Vanessa Gardner Nagel chirps about garden design

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Category Archives: Garden Design

Opening My Garden

Belonging to a gardening group such as the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon offers an opportunity to share your garden with other members. Each year the HPSO committee creates a booklet containing a list of gardeners willing to open and share their gardens from late spring to early fall for that year. Gardeners must make […]

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My Arms Look Like Hoses

About this time of the summer, as wave after wave of heat descends on the Pacific Northwest, I find I spend an inordinate amount of time at the end of a hose. So much so that I begin to feel that in lieu of arms, I have hoses. This year has been worse than most […]

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BEING Outdoors

Create spaces to sit, lie down, dine, play, workout, and even take a shower in your yard. Create a garden that entices you to be outside…even in the winter…to investigate what’s new and pique your curiosity

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Learning from Garden Shows, Part 4

The Philadelphia Flower Show (grand Poobah of American flower shows) is the first show I’ve attended where floral exhibition was integrated into the landscape rather than segregated as a separate area. This year’s theme, ‘ARTiculture’, found designs inspired by a selected piece of art, a range of paintings by a particular artist, or even a specific exhibit at a museum.  […]

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Learning from Garden Shows, Part 3

Because I will be in Philadelphia during the course of Portland’s Yard, Garden, & Patio Show this year, I asked to come to the show the day before its opening. Yes, it’s a LOT hectic that day, with so much construction still going on. So I’m focusing this designer’s eye on what was in place […]

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Learning from Garden Shows-Part 1

At this time of year, garden shows are in abundance. The Northwest Flower and Garden Show has already been tucked away until next year, with two Portland shows about to happen over the next two weeks. The granddaddy, The Philadelphia Flower Show, begins Feb. 28.  Seeing something new is what I yearn to see as […]

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The Ubiquitous Adirondack

For those of you expecting a gushing love affair with the Adirondack chair, this is a rant about the excessively-used and overly-beloved garden seat. People use Adirondack chairs in nearly every style of garden imaginable. While a few locations are well-suited to this chair, many are not. Thomas Lee designed this chair in 1903 when he […]

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Intentional Serendipity

Serendipity…something to consider in every garden.

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Seeing Genius Loci

  This October Michael and I travelled to Sedona, AZ. and national parks in Arizona and Utah. It was a journey through geology and I found myself wishing I knew more about geology the farther we travelled. Driving east from the Las Vegas airport, we turned south towards Sedona from the main highway. The terrain […]

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Fluffy Cottage Gardens

  Okay, it has been quite a long time since I’ve created a new post here. I got sidetracked by a couple of other blogs to which I was contributing. I expect to blog much more regularly from now on!! Sometimes a rant is in order and as a designer I certainly take issue with […]

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