Quill Teal-Sullivan, who grew up on Capitol Hill, will take over from influential designers Glenn Withey and Charles Price, who are stepping down after 20 years.

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INFLUENTIAL DESIGNERS Glenn Withey and Charles Price have served as curators for the E.B. Dunn Gardens in North Seattle for the past 20 years. Now they are stepping down from the historic Olmsted-designed garden to concentrate on their garden-design business.

“I’ll miss Glenn and Charles’ flair and style very much, plus they’re immense fun to be around,” says Beth Weir, executive director of Dunn Gardens.

Withey and Price, both Seattle natives, will be followed in the job by another local: Quill Teal-Sullivan, who grew up on Capitol Hill, has been appointed director of historic preservation. Teal-Sullivan has worked at a number of public gardens, including Dunn Gardens in 2010-11. She holds a degree in biology, and a graduate degree in public horticulture from Longwood Gardens.

She’s leaving her position as garden manager at Meadowburn Farm, a historic estate in New Jersey, to return to the Northwest.

Rain gardens and frogs

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“An ecosystem is a complex set of processes and living and nonliving factors … from air, soil and water quality, to the happiness of the residents … ” write Zsofia Pasztor and Keri DeTore in their new and timely book. “Design & Build Your Own Rain Gardens for the Pacific Northwest” (Skipstone Press, 2017, $24.95) offers practical ideas on working with nature to protect our waterways. Case studies include rain gardens as good-looking as they are functional, and there’s a list of top plants for Northwest rain gardens as well as plenty of drawings, photos and charts.

The book’s big accomplishment is grounding all the details of construction, plants and aesthetics within the bigger picture of environmental concerns. If you want to learn how water percolates through roots and soils, there’s a graphic for that. Yet from climate concerns to amphibians, the authors keep the bigger ecological picture in mind. “Frogs sing if they have suitable habitat. But when no frogs sing, the environment is overdeveloped and too toxic for them … A healthy frog literally symbolizes a healthy ecosystem.”

‘Encyclopedia Botanica’

The vegetable virtuosos at Seattle Urban Farm Company have launched a podcast full of detailed, common-sense advice on how to grow food in our climate. The episodes of “Encyclopedia Botanica” are full of the joy of planting, cultivating, harvesting and cooking your own produce.

Novice and experienced gardeners will benefit from the wide range of seasonal topics, from cover cropping to growing microgreens. Hosted by designer and edible gardening expert Hilary Dahl, “Encyclopedia Botanica” can be accessed through iTunes or at the Seattle Urban Farm Company’s website.

Color chameleons

Conifers that change color through the seasons are one of the trends noted in Monrovia Nursery’s recent 2017 report on what’s new and what’s happening in the nursery trade.

These new, smaller conifers are selling out because they’re easy-care, year-round plants well-suited to smaller Northwest gardens. Consider Ember Waves Western Arborvitae (Thuja standishii x T. plicata ‘MonPin’). Its new spring growth comes on sunny yellow, mellows to vivid green in summer and deepens to orange-tipped-in-russet during winter.

The Sea of Gold Juniper (Juniperus x pfitzeriana ‘MonSan’) grows only 3 feet tall, but packs a visual punch with lacy yellow foliage that turns a rich gold in winter.

Plant next to a spreading Icee Blue Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Monber’), which morphs from cool blue to plum purple in winter, and all that conifer color will get you through until the daffodils bloom in March.