Did I mention I am in Brugge, Belgium?  Yes, I am here with my family on a much needed vacation.  But PITH + VIGOR’s indiegogo campaign doesn’t rest, so I am checking in regularly; working on all the behind the scenes networking that goes along with making this campaign successful, every morning before my people wake up and we head out across the low countries on our bikes.

(And I am taking lots of garden pics to share later)

But here is the big news:  WE ARE MORE THAN 25% OF THE WAY THERE!  Which is very exciting, but as great as that is….we still have 75% left to go.  Can you help out?

Of course if you haven’t already subscribed yourself – please do.  This is an exciting project that I truly believe will benefit every gardener in some way or another.  A strong community-building publication will be enjoyable to everyone with a copy, and it will help small businesses and local establishements thrive, and it will make the resources for all gardeners more accessible and successful.  Everyone wins!
Subscribe to Pith + VIgor Newspaper and Digital Magazine

If you are able to help out even more though, we have some additional incentives:

If you can refer more than $400 worth of contributors from your own network we will send you a signed copy of my upcoming book.  

or

If you are a business (or a blogger, or a Non-profit, or whatever…) and can refer $400 worth of contributions then we will give you a free directory advertisement in the first issue. (and if you can double that, certainly a much bigger ad is in order!….we will discuss)

Please help us spread the word - a community newspaper like this is best when it grows from grassroots support.

Share it on your social networks, send it in an email, blog about it – if you need help with ideas, images or content, let us know – we will send you whatever you need!

Here is how the referral works:  

First – Make sure you are logged into your indiegogo account.  When you are logged in, use the share buttons or if you prefer, you can copy and paste the web address of the campaign (so long as you are logged in when you copy) and either will allow us to track the contributions that come from your contacts in the indiegogo campaign monitor.  

Can you help us over the top?  

I appreciate everything you can do! – Rochelle

jerry galanti, backyard, design, makeover, before & after, dry landscape, hardscape, no grass, pavers

Hey everyone! I hope all your landscapes are thriving with color and curiosity during this first week of summer! It’s been a beautiful June here in Wisconsin– lots of rain, but nothing a good rain jacket won’t take care of. The flowers are loving it and it’s been nice to just let the garden do its thing. Anyway, let’s get onto the featured post! You may remember seeing Jerry Galanti’s work on the blog from time to time in the past. This week’s Before & After features a makeover out of Los Angeles, California. Jerry sent a few photos along with a quick write up about the project, stating that the homeowners had slightly different desires for the space. The wife wanted a clean and minimal look, but the husband wanted to keep his prized roses and vegetable gardens…2 very different ideas if you ask me! Click ahead to see what Jerry came up with!

Read the full post

You win some you lose some.

I’ve been focussing too much lately on where I am losing (I beat the woodchuck in my veg garden, only to have a bunny from hell move in). I also had a solenoid in the sprinkler break and I realized too late to save some sun-singed plants in that section.  I’ve also been considering writing a ‘bring out your dead’ style post – this past winter was brutal and my list of lost plants is easily twice as many as any year in memory…I could go on with my laments….

But instead, today I’m choosing to focus on the positive and as I looked around the garden — I realize that many of my biggest success were entirely unexpected, accidental, or the result of a hurried and thoughtless decisions. Figures.

Garden by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com

My favorite part of the garden right now is what I call the finger bed (so-called because it is shaped like an obviously giant finger).  I love grasses of all sorts and set out to create a great mix of them in this bed.  My intention has not turned out so great — I have a lot of grasses that can often all look too similar to be interesting.  But my boring overuse of grasses has been saved with some of my haphazard thoughtless planting choices.   candy oh roses, miscanthus, and dappled willow by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com

Proven winners sent me a couple of Candy Oh! roses a few years ago to try out…and when they arrived this bed was brand new and empty. Lacking a plan and generally needing to fill space, I plopped them in.  I have to admit, I wasn’t enthusiastic about them at the time – back then I was still in my ‘I hate roses’ phase (from which I have mostly recovered).  I look at them now and I can’t imagine how dreadfully boring this garden would be without them.  Oh, and that Hakuro Nishiki Dappled willow was a plant I bought sight unseen through the local conservation plant sale – and I hated them (I had bought three!) when they arrived.  Garish and ugly were the thoughts in my head. Now I think bright and beautiful….just what is needed to break things up, offset the red flowers, and balance out all the dark brown and black buildings and tall pines around here.  What do I know? – I’m just a garden designer….

