Outdoor Christmas Decor

A couple years ago a family in our neighborhood was leaving for a trip on Christmas Day, so they put their tree out on the curb. As you can imagine, it didn’t stay there for long. A group of guys got together and set it back up on the family’s lawn, complete with tinsel and whatever tacky decorations they could get together. The thing is, though, that people loved it! Little kids, random dog walkers, people driving by, they all got a kick out of it, so last year we decided to put up outdoor trees as a deliberate decorating decision. Some people were frustrated by the number of times their tree blew over, but others of us are hooked and have decided it’s a new tradition. Ours is a bird theme, complete with bird seed and these pre-lit cardinals that I think are the cutest thing ever. (Yes, I have a kitschy streak.)

How’s your decorating going? Have fun, don’t stress, do your own thing.

Using Black in the Landscape

Photo of fences

Often people think that black is a bold color choice- white feels more neutral- but when it comes to exteriors, black is the best way to make something recede. Black is definitely one of the best color choices for a fence. In this example, our client installed a new fence and gate that jumped out at the viewer because of it’s light, raw wood. You can see this everywhere, as people usually do leave their fences unfinished. A simple coat of exterior wood stain, though, creates a much more harmonious look that will require very little future maintenance.

Perennial’s the Word

Photo of chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums are perennial if we give them a chance.

Take a look at this gorgeous photo and ask yourself, “Why am I buying mums every year when they would quite happily show up on their own?”

Okay, it’s great to put them in pots for some front porch color, but really, isn’t this amazing? My far-seeing neighbor planted these years ago and they come back reliably each fall. A definite garden goal for me, and something I’m trying to encourage more with my clients. If you’ve got mums that are starting to fade now, consider popping them in the ground for color spots next year. What’s the worst that could happen?

Native Gardens

Photo of Native Gardens Set

I had a great time at the Arena Stage last weekend seeing Native Gardens, their current play. It was the perfect event to attend with some designer friends. I spent the whole play thinking of simple compromises for the two couples, and I also really wanted to see the left garden cleaned up! They never did sweep up the debris, but there was a happy ending nonetheless.

Growing Fall Veggies

Well, I’ve eaten thousands of cherry tomatoes this summer, not to mention a few jalapeƱo peppers and cucumbers. Now I’m taking advantage of the Mid-Atlantic fall weather to grow some lettuce, spinach, beets, Swiss Chard, and scallions before a hard frost hits us. I figure I’ve got a couple months of salads to enjoy. I should have started a few weeks earlier, but I’m still feeling good about it!

 

What’s in your garden?

It’s Fall Planting Time!

Photo of daffodils
Colorblends daffodils

It’s fall planting time, and the garden centers are bursting with wonderful trees and shrubs. On top of that, I just received my Colorblends catalog in the mail yesterday. Colorblends is my favorite place to order bulbs, and I’ve had great success with all of the items I’ve ordered from them. They will ship to you at the appropriate planting time, so you don’t have to worry about putting them in the ground too early. Important note- they do sell out of the most popular items, so if you see something you really love, don’t hesitate to get your order in!

Charleston, SC for Landscape Inspiration

I’m always looking at the ground, and I’m constantly amazed at what I see there. When I see a driveway like this, I’m reminding that if you can imagine it and articulate your vision clearly, someone can build it for you. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes me want to grab a pencil and a pad of paper and start doodling.

Susanna Farm Nursery Visit

Photo of landscape

If you’re looking for specimen trees, Susanna Farm Nursery is a great destination. It feels more like an arboretum than a trade nursery, and you can easily spend an hour or two strolling through the grounds. I was looking for some good-sized maples to use as accents in a client’s back garden, but I also came across some wonderful willow standards for another project. Well worth the trip for the beauty and inspiration and just a relaxing afternoon out.

Veggie Report

My tomatoes are certainly thriving. As always, my favorites are the Sungold variety. They are so sweet and perfectly bite-sized. I was worried about critters getting to them when the plants were small, but we’re well past that now. However, I do see evidence of my chipmunks having a little snack most mornings.They don’t seem to like the skin much. I wish I could catch one in the act- just to take a photo, of course.