interview with a gardener - kristy & john

finally! i am posting this! kristy and john are dear friends and they invited me a little while ago to visit their gorgeous garden. i love their space! at the heart of the garden is a vegi plot that features tomatoes, arugula, berries and more! i tasted a couple of the berries. delish! i am so inspired by their bold and abundant use of color and their collection of cactus and succulents. it is so great how in so cal you can have a desert scene growing next door to an edible garden.
their garden is a total reflection of their personalities, vibrant, inviting and loved. they have a tree loaded with housing and food for local birds and squirrels. i have the great pleasure of working with kristy from time to time. she is one of my favorite people. she always makes me laugh and we never get tiered of sharing our nerdy cat mother stories with each other. once she even gifted me underwear for squirrels! love.

kristy was kind enough to answer some of my question on her gardening experience...

what is your earliest memory of working with plants?
when i was little we lived on old farm property in sherman oaks. we had apricots, peaches, almonds and a plum that hung over from the next back yard. oh, and a guava bush in the front yard. i used to walk around the driveway pretending i was starving in the desert, then i would find those lovely guavas and be saved!

when did your interest in plants / gardening begin?
did anyone in particular or a specific moment inspire you?
the girls who lived next door to us in granada hills had a garden, so i did, too. it was pretty much a failure as the granite soil there was really bad. but i kept trying!

how do you work with plants in your life now?
as john has said, i care for them. and i share our bounty.


what is the best part about working with plants? and what is the biggest challenge? 
i love working in the dirt. i love watching the plants grow. i love the bees!! some other bugs are a big challenge! o hate them, but i hate to kill them. except the earwigs. don't hate killing those nasty little buggers!

what is your process for designing your garden?
design? c'mon.


where do you seek references, research, inspiration or ideas?
i loved the nursery Hortus in pasadena. i think much of my inspiration and ideas came from them. i still work with one of the main guys from Hortus at TOMATOMANIA!

what are your gardening tool essentials from concept to finish (they can range from pencils to music to hoes)?
good amendment and a hose without a spray attachment.

what plant(s) is an essential in your garden and why?
they're all essential.


what are your favorite indoor plants?

what are you favorite outdoor plants?
jasmine, roses, tomatoes

what are you favorite edible plants?
tomatoes, boysenberries, arugula


what are you favorite nurseries and / or public gardens?
i love the huntington garden, sego nursery and sheridan gardens.

favorite spot in your garden?
right smack dab in the middle.

favorite thing about YOUR garden?
it's small but mighty!


dwell on design 2011

i write you as i sit here in bed with a broken or sprained toe / foot. ugh, it has been a seriously crazy two weeks. just as i delivered my grandmother's big girl chickens to her home, my litte toe just had to bump hard into concrete. oh well. perhaps it was a sign that i needed to rest.
with that being said, wow. these last two weeks were crazy. i was the project manager for the dwell on design outdoor area. i had the great pleasure of working with so many talented and creative folks like shades of green, form la and many many more. all of the exhibitors were friendly and had such interesting work. i even came home with a few gifts, but that is for another post to come.
to set up it required a lot of running around, phone calls, on the spot decisions and positive energy. but in the end i am so proud to have been a part of this project. and best of all terri planty was also a guest exhibitor so it was fun to get to show off my terrariums to more of the world.


the shades of green station (featuring a wall and planter by ogassian, fountain by water on mars, grass from, plants from monrovia, air plants from rainforest flora)


i am still so in love with mod fire! also love all the colorful gainey ceramic pots, cool concrete chairs by greenform, pebble seats by eis studio and kismet tiles terri planty sitting pretty on the bar and in a garden scene.

more sweet designs... rad bench with planter by jory brigham gorgeous planted treasures (hanging and sitting) from potted, super giant olive tree from swg trees the form la display, swings by loll designs and one of my favorite displays of all - plywood office, which had the coolest idea. take a closer look at that table top, he used the whole in the wood to collect his newsletter emails! love it.

two cuties in the mid century la display (no plants but cute floral dresses - good enough for me!)

and last but so not least... my chickies! my grandparents lent us their chickens for the chicken tractor by 100xbetter and chicken coop by RAAD display. and the baby chickies are now mine! my little ones were happily showcased in a gorgeous custom fence by harwell fencing and gates. they make me so happy! i had no idea how funny chickens can be.
it was so nice to have chickens to play with amongst all the madness that is a tradeshow. the hens were noisy and enjoying all the love (folks would even take their photos with them!). the babies would ride home with me every night in the car singing little tweets.  i got so attached i am now hunting down for perfect chicken coop plans. i am thinking roof top garden!

right now

here are a couple iphone snapshots from my insanely busy life right now. by the way although i am without sleep and busy as can be, i am also as happy as a clam because two days ago i saw giant tillandsia clusters suspended from waterfall filled greenhouses and i get to go back soon, i am working and hanging out with brilliant and creative folks that love plants as much as me at dwell on design, i have baby chickens sleeping in my bathroom right now (and am considering keeping them - chicken mama for reals!), and terri planty is getting her show on at DOD on for two more days!


p.s. the super duper talented laure did a post on the air plant heaven i visited, still looking for it so that i may link it up. stay posted.