Posts tagged "Plants"

New Sunset Western Garden Book




Now in its 80th year and ninth edition, this legendary garden "bible" has been updated and redesigned to include over 2,000 beautiful color photographs for the first time.

The Sunset Western Garden Book was my first gardening book.



Shirley Bovshow Garden Design mediterranean style garden

Garden design by Shirley Bovshow


My nieghbor, Rob, who was an avid gardener, gave me my first Western Garden Book after seeing the horrible results of my first planting attempt.

His words: "Shirley, it looks like you planted a horse in your yard!"

Apparently, I was supposed to grade the soil after planting pansies and not leave the soil mounded like a bunch of mole holes!


Oh well, what did I know, I was just a newbie gardener.


Edible garden by Shirley Bovshow red and green lettuces

Learn how to grow your food with the Sunset Garden Book and EdenMakers Blog!


Now in its ninth edition and completely redesigned to be more accessible, this go-to reference for gardening in the western United States includes over 2,000 full-color photographs for the first time as well as extra emphasis on contemporary issues like climate change, edible gardening, and water conservation. 


With an encyclopedia of 9,000 plants, gardeners will relish the book's complete reference guide with photos for every plant genus, solid information about the West's distinct microclimates, and the new "Plant Finder" section with plants for every purpose and function.



$34.95 U.S. | $38.95 CAN

ISBN-10: 0-376-03921-3 | ISBN-13: 978-0-376-03921-7
$44.95 U.S. | $49.95 CAN


Buy a copy at your local bookstore or online.


Inside The New Sunset Western Garden Book you'll learn to:

  • Find the perfect plant for every purpose. The Plant Finder includes 1,000 new photographs and has a mobile companion.
  • Make the most of your microclimate.
  • Be resourceful and sustainable.
  • Garden anywhere and everywhere.
  • Take your edible gardening to the next level. Learn to cultivate unique heirloom varieties and unusual plants.
  • Create a sense of place with regional gardens that celebrate the West's most iconic native plants and landscapes.
  • Get creative with cool garden projects.

In conjunction with the publication of the The New Sunset Western Garden Book, Sunset is relaunching the popular online Plant Finder database and is introducing a companion mobile website sponsored by The Association of California Water Agencies.


The new Plant Finder database and mobile app ( feature 2,000 of the West's most popular plants all searchable by Sunset Climate Zone, plant type, sun and water requirements, and a variety of other categories.


buff beauty yellow climbing rose

"Buff Beauty" yellow climbing rose


If you follow EdenMakers Blog, my garden falls in the Sunset Western Garden Book area of emphasis- western gardens.

Where do you garden?

Do you own a Sunset Garden Book?



Garden Show Extravaganza!

san francisco flower and garden show award winning display garden

The latest "Garden World Report Show" is a fun, garden-design extravaganza with highlights from the  San Francisco Flower and Garden Show 2010!



Are you ready for some fresh and innovative ideas for your garden this spring?

In addition to "team coverage" of the SF Flower and Garden Show, Garden World Report presents the latest gardening news from the web and on television.


On the Garden Web

Garden writer and blogger, Colleen Vanderlinden is hosting another round of "Mouse and Trowel" awards to recognize excellence in garden blogging.

Various categories are available for nominations including, "Best Writing," "Best Photography," and "Garden Blog of the Year."

What blogs will you nominate?

Nominations are open until midnight, April 30 at

Don't delay, get over there and vote!


Garden TV News

Garden TV fans, your prayers have been answered. Starting May 15, a new garden show is premiering on PBS, titled,  "Growing a Greener World."

Joe Lamp'l, Executive Produer and Host           Theresa Loe, Producer, "Growing a Greener World"

Executive producer and host Joe Lamp'l is joined by the web's "Garden Girl," , Patti Moreno and Chef  Nathan Lyon as they explore green gardening and sustainable living around the country.


On With The Show!

Here is the breakdown of the show and some of our super star guests and contributors!


Garden Show Extravaganza!

Tour a "succulent pavillion" at the San Francisco Flower and Garden show with garden author Debra Lee Baldwin of "Succulent Container Gardens."


Debra Lee Baldwin is an award-winning writer, photographer, editor and artist. Visit her websites at and


Landscape designer, Mary Te Selle's award winning garden, "Twice Upon a Treehouse" is featured on the Garden World Report show.



I was inspired so much by Te Selle's garden that I created my own original "muffin pan planter" for succulents.

I was in the "repurpose mood!"


Te Selle's garden is made from many recycled and repurposed materials including the focal point tree house constructed of driftwood, used wood, pylons and old metal.


A pond with edible and water plants is also included.


This garden, designed by Andrea Hurd of Mariposa Gardening was awarded by Sunset Magazine the "Western Living Award."


