Green thumbs take note
“We design beautiful, highly ornamental gardens, but the question that always follows is: ‘What’s next?’ or ‘How can this garden give back?’” says Stefani Bittner, co-author of The Beautiful Edible Garden (Ten Speed Press) and co-founder with Alethea Harampolis of the San Francisco landscape design firm Homestead Design Collective. The women lend their botanical know-how to a new, unconventional tome: Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants (Ten Speed Press, $22). The resourceful guidebook spans vitamin-rich apricot facial masks to turmeric-based natural dye, plus innovative DIY projects and seasonal tips using both common and lesser-known plants, such as amaranth and feverfew. “You can use them in so many different ways; it doesn’t always have to be a floral arrangement,” attests Harampolis, who is also co-founder of the bicoastal floral design company Studio Choo Florists and co-author of the arrangement how-to bible The Flower Recipe Book (Artisan).
In bloom this spring: fragrant and colorful bachelor’s button flowers, used to make Bittner’s favorite compound butter mixed with lemon. “It’s something that I’ve made all of my life,” she reveals. “We have a personal tie to each project.” homesteaddesigncollective.com.
Written by DANIELLE DiMEGLIO.