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violetsnapdragon

Have you seen Garden Answer?

violetsnapdragon
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

Stumbled upon this youtube channel--a young woman who lives in Oregon. What I never liked about HGTV garden shows is that they'd plant a new garden and you didn't get to see what it looks like when it grows up. These videos take place on her property, so you get to see her plant beds and then you get to see them in subsequent seasons. She also does some garden projects and videos that focus on some individual types of plants. Another nice feature is plant names/links at the end of the videos/on the youtube site.

Comments (53)

  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    She makes it pretty clear that she has sponsorship/gets free stuff from various companies. It's interesting to get to see the progression of her gardens and get an idea of what worked out and what didn't. So, no matter where she gets her plants from, you get to see for yourself if they look good over time.

  • Campanula UK Z8
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I have to say that sponsorship would make a difference to me, Violet, since in (my) real world, sourcing plants is my major challenge - I certainly cannot afford to shop for them and generally lose interest if this is the major driver of garden development. Even for those less financially challenged as myself, I doubt many can simply rely on corporate largesse to create a garden...

    Anyway, I haven't seen Garden Answer so I might be missing the point by a mile...and it is always interesting to watch experts at work, in any field... but truthfully, I manage 2minute instruction videos (how to light a tilley lamp, German long-tail cast-ons, removing a snapped pullcord) before my (short-term) attention wanders off somewhere else...and so many of them (Youtubers and podcasters) seem to love the sound of their own voice. For sure, I would be unbearable, mind).

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  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    She really is good at what she does, Campanula. And even if she is using a Proven Winner hydrangea--you can get the same look with another variety. I crave good garden videos and most of them are boring, I agree. This woman has got it down--she talks fast (and luckily leaves plant names at the end, in case you didn't catch them in the first place), and she is very personable and knowledgable. Apparently, she grew up working in her family's garden center business. I find that, as she's walking around the garden doing her thing, her cat keeps following around and getting in the picture--a touch of humor there!

  • mazerolm_3a
    2 years ago

    Thanks for posting this, violetsnapdragon! I checked out her Facebook page, oh my gosh!!! Everything is so beautiful and pristine! I can’t help but wonder how much this all cost (paths, plants, irrigation, greenhouse, statues, planters, etc etc). It’s way out of my league! She planted 2,300 bulbs last fall, I hope she’ll post videos of the blooms this Spring. The videos are very informative, I’ll be looking at the ones from past years for sure. What a great source for inspiration!

  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I was very inspired by her use of an auger to plant those bulbs--I'm definitely going to try that in the fall.

  • Embothrium
    2 years ago

    I'd much rather use a trowel to plant bulbs. Or dig out a space with a shovel and then arrange a number of bulbs in it, replace the soil. Instead of digging a separate hole for each bulb.

  • biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)
    2 years ago

    I tried an auger this year for bulbs and gave up after a few holes. I don't know if I was going about it wrong or the auger doesn't work with my soil, but I just ended up with the dirt falling right back into the freshly dug hole, forcing me to use a trowel anyway. I found it faster to do what Embothrium described - dig out an area, place a bunch of bulbs, replace soil.

  • Campanula UK Z8
    2 years ago

    The spade method only really works with smaller bulbs such as crocus, chionodoxa, muscari and so on. Large bulbs, such as camassia, many narcissi, hyacinth, do much better with a long-handled bulb planter. Augers are not good in stony soil either. Any method which involves getting up and down, is going to be slow...and digging more than a dozen holes, with either a trowel or bulb planter, is just painful. If you plant by the hundred (and I do), then any short-cuts are welcome.

    FWIW, I use the same long-handled planter (with flanges on either side of the shaft to minimise pressure on the soles of my feet) for planting potatoes and seedlings in 9cm pots.

  • sah67 (zone 5b - NY)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Of course there's always an the option of renting one of these ;)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubq6eNswd8c

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    2 years ago

    Wow, that was pain free ground surgery.

  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hey--no fair! That's cheating!! Ha ha--but GOOD cheating. I bought a house once (this REALLY happened) with the perfect soil--I would put the spade into the ground and not hit a single rock. It was amazing. I planted one of those 100-packs of daffodils like it was nothing. And then I moved and here I am, thinking about that auger. It's really, really hard to dig eight inches down, one hundred times.

  • Roxana *** ZN 5 Indianapolis IN ***
    2 years ago

    I love her, I get so much knowledge from her videos, regardless of what plants I use.


