Garden Magazines- Be Careful What You Wish For

We receive several design and garden magazines in the office (Sunset, Pacific
Horticulture
, Horticulture, Garden
Design
, Landscape Architecture and Fine
Gardening
just to name a few) They are great places to get ideas and
see what is new and avante garde in terms of plants and hardscape features.
After reading through this month’s Sunset and looking at some of the Beautiful
garden samples, a reoccurring thought struck me- the garden I was looking at in
the photographs probably only looks this good 15 days out of the year.

This is a good thing to watch for when looking through these magazines. That
beautiful plant in the featured article looks great, but is it evergreen or
deciduous? Does it require low or high maintenance? Is it something that deer
find to be equivalent to caviar? Often the planting compositions are complex
blends of grass, perennials and annual flowers, that look great but require
heavy maintenance.

The same can be said for hardscape. It is my experience that expensive, large
projects photograph for print publication the best. Before you set your heart on
that 1000 square foot travertine patio with vanishing edge pool and outdoor
kitchen, take into consideration what it would take to install these type of
elements for your project.

A good example was a client who wanted Golden Barrel Cactus, similar to the
distinctive garden at the Getty Center, until we priced them out, and found that
the cactus alone would exceed their planting budget.

cactus.jpg
At several hundred dollars a piece these golden
barrels might break the bank