Daffodils (Narcissus) for Every Garden, Every Size

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I am done griping about the weather and I hope we have turned the spring corner so I am choosing to focus on the plentiful daffodils blooming all around us in Central Ohio. No matter where you drive there are all these unexpected and often random clumps of daffodils blooming. On the rural roads they mark where old farmhouses used to stand and in urban areas they are exploding out dreary gardens, around mailboxes or in the middle of yards. At our home we have thousands blooming that are remains of a previous home on the property that have naturalized over the years, lasting long after the original house. This hardy and determined trait of daffodils make them the perfect bulb to add to any garden, along with the fact they are the most cheerful signal that winter is ending.

Daffodils (Narcissus) for every garden size. Ideas for containers, woodland and bed placement for spring bulbs. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Here are some ways you can add daffodils to your garden, no matter the size. Useful for information for planting, selecting etc is scattered throughout the different size gardens, so read them all no matter your garden size.

 

SMALL GARDENS: For folks with terraces, condos and small outdoor spaces. Even those just want a smaller dose of daffodils.

If you have space to place a 2 foot wide container outside your door, you can have spring daffodils. You can plant only daffodils or mix with other spring bulbs or annuals. Since you plant daffodils in the fall you have three options for containers.

(1) Plant bulbs directly into the container you want the blooming flowers. Plant in the fall and leave the container outdoors through the winter on a protected side of the home or garden. This works best when planting with other spring bulbs or planting a single variety in a container. *Chicken wire on the top of the container can help keep out the pesky rodents looking for a winter snack.

(2) Plant bulbs in one gallon nursery containers, store outdoors through the winter and transplant in the spring into your container. I like this method since it gives me flexibility to add pansies or other annuals into the container. Also you can use the same container you had filled with winter greens by refreshing the soil and transplanting the bulbs. I did this method (mentioned here) and label the containers we successfully translated using this method in the post.

(3) Buying forced bulbs from the nursery. This works much like option 2, but you most likely get the standard yellow on yellow varieties and miss out on the fun of ordering some of the more unique doubles or striking color combos.

After the bulbs have bloomed and start dying back you have two options, toss the bulbs (treat as annuals) or plant in your yard or offer up to a friend with a garden to plant the bulbs. We transplant our container bulbs every year into our wood line to continue our existing plantings and have great success of them coming back the following years.  *Be sure to leave the foliage up throughout the spring to allow the bulb to gather the energy needed for the next spring’s bloom.  This is roughly 6 weeks or until the foliage dries and can be pulled by hand.

container features Narcissus Cyclamineus tete tete mixed with yellow tulips and violas in a bed of lettuce. Daffodils (Narcissus) for every garden size. Ideas for containers, woodland and bed placement for spring bulbs. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This container features Narcissus Cyclamineus tete tete mixed with yellow tulips and violas in a bed of  lettuce. After the daffodils passed their seasonal prime, we transplanted along the driveway where they re-bloomed this year. The lettuce we continued in the pot and added some summer annuals in the place the the bulbs and pansies.

This container features Narcissus ‘Lemon Sailboat’ planted on the ends of the faux bois planter. The center is filled with a mix of Hyacinth Blue Jacket, Muscari armenicum and Viola 'Frizzle Sizzle Blue'. The fragrance when you walk past this container is intoxicating.  thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This container features Narcissus ‘Lemon Sailboat’ planted on the ends of the faux bois planter. The center is filled with a mix of Hyacinth Blue JacketMuscari Armenicum and Viola ‘Frizzle Sizzle Blue’. The fragrance when you walk past this container is intoxicating. 

 

This is the easiest container design that anyone can accomplish. Here are three similar container finishes in different heights and sizes planted with daffodils and Pansies. Pansy plants are fairly inexpensive so, here two of the containers are filled with contrasting orange and purple pansies. The more expensive Narcissus 'Pink Pride' is planted in the largest container. After this bloom is complete, we have two additional containers filled with later blooming bulbs. One is filled with  Narcissus Delnashaugh and the other with Narcissus La-Torch. The mono-pot design allows us to swap out the container of bulbs, while the pansies will flourish during the whole period and will work with all three daffodil colors. thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This is the easiest container design that anyone can accomplish. Here are three similar container finishes in different heights and sizes planted with daffodils and Pansies. Pansy plants are fairly inexpensive so, here two of the containers are filled with contrasting orange and purple pansies. The more expensive Narcissus ‘Pink Pride’ is planted in the largest container. After this bloom is complete, we have two additional containers filled with later blooming bulbs. One is filled with  Narcissus Delnashaugh and the other with Narcissus La-Torch. The mono-pot design allows us to swap out the container ofbulbs, while the pansies will flourish during the whole period and will work with all three daffodil colors. 