  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    So, I just stumbled upon "The Impatient Gardener." She's like the opposite of Laura from Garden Answer--after struggling to pry out a dead tree, there she is sweating with her hair all over the place, swatting at mosquitos--keeping it REAL, for sure! Very down-to-earth and easy to watch. Check her out, if you get a chance. I still like them both although, unfortunately, Garden Answer is featuring way too much distraction lately, compared to actual garden advice--like footage of her son toddling around the yard or her chickens pecking around the hen house. PS - I think it's kind of funny that some comments are about how perfect and expensive Laura's yard looks. That reminds me of a garden tour I went on once--there were lots of great gardens with great ideas and inspiration and then there were a couple of yards with nothing but a patch of impatiens and a couple of hanging baskets. So my question is: Would you rather look at a garden that looks like it took ten dollars and ten minutes or a great garden that you can get ideas from? As a frugal gardener, I see something that might have been installed at a high cost and I try to figure out a way to do something similar on the cheap--that's part of the fun of gardening!

  • Emily Saba
    last year

    I also watch Garden Answer, Y Garden, Impatient Gardener, and How's it growing on YouTube. They are all great! I don't really love Garden Answer's more formal style, but she also gives tours of her parents gardens that are amazing.

  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    last year

    I just stumbled upon a garden site -- gardenista.com It is not videos, but photos and articles, lots of DIY. I could spend the day just exploring there.


  • bella rosa
    last year

    I like Laura and GA. She's really creative and down to earth. Her garden and her parent's garden are so beautiful. I get a lot of great ideas from her. I wish I had her budget to plant big scale mass plantings, but that's ok. I can still get great ideas from her videos. Y Garden is awesome too! Her videos on landscape projects she's created for clients are great.

  • davidrt28 (zone 7)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    YIKES!

    I was about to say, the state of American horticultural practice and pedagogy is so fumbling and inept at this point, I wouldn't care if she only featured sponsored products, as long as her advice was good. Glad it took me only a few seconds of one video to see that is not the case!!!

    cf: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKMb8pJ2MUA

    If this is western Oregon, there are plenty of better plants to use for that area. EVEN IF IT ISN'T, she tosses containerized stock in the ground like they are potatoes going in a pot of boiling water. Rubbing the bottom of the root mass with her gloved hand is not breaking up circling roots, which, yes, will occur even with 'proven winners'.

  • bella rosa
    last year
    last modified: last year

    She just posted a video showing that she purchased a little over 3 acres, I think. Her plan is to create a cutting garden. I'm looking forward to seeing her videos on this. I'm sure they will be great! She needs to have her own show on HGTV!

  • woodrose
    last year

    I love Laura and her family. Benjamin toddling around the garden is a delight to me, and she is a wonderful mom. I'm quite sure she is an expert on what will grow well in her area. She has lived there her whole life, and grew up working in her parent's garden center (and still does). I would love to have her gardening budget, too. I suppose if I started a youtube channel that became very popular and provided revenue, and my parents owned a garden center where I could possibly get a discount, and I had sponsors that that gave me plants, that would help. I think Laura is smart to take advantage of her situation and what's available to her.

    I hope some of you will be a little kinder to this young woman. She, and her husband Aaron work very hard to produce videos for us to enjoy. Gardening is should be enjoyable, not a contest about who knows more.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    I'm with david on this one!! And yes, gardening should be enjoyable, but it would much more enjoyable if the plants can be expected to survive long term.......and that DOES require a certain amount of knowledge that was not readily apparent in the video.

  • bella rosa
    last year

    woodrose, I like her as well. I look forward to her videos and have learned a lot from her. of course, i would love to have her gardening budget - who wouldn't - but, in the meantime, i'll just stick with what i have! It's nice to see Benjamin in her videos - he looks just like his dad! I wish she would do more videos on shade gardening. i'll drop her a note and see if she responds! :-)


  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    last year

    She shows the garden from season to season and year to years and admits when something didn't "work," whether it grew too large for the spot, didn't get enough sun, got too much sun, etc. That's what I like about her videos--the chance to see what it looks like when it grows up. You never got that with HGTV garden shows--all those little newly planted pots looked like they were social distancing--for practical reasons, of course, you don't get to see the garden a year or two down the road. I remember very recently seeing Laura "rubbing the bottom" of a plant before she put it into the ground, but I didn't see any circling roots--that would have caught my attention. Maybe my eyesight isn't what it used to be.

  • davidrt28 (zone 7)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    The point is based on how the plant was cared for (or not) during production, they can be buried deep inside the root mass. You really have to do some cutting or tearing to make sure they are not there. Just a visual inspection or gentle pat is not enough.

