Mosaic Gardens Journal

news, photos and inspiration

Mosaic Q&A – Austin photos January 24, 2010

Filed under: garden design,photos,Q&A — Rebecca Sams from Mosaic Gardens @ 6:41 pm
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Buell's Austin, Texas garden

Have a question? Want more frequent updates? We’d love to hear from you! Read more here and/or write us in the comments or at

Below is a comment we received a few weeks ago, that we thought would be a fun addition to the Q&A:

I’ve admired your Oregon garden in several magazine spreads and have known about your inspirational design website for a while. But I just found your blog and am working my way through it, enjoying your beautiful garden pictures. I garden in Austin, your former hometown, and would love to see more images of Buell’s Austin garden. Have you posted any other pics of it–or do you plan to?

We’ve re-posted the photo that inspired this question request above (originally in this post). We lived in Austin before our move to Oregon in 2002. Unfortunately, we only have a couple of good photos of Buell’s garden, but they do show what you can do with low, almost no additional, water plantings in a hot climate. Good inspiration for all of us in milder regions, don’t you think? Here’s another photo of the garden, with a better look at the Goldsworthy-inspired “Beehive” sculpture Buell made from recycled limestone.

For fun, we put together a gallery of some of Buell’s work for Gardens, a landscape architecture design-build firm in Austin Texas. Obviously, we have different plant and materials palettes in the Northwest, but the threads of contrast in planting and strong, enticing hardscape carry through to our work in the PNW. Click on thumbnails for larger images.

Would you like for us to discuss a photo, design concept or plant in greater detail? Please leave a comment or write us at We very much enjoy hearing from you, and we need your help to make the Q&A a success!


Mosaic Q&A – Picea pungens ‘Globosa Nana’ and other dwarf forms January 21, 2010

Filed under: photos,Q&A — Rebecca Sams from Mosaic Gardens @ 11:36 pm
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[Edit: Hi!  This page gets a lot of traffic, so we thought we’d make sure you knew about the rest of our journal .  We update regularly during the growing season and hope you’ll check back in.  Thanks for stopping by!  Mosaic]

A journal reader from California had a question about the “gray/silver plant in the left foreground” of the photo at left. The photo originally appeared in Newsletter #4, in which we discussed how to create lower maintenance gardens. The plant is Picea pungens ‘Globosa Nana,’ a dwarf form of the Colorado Blue Spruce, and it is a soft-looking, deer resistant, drought tolerant, low-maintenance all star. We use a variety of Picea pungens dwarfs, whose silver to blue color and compact, rounded forms add form, color and texture to our gardens throughout the year. We will use single large specimens or let three to seven pungens dwarfs dance through lower plantings. Below is a gallery of Picea pungens at work in our gardens – click for larger images.

Thanks for the question! Look forward to reading more!




Ask Mosaic – a winter Q&A January 14, 2010

Filed under: News,Q&A — Rebecca Sams from Mosaic Gardens @ 7:10 pm

Our orchard after a winter storm

Do you miss our more frequent growing season posts? Do you have a question about our work or one of our gardens, but haven’t known how/when/where to ask? We’d love to hear from you! For at least the next couple of months, we hope to make the journal more interactive by responding to your questions and thoughts on the site.

Take a moment to inquire about any Mosaic-related subject in the “comments” section of this post or email us at We’ll respond to your question directly, and, most of the time, we’ll post your question and our answer on the journal. We hope this experiment will bring more frequent updates (it’s up to you!), offer fun new ideas for your gardens, and help us get to know you better.

Of course, we will never share your personal or contact information, and you will not be added to our mailing list unless you request otherwise.

We look forward to your questions and comments!

Rebecca & Buell


Happy News & Happy New Year! January 6, 2010

Filed under: News — Rebecca Sams from Mosaic Gardens @ 5:02 pm
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Bamboo screens frame an enticing view of the next room in the Dobson garden.


Happy New Year! Our twenty-ten is off to a great start, and we hope yours is, too.

We had some fun news to kick off the year – Ted and Nancy Dobson’s garden is featured on the Sunset blog, Fresh Dirt! Thanks to Jim McCausland for the nice article and heads-up. If you’d like to learn more about the Dobsons’ garden, check out our third newsletter.