 

LARGE GARDENS: You have a large yard with nooks and crannies, woodlands or open spaces you dedicate to large drifts of blooms.

If you have the space, embrace the impact of large daffodil drifts softening edges in your garden. Places to look for a large drift include the following:

  • In wooded areas, along the edge of the woodline.
  • Under trees, even ones that are difficult to grow grass
  • Under fences, around mailboxes or large rocks in the garden, fill in the nooks and crannies.

The idea is to plant in natural unplanned area to allow the naturalization and drifting of the daffodils to feel as natural as possible. Also to feed the bulb for the next year you need to allow the foliage to die back naturally. Planting in places with more under growth will hide the foliage and reduce the desire to cut back the browning foliage. When planting group 10-20 bulbs together in one large hole and continue to add on over the years and plant with a mix of varieties from early, mid to late blooms. However stick to varieties in a similar color palate in an area to provide some cohesion to the naturalistic waves. If you are lucky enough to be able to plant a few large drifts (at least 100 bulbs), you also will have the least guilt in cutting some blooms to bring indoors.

images above feature multiple groupings of naturalized daffodils in a woodland setting. These bulbs have been planted for 20 plus years and have spread in sporadic clumps with multiple varieties nesting together. As these daffodils foliage beings to die back, the other ground covers take over.  More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

images above feature multiple groupings of naturalized daffodils in a woodland setting. These bulbs have been planted for 20 plus years and have spread in sporadic clumps with multiple varieties nesting together. As these daffodils foliage beings to die back, the other ground covers take over. More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

The two images above feature multiple groupings of naturalized daffodils in a woodland setting. These bulbs have been planted for 20 plus years and have spread in sporadic clumps with multiple varieties nesting together. As these daffodils foliage beings to die back, the other ground covers take over. 

 

Daffodils for every garden - woodland planting showcases daffodils planted among a variety of hellebore. The hellebore are the moody spring flowers compared to daffodils, but are perfect partners when planted together. thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Another woodland planting showcases daffodils planted among a  Royal Heritage Hellebore. The hellebore are the moody spring flowers compared to daffodils, but are perfect partners when planted together. 

 

If you are looking for some companion planting options I prefer all hellebore and specifically Muscari aremiacum. Hellebore’s moody and perfectly drab blooms are the antithesis of the cheerful daffodil blooms and mix well went plantings are woven together in clusters. The rich blue of Muscari Aremiacum is truest complementary color to the classic yellow daffodils. Equally cheerful, with small tight clustering blooms, muscari continues the complement the taller lanker daffodils. There are other great companion plants, but these are my top two favorites.

Daffodils for every garden - woodland planting showcases daffodils planted among a variety of hellebore. The hellebore are the moody spring flowers compared to daffodils, but are perfect partners when planted together.  More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Another view of the same garden of daffodils and hellebore featured above shows how the different foliage textures and similar heights create a tapestry on the wooded floor. Again mixing varieties of each plants continues to make an unexpected discovery as each variety blooms. This is a great planting design along a pathway, where you have discovery of all the different varieties. 

 

Daffodils for every garden - A collection of Narcissus ‘Lemon Sailboat’ planted in clumping are sharing the same area as groupings of Muscari armenicum. The complementary colors mixed with the organic spacing create an impactful spring boarder where both feel they were there all long, but actually planted last fall.  thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

A collection of Narcissus ‘Lemon Sailboat’ planted in clumping are sharing the same area as groupings of Muscari armenicum. The complementary colors mixed with the organic spacing create an impactful spring boarder where both feel they were there all long, but actually planted last fall.

 

MEDIUM GARDENS: Every suburban garden across America.

If you have any foundation beds around your home, you have a great place to add daffodil bulbs. Look for planting around existing perennials to cover the foliage as it dies back. Also look to add at the edges of the beds or under trees. You can also plant further from the house along the edge of any bed. The only rule I give is planting the grouping of at least 10 bulbs to avoid the line up on soldiers down the bed. Even if you have one or two large clumps, this planting method gives the group impact and feeling of age from naturalization. You may also use the small garden option of adding containers at the front door, on the patio or inside a garden bed.

