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.

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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.

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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.


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— written by Tama Fulton, CBS Local Seattle