Join in the Foliage Fest! (& giveaway)


The past couple of weeks have been a true whirlwind since my book FINE FOLIAGE, co-authored with Christina Salwitz was launched at the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show, Seattle.

My first talk at the show – a demonstration style seminar called ‘Spotlight on Foliage’ was standing room only and by the end of that afternoon the University Bookstore had sold out of our book. Thankfully Christina and I had ordered plenty for ourselves so were able to loan them enough to get them through the rest of the show. Tough problem to have, right?!

Since then the books have been selling nationwide (and thanks to my Mum also in England) with great reviews on both sides of The Pond! Both Christina and I have received lovely emails from total strangers who have purchased Fine Foliage and wanted to say how much they are enjoying it and to thank us for the inspiration we have given them.


So what’s so special about it? Here’s what others are saying;

“Fine Foliage is a visual treat that will inspire you with dazzling combinations for containers and gardens. Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz explain why each combination works – bringing artistic design within easy reach of all gardeners. A great user-friendly resource.”

Debra Prinzing, author of The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers

Garden lovers, you now have the secret for creating the landscapes of your dreams – the ones you see in magazines and wonder "how do those designers DO THAT?". Christina Salwitz and Karen Chapman show you how to look beyond the flowers and introduce you to the real stars of the horticultural world – LEAVES! Foliage is more than that green stuff around the flowers, it is what divides a good garden from an incredible one, and now you have a guide for how to use its power!

-Ivette Soler, Garden designer and author of "The Edible Front Yard"

"The photos in this book are both breathtaking and inspiring…" Barb S., Seattle

"I highly recommend this book for all gardeners and garden lovers…" Suzanne K., Redmond

Read our Amazon reviews

FF Jewel Box

As winter transitions to spring we seem to naturally gravitate to the local nurseries and garden centers, filling our carts with all that is fragrant and flowery. Yet a few weeks from now those impulse buys won’t look quite so impressive if you haven’t paid careful attention to using foliage as the backbone of your combinations.

The solution? Take a copy of Fine Foliage to the nursery with you – it will fit nicely into your purse (UK translation = handbag). Being a high quality hardback it will withstand the rigors of many such trips! Use it as a springboard for new ideas, ask the nursery staff to help you find your favorites or use it as a reference against which to test those flowers you are drawn to!

For example the gorgeous purple and deep red pasque flowers (Pulsatilla sp.) that are in bloom right now would look so pretty with a tricolor sage. Or maybe add a froth of lemon thyme to those dwarf daffodils? Back that up with some blue grasses and a dwarf golden conifer and you have the makings of a great container!



What do I win?
One signed copy of Fine Foliage
On our blog 
Right now!! Drawing will take place at midnight Saturday March 16th PST and the book mailed out first thing Monday.
What do I do to enter?
Head over to and follow the link to sign up for our blog. It’s that easy! Everyone that is registered will be entered into a random drawing. The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours and the winners name will also be posted on the blog itself.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER! You have seen sent an email – please let us have your mailing address and Fine Foliage will be on its way!

Didn't win? Never mind;

Signed copies can be ordered here using credit card or PayPal

Also available at bookstores, nurseries and online.

Share the love of gardening with your friends and family. Fine Foliage would make a beautiful gift for any occasion; new home, birthday, anniversary….and Mother’s Day is just around the corner on May 12th.

final book cover

Both Christina and I are also available to give presentations at your garden clubs, nurseries or other event to celebrate Fine Foliage . You will find us listed on the Great Garden Speakers website; read reviews of our previous talks and get more details of what we offer.

Do tell me which is your favorite combination from the book and share your own ideas for great foliage.

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  1. Jennifer Cummings on March 12, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Finally your book is out! I have been so looking forward to this and would love to order a signed copy! Following your blog has given me many inspired moments that I will bring to my Maine containers and even after 29 years in this business I am chomping at the bit to get back out there this spring!

    • Karen Chapman on March 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Your book is on its way Jennifer! Thanks so much

  2. Grace Peterson on March 14, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Oh Karen, self promotion is part of being an author. There is no shame in it whatsoever. When you're proud of your accomplishment, it's okay to tout it, even expected. I haven't received my copy yet but from everything I've seen it's a winner. I love the photos you posted here.

    Now that it's gardening time and I'm busy moving plants around in the garden, I'm sure your information will be very relevant.

    • Karen Chapman on March 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Grace – such a lovely note; thank you for your continual encouragement through LinkedIn. Long distance hug coming your way!

  3. The Sage Butterfly on March 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

    It is so eerie that I just finished writing my review of your lovely book, and now read this post with your recommendation to toss the book in your purse on the way to the nursery. That is exactly what I said! It is just perfect for that. Anyway, I love the book, and I can't wait to go to the nursery and look for some of these elegant and beautiful foliage combinations. It is a wonderful gift you have given all of us. 🙂

    • Karen Chapman on March 25, 2013 at 8:43 am

      That is so funny Michelle – but exciting to see that you saw what we hoped you would! be sure to let me know when the post is published. I don't seem to get your post notifications anymore and I'm not sure why.

  4. Jennifer on March 21, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Hi Karen, I am so glad that the book is getting a good reception! It must be so rewarding after all the hard work. Selling out is definitely not a bad thing!

    • Karen Chapman on March 25, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Thanks Jennifer – it is really exciting. we're just back from the San Francisco show where the reception was equally enthusiastic.

  5. debsgarden on March 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Congratulations on the success of your new book, Karen! I am looking forward to receiving my own copy, which should arrive next week — just in time for some inspirational ideas for my spring garden.

    • Karen Chapman on March 25, 2013 at 8:41 am

      I can't wait to hear how you like it Deb – do tell me which is your favorite combination! there are a few woodland one sin there I know you'll like.