Daffodils for every garden - This is a planting we saw on a walk in German Village, where a mix of daffodils are planted down either side of a sidewalk. My guess is these have been planted for a while, and are a great example of mixing the varieties. This planting was impactful down both sides, but would also be great down just one side too. thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This is a planting we saw on a walk in German Village (Columbus,Ohio)  where a mix of daffodils are planted down either side of a sidewalk. My guess is these have been planted for a while, and are a great example of mixing the varieties. This planting was impactful down both sides, but would also be great down just one side too. 

Daffodils for every garden - This is a planting we saw on a walk in German Village, where a mix of daffodils are planted down either side of a sidewalk. My guess is these have been planted for a while, and are a great example of mixing the varieties. This planting was impactful down both sides, but would also be great down just one side too. thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

A close up of the sidewalk planting shows how the daffodil varieities are at different peak times, but the mass planting hides the varieties that are dying back. 

 

Adding daffodils to any garden thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com 

This is a planting we saw during a walk last weekend in the space between the curb and sidewalk. While I don’t love daffodils with tulips, however this planting was striking walking down the sidewalk. What you can also see in this photo is the liriope pushing new growth that will grow up to cover the foliage of the daffodils. 

 

ALL GARDENS – PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. There are lots of plants you can drop in single holes in a straight line, but daffodils are not one of those plants. They just look sad, which is completely against their nature. If you only have a few bulbs to plant, pick one spot. In this garden  I would suggest around the mulit-stem tree or around one of the fence posts and with the plants on either side of the fencing.

Daffodils for every garden - Improper planing of daffodils bulbs includes single bulb to hole planting and lining down a straight shot. Daffodils are best planted in clusters of bulbs. More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR 2019: So outside of buying pre-forced bulbs you have missed the boat this year for blooms, but are already ahead of the game for next year.

  1. Decided where to plant. Deciding where you want to plant the bulbs will determine the number you would need to fill the space. For a 2 x 2 foot area you will want about 20 bulbs, this goes for a container or for a natural planting.
  2. Select your bulbs. Even if the vendor is not currently taking orders for bulbs, you can pre-shop most sites and research the colors and bloom times you desire. Start with the unique varieties first and then if you want some more common ones you can wait for end of the season sales to enlarge your drifts. I also recommend for getting at least one early bloomer, to provide the earliest sign of spring in your garden.
  3. Fall Planting. When it is time for fall planting, wait to plant in late October into November here in Ohio. You want the hot days well past, and as long the ground is not frozen you can plant. This allows you to take advantage of those nicer late fall days. Add some bulb food to the holes before you place the bulbs, and keep the food on hand to feed every few years. (I like Espoma Organic Bulb-tone)

 

WHERE TO ORDER: Again to get great and interesting colors, look at ordering your bulbs for fall 2018 planting. If you have any container bulbs from this spring, go ahead and transplant those once you swap out the containers. Add a little bulb food to the hole and make sure to keep all the foliage in tack to die back naturally.

LONGFIELD GARDENS – Great pricing for starting your collection or building large drifts. They have tried and true varieties as well as lots of more unique ruffled petals or hues varieties. We have grown these bulbs in gallon containers over the winter and successfully transplanted into containers and also planted in perennial beds in the fall with amazing first year blooms. When I have noted a bulb variety, they came from Longfield Gardens.

BRENT & BECKY BULBS – Looking to get a little crazy with your bulbs, Brent & Becky have a wide selection of varieties to select from. I have become obsessed with green daffodils and they have a few varieties I am going to trial to see if they really have that green petal.

 

daffodil embrace imperfections - he most amazing bloom from the container at our side door featuring Narcissus ‘Lemon Sailboat’. It is a 50/50 split down the center of white and yellow, so beautiful and the best happy accident to see it every time we enter and leave the house. thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

So I think that is enough proof anyone can add daffodils into their home garden. I am going to do a mass ordering of some of the green varieties to see which ones we like the best. I will leave you with the most amazing bloom from the container at our side door featuring Narcissus ‘Lemon Sailboat’. It is a 50/50 split down the center of white and yellow, so beautiful and the best happy accident to see it every time we enter and leave the house.

