February 25, 2017


how much do i love thee….it is endless & forever

Box however, is becoming elusive. Here in the Chicagoland area we are experiencing disease, and now shortages. As I began to check stock, knowing of impending shortages, I was alarmed to find my favorites ‘Glencoe’, and ‘Green Velvet’, are unavailable until AUGUST! 
Having just finished a design yesterday, with massive quantities of Box proposed, we are on the hunt. 
So what is happening, what is the disease and what to do? Canker and Blight, both are a soil borne fungus.
 Canker; entire stem browning to death appears like this below
Blight; is a defoliation
Since it is more fun to talk design, let's have a brief chat on these issues first. It's all about your recognition and management.

If you want an accurate diagnosis, take a clipping to your County Extension Service. But erring on the safe side, treat both the same.
  1.  Cut out the affected stems. Between each cut dip your pruners in a jar of bleach. 
2.   Remove all dead/fallen leaves around 
       the plants. Left alone, they will re-infect. 
       Discard diseased limbs, do not put into the compost bin     
3.   Spray monthly in the growing season
      with a Fungicide. This Copper Fungicide is a good choice
Ok, back to the fun!
Boxwood is so versatile, clipped into formal shapes, rounded, square, hedged, topiary, even animal forms, to name a few. England and France have taken this to an art form.

In formal gardens
Rustic gardens. Personally loved the tightly sheared box settled in to the free form of all else. CONTRASTS!
Brilliant in containers
Here is an image of my garden in early spring. You can imagine that this view is attractive all year as the Box element looks the same season after season
Here is a wider view. I would like to take your eye to the far right, there you will find a massive box. Look really close, can you see a chicken, the face and the upright tail? These attempts take FOREVER!  
My landscape crew had a massive brain freeze and cut off the head and the tail!  WHAT?!? These guys are good, really good. Oddly, no one knows who the executioner was 😡
 The Europeans do not hesitate to add Box to their veg and cutting gardens, for the sole purpose of aesthetics........nice!

                                                         Let's dream...........
 This is a client who enjoys the snugness this hedge provides without impeding her views
The former garden of the uber talented Loi Thai of Tone on Tone blog, Swedish antique specialist, shopkeeper, designer, and best of the best on social media, he is well loved. Photography by Helen Norman
Did you get any ideas? If Boxwood is in your future, secure it now!

This image stopped me in my tracks. Ever notice how an image can reach out and grab you, you can't stop staring? This is it for me. Pay attention when that happens to you. Recognize what it is that pulls your heart & soul in, why are you drawn and take note. Try incorporating those elements into your life or let it rest in the place of your dreams to visit again and again. The aspect that draws me in is the contrast of a motionless plant and the movement of the wood straps. Contrast!
LOCAL NEWS!  see below, this will not scroll down 😡
THIS WEEKS CLASS…….Lean Fake Calligraphy
Yes, you can do this in a few hours.
Course includes, instruction, macro mini pen from Japan, 
Rhodia fine paper notebook
Thursday March 2nd. 7pm  3 spots left  $30.00
SG GENEVA;  630.232.1303


February 17, 2017



        OCTOBER 2-9, 2017

Want to get away? Be inspired? Get behind Londons Design scene?

 Our journey to London dives into the world of  interiors & antiques, behind the scenes, with those in the know, meet the makers, and be inspired!
                       London Interior tour
“Apologies to Milan,  Paris, Stockholm and New York. Regrets to Berlin and Tokyo, London is the new Design Capital of the world!” 
 NY TIMES   September 2016


“My personal favorite is the Decorative Antique & Textile Fair…..
Here is a peek at a last years blog post on the fair

The Bermondsey Flea
A London Street market, set in the shadow of Tower Bridge, a virtual treasure hunt!

This designer/architect/shopkeeper, du jour, is a must stop for design enthusiasts, our Mecca!            

       What else?
        Sooooooo much more! 
 The venerable museum of design… with a private chat   
     Victoria & Albert      

 Petersham Nursery & Cafe “There is no better, anywhere”  Debra
Upmarket, wildly inventive, all you could dream of……..demonstration & lunch in the gourmet cafe

Geffrye Museum of the Home
 The history of home interiors spanning 400 years                         


Where iconic British manufacturers, etc. maintain their showrooms. We will have access to all showrooms. 

Within the Design Centre is this manufacturer of fine wallpapers since 1875. They will provide an introduction and share a portion of their archives with us
Abagail  Ahern!

As the "the high priestess of interiors", Abigail is the perfect guide to show you how to rip up the rulebook, push the boundaries and transform any room.

In her alternative Masterclass, Abigail shares her insider knowledge, decorating secrets, and tips and tricks of the trade that will enable you to create seductively stylish spaces overflowing with personality. Take away oodles of inspiration, pick Abigail's brains and discover all you need to know to create your dream home.

We meet Abagail in her HOME, for the masterclass + lunch + visit to her shop!

    Plus..... a day on your own 

Plus much more, the group decides 

Limited space…….this is a very small group

     Hope you can join us...Cheers!         
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