Garden Design

Beach Front Plants for English Seacoast Gardens

Question from Katie: Hi Pat, just found your www site and saw it said, “Send a Q to Pat”, so, here goes… location: seaside, south-facing (in England: the sunny side), sheltered terrace.  Required: architectural, evergreen, “WOW!” plants that will tolerate minus 5 centigrade in winter, occasionally a little lower, but not “cold & wet” as […]

Romancing the Garden: A philosophy of gardening Pt 4

A garden may reflect a certain time or place, perhaps a country you love. Pots, statuary, choose tasteful statuary and garden ornaments to add art and whimsy Bird houses Murals, mosaics Statues and design elements can hearken back to ancient times, other times and places. But since a garden is all for fun, could be […]

Adding Color And Excitement To The Landscape

Many spectacular trees and shrubs from mild regions around the world are well adapted to growing in our coastal Mediterranean climate. Nonetheless, when housing developments are originally landscaped, planners usually choose the most pedestrian trees and shrubs since they are non-controversial and easy to find in nurseries. When these original trees and shrubs die or […]

Finding Your Own Style

The ideal garden is a place in which nature can revel within an artistically arranged design. Every garden can benefit from having a few formal aspects or well-defined boundaries—a few straight lines, a spiral or a square, a triangle, or a circle. Vita Sackville West once said that above all she wanted her garden to […]

Finding Your Garden’s Path

So ephemeral and symbol-filled are gardens, they might be thought of as the stuff that dreams are made of. Dream of a fruit or vegetable garden, and it’s said your diligence in life will eventually bear fruit. By actually creating such a garden, you may be planting and tending the outer signs of your own […]

Great Garden Combinations

Question from Susan: I am new to gardening and would like to know if you could suggest some good combinations of plants. I think I will eventually learn how to do this, but right now I don’t have a clue. Answer from Pat: I agree with you that when planting a garden it’s good to […]

Steps From Concrete Bags

Question from Arline: Back from day two of jury duty…it is a most interesting case…thank you for the detailed response to my construction questions…i must ask… how long before you should step in these bag steps???? Answer from Pat: When I made the first flight of steps over fifty years ago it was fall and […]

Assistance of a Garden Designer

Question from Russ: I ran across your website and was very impressed with your outstanding contributions to the many owners of landscape gardens. So impressed that I immediately ordered your ebook entitled Southern California Organic Gardening! One of the most practical and informative gardening books I’ve read in a long time! I solicited the help […]

Making Garden Steps From Bags of Concrete

Question from Arlene: I need to make about 4 steps to go up a small incline to get to my fruit tree…I remember you telling about an easy way to make steps using cement bags….do you have those instructions??? I am also thinking of having someone help me install a small 5-6 foot curved path […]

Planting for Fall and Year-Round Color in Southern California

Question from Chris: Interested in adding some flowers for the fall – any suggestions?  live  2miles from the ocean in redondo beach – i’m not a native, so I need guidance! Answer from Pat: You live in an excellent climate zone. You certainly can create a garden with year-round color, including fall color, but I […]