The entertainer's paradise is complete with edible garden, raised deck patio, gray water filtration system and wetland garden.

Gorgeous and functional!


Learn Botanical Plant Names!

Nicholas Staddon of Monrovia growers is back for another segment of "Say it in Botanical Latin," a series that teaches you how to pronounce botanical plant names.

This week: Clivia miniata and some trivia too!


Bonsai Appreciation 101

I'm fascinated with Bonsai, the ancient Japanese art of pruning dwarf plants ornamentally in shallow containers.

I interviewed, Bonsai expert, Jay McDonald at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.

We talked about the "proper way to view bonsai," basic bonsai care and the five most common bonsai styles.



Famous Garden Magazine Writers

Julie Chai of Sunset Magazine

You may recognize the names, Julie Chai, Associate Garden Editor for Sunset Magazine and Mary Kate Mackey, one of America's most prolific garden writers, but may not have  seen them on video before.


Meet Chai and Mackey on the Garden World Report and see what they are working on for their readers.


Garden Authority TV Series

Watch award winning author and illustrator, Sharon Lovejoy of "Trowel and Error" on her debut on "Garden Authority TV."


Garden Authority TV is an exciting new series that presents gardening tips from the world's most famous garden authors.

This week Lovejoy discusses organic pest control for earwigs!



Team Coverage of San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

Billy Goodnick of Fine Gardening magazine's "Cool Green Gardens" blog.


Join popular garden bloggers Billy Goodnick and Christina Salwitz as they share their favorite "take aways" from the show.


Christina Salwitz is the Personal Garden Coach!


Goodnick discusses garden design principals and Salwitz reports on discovering new "hot plants" at garden shows!


Show Gardens: Design Details and Costs!

Last but not least, I show you some of the unique garden design features of the display gardens and reveal how much some of them cost!


Please watch the show at the GardenWorld Report website or here, on EdenMakers Blog.


Please leave a comment.

Happy Gardening!


Plant Combinations: Foliage Plants

Golden Goddess Bamboo hedge and Kale

Shirley has been a busy girl these days!

I'm designing landscapes in Los Angeles, producing and hosting an  online garden TV talk show, the"Garden World Report," and I have a new venture I'm kicking off today!

I was invited to participate along with a group of  very talented garden designers from North America and the UK  in a "Garden Designer's Roundtable."

Lucky me!


Once a month, designers from the group will be blogging about a common garden design theme on the same day!

This month's Garden Designer's Roundtable focus:


Foliage and Texture

It's a great opportunity to gain insight on how professional designers approach different elements in a landscape from a regional perspective.


Why Focus on Plant Foliage and Texture?

I'm so glad you asked.



plants with varying texture create a dynamic garden

Starting from above: spiller, Lotus berthelotii, succulent Echeveria imbricata wedged in the crevice, "explosive" Festuca glauca  grass and creeping Sedum  reflexum 'Angelina' below


The photo above exemplifies the appeal of a garden that relies on foliage and texture to dazzle the eye instead of flowers.

Study that photo and note how each plant contrasts and compliments the other plants.


When you consider that this plant combination performs year-round, you will also become a fan of foliage/texture plant combinations.

Plants that provide interesting foliage and texture bring "value to the garden" and look their most handsome in each other's company!

(Kind of like when a group of good looking people hang out together, even the least attractive person's appeal quotient moves up a notch!).



Let's break down why this type of plant combination works.

The silver/gray foliage of the Lotus berthlotii ('Parrot's beak") glistens throughout the seasons and sports a hot, red, orange or bright yellow flower in summer, just to prove it can go "the extra mile" in showmanship.


The truth it, I'm only "using" the Lotus for it's beautiful foliage.

The flowers are nice too, but if it didn't bloom at all, I would still plant it for the "dewy" look it contributes to the garden.

The perfectly formed Echeveria rosette  retains  it's sculptural shape at all times and softens crags and crevices like it's nobody's business.



Festuca ornamental grass


How about the "POW" of the spiky, yet soft, gray Festuca grass?

Festuca with it's wild blades acts as a rebellious foil to the perfectly behaved Echeveria that dares not morph out of shape- ever!

Don't you feel like  patting it's fine, puffy blades?


Last but not least, the chartreuse-colored Sedum 'Angelina' rounds out the chiaroscuro play of light and dark plants.

The Sedum in this case is the "bright shadow" underneath the rock.

Relying on foliage and texture in the garden ensures that your garden looks great "most of the time" rather than the short period when flowers are in bloom.



Check out some of my gardens where foliage and texture plants dominate.


There may be no flowers on this hillside, but there is a lot of color- all the time!


