March 28, 2014

Blogging All Stars

Hello everyone!

How has your week been? I know some of you are in the throes of Spring,
 temperature wise. Next week promises the 50's, virtually balmy!

Freedom still eludes me, cast off, boot on, "Yes, you will still need the walker, and eight weeks of
therapy will get you on your feet, oh, and you cannot drive for at least four weeks".
 B U M M E R!

So let's focus on beauty and creativity and not my pity party. I am a visual maniac, beauty gets the creative juices flowing, and my utter addiction to Pinterest (my happy place)aids in satisfying that mania. This past week fulfilled my lust for gorgeous images, from three blogs in particular.

My hands down favorite written by Loi, chronicling his and partner Tom's homes, 
antique shop, travels and topiaries. The current post features their Washington D.C. garden,
 which is in the April issue of Southern Living magazine.
 Feast your eyes on this massively talented duo.......


March 17, 2014

Are you there Spring?

Last week had it's series of ups and  it's downs. Most of the week was spent reassembling my computer as it had a total crash and was wiped clean. Many terrified days later we seem to be mostly intact......prayers answered.

On the plus side I was thrilled to win a gorgeous upholstered bench on a favorite blog, The Enchanted Home, it pays to comment!

And for great news this week, my cast comes off, a long 6 weeks! Some sort of walking boot is next, freedom!!
                                               Now, if Spring will appear..........

It is the most feminine of seasons, light, airy and bursting with all manner of pastels
Crab apples, and well any flowering tree for that matter, can be the foundation for a floral arrangement 
Tulips are perfectly wonderful from the market, particularly if you have these bad boys!
And deer, and sometimes squirrels. On our property I have both bunnies and tulips. How? We do not have a lawn service, hence no chemicals. What is then prevalent is clover, their hands down favorite food......nothing else is touched
Sandra Mehl, in the shop, just sent me this image, her latest watercolor. As soon as she gets him framed, this guy will grace our walls, while looking for a good home. 
Your safer bet is daffodils, never bothered by marauders 
Or Scilla
Scilla, en masse 
As the birds are furiously building nests, give them a hand.......imagine, all this intricacy, without hands
Set out your dryer lint on top of some shrubbery, or nestled in tree limbs. The hatchlings will thank you.                        
The Amy Howard gold leaf will be perfect for this application, cannot wait to try!
Spring contributes to such lovely tablescapes
Washi tape flags
These charming table votives are new to the nest candle line and just arrived. Diminutive in size with a very subtle hint of an herbal scent. Pretty lined down a table.
The new season is nearly here when our topiaries begin to arrive.  Nothing change an interior like fresh, live greens 


March 7, 2014

Waterlogue vs Brush Stroke

Have you discovered the fun watercolor app called 'Waterlogue?' Their tag line is Photography Distilled, a user friendly app that takes your photographic images and turns them into dreamy watercolors.

To my attention just came another artist styled app called 'Brush Stroke', providing an artist studio in your lap. Not only can you create a painting, you get to choose from endless options for just the right effect AND, if desired, you can instruct the site to print on canvas, the size, and delivered to your door, ready to hang, reasonably!

let's do a comparison...........

Brush Stroke   My kitchen


Brush Stroke

      Master Bedroom above and below

Brush Stroke     I collect original oil paintings of dogs. The wallpaper is Brunschwig and Fils En Pointe, a toile-like paper with dogs and hunting scenes

Brush Stroke. This app allows you to write something in the lower right corner. This reads Cooper, my beloved's name.

Brush Stroke   Actually the options are endless for a desired look. All the images I am sharing are in the normal setting

 A portion of a clients room in progress, Brush Stroke


What do you think? Have a favorite style?

When I shared this Waterlogue image of this clients garden, he asked me to print and frame it for him. So I will take this to Kinkos, have it enlarged and printed on very heavy linen/cotton stock. Next i will tear the edges versus cutting the image, to repeat the jagged edge effect. To the framer I go, requesting the image be floated onto mat board and encased in a thin black frame

                                              Have fun, give it a go, you will be addicted!

                                                                Happy weekend

March 3, 2014

10 Tips to Refresh your Garden

Design articles are always guiding us into the various ways to refresh a room, let's switch it up and do the same for the garden.


This is one of my clients who called asking for some pruning. On my! I personally love to prune when a major renovation is required, believing anything can be re-shaped and saved. While the crew was busy, I pulled out the shears

 Yes, there was an entryway and an address.


Can I say mandatory? Looks clean and fresh, represses weeds and retains moisture
Look for the best mulch you can afford, preferably black and fine. We use LEAF mulch, decomposed leaves, rich, black and finely ground. When laid, any mulch will begin to decompose. As wood mulch decomposes, that process robs the soil of nutrients. As leaf mulch goes, it feeds the soil, improving it's texture and adding nutrients
Unless you reside at a Shell station, this is a big NO!  Ugly, and the dyes are toxic

3. Stabilize structures and paint if needed
In winter climes, snow and ice takes it's toll on our structures. Examine closely for needed repairs. A fresh coat of paint does wonders!

4. Clean, and/or replace outdoor soft goods
What a renaissance for outdoor pillows; the fabrics and the designs. We carry a line whose style matches any interior pillow, some with gorgeous fringe, trim and down inserts!
The rug line we carry, Dash and Albert, has a tremendous outdoor collection. New for 2014 is the collaboration with Bunny Williams, above

5. Declutter

It can day you are bringing home ornamentation, the next you are in a newspaper,
misguided, posing and smiling

Benches, table, fountain, watering cans.......complimentary to each other and tastefully arranged. Look around, what might be redundant, in disrepair......generally employ a good edit

6. Re access your front door

Charming? Massively so if you live in a cottage, in Czechoslovakia.
Enter your home as a guest would, is all clean? Decluttered? In good repair and painted or stained? Outdoor lamps sparkling clean?

Consider a color change, this focal point for your home can be unassuming or exciting

7. Give up on low performing plants

"I hate to kill plants!" I do too. Often as a landscape designer I am both executioner and nurturer. There are times when a plant is simply "taking up space", overgrown and beyond pruning (not too often), a blob, that is it just sits there, offering little

No focus, many blob type plants, all green, no stand-outs and yes, a few weeds

To live in my garden, the criteria is;
   must be of appropriate size
   must be interesting most of the growing season
   must be a strong performer; long bloom, colorful foliage, multi-seasonal interest
I'm ruthless.....

This Hydrangea above is the Incrediball, in bloom from early June to frost....nice!

8. Interesting foliage?

Take a close look. Have a section where there is too much green? (disregard if all green is your goal, lovely in a formal setting). Too many leaves of the same size and shape? Insert some of the colorful foliage plants and pay close attention to the shape, mixing it up.

 9. Consider the addition of Annuals

 To me, they are the link for a garden. They perform throughout the season weaving in and out of perennials and shrubbery that have their day until next year

10.  Reevaluate your containers
Are they in good order? Remove old soil, which no longer has any nutrients, and refill. How about their style and size, appropriate?

Charming? YES!  Appropriately sized? NO, too small
 That's better. Take note of the terra cotta color, which pulls from the homes bricks....nice!
One of our clients. When we designed the gardens, instead of a pair of urns at the front entrance, we placed oversized, statement urns in front of the two front windows. Enjoyed from inside and out, they make a statement as they are planted fresh, four times a year, celebrating each new season.



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