The latest Fine Gardening Magazine arrived and I jumped on it, as always. The story about paths and pavers grabbed my attention because I’ve been looking for good-looking, low-cost materials to recommend. First, I finally learned what "Crab Orchard" is – the landscapers on HGTV swear by it – it’s a type of sandstone, cheaper and easier to cut than, say, granite. And I appreciate the good cost information about choices in paving materials, which range from 25 cents a square foot for gravel to $20 for that super-hard granite. Composites like concrete and aggregate can be super-cheaper, too – as little as $1/sf. As a fan of concrete pavers myself, I’ll second the notion that they’re worth a try and homemade, they cost about 50 cents each. That’s not counting the cost of the really cool things you can put in them – like marbles and tiles and real leaf impressions. Hey, I think I’ll throw a paver-making party as soon as it’s warm enough to make a mess outdoors. Wanna come?
Now I don’t want to forget to tell you my gravel+slate story – the OUCH. See how nice they look together in the cover story above? Fine, just don’t try walking barefoot on that combo because little rocks find their way on top of the hard, hard slate and DO NOT SINK IN when stepped on, and hurt like hell. Seriously – don’t try it at home. I’ve seen this dangerous combination recommended a zillion times and it makes me wonder: Am I the only barefoot gardener left?? Maybe it’s just us Southerners, but I’ve gotta have that full garden experience of feet-on-grass and feet-on-dirt. Gardeners, am I alone?
Moving on, these are my other faves in the February issue:
- How to prune Japanese maples. If you’re a pruning geek like me, you’ll love this article, with good illustrations and this quote: "The wise gardener learns to appreciate plants for their own attributes and remembers that a good pruner can only reveal beauty, not create it." Damn right.
- A new pruning saw I absolutely MUST HAVE because it’s so sharp it cuts "like a hot knife through butter". The Product Review Department features the Silky Pocketboy 130, reportedly well worth the $26 it costs. It’s available here.
- A really cool article+photo spread about using straight lines and perfect geometric shapes in lush, modern ways – very Pacific Northwest and gorgeous.
- Stephanie Cohen has gotta be the cutest garden writer on the planet – it’s that smile, so big it makes her eyes disappear. And it’s not for nothing that she’s called the High Priestess of Perennials, judging by the quality of her perennial update in this issue of FG.