Great Garden Design – Outdoor Sinks

Garden Tours, Inspiration

The benefit of touring private gardens is you get to see the functional elements they add to the garden you don’t get to see in display gardens. As the complexity of outdoor kitchens expand, so do the frequency of seeing outdoor sinks. Not necessary like a grill and many times a hose can fulfill the need of a sink to wash or rinse. However, the following sinks prove a beautiful sink can be designed into a garden and not feel like a repeat of indoor kitchen.

Great Garden Design - Outdoor Sinks. well designed outdoor sinks using natural soap stone, concrete or stainless. Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This grill and soapstone sink laid on a natural stone base blend naturally into the garden. The soapstone is a great stone that holds up outdoors. 

 

Great Garden Design - Outdoor Sinks. well designed outdoor sinks using natural soap stone, concrete or stainless. Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This sink is made of strips of granite feels natural in the garden with the stone pedestal base.   

 

A soapstone greenhouse sink seen on the APLD Boston Trip. From ThinkingOutsidetheBoxwood.com

Another soapstone slab sink found in a greenhouse not at an outdoor kitchen is another great sink design that is very practical with the arched faucet for filling watering cans or watering plants. The secondary hose hookup also makes the area useful for using the single water source for the most functions possible.  

 

In storage we have a single bay concrete sink we saved out of a basement laundry room that we plan on using in our (far) future outdoor kitchen and greenhouse combo area. We will not have it plumbed, but instead use a nearby hose and a bucket to reuse waste water for watering plants. It will be a space to wash dirty hands and veggies from the garden.

 

Waiting on Spring…

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Well at least the sun is shining today, but as I write the temperature is just above freezing with no foreseeable spring temps. Normally by the first week of April we have done 2 rounds of mowing, and this year we have yet to put mower to turf. Now we are into the “April showers” and the ground is over saturated with 3 inches plus of rain in just the past few days. As gardeners we forget how cruel spring can be for our anxiousness to get outside and work. The only good part is extending the winter off-season project completion timetable, which includes finally the site redesign which is just moving into development.

 

Since it looks like another week of cold, wind and threat of snow, here are some summer garden images of projects from last year to warm you up until more spring action starts in the garden.

The wedding Garden at Oak Grove. 100 year old Lord & Burnham greenhouse and tobacco barn surrounds a cocktail lawn. Design by McCullough's Landscape & Nursery.

The gardens surrounding Oak Grove, a wedding and event space outside Columbus, will be even grander this summer as they mature in their second year in the ground. Over the winter the space is expanding to include a 250 guest dinning space with the surround pastural setting taking center stage. More to come once the space opens in the coming weeks (previews on my instagram).

 

A small space garden with a large impact with seasonal color, dog friendly design and making the most of a smaller garden. Design, Install and Maintenance by McCullough's Landscape & Nursery

This garden was planted two years ago so this year it will be fully matured and ready for photographing extensively. (a good guide for planting expectations is first year it looks good, second year great, and by the third year best.) The back garden is about 100 feet wide by 25 feet deep, so every space needed to be functional and beautiful. This garden is great for showing how focusing on good bones and function combined with purposeful placement of seasonal color can maximize a homeowner’s enjoyment.

 

 

A french influenced garden located in the art of the Midwest, is planted with a large sweeping bed of fragrant lavender. Design, Install and Maintenance by McCullough's Landscape & Nursery

Every June we count down the days for when this large sweep of hybrid lavender (LavenderPhenomenal‘) comes into bloom. The entire courtyard of this home (and street) is overrun with the intoxicating scent. Last year we even harvested a few of the plant’s stocks for drying and creating lavender sachets for the client as a holiday gift. This is another garden that keeps getting better year after year and is ready for a full scale photoshoot.

 

This garden showcases the magic of landscape lighting with a selection Hinkley Outdoor lighting. More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Last summer I worked with Hinkely Lighting at a client’s home for shooting Hinkely’s outdoor lighting collection in use. It was an amazing two days. I am excited to showcase how this garden evolves when the sun goes down and the lighting keeps the garden alive in a future post.

 

Well by the time I finished this post, I have been able to enjoy how much warmth the sun can provide even on a cold day. An old wives tale states, three snows remaining after forsythia blooms.  Our forsythia started blooming early last week and we have had two noticeable snows, that leaves one more and finally spring can arrive.

