Le Jardinet Newsletter

 May 2011

I'm done with rain and slugs. I can't walk outside without squishing them. They're on my windows, in the grass, hiding in the greenhouse like gremlins eating my lettuce seedlings at night and lurking in the soggy shadows ready to pounce. Yuk. I've taken to cutting them in two with scissors - Sluggo isn't painful enough! 


In the hope that summer really will appear, I'm starting to drool over the more tender plants which we can enjoy outside in summer. (Read 'Time to go Tropical'). I've also swapped fleece gloves for sunscreen in my garden tool bucket.


So if you're an optimist like me, get those margarita glasses out and be ready to party!


Time to go Tropical!
Canna combination
Canna 'Tropicanna' makes a bold statement.
My design.

Think of sandy beaches, warm breezes and colorful cocktails with little umbrellas .......... Sadly that's about as close as I'm going to get to the Tropics this year but I can get the 'look' with great plants that can now take a summer vacation from our homes interior.


Browse the indoor plant section of your local nursery to find Bromeliads, kangaroo paw, Anthuriums, fancy Dracaena, Kalanchoe, Crotons and more. Perhaps more familiar are the Bouganvillea which our Californian cousins probably consider terribly 'ordinary' but for us sun-starved northerners are the very epitome of tropical.


Not sure what to use? Call or email me to schedule an appointment for me to take the guesswork out of it for you. I'll create your own tropical paradise - just bring the sunglasses.


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Le Jardinet in Fine Gardening Magazine


FG cover 2011


Container Gardening by Fine Gardening Magazine. Vol 8, 2011

Taunton Press has included a revision of my 2008 article Style in the Shade in this special publication. Low light needn't cramp your creativity or limit your plant choices. Purchase here



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Garden Adventures

Have you read my blog 'Garden Adventures - for thumbs of all colors' recently? If not you've been missing out! It's full of light hearted but informative gardening articles covering a wide range of subjects from using variegated plants
screening neighbors to bullet proof container design. 


Last month the most popular post was


Azalea northern lights
If only this was 'scratch and sniff' you could enjoy the heady perfume of this 'Northern Lights' Exbury azalea!

Don't miss out - sign up today to receive posts automatically by email. Just head over to the blog and follow the instructions 'Subscribe by email'. Tell your friends and join me on a fun adventure.


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A special community event - Duvall's Garden Celebration

Duvall GC
Click on the logo for details.

Duvall may be a small town but we do things BIG! This year we see the very first 'Duvall's Garden Celebration' featuring garden tours, kids activities, a container garden competition and a special seminar


Set the date - July 9th, for flowers, food and fun. Tickets are just $5 and available July 7, 8 and 9th at True Value. Details will be updated on the Duvall Chamber of Commerce website but you can get a taster by clicking here.


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My seminars

Three new bookings have just been added. Join me!


seminarDuvall's Garden Celebration, True Value Store, Duvall, WA

July 9th 10.00-11a.m.

Container Garden Design - basics and beyond

Celebrate summer with me as I share tips and tricks to make your container gardens sizzle. I will demonstrate the planting of two unique designs and teach how to put plants together to create drama and impact as well as demonstrating the best methods for container drip irrigation to keep your pots looking fabulous even when you're on vacation. The basics will be covered for those new to container gardening and more seasoned gardeners will gain inspiration for new combinations.


Photo credit


Trilogy Garden Club, Redmond, WA

September 7th 7pm-8pm

Designing Garden Memories. 

Gardens should be experienced, not just observed. Learn how to design a memorable garden journey with ideas for entrances, pathways, garden 'moments' along the way and destinations which lure you deeper into the landscape. Using beautiful photographs you'll gain confidence whether you need to add interest and a new look to existing gardens or start from scratch, no matter how large or small your space. 1 hour PowerPoint presentation. 

