November Sun – Cold Color Celebration


Sunny November days in Seattle are a pure unadulterated bonus. Our gardening climate is alternately dazzling and maddening at the same time. The depth of gray in winter seems to last forever and the utterly outstanding glory of summer here fall at the opposite end of our horticultural universe for an exquisitely painful short period of time.

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
–   Emily Dickinson

We can grow such wide array of plants here that it makes many in other parts of the world green with envy. So, on a crystalline blue-sky day like today, it feels like we are COMMANDED to get outside and document its glory for everyone to see. I did just that in my robe and jammies this morning for you! If nothing else, it may just be to document it for us so that when we are nearly suicidal on the gray days in January and we want to hop a plane to Las Vegas, we remember why we live here.


Fatsia Japonica blooms

It occurred to me as I took this shot that the years of the heaviest Fatsia bloom, we’ve also had the hardest winter. Hmmmmm……..

We rely on many a Huechera for some November color here in the Northwest because we don’t really have too many flowers at all. So the WIDE variety of foliage colors are a very welcome sight here in gray land.


Note the Fuchsia near the bottom still doing her thing! I scared the (bleep) out of a poor local Hummingbird trying to get this shot. Ooops!


Another plant that “tolerates” our wet cold winter climate, is Phormium, or New Zealand Flax. You need to understand that I do say this somewhat tongue in cheek today. I lost about 27 of them a few years back after an ice storm. When the cold almost 2 inches of thick ice melted off of them, they actually looked fine until they succumbed to Crown Rot.
That was about 5 years ago now and I have recovered from my cynacism toward them, but only enough to have two. So, far. I just refuse to fall in love again and have my gardeners heart and wallet broken again. 🙂

Having said that, I do have a torrid love affair with my Fatshedera. If I have to buy a new one every year, I’m cool with that. This variegated one was particularly lovely with cold weather color and the light of the morning coming through her.


“If I’m ever reborn, I want to be a gardener—
there’s too much to do for one lifetime!” 

–   Karl Foerster

Like this post? Come and visit me on Facebook too at The Personal Garden Coach!


Book Review and Tool Give-Away Party: Indoor Plant Décor

Book Review: Indoor Plant Décor


by Kylee Baumle & Jenny Peterson

160 pages
St. Lynn’s Press, 2013
List Price: $16.95

This jewel of a book is not only a bountiful little purse-sized plant shopping companion to take with you to the greenhouse, it’s a style and inspiration powerhouse for your home’s houseplants. If you feel challenged by choosing plants for your home and bewildered by the array of choices, then Kylee and Jenny have your answers, by giving you the elements to succeed with 21st century charisma.

Starting with a guide to eight décor styles to springboard from, readers will begin to understand what they can do to create the comfortable and warm feeling that the houseplants bring to your home. From Peaceful Zen to Vintage, each styleboard has gorgeous images and décor style ideas provide you with tips, tricks,  how-to’s and care instructions to bring your design ideas to life. Plus, they have taken great care to give options for low maintenance plants as well as options for those of you who are not afraid of a plant Diva or two.

Indoor Plant Décor really takes the idea of customizing your houseplant displays to another level of inspiration. With emphasis on textures, colors and home décor in addition to plant selection, this book takes a holistic approach to interior landscaping. Artwork, fabrics, lighting, flooring and more go into each carefully considered combination.


In the care and feeding of plants section titled Practical Matters, Kylee and Jenny begin with the admission that they too have also killed houseplants, like the rest of us. They offer enthusiastic encouragement up, its OK, keep trying, no guilt here. How refreshing!

The Houseplants at a Glance sections are genius, laid out according to the ease of maintenance with such group titles as Easy Breezy, Moderately Manageable, and Design Diva’s the reader will find options for every location in the house.

Whether your design style is simple, traditional or wacky, you are going be so inspired with the ideas in Indoor Plant Décor you will want to get in your car and immediately head to your local greenhouse for some new plants to dress up your home!


St. Lynn’s Press graciously supplied me with a copy of Indoor Plant Décor for my review but you can order your very own copy NOW on right here!

Kylee Baumle enjoys photographing gardens as much as she does tending to them. Her photos have been published in trade catalogs, garden magazines and books. She writes for several gardening publications, has a weekly local newspaper column on gardening and has appeared on America’s Web Radio show, America’s Homegrown Veggies, the web TV show, Garden World Report, and has been a guest host on the popular #gardenchat on Twitter. Kylee currently shares living space in rural Ohio with her husband, two cats, and over 200 plants in their house and conservatory.
Read Kylee’s great blog, Our Little Acre here!

Jenny Peterson lives in Austin, Texas. She is a landscape designer and freelance writer specializing in small spaces. Her deign work has bee featured in Garden Up! (Cool Springs Press, 2011) on vertical gardening, in Small-Space Container Gardens (Timber Press, 2012), and in Horticulture and Cottages & Bungalows magazines.  She is a horticulturist and a member of the Garden Designers Roundtable. She writes on her blog, J.Peterson Garden Design (www.jpetersongardendesign) and is a regional writer for
Read Jenny’s fabulous blog here!

Excited about designing with houseplants? Want to win a GREAT tool for helping to care for your new plants? YES you do! Leave a comment on this post and you are automatically entered to win this lovely watering can for your houseplants courtesy of Master Gardner!
(Give-Away is open to US residents only)

master gardner watering can

Master Gardner is giving away this adorable Stainless Steel Watering Can.

Also –

Several other bloggers are participating in this virtual book tour, each offering a different prize. Visit each blog and leave a comment on the giveaway post for a chance to win that prize. The more blogs you visit, the more opportunities for you to win some goodies!

Steve Asbell – The Rainforest Garden
Debra Lee Baldwin – Gardening Gone Wild
Carolyn Binder – Cowlick Cottage Farm
Shawna Coronado – Shawna Coronado
Charlotte Germane – Dirt Du Jour
Pam Penick – Digging
Stacy Risenmay – Not Just a Housewife
Erin Schanen – The Impatient Gardener
Rebecca Sweet – Gossip in the Garden

Robin Horton – Urban Gardens