Showing posts from March, 2013

A Few Luscious Flowers for Your Garden

Time to try some luscious flowers in a pot or in the are some for your consideration:

PEONY 'SORBET' (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sorbet’)

The unusual pink and white 5-7" double blooms of this hybrid are  delectable! The fragrant flowers look amazing in early summer and the handsome foliage turns red in autumn.

These bushy plants grow up to 4' tall and require little care. Suitable for any climate and soil type. Space 36-48" apart.
Zones: 3-8    Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Deer tend to avoid.

LOLLIPOP HELENIUMHelenium puberoleum Round, chocolate-brown flower heads with rustic yellow and bronze highlights provide a bright display that blooms summer and lasts well into autumn. Globe-shaped blooms make a pretty contrast to vertical blades of Iris. Loves sun.
Zones: 4-9    Deer Resistant 

Bloom PeriodJune-JulySun ExposureSunSoil TypeAny with careHeight24 in.Bloom Size5 in.Highest AwardAll American Daylily Se…

Woven Wattle Fences for Your Garden

Yay for Woven Wattle Fencing!
Andrea Cochran's fabulous garden shown here would not be the same without the wattle fence on top of the hill....

What is a woven wattle fence?

It is essentially fencing woven from green branches of Hazel and Willow trees (oak, elder, hornbeam and ash too ).  This technique has been used for centuries in Great Britain and makes an ideal windbreak and screen.

Wattle also provides a unique and attractive rustic appearance... and is sustainable as well.

Wattle as hand railing - Andrea Cochran Design
Wattle fencing also makes a great gate - as shown below.

Here is a gate and archway leading through an existing hornbeam hedge. The gate is treated pine with hazel woven infill. Below is a 6' high woven hazel fence.  Sustainable and functional....and so nice to look at! by Burwash Wonder Wood

and look at this screen! so Burwash Wonder Wood again.

But h…

Web Surfing for Garden Design Ideas

It is spring! And you want to change your garden - but you need your imagination to be re-charged, re-juiced and re-wired. 

You can take a walk in the woods, the fields or country lane and breathe in the fresh air or you can... surf the web.
Websurfing for garden design inspiration is fun if you know where to start. As a websurfing aficionado myself , I know you can go to PINTEREST and lose your day.  But it is a trove of ideas - each more delightful than the next.

Two other inspiring sites are:

 If you want to see amazing gardens in relatively small spaces the first place to go to is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show website.

 Full of the best and latest ideas in garden design, all lushly illustrated, the British are the acknowledged masters of garden design. Long live the Chelsea Garden show!
For example, the 2010 voters' choice garden was the M & G investment garden designed by Roger Platts.
The photos on the RHS website of this garden are wonderful....
note the rounded forms in…

Tardiva Hydrangea

I must admit - I love Tardiva Hydrangea.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva' is a loose, carefree shrub that defines exuberance. It is one of the panicle hydrangeas that received a 2010 Cary Award for Outstanding Shrub for New England Gardens.
It adapts easily to many situations, blooms late in the summer which extends the garden season into October and can be pruned as a small tree if so desired.
Tardiva is known for its long, lacy white flowers. They are tinted a pale pink which become darker as the season progresses. This hydrangea can tolerate half shade and is disease resistant.

I prune Tardiva in very early spring, leaving just a few buds on the stem - this ensures larger flowers on stiffer branches.

Tardiva hydrangeas fit in well in a woodland theme garden as well as in classic mixed flower borders. They make a great screen in the summer and are striking when planted in a mass planting. 
They also make a wonderful dried cut flower.

