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    « Perfection | Main | Garden Designers Roundtable: Small Space Design »


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    Rebecca Sweet

    I can confirm to the 'brutal schedule' aspect of her job - after going to bed last night at 8:30 to finally catch up on much needed rest! And I'm not even the one who had to travel across the country!!

    The days were truly long, but absolutely wonderful. The opportunity to see a fellow designer's gardens were the highlight of my weekend - and Susan, you are one talented designer! To see your creations through the eyes of both the clients and Michelle was such a great experience for me. Thanks to you both for letting me tag along!

    Thanks Rebecca! Why is it so much more nerve wracking to show a garden to a designer than it is to a potential client?

    Michelle Gervais

    We had SO MUCH FUN with you guys! The gardens were beautiful, your hubbie is a great host/cook, and your company was wonderful! Thanks, Susan!

    Oh, and yes, your garden WAS weed free, perfectly groomed and bursting with blooming plants. How the heck do you do that? I'm not worthy...

    Only a week since you were here, and already those pesky weeds are sneaking back in! I need to quickly plan all my summer entertaining for right now while everything is at its freshest!

    Michelle Gervais

    Oh, and here's what I did with the wide-angle lens in Susan's charming garden!

    Laura Livengood Schaub

    I was so glad to be a part of the fun! Susan, I love my new Canon PowerShot SX20IS, goes from 28mm wide angle to 20x optical zoom (up to 80x digital!) It's still a point-and-shoot, but is featured enough to be considered a "prosumer" camera. With 12.1 megapixels and a very grown-up neck strap (real photographers don't use wrist straps, ya know!)it's a great value!

    You've just about sold me. Paying bills this weekend and if there's enough left over, I know what I'm spending it on.

    Pomona Belvedere

    Sounds and looks as if you all had a great time! And very interesting to hear about the wide angle tip - although I also think having taken tens of thousands of photos is probably another part of that tip from Michelle. My idea is to develop a specialty of photographing plants in the evening light. I pass this along freely for others to use.

    That sounds like a wonderful speciality. Particularly as your love is tulips, which I think of as a good subject for individual portraits, whereas I"m often trying to capture enough of a garden to show some of its design aspects.

    Town Mouse

    Wow, that sounds like so much fun! And exhausting. I would drown in all the new impressions -- Interesting about the wide angle lens.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Anytime! BTW, I enjoyed Rebecca's study of your garden than she posted on her blog.


    How did you all find the time to squeeze in so many gardens? Was that all in one day? Ivette/Germi is visiting Austin this Wednesday, and her Twitter pals in Austin have a few gardens lined up to show her, but nowhere near that many, alas. I'm frantically yanking weeds in my own garden before she comes, but sadly I know others will appear that very morning to torment me.

    Maybe Michelle G. will come to Austin one day to see all the garden gorgeousness going on here. Fine Gardening, the Third Coast loves you too!

    Pam, if she had specific plans to use one of the gardens in the magazine, I imagine she would have spent a lot more time in that particular garden. It was so bright that the opportunity to take photos was pretty limited (even in my shady garden you can see in the photo she took the bright strip of sunlight on the fence). So for two of the gardens we spent less than 1/2 hour.

    And don't forget, I'm smack dab in the middle of over-priced California suburbia! Three of the gardens I showed her were tiny.


    That sounds like a really fun day. I loved seeing all the different gardens, especially yours and the one you designed.
    Have fun camera shopping!

    Catherine, it ISN'T fun, it's totally stressful! I don't know how you manage to have so many great photos on your blog and post so regularly.

    Alice Joyce

    Wonderful update! After the get-together at Laura's I wanted to know ALL about where the group activities were continuing; which gardens; tips on photographing; gossip, gossip; more gardens!

    It was great being able to show Michelle my part of the East Bay, but nothing topped relaxing in Laura's beautiful little garden the evening before. Glad we got to hang out a bit. :-)


    Sounds like a fun - if slightly hectic - viist! I need to get a wide angle lens. But I'm still getting over sticker shock for my 24-70mm lens (which actually translates to even more of a zoom because of my camera type . . . ). Oh well. I don't have many wide views to photograph in my garden yet anyway.
    Still haven't ordered anything. I can't justify the cost of an SLR but have narrowed it down to a Canon my friend Interleafer refers to as a prosumer camera. And the price is right, less than $400.


    It's rotten work but somebody's got to do it.

    What a tour, great gardens. I've come across the Ruth Bancroft gardens in various books/articles before. Great place to visit.

    I'm jealous of your beautiful weather right now. We've had rain of nigh on biblical proportions this week, my garden is erm, flattened.

    Bummer. Flattened as in depressing for a few days, or flattened as in broken stems?

    Ruth Bancroft is a lovely garden, but not really very big. You can see the whole thing easily in less than an hour. Hope I don't regret saying this but I think the $10.00 admission price is a bit steep.


    What fun to see all of your garden highlights in one go! You are such a talented designer - I love how you can see your personality in each one, yet they are also very clearly reflecting their owners as well.

    And LOL, "metal IS cool!".

    Yes, I was surprised they weren't more impressed with my attempts to join the conversation!

    Interesting what Michelle and Rebecca liked about the gardens. In the first one, both the owner Tai and I are crazy about the new children's garden we just installed, but we're so used to the paths and layout we don't think they're any big deal - yet that was what impressed M and R the most! I spoke to Tai today and she reminded me how obsessive we were when we actually planned the garden six years ago on path width, materials, clear identification of primary and secondary paths, smooth get the picture. It just seems ordinary now - I didn't remember how much we fussed at the time.

    lostlandscape (James)

    I'd hate to get to the point where I saw so many gardens that I glazed over and got blind to beauty--but I'd be willing to try out a position where that might be possible. Sign me up!

    A photographer colleague in town did some time doing commercial work in New York, where the favorite trick to make something average look decadent was to bathe it in magical golden light. Maybe we should all tint our home windows amber so we can enjoy magazine-colored gardens all day long. (But yeah, that still doesn't make the overhead light that much less harsh...)

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