Living Green

I'm falling behind with the blog. I have dozens (no, hundreds) of pictures for blog posts yet to be made. I'm afraid I won't ever get to them. Do pictures have a "blog-by" expiration date? I trust the following pictures, taken last Thursday, are not too stale.

After visiting Ruth Bancroft, I took Emma by Living Green to see their sidewalk landscaping. When she got asked to bid on her first commercial account in a strip mall, the first thing I thought was, "Steal Living Green's sidewalk." I'm not sure how cool it is to steal borrow another garden designer's planting, but I think it was Stravinsky who said, "All of the best ideas are stolen."

Shall we discuss that notion? Should (Do) gardeners have a copyright on their designs? Note that American copyright protection springs to life at the moment of invention creation. (A suit requires copyright registration, but I guess you can start with the Wikipedia entry for a better treatment on the legal situation.) And I understand that a little bit of novelty may be sufficient to avoid infringing another person's copyright. Well, can you ever copy another garden exactly? Seems like Nature would never allow that, but it would be interesting to try, hmm.

Living Green is a very classy indoor/outdoor landscape design consultation firm and showroom located in San Francisco's design district. They have a striking sidewalk planting that would work in many sunny California cities. The plant palette is simple, inexpensive, and low-maintenance.


Living Green

Living Green

Living Green

Living Green

Living Green

Living Green

Beschorneria, Coleonema, Cordyline, Euphorbia, Hedychium, Tibouchina
, some bamboo and some restios--and you're about 90% there. Add few aeoniums, tuck in a few grasses, and you're basically done. How much does the purple wall matter? It makes all that yellow pop, and when the Tibouchina has its purple flowers on, the whole thing looks even better.

The question of how to prune Tibouchina brought a lot of people to my old blog. The answer here appears to be, "Prune it hard." These are already in tree-form, but all the ascending branches have recently been topped at around seven feet. It seems to work.

Living Green

Living Green

Living Green

Living Green

Living Green

Vigorous new growth emerges right from 1-inch diameter wood.

Living Green


Anonymous said...

Hello Chuck,

I'm just writing to let you know that, of the 25 or so garden blogs that I follow closely, yours is my favorite. I live at the opposite end of the country (Florida's east coast) but I have a deep love of California and a great interest in all of the Mediterranean regions of the world (South Africa, Chile, western Australia, California, and the Mediterranean). If I had my life to live over again, I would have moved to San Francisco in my early 30s instead of Florida. But we can't live our lives over, can we? In any case, your blog is the next best thing to being in California and in San Francisco. I love your garden with its great variety of plants and look forward to your posts of all the different places around the city that you visit. Between your often amusing descriptions and your numerous pictures, I feel like I'm right there with you as a guide. I'm glad to hear that you have hundreds of pictures in the works.

Kind regards,

PS: I don't think I could have admired your blog any more than I already did, but your post about the native plant restoration article, and your criticism of people who refer to native plant enthusiasts as "Nazis," did make me admire your blog even more. I am an avid fan of native plants and have written a book on the topic of gardening with Florida native plants. Thank you for pointing out the extreme weakness of using the "N" word in a debate.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

LOVE that sidewalk. When the city tree by my side walk decides to die completely, then after about four years when the city would actually take down a dead tree, I would love to steal, um, recycle their landscaping ideas, but in a zone 6 kind of way.

The County Clerk said...

Love the photos. Will comment on those later.

Your intro derailed me.

Shall we discuss that notion? Should (Do) gardeners have a copyright on their designs?

That is the RIGHT question. Not how, but should.

It suggests the underlying WHY.

I will direct you to my blog if I may: here. It is an 18 minute lecture , ostensibly about "How creativity is being strangled by the law." Pure Larry Lessig (Stanford Law). But that's not what's interesting to me. You should watch it. And then ask yourself if you want to "own" your garden designs.

Did I mention that the photos are beautiful?

chuck b. said...

Hank, thank you for that link. I do recall that post on your blog but I don't think I watched the video. I will now.

Jim, I forgot to mention that I admire this planting also because it's in a relatively thin strip of ground. Totally hell-strippable.

Rufino, Thank you for the great compliment! You really made my day. I'll have more to say about the Mediterranean angle in a future blog post--coming soon, hopefully.

Megan said...

Beautiful pictures, thanks for posting a good collection of them. I guess I'm joining your fan club here. Like your blog, love your SPCA links, what a great idea. I might copy you with the local humane society.

Frances, said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher C. NC said...

I seem to recall a garden designer suing a women in England for copyright infringement over her entry in the RHS flower show. I'm too lazy to google it.

It would be very difficult to steal/infringe on a garden design simply because it is a living organism that is so site specific. Maybe in suburbia where track homes are identical, the gardens could be too, but at that level the resources to sue may be insufficient.

Nothing like promoting conspicuous garden consumption on Earth Day. You always have ben a bit of an outlier, ahead of the curve kind of blogger. Where's your Mousie?

Anonymous said...

Love your pics Chuck, No I dont think youre could ever expire, please do make time to post them. Here in the uk can only dream about things looking as good as here. Finally were having a couple of warm days just gone into 34 degrees greenhouse!

Lou (ps thanks again for letting me use your images)

lisa said...

I don't see how a gardener COULD copyright their designs, especially with all the internet sharing of images and word getting out. And if you wanted to use a copyrighted design and one plant dies, can you quit paying royalties? What if the hybridizer of a plant that was used wanted in on the action...do you pay him royalties too? Sounds messy.

karen said...

What a fabulous place--and sidewalk.

Since I became a garden blogger, I have spent a fair time feeling guilty/elated because I borrow/steal ideas from other blogs: Galileo thermometer, plant combinations, etc.

I conclude that this cross-fertilization of designs/ideas is what it is all about. But I still feel vaguely guilty and refrain from publishing photos of my stolen ideas.

The County Clerk said...

The notion of "owning" ideas is a bit twisted, if commonplace.

Teresa said...

Your garden season is about 4 weeks a head of ours. I am lusting after your delphiniums. I can't wait for that brilliant blue to appear in my own flower beds.