June 23, 2013

Paradise Found

Once a year, a group of dedicated and determined women, host their annual fund raiser for the organization they founded, Hands of Hope.
This local group supports the poorest of women and children in Africa, building wells for clean drinking water, schools, clinics, and so much more. A real grass roots effort that has successfully made a difference. The main fund raiser is a garden event at the founder, Vicki Wauterlek's home and two other gardens in Barrington Hills, Illinois. As a part of their 'French Market', we sold our wares, in this amazing event.

Ready to be inspired?
Two guest cottages reside on the property. The main cottage is surrounded by apple espalier trees, freestanding, creating a living fence
The other cottage is appropriately clothed in roses and cottage ramblings

Let's head towards the vegetable garden
At the entrance we are greeted with a collection of potted loveliness. (sorry, a glaringly sunny day is difficult to photograph)

Yes, that is a growing pineapple!
The vegetable garden entrance
Be-still my heart!

 There are 53 tomato plants alone
Within the veggie garden is an abundant cutting garden
We make our way towards the pool

Yes, those are trees growing in those pots
A grand pergola in a charming color

Floating pods.......
Opposite the pergola resides this masterpiece. Can you see the Wisteria encrusted arch in the background? Elements of the boxwood undulations repeat lines in the pergola

Adore the slate chipped walks
Looking back at the pool side of the entrance are cleverly potted chartreuse spruces

The pergola and it's surrounding gardens up close

Difficult to photograph, take note of the DOUBLE hanging baskets over a gently bubbling pot

Have you ever seen this plant, a chocolate Cosmo?! Difficult to germinate, one will rarely see this available at the nurseries. So aptly named as up close one gets a waft of sweet chocolate
As we wander towards the estate, via grand woods and majestic oaks, we stopped in our tracks

MASSIVE hanging baskets floating among the Oaks! Maybe 4' in diameter, and each different, was a spectacle to behold.

See how the mass of Cleome is dwarfed in this basket?!

A Hosta woodland with spent giant Allium heads popping through. The real creativity? The Allium heads were spray painted white for an etherial glow! My home and gardens are being photographed next weekend for a local magazine, I am stealing this idea!

Hope you enjoyed, this "snapshot" of loveliness, yes, there was much more than I shared here.
If you would like to learn more about Hands of Hope, or offer a donation, go to their website.  
100% of the donations are for those in need

The power of women........isn't it amazing?

Note; these gardens are maintained by Horticultural Associates, in Waukegan, Il.


June 15, 2013

Outdoor Living Space.........part 4


Haven't meant to be away, more like swept away...... into the height of landscape season, wildly busy this year.....a good sign for the economy?
Since we were together last, I have been off to two landscape projects out of state, Highpoint market (brilliant finds) and took an Amy Howard painting technique workshop in Memphis for retailers. Cannot wait to share that!

So, back to our series on creating outdoor living spaces and our joint project with Keri Dolittle of the blog Ivy Clad. We have studied uses, overall design and then began to break down the components as if designing a room inside your home beginning with the floor. Now let's move on to the ceiling.
Attached to your home......

As a separate entity

Whatever you choose, remember to look up at your architecture for clues; style, color.......

Here is an example of "what not to do"......please, oh please, don't let these owners read this blog!
This from a designer that did not look up, there is no relationship between the deck and the home.

Let's explore the options, starting with the perennial favorite, an umbrella.


Entwined with wood

Slatted reeds, reminiscent of Provence, the Greek Isles, Portugal. Don't you love the shadows it creates?


Notice how the overhead vines take center stage?

Trees......would you have the patience?
Back to Keri's "before"

Keri and family are considering an umbrella. This design would be complimentary
We have chatted about the potential of this design in her corner
And if a wooden structure were chosen, thick uprights, framed simply with a matching stain to the trim, could be a nice touch.
Happy gardening!

Next up, garden furniture then decorative accessories


Local News:

stay tuned or email me for our 'amy howard' decorative painting workshops, beginning in two weeks

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