Seattle’s Designing Women: New Gardening Book Gives Great DIY Design Tips

For Christina Salwitz, it’s always been about design. A double major in fashion and marketing, she could work magic putting together a sharp outfit. It served her well as a Personal Shopper for Nordstrom. But after the birth of her daughter, Christina was ready to discover something different.

“After 10 years as a stay-at-home mom, I started working at a local nursery. I realized this is what I was meant to do,” she says. Studying horticulture, Salwitz became a personal gardening consultant, helping homeowners put together gardens filled with color, texture and variety. Not unlike her job as a personal shopper, Salwitz takes unusual plants and foliage and puts together a delightful combination that pops with eye catching color and design. “It’s like a recipe that comes together,” Salwitz says, “like polka dots, prints and stripes; you know it looks good but you don’t always know why. I wanted people to know how they can achieve that in their gardens.” She has been the owner of Personal Garden Coach, and a contributing author to several magazines, including Fine Gardening and Birds & Blooms.

Finding a kindred spirit in Karen Chapman, owner of Seattle’s le jardinet, a custom container garden design service, they got to work on a one-of-a-kind gardening book that is both coffee table worthy and DIY friendly for the green thumbs in your life. They call it Fine Foliage.

credit: Ashley DeLatour

credit: Ashley DeLatour

“It’s a sophisticated book,” Salwitz explains. “It’s filled with super gorgeous, juicy photographs and two-page spreads showing ‘why this works’.”

The book covers sun and shade combinations, and plants for every zone across the US. “In such a small book, we covered a lot of territory,” Salwitz laughs. “Karen and I spent a whole spring and summer putting together beautiful photographs and making a simple, straightforward book.” She praises the work of Seattle professional photographer Ashley DeLatour, whom she said contributed “90% of the photographs” to the collection.

The book will make its debut at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, February 20 -24, at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center.

Christina Salwitz and Karen Chapman will be featured speakers on Sunday, February 24. At 10:45am they will talk about “Bold & Elegant Plant Combinations” and “Show Stopping Ideas for Containers & Borders”, followed by a book signing of Fine Foliage at 11:45am.

Karen Chapman will also host a DIY seminar on Wednesday, February 20 at 11:15am. Her topic will be “Container Gardens That Really Work”.

Tickets to the Northwest Flower & Garden show are available online HERE, or by calling 800-343-6973.

For more about the book, Fine Foliage, visit online at

credit: Ashley DeLatour

credit: Ashley DeLatour

Visit Christina Salwitz and Karen Chapman at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, and look for an upcoming feature article about Christina Salwitz in the October, 2013 Better Homes & Gardens Magazine.


— written by Tama Fulton, CBS Local Seattle 

  • Seattle’s Designing Women: New Gardening Book Gives Great DIY Design Tips « Daddy Groovy

    […] Finally, Salwitz and Karen Chapman, who is the owner of Seattle’s le jardinet, work together in creating a fantastic book about gardening and useful DIY tips. The book is Fine Foliage. You may grab your copy now. To read more about what you may benefit from the book, read here:… […]

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