    No nursery is immune, even storied ones like Rarefind or Song Sparrow. I'd go so far as to say the vast majority of containerized tree and shrub stock has the problem. The exception now is finding plants that don't have it, not ones that do.

  • violetsnapdragon
    Original Author
    last year

    Ha ha--not long after your post about the circling roots, David, I was watching a British gardening show (Garden Rescue) and they took the plants right out of the pots (definitely circling roots) and <bam> right into the hole! I was quite taken aback. I admit, if I don't see obvious circling roots, I just rough up the bottom and do a little detangling. I have been hearing lately of a planting method of actually washing off ALL the dirt on the rootball and planting things (trees/shrubs mostly) as, I guess you would say, "bare-rooted." Supposed to really inspire the roots to (no pun intended) branch out into the soil.

  • John Kuhn
    10 months ago

    She is really great. The reason why the channel has been such a success, I think, is that she has nailed the right presenting vibe--the videos feel friendly and informal (like she's explaining to a friend) but are still efficient and direct, and don't fall into the trap of having too much fluff or chitchat or extra stuff. She often does a discrete task in a single video ('how to deadhead roses') rather than a whole bunch of stuff (which makes the videos easy to use as a single-point reference), and the videos are really high quality so you can see what she's doing. We have extremely different styles of gardening, but I find her videos very useful and think she's great. She's part of my trio of gold standard youtube garden people: I love the Roots and Refuge lady who is more of a market gardener, kind of views the garden as an experiment in a refreshing way, and who is less polished (and the videos are way more wandery but in a charming way), and I *love* the Asian Garden 2 Table lady, who does a lot of really high-quality veg growing videos that have video for the *whole process* (aka she brought a camera with her every week throughout the growing season and then stitched them all together in one extremely useful video). Really good.

  • Linda's Garden z6 Utah
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    I love Garden Answer and look forward to her videos every morning!

    Edited to say the chicken coop garden area is my favorite!

  • Lolcia K
    10 months ago

    I love Laura! After I saw her preparing space for plants around her chicken coop I no longer wait for a helping hand of brother or husband, I just do it all by myself :) And I get more and more compliments on my yard from strangers...

    To GardengalGal and DavidDirt, she just updated her arborvitae progress. Out of 74 (SEVENTY FOUR) only 1 (ONE) is struggling a little bit. All the rest look great. I find it extremely entertaining when Mr and Mrs Know-It-All are proven to be nothing more than Know-It-All-NOT. Lol :)

  • davidrt28 (zone 7)
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    To GardengalGal and DavidDirt, she just updated her arborvitae progress. Out of 74 (SEVENTY FOUR) only 1 (ONE) is struggling a little bit. All the rest look great. I find it extremely entertaining when Mr and Mrs Know-It-All are proven to be nothing more than Know-It-All-NOT. Lol :)

    "Lol :)" indeed - it is you who is being an ignorant fool and loudmouth. Plants doing well after a few months? Big whoop. They would have looked good at this point if she had literally planted them IN their plastic pots! It can take YEARS for the damage caused by circling roots to surface. Please know what you're talking about before you spout off.

    Violet snap dragon - there is still PLENTY of bad advice floating around out there. Just a couple weeks ago I stumbled upon a youtube video telling people to mix compost with the soil 50/50 when backfilling a planting hole. I wasn't even looking for it...I don't watch a lot of gardening vids on youtube. I think it showed up in my recommended. I don't even worry about people getting bad advice on youtube anymore, but it ain't gonna happen on gardenweb as long as I'm around.

  • Marie Tulin
    10 months ago

    David,, You really escalated a pretty benign conversation without adding any thing constructive. What does calling names add to the conversation Or your credibility as a gardener?

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    10 months ago

    Marie, what is really inappropriate is someone very new to the site (10 comments!!) coming in and immediately criticizing two very long time and very experienced members who don't happen to agree that YouTube videos on gardening are anything more than a source of visual entertainment rather than horticultural enlightenment.

    The escalation occurred with this comment: "I find it extremely entertaining when Mr and Mrs Know-It-All are proven to be nothing more than Know-It-All-NOT. Lol :)" David only responded in kind.

    So why don't you jump on Lolcia K for name calling?? At least David offers something of value to the discussion..........

  • davidrt28 (zone 7)
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    "David only responded in kind."

    Exactly.

    I have had tussles with ignoramuses who wander into gardenweb going back to 2006 ('redwoods simply cannot survive on the east coast') through 2012 ('I'm a Bay Area gardener and it's evil for people in other parts of the country to attempt to grow plants I, by my royal decree, declare it impossible for them to grow') to quite recently ('only native American larches have nice fall color'). And do you know what? I always win. Those people, WHO ALWAYS MADE IT PERSONAL FIRST*, go back into the background or leave the site.


