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Garden Design Workshop at Callaway Gardens

Join me for a garden design workshop at Callaway Gardens on Saturday, March 24. For more details and to register,

New job for Erica

Hello gardening friends.

It’s snowing today in Atlanta ( a rare occurrence) and I decided to finally sit down an update my website.

It has been too long since I posted anything.  Between work and family I just haven’t had time. But  I wanted to update you about my new job.

At the end of August, 2018 I joined Joe Lamp’l as Senior Producer for his show Growing a Greener World, an award winning show that airs on PBS, throughout the US and Canada.  I am thrilled, learning lots and enjoying every day.

It is great to be back in television, this time on the other side of the camera. (you may see me at some point on camera, we’ll see) This fall we filmed new episodes for season 9 which will air in 2018.  We filmed in Austin and San Antonio (20 million bats, more about that later), Philadelphia, North Carolina where we filmed a show about mrmaple and then we were in the Hudson Valley at Stone Barns Center and Blue Hill where the world famous Chef Dan Barber sat down for what was an inspiring  interview with Joe, so much so that Joe turned it into a podcast which you can listen to.  Just go to joe gardener and look under podcasts.

Here I am at Gibbs Gardens, photo by Robert Sutherland

Garden Tour- Pacific NW in July 2017

Stay tuned for details.  I will be leading a garden tour to the Pacific NW in July

Fall at Bloedel Reserve

of 2017 with Earthbound Expeditions.

Autumn glows at Bloedel Reserve

Gardens of Ireland – June 2015

The past six months I have been busy with family, all leading up to our daughter’s Bat Mitzvah on November 1.  The day was wonderful in every way and now I can get back to working in my garden and thinking about the gardens of Ireland where I will lead a tour next June.

Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' in November

In my November garden Japanese maples, smoke tree and wonderful old fashioned single chrysanthemums are the plants of the moment. Here are a few scenes from photos I took today.

Chrysanthemum fading flowers in early November

Forysthia foliage in November

Danae racemosa

Gardens of the Emerald Isle With the Garden Expert Erica Glasener

June 14 -24, 2015

“May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent!”

Irish Saying

Across thousands of years and thousands of miles, the myths and magic of Ireland beckon us… We hear the invitation to visit in her music, her dance, her stories and her smiles.

Join me along with a group of happy garden lovers as we delve deep into the enchanting and mysterious Gaelic culture. The journey begins in Dublin, where you’ll visit Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College and attend the celebrated World Flower Show, known as “the Olympics of flower arranging.”

Then, take in the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher and the delightful Dingle Peninsula. No trip to Ireland would be complete without pub crawls, traditional music and historical walking tours with colorful local characters. Throw in our signature leisurely pace and time for independent discovery and you have the ideal recipe for a fantastic adventure. The Irish await you… “Cead Mile Failte”—a hundred thousand welcomes!


3 Nights 2 Nights 3 Nights 2 Nights

Overnight Trans-Atlantic Flight
Dublin, Ireland’s Capital
Kilkenny, Land of Castles and Monasteries Killarney, Gateway to Dingle
Galway & the Cliffs of Moher

Earthbound Expeditions Inc.

POB 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 USA T. 206 842 9775 / F. 206 842 8280

“May your home be filled with laughter, may your pockets be filled with gold And may you have all the happiness your Irish heart can hold.”
Irish blessing


Powerscourt Gardens, National Stud Farms Estate and Japanese GardensPrivate garden visits plus the gorgeous garden of Helen Dillon, The gardens of Mount Usher ,  Dublin’s botanical Garden , Muckross House and Gardens, Visits to Ireland’s most beautiful gardens and parks , Historical Dublin: Trinity College, The Book of Kells & St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Spectacular Rock of Cashel ,  The Wild Wicklow Mountains , The gorgeous Dingle Peninsula , Ancient Monastic site of Glendalough  Medieval Kilkenny  Boat cruise to the Cliffs of Moher  Lively town of Galway  The dramatic landscape of the Burren  Thoor Ballylee—home of W.B. Yeats.  A wonderful group of like-minded fun travelers.


