Lessons from Moss Mountain Farm

G A R D E N S, Inspiration, Landscape Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Elements of Moss Mountain farm you can use in your own garden - thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Back in May, I was fortunate to be invited back to P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm for the seventh Garden2Grow, my second. The event features two days of brands and passionate social gurus across home, food and gardening categories touring an amazing garden, discussing and learning from folks openly sharing their knowledge. After I left Arkansas, I came back re-energized with expanded knowledge and network of colleagues.

 

Elements of Moss Mountain farm you can use in your own garden - thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Allen designed Moss Mountain as a ferme ornée, a French phrase translated into ornamental farm. This was the same concept Thomas Jefferson applied in the grounds around Monticello, making the utility of farming beautiful and enjoyable to view. Ferme ornée can be applied to any home by incorporating utility plantings and elements into your ornamental garden beds with your neighbors being none the wiser. In the spirit of transforming your home into a ferme ornée, here are some elements from Moss Mountain you can apply in any home garden.

 

 

Ornamental Mow Paths

In the Midwest we have the luxury of space many do not have, but often open space around homes is surrounded by expansive field of grass. Moss Mountain features areas of native grasses and that are left to grow and only designed paths meandering paths mowed through.

Use designed mow paths to great interest in large open areas instead of large areas of formal lawn. Moss Mountain Farm - More details at thinkoutsidetheboxwood.com

Use designed mow paths to create structure in large informal areas, instead of maintaining formal lawn. Photo of Moss Mountain Farm, more at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

Signature Color

Outside the riot of bloom colors, using a signature color to tie together different areas of the garden and give all areas a sense of belonging to a certain place, signature paint color can provide that thread. Moss Mountain features trellis painted in a pale blue/green that match the gate of the decorative chicken pavilion. This color will continue to provide color to the garden, even when nothing is in bloom.

Use of a signature color throughout different garden rooms unifies spaces. garden trellises at Moss Mountain Farm - more images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Elements of Moss Mountain farm you can use in your own garden - thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

Dark Framework

Throughout the farm, the outbuildings all share the same signature dark black/brown color (another signature color). Dark architectural elements provide an amazing backdrop of the varied greens to pop and play hero compared to using white that can steal the spotlight from your plantings.

Dark colors on architectural elements provide striking element to the green foliage in a garden. Fence at Moss Mountain Farm - more at Thinking Outside The Boxwood

A collection of cut floral from uBloom waiting to be arranged, barn at Moss Mountain Farm. More images at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

Vegetable Garden Architecture

The vegetable garden at Moss Mountain is breathtaking in its formal planting design, scale and planting combination. The scale is difficult for many, but the combination of structure throughout is a source of inspiration and application. Using walk-able tunnels and natural elements for vining plants, a hedge row of asparagus for structure and hierarchy plantings in each bed take the very utilitarian and productive garden into a beautiful to view space. Below Allen used a common hog fence panel to sculpt his tunnel.

Using wire hog fencing to create a creeping vine tunnel to add structure to your vegetable garden. Garden at Moss Mountain Farm - More images at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

 

Edibles in Formal Areas

Directly surrounding the house are the formal, terraced gardens which feature a collection of annual and perennial plantings. Throughout the space, specimen edibles are placed to great structure and texture. Espalier apples and pears separate beds areas and a fig tree is focal point down a central pathway.

espiler trees in the formal gardens of Moss Mountain Farm - more images at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Elements for Moss Mountain Farm you can bring into your own garden. More at Thinkingoutsideboxwood.com

 

There are many more takeaways for any visitor to Moss Mountain beyond those mentioned above. On top of those listed, I still learned still more about video production, Instagram content, and content creation that I am still digesting.

 

Clouds rolling in at Moss Mountain Farm - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

Our travels and the Garden2Grow event were sponsored by a list of great companies listed and linked below. Many of these are brands I have used personally and professionally before this event and continue after, others have altered my habits and the coffee we drink at home after learning from them.

Bonnie Plants

Good Dirt

Crescent Garden

Westrook Coffee Company

Sun Patiens

Sakata Home Grown

New Nordic Gardens by Annika Zetterman

Design Masters, G A R D E N S, Gardens, Greenroofs, Uncategorized | Tagged

New Nordic Gardens by Annika Zetterman, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I am so thankful for the connections created via Instagram. It is the social media platform that has allowed me to befriend designers I have long admired and more importantly, I have been exposed to individuals with unique perspectives I would have never known without the platform. One of the individuals I am thankful for finding is Annika Zetterman, (instagram) a Landscape based out of Sweden. Thanks to Instagram, I was given a heads up about her new book, New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design. I am so thankful for her book since books on Scandinavian garden design are often not translated in English and are very difficult to get copies stateside. This combination makes learning about Nordic designers very difficult, but Annika is the liberator to us nordophiles.

