May 31, 2009

Of tomato bondage and grass knuckles.......

Is this for when we are angry, in a green sort of way?

Do we really think we have to "improve" Mother Nature? Like this?

What does this say? What is it for? Why? Is one for a casual party, the other for evening events?

Please noooooo

May 26, 2009

The original Edward Scissorhands beckoning.

Annually, I guide a small group through rural England visiting public and private gardens. This is my favorite, Bourton House, in the enchanting Cotswolds.

The first owner, Richard Palmers initials still bear witness in the dedication stone of 1570 on the Tithe barn. Today, this private home and garden, all designed by the current owner is open to pre-booked groups and on her website bourton house.

Everywhere are new areas to discover, formal, woodland, whimsical and tropical all giving homage to the throne.
Who else could have created such boxwood magic but the head gardener Paul, a descendant of Edward. My favorite is the boxwood sheared to resemble a rope. Thought this would be easy, sort of............let me know if you have noticed this at the shop gardens, you would be the first.

Lead cisterns make for excellent containers. Note the array of colored foliage which makes for a more interesting composition.

I have watched Paul at work, asked questions, no avail. What a testament to a man, his string and his pruners.

ps, there is room on this years trip in September!

May 23, 2009

Stone as Art

When we think of adding stone to the garden it is usually in a utilitarian format;walls, steps, paths.
The mastery of stone building is an ancient craft of which I have great respect. As time goes on I will have many topics on stone, but in today's post I wish to share images of using stone solely in an artistic manner.
Creative pass-thru

For the kids.......

Love this! Slate patio squares cut bolted into a planter.

The 'old world' look, or the "I did it myself" ps; personally I prefer the 'tumble any minute' versus machine cut, stack by numbers look.

More of I did it myself! Perfect for alpine plants.

The blend of stone and architectural elements, an artistic marriage of form and function.

May 22, 2009


I collect quotes, I know, I know, why not designer shoes, garden gnomes, famous autographs..............

Well............quotes are free and I seek out those that are meaningful. In later posts I will share examples of how quotes are used in my home.

Here is my favorite quote artist, Moso. The contemporary/folk art quality of her work combined with moving quotes makes for a stunning combination.
Today we received a new shipment of Moso's work, all thought provoking and moving. Can't come in? Let us know we can always send you photo's.

I will end today's post with a quote on a wedding invitation that I loved. I think I will ask Moso to put this on a board.

"There are things you do because they feel right and they make no sense
and they make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: To love each other and to eat each other's cooking and say it was good."
-brian andreas

May 13, 2009


As a child I would do the "are we there yet?" or "my sister is touching me!" bit. But mostly was self entertained watching the homes we drove past. Never overly impressed by size but by the details.

I will confess to a serious case of spring fever my senior year in high school. My friend and I arrived at school, glanced at the exit and promptly left for a day of driving around the 'north shore' of Chicago to look at houses.

The tone was set.............

The love of good architecture allows me the freedom of wandering and allowing myself to get lost. See this charming home above, discovered from a wrong turn.

Set in the enchanting micro neighborhood of 'Lockerbie Square' in Indianapolis is a historic neighborhood of bricked alleys, small homes, lovely gardens and interesting architecture.

What is not to love about this home? It evokes a warm and cozy charm, one-of-a-kind details, great color scheme and a sedate garden that enhances but does not detract.

ps; it is for sale!

May 9, 2009

Inside Out

One of our important design elements that sets the tone for a landscape is to come inside the residence. We ask to look out the windows, all the important windows and view from many angles.

A window can frame a beautiful setting. Maybe that scene has yet to be created. Pay close attention to what that view would be like all four seasons.

How about concealment? Does a main window look out on neighbors garbage cans, a massive boat or the inevitable weed patch? Often times what appears to be an obstacle will stretch your imagination and provide a creative solution you might never have thought of.

So start inside and create a lovely scene, one that will be looked upon more often than all others combined.

Now that is a view!

May 3, 2009

Boxwood Envy

What is not to love, except your frequent appointment with the pruners?

This pure fantasy is Chateau de Courances in France, which no doubt has a head gardener. Personally I am taken with the organic color scheme; varying shades of green and earth tones.

This is what my eye sees

*the severe clip of the boxwood "rooms" and the looseness of it's interior flowers. I love opposing elements.
*the shutter and door shades mirror colorways of the gardens
*the pea gravel walk echoes the brick tones of the chateau
*notice how the walkway does not go directly to the front door, forcing one to slow down
*presenting an interesting and complex design in the front of the home

What does the front of your landscape say about you?
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