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.
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
The other weekend my father-in-law gifted me with a copy of Kenneth Lynch & Son’s Garden Ornaments catalog from the 1970s. It is 176 pages of garden furniture, ornaments, containers, fountains, and statues made in cast stone, iron and lead. Tucked inside was a reprinted article from the September, 1951 issue of The Saturday Evening Post about the company founder, Kenneth Lynch. Trained as a blacksmith, Lynch was known for his work in restoring and recreating metal armor and motto “if its made of metal, Kenneth Lynch can make it.” He expanded his design offering from purchasing the cast off molds, dies and patterns from other metal smiths marginal lines.
On the left is my 1970s catalog. On the right is the catalog/book I received when I contacted Kenneth Lynch & Sons for a copy of their current catalog. There are some products that are listed in both, but both feature items not included in the other. If you are interested in their products you really need to request a catalog or download the PDF version. The website does not provide great photo examples of their work outside the catalog.
The Saturday Evening Post article gave a great framework on the company’s history and transformation. It includes the great lesson to always say yes and have a “can do attitude,” you never know where that will take you. My favorite anadote is how he had a police officer help him steal a one of a kind sample bench for the 1939-40 World’s Fair so he could copy measurements and make molds to help win the work fabricating the 800 benches needed for the fair. Also, he did the work within the two week deadline.
Here is the drawings for the Worlds Fair Bench, which is also used in New York City Parks. If interested you can still order this bench design.
Even if you are not thinking of purchasing from the company, the catalogs give you great inspiration for design work and containers. Here are some detailed shots from inside the catalog of favorite pages.
A lot of these tables do not appear in the current catalog, but I like the legs on the wrought iron legs. Simple design without a lot of extra flourish.
I gather planters were not a favorite product since there were just a few pages of containers. What they do offer are a lot of different shapes and scale.
Showcase of the detailed banning options for lead containers.
The animal shapes of the kids playground equipment are amazing and great reference for making some almost mid century topiary shapes.
The straight lines of the chairs on the bottom left feel modern and contemporary. Even the scroll own on the loungers are unique and different from current items on the market.
Here are some photos from the current catalog of products. You can see the catalogs are set up much of the same way with black and white photos.
Their current catalog has beautiful cisterns that would great in formal spaces or used as garden planters. The catalog also includes cast stone and lead animal statues; deer, dogs, birds and the more exotic kangaroo or hippo.
I would recommend the 1970s (or 60’s) book for any garden designer for creative reference. I found a few listed on eBay for anyone interested:
- 1966 Garden Ornaments Catalog, by Kenneth Lynch & Sons – currently $50, Buy it Now.
- 1961 Garden Ornaments Wholesale Catalog – Kenneth Lynch & Sons – Currently $45, Buy it Now
- Garden Ornament an Encyclopedia from Kenneth Lynch & Sons – currently $16 (this is a bound book compared to my copy, and looks to have different images)
Here are links to the Kenneth Lynch & Sons company information. I was not able to find a lot of color photograph examples of their products nor have I ever used their products.
If any one is interested in the full article from The Saturday Evening Post, I can scan the article and send you a pdf. It was very entertaining and you appreciate all that Lynch accomplished in his life.