Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith" book cover with photo of author Barbara Falconer Newhall

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

The Dracena Is Dead. Long Live the Dracena

Homeowner succeeds in removing eight-foot stalk from an overgrown dracena marginata plant. Photo by Barbara Newhall

I did it. I cut the dracena marginata growing wild in our living room down to size. Read more.


The Downside of Things Beautiful — From the Mighty Rose to the Humble Daisy

Yellow roses by Svenja Brotz of Chestut and Vine Floral Design, Berkeley, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

The fine artist wannabe in me asserts that, as a rule of thumb, flowers are just too nice, too darned pretty to be the subject of Real Art. Real Art needs grit. It needs to be problematic. It needs tension. Something has to be askew. Flowers, on the other hand, never seem troubled to me, or even ruffled.


In the Garden: Look What Happened to My Front Yard Over the Weekend

San Francisco Bay Area rock garden with geranium and blue-eyed grass tucked alongside moss rocks. Photo by BF Newhall

I wasn’t looking. I was at the computer all weekend with my back to the world. When I finally took a bleary look out the window Monday morning, I saw a front yard crazy with life — poppies, blue-eyed grass, armeria, pansies and several lascivious stalks of lupine blossoms. Read more.


From the de Young — A Final Toss of the Bouquet

The cross-shaped floral design of Monique Duncan of Plumweed Flowers Co., San Francisco, took its inspiration from Robert Rauschenberg's "Shadow (Tracks)" sculpture.

At times during my visit to the Bouquets to Art exhibition at the de Young on Tuesday, I wondered whether my soul might be better off if I’d just stand there quietly looking at the floral arrangements — instead of taking so darned many pictures. I took 254 photos to be exact.


Leaves, Twigs and Seeds at the de Young — It’s Art, but Is It a Bouquet?

A floral design by Arlene Boyle of Violetta, SF, was inspired by a soapstone and walrus tusk carving by Judas Ullulak (Allulak), "Inukshuk" (Like a Person), 1981-82. Photo by BF Newhall

Nothing seems to be off limits to the floral designers who’ve filled the courts and galleries of the de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco this week with arrangements of flowers, twigs, branches, seed pods, pussy willows and succulents for the museum’s annual exhibition Bouquets to Art.