Please Touch the Plants

Photos of plantsWalking though your garden can be a wonderful tactile experience.

Like a cashmere sweater or a fuzzy fleece in a clothing store, it’s almost impossible for me to walk past these plants without touching them. Even prickly things, like the center of a coneflower, make me want to connect. (“Let me see if I can touch it so softly that it doesn’t hurt!”)

We’re always focused on how a garden looks, especially when we’re perusing beautiful photos, but when we’re in the physical space, the smells, sounds, textures and even tastes elevate our experience to another level.

#apldgotnick

Photo of Nick McCullough

Our local APLD Chapter is thrilled to have Nick McCullough as our Winter Lecture speaker this year! This event is open to the public, so come on out and get inspired for spring. Light breakfast, networking, lecture, and Q&A with Nick. See you there!

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!