Monday, June 22, 2009

Extrie! Extrie! Get Your Fresh New Content!!

Gosh, I'm prolific sometimes. Just not here. But if you want some good summer reading (longer than a Twitter tweet / shorter than War & Peace) here's what I've got for you.

When I was in San Diego a few weekends ago, I took my first tour of Quail Botanical Garden in Encinitas. It's VERY Mediterranean plantings inspired me to keep my camera on for most of the visit. But the real stunner is this Puya flower.

At my new blog at Fine Gardening Magazine's website, I pondered the difficulties of incorporating such an other-worldly plant into a landscape.

Read Flowers From a Bad Sci-Fi Movie.

With the longest day of the year behind us now, click over to this new article I wrote for It's about Santa Barbara's big Summer Solstice celebration and how the hot colors I'm seeing around local gardens inspired a photo essay.

Read Scorching Shade of Summer Solstice.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Slackin' on my posts

Hey, gang of probably dwindling loyal readers. I'm been a baaaaaaaad boy at keeping this blog fed. It's a good news/bad news story but I'll lay it out for you.

After humble beginnings a few years ago, my Garden Wise Guy blog has become the seed for what's turning into a real writing career. I retire from my 22 year gig as landscape architect for Santa Barbara and will be spending a lot more time at the keyboard.

From little blogs, big writing trees have grown--a veritable copse, no, more like a grove, NO, make that a forest! Aside from a bi-weekly blog at Santa Barbara-centric, I had, until recently, been freelance writing for two magazines in the Santa Barbara area. That's been good for building my writing chops, and just as I found out I was being laid off (I'm choosing to call it "retire" since I qualify for a pension) doors have sprung open and the welcome mat is saying "hello."

Long story short. I've been hired by Fine Gardening Magazine to contribute to their web site under the "brand" of Cool Green Gardens. It's a column about sustainable landscaping from a Left Coast perspective and I get to rant just like I rant here. Not to brag too much, but a recent design article on curing "one-of-each-itis" got 10,000 hits in two weeks. "Speechless" is all I can say.

So, as you can see, with two "real" writing jobs, a consulting practice to ramp up, drumming with King Bee and a new teaching position at the local community college (I get to teach landscape design!), it's hard to keep this blog well fed.

This blog has become a repository for click-throughs to my other writing. Hopefully, you'll still find it convenient to stop by here first, then venture out along the cyber-tendrils. If not, find me directly through these links below...

Time to pimp my new articles.

One at Fine Gardening is about a laid-off economist who's going back to school to study garden design. Very inspirational. If you come by, I'll love to read your comments.

And the most recent Edhat, Miracle on San Andres St., is near and dear to me, celebrating the greatest project I've had the good fortune to manage in my career. It's the story of an art-filled oasis in one of Santa Barbara's less-seen neighborhoods. There's also a link to a photo-essay at Flickr.

Later, skaters.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dargan's thang reminder from Billy G

Hey, a lot of folks have replied and it looks like a nice group coming together for the retirement send-off. We'll be assembling at Dargan's (21 E. Ortega) around 5 on Thursday, June 25.

 It's no-host everything; no speeches or presentations. Just be there and keep your expectations really low - that's how I make it through the day. I simply wanna have a drink or two with my friends, get a hug and try to pick your wallet so my retirement will be more comfortable. 

Hope you can make it.

Landscape Coaching and Design:
Contributing content at Fine Gardening Magazine
Entertaining at my blog
Pontificating at Edhat
Co-hosting TV at
Drumming at King Bee
Popping eyeballs at Flickr

Friday, June 5, 2009

One Man Guerilla Marketing Blitz...

Seems like I'm getting more than my 15 minutes of exposure this month, and it's still only the first week. With my impending departure from my gig with the City of Santa Barbara, I'm seeking ways to drive a few more clients toward my landscape design and coaching work. What better way than this little confection of an article by my new(ish) writer friend, Debra Prinzing.

Debra is a REAL writer (as opposed to this little charade I continue to perpetuate) with years of experience writing for the nation's finest publications. Her new book, Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, is flying off the shelves, deservedly so. It's a delight to look at but also has lots of clever ideas for homeowners for creating a special space in their own yards.

But I digress...Debra and I were having lunch at my most bestest Santa Barbara Mexican restaurant, Las Agaves (Milpas and E. Cota Sts.), when she whipped out a steno pad and announced she needed to interview me. Something about the "Guys Issue" and being on a deadline. I'm a guy; we were both in the same place--works for moi!

The resulting article (links to a pdf file) is this great little piece in 805Living about how I am sometimes called upon to act as not only a designer, but also as a marriage counselor. The free, sumptuous magazine can be found from northern LA county through Ventura and SB counties.

I'm also adding links to two other new bits of writing: My CoolGreenGardens blog at Fine Gardening is starting to get some loyal readership--sometimes I rant, sometimes I teach.

And this week's piece highlights my swan song project for the SB Parks & Recreation Department, the Bohnett Park expansion. You'll also find a link to a photo essay about this totally unique art-filled postage stamp-sized parcel. It's titled Miracle on San Andres Street. Read it and you'll see why.

Retirement count down: 25d 4h 30m 37s (but who's counting)