  •   With garden expert and author Erica Glasener
  •   A professional Earthbound Expeditions program director
  •   10 nights 4 star accommodations in charming, centrally located hotels
  •   All breakfasts, six traditional lunches and five multi-course dinners
  •   Historic tours with interesting local experts
  •   Exclusive visits to private gardens
  •   Multiple visits to both private and public gardens
  •   Transportation throughout on an air -conditioned motor coach
  •   A musical evening
  •   Entrance fees to all museums & sights listed in itinerary
  •   Gratuities for guides and drivers
  •   Small group of fun, garden-loving traveling companions

NOT INCLUDED: Travel insurance, international flight and any items not listed in your itinerary


11 Days/10 Nights (not including Int’l air)
$3,875PP Dbl. Occupancy (Land price with 21 to 27 garden lovers) $735 Single Supplement
Tour begins: Sunday, June 14, upon arrival at Dublin airport Tour culminates: Wednesday, June 24- after breakfast
Based on $1=.76 Euro

SAVE $275!

  •   Pay your final balance by check or money order and save $100 per person.
  •   Alumni save $100
  •   Refer a Friend: Save an additional $75Earthbound Expeditions Inc.POB 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 USA T. 206 842 9775 / F. 206 842 8280

“Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.”
James Joyce

For detailed information and to sign up contact

Earthbound Expeditions Inc.

POB 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 USA T. 206 842 9775 / F. 206 842 8280

Gardens and Villas of Southern Italy May 19-30, 2014

I can’t believe it’s already been two months since I returned from Southern Italy. I find I’m already thinking about my next trip.  While the climate I live and garden in is very different from that of Sicily, the gardens and villas we visited were inspiring in many ways.   As our guide (a Professor) at Villa Romana del Casale, which dates back to the second half of the third century, reminded us, nothing is new, what’s old is new, what’s new is old.  This really sank in when we saw the detailed mosacis of the “bikini girls” depicted playing what looks like beach volleyball.  They also appear to have pierced belly buttons!

Bikini Girls

But I digress.  Getting back to the gardens.  We started our trip in Rome where large Pinus pinea, also known as the umbrella pine or stone pine, lines many of the streets. This is a popular pine in the coastal regions of the Mediterranean and depending on who you talk to, sometimes considered a pest.  Another common site are the window boxes, overflowing with color.  I will never look at a common geranium (Pelargonium) in the same way.

From the rooftop garden at the Hotel Cecil in Rome, you look out and know that you are not in the US. The age of the buildings, beyond the Coliseum and the Vatican (we arrived a day early so we could visit both sites), is hard to comprehend when you come from such a young country.

flower vendor in Rome

Pinus pinea at Villa Rufolo

Fortunately for me and our group,  we had a wonderful guide who works  with Earthbound Expeditons, Maria Cannavo.  An American of Italian descent, Maria visited Italy years ago and decided she had to move there.She now resides in Sicily and took us to some wonderful places. While I could recognize many of the plants, Maria’s knowledge of the country, customs and language made our experience that much more special.

Villa d'Este fountain

The first garden we visited was Villa d’Este in Tivoli.  Extensive water gardens, fountains, nymphs, grottoes and lush green everywhere .  The large scale, the different levels and the sound effects of the water all add to this enchanting place.  The Villa was begun before 1540 by the Cardinal Bishop of Cordova, and the gardens are thought to have been almost completed by 1572.  I quote here from  Italian Villas and Their Gardens, by Edith Wharton with illustrations and photographs by Maxfield Parrish, first published in 1904.  “But it is the omnipresent rush of water which gives the Este gardens their peculiar character. From the Anio, drawn up the hillside at incalculable cost and labor, a thousand rills gush downward, terrace by terrace, channeling the stone rails of the balusters, leaping from step to step, dripping into mossy conchs, flashing in spray from the  horns of sea-gods and the jaws of mythical monsters, or forcing themselves in irrepressible overflow down the ivy-matted banks. “

Villa d'Este

Over the centuries the Villa has changed ownership many times and survived many events including abandonment and bombing.  In 1920 the Villa d’Este became the property of the Italian State.

The next stop was, Villa San Michele which is located on Capri.  We stayed in Positano and took a short ferry ride to Capri.  Capri was buzzing with tourists but the view of the coast and water from San Michele made it worth the trip.

The highlights in Palermo included Mondelo, a fishing village, the open air markets and The Palermo Botanical Garden, a botanical gem where we saw magnificent specimens of different types of Ficus, cycads, white flowering bird of paradise and more.   Our knowledgeable and charming guides, Cassandra, a landscape architect and Manlio, the curator, were informative and delightful.The gardens foundation dates from 1789 to 1795 and has been visited by both botanists and those who enjoy the beauty and peace of this garden in the city.

