Posts tagged Pat Welsh
Pat Welsh Paints Our Vineyard

Pat Welsh Delivering Our Painting Most of you know Pat Welsh for her incredibly well-written garden books, and the fact that she is a writer, speaker, and garden guru. Did you know, however, she is also a very gifted and talented painter. Her painting is a passion. My husband and I absolutely adore Pat, and adore her painting style.

A few years back we approached Pat about painting "our little hamlet" here at Domaine de Manion, our home and backyard vineyard. Fortunately, she was very interested in our proposed subject, and soon Pat's painting of our home and vineyard took on a life of its own. Pat did on site visits, sketches, and borrowed photos we had taken to begin her vision of the painting. Despite her very busy schedule, she persevered and enjoyed time for painting.

Her proposed composition was exactly what we were hoping for, a beautiful, yet simple depiction of our first grape harvest in 2008. Pat focused her painting of our vineyard from our lower south west corner of our property. Her painting sweeps upward over our beautiful syrah vineyard to our home on top of the hill.  She was able to capture our enthusiastic friends helping in the harvest, J.Lo our beloved chicken and chicken coop, and the whole essence and excitement of our first harvest. My husband, John, and I, are depicted center-front, holding on to this moment.

We wanted something very special to remember and commemorate our first harvest, and all of our hard work which brought us to this point in time. We feel so fortunate and honored to have Pat Welsh's beautiful painting to capture our memories. Many thanks Pat, your painting is incredible.

Please comment on little celebrations in your life that have big meaning. Please share  if you have had a chance to delve into Pat Welsh's new book.

Thank You for Visiting VGG Sponsors!

San Diego Horticultural Society announces its Spring Garden Tour, Saturday March 13, 2010. Tickets are $15/members, $20/non-members. To purchase tickets and more detailed information, please go to

Garden Gifts For The Holidays

Nuccio's Bella Rossa Camellia, Photo Courtesy of Monrovia Giving a gift is really an art. Match your gift with who is actually receiving this gift, taking into consideration some of their interests, hobbies, favorites, colors, and personality. Here are some "garden gift" suggestions for the gardeners in your life.

A Rain Barrel. Give a gift that is green, an urn that collects rain water. Gardener's Supply Company has several types of urns and sizes to chose from. Terra Cotta Urn, Flat-Back Rain Barrel and English Rain Barrels

A Chic Farmer's Market Bag.Check out eco-chic Harlow Bags. Choose from multiple colors and designs, all which are named after a Hollywood legend of the past, Audrey, Ava, Katherine, and more. Each style comes in three different sizes--tote, grocery, and farmer's market. Who says one can't be stylish buying fresh fruit and vegetables at your local farmer's market.

Gardeners Hand Products. Crabtree & Evelyn, a delightful selection of hand products to pamper your hands after a day of "guerilla gardening."

New Organic Gardening Book. Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month

Hand-crafted Garden Tool. Red Pig Tools, Oregon-based mail order tool maker of beautiful garden tools, the old fashion way. Choose from several categories for the type of tool you want for digging, harvesting, hoeing, weeding, and planting. These tools delight.

Live Plants & Trees. The innovative plant craftsmen at Monrovia helped me compile a holiday plant wishlist especially for you. Check these out on their website, and for a local retailer near you. Marge Miller Camellia #1500 (retails $60-$80), a new cascading Australian variety in a pretty pink color. Nuccio's Bella Rossa Camellia #1725 (retails $39-$49) pictured above, with crimson flowers that have a long bloom time. Barb-b-que Rosemary #2130 (retails $9-$12), use this straight rosemary as a skewer, perfect for the chef on your gift list. One of my personal favorites, and another Monrovia recommendation are the "Tabletop Topiaries" (retails $25-$35). I have three "Little Olive (Ollie) Topiaries" on my table in my outside garden vignette. This time of year, Monrovia also offers a terrific selection of "live" Christmas trees, too. Last year I wrote about my live Monrovia tree in Holiday Green.

Goldfinch Bird Feeder. For the gardener who loves birds. If you have never had a goldfinch bird feeder,Birdscapes® 736 Upside Down Goldfinch Feeder, 3 lb capacity you are in for a treat. Goldfinch are a little ray of sunshine in your garden, and are fascinating to watch as they eat upsided down.

Books Galore. Check out my amazon store favorites, to the right. These are some of my favorites that I have written about over this past year.

These are just a few "garden gift" suggestions  for the holidays. What is the best garden gift you have ever received?  What gifts do you like to give to the gardeners in your life?

