensus pointing towards ag-ah-STAK-ee), but you’ll get no argument from me about the greatness of ‘Blue Fortune’, a cross between the US native A. foeniculum and the Korean A. rugosum. This is the first time I’ve grown this plant in my garden, and I couldn’t be happier. It quickly grew to three feet tall with continual flower spikes another foot above.  It has completely filled a sunny corner of the front garden, providing nectar to countless bees and other pollinators.

I’d count Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ among my favorite new plants in this year’s garden.

7 design ideas for the garden

I’m not a great student when it comes to garden design. My personal library contains hundreds of titles, but I’m always at a loss to answer the question — “What is your garden design style?” — with any sense of academic rigor or historical reference. Where I may fail to express a single underlying philosophy or overarching style, I can more easily speak in terms of smaller design ideas that I use throughout my garden.

Continue reading →