 

New Nordic Gardens by Annika Zetterman, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodPhoto Credit © Annika Zetterman From New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman.

Scandinavian Garden design reflects the simplicity, quality and sustainability notability seen in the interior, product and fashion designs of the region. Materials are selected for long-term durability and connection to nature. Gardens are designed to be experiences from within, not just viewed from in doors or for the neighbors benefit. The New Nordic Gardens explains these innate Nordic principals while showcasing a vast collection of innovative applications that are all fresh and new projects that I have not seen before. You can see from my copy of the book in the intro image I have already marked dozens of pages for future reference.

 

Later this week I will have interview from Annika with all her favorite items. The book releases April 11, TODAY (well yesterday, technical difficulties yesterday)! (order on Amazon HERE). Here are a few image excerpts from the book, but I would highly recommend it to any designer or gardener looking to learn about  a true Nordic perspective in garden design.

New Nordic Gardens by Annika Zetterman, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodEnhancing the character of weak light

The light at noon is the most balanced light, appearing nearly white, while light in the early morning or afternoon can provide an array of color variations. Natural light changes frequently, and so gardens also change in their colors, often appearing extremely subtle in the characteristic low light of Scandinavia. This garden by Zetterman Garden Design, situated close to a bay in Värmdö, Stockholm, is enchantingly calm on a still day dominated by a beautiful, weak light.

Photo Credit © Annika Zetterman From New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman.

 

New Nordic Gardens by Annika Zetterman, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodTranquil sophistication

On late summer evenings we might finish the day with a swim. When adding water to a garden, with swimming pools and larger bodies of water in particular, consider how they will blend with the rest of the garden and the wider surroundings. Swimming pools are large and relatively solid in color, so choosing a tile, stone or liner that includes colors close to natural water bodies in the region will help the pool to blend in comfortably. This pool by Zetterman Garden Design in collaboration with Per Oberg Arkitekter in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden uses a mosaic containing greens and turquoises, conveying a feeling of tranquility and sophistication, and rests peacefully in the space.

Photo Credit © Annika Zetterman From New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman.

 

New Nordic Gardens by Annika Zetterman, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodSaltsjöbaden, Sweden

In summer Scandinavians like to do everything outside. We hang out laundry, move our indoor plants outside, chill in hammocks and share meals. Outdoor kitchens, built-in barbecues, pizza ovens, fish smokers and other cooking facilities are increasingly a normal part of our gardens. This black beauty in a garden by Zetterman Ggarden Design in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden is made from Danish brick, fired to withstand the cold winters, with its chimney standing tall like a sculpture perched on a cliff. A sloping sedum roof gives character to the oven, matching the small herb garden that sits in a pocket of the rock just below.

Photo Credit © Annika Zetterman From New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman.

A Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design by Jinny Blom

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A Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design by Jinny Blom, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I have long been an admirer of Jinny Blom’s garden designs for the juxtaposition of feeling like they have always existed while being fresh and reflecting the current excitement in garden design. When she hinted at writing a book via Instagram early last year (@Jinny.Blom), I made a mental note to pre-order on Amazon. I am honored she accepted my request to review the book on Thinking Outside the Boxwood, and as a result got to read the book cover to cover before everyone else!

 

The short of the review is, YES you should buy this book. But here is why –

 

Gardening books typically fall into one of three categories; coffee Table/portfolio, DIY and Textbook/Plant geek. Generally a DIY book is not useful to the professional and a textbook/plant geek book can overwhelm a pleasure gardener or novice. The Thoughtful Garden falls into none of these categories.

 

Even though the book is filled with beautiful images worth studying and appreciating, this is not a coffee table book for thumbing through passively. The images are supporting figures for illustrating a thoughtful breakdown of her process for creating gardens that draw out the natural beauty with consideration to place, time and structure. Jinny pulls back the curtain to share her process with an honest dialogue, like her limited use of grasses or her love of Hybrid Tea roses.

 

A Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design by Jinny Blom, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Jinny’s approach for creating a garden strongly highlights that gardens are more than just a collection of plants, with the first discussion on plant selection mentioned in chapter five. There is no chapter list to give the reader a cheat sheet to jump to a specific section, you need to read from beginning to end, for a gradual flow of the process woven between projects with time to pause between each topic to reflect before proceeding.

 

A Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design by Jinny Blom, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

The process is littered with sage advice and practical tips that you could easily highlight and return to again and again. Some examples include:

  • Gardens used every day should be close to the house.
  • Posh path ways can meander, but practical routes should be direct.
  • Structure is the necessary corset of the garden
  • ‘First we must destroy’ – with the junk removed it is possible to really see the value in what is left.
  • The details make all the difference to the serenity and quality of the end project
  • Large gardens need division in order to give them intimacy

 

A Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design by Jinny Blom, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This quote towards the end of the book is the best recap of Jinny’s philosophy and what you will learn from The Thoughtful Gardener –

“My fundamental feeling is that it is the structure of the garden – its walls, surfaces, routes, views, water, structural planting such as trees and shrubbery, topiary and hedges – that ultimately counts.”

