Dog Days

July 10, 2014

The dog days are upon us and there is nothing like this kind of  simplequietmodern reward after a productive  day working in the yard…or, maybe just rinsing off a full day of Summer fun. Can it be that a bit of sun, a gentle breeze, some water and a bar of soap can be transformative? I think it can.

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shower photo via:http://remash.tumblr.com/

Add in a bar of Neutrogena Original Formula Transparent  and Trader Joe’s Ginger Almond Oatmeal Exfoliant and you’re covered head-to-toe.

 

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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

 

 

Bridging The Gap

May 11, 2014

Gabions. Wire cages filled with rock, bridging the gap between rustic and modern, old and new, hard and soft. A landscape application that  I’m surprised I don’t see more of. Retaining walls, fences or even enclosures can be achieved cost effectively using steel wire gabion baskets with rock or stone…even recycled concrete. While it might look like a DIY project, seeking out a landscape professional could save some time and expense.

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photo via Pinterest

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photo:gp

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http://www.gardenista.com/posts/landscape-architect-visit-a-classic-lake-michigan-summer-house-by-kettelkamp-kettelkamp

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photo via http://remash.tumblr.com/

 

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

 

Dining Out

June 27, 2013

Mid Century master Marcel Breuer designed this concrete block and stone patio table sometime in the middle of the last century. Now, re- imagine  it  for al fresco dining in 2013.  A little planning, a trip to the Home Depot, Lowes or a local garden center can outfit you with the requisite concrete blocks, concrete block or paver adhesive and a big ol’ 4 x 8 sheet of marine ply to top it all off. Using this picture of the original, you can spin the basic concept off  in any direction to get a modern look that is uniquely yours. This could be a great weekend project before the 4th, eh? Then all that’s left to do is fire up the grill.

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Ready…set…

June 17, 2012

summer!  Yard cleaned and planted? Check. Furniture pulled out of storage? Check. Grill in working order? Check. Good. Now that all of the outdoor spring chores are done and you have set up the appropriate areas for outdoor dining, entertaining and relaxing take a good look around. Scope it out. Your spot…to read, plan a menu, have a drink or have a nap. We wait for this all winter, now…enjoy.The sights, the sounds, the tastes…summer.