Candy Oh roses

I can however pat myself on the back for one thing (that worked way better than I expected).  Last year these roses were decimated by Japanese beetles.  They turned into ugly skeleton bushes in a matter of a week.  I also had a terrible infestation of grubs and moles.  These are all related of course (moles eat grubs, grubs kill grass and become beetles,  - if no grubs, then no beetles, and no moles).  I bought a huge box of milky spore powder early this spring and spread it accordingly.  It is clearly working.  The squishy mole ridden grass has gone away and you can see there isn’t a Japanese beetle in sight (look at those pretty healthy leaves!).  Score one for the gardener.

dianthus black adder and geranium rozanne by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com

I noticed another happy accident that I am going to have to help along.  Is it me or do Geranium ‘Rozanne’ look really great with dianthus black adder?  They aren’t really mixed at the moment….but I am really loving the light purple and inky near black so I am going to have to give those dianthus seed heads a good shake around the geranium.  I suspect some silver leaves might really make things sing….We will see how this looks next year….

How about you — got any unexpected or accidental winners?

images by rochelle greayer

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Proven Winners.  I am not an employee of Proven Winners and all opinions are my own. See the other posts in this series

 

 

I’m having a flash back.  Today feels just like a launch day from back when Susan and I were publishing Leaf Magazine.  We would work all weekend and maybe even days before that and feel tremendously tired and stressed to finally arrive at the moment where it was time to push that final ‘publish’ button.  That moment never came easyily (and I never expect it will) – With each release we put together something that was compelling and interesting and that we poured our hearts into; so releasing it to the world felt huge and it always came with at least a little hesitation.

After months and months of planning and refining an idea, I pushed the ‘publish’ button again today.  But this was a little different than an with an actual magazine.  This is for a crowdfunding campaign (but geez – getting it together was a lot of work!!).

The publication will come later if this is funding is successful. Would you like to see another publicaiton like Leaf? I would – and that is what I promise to deliver with PITH + VIGOR.  The actual first issue will release later this year (September 2014).
I could not be more excited about this project. I have so much to tell you about it, but since I spent the last few weeks making this video (to do just that), I’ll let it (me) do the talking.

In order to get a copy of PITH + VIGOR, you will have to subscribe (This time around it simply can’t be free – it must be sustainable). Right now, the only way to get your subscription is through the indiegogo campaign ($25 gets you a whole year’s worth – 4 issues). Will you subscribe? – or perhaps even consider supporting at a greater level?

For your support, I simply cannot express my gratitude enough. Warmly – Rochelle

Go to the Indiegogo Campaign to Subscribe to PITH + VIGOR

p.s. if you have any thoughts, or questions about PITH + VIGOR – fire away – I am happy to answer!

061914before

Every time Drea and her husband Alex peered out of the window of their South Florida home, they were  met with nothing but this unsightly backyard view. But after what I can only assume was a lot of planning and time, things began to come together and soon they were greeted by a welcome view of a brand new backyard. Read the full post

There are plants that people love and then there are plants that people hate. Some of the plants that a lot of people love, have a few detractors as well. One plant that I have found most people really like and enjoy in their garden is the columbine. I have always thought that columbine is a beautiful plant with its light green, somewhat fleshy leaves and stems. The foliage is beautiful in its own right, having a somewhat fern-like appearance because of the dissected leaves. Depending on the plant, the leaf color can vary between a light green to almost blue because of the waxy coating to the leaves.

Aquilegia vulgaris 'William Guinness'

The real beauty of the columbine are the bell-shaped, spurred flowers that are held above the foliage on long flower stalks. The foliage forms a clump well over 2 feet by 2 feet, with flowers held up to 3 feet high. There are usually many flowers on a well-grown plant which makes for a festive and beautiful appearance in the garden. All of the columbines that I had ever seen were either yellow, red, or shades of pastel colors. This past weekend, I was working in the garden at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden when a friend pointed out a certain columbine. Wow, was my immediate reaction! I had never seen a columbine so unusual with tall, dark flowers and a central, white tube. The plant was Aquilegia vulgaris ‘William Guiness.’ William Guiness sets itself apart from other columbines by having dark-purple flowers with a white corolla. Have you ever grown this columbine? Most of our guests who walked by the plant were talking and pointing at it. “What is it?” “It looks like a columbine.” “I have never seen a flower so dark before.” were some of their responses.

Aquilegia vulgaris William Guiness

Plant William Guiness columbine in a rich, moist, and well-drained garden soil. Full to part-sun is needed for northern latitudes while areas farther south will require some shade for it to grow. Add this columbine to your garden and watch your friends stop and ask you what exactly is that plant in flower.

-Rodney

Images: 99roots.com, planteoversikt.blogspot.com

061114before

Hey everyone! I hope you haven’t missed the not-so-weekly weekly Before & After posts over the past half month. I’m hoping that the lull was only temporary and that we can be back to our regularly scheduled broadcast. Anyway, you might remember Penny’s fantastic backyard makeover that I posted sometime last fall….well, this woman has some serious drive and ambition because it looks like she’s come full circle with a brand new sideyard makeover! Check it out…

Read the full post