    * with me or someone else like my Gardenweb friend gardengal.


  • callirhoe123
    10 months ago

    Trading insult for insult is a sign of immaturity. Just state the facts as you know them and let people make up their own minds. Some people go online just to stir up controversy . They are best ignored.

  • Sean S
    10 months ago

    I've been watching for years, but lately I have grown gradually annoyed by the waste they willingly contribute to, and the strange almost obsessive tone regarding having a clean and tidy garden. Although they've tried a few times to grow plants from seed, they seem more likely to just buy plants and throw them in the ground, with bagged mulch or bagged soil (always sponsored). There's something inauthentic there for me, that they don't compost, they're not that keen on rehabilitating poor soil (it can be done, the Royal Horticultural Society has a treasure trove of information on the processes involved). Even the plastic containers, the sheer volume of waste, which is often unaddressed is a curiosity. They're very quick to remove a tree, or kill an entire plant, which I find strange too. There's almost a obsessive need for their garden to be "perfect" which is becoming more and more off-putting to me.


    Definitely have a preference for the Impatient Gardener who is a breath of fresh air and seems more salt of the earth.

  • Embothrium
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    I picked up on Garden Answer when I searched for any You Tubes there might be about the big annual Seattle garden show, came across one with her talking about a recent show. This led to watching her show her own garden. In both settings she was soon remarking on how she wasn't familiar with certain plants she was calling attention to. And during one of the segments about a specific planting site at her home she misidentified one of the major existing shrubs. Also I did not think the planting layouts and combinations she had been coming up with were particularly well done. That they were something a body with long experience in planting design would do.

    So I was left with the impression that her videos are a continuation of the talking hort head phenomenon that has been in effect in my geographical area for decades, wherein a delivery that will appeal to novices is perfected. But with an apparent lack of complete grounding in the general subject area also being a consistently visible part of the package.

  • Joanne Chen
    9 months ago

    Embothrium I'm a newbie gardener and really enjoy garden answer but found your impression really interesting. Do you have a suggestion on who or what to read that teaches planting design for someone very inexperienced?


  • northlandyogi_mi5a
    9 months ago

    I agree with many of what everyone shared. I enjoy Garden Answer's video a lot. I like her personality, the progression of projects, etc. The videos definitely give lots of inspiration in terms of design and there are a lot to learn. Meanwhile, her plants are provided to her; she uses lots of expensive annuals; she has assistants to water her plants twice a week, and she seems to plant everything very close together for a lush look. Maybe she doesn't care since she moves things around a lot. These are not practical for me. Knowing all of these, I'd still pick her videos than a lame TV drama any day!

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    5 months ago

    I think the point that many have been trying to make is that IF you take your gardening skills public and attempt to have them be instructional or a "teaching moment", then you darn well ought to know what you are talking about!! Way too much misinformation is disseminated in return for the 15 minutes of fame phenomenon.

  • sandyslopes z5b n. UT
    5 months ago

    I enjoy watching Garden Answer! She's closer to my climate than most that I find, and she says she also has alkaline soil, which is what I have. I live vicariously while watching them build up their property. I was thrilled they were able to add all that land this year and watched as all the flowers and vegetables did so well. They made a cold storage area that was interesting, and the two cats are always fun to see. Also, I like seeing all the space, wide flat paths, and equipment that I'll never have, ...just to dream a little bit.


    Some things she does wouldn't be what I would do, but it's inspiring to see other gardens and how other people accomplish their own garden looks, which is why I like when people post their pics here, too. Gardening is fun!

  • Elizabeth Kellerman
    2 months ago

    I find her to represent a materialistic side of gardening. Every video is about her newest purchase and spending$$$ on urns or whatever. Notice she never mentions soil the ecosystem, or wildlife. Everything is just there to make her happy and if it doesn't fit her cookie cutter view of gardening she rips it out. I don't even think she believes in climate change as evidenced by her use of water and plant choices. The new shiny object phenomena really started to disgust me. Real gardeners compost and buy soil not in wasteful single use bags because it's too $$$ and bad for the environment.

  • LaLennoxa 6a/b Hamilton ON
    2 months ago

    I’m going to agree with Elizabeth on this one. I was on YouTube and looking at some other videos and ironically one of hers popped up. She’s cute and perky with bouncy hair and a clean presentation style. But not much more beyond that, if you’re looking for any kind of real substance. So, just the kind of thing that does really well on social media.

