There’s not one perfect lawn alternative for the whole country, right? After all, good plant choices are highly dependent on local conditions: high and low temps, soil, rainfall, etc. So for the Regional Plant Recommendations section in Lawn Gone!, my upcoming book, I invited 11 gardening experts from around the continental U.S. to each make 5 great plant picks for their region, along with suggestions for hardscape materials and info on regional gardening conditions. I’m thrilled to be able to share their expertise with you in my book!
I want to introduce you to them today. Each one has an informative blog or website, which I encourage you to visit, especially if you live in their part of the country and want to learn more about great plants or gardening techniques for your area’s unique conditions.
Northeast regional expert: Deborah Roberts
Debbie is the owner and principal designer of Roberts & Roberts Landscape and Garden Design based in Stamford, Connecticut. She blogs at A Garden of Possibilities. Debbie is also a fellow member of Garden Designers Roundtable and focuses on creating eco-friendly, sustainable gardens.
Southeast regional expert: Helen Yoest
Helen is a garden writer, speaker, and owner of Gardening With Confidence, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she designs and coaches others in sustainable and wildlife gardening. She also has a brand-new book called Gardening with Confidence: 50 Ways to Add Style for Personal Creativity, which is due out this fall. I had the pleasure of visiting Helen’s lovely garden last summer and have gotten to know her at a couple of Garden Bloggers Fling conventions.
Coastal South regional expert: Cynthia “Meems” Glover
Meems lives and gardens in central Florida. She is a Master Gardener, gardening coach, and author of the blog Hoe and Shovel. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her at a Garden Bloggers Fling as well. Check out her website, Florida Garden Coach, for more information about her coaching services.
Midwest regional expert: Neil Diboll
Neil is president of Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisconsin, and he has designed residential, commercial, and public spaces throughout the Midwest. He champions the use of prairie plants, as well as native trees, shrubs, and wetland plants, and his knowledge of local flora is unsurpassed. Visit his blog, The Native Plant Champion, to learn more about the prairie plants he loves.
Also representing the Midwest, Carolyn Gail Choi offers smart suggestions for hardscape materials. Carolyn is the owner of Sweet Caroline Garden Design in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to which she recently relocated from Chicago, Illinois, her home of 40 years. Read her blogs, Sweet Home and Garden Chicago and Sweet Home and Garden Carolina, for perspectives on gardening in two very different climates. I’m pleased to have met Carolyn at two Garden Bloggers Flings and to have visited her Chicago garden.
Northern Plains regional expert: Benjamin Vogt
Benjamin is the owner of Monarch Gardens, a design and coaching business in Lincoln, Nebraska, and author of the blog The Deep Middle. His native prairie garden is the subject of his memoir Sleep, Creep, Leap: The First Three Years of a Nebraska Garden. Benjamin is passionate about growing native plants and creating gardens that attract wildlife and are self-sustaining ecosystems.
Southern Plains regional expert: Pam Penick—me!
Yep, I’m offering my top five plant picks for easy-care lawn alternatives for the region I call home. Hint: all but one are natives, and my picks tend to be grassy. Low maintenance and fuss-free, right?
Mountain West regional expert: Mary Ann Newcomer
Mary Ann is the Dirt Diva on River Radio 94.9 in Boise, Idaho. She blogs at Gardens of the Wild Wild West (love the name!) and has been a fun, rowdy presence at every single Garden Bloggers Fling since I met her in Austin at the first one in 2008.
Southwest regional expert: David Cristiani
David is a landscape architect based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose design firm, Quercus, emphasizes durable simplicity using native and adapted materials, a local sense of place, water harvesting, low maintenance, and minimal water use. He blogs at The Desert Edge and is a fellow member of Garden Designers Roundtable. David visits Austin often, and I’ve had the pleasure of touring some Austin gardens with him.
Pacific Northwest regional expert: Christina Salwitz
Christina, also a member of Garden Designers Roundtable, is a garden coach, container-garden designer, and author of the blog Personal Garden Coach. With more than 20 years of experience in the nursery industry under her belt, she knows plants! She also has a brand-new book, Fine Foliage: Elegant Plant Combinations for Garden and Container, co-authored with Karen Chapman, coming out early next year.
Northern California regional expert: Kelly Kilpatrick
Kelly is the owner of Floradora Garden Design, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and author of the blog Floradora, where you’ll see some of the most beautiful garden photography around. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Kelly at two Garden Bloggers Flings, and I’m excited that she’s heading up the planning committee for next year’s Fling in San Francisco. I can’t wait! (Fellow garden bloggers, to stay abreast of Fling news, join the Fling Facebook page and keep an eye on the Fling’s official website for updates.)
Southern California regional expert: Shirley Bovshow
Shirley is a garden designer and gardening coach at Shirley Bovshow Garden Design in Los Angeles. She also produces and hosts the online TV show Garden World Report, blogs at Eden Makers, and is a member of Garden Designers Roundtable. Check out the before-and-after pics on her blog for inspirational examples of turning tired lawns into beautiful, easy-care gardens.
Wow, what a great lineup of regional experts to help you with plant selections to replace your lawn! How did I get so lucky? I’m honored that each of them was willing to participate and help make Lawn Gone! the best it can be.
All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.