Pat Welsh's New Organic Gardening Book Released

Pat Welsh's Newly Released Book For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting Pat Welsh's new organic gardening book, it is on sale now at amazon, Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month According to Pat, amazon pre-orders are shipping now.

This is Pat's third edition of her Southern California, Month-By-Month Gardening book. I know first hand she has updated and rewritten tirelessly her classic book to incorporate organic gardening and organic practices for the avid Southern California gardener today. Pat Welsh is a garden guru. This is a great holiday gift for you, and the gardeners in your life.

Everyone Loves a "Garden Baby"

Vintage Garden Baby Fountain I absolutely adore my "garden baby" fountain. Before an estate sale, it had been cherished in someone else's garden for a very long time. In a way, when I purchased my "garden baby", I felt like I was taking guardianship of this precious little concrete soul. To me, a "garden baby" exudes the spirit of a garden in another form other than plants. It captures a kaleidoscope of emotions such as love, purity, bliss, innocence, oneness, and peace.

I started researching "garden babies", and found very little, which added even more to their mystery. Usually found in a statuary or fountain form, why were they so popular at one time? What do they symbolize? What is their meaning in our gardens?

So, I asked two friends who are experts on the subject, and I share with you their insight on "garden babies".

Pat Welsh, an incredible gardener and garden writer for over fifty years in the San Diego area. She writes about "garden babies" from a historical European perspective.

"Statues of babies and children in gardens go back to ancient times. In England, especially, they sometimes have a sorrowful meaning. Since the 19th century, and probably long before that, people made little gardens in memory of babies that had died or were miscarried. Creating such a garden was a way to deal with grief. Sitting in such a garden gave one a place to mourn surrounded by statues of babies and it provided a special place to pray for a baby who had died. People still make these gardens today in memory of babies who died or miscarried.

In the Renaissance plump little boy angels, called putti, became popular. These also were often seen in gardens or as carved decorations on buildings, sometimes just for fun and other times to assuage grief. It made people feel better to think of their own little angel flying around happily in Heaven.

Statues of Greek and Roman gods lend romance to gardens and make us remember the deep mythological roots of garden-design and garden creation. Statues of deer, birds, turtles, rabbits, and other animals bring life to gardens and symbolize closeness to nature. Statues of children in gardens make us think of happy, carefree childhood out in nature. Statues of babies symbolize innocence, joy, and protective love. The mythic idea of a naked baby in a grassy glade or laughing in a fountain makes one think of one's own soft naked skin against the leaves, grass, cooling water on a hot day, and all the other textures in nature. The contrast in textures must have been particularly pleasing during eras, such as the Victorian era or the Elizabethan era, when the upper classes, the people who had gardens, were so covered with many layers of clothing they could never feel the sensual pleasures of being lightly clad or naked out in nature."

Pat Welsh, "The Resident Gardener"-Author-Public Speaker-Garden Consultant, Pat Welsh's Southern California Gardening, A Month-by-Month Guide.

Beau and Nancy Kimball, own the highly respected, Kimball & Bean Architectural & Garden Antiques business, situated on a historic 1830's farm homestead, fifty miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois. Beau writes about "garden babies" from an American architectural perspective.

"I believe that the "garden baby", although born in Europe, is more of an American creation than a European one. Prior to the turn of the 19th century almost all garden sculpture was of a classical Greek or Roman form. Starting with the Columbian Exposition in Chicago 1893 and continuing through the Paris Worlds Fair of 1900, a whole new form of humanistic, less severe sculpture began to take hold in the Paris ateliers of American sculptors like Lorado Taft and Frederick MacMonnies.

Several of their students including Janet Scudder (the "Frog Fountain"), Edith Parsons (the "Frog Baby") and Sylvia Shaw Judson ("Bird Girl" and the "Naughty Faun") became famous by supplying Gatsby age society clients and their estates with fountains and statuary made from carved stone, lead and bronze in this new friendlier form that included pixies, fairies and children.

Unlike the earlier classical sculpture, this humbler form also turned out to be the perfect style for the hundreds of thousands of newly minted suburban gardens of the post WWII building boom - especially when created in the more egalitarian concrete. Almost all of what we see today was produced in the last forty years. I often see it as being described as "1940's", but, it in my experience, it can almost always be documented as post 1960's at the oldest."

Kimball & Bean Architectural and Garden Antiques 3606 South Country Club Road Woodstock, IL 60098 Phone 815-444-9000 Fax 815-444-9002

Many thanks to Pat Welsh and Beau Kimball for sharing their expertise and perspectives. "Garden babies" is a fascinating subject. If you have a "garden baby" in your garden, or have additional information to comment about them, please feel free to share.