Welcome to the 14th issue of PITH + VIGOR, a weekly newsletter by me, Rochelle Greayer, with a focus on garden design, plants, and making this world a better place. I'm glad you're here. Was this newsletter forwarded to you? You deserve your own: Subscribe here.


Harvard, MA, April 16th, 2023



I'm sure you've heard the all too ubiquitous container design formula: Thriller. Filler. Spiller. (Killer).


(I added the periods and that last part for dramatic effect.)


It is the catchphrase to end all critical thinking. 

It is a dumb "rule". (I hate rules).

It ignores so many more universal "rules" (like not all plants will work with others in a pot, and rule breaking discovery and experimentation are part of the garden-making joy, and rhyming doesn't make it right). 😉

We can do better.




I've been arm pit deep in Pro-Mix potting soil all week.  My new container garden course starts on the 24th of April. 


As promised I have the answers to a few course FAQ's (below). But as I was trying to put words to what this course is about, I thought of my 3 main container garden inspirations.  


Even if you aren't interested in the course - I hope you find these useful - they are great additions to your garden library : 


  • The Continuous Container Garden by Roanne Robbins  - Container gardens can (and should be!) be so much more than three annuals (or three plants you treat like annuals).  It is a year round act of creativity and a true practice in gardening. 
  • Pots of Style Special Edition -  Interesting plants, wild pots, great photography, endless inspiration from the best publication in the business - Gardens Illustrated. 
  • Claus Dalby's Containers in the Garden - Claus's instagrammed collections are a huge inspiration, but while the book was worth the price, it doesn't go far in the way of How- To (my course will fill in all the blanks). 


The new container garden course is most certainly a synthesis of these but I'll be adding in my own 20+ years of professional design and garden experience.  If you are interested in what that looks like check it out:

CONTAINER GARDENS RE-IMAGINED! - HOW TO PLANT IN POTS - Designing and creating a stylish and exciting garden in a collection of containers. 




Q.  What do you mean by teaching 'LIVE'?  Do I have to be available in certain dates and times to take the course? 

>> Live means that I am developing the course as we go.  It does NOT mean you have to be somewhere at a specific time to participate. 

Of course I have a plan, but I will also be working just a week or two ahead of you.  This means I can adjust and adapt to make the course what you need, correct for things that might not originally have been in my plan, and generally I can make the best experience for you. It is the way I ran my other two courses for years when I first started teaching online - and I am looking forward to getting back into creating material alongside my students.

The lessons will all be recorded and uploaded and you can watch them as they roll out. But you can also revisit them as much as you want and on your own schedule.


Q. When are the actual LIVE sessions? What are they about?

>>Tentatively - May 7th, June 7th, and September 9th.  Tentatively, because we will adjust as we need to, based on how much help you need and your schedules. These may be Q&A, discussion and sharing but they may also include a live taught lesson. We will see how it goes.  These will also be recorded and available for replay, in case you can't make it. 


Q. Will you be including anything about native plants?

>> Yes.


Q. Will you be including information about pots? Where to buy them? What to look for? 



Q. Will you talk about how to place and use pots in different locations?  

>> Yes


Q. Will you help me with my specific issues and questions? 

>> Yes (this is the advantage of the LIVE sessions and creating the course as we go together). 


Q: Is there a money back guarantee?  

>> Yes, you can request a full refund anytime in the first week (Until May1st, 2023)


Q:  Is this part of, or included, in your other courses?  

>>No, this is a new and unique course that is entirely separate from the Garden Design Lab and the Planting Design Boot Camp.  If you are an existing student and would like to join this class you will need to purchase this separately.

(if you are interested in the other courses - you can learn more here). 


Anything else?  Just reply to this email.


We start one week from today and we already have a great group!  I'm looking forward to getting to know you and seeing what we all end up creating this year.  


Speak soon - Rochelle



Greayer Design Associates

PO Box 394, Harvard, MA
United States