Using Faux Bois in the Garden

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While visiting the Nashville Antique and Garden Show this year, faux bois was one of the key items featured in the garden dealer booths. These items were all sold early on Friday, proving their popularity. All these were made of concrete, included moss patina, and most were brought back from Europe by the dealers. Faux bois details are great in many gardens for this contrast of cottage and modern. There is also many different ways you can add it to your garden.

Collection of antique Faux Bois planters seen at the Nashville Antique & Garden Show - More images and details at Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

CONCRETE FAUX BOIS

One of my favorite garden containers I own is the faux bois planter next to our back door. It is my favorite for a few reasons. First the story of when and where we found it. (It was on a detoured state route in rural Wisconsin on our trip back from the PPA symposium in Minneapolis, MN. It caused us to u-turn in the middle of the road and strapping down luggage to get it back to Ohio.) It is also my favorite for the mix natural wood graining in the rough and raw texture of concrete. The fact it needs leveled with pennies, missing a small chuck in a foot, and an amateur repair on side adds to its charm.

Faux Bois Planter over the season - how to incorporate faux bois into the garden - more at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Our container at home at a few different seasons. This is placed at our back porch against the black portion of our home which makes both the container and plantings pop.

 

Faux Bois fiber cement table top planter filled with succulents - more at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This is a small concrete planter belonging to a client that is planted with succulents. The smaller sized containers look great on outdoor or indoor tables and do not require a crew of people to move.

 

Faux Bois planter filled with ferns seen in Preston CT. - More on Faux Bois at Thinking Outside the Boxwood

We saw this faux bois planter in Preston, CT over the summer filled with ferns. Something this size is extremely heavy but its heft is scale and weight gave it the realistic feeling of a carved out tree trunk.

 

Outside of planters, faux bois can be added to the garden in furniture. There is antique furniture and contemporary designers still crafting in these designs today. Carlos Cortes is the most recognized craftsman, (see article from Martha Stewart here). Other designers include Branch Studio, Husson Studio, and  Marcella Marie.  Outside of using concrete you can also find cast iron benches with faux bois details.

 

RESIN FAUX BOIS

Besides our concrete planter, we have had a wood stump planter that was painted at one time to look like a real wood stump, but over the past few years has chipped off. This is a much more manageable size to use and moves around from inside to outdoors. This one is made of a mystery resin and was purchased a long time ago at auction with no maker marks. Even up close this planter looks very realistic compared to the concrete versions.

Using Faux Bois in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

CAST IRON FAUX BOIS

Cast Iron Faux bois is another antique item you can use to add to the garden. From benches, hitching posts and ornaments, the cast iron stands up to wear and tear. Oddly enough we saw no cast iron faux bois while at the Nashville antique and garden show.

Faux Bois in the Garden - Cast Iron Hitching Post at Moss Mountain Farm. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This cast iron hitching post is from Moss Mountain Farm, the home of P.Allen Smith. Painted black it is the perfect fix of form and function.

 

Using Faux Bois in the garden - Metal Edging that evokes bent branches. More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Here are two runs of metal edging that evoke the look of bent branches. Adding these are a subtle nod to natural elements in the garden while serving a function creating edges to different areas.

 

 

SEWER TILE FAUX BOIS

Another antique faux bois planter belonging to my in-laws collection is made by sewer tile craftsmen. These are made from the same material as the tile, so have the color of the red clay used. These are American made but are equally expensive as their European counter parts for their rarity.

Using Faux Bois in the Garden - 20th Century Sewer Tile Faux Bois Planter - More examples on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This planter is about 2 feet tall and 3ft wide and crafted using clay used to craft sewer tiles. This planter was purchased in Southern Ohio and was most likely made by a Ohio craftsman.

 

 

BOARD FORMED CONCRETE

Finally, the most contemporary way of adding faux bois to the garden is using board formed concrete. This could be in retaining walls or in fireplaces, really any were you would use poured concrete. These are created using wood boards that have been sandblasted to bring out the graining in the forming process. HERE  is a great post about how it is accomplished.

 

Faux Bois in the Garden - Board Formed Concrete from Howells Architecture +Design from Dwell. More uses at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

A board formed concrete wall from Howell Architecture + Design via Dwell.com This method can be used for fire pits, walls and raised beds.

 

 

Here is a round up of some faux bois planters that don/t require visiting antique shows , France or farm auctions.