Manlio, curator at Palermo Botanical Garden talks plants

Two Villas we visited in Ravello, both offering great views of the Amalfi coast and interesting histories; Villa Cimbrone named for the  rock cimbronium , on which it lies, and Villa Rufolo referred to as a “Garden of the Soul,” were lovely.

Villa Rufolo

Villa Cimbrone

In addition to the gardens, there were magnificent olive trees, temples, cathedrals and of course delicious food and wine.  My favorite cannoli was dipped in pistachio nuts( which also grow in Italy) and my favorite pasta was a ravioli stuffed with mushrooms.  We bought a ravioli (looks like a ice cube tray) maker home and plan to try making our own.

We spent the last three nights in Taromina and what a jewel.   In addition to gazing at the gorgeous coastline, I loved walking to restaurants and discovering side streets with wild capers growing out of a wall.  This is a place I hope to return to.

View from Greek Theater in Taromina

These are just some of the hightlights from a great trip with a great group of people.

After I got home I discovered a small book on my shelves that I had forgotten I had. The Old Gardens of Italy by Mrs. Aubery Le Blond, first published in 1912.  After this, my first trip to Italy, I really enjoyed looking through and reading her comments about Italian gardens.

I was fortunate that my husband and daughter got to join me on this trip.Just recently my daughter was talking about how much she liked Italy better than summer camp.So, where to next?  I’ll keep you posted.  Until then Ciao!

Acanthus, a weed in Rome

Spring Blooms in My Garden-April 30

Last night I tossed and turned worrying about the potential bad weather that was predicted (tornadoes and thunderstorms) but this morning the rain stopped and my garden looks no worse for the wear. I rather like the effect of the snow-white petals which cover the ground around my Chinese snowball viburnum, Viburnum macrocephalum.

Viburnum macrocephalum, clematis and iris

I am happy to report that it has only taken me about 6 years (my garden is 7 years old) to get my water feature operating.  This is in part due to the help of my neighbor David.  What a treat and the birds love it.

fountain with purple smoke tree and Japanese maple in background

fountain with purple smoke tree and Japanese maple

fountain detail

Despite the ever changing weather, this spring has been delightful and blooms are profuse. The air is filled with the scent of roses including ‘Perle d’Or’, ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ and ‘Buff Beauty,’ all favorites of mine. I favor roses that don’t require a lot of fuss but I think it made a difference that I fertilized last year and this spring with a special mix that my friend Rosemary shared with me. (more on that later). It also helps that we have had plenty of moisture. Colors seem more intense.

Rosa 'Buff Beauty'

Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin'

Other highlights include Amsonia (a cross, not sure of the name) and Clematis ‘Ramona’ which is doing what I hoped it would do and using Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’ as a living trellis.

Clematis 'Ramona' uses Hydrangea for trellis

Hot weather hasn’t set in yet and foliage still looks fresh. I like the combination of Angelica keiskei (hard to find a source but Plant Delights offers it, see the attached link. with a Japanese maple, Heuchera ‘Caramel’ and Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow.’

Angelica keiskeii and Japanese maple

Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight'

Clematis ‘Arabella’ is just beginning and hardy geraniums are bursting with blooms. Siberian iris, it’s first spring in my garden, does not disappoint and a few alliums are beginning to flower. Another grouping of perennials that is rich with texture and color is the new growth of Amsonia hubrichtii, iris foliage and Heuchera ‘Mocha.’

Amsonia hubrichtii, Iris and Heuchera 'Mocha' April 30

In my dry woodland, a patch of a white form of the native dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata) is lovely, even if it only lasts for a short time. For a longer show, I am always happy to see variegated solomon’s seal, Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ when it arrives on the scene. Purple smoke tree and bronze fennel offer the perfect foil for hardy red amaryllis that will bloom later in May.

Iris cristata 'Alba'

These are some of the highlights in my garden on this last day of April. I look forward to May and the botanical treats it offers. In just a few weeks I will be leaving for Italy. I’ll try to post some photos of gardens we visit. Stay tuned.

Virginia bluebells-The Pocket

In 2012 I made my first visit to the Shirley Miller Wildfower Trail; the area is known as the “Pocket “ in North Georgia (near Lafayette) and was amazed at the variety of wildflowers, including trilliums, foamflower, violets and columbine just to name a few. The timing of our visit was such that the Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, had already bloomed. Still, I was in awe of this botanical treasure and vowed to return.

