Me! Because it wouldn’t be summer without a project, right? And this summer I’m going all out. Along with good friend and co-author Rebecca Sweet, I’m currently writing, photographing and creating illustrations for Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. The publisher is Cool Springs Press, and the book is due spring of 2011.
Here’s the official write-up:
“Vertical gardening is the hottest new garden design concept. An increasing number of consumers garden in limited spaces and are searching for help in maximizing gardening space, whether that’s an urban terrace, a narrow side yard, or a small intimate area within a larger landscape. Vertical gardening techniques offer solutions for a wide range of garden challenges, including growing edibles, personalizing a garden with unique focal points and decorative touches or simply hiding unsightly landscape elements. Landscape designers Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet have filled this book with easy, affordable, inspirational vertical options to help consumers create beautiful gardens that take advantage of overlooked vertical opportunities.”
Our goal is to include a mix of inspirational photos, actionable design advice and help with plant selection. We’ll even include some DIY projects.
I’ll post periodic updates on the book’s progress and share some of what I’m learning about vertical gardening along the way. And since apparently I can’t do anything these days without creating a companion video, here’s a little preview of what the book has to offer:
After a few months of silence while the other Lawn Reform Coalition members and I focused on our day jobs, we’re banging the drums again to encourage folk everywhere to downsize, replace or at least take a more organic maintenance approach to the great American lawn. There's a new June update and we now have a newsletter, so visit the website and sign up! And no need to worry about a barrage of emails heading your way; the plan is to publish only two to four times a year.
But wait, there’s more! We’ve replaced our Facebook Group page with a Fan Page (because groups are so 2009). There's plenty of lively discussion, photos and links being posted on a regular basis, and you are officially invited to drop by and join the conversation.
What else? We’ve added our first new member since the coalition’s inception almost a year ago. Garden photographer extraordinaire Saxon Holt is now an official part of the Lawn Reform Coalition. Of course, many of you already know Saxon from the popular blog Gardening Gone Wild, and if not, here’s a little excerpt from his LRC bio:
“In his work he seeks to change the aesthetic of what we expect to see in a garden photograph so that the media portrays authentic and sustainable gardens. The American Meadow Garden and his two most previous books, Hardy Succulents, and Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates, were all awarded prizes by the Garden Writers of America as "outstanding books".
To add a little gushy rider to this bio, like many Northern California gardeners, Plants and Landscapes for Summer Dry Climates is one of my most reached for books, and in fact the binding is actually falling apart I’ve taken it on so many client meetings. While the gardens look real, If I have one quibble, it’s that the plant photographs are almost too beautiful, forcing me to manage client expectations a bit to avoid any disappointment when the slightly beat up real plants arrive from the wholesale nursery.
For those of you wondering what the heck happened to my budding career as a filmmaker, I’ve put my ambitions on hold for a while to concentrate on yet another new project I’m announcing soon. In the meantime, I am addicted to the free website Animoto, where I made the Lawn Reform Coalition video at the top of the page, as well as last week’s Wordless Wednesday vid. If you’re in the market to create something beyond a typical slide show, but don’t want to bother with the heavy lifting, then Animoto is the way to go. Just drop in your pictures, add a little text, choose some music and hit go! A few minutes later, your video is ready. So give it a try on your own blog and let me know - I promise to stop by and admire your results!