 

The book release date is next week on March 16,  so pre-order your copy from  Amazon and follow Jinny on Instagram. Once you get a copy of the book, please let me know what you think and how our thoughts compare. I will also report if there are any USA book tour dates announced for this year.

 

Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap

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Well this is a long over due (about 6 months past) recap of the 2016 Perennial Plant Association Symposium this past summer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since this was a six day conference over the summer, we made it a road trip from Ohio up to Minneapolis with a few stops in Chicago and Wisconsin along the way. The trip alone was amazing and while I was attending the conference the family had a great time exploring the city and meeting up with us in the evening. (I shared stops in Chicago and the Olbirch Botanical Garden).

Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The Perennial Plant Symposium is the annual conference for the members of the Perennial Plant Association or PPA. The PPA is run by Dr. Steven Still and his wife Carolyn, both of which are retiring this year after years of creating an amazing association,  symposium and not to mention garden tours abroad. I enjoy this conference for the mixture of design professionals with the growers/plantsmen creating the new and unique varieties along with growing the best specimen. At this event you get to meet the folks that cultivate and hybridize the perennials and  grasses that we use in our gardens along with trailblazing unique methods for growing.  The wealth of knowledge and experience is second to none.  Truly the whos who of the ornamental plant world attend.

 

For the conference, it includes a trade show, classes, speakers and garden tours. Generally there are three tracks to choose from for those in the wholesale nursery trade, retail nursery trade and garden design. You are able to attend across sections based on the topics and speakers you are interested and tours between the three trade disciplines, with a final stop/meet up at the end of the day for the groups to reconvene. I did not take many photos during the classes or trade show, but did capture while on the tours and end of day meet ups. One of my favorite speakers was Jeff Epping , from Olbirch Botanical Garden who talked about the planting techniques of gravel gardens popularized by Beth Chatto.

GARDEN TOURS – DESIGN FOCUS;

No surprise I attended the design tours, which included public and private homes.TIP:  while on these tours, drop pins on your phone so you can return back to neat areas or nurseries to purchase more plants to take home (benefit of driving). A great end of day stop was at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We had a great time walking, driving and resting around the different areas and found the ornamental grass test plot that has different cultivars side by side to make it easy to compare size, color, shape, etc. I need to share that whole experience separately, especially the library.

Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 'Thicket' by weaver Kelly English at Lyndale Park Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium 2016 Recap, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

A Tour stop included Tangletown Gardens and a farm to table dinner at Tangletown Garden Farm outside Minneapolis. On our drive home we had a departing breakfast and stopover back at Tangletown and their restaurant, Wise Acre. One of the stops we made a stop and a return visit was to see Tangletown Gardens and eat at Wise Acre. Both our meals on the farm and at Wise Acer were delicious, and picked up a few plants to take home from the nursery.

Wise Acre and Tangletown Gardens A visit to Tangletown Gardens in Minneapolis, MN - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Birch trees in Containers at Wise Acres, in Minneapolis, MN - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comA visit to Tangletown Gardens and Wise Acres in Minneapolis, MN. Birch log and greenwall screening used to cover utilities - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comA visit to Tangletown Gardens in Minneapolis, MN - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comTangletown Gardens, Minneapolis, MN - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comField to table dinner with the PPA at Tangletown Gardens Farm, Minneapolis, MN - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comField to Table PPA Dinner at Tangletown Gardens Farm, Minneapolis, MN - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

When we arrived to Minneapolis, we spent time wondering around the downtown shopping and eating. The bummer was the day we where to spend exploring neighborhoods and leisurely driving to Minneapolis included heavy rain, so we did not get to explore outside of a return visit to Tangletown Gardens at breakfast at Wise Acres.

Edible Curb Plantings seen in downtown Minneapolis, MN - More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

I just returned from a long weekend in Lexington, KY and am reminded how traveling (no matter how short the distance) is a great reboot and inspiration revitalizer. This year the PPA symposium will be in Denver CO with all the details released earlier this week on speakers etc. Visit http://ppadenver.com for details and to register.

February Garden Events 2017

G A R D E N S, Garden Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

I wanted to update with a few new events on the Garden Calendar in February. These are all open to the public and I am sure tickets will sell out so if interested, order early. Please, if you know of any other great events I should share, please let me know. I am working on editing my PPA conference photos for a post early next week.

 

Madoo Conservancy – Jinny Blom, Changing Nature: Towards a New Landscape

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm

http:madoo.org/programs/lectures

I generally have bitter jealousy for anyone living near New York City for the speakers that come into the area. But for those with easy east coast travel,  Madoo Conservancy is having Jinny Blom speaking for the Madoo in Manhattan series. Jinny has a book releasing in March, so this speech will be a great preview. Jinny is also on Instagram (@jinny.blom) and is a good one to follow projects and travel.