Virginia bluebells and Celandine poppies

This year, with the cold winter and reluctant spring, I was hopeful that April 3 would be a good time to view the bluebells in flower.

I went with three friends who were visiting the Pocket for the first time.  As we approached the trail, I could feel my pulse quicken ( if you’ve ever seen masses of bluebells flowering in one spot  you understand this reaction completely).   For those of you not familiar with this beauty, here is some background information. Native to North America, Virginia bluebells (hardy from Zone 3 to 8 )occur in moist woodlands and river floodplains.  The flowers are pink in bud and open to the most beautiful blue.   In the wild, catching them at the perfect moment is a real treat.  Blooming at the same time were celandine poppies, Stylophorum diphyllum. Also known as wood poppies, these perennials display bright yellow flowers against blue-green foliage.  The combination of the celandine poppies and the bluebells is lovely and has inspired many a gardener to try and recreate in their own woodlands.

overview of bluebells

As we took photo after photo of this magnificent scene

(the photos never completely tell the story) it was hard to imagine that this planting had not been orchestrated by man.  (it was not)

It’s also interesting to me that by mid-summer the foliage will die back and disappear completely until next year.

Trillium flexipes

In addition to the bluebells, we saw masses of Dutchman’s breeches, Dicentra cucullaria (forming a lace carpet on the hillside), Phacelia bipinnatifida (don’t know a good common name), hepatica, Phlox, trilliums, sedum, foamflower and more.

Trillium decumbens and Thalictrum thalictroides

While the boardwalk trail is not very long (not sure maybe ½ mile) it took us several hours to reach the end where we were rewarded with waterfalls, rock outcroppings and sites like hydrangeas growing out of rock crevices.

waterfall and rocks


Relaxing at the Pocket

As we headed back to the car, we talked about our next visit and reflected on how glad we were that we had arrived early, as the small parking lot was beginning to fill up.

Spring blooms at Callaway Gardens

Last Thursday and Friday, March 27 and 28, I was at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia to give a lecture and teach a garden design workshop. This is an event that I look forward to every year.   One of the things that makes this experience so enjoyable is the audience.  This year I was once again rewarded with an interested and enthusiastic group.  I also had the pleasure of being on the program with Andrea Wulf, award-winning author and historian.  Her topic and title of her book The Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation provided an interesting and insightful look at the founding fathers and “how their attitudes towards plants, gardens, nature and agriculture shaped the American nation.  To find out more about her writing visit

Rhododendron canescens

When my mother and I were talking recently she described spring this year as  reluctant.  I have to  agree that it got off to a slow start.  The positive side to this is a banner year (at least here in the South) for saucer magnolias, flowering cherries, redbuds and more.  It seems as if blooms have lasted longer and colors have been a bit brighter.  At Callaway the first azaleas are showing color, including both native and exotic types.  Redbuds linger and the cherries hang on to their blossoms before they cover the ground with white.


Dogwoods will be in full bloom by now and masses of azaleas too.

As I walked along the trail of the wildflower gardens, I was thrilled to spot trilliums, green and gold, Pachysandra procumbens , trout lilies and other woodland gems.

Azaleas beginning to bloom March 27

fragrant flowers of Viburnum x burkwoodii

In my own garden Leucojums, Pulmonaria, hellebores and masses of daffodils are in full bloom.  Minor bulbs including Scillas and grape hyacinths are also in flower.  Yesterday temperatures shot up to over 70F and today it is predicted to be in the 80’s!  Welcome to the South.

Pachysandra procumbens, great native for the woodland

I look forward to watching Spring unfold with all that it has to offer.

grape hyacinth and daffodils in my garden

February in my garden- Snow, hellebores and more

Today is February 21, the sun is shining and hellebores, a mixed bag of hybrid seedlings, are the stars of the moment.  Looking back to just over one week ago, it’s hard to believe that my garden was covered with heavy, wet snow.


my front garden, February 13

For a moment I could appreciate how pretty it looked, covering all the dead leaves and plants waiting to be cut back.  While I enjoyed the quiet beauty and brief reprieve from cleaning up my garden, (guilt-free for a few days), I am glad not to live in a climate where snow is a regular occurrence in winter.

this table never looked so good

Almost overnight, early daffodils are beginning to bloom and the forsythia buds are showing color.   Yesterday was short sleeve weather and I decided to cut off the ratty foliage on my hellebores.   The reward is the hellebores themselves, in shades of pink, maroon, white, green and dark purple.  These unnamed seedlings delight me and persist for weeks.  When they finally begin to fade, their bedmates, ferns of several types will fill in with lush green growth.

