Today in Central Ohio the temperatures are in the teens and the landscape it an abyss of white and grey. Since I was feeling uninspired by my surrounding- I am sure that others may be in my shoes. Over the years I have been very fortunate to visit gardens all over North America and Europe, call it a pilgrimage or a quest for inspiration. One garden that inspired me was Palace Het Loo situated in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The Dutch Baroque garden, often called the ‘Versailles of Holland’. Though the gardens are similar to the Palace of Versailles , the gardens were not designed by Le Notre, rather his nephew Claude Desgots. The garden is formulated on the Baroque style of perfect symmetry, axial layout with radiating gravel walks, parterres with fountains, basins and statues. If you are planning a summer trip to Holland I would recommend adding this to your stop. I toured the gardens for about 3 hours and that seemed to be enough time. Enjoy the photos and I hope you find inspiration.
Last year we completed a project that included a small water feature for the family’s dog to take a quick drink when outside. The feature needed to be low, include moving water and do the best at keeping the dog’s paws from getting soaked. The solution we designed was an old millstone resting over river rocks with water bubbling up through the center of the stone and falling down the sides into a reservoir below. This was not designed to be a large focal point of the garden, but was highly visible when on the patio space so had to find the right sized millstone. (I have no photo to share since we have not photographed the project yet, but will update the post once we shoot.)
This is a collection showcases the variation millstones can be found from English Garden Antiques (here).
Millstones are fairly easy to find from back when milling of corn and wheat was done locally both on the larger and small scale, creating many different sized stones. Searching your local stone companies or Craigslist will produce lots of options. We found our stone over Craigslist in Southern Ohio as part of a the matched pair. Good key terms to search are; millstone, mill stone, antique.
The above two images are from a local stone suppliers (Lones Stone) selection of mill stones. Search your local stone suppliers to see what options are available.
The stones are versatile for use the landscape given the variety of sizes and thicknesses. They can be used as fountains, stepping stones, in paving, stone walls, table, bench or focal art. Here are some examples for creative inspiration.
The above two millstones are from Martha Stewart’s Bedford Farm. These are each incorporated into the hardscape areas. (Images from Martha’s Blog here)
This garden designed by Miriam’s River House Designs, features a millstone at the center of a garden designed by the principles of a circle. (Image and more of the design found here)
Janice Parker Landscape used a millstone fountain in the center of this landscape. (Image Janice Parker Landscape’s website, here)
This millstone is used as a bench and gathering location in the personal garden of Christine Ten Eyck in Austin Texas. The image is from here and you can see more of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects work here.
Here are large millstone is used as a table in the garden in the harsh salt air of Nantucket, MA. This garden is designed by The Garden Design Company, and you can find more of their work here. Image from Veranda Magazine here.
This image is from Ohio Barns (here) which showcases the old millstones from the Weisenberger Mill (near Lexington, KY) used in stone walls.
Another great option to use are antique stone well caps. These have the same central hole, however are typically square or even more irregular. To help in search terms try well cap, well cover, stone and I include vintage and antique to weed out anything faux stone.
The above are two examples of full slab well covers, the top one is from Central Main Stoneworks (Here) and the second if off Craig’s List near Cleveland Ohio. It is 64 x 48 x 8.5 inches of Sandstone. I love the moss covering the top and would be amazing used in any landscape. I am half tempted to buy and hoard it until I have a design to use it, or honestly my house. (here)
In early November, I traveled down to Orlando for the APLD 2014 International Design Conference (working on a recap post). On my last day I killed time walking around Downtown Disney before my flight home. The area is going through a phased redesign to become Disney Springs with completion in 2016. One of the new spaces already opened included Starbucks. The Starbucks owned store opened in June and is LEED certified like the previously opened store in Downtown Disney Anaheim. Apart of the LEED certification, the store features reclaimed materials, but of more interest to me is the green roof installed by Metro Verde.
This implementation is interesting because it features a retail company embracing green roofs on the individual store location level. The store’s green roof is 1,800 square feet, the roof is at most a tenth of the size to the other recent green roofs installed by retail giants like Walmart (40,600 sq feet in 2013) and Whole Foods (17,000 sq feet in 2013). The installation shows a commitment to the impact small scale incorporation of green spaces can have on the customers.
Even though customers cannot directly interact with the roof plantings, the grasses can be viewed from the ground and are a part of the full sensory experience. The roof also features LED lighting, which allows the plantings to be visible both day and night. Metro Verde calculated the green roof produces enough oxygen per day for 4 people, not a huge impact environmental. However thinking about the swells of visitors the store will receive and exposure to plants used as key element of design, not after thought is pretty cool for a plant geek like myself.
- Dwarf Fakahatchee, Tripscaum floridnum
- Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus
Another interesting part of the Starbucks green roof story is the use of their own coffee grounds in the soil medium at both the nursery growing the grasses and in the continued care of the plants. This story was apart of Starbucks’ press release and marketing within the store. It makes me smile because of all the bags of used coffee grounds (Grounds for Your Garden) I have carted from our Starbucks and place the garden beds at home.
Right next to the Starbucks was another key plant area, a reincarnation of New York City’s High Line. Without knowing anything about this project, the finished area completely evoked the feeling of the High Line. Once fully completed the area will be home to food trucks, seating and great vista viewing. Over all it will be interesting to watch as Disney and all the partners help transform the new Disney Springs area.
Here are some great Links on the Project for more details:
- Greenroofs.com (Background on the project with vendors, project details, etc)
- Greenroof.coffee (website devoted to this specific project with great background)
- Starbucks.com (press release and additional photos on the project)
If you want to read more about implementing a green roof at home check out:
By Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little and Edmund C. Snodgrass