Designer Tip:

Set out plants before planting in their containers and observe how the foliage interacts with the sunlight.

A well back lit ornamental grass will seem to glow in your garden.


Ornamental grasses come in colors ranging from gold to reds to blues and black and variegated blade colors.



This hillside features contrasting textures, foliage color and leaf shapes.



Three plants that look interesting together


Magnolia 'Little Gem' sports a two-tone glossy green leaf on one side and burgundy leaf on the opposite side.

The cool blue oat grass, Helictotrichon sempervirens offers a soft, unstructured understory and contrasting color.


The leaves of the lime-green fig tree look as though they have been hand-stenciled.

There is so much detail going on in this plant composition and each element compliments the next.


This is what a dynamic garden is all about!



The pond and water garden in my yard has been designed around the sun pattern.


Some of the plants are placed in the perfect spot  for maximum effect from back lighting and others to benefit from front lighting.

 This is my garden at sundown.



Another example of a few well chosen foliage plants that  have a synergistic effect on each other.


The vivid-fushia and silver colored leaves of the Kale plant in the forefront echo the pearl-like iridescence of the potted Echeveria in the back.

The back lit 'Golden Goddess' bamboo sets the stage for all three plants.

So simple, yet so dramatically beautiful.


I hope you enjoyed the foray into plant foliage and texture in my gardens.

"Leaf" me a comment! ( I couldn't help myself).


Please follow the Garden Designer's Roundtable and visit all of the blogs listed here that are writing about "Foliage and Texture!"

Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA »
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA »
Debbie Roberts : Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT »
Ivette Soler : The Germinatrix : Los Angeles, CA »
Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX »
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip in the Garden : Los Altos, CA “Plant Wiki”

As seen on the Garden World Report show, “Garden Magazines For Every Climate”

I appreciate my gardening books but there is nothing like  immediate access to information for plants that can be found online.

Have you heard of

It’s an online plant and gardening encyclopedia modeled after the popular “Wikipedia.”

So far,  has 16,711 plant entries and other articles written and edited by gardeners from around the globe, with 15,252 photos.

Muscari plant information screen shot of the “Featured Plant”

What I like about is that it’s an interactive site.

Registered members, (don’t worry, it’s free) can add new plant information and edit information about entries already on the site.

(Of course this kind of platform is subject to both high quality information and some that is less so).

This said, the “self policing” editing policy ensures that as more users participate, “inferior” information is weeded out.

I couldn’t help myself with that pun!

Some of the information that you will find on

1. “Featured Plant” with photo and extended information

2. Reference database with botany basics, cultivation, propagation,  plant maintenance, glossary of botanical names and glossary of gardening terms

3. A member’s forum and discussion board

4. Gardening ideas, trivia and more!

Watch live streaming video from gardenworldreport at

The creator of Gardenology is a young passionate gardener named Rafi. Rafi’s background in information and project management gave him a tech advantage and his passion for gardening, the catalyst for creating the site.

Check out and help it grow into a huge plant and gardening database with relevant, regional  information!

Win an Easy Bloom Plant Sensor!

Plant sensor

Hi friends.

I’m hosting a giveaway of one of my favorite products for the garden today, (Thursday, Dec. 10), through tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 on Twittter!

Great Garden Gift!

Screen shot 2009-12-10 at 8.24.33 AM

The Easy Bloom Plant Sensor! Enter for a chance to win by going to my Twitter feed, (@GardenWReport) and post the  following message:

“@EasyBloom is on my holiday wish list”

You will be officially entered for a chance to win.

A winner will be selected at the end of the day today and tomorrow.

Impress me with a few Tweets…this way you will have my attention! Also, leave a message for me here so I know you did it! (This is not required but can’t hurt your chances).

Do you know about the Easy Bloom Plant Sensor?

Let’s just say, it is an easy to use, high tech tool.

This is how it works:

Put the EasyBloom Plant Sensor anywhere, inside or outside, where you want to grow a plant or have a plant you want advice on. The Plant Sensor will measure sunlight, temperature, water drainage and humidity.

Here’s the fun “hi-tech” part: Plug the EasyBloom Plant Sensor into the USB port of your PC or Mac. adjusts the raw sensor data with your local growing zones, climate, and hourly weather.

The Easy Bloom also helps you diagnose plant problems due to sun exposure and watering reasons.

I’ve  used the EasyBloom in my garden and also for work to help me figure plant selections for new my client’s gardens.

What I like about it is that the EasyBloom site will suggest plants that I haven’t considered for my  project! It opens me up to different plants that are appropriate for the site.

Enter to win at my Twitter account today and tomorrow!

“Not-Oprah’s Favorite Things” on Garden World Report Show!

Shirley Bovshows favorite garden products

This week’s new Garden World Report show is taking a fun turn for garden enthusiasts!