You may pre-order her book HERE on Amazon.

 

 

Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) Horticulture Symposium – The Garden Reimagined

Saturday, February 11, 2017

http://www.imamuseum.org/hortsymposium2017

I remember kicking myself for missing this event last year, and this year I am going to miss it again. But I highly recommend anyone in the area make the trip to attend. Below is a listing of speakers and their topics, however the site link provides a lot more details. If you cannot make it in February to IMA, try to visit during the summer. We visited a few years back and it was a great trip for me and the kids with the park space  and gardens surrounding the museum.

ANDREW BUNTING – A Plant Lovers Guide to Magnolias: Celebrating the Queen of Blooming Trees

LISA ROPER – Evolution of the Gravel Garden: Design, Utilizing Photography, and Ruthless Editing

JOSEPH TYCHONIEVICH – Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style for Today’s Garden

CLAUDIA WEST – Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes

JONATHAN WRIGHT – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Finding Inspiration From the Past While Looking to the Future

 

 

Shaker Lakes Garden Club – Patrick Blanc

Tuesday, February 28, 2016

http://www.shakerlakesgc.org/new-blog/2016/11/16/save-the-date

Thanks to the Ohio Chapter of APLD for bring this event to my attention. The Shaker Lakes Garden Club is bringing in Patrick Blanc in February to speak on his vertical gardens and the presentation is open to the public (lunch afterwards only for club members). I am making the drive up to attend  with a few other APLD members and am excited to hear Patrick speak about his experiences and recent innovations in vertical gardening. I will report back from this event and share via Instagram (@nickmccland).

 

 

 

 

Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference Recap, 2016 Santa Fe

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As promised in my previous post of great conferences and events to attend in 2017, here my heavy pictorial recap of the 2016 Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) International Landscape Design Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This has taken longer than expected to post with image uploading issues, sorry for the delay. The conference was titled “The Art of Adaptive Design,” which Santa Fe was the perfect backdrop to manifest the theme. With an region that gets 14 inches of yearly landfall, dry rocky soils and strict architecture guidelines, landscapes in the area all follow the hand of mother nature first in their design. I was very naive about Santa Fe’s culture and artist community and was blown away by the artistry was incorporated into all the landscapes around the city and gardens we toured.

THE HOST CITY, SANTA FE

I am not an expect on Santa Fe, but what I experienced on my walking tours before, during and after the conference was filled with inspiration. The city is easy walk around around, meandering through parks and art studios.

Santa Fe Pollinator Box with rust patina from Thinking Outside the Boxwood

2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

THE CONFERENCE IN CLASS SESSIONS:

Here is a link to the conference attendee brochure, providing details on all the events, speakers and tours associated with the conference. I recommend reading to give you a better idea of the structure of the conference and more specific details on the sessions offered.  There were breakout sessions for Design, Water and Plants offering all the attendees a variety to topics and like minded to network. In the pre-conference activities I wish I attended was a Design Charette, where teams toured a site and worked on a sustainable design solutions to present back to the group. This is a great opportunity to work with peers and learn from other designers creative and problem solving processes.

Another great opportunity I had was to host a round table dinner to talk about social media in the landscape profession. These round table sessions allow designers to meet with board members and talk about different issues relating to our profession in a small, intimate and social setting. Our group had lively conversation and an amazing meal at Radish & Rye.

CONFERENCE TOURS:

Ok, now on to the photos. I will not bother with words for each image and let them speak for themselves, but over all the gardens we toured in Santa Fe were all so innovative. They each incorporated the transition between indoors and outdoors, used diverse materials outside of plants and 100% focused on a designs that are sustainable.  Featured below are images form private gardens, the Santa Fe Railyard, and the newly establish Santa Fe Botanical Garden.

 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood   2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood     2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood 2016 APLD Conference Recap, Santa Fe, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Planning 2017 – MUST ATTEND Garden Conferences, Tours and Events

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I just check the calendar and we are 90 days away from my son’s birthday. This date is a milestone because it’s when the majority of trees are flush with buds and spring is rushing in. The count down is on to get all the winter projects and planning complete before the crazy spring madness. One of my winter tasks is marking the calendar with all the professional conferences, tours and events and selecting which ones I am able to attend. These events are generally over the summer months, which are great for the tours but are also when I am busy with design, install and maintenance work. This means leaving work requires a lot of bang for your buck from these conferences/events Below is a list of my recommend conferences/tours to consider this year to help you inform you planning. I grouped into two sections; professional/trade conferences and open to the public events.