While I know better than to think we have seen the last of winter, these late winter flowers have me feeling “guardedly optimistic.”  And, tomorrow I look forward to attending a symposium titled  “The Inspired Gardener.”

early daffodils

Presented by the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Georgia Perennial Plant Association, it takes place at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.   There are still a few spaces left (don’t count on lunch though).

For more information visit

In March I will be giving a lecture and teaching a workshop at Callaway Gardens ( always a  great group) on garden design and in April I am excited to return to Barnsley Gardens (now a resort in Adairsville, GA)  to teach a workshop and give a tour.  I worked at Barnsley many years ago helping to prepare the garden for its debut as a public garden.

Just in case you missed the news, I am leading a tour to Southern Italy this spring and a few spaces are still available.  It should be a great trip if you like gardens, good food and Italy!   Check out this link for the details.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gardeners-and a few notes on fall

Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah and Christmas will be here before you know it.If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to get the plant lovers and gardeners on your list, here are a few suggestions.  For Georgia gardeners, join me and my coauthor Walter Reeves on Saturday, December 7, from 12noon until 1pm at Eagle Eye Books in Decatur  (  and purchase a copy of our new revised and updated  (in its former life it was the Georgia Gardener’s Guide)

Georgia Getting Started Garden Guide.  Bring your garden questions and checkbook.    To make it even more enticing, when you purchase one of our new books,  Eagle Eye will offer a 20% discount on any other titles written by Walter or me (while the stock lasts.)

In addition to books on gardening, there are still some worthwhile magazines being published to consider as gifts.  I don’t think you can go wrong with a gift subscription to Gardens Illustrated which always inspires me with its photography and writing even if it is pricey.  Reading articles by the likes of Fergus Garrett and Beth Chatto make it a worthwhile investment.  (for US subscriptions email

Gift certificates for memberships to your favorite nonprofit or charity, given in honor of a friend or family member are satisfying and keep you from buying “stuff” that nobody wants or needs.  Locally I plan to support the Atlanta Food Bank ( and Trees Atlanta ( Both do great work and I love food and trees!   For $25 or more, Trees Atlanta will plant a tree to honor someone of your choosing.  A $35 dollar donation to the Atlanta Food Bank translates to 140 meals.  (wow)

At the other end of the spectrum of giving maybe you want to give a big once-in-a lifetime gift.  How about sending your garden person on a trip to Southern Italy with me next spring, May 19-30, 2014.   Organized by Earthbound Expeditions, it promises to be interesting and filled with beautiful gardens and tasty meals.

For more details

Of course some of the best gifts are gifts of time and energy.  I think I will ask my husband and daughter  to help me rake the yard and maybe I will get caught up before spring.

A few words about fall this year

Hydrangeas in Seattle, November

Fall here in Georgia arrived late but was colorful and a few trees are still hanging on to brilliant foliage.  My own garden had its moments but now the dead leaves and withered perennials are a daily reminder that I need to get out into the garden and clean up.

View to Canada from Orcas island, November 2

I was fortunate to make a quick trip to Seattle right before Thanksgiving to visit with my two best friends.  One of my friends commented that she thought fall color was some of the best she had seen in Seattle in recent years.  As I walked around her neighborhood in Queen Anne I agreed, it was noteworthy.

Organic pears, Orcas island market, November

If I’m lucky I make a trip to Seattle once a year.  This fall we headed to Orcas island for a few days and despite the mostly rainy weather (the sun did come out one day) we had a great time.  A pleasant surprise was the local organic market where we purchased some of the best tasting (they looked good too) pears I have ever had.  There was also the usual fare at this time of year including  kale, lettuce and apples, but the pears were amazing.  (I don’t use that word lightly) What made the story even more interesting is the man selling them has been offering them for 30 years at this market and brought some of the original scion wood, which he used for grafts from Holland ( It think it was Holland).  Anyway, if you get to Orcas be sure to check out the local organic market, it’s inside an old building.

moss on trail, Mt. Constitution, Orcas Island, November 2