Oprah does a yearly show around this time of the year where she presents her favorite products and does a giveaway.

Oprah is not doing a “Favorite Things” show this year, but I am!


“Shirley’s Favorite Things For the Garden” showcases my top 4 “must have” garden products and guess what?

I’m giving out garden products to some lucky Garden World Report viewers!

I’ll explain later in this post how to win!



Also on this week’s show, I’m showcasing three amazing “garden heros” who are making the world a better place through gardening and helping to improve other’s lives.



Watch for:


Kylee Baumle, garden blogger of Our Little Acre presents the mastermind behind an award winning children’s garden, Louise Hartwig .

Louise helped to create the  “Smiley Park Children’s Garden” in Van Wert, Ohio.

You will be inspired! I was.



Picture 1 jose soto 14

The online garden store, Gardener’s Supply honors a special gardener who brought a garden paradise to the concrete jungle of the Bronx, New York and unified his community at the same time!

Jose Soto is their “2009 Urban Renewal” winner.

Watch Jose on the Garden World Report show.



FAAGRIC class lectures

“ECHO” stands for “Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization” and this organization is spotlighted as an international garden hero.

ECHO trains future “garden ambassadors” who go throughout the world to underdeveloped countries and teach other’s how to be self sufficient by growing their own food!

Check out ECHO’s headquarters on the Garden World Report. I can’t believe they are in the USA. (Florida, actually).




Social media expert, Jean Ann VK teaches garden bloggers how to take advantage of some basic “SEO” or “search engine optimization” so that Google and readers can find your blog posts!

Jean Ann always presents easy to understand tips for navigating the online world. Follow her series on the Garden World Report and listen to her podcast, Good Enough Gardening, she’s great!



Picture 1

Suzi McCoy, garden media expert of the Garden Media Group contributes a second installment to her series, “Garden Trends for 2010.”

Suzi is talking about “multi-purpose gardens,” or gardens that serve other functions other than just looking pretty!

I like that…double duty!


The highlight of the show for me, is the debut of my Shirley’s Favorite Things” for the garden!

I’m even giving away garden products.


Here’s the lowdown:

Watch the show and email me afterwards.

The first person to email me and request one of the particular products, will win that product.

Now, I’m not Oprah, so I don’t have thousands of items to giveaway.

Please request only one of the products that I showcased and the first request will win!



You can select from:

1. Eco-Lawn : a bag of seeds will cover approximately 1000 sq feet. This is the “granddaddy of drought tolerant lawns” made of seven different fine fescue seeds.

2. Ups A Daisy: Planter inserts that are a much more clever solution than using “packing peanuts” to minimize the area in containers for soil. Drainage holes also promote great aeration for plant roots.

3. Potlifters: An ergonomic strapping system to help you lift up to 200 pounds in the garden. Move oversized pots and other  odd-shaped things like boulders, logs and more.

4. “Easy Bloom” Plant Sensor: A high tech, but easy to use tool that takes the guesswork out of planning appropriate plants for the garden. Easy Bloom also helps to diagnose water and climate problems for failing plants.



Start watching the Garden World Report Show!

It’s fun, I promise.

Go, what are you waiting for!

How Does Your Garden Glow?

I designed my pond garden to take advantage of both the sunrise and sunset lights cast by the sun. I harnessed the sun's glow on the plants as a "natural spotlight"  and back light to bring out the glistening plumes of ornamental grasses and to reveal the inner hues of my strappy Phormiums.

The result?

A dramatic and radiant garden, ready for it's close-up when I awake and when I bid the day goodbye!


A California Pepper tree is the focal point above a naturalistic pond and gardens featuring ornamental grasses by Shirley Bovshow of

"Good morning" garden!


curved natural stone bench with finials surround a firepit and garden with ornamental grasses. Garden by Shirley Bovshow

The sun reveals honey-colored hues within the dark, purple leaves of the Phormium.

The ornamental grass, Calamagrostis glows behind it.


closeup ornamental grass calamagrostis plumes backlit by morning sun

The long-lasting plumes of the Calamagrostis have been performing since summer in my zone 10 garden!


Japanese maple tree and ornamental grasses backlit by the sun

When the Japanese Maple tree is backlit, you can see it's "true colors."

The Calla lily reveals different shades of green.


closeup phormium and pepper tree

A closer look at my Phormium.


ornamental grass calamagrostis backlit by morning sun near a pond

Calamagrostis at sun down. What a wonderful way to say "good night!"

Eden Maker Design Tip:

Don't rush to create your garden until you have spent lots of time in the yard, studying the sun and shadow patterns.

Use the natural light to bring out the "hidden" beauty of your plants and add some drama to the garden!