 

12 Events in 2017 Every Gardener Should Consider Attending, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCES

The following conferences are generally trade conferences and are significant commitments for both time and money, but are the best places for networking with fellow garden professionals in many different disciplines. For both the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and Perennial Plant Association (PPA) I will follow up in the next two blog posts with my recap from the 2016 events to provide more insight for what you can expect. The other items on my list I have either attended in the past or have heard great things about and am attempting to find a year I can attend. (NOTE: I attempted to make this post as information packed as possible and included links to content that may be removed as we get closer to the 2017 dates. Sorry in advance if any are removed since posting)

 

 

 

Garden Bloggers Fling

June 22-25, 2017 in the Greater Washington D.C. area

http://gardenbloggersfling.blogspot.com/

SOCIAL TAGS: #gbfling2016

This is an event I have not personally attended, but from more than one person heard great things about the fling. This past year they visited Minneapolis a few weeks before we went for the PPA Symposium and I got some great recommendations of places to eat and visit. The fling is created for garden bloggers, which is a diverse group ranging from hobbyists to professionals, writers and trades. This is a great event for continuing the connections afterwards through the established network of blogs. Check out THIS LIST of attendees from this past year for personal recaps of the event.

 

Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)

July 13-17, 2017 in Boston, MA

https://www.apld.org/events/

SOCIAL TAGS: #APLD16 and check out #APLD15 too

I have never been to Boston and I am so excited to get a behind the scenes tour of the best private gardens of the area this summer. I am a board member of APLD and truly believe in the benefit this organization and this conference provides to its members. This past summer I attended the Santa Fe conference (post to come next) and was blown away with the gardens we toured in a climate and terrain I was previously uneducated. At the conference with like minded design professionals, we toured, talked and learned about issues that relate to plant focused designers. I will be speaking this summer, and have had some insight from the planning committee that it exceed all expectations. Defiantly check out the social tags from #APLD16 in Santa Fe and #APLD15 from the previous year in DC, these give a great quick insight to what you can expect to see and who is attending.

 

Perennial Plant Association (PPA)

July 23-28, 2017 in Denver, Colorado

http://www.perennialplant.org/events

2016 SOCIAL TAGS: #PPAMN

I have attended the symposium many times, and this past year I was beyond honored to be a speaker. This is the event for plant geeks and folks in the nursery trade. You meet growers, designers, gardeners and nurserymen from all over the world and make connections that improve you as a horticulturist. The event is broken down between the growers/suppliers/nursery trades and the designers and gardeners in offerings for breakout sessions and tours, however you have constant ability to interact with all attendees. Dr. Steven Still, who runs the PPA was my professor and mentor at The Ohio Statue University and makes the PPA and all its events invaluable resources. (Just received an email that  Dr. Still’s is retiring this year and the 2017 Symposium will be his last.)

 

The Association of Garden Communicators (August 4-7 in Buffalo, New York)

https://gardenwriters.org/GWA-Events-Annual-Conference-Expo-2017

2016 Social Tags: #GWA2016

This is another conference I have not personally attended but am actively working to figure out when I can attend. This is a conference for the people who write about gardens; think newspapers, trade publications, bloggers and magazines. What I heard this conference does the best are tours that allow you to get amazing photos (no people, just beautiful gardens). Visit HERE from the 2016 event in Atlanta to get a feeling about the topics and speakers at the event, there are some really amazing speakers and topics covered.

 

 

 

PUBLIC GARDEN TOURS AND EVENTS

Here is just a short list of non-trade garden events anyone can attend that are very much worth adding to your calendar or at the very least watch on social media posts to pretend you where there. I know this only skims the surface of great events to attend over the year, and I am sure there are some amazing ones to discover (have any great ones please, let me know). I am sad that 2016 was the last year for the Antique, Garden & Design show at the Chicago Botanical Garden since I just learned how quickly I can get to Chicago.

 

Detroit Garden Cruise

Sunday July 16, 2017

http://thegardencruise.org/

This is a one-day, self-guided tour of selected gardens in the greater Detroit area designed by Deborah Silver of Detroit Garden Works and Branch Studios. The family and I have traveled up to Detroit for the event many different years and it is amazing. It is difficult to get photos without folks in the background because there is such great turnout. At the end of the tour add the cocktail reception back at Detroit Garden Works, which is a great way to reflect with others at the event and meet friends that also made the pilgrimage. This tour is guaranteed to be worth 100 times more than the price of admission and if you attend any of these shows/tours, make it this one. Here is a link from our 2014 TRIP.

 

Garden Conservatory Open Garden Days:

https://www.gardenconservancy.org/

Open Days run throughout the year, so visit their site or consider ordering the directory to mark the days and gardens you want to visit. Unfortunately, our area is lacking in open gardens and I am envious of anyone able to take advantage of this great resource. Instead I just order the book and read about and research the gardens listed, which is still a great resource for planning personal trips.

