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Spring 2015

It's time to plant!

When night temperatures stay at 50' or above it is safe to plant out those summer annuals that the nurseries have been stocking for weeks! In the Seattle area that date is typically around Mother's Day. (However I recommend waiting until June to include more tropical plants such as caladiums and bromeliads)

Want ideas? Check out the portfolio on my website for creative combinations and color schemes.

Need help? Take advantage of my popular Personal Container Coach Service. You'll get the designer look for less. Email  me to set up an appointment.


'A garden should be experienced not just observed'  

- this has been my design mantra from the very beginning. I want clients to be drawn outside into their gardens and to have all their senses fully engaged once they do so.

For the past few weeks I have been working on a project transforming a sterile lawn bordered by a few struggling shrubs into a living, breathing, moving, tapestry of lush foliage and fragrant flowers. With three sitting areas, each serving a unique function and offering a different perspective of the garden together with a meandering trail the homeowners are already describing this as 'magical' - and we haven't even finished yet!

One of the elements that it is important to include is that of sound. Here are some ways you can do that.


Don't want to put grasses in your garden? Grow them in a pot!

Many grasses rustle in the breeze. The movement alone is enchanting but that ethereal sound is a garden lullaby. No room in your garden to add grasses? Use them in a pot.


There are many different  fountain styles Photo credit; Craftsy

A simple fountain adds so much to a garden. In my recent project the homeowners worked with AW Pottery to design a unique self-contained fountain that combined the sound of water splashing onto pebbles with the deeper notes of a shallow cistern. The results are a soothing melody that can be heard throughout the garden yet does not overwhelm.

Wind chimes

Whether you prefer metal, bamboo, glass or a combination of materials you are sure to find wind chimes that suit your garden style and budget. Hang them from the eaves of your porch or  a tree with a conveniently placed branch. What about placing a special one at child height to encourage interaction?


As the first of three tall trees were being placed in the garden last week a chickadee came and claimed his new perch at the top of one of them and proceeded to sing. What better compliment could there be?

Look for more about this garden transformation together with before/after photos in a future blog post.

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  They're here!         SPRING CONTAINER WORKSHOPS


 May 23rd, 27th and 30th (9.30-noon)

Enjoy a leisurely morning in our peaceful 5 acre garden, be inspired as you watch a planting demonstration and then design your own spring container.

Renew old acquaintances and make new friends - these popular morning workshops are always fun and spaces fill FAST.





 May 16th (9.30-noon)

Visit our large, fenced vegetable garden in Duvall, WA where we grow a wide range of vegetables, herbs and fruit in over 20 raised beds. 


Using this and our woodshop we'll teach you everything you need to know to design and build your own traditional wood raised bed.


During this morning workshop you'll learn about design considerations, watch construction step-by-step, see how to set up a drip irrigation system  and get lots of tips on adapting your bed for different crops and seasons.


You will leave with the confidence and knowledge you need to design and build the raised bed that is perfect for you.


Based on the highlights of our popular Craftsy class, this informal workshop will fill quickly! 


Details and registration



craftsy planting1 


Molbak's Garden & Home Woodinville, WA

Saturday May 2nd (12.00-1.00pm)

Containers Pretty Enough To Eat-Whether you are planting edibles or ornamentals, I will show you how your containers can be beautiful and delicious! 

PowerPoint/demonstration/book signing 


marketValley Chicks Spring Market, Duvall Visitor's Center, Main Street, Duvall, WA 

Saturday May 9th (10am-4pm)

Meet & Greet

Bring your gardening questions, find out about my classes and workshops and enter to win a planted container! The Spring Market will feature lots of talented artists and craftsman from the Duvall area and is held in conjunction with the popular Plant Sale right next door 


Life Care Center, Kirkland, WA 

Wednesday May 12th (10-11am)

Succulent Chic - creative ideas for landscapes and containers

PowerPoint/book signing


Duvall WA

Saturday May 16th (9.30-noon)

Raised Bed Workshop

Learn how to design and build a traditional raised bed, install a drip irrigation system  and get lots of tips on adapting your bed for different crops and seasons. Details and registration 


Swanson's Nursery, Seattle WA

Sunday May 17th (11am-noon)

Foliage First; Learn 3 easy steps to transform your containers and gardens from frumpy to fabulous! 

PowerPoint and book signing


Duvall, WA

Saturday May 23rd, Wednesday 27th and Saturday 30th (9.30-noon)

Spring Container Workshops

Enjoy a leisurely morning with friends in our garden while you watch a planting demonstration then get design help as you create your own. Details and registration.




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Click on the image for more details and a 50% discount

Our new online class for Craftsy already has great reviews - and over 1500 subscribers in just two weeks! Andy and I teach this class together so you get expert woodworking and gardening advice and tips.

The 7 lessons cover design considerations, step by step construction, soils, planting tips, drip irrigation installation, building a hoop frame and more.

Your subscription never expires and you can watch as often as you like. Plus you can ask us questions along the way on the Craftsy platform as well as interact with other students. 

What a great gift for yourself, your Mom (or Mum) and a friend. And with this link you can find out more and purchase the class for HALF PRICE!




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

You are clearly all thinking about your containers because your favorite post in April was

Click on the title to enjoy it again and see what got everyone so excited.

Keep up with the fun;




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Fine Foliage received the 2014 GOLD award by the Garden Writer's Association for overall best product, winning over all other books, magazines, flyers, brochures, catalogs and calendars printed last year!

Remember you can buy signed copies from my website. Great gift!





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.



Your favorite recent post was


Click on the title to enjoy it again


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

Want to know more about the talks I offer? For those within driving distance of Seattle here are some suggestions. For those further afield I still offer a  great selection(but can't manhandle heavy pots and plants onto planes!) Of course I am always happy to tailor it to your audience. Contact me for fee details

I'm also happy to design custom workshops for your group 



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.



Karen Chapman CPH
Le Jardinet
425 765 3574  
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Check out the handcrafted vases, gifts and garden tools made by Stumpdust. 

Everything is made from recycled and salvaged materials. 

Don't see quite what you're looking for in the store? Andy also has a small selection of unique hand turned bowls and platters that we can send you photos of. 

Or visit Stumpdust at the

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