  • Embothrium
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    just the kind of thing that does really well on social media.

    Ding!

    And as demonstrated by all of the approval on this very thread.

    Sorry, but selection of the name Garden Answer implies that the straight dope about every aspect is being provided. And it most definitely is not in this instance.

    For genuinely accurate and up to date information about gardening practices this is a good place to look instead:

    The Garden Professors™ – Advancing the science of gardening and other stuff since 2009


  • linaria_gw
    2 months ago

    thanks for the link, embothrium,

    I came across her before, didn't bookmark her site


    a real bane or slayer of garden myths, dang, that will hurt some folks...

  • S S
    2 months ago

    Agree with Elizabeth Kellerman below. I have watched Garden Answer for about a year, enjoyed it for awhile but have just unsubscribed and am done with it. I just watched five minutes of the latest mail time where she needed Aaron’s help to open gifts because there were so many - expensive clothing for herself, gifts for her children, dishes, you name it. She never mentions giving any of this to those who are in need. Their grandiose plans for the coming year to create an oasis, with a huge expanse of lawn and non native plants, in high desert shows no respect whatsoever for the environment. They have the opportunity to show how to create beauty in the ecosystem in which they live but have chosen instead to create a formal park replete with a Hartley Botanic greenhouse (average cost $65K). Very off putting and not my idea of a gardening show.

  • Elizabeth Kellerman
    2 months ago

    She also doesn't really garden. She just talks about products and things..Once you see it, its hard to unsee and its pretty disgusting every time she opens a new item and talks about spending thousands of dollars on a new thing like its nothing. Honestly, its pretty tacky.

  • Elizabeth Kellerman
    2 months ago

    Must recommend the Impatient Gardener, she's more real.

  • S S
    2 months ago

    Yes she is. Also really like Yuliya of YGarden (NewJersey) and Alexandra of the Middle-Sized Garden (UK). Knowledgeable and likeable. Laura and Aaron have worked extremely hard to establish their brand and I don’t begrudge them their success. But it is now reality tv, shilling for the big companies, and not my cuppa tea. The two things I did learn from Laura included winter sowing, which I had never done before, and the existence of Y Garden and the Impatient Gardener!

  • Tgontz5a
    2 months ago

    I watch Garden Answer and quite like to see the progression of the garden. I feel some of the statements are not correct or misinformed. I do not understand anyone saying Laura is not a gardener. She grows plants from seed, wintersows, prunes, plants, and divides. Perhaps you saw a more recent show and do not realize she was not fully participating as she was pregnant and gave birth in January 2021. There was also some mention of things being ripped out and wasted. Many times Laura has mentioned that they endeavour to find homes for anything they are removing whether it is bricks, fencing, or a shrub. They acquired a home with an ageing landscape so some older trees and shrubs have needed removal due to disease etc. Laura also donates time and energy to her church landscaping and a local shelter. I am a little jealous of the resources she has but this is their lively hood and they appear to work very hard for what they have. We can all unsubscribe if we wish but I felt some of the remarks here were unduly harsh or just incorrect.

  • beverlymnz4
    2 months ago

    OK, I watch the videos. I like PW plants and I enjoy seeing other peoples gardens. I am wishing there was more about long term care. For example, I've never seen her divide a perennial to make more. Certainly with her new property she will be dividing her favorites and moving them around. I look forward to seeing if she does. There is some miss information and she does plop huge PW plants in the ground that would cost a fortune. I'm not so sure that gardening under all those Maples will be easy ten years from now and so forth. She seems to be a learn by doing sort of person and I do my research. To each there own.

  • S S
    2 months ago

    I agree that one can unsubscribe - and I have.

    Here are my two issues - with #1 by far the most problematic. They garden in high desert, yet are creating European/ English country gardens. The amount of water and fertilizer that they use to achieve the results that they do is unconscionable. Sure, they give away plants and so on, but the lack of environmental consideration is hard to comprehend. They have been on that property for almost five years and have not created any method of composting. It all comes out of a bag (many bags). Reminds me of the building of Dubai.

    The second issue is their Mail times. One set of gifts took 3 videos to show. She is practically soliciting these gifts. In one shopping trip with her mother recently, she looked directly into the camera at Williams Sonoma and said something like”Guys, these are the glasses I like”! In the last one, she said “This is just like Christmas”. To flaunt this much extravagance in these times and call it “gardening” is offensive to some, especially to those who are serious about protecting the environment. It has become reality TV. Which is fine, enjoy it, but call it what it is. To call it a gardening show does a disservice to the true gardeners who share their expertise though videos and blogs.