 

Philadelphia Flower Show

March 11 – 19, Philadelphia, PA

http://theflowershow.com/

For me this is the show that kicks off spring, coming just when I can no longer take the winter gloom. You enter the exhibit hall with the fresh smell of flowers and dirt helps remind not much longer till spring. The theme this year is “Holland” so I am interested to see what the display gardens do outside of tulip bulbs. My two favorite gardens from the past include the garden to launch Terrain (which I got to see in person) and Target’s display to re-launch Smith & Hawken. Check HERE to see the speakers in the Gardeners Studio (site stated will be posted mid-February). Outside the display gardens, I always enjoy speakers and a great speaker will push me to drive 6 hours just for the chance to meet them in person.

 

Northwest Flower show

February 22 – 26 in Seattle, WA

http://www.gardenshow.com/

West Coast folks also have a great one that starts early spring with the Northwest Flower Show. This show is known for its list of diverse speakers they bring to speak, just check out the list this year (HERE). This is another one that is on the bucket list-  which needs to get done soon since February is a great time to visit Seattle.

 

 Trade Secrets: (Sharon, CT)

May 13 – 14, 2017 in Sharon CT

http://www.tradesecretsct.com/

I have written about this event before, but have never been able to attend. This is a great event for both procuring specimen plants and garden ornaments (or maybe just appreciate valuable garden ornaments) and touring well-known gardens. Gardens on last years tour include the personal homes of Charlotte Moss, Carolyne Rohm and Michael Trapp.

While in the area, plan a visit to White Flower Farm. In the past their Great Tomato Celebration has been the same weekend as Trade Secrets, but have not found the 2017 date to confirm will align again this year. Two great events on Mothers Day Weekend, that would be a great way to treat any mom.

 

Hollister House, Garden Study Weekend

Have not found 2017 date, look for early September in Southbury, CT.

http://hollisterhousegarden.org/events/garden-study-weekend/#

This event just hit my radar and wonder what I missed all the previous years. They line up major speakers and help extend the whole weekend with tying with Garden Conservatory and open garden days, so helps make a trip to Connecticut more rewarding. HERE are details from last year’s event with information on the speakers and the breakdown of the day. After last year’s event there was sale of unique and rare plants that I love to attend and get something I did not even know I wanted.

 

Perennial Plant Conference (October 2017)

Mid October, Have not seen the official 2017 date. In Swarthmore, PA

http://www.perennialplantconference.org/index.html

This is an unsurpassed conference open to everyone that that is looking for a full day of world wide experts on perennials. I attended (and spoke) in 2015 and was blown away by my fellow speakers, those in attendance and the entire experience. I missed this past year due to work conflicts, but look forward to making this an annual conference to attend. Register early to make sure you get a spot because it will sell out. Also plan to spend a few extra days exploring the area visiting Longwood and Chanticleer gardens. No matter how many times you visit those gardens you always comeback inspired.

 

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

March 1 – May 29, 2017 in Orlando, FL

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-flower-and-garden-festival/

With two small kids, we don’t need many reasons to go to Disney, but I highly recommend going during the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, it aligns perfectly with school spring breaks. After having a backstage tour of the nursery and garden operations I was mesmerized with the craftsmanship of each topiary and planting bed. EPCOT is hands down my favorite park (Grand Marnier Slushy in Paris is my personal favorite drink), but how the park is transformed during the festival, and magically incorporates amusement, education and garden design into a family friendly event. I had the opportunity to be a speaker during the festival a few years ago and it was the best experience and so inspiring, I continue to look back at photos. (PS – closer to March I will share my photos for the festival, just realized I never posted).

 

Again this list could be a lot longer, but wanted to make sure the list included events I have attended, came highly recommended or  are on my wish list to attend. Please let me know if there are any other events I should add to my list and I will update with your recommendations.

-NICK

Olbrich Botanical Gardens – Madison Wisconsin

G A R D E N S, Garden Tours, Gravel, Landscape Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back in August, we made a family road trip out of attending the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) conference in Minneapolis, MN. On the drive up to the conference we made a stopover in Chicago at the Lurie Garden (See post HERE), and on the way home we stopped at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI and the Chicago Botanical Garden (I am lucky that the kids still enjoy visiting gardens as a vacation).

Olbrich Botanical Gardens, gravel garden - Madison Wisconsin, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Olbrich was a planned stop on the way home, however after hearing Jeff Epping, the Director of Horticulture at Olbrich, speak at the PPA conference, we left Minneapolis early to ensure we got ample time in the gardens. Our time was a little more compressed than planned with a Midwest storm approaching, but hands down one of the best botanical gardens I have visited.  The 16 acres features amazing rooms that transition you from different spaces almost disorientating your direction and allowing you be in awe of each different experience.

