GARDENERS, BY NATURE, are intentional. Plotting and planning is how we conduct every growing season. To honor the New Year, I asked several garden friends and colleagues to share their garden goals for the months ahead.

Amy Pennington is on the go. In addition to contributing garden stories that appear in this magazine, Pennington is the force behind GoGo Green Garden, a Seattle urban farming business that creates beautiful, bountiful organic edible gardens. “I’m really looking forward to designing and building a big edible garden and cutting-flower garden for a new client in Woodinville — hello, open space! Personally, I’d love to find space to grow medicinal plants that’s easy for me to get to, with healthy, clean soil and full sun. It would be dreamy to expand outside of my apartment garden.”

Lisa Bauer is an award-winning designer and owner of Chartreuse Landscaping Design. Bauer’s gardens are living works of art designed to engage and support both humans and nature. “I’m thrilled to be working with a client to create a ‘Giant Insect Resort’, an open-front steel box measuring about 3½ by 5 feet long filled with drilled logs, fibers and steel pipe to furnish nesting habitat for beneficial insects. Placed beneath a chunky arbor, the finished architectural form will also function as an outdoor mantle supporting beautifully planted containers.”

Greg Graves and Gary Waller are the hardworking gentlemen gardeners and animal husbands behind Old Goat Farm, a specialty nursery in Orting that’s filled with glorious gardens; countless birds; and, yes, goats.

“We’re transitioning some garden beds to include more shrubs, which will be less (not low-) maintenance,” Graves says. “As I get older, I think that might be a good idea. In addition to our regular open garden days, next year we are doing a couple fundraisers for Puget Sound Goat Rescue. These events attract a new audience and give us our baby goat fix.”

Naomi Goodman owns and operates Firecracker Design Studio, where she offers a range of landscape services, from garden consultations to comprehensive design plans and project implementation. Recently, Goodman began reinventing her home garden. “I’d like to keep up the momentum of last year’s massive overhaul of my personal garden by building raised vegetable beds and getting the rest of the outdoor furniture and lighting in so we can truly enjoy the space. And I’m looking to make good on that garden trade to install a snazzy arbor from my favorite metal worker in town!”


Alex LaVilla has spent years as a buyer for Swanson’s Nursery filling the shelves with choice perennials. Like Goodman, LaVilla is turning his attention toward home. “After installing a new garden shed last fall, I now have the fun task of redesigning the plantings around it to make it look like it has always been there. Maybe I’ll break up parts of the old concrete driveway in front of it and fill in with small river rock and low-water-use creeping perennials.”

Joe Abken is executive director of Kruckeberg Botanic Garden, a 4-acre public garden in North Seattle that’s filled with Pacific Northwest native plants and unusual exotics set in a naturalistic wooded setting twittering with more than 40 species of birds. “Our garden goals for 2020 include working with arborists to bring more light into the garden, which will allow for more herbaceous lushness on the garden floor. We’re daydreaming of layers of perennials, bulbs and ferns in the newly defined planting beds.”

Debra Prinzing, author, speaker and home gardener, is one of the country’s leading advocates for American-grown flowers. Prinzing is the creator of the Slow Flowers online directory connecting farmers, floral designers and thoughtful consumers. “In 2020, my Slow Flowers Cutting Garden will enter a new ‘front yard’ chapter as I fill a new 60-foot-long planting bed with bouquet-worthy perennials and ornamental shrubs. Limelight and Annabelle hydrangeas, a dozen new peonies and several other goodies from my friends at Log House Plants in Oregon are ready for their new home.”

Me? During this next trip around the sun, I plan to try my hand at creating a fern table. And, as always, I’m still trying to learn the birds that visit my neighborhood. Happy New Year!