I am thankful for this amazing view, from a new project I’m working on in the Hollywood Hills! UNBELIEVABLE!!!

This year is a special year for me. The day after Thanksgiving, I will celebrate half a century on this planet, so I am being extra thankful.

I am thankful that one day, 22 years ago, I walked outside of my newly purchased home and started looking at the roses the previous owner left behind. I hated those roses – hybrid teas – ungainly shrubs with inappropriate flowers. So I started reading up on plants to replace them with. And my life changed.

I am thankful that I design gardens, that I help people surround themselves with planted spaces that can change their perspective on our place in this world. I am incredibly thankful for my out-of-this-world clients who somehow always have faith in me, and who take care of the gardens we have made together.

I am thankful that I have a voice, and that my voice can be shared via this technology that has come to dominate media in the last decades. I am thankful that Deborah Needleman decided that I was the perfect voice to be the garden blogger for her magazine Domino, so many years ago – a position that changed my life again, and started me on a path that saw me turn into a published author. I am thankful that Timber Press’s Development Editor Juree Sondker was a fan of that blog!

I am incredibly thankful for Garden Rant! That I am one of the opinionated voices that share in this space is mind-boggling to me – I mean, I am one of the READERS of the Rant, one of the people who was a fan and who was provoked into action because of many of the issues posted here! How is it that I am actually a RANTER? It is thanks to Susan Harris, Amy Stewart, Elizabeth Licata, and Michele Owens, the original four who decided that my loud mouth would be a good fit. I understand that mine is one of the more strident voices here, and I am constantly thankful that my ideas and notions are given space to be worked out, to become nuanced. I believe strongly in the power of discourse, of frank discussion among well-meaning individuals – great things can happen when people open themselves up to new ideas. I am incredibly thankful to have this space to discuss and to learn, as I have, from many of my readers. I am thankful that we banter, and that we have fun, even when we are dialoging about some of the most serious issues that affect us all.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I do know that for what has passed, I am incredibly grateful. I’m going to tackle my NEXT half century with gusto, bravado, panache, willfulness, fervor, vehemence, kookiness, laughter, and willingness. To be whatever it is I am becoming!


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Fasten your seatbelts, Ranters, I hope you like riding rollercoasters! I’m Ivette Soler, a garden designer and writer who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. I have been designing since 1997, working primarily with the subtropical and succulent palette that thrives in my corner of the world. I started my blog, The Germinatrix, in 2004, and I have been enjoying a vibrant dialog with the online garden community ever sine. In 2011, Timber Press published my book “The Edible Front Yard“, in which I make the case for ridding ourselves of thirsty, dull front lawns in favor of beautiful, bountiful gardens that mix food with ornamentals. I am thrilled to be a part of this illustrious and opinionated group, and am looking forward to RANTING with all of you!

Let’s do a little speed-dating so you can get to know me better:

I am a Believer – I know that gardens and gardening can and will make this world a better place.

I am a Maximalist – I believe that more is more and more is better than less!

I am against Horticultural Xenophobia – If you believe that we must eliminate well-chosen exotics from our landscapes in favor of a natives-only palette, we might have words.

I am a Talker – I love to get into it! If you have anything you want to challenge me about, or if you want to dialog about anything I post, please comment away! My love of blogging is rooted in dialoging with a large number of passionate gardeners with diverse opinions. I will rant, and I expect you to RANT BACK

I cast a wide net – This is a big world, and I believe our gardens are more interesting when we open ourselves up to ideas other than those that come to us from the established gardening world. I am inspired by fine art, literature, product design, theatre, fashion … you get the picture. I will often bring in ideas from other areas of culture to our conversations about gardens and the way we garden.

I like exclamation points and sometimes … yes … ALL CAPS – I really talk like this!!!! I can’t help it!!!

I am eager to move the conversation about gardening and the place it has in our lives forward, so hop on, make sure you are strapped in tightly, and LET’S GO!


    • Loree darling! Thanks so much – I have to say, this year feels extra good. After a few years of struggle, I can see a really bright and shiny light at the end of the tunnel – I am hoping it isn’t the universe beckoning me to “the other side”!!! I am banking on it being the glint of all the adventure on the horizon! XOXO!!!

  1. Happy birthday Ivette! I appreciate your outspoken voice on all things gardening, even if I do not always agree your articles are always thought provoking and intelligent. Cheers!

  2. Happy birthday, Ivette! I find it hard to believe you’re 50 – you seem much younger than I feel. Ha! I’ve got seven years on you and when I look back on my last seven years and all that’s happened, well, you are in for a ride! Enjoy it! xoxo

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