Jeff’s talk at the PPA conference was about the gravel gardens they have installed at Olbrich. The method involves planting hardy plants in a base of 3-5 inches of gravel to fend of weeds and provide a low-water lifelong solution. The plants will grow into soil below the gravel for water and nutrients, and the inches of gravel will prohibit weeds from growing. Overtime the plants will grow to cover the gravel for a dense planting. The requirements of the planting method require attentive watering while the roots mature to the soil level and vigilant removal of plant debris at cutback and while establishing. My first few photos here are of one of the four gravel gardens at Olbrich.

I have known of Olbrich for a few years and it was always on my list of place to visit and I am so happy my travels to me there.  Olbrich is a garden destination that needs to be high on your list.  For a plant nerd, design nerd, or just looking for a stroll in a beautful garden- it will not disappoint.  I hope you enojoy my photo journal!

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Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens

Bulbs, Fall, G A R D E N S, Gardens, Landscape Design, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Last spring I shared a perennial garden design featuring alliums from Longfield Gardens (Bountiful Blooms, you can order the collection here). That was during allium bloom time. Now that it’s allium planting time, I am sharing a second design. As I’ve shared before, I use alliums frequently for their cool color palette, deer resistance and unexpected texture. The two designs that I developed for Longfield Gardens are completely different. The first one, Beautiful Blooms, focused on color and lush blooms. This second one, Daring Forms, plays on textures. I used Giant Allium ‘Gladiator’ and Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’ in both designs, which showcases their versatility. All of the bulbs are available either separately or in pre-packaged in collections from www.longfield-gardens.com Articles on their website about these designs offer additional details, photos and more information about the plants.

Daring Forms collection available HERE, and additional article HERE

Bountiful Blooms collection available HERE, and additional article HERE.

 

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Inspiration: This garden weaves perennials, grasses and bulbs into a beautiful tapestry of changing colors and dynamic textures. The look is ethereal, but the plants are as tough as nails. This border will tolerate heat and drought, and requires very little maintenance. Planted among these easy-care perennials are three types of alliums, each with a different height, flower size and bloom time. They will be the crowning jewels in this contemporary garden design.

 

 

Implementing the Design:

With the last design I walked you through the planting process step by step. With this one, you’ll be able to follow along as we’re actually planting the perennials and bulbs. We will revisit the design over the course of next year so you can really see how all the plants will play with each other. A disclaimer is I only planted half of the design, making this only 9 feet x 10 feet compared to 18 wide.

 

WHEN TO PLANT:

The perennials in this design can be planted anytime between mid-spring (after the soil has warmed to 60+ degrees) through early fall. Whenever you plant, make sure to provide a consistent supply of water for the first few months so the plants are able to establish strong roots. Allium and crocus bulbs are only available for fall planting. You can purchase the bulbs in August or September, but wait to plant them until soil temperatures have cooled down, sometime between mid-October and the beginning of November. In mild years I have planted as late as Thanksgiving and have not had any issues. If you plant too early, the warmth of the soil can rot the bulbs.

 

 SELECTING PERENNIALS:

Giant Allium ‘Gladiator’, Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’, Allium stipitatum ‘Mount Everest’ Species Crocus ‘Romance’ and Giant Crocus ‘Yalta’ – You can order the bulbs in the beginning of August up until November, but shop early for best selection. When the bulbs arrive (see image below for how bulbs will arrive), store them in a cool, dry location until you are ready to start planting.

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Here is how my bulbs arrived from Longfield Gardens for planting. Keep bulbs in their bags until planting, once opened will be difficult to tell apart. Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

Artemisia ‘Fowls Castle’, Pentsemon ‘Dark Towers’ Beardtongue, Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’, Ajuga reptans ‘Binblasca’ Bugleweed, Stachys byzantine ‘Helen von Stein’ – Look for these at your local garden center or online suppliers like Longfield Gardens. Plants in 1-2 quart containers are fine. Larger sizes cost more and require more work planting.

When selecting plants, take a minute to pull the plant from the container and look at the root system. You want to see fresh, white roots. Typically, the later in the season you purchase, the greater the chance the plant will be root bound. You can still buy root bound plants, but you will need to cut/slice the roots around the edges and cut off the bottom “foot” (about an inch) to encourage new growth before placing in the ground.  If you don’t the “tease” the roots there is a chance the roots will continue to circle and not properly establish— this is called girdling.

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

Prepping for Planting:

When selecting the location for your border, look for a place that gets full sun. These plants will do great in a hot spot within your garden. Once you have your location, prep the bed by tilling or turning the soil and adding organic matter. I use leaf compost made from the previous year’s clippings, but you can purchase a similar product from your local garden center. A little goes a long way. If you amend your soil too much, you run the risk of having floppy plants later in the season. You want to make sure you are providing a well-balanced soil that drains well and has plenty of nutrients to help plants get established. If you’re unsure about the pH or nutrient levels in your soil, it wouldn’t hurt to start with a soil test. They’re available through garden centers or online services.

