top: it seems all the flowers on this sloping meadow lean in to admire Verbascum olympicum, Hillsborough.

above: pink Oenothera and lavender Nepeta soften a collection of succulents, Ashbury Heights.

below: a friendly rivalry between clusters of purple verbena and trumpets of orange-red epilobium waken a late summer sidewalk bed, Duboce Triangle.

design    installation    consulting    journal    projects    seeds

October 2018

Would you like to explore a more natural approach to garden design, one that values plants, not as yard decorations but as food for bees, butterflies, birds and the soul? Would you like your garden to reflect and harmonize with this unique part of the world?

If so, you've come to the right place.

My goal is to artfully bring Nature into your garden, in a way that respects the Earth in general, and the Bay Area specifically. I welcome you to sit in front of a large computer screen and wander about the Garden Together site for some inspiration.

Roundup on trial. Monsanto has dragged its feet on glycophosphate-related cases for years. This past April, it lost its lawsuit against the state of California in listing Roundup's active ingredient as a known carcinogen, and in August a jury demanded Monsanto pay Dewayne Johnson $289m for its role in causing his terminal cancer.

If that doesn't work, maybe a manatee can convince you to go organic. Scientists have discovered that most marine mammals have lost the ability to encode an enzyme named paraoxonase, which breaks down toxic chemicals found in commonly used pesticides.

Garden Together's new section seeds has a growing list of the gardens I visited since 2016, including Sissinghurst and Great Dixter in Britain, and California's Western Hills ... in the same section you can also find California Cottage, the first of my essays on gardening (below are two visual examples of the essay).

October 13th - San Francisco Botanical Garden Plant Sale - 10AM to 2PM. an extra hour! Trees, ferns and rhodies are the stars of this expanded October sale, but all departments will be represented.

October 20th - Markham Nature Park and Arboretum Plant Sale - 9AM to 1PM. for October, it's Markham's Autumn Natives Extravaganza, and it's worth checking them out, as well as their non-native, Mediterranean climate offerings.

'California Cottage' incorporates a palette of drought tolerant plants, mixing compatible annuals, various California natives, succulents, grasses and select perennials. above: bold horizontal leaves of helianthus quietly anchor this airy July mix of scabiosa and verbena, Duboce Triangle. below: this Napa yard unfolds in abundant layers as the seasons progress. This photo was taken in June of 2015. (photo credit: Jeff Herwatt)

Nature continues to hand us bold reminders that we are stewards of this planet; that our actions have an impact. What kind of impact we make stems from the sum of our choices. Keep choosing well, and allow me to offer my suggestions.

Dean Ouellette 415-820-1623