Gearing Up

May 30, 2016

The unofficial beginning of Summer is here. First up on this Memorial Day, and most importantly, fly your flag in honor of those lost. Then on to an early start. In my case it was a stop at the nursery for a little inspiration and a bit of immediate gratification until the bigger projects are complete. As long as you’re staying in town, and the weather is finally cooperating, you might as well get to it.

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With so much color and texture available in trees and shrubs I can never figure out what all the excitement is about with annuals. Inspiration around every turn and not a geranium or Impatiens in sight.

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I’ve never been a fan of Barberry, but this particular variety ( Sunjoy Gold Pillar) has appeal with its upright habit, bright color and tolerance to cold. Boxwood hedge replacement? Could be. 

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The sculptural quality of these stag horn ferns will be a welcome green addition to the porch. One may stay potted, the other mounted for hanging. Some artichoke thistle also made the cut to fill some vintage concrete saucer planters. Pics to follow once they get going.

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A cocktail is definitely in order after a good day of running, hauling and yard work. So, while you’re firing up the grill you might want to sip on my Blueberry Bourbon Cocktail. Light, refreshing and a dose of antioxidants to boot. Grab a glass and muddle 8-10 fresh mint leaves in an ounce of home-made blueberry syrup. Add 2 oz. Bourbon and a handful of ice, give it a quick stir and top it off with a splash of Vernors Original Ginger Soda. You’re welcome.

Photos: gp

 

 

 

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Better Late…

May 18, 2014

than never. While I usually schedule my Spring clean-up for somewhere nearer the middle of March, this past Winter and Winter-like Spring has only now allowed me the luxury taking stock and pulling on my gloves. Clearly Mother Nature has taken her revenge  and has left my property to resemble Chernobyl after the blast rather than a rural retreat in the Midwest. Boxwood hedges…gone. Yew hedges…stripped to skeletal by hungry deer. Japanese Skyrocket Hollies…a moment of silence please. And, what is left in the way of  birches, pines and spruce had taken one last good beating during a severe hailstorm on Palm Sunday. Devastating.  At least the grass is finally green. And, on that one positive note I will look to the light at the end of this tunnel, entertaining the thought of rewarding myself in a setting like this…pea gravel soft underfoot, a gentle afternoon breeze weaving its way through the masses of miscanthus, and a cocktail. Oh yeah…after this mess there will be cocktails.

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photo via: http://cabbagerose.tumblr.com/post/85363575103/outdoor-room-via-lorrainepennington

 

 

is all that is needed. Trees in neat rows, simple tight clipped forms, a straightforward place to rest…a small piece of soft turf like a rug anchoring the whole. A simplequietmodern look at a personal oasis contrasted against the naturalized wooded areas beyond this intimate enclosure. And after the winter we’ve had…OK, are still having… who wouldn’t want to come home to this? Mother Nature is clearly giving us the time to prepare for a space like this of our own as it doesn’t look like we will be moving outside to our own yards anytime soon.

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first three photos via Gardenista http://www.gardenista.com/posts/landscape-architect-visit-a-london-courtyard-gets-a-grownup-update-del-buono-gazerwitz-landscape-architects

and the allee of locusts and lawn at the Miller House in Columbus, Indiana via http://www.imamuseum.org/visit/miller-house/landscape-architecture

 

Any volunteers?

June 17, 2013

Really, look around…do a quick survey of your site…and make a few notes as to the indigenous plant material that has made a home there on its own…the volunteers. If they are doing well, you have the added benefit of knowing that in addition to being happy they’ll be safe from attacks by local fauna. This is a great  jumping off point when selecting the plant material for your new landscaping project. The  juxtaposition of modern meadow against structures, clipped yew, tallhedge or boxwood  may be just the simplequietmodern statement you’ve been looking for. Dutch landscape master Piet Oudolf  illustrates this point to perfection in the design of the Highline in Manhattan as well as both public and private spaces around the world. If inspiration like this can come from a quick inventory of flora in an abandoned elevated train track I imagine you could pull a little magic from the “surprises” popping up in your yard. 208HighlineNYpOudolf_highlineNYpOudolfSONY DSC228_meadowmxpOudolfFhttp://www.oudolf.com/piet-oudolftumblr_modzpdr4zK1qd5e3ao2_500,hedghttp://remash.tumblr.com/hsfrnt3cropgpyard7_07crpcropgpyard7_07b