Using Faux Bois in the Garden with containers - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

(1) Martha Stewart for QVC 19 inch Planter

(2) Capital Garden Products Driftwood Planter

(3) 910Casting Concrete Faux Bois Planter

(4) Pennoyer Newman Tree Hallow Planter

 

I ordered the Martha Stewart QVC 19” planter, and will let you know what I think about it when it arrives in March. Also, this spring I am planning on selling some of our antique garden items. I have held on to stuff for too long and it’s time to pass along and make room for new items. Will keep you posted, but I know metal edging is going to be up for grabs.

 

GARDEN TOURS: Asian-infused in Weston, MA

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White birch and Azalea, GARDEN TOURS: Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This garden was a feature on the last day of the garden tours during the conference. (There is a post conference day of tours as well as the two days during the conference).  This was the most extremely detailed garden with meticulous maintenance.  The home on the property is a modernist glass-walled that is nestled into the landscape with a seamless transition between indoors and out. The image above features White Birch dotted with a large stones and a mass of green under-planting of Azalea.

DESIGNERS: Zen Associates

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The entrance of the house features 100s of boxwood pruned to maintain their individual spherical domes. The base color palate of the entire 6 acre property is limited to greens and white with additional tones added by the Black Mist granite and other natural stonework. Note the small river rock edging between the boxwood and driveway, which is seen again in the next photo to blend transitions.

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Acer palmatum var. dis. 'Virdis'

Throughout the gardens are strategically placed conifers / Japanese maple that are pruned and maintained to highlight their unique form and structure.  Many of the conifers are place with immense detail among mossy boulders and creeping ground cover.

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Stone plank bridge Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The garden is also home to a collection of contemporary sculpture that is placed intently to draw your eye.

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Bonsai collection

The owners collection of bonsai placed on custom stands that allow the homeowners to view them from inside the home with ease.  The bonsai are cared for by a bonsai sensei on a regular basis.  Some of the trees in the forest of bonsai are over 400 years old.

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Bonsai House

During the colder seasons, the bonsai move into the modern climate controlled bonsai house on the property.  In my next life I will have one as well.

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Bonsai House Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Bonsai House Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

View back to the house over the 1/2 acre koi pond with three water falls.

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Stone spa

 

 Asian-infused in Weston, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Bonsai House

GARDEN TOURS: Gardens at Clock Barn

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Historic shingled barn dating back to 1790s. The complete property includes saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.

 

Gardens at Clock Barn

Garden Designer – Maureen and Michael Ruettgers.

 

The gardens at Clock Barn surround meticulously restored saltbox farmhouse and barn that date back to 1790. The gardens on the property include a restored greenhouse and potting area, a walled garden, reflecting pools and cutting gardens.

Historic shingled barn dating back to 1790s. The complete property includes saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. Historic shingled barn dating back to 1790s. The complete property includes saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.

The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com. The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.The Gardens at Clock Barn in Carlisle, MA. Designer Maureen and Michael Ruettgers. The property includes a saltbox farm house, restored greenhouse and extensive gardens. See a complete garden tour on Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.

GARDEN TOURS: Contemporary Farmhouse Garden in Acton, MA

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GARDEN TOURS: Contemporary Farmhouse Garden in Acton, MA. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Here is the first garden tour from the APLD Boston Conference. I shared more details about the conference in a previous blog, so if you want more information on the event you can read HERE.  The gardens on the tour are selected from local APLD members and include a variety of styles, sizes and types.  I am not sharing these in the same order we toured, more just the order I had them edited.

 

Contemporary Farmhouse Garden in Acton, MA.

Landscape Design: Offshoots and Marc Hall Design

Maintenance: Garden Concierge

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This garden showcases how edibles and a productive garden can be functional and highly designed as a formal garden. The greenhouse, potager and edibles through out this property are a continuation of the contemporary farmhouse. The classical edible garden elements are present in the garden, but designed using contemporary elements and restraint.

 

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

A wall is created around the raised vegetable garden boxes with espaliered pears and a streamlined pergola. Even the underplantings are edible.

 

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Another feature this property is the use of natural stone in a variety of methods and types. This outdoor grill features stacked thick cut stone with garden paths use natural shaped stones.

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Again natural stones are mixed to add interest with bluestone paving and pea gravel.

 

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Natural elements are repeated in the different areas, with every detail designed down to the square edging around the orchard.

 

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The view of the back of the house. This showcases the number of folks on the tours, yet in my photos I am able to get with as few obstructions.

