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October 2013

With a little tweaking this container should make it for the photo shoot!
"We'd like to take photographs of your summer containers for our magazine"....
so began a recent conversation with the editor of This Old House magazine. Naturally I was thrilled as we discussed that we could do this as a promotion for our book FINE FOLIAGE. Until I realized that she meant this years summer containers.
Do they not have the same seasons as us in New York? As I write this there is a monsoon overhead, my begonias are hanging on by a thread and several containers are on life support. This is fall.
I suggested the story would be how "foliage helps span the seasons with ease" which would allow me to pull out dead flowery things and push in living leafy things. They still want this to be a summer article (they don't publish a fall issue) so photographer David Perry will have to use plenty of magic tricks to make my fall garden look less autumnal as a backdrop.
The photo shoot was scheduled for Sunday September 30th but we had terrible weather so our backup dates are this Thursday and Friday. Here's hoping; as long as I don't have to wear shorts with my wellies....




Beautiful and lush Jennifer

What a fun time we had in the garden last month with two groups of enthusiastic home gardeners joining me for a Fall Container Workshop. Hot apple cider and homemade pumpkin bread to start then touring our 5 acre garden before heading to the barn for a planting demonstration followed by time and assistance to create your own fall container.




Wonderful color choice Peggy

Lots of smiles and proud artists! 


Then there was the group of nursery professionals who came for a fall container boot camp! Several nurseries as well as independent designers came along to get the inspiration they need to be able to help YOU. Our afternoon together included a slideshow of design ideas, a garden tour discussing the use of foliage to build a framework then a fun 'designers challenge' that I set up in the barn. Everyone was stretched to step out of their comfort zone to work with unusual colors and plants, the result being that we all got new ideas - including me!

Wonderful tapestry of textures by Deborah


Did you miss out? Be sure to watch out for notices of future events - I'm planning something extra special for the Holiday season.


 Follow the links for see the full gallery from September 20th and 27th.


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 Yes it is that time of year to think about your fall/winter containers!


As the temperatures start to drop the summer annuals will begin to look tired but there's no need to accept less than fabulous looking containers. There are lots of fall and winter hardy plants to work with. Tucking a few dwarf daffodils, tulips or crocus in those pots also makes for a welcome splash of additional color next spring.


Due to seminar, writing and other design commitments I shall not be able to accept as many container planting appointments as usual this season. The good news is that Angela, who has worked with me for several years is ready, willing and more than able to take care of you and your containers, so that between us we should have you covered! Just email me and we'll see what is possible.


 or...... take advantage of my new PERSONAL CONTAINER COACH SERVICE detailed below.


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 PERSONAL CONTAINER COACH - a unique, new service!


This is ideal for those who

  • Prefer to plant their own containers but struggle with design
  • Just have a few containers to take care of
  • Would like a designer look without the designer price
Here's how it works
  • I help you get organized!
  • We meet at Molbaks' Garden and Home, Woodinville
  • I help you select plants for each of your containers
  • You take them home and plant them up
What does it cost?
  • $45/hour with a two hour minimum charge
  • Retail cost of plants less 10%!
  • Monday-Friday between 8am and 3pm (last appointment at 1pm)
Check here for full details of this unique service and how to schedule an appointment




For a small space, high impact focal point frame a beautiful sculptural container with foliage. It doesn't even need to be planted!


1. Purple and silver for summer drama; purple fountain grass and silver licorice plant are stunning with this urn from AW Pottery

Design by JoAnn & Lucien Guthrie
2.  Echo colors found in the container; fluffy white flowers of Rodgersia work well with this Cretan pot
Design by Le Jardinet
 3. Celebrate fall; blue Indian grass turns to shades of rust this month, repeating the color of the distant maple and unglazed rim of the container (Aw Pottery


Design by Le Jardinet
Need help selecting and purchasing the perfect pot? Email me - this is my favorite sort of treasure hunt.





Whatman County Horticultural Society, Bellingham, WA

Wednesday October 9th (7.30-8.30pm)

Spotlight on Foliage


Port Angeles Garden Club, Port Angeles, WA
Monday October 21st
Reducing Maintenance (and backache) in the Garden

 More details of all these and future events  here


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I am thrilled to announce that I have been accepted as a speaker for the 2014 Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle next February - my favorite gardening event of the year!

Idaho and Chicago are also on the events calendar for next spring as well as many talks in Washington State.

Interested in booking a seminar or presentation for your area or garden club? Just send me an email and feel free to read reviews of my talks on the Great Garden Speakers website.

Did you know that FINE FOLIAGE has a full FIVE STAR rating on Amazon and that it is so popular that it is going into it second printing? Woo hoo!

Would you like a signed copy for yourself or as a gift?

Order from my website for priority shipping (2-3 days). You can even request a special message on the last page of the checkout using the 'instructions to seller' box.

Pay by credit card (no PayPal account is needed) or PayPal itself. 


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Just for all you leaf lovers - welcome to FINE FOLIAGE - THE BLOG! 


Spirea on fire. Photo by Christina Salwitz


Last month your favorite post was 

Missed it? Click on the title to enjoy it again. While you're there be sure to sign up to receive these weekly beauties. 




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Join me in the garden............



Garden Adventures - for thumbs of all colors, is a lighthearted, information packed blog for all gardeners and garden lovers. Laugh while you learn, pick up new ideas and be inspired by others is the theme as I cover everything from container design to slug patrol.



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

Have a wonderful month!


Karen Chapman CPH
Le Jardinet
425 765 3574  


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