In the photos shown here from one of my lan…

'Breathless Blush' Euphorbia - A Deer Resistant Flower

Euphorbia 'Breathless Blush' is similar to 'Diamond Frost' but with flowers "blushed" pink and foliage accented by a dark purplish center. An exceptional plant - AND DEER RESISTANT!

photo by Read between the Limes blog

The Breathlesss euphorbia series includes the only red-flushed leaf form, plus a better-branched white. It is low-maintenance, long-lasting, heat-tolerant and fills in a bed fast.

photo by Log House Plants
This remarkable plant displays a showy mass of self-cleaning flowers all season long in all summer conditions. Great for containers!  It is fine textured and acts as a soft filler to bolder or more colorful flowers. Try it with tall Purple Angelonia for a deer resistant flower garden.

Cornell Hort Photo

Proven Winners - Great On Line Planting Idea Books 2013

Here in the Northeast it is time to peruse (and buy from) the gardening catalogs...

Besides simple catalogs showing photos of all sorts of plants plants (must plant Black Seeded Simpson Lettuceearly this year), I love the garden design booklets that are available.
Proven Winners, one of the leading brands of quality flowering plants in the U.S., is helping spread the concept of 'gardening as a lifestyle' by sharing ideas on how to create outdoor spaces that are relaxing, easy-to-maintain and exceptionally beautiful.  This is the impetus behind their wonderful  Gardener's Idea Book .

The2013 Gardener's Idea Book (click for link) is a must for people who love creating beautiful containers - perfect for urban dwellers with small balconies, raised bed gardeners ( think therapuetic and assisted living centers) and children's gardens where a punch of 'easy to grow' color will excite young, budding horticulturists.

The ideas and plant combinations they offer are sim…

Fibonacci series and Phi in NATURE

The Fibonacci series of numbers is at the heart of Nature....
The Fibonacci Sequence is a simple series of numbers:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ...
The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. The 2 is found by adding the two numbers before it (1+1)Similarly, the 3 is found by adding the two numbers before it (1+2),And the 5 is (2+3), and so on!
Example: the next number in the sequence above would be 21+34 = 55 It is that simple!
Here is a longer list:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711, 28657, 46368, 75025, 121393, 196418, 317811, ...

If you multiply a fibonacci number by 1.618 you will get the next in the series. This proportion of 1.618 is known as PHI.

I teach this to my classes...everything is in a fibonacci number like 3 or 5...see this apple core?

or this passionflower?

or this shell?

but wait! sometimes it multiplies in other can this be?
 I never understood that...but BBC h…

Grounded Design by Thomas Rainer

Thomas Rainer has a wonderful blog called - GROUNDED DESIGN. He is eloquent and writes some very insightful commentaries. He says they are "musings on the form, meaning, and expressions of designed landscapes."

His blog post on 'All You Need to Know' features the planting plans of Piet Oudolf and Burle Marx. His points in this post are so well done. Bravo, Thomas! 

Rainer writes the perfect reasons why Landscape Design is so important. Here it is:

"I believe:

Good design matters.

The quality of our environment affects our health and spirit.

Gardens are points of connection, grounding, and continuity.
Well loved spaces amplify living.
Nature should be interpreted, not imitated in designed landscapes.

Planting design should be bold, daring, and uncompromising.

We can reclaim biodiversity and habitats within human landscapes.

A good day ends with dirt under my nails, grass stains on clothes, and dreams of the next garden."

Thomas Rainer

I couldn't have sa…

Great Landscape Design - Outdoor Space with a view to the Future

When Westerners think and talk about space, they mean the distance between objects.
In the West, we are taught to perceive and to react to the arrangement of objects and to think of space as "empty".
The meaning becomes clear only when it is contrasted with the Japanese, who are trained to give meaning to spaces – to perceive the shape and arrangement of spaces – for this they have a word, 'ma.’

~ Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension
When I teach my studio class on landscape design at Columbia University I focus on outdoor space.

One of the books I assign is a classic: 'The Hidden Dimension' by Edward T Hall.

Can you guess what the hidden dimension is? SPACE. People are not aware of how personal space interplays with public space - and how we all react to the silent cues that spatial arrangements offer us.

photo of Gomphrena Buddy Purple and Brunnera Jack Frost by Jan Johnsen
The space between flower blossoms follows the same rules as the space between sofa and…