APLD Boston Conference Tours Recap. Modern Garden with eddibles, greenhouse and unique hardscapes. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This hardscape area is a favorite for the mix of stone shapes and the transition into the turf. You can see the stone grill in the background and the perennials around the house.

 

Keep checking back as I post more tours from Boston.

 

Preparing for 2018 – preview/update

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It’s that time for reflecting on accomplishments and misses along with planning for the year to come, and during Ohio winters those are the only two items we can really do for our gardens.  I have been placing seed orders, flipping through books, designing, reading articles, giving talks, designing some more and compiling long lists of things to do, with the majority only after the freeze of winter breaks.

Garden Tours from the APLD conference in Boston. Thinking Outside the BoxwoodA stop along the APLD Boston Conference garden tours. Next set of posts to include individual garden tour recaps.

 

One of my lists includes all the blog topics I want to explore and write, which continues to grow every year from the last since I never write as many posts as I plan. A redesign for the blog is in the works (about time), along with creating an official content calendar to keep us on top of posting.  The plan is not to post for the sake of posting, but making sure I am planning ahead, getting the photos I need, have deadlines for writing and creating graphics. I don’t think I will ever get to a weekly post (or I should say we because it’s a team effort with Allison), but I do plan on putting more effort in dedicating time to Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.

 

Terrain in Westport, CT Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Terrain in Westport, CT from my visit on the way out to Boston. More photos from the visit back in this post HERE.

 

I started the blog to share garden design from my point of view and knowledge of plants and how to install and maintain. I don’t check my site analytics nor ever wish to include ads. I write for the comments (please comment) and meeting anyone that has said they read a post.  I pin my content to Pinterest and get excited for every repin, not because of the exposure, but because someone is learning from my content or are inspired by the image. I am still trying to figure out what the future of the blog will become, but for now it will stay a place to share work, inspiration and know-how from my point of view.

Holiday lights in German Village. Feature a collar of greens and curly willow lit from interior spot lights. McCullough's Landscape & Nursery. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Holiday Containers from this past Christmas, this par looked like torches when you past them on the street at night.

 

First posts of the new year will be garden tours from the APLD conference. Will post these in a quick session this week. Please comment or email me if there is anything specific you think I should write about.

 

 

 

 

 

Woodland Inspiration for Planting Daffodils

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The life of a gardener is spent with one foot in beds tending to what is currently growing and the other foot planning 2-3 seasons ahead. I think it is the anticipation or daydream of what we could be growing is what keeps us going as the gardens go to bed over the fall/winter season. My garden to do list is filled with cleanup tasks, but what has me excited is the collection of spring bulbs I am currently planting.

Natural woodland plantings of spring daffodils - more at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

One of the spring bulbs we are planting at home and across client properties are daffodils. Along with many spring bulbs, daffodils are easy to tuck into your existing beds without disrupting existing perennials and easy to plant for any novice.

 

Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com

This year, my daffodil inspiration is the unexpected places you see the flowers blooming during the spring. At home we have masses of daffodils tucked throughout our woodland in sporadic groupings incorporated around the trunks in clusters of multiple varieties.  These groupings are relics of a home burned down 20 years ago on our property and have naturalized over the years into this completely organic pattern.

 

Natural woodland plantings of spring daffodils - more at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

The palate of whites, oranges and yellows allow you to mix many different varieties together without the flowers clashing, and depending on the combos, pull out the different features of each variety. The fallen leaves provide a great foil to the vivid green leaves, and help hide the foliage as it dies back later in the season.  The combo image below showcases all the different daffodils we have growing in our woodland, however, I am sure there are more we may have missed photographing. Our diverse varieties provide us with blooms through the entire spring season and making woodland walks exciting to see the evolution of the prominent color as the varieties alternate peak bloom.

 

Woodland Inspiration for Planting Daffodils, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Earlier this spring we built a few bulb containers using our cluster woodland plantings as inspiration and I loved how reminded me of our home.

Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com

 

Next spring we have 60 black gallon nursery pots pre-planted with bulbs for building more unique containers of the more unique varieties. All the varieties we have for next year are from Longfield Gardens, and here is a sampling of what we are working with. The plan is to have these winter over and then as the push in the spring transfer into containers. Wish us luck.

      Narcissus Baby Boomer

      Narcissus Delnashaugh

       Narcissus Jetfire

       Narcissus La Torch

       Narcissus Pink Pride

       Narcissus Barrett Browning