By invitation only; contact Suzanne Kalish


Bastyr University, Kenmore WA
September 24th 9.00am-12.30pm 

Inspired Design for Gardens Large & Small

Enjoy a PowerPoint presentation on creating stunning plant combinations and vignettes, learning how professionals use color cues and texture in garden design. Using these techniques I will then demonstrate how to plant up two unique container gardens that will continue to look fabulous until spring before giving a final inspirational look at some of my other designs. Beautiful photography and new ideas will give you confidence to create the garden of your dreams, no matter how large or small the space. 
Fees; $49 if registered before Sept. 9th or $64 for procrastinators! Registration link posted shortly. 


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June Garden Tours

Let's face it, we all love to peek over the garden fence! 


  • Sat. June 4th, 11am-4pm. Central District Tour, Seattle. Five private gardens, P-Patches, water conservation features, e.g., rain gardens & cisterns, & local art will be highlighted. Proceeds go toward creating public art in the Central District. Tickets $6. Details.
  • Sat. June 18th, 10am-4pm. The Secret Gardens of Lake Forest Park 9th Annual Garden Tour.Tour 5 beautiful gardens in the city of Lake Forest Park. Artists & musicians will work & perform at each garden. Tickets $12-$15. Details.  
  • Sat. June 18th, 10am-4pm. WSU Master Gardeners Secret Garden Tour, Toandos Peninsula, WA 
    Five large properties showcase many sustainable gardening practices. Proceeds benefit horticulture-based grants & scholarships. Tickets $15-$20. Details.
  • Sat. June 25th, 10am-4pm. Whidbey Island 16th Annual Garden Tour. Explore 4 of Whidbey Island's
    unique, beautiful residential gardens, some never before open to the public. Tickets $20. Details.
  • Sat. June 25th & Sun. 26th 10am-5pmVashon Island 21st Annual Garden Tour. Tour beautiful gardens offering divergent approaches & different topography, live music, art, seminars, silent auction and garden market & perennial plant sale. All proceeds benefit Vashon Allied Arts. Tickets $20-25. Details
  • Sun. June 26th, 11am-4pm. Symphony of Gardens 11th Annual Tour, Medina & Somerset, WA. Six beautiful private gardens in Medina & Somerset. Also live music & refreshments at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Benefits the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets $25-30. Details.

Basket chains

Are your basket chains rusty? Do they get all tangled up in storage? Is it difficult to hang heavy baskets because you need to take the weight in one hand while you hook the chain with the other, all while balancing precariously on a ladder?


rigid chain
Black rigid chain with swivel

I have the solution! It took me ages but I finally found a source for good quality replacement chains for hanging baskets. These are chains which have been welded to a metal rod so in fact the chain is rigid. That makes hanging the baskets a whole lot easier since you only need one hand. The chains are coated so shouldn't rust and they even have a swivel under the hook so you can turn the baskets for ease of watering or to allow the sun (?!) to reach all the plants.


Since I knew of several clients as well as myself who were in need of these I went ahead and bought plenty. They fit 12,14 or 16" diameter baskets and cost just $8 each + tax. Call or email if you are interested. Remember you can't buy these in the stores!


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Share the News
Love these newsletters? Want to tell your friends about some of the fun events or share some of my design ideas? Either click  or use the social media links at the top of the page to send via Facebook, Twitter and the like. Encourage friends and family to sign up so they don't miss out on special offers, plant news and local garden events!

Want more? My newsletters are now archived on my website so you can look up seasonal tips and photographs from previous editions.

Put away the wellies (aka rubber boots) and find your flip-flops! 


Karen Chapman CPH
Le Jardinet
425 765 3574 
In This Issue
Time to go tropical
New Publication
Garden Adventures
Duvall's Garden Celebration
My seminars
June Events
Basket chains
Share with Friends



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Drip irrigation


Don't be a slave to your container gardens! It's easy to set up an automatic watering system for all your containers and baskets. Read more here.


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