 

A handful of soil amendments to tilled into the soil prior to planting. you are looking to add this into the soil about 8-10 inches deep. Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

 

PLANTING:

STEP ONE: When you have your bed prepped and plants purchased, use the design as a guide for placing the plants on the bed – still in their containers. This allows you to work out spacing before you start to dig. Begin in the center of the bed and work out to the sides. If your bed is narrower or deeper than our 10 ft x 18 ft design, this will give you a chance to make some changes in spacing.  DO NOT PLACE OR PLANT THE BULBS YET, this will be the last step.

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

STEP TWO:  Once you finalized your placement, you can start planting. If your design is against a building, start at the back and work forward. Leave all the plants in their place and move one at a time as you dig the hole, then place the potted plant into its hole. Once all holes are dug, you can go back to un-pot, cut roots (see up in selecting plants about root bound plants) and formally plant. This method limits the exhaustive up and down strain on your back.

 

 

Here are the plants still in containers in their holes. You can see that this method sees the least disruption to the original placement. Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Here is a before and after of a root bound plant when preparing for planting. You can see all the white roots wrapping around the soil. In the second photo I have used my fingers to loosen and break the roots around the sides and used by soil knife to cut off the foot or bottom inch of soil. This step will help the roots travel into the new soil. Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

 

STEP THREE: When you have all the potted perennials planted, give each plant a deep watering. Proper moisture is the key to establishment. You can use an overhead sprinkler or water by hand. Either way, I always do the finger test. Stick your finger in the soil, if soil sticks to it, you are fine. If not, it’s too dry and you need to water more. If you plant the potted perennials in spring or summer, stop at this point and add the bulbs in the fall.

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

STEP FOUR: Referring to the design, start by placing your bulbs on top of the soil as you did with the plants. This way you can make sure you are happy with your spacing and have everything spread out. The ‘Purple Sensation’ and ‘Mount Everest’ bulbs should be mixed into the back third of the garden.  The crocuses are planted in groups of 4-5 bulbs keeping the ‘Romance’ within the ‘Helen von Stein’ and the ‘Yalta’ within the Bugleweed.

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

STEP FIVE: Once you have laid out all the bulbs, pick a corner and work across the bed, planting as you go. For each allium, dig a hole that’s 3 times the depth of the bulb and a little bigger than the width of the bulb. Place a sprinkle of bone meal in the bottom of the hole as a starter fertilizer, add the bulb and cover. For the crocuses, dig 8-inch diameter holes that are 3 times the depth of the bulbs. Add 4-5 crocus bulbs and cover. Once all the bulbs are planted, you can mulch the bed with chopped up yard leaves (optional).

 

Planting the Allium Bulbs: (note the depth of my soil knife in the first photo to showcase how deep you need an allium hole)Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Planting Crocus Bulbs:Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Here is the completed planting after the bulbs have been planted, but prior to covering of leaf mulch for the winter.  Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

MAINTENANCE:

The first year your garden will look good, the second year will be better, and the third year and beyond will be the real pay off for all your hard work. Consistent watering is key the first year, especially throughout the hot summer months. Make sure to remove any weeds that try to take root in the border. After a few years, the plants will be large enough to choke out most weeds.

 

I am a gardener who doesn’t cut back my perennials in the fall, because I like to enjoy their winter structure. That being said, if some plants are looking pretty gnarly, feel free to clean them up a bit. Come spring, we cut back the perennials for a fresh start and mulch the beds with 1½ to 2” of compost or chopped leaves. In this case, more is not better. We keep the mulch layer thin so as not to smother the base of the perennials. This organic matter will also feed your garden for the year so no addition fertilizer is really needed. By the second year, the perennials will be well rooted and you’ll only need to be concerned about watering during periods of drought. If you do water, make sure you are soaking the soil to encourage the roots to go deeper into the soil.  Shallow watering will encourage shallow roots.

 

 

 

ALLIUM and CROCUS MAINTENANCE:

The following spring, keep your eyes open for the bulbs breaking through with the rest of your perennials. The crocuses will bloom first in early spring followed by the alliums in late spring. The idea of this design is that once the bulbs have finished blooming, emerging perennials will cover up the dying bulb foliage. I am a big fan of leaving the dried heads of the alliums to add visual interest as far into the summer as possible. I generally end up pulling the dry stocks out come late July. You can also hang and dry the allium heads to make stunning dried arrangements.

 

I will share photos of the garden growing all next year and beyond so you can see how the design is expressed in living, growing, changing plants. Please let me know if you have any specific questions, I will be glad to answer. Please visit Longfield Gardens for additional information and to purchase the bulbs in used the design HERE.

DOWNLOAD THE PDF: daring-forms_allium_garden_design

 

Also, there are some other great bloggers sharing about allium bulbs throughout the week for you to check out:

Daring Forms with Longfield Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood