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Nest In Style Has Moved. Come Visit Us!

August 5, 2010

We've Moved!

The Nest In Style (NIS) podcast has finally moved to its new home, a brand-spanking-new website, aHa! Home & Garden.  We will no longer be posting cool home and garden stuff here, you gotta check out our new digs. If you’re one of our NIS groupies, the new RSS subscription feed for the Nest In Style podcast and new aHa! Home & Garden blog is:

Why the new aHa! Home & Garden Blog?

I started with Nest In Style as a plain ol’ garden lifestyle blog a few years ago to share my DIY adventures and lust for modern style (even though my garden looks more mish-mashy than any one style). Once I decided to launch aHa! Modern Living, an online garden lifestyle store a little over a year ago, I quickly realized that people thought I was two different people with two different businesses.  It was crazy confusing!

Transforming Nest In Style from a blog to a podcast was my first attempt to minimize the confusion, yet still hold onto my NIS followers.  The new podcast also allows me to collaborate with more people from the garden, foodie and design worlds.  Not to mention the pleasure of working with my lovely co-host Teresa O’Connor of Seasonal Wisdom.

Online users are an interesting bunch…Not everyone loves the personal fluff of blogs and flashy social media badges during their online shopping experience. On the other hand, there’s a very socially conscious group of people who love to interact online.  You can’t be everything to everybody, so creating aHa! Home & Garden was the compromise.

What you can expect from the new aHa! Home & Garden Blog

  1. Monthly Nest In Style podcasts armed with home and garden tips for seasonal living. And yes, by “garden,” I mean canning, edibles, ornamentals, design, sprouts to Gen X to grannies (and grandpas), urban homesteading, the environment, and anything else I left out that you may think of.  If you can link it back to soil, then I consider anything a “garden” lifestyle.
  2. More DIY projects from my own backyard, and hopefully from readers too!
  3. Guest posts from farmers, foodies, designers, other garden bloggers, book authors (did I mention I’ll have a new book out soon?)
  4. My ramblings as a first-time co-author of a soon-to-be-released book, Garden Rules: Snappy Synopsis for the Modern Gardener.
  5. More contests and giveaways.
  6. Photo sharing from the Nest In Style Flickr Group.  Join us and share your garden pretties!
  7. Easy-to-remember garden rules to get you started or sharpen the saw.
  8. Continuation of our Stupid Garden Jokes.  You have to subject yourself at least once in your lifetime.
  9. A growing list of reputable and fun resources.
  10. Coming Soon: VIDEOS!

Saving Time in the Garden; Mary Ann Newcomer Interview

July 9, 2010

Nest In Style Podcast - Find us on iTunes!Let’s face it. Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed by gardening sometimes? That’s why co-hosts Jayme Jenkins and Teresa O’Connor discuss ways to save time in the garden, so gardening stays fun too.

In Part-Two of our “saving water” series, Mary Ann Newcomer tells Teresa how the Idaho Botanical Garden built an exquisite English-style garden that withstands an arid high desert environment. Hear how they did it…

Nest in Style Guest

Mary Ann Newcomer is Idaho’s Dirt Diva. Trained as an advanced master gardener, Mary Ann is a writer, speaker and radio personality (appearing weekly on The River, 94.5-FM in Boise). Her blog Gardens of the Wild Wild West was named among Horticulture Magazine’s Top 20 Favorite Garden Blogs. For many years, she has shared her talents at the Idaho Botanical Garden, where she was particularly involved with the creation of Muriel and Diana Kirk English Garden. On Twitter, you’ll find her at @WildWestGardens.

Idaho Botanical Garden

Some Plants Used

  • Blue Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’)
  • Catmint (Nepeta cataria)
  • Clematis: ‘General Sikorski,’ Etoile Violette’
  • Crane’s Bill (Geranium x ‘Rozanne’)
  • Lavender (Lavandula intermedia: ‘Grosso’ and ‘Provence’)
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Pee Wee’)
  • Purple Giant Filbert Tree (Corylus maxima ‘Purpurea’)
  • Roses: ‘New Dawn’
  • Wisteria floribunda

More Resources

Pets and Cocoa Mulch: We weren’t kidding about cocoa mulch being dangerous for pets. Here’s what the ASPCA says about the issue.

What’s Coming: Stay tuned as Teresa learns more about saving water in the garden. Next, she talks with The Germinatrix — otherwise known as the charming and funny Ivette Soler. The prominent Los Angeles-based landscape designer has lots to say about how you can grow a gorgeous, edible garden without wasting water.

Until then, go grow something!

Lettuces, Growing Walls and Debra Lee Baldwin Interview

June 17, 2010

Fresh-picked lettuces and salad greens. Dynamic growing walls. And sensational succulents of all types. These are a few topics you’ll find Nest In Style co-hosts Teresa O’Connor and Jayme Jenkins discussing in this episode.

Don’t miss Jayme’s interview with book author Debra Lee Baldwin, who shares plenty of great tips about growing succulents … even in rainy climates like Oregon. This interview kicks off a multi-part series on saving water in the garden.

Nest In Style Guest

Debra Lee Baldwin is a garden photojournalist and writer, who is particularly passionate about succulents.

Her first book Designing with Succulents was wildly successful, leading to her most recent book Succulent Container Book, which is already in its second edition.

Hear this delightful gardener describe how to grow succulents that thrive. And get ideas you can apply to your own home right now.

Find Debra on the Internet at and SucculentChic, as well as on Twitter as @DebraLBaldwin.

More Resources

What’s Coming: Stay tuned as co-host Teresa O’Connor talks with garden writer Mary Ann Newcomer about creating an English-style garden in a high country desert environment. Meanwhile, have fun and go grow something!

June Podcast: Edible Flowers and Garden Coach Christina Salwitz

June 3, 2010

It’s June, and the flowers are blooming wildly and smelling divine. So, we’re devoting part of this podcast episode to eating flowers. Hear Teresa O’Connor and Jayme Jenkins discuss some of their favorite edible flowers, and get quick harvesting, preparing and safety tips.

Our special guest is Christina Salwitz, a professional garden coach who lives near Seattle, Washington. Don’t miss her interview with Jayme, where she explains exactly what a garden coach is … and how to use one effectively.

Push the big, round orange play button to hear more about edible flowers and Christina Salwitz.

Based in Renton, Washington, Christina Salwitz is a home garden training specialist, horticultural guidance counselor and cheerleader. But her friends and clients know her as the PERSONAL GARDEN COACH. Over the years, she has led numerous Technical College courses and seminars for garden clubs; appeared on radio shows; and written articles for gardening publications. Christina was also a buyer and merchandiser for world-class nurseries for more than 20 years.

Look for Christina on Twitter @Arcadia1 or on her Personal Garden Coach blog.

More Resources:

Big announcement, we mean HUGE!  We are now on iTunes.  Take us everywhere you go: the garden, in the car, the plant nursery or doing chores.  The possibilities are endless.  Go grow something!

May Podcast: Growing Tomatoes & Interview with Susan Cohan

May 17, 2010

May is here, and the sun has finally decided to stick around to nurture our gardens and warm the soil.  In this podcast,  I announce very exciting news. Then Teresa and I discuss growing tomatoes, or “tomatahs,” as Teresa would say in her sultry voice.  You’ll find lots of good tips about tomatoes, including resources below.  Last, but certainly not least, listen to my interview with award winning landscape designer Susan Cohan.

Push the big, round orange play button to hear more about growing tomatoes and Jayme’s interview with Susan Cohan.

Nest In Style Guest

Susan CohanSusan Cohan, a New Jersey based landscape designer, is our special guest for this podcast episode.  After a successful run as a fashion designer, Susan decided to merge her designer knowledge and a life-long passion for gardening to become an award-winning landscape designer.  Among her many talents, attention to detail, sustainable practices and fine craftsmanship are just a few hallmarks of her work.  In her own garden, Susan fashions her landscape with completely recycled, found or re-purposed mementos.  My kind of lady!

Follow Susan on Twitter: @SusanCohan or check out her website Susan Cohan Gardens.

Other Resources

What’s Coming: Stay tuned as co-host Jayme Jenkins talks with Christina Salwitz, a Seattle-based gardening coach, about how garden coaches are the perfect match for do-it-yourselfers.  Meanwhile, have fun and go grow something!

Do you think using Red Plastic Mulch for growing warm season crops, like tomatoes, is worth the effort? Leave a comment.  We’d love to hear from you!

Feng Shui in the Garden

April 26, 2010

In this Nest in Style podcast, co-host Teresa O’Connor explores the ancient art and science of Feng Shui (“fung schway”) and discovers how these principles can be applied easily to your gardens today.

Hear how people are using Feng Shui in their outdoor spaces to coax positive energy (or Chi) inside their homes. Learn how a few changes to your garden can bring improvements to other areas of your life as well. Plus, get expert Feng Shui tips, using simple items like bird feeders, fountains, firepits, shrubs, trees and more.

Push the big, round orange play button to hear more about Feng Shui gardens.

Nest in Style Guest

Linda Binns is a Feng Shui consultant and owner of  Harmony Inside and Out.  She has appeared internationally on TV, radio and print interviews — and is the author of the book, “Feng Shui for your Relationships: Changing Your Environment to Create Better Relationships.”

Based in Boise, Linda specializes in long-distance Feng Shui consultations. A big supporter of empowering women, she is the publisher of Idaho Women’s Journal.

Follow Linda on Twitter: @LindaBinns or check out her website Harmony Inside and Out.

Natural Elements Used in Feng Shui Gardens

Natural Elements of Feng Shui

Other Resources

What’s Coming: Stay tuned as co-host Jayme Jenkins talks with two more experts in the garden. Don’t miss our next two podcasts with hot tips from award-winning landscape designer Susan Cohan and talented Northwest garden coach Christina Salwitz.

Meanwhile, have fun and go grow something! We love hearing your feedback. Thanks for listening in…

Book Review: Is Grocery Gardening the Right Book for You?

April 15, 2010

Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food $19.95, 285 pages

If you thought the idea of growing your own food was overwhelming, try looking for that one book to help you get started. has 3,943 book titles under the search term “vegetable gardening.”  How is a new gardener expected to choose the right book?

Some books leave you feeling like you need a horticulture degree to play in the dirt.  Not so with Grocery Gardening.  This book, or should I say guide, is a garden newbie’s dream, and an introduction into a life of enjoying food again. Jean Ann Van Krevelen and her co-contributors, Amanda Thomsen, Robin Ripley, and last but certainly not least, my lovely Nest In Style co-host Teresa O’Connor,  created a book that anyone can fit into their lifestyle. This book covers the basics of planning a garden, how to take care of it, how to eat it, then how to preserve it.  The best advice is to start small and grow what you like to eat.

But let’s face it, not everyone has the time or the resources to tend to their own veggie patch, but who doesn’t want to eat fresh food?  If gardening’s not your thing, skip to page 33 and learn the Secrets to Purchasing Quality Produce.  Once you’ve hand-picked the freshest produce at the market, skip to the Edibles section on page 39 to learn more about the nutritional facts of over 25 different fruits and vegetables.  While your there, try your hand at cooking up a recipe or two or three.

5 Things I Like about Grocery Gardening

  1. Visual Organization! I was one of those kids in college who had a cutesy bag full of highlighters and pens to color code my class notes.  What can I say, I’m a highly visual person and I get lost in a sea of blocked text.  Grocery Gardening is delightfully designed with colorful headers, pictures and author caricatures. Although this book is beautiful, don’t leave it on the coffee table; use it, get it dirty and splatter food on it. I’m sure the authors would expect nothing less.
  2. Responsive Authors. I’ve personally interacted with all the authors on Twitter and Facebook.  If you have a question, they’ll answer it. No snobby-bobbies or fake twitter profiles with these four, fine women. They are the real deal.
  3. From Garden to Table to Pantry. Have you ever seen a giant book just on composting or bugs in the garden?  This book has it all; from garden planning, organic disease and pest management, how to purchase quality produce, fruit and veggie facts, food preservation to delicious recipes.  Why buy 5 different books when you can start with just one.
  4. Personality. If you’ve ever listened to the Good Enough Gardening Podcast, you won’t find a boring, NPR kind of show (remember the NPR ladies on SNL?). Jean Ann and Amanda’s podcast is charged full witty comments…and a lot of signing.  The book is scattered with author quotes, that are not only informative, but give you a little insight into their individual personalities.
  5. Community Driven. The authors of Grocery Gardening understand the foundation of Social Media – the community.  This book is one of the few, if not the first, generated from the ground up (no pun intended).  Fellow garden tweeps from around the world poured in their ideas, recipes and photos, creating a book the community would want to read, not just a book the authors wanted to write.

Don’t just take my word for it, march yourself down to the nearest bookstore and see for yourself.

Where to Find the Women of Grocery Gardening

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Highlights & Garden Tips: Part 2

April 8, 2010

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

Now on to part 2 of the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Highlights.  In case you missed it,  listen to Part 1 to hear even more garden and design tips to use in your garden.

Take a scroll through the photos while each expert talks about different aspects of the San Francisco Garden Show exhibits.  Push the big, round orange play button to listen.  It’s time to get inspired!

Smart Tips from a Garden Editor

Kathy Brenzel, garden editor of Sunset Magazine and Sunset’s Western Garden Book (a must-have for any gardener).  I’ve heard many people credit Kathy with changing the way we garden in the west.  Listen as Kathy points out some smart design tips, affordable DIY ideas and ways to reuse materials in your garden.

Garden Exhibits:  Re-Generation “The World Without Us” created by The Garden Route Company and Pulling Up Daisies created by Tyler Rinehart and Kat Lewis

Sunset Magazine’s Western Garden Living Winner

Listen as Kathy explains why Sunset Magazine chose this garden as their winner.  Smart tips include living walls,  attracting wildlife and re-purposing materials to add borders and textures in the landscape.

Garden Exhibit: The Papillon Pad created by Mariposa Gardening and Design and Thomas Pedemonte Fine Woodworking

Rethinking the California Lawn

Tyler Rinehart and Kat Lewis, recent graduates of Cal Poly’s landscape architecture program, joined forces to construct a living model of Tyler’s senior project at the garden show, called Pulling Up Daisies (see photos above).  What’s the big idea?  Pull up your thirsty turf and replace it with native California meadow grasses.  You may be thinking a wild and flowery meadow is not your style, but check out Cal Poly’s C. praegracili lawn (pictured here) when it’s mowed. Would you have known the difference?

Don’t Look, Jump in with Color!

Keeyla Meadows, a California-based garden designer, was trained as a sculpture artist.  Can you tell?  She definitely has a method to her color madness. Take a listen as she walks us through her “living” canvas.

Garden Exhibit: Habitat Dance with a Red Snake created by Keeyla Meadows.

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Highlights & Garden Tips: Part 1

April 1, 2010

Have you ever been enchanted by a garden landscape but didn’t exactly know why?  Understanding basic design principles can help you make common plants come alive and create your own garden masterpieces from scratch.  With so many plants and materials to choose from, the possibilities are endless, not to mention overwhelming.  I traveled to San Francisco, this time as a lone podcast host, to find the answers to some common design dilemmas, discover emerging trends, and to soak up some vitamin D-rich California rays.

The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show is a fabulous springtime destination. Especially after a long, dreary winter hibernation involving garden planning, seed collecting, and homemade soups to warm the soul.  While my lovely Nest In Style co-host Teresa O’Connor was holding down her fort in Idaho, I spoke with a number of garden designers, magazine editors and garden geeks about their interpretation of the various garden exhibits and vendors at the show.  The Highlights Podcast Show is separated into a two-part series, to avoid bombarding your brain with too many “nuggets” at one time.  Part I features: Ivette Soler, Jenny Peterson, Sean Stout, Shirley Bovshow, Elayne Takemoto & Claire Woods of Annie’s Annuals (see Part II below).

Read more…

March Podcast: Starting from Seed, Heirlooms and Garden Design

March 16, 2010

Have questions about seed starting? Want to learn more about heirloom and hybrid seeds? Or, just eager to hear some great tips from a nationally recognized landscape designer?

If so, put your feet up and listen up. In this episode of Nest in Style, Teresa O’Connor and Jayme Jenkins turn to the experts to give you the dirt on these garden topics and more.

Nest in Style Guests

No time to listen to the whole podcast? We won’t take it personally.  Click on the orange buttons below to listen to our individual interviews with Nest In Style guests:  Nan Sterman, Christine McLaughlin and Rebecca Sweet.

Nan Sterman provides expert tips to Jayme for starting plants from seeds. A leading authority on growing organic produce, Nan authored California Gardener’s Guide and currently writes for Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Sunset Magazine and Pacific Horticulture.  Follow Nan on Twitter @NanGrowsGardens or check out her website Plant Soup.

Christine McLaughlin sheds light on heirloom and hybrid seeds with Teresa. Listen to fun histories about several heirlooms, and learn why heirlooms are so important for protecting our food heritage. Christine authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting (Alpha/Penguin; May 2010) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables (Alpha/Penguin; December 2010).  Find her on Twitter @Suburban_Farmer or at her blog A Suburban Farmer.

Rebecca Sweet shares expert garden design secrets with Teresa from her San Francisco-area landscape design company, Harmony in the Garden. Those lucky enough to attend the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show 2010 Tweetup will see Rebecca’s lovely garden for themselves. Or, perhaps you have already seen her garden or her clients’ landscapes on the pages of Fine Gardening Magazine. Find Rebecca on Twitter @SweetRebecca or at her blog Gossip in the Garden.

Other Resources Mentioned in this Podcast