Monday, March 21, 2011

Garden Up! Vertical Gardening Cyber Book Party

UPDATE! The Winner of the Wally One from Woolly Pocket is Paige Puckett from Raleigh, North Carolina who just happens to write a blog called "Pocket Smiles" isn't that perfect? Congratulations, Paige!

And thanks to everyone who participated in our cyber book party...let's do it again!

One of my favorite things about the crowd I hang with is watching the growth of projects from "wow, we have a contract" to "wow, we have a BOOK!"

I am so excited about the book that my friends Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet are launching today: Garden Up!: Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces.

The best part? How so many were able to contribute to the project, making this book a very personal snapshot of a time when this particular group of bloggers, designers, gardeners & photographers were having a conversation.

So please help me celebrate Garden Up! via this cyber book party, which is complete with door prizes AND party favors (as all the best parties are). I am honored to have been asked to be a co-host; watching Susan and Rebecca create this book has been a privilege, and that my garden is immortalized within its pages is beyond cool.

About The Book
Filled with design tips, plant ideas and over 200 photos, Garden Up! offers inspiration and how-to information for enhancing any outdoor space with vertical elements. They cover everything from living wall projects simple enough for a home gardener to creative design solutions for blank walls and narrow planting beds.

For a peek inside the book, information on upcoming media and speaking events or to learn more about the authors, be sure to visit Susan and Rebecca's website.  The book is available from Amazon and as well as select bookstores.

It was my pleasure to host the Garden Up! duo and their entourage in my garden last spring. They were particularly interested in the plant choices in my small back garden, and what varieties work well to add layers of height and screening without using up valuable garden bed space. Since this is no longer my garden, it's especially nice to have it preserved in this book. It will always look this lovely, without me lifting another finger. I like that!

The Good Stuff: Door Prizes!
Every blog is offering something different, and all you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment. Winners will be chosen randomly. The contest runs for a week, so check back on March 21 to see if you're one of the lucky ones. The more blogs you visit, the more chances you have to win.

InterLeafings is pleased to be giving away one of the hot-hot-hot wall planting products today; the Wally One from Woolly Pocket. Available in a variety of colors, you just fill with soil add your favorite plants and hang on the wall...anywhere! For a chance to win a Wally One, just leave a comment below.

And if Woolly Pockets aren't your thing, no worries! With seven co-hosts, this book party has something for everyone.

An H. Potter Wrought Iron Trellis from Susan Morrison at Blue Planet Garden Blog 

A Bundle of Fiskars Tools from Rebecca Sweet at Gossip in the Garden 

A $50 Annie's Annuals Gift Certificate from Jim Martin at Compost in my Shoe.

A $25 Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply Gift Certificate from Angela Davis at My Rubber Boots

A Succulent Gardens Living Wall Kit from Pam Pennick at Digging

A $75 High Country Gardens Gift Certificate from Jenny Peterson at J Peterson Garden Design

Yours will be signed!
And finally, as a thank-you to the first 100 people who order online, Rebecca and Susan are offering a hand-illustrated (by Susan!) signed bookplate. They're working on the honor system so no need to prove you made a purchase. Just send an email with a mailing address and the recipient's name to:

Garden Up! makes a great birthday or Mother's Day gift, so if you're buying more than one copy, be sure to let them know and they'll include an extra bookplate.

So what are you waiting on!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Unfurling Spring on the Los Gatos Creek Trail

Another reason to appreciate my new place: it's a short walk to this spot, one of the Campbell entrances to the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which follows (surprise!) Los Gatos Creek from Lexington Reservoir to San Jose. Wide paths along both banks in this section make a great 2-mile loop for just about anyone on feet, paws or wheels.  ~click any photo to enlarge~

Today it really felt like spring on the trail, after a rainy and chilly week. Loved the remains of these wild almond blossoms...the petals were white, these are just the stamens!

Still my favorite red berries, Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) has been looking great since December.

More almond blossoms...

Doesn't this just shriek spring?

Huge native Sycamores (Platanus racemosa) on the banks are just starting to put out their leaves, which will be the size of dinner plates by summer.
Thick stands of Fennel (Foenicululm vulgare) are sprouting amongst last year's stalks, and will soon be waving their licorice-scented fronds high overhead.

More Sycamore leaves...

Sycamore leaves and fruit...

Willow catkins!

A lone cattail, about to implode...
Fresh new leaves on the Willows...

I love this stage of Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) bloom, when the tiny heart-shaped leaves start to emerge as well...

Some of the bushes (perhaps the really happy ones?) have flowers along every twig.

Vigorous tufts of pleated leaves launch this year's Buckeyes (Aesculus californica).

The new growth on the live oaks looks like flowers. See how these things can grow several feet in a season?

Lots of water in the creek, and our loop is complete! I think this will serve as a good surrogate garden for me. (Next month...poppies!)