Going Long

July 3, 2017

What better way to kick off the 4th of July than with an extended holiday weekend? Plenty of time for some DIY projects, maybe a local road trip, enjoying some seasonal favorites and simply kicking back. On your mark…get set…where’s that hammock?

From the top:

First things first…get that flag up.

Add in a new plant material and see how it performs the rest of the summer.photo: http://www.highcountrygardens.com/bouteloua-gracilis-blonde-ambition

How much fun could a tree swing be?  Photo: https://www.schoolhouse.com/collections/all-new/products/wood-rope-tree-swing

After a bit of work a rewarding lunch near the water could be a good idea.

Cold watermelon and an 80 degree day…perfect.

A bag of marshmallows, a box of sparklers and a yard full of fireflies should finish the holiday off nicely.

photos: gp, except where noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting the plan to paper,

August 20, 2016

starts with a little inspiration. This garden by Australian designer Peter Fudge totally embraces the simplequietmodern aesthetic. A beautiful composition of clipped hedges and hardscaping against the softened edges of natural treeline and massed plantings of native grasses. Dappled sunlight and gentle sounds of moving water. The perfect place to spend a late summer day. I’d start here in the morning with coffee, break here midday with lunch, nap here in the afternoon and finish here with dinner or cocktails. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Are you there yet?

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Photos:  http://peterfudgegardens.com.au/      

 

Hedged In

April 25, 2016

Or, so I thought. The last several winter’s extremes have taken their toll on all of my boxwood hedges. Gone. Time of death? Officially April 11, 2016. Where they once served as sharply clipped extensions of the house itself sits blank space in need of attention. So now what? Replace them as they were or start fresh with a new direction…and new plant materials that will be able to take on the bitter winters and always hungry deer. Now’s the time to jot new ideas, review old inspiration and perhaps even move into uncharted territory plant-wise. While I loved things the way they were, I can’t help thinking change might be good.

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Top to bottom:

You’ve got to love the modern use of clipped layered hedges of boxwood and yew in the masterful garden designs of Luciano Giubbilei. More of his genius can be found here: http://www.lucianogiubbilei.com/

Maybe my solution is not more boxwood at all, but horizontal fencing and drifts of native grass Bouteloua Gracilis, Blonde Ambition. Napa Landscape by Scott Lewis Photo: via Gardenista

After a black and white Winter perhaps yellow Magnolia tucked into the woods would be a welcome sight come Spring, like this Magnolia Yellow Bird. Photo: gp

 

 

 

 

It seems early this year…the Memorial Day weekend. Particularly when I have yet to knock a dent in my Spring punch list of gardening projects. Really, it’s a “to-do” list as I have no changes planned, only a review to see who had the strength to survive, who lost the fight and a little annual manicure and mulch. Hopefully the extra day will help me put things in good order as we unofficially kick off Summer.

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 Top to bottom:

Before anything else, honor the fallen by displaying the flag.

It looks like  that boxwood hedge could use a crisp edge.

This gift of water hyacinth will grace my interior until they take up Summer residence outdoors.

The varied colors and textures of the Blue Dune Grass, Lysimachia ” Goldilocks” and large lobed non- blooming Lambsear compliment the Pines and Birch on site perfectly.   Photos: gp

I’d like to add this black Mondo Grass to some large modern concrete saucers at the entry, but the jury is still out on whether or not they can really handle the harsh zone 5 winters. Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

 

 

 

Mid-Summer at…

July 31, 2014

Gray Gardens. If you would have followed my lead you would be relaxing in a modern garden space that is surprisingly cooling in the heat of Mid-Summer. Anchored by the soft crunch of weed discouraging pea gravel or bluestone paving, the simplequietmodern plant selections play their shades and textures against the tight architectural placement to optimum effect. Not missing those geraniums now, are ya?

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top to bottom: photo 1 & 2, Foras Studio via Gardenista…photo 3, GP…last photo, Deborah Nevins via Gardenista

 

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