Garden Inspiration – Chanticleer Gardens

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I have been absent all summer from blogging, but am back with a post crammed with garden porn to make up for lost time.   In mid-October I was outside Philadelphia speaking at the Perennial Plant Conference hosted by Chanticleer Garden, Longwood Gardens, and Scott Arboretum (Swarthmore College).  Put it on your calendar next year!  The lineup of speakers was second to none- excluding yours truly!   What amazing event!  Make a trip of it and go next year- you will not be disappointed!  The day after the conference the fellow speakers and I had the opportunity to tour “America’s Garden Capital”, which is the greater Philadelphia area.

I have had some amazing opportunities to visit gardens across North America and Europe and true-be-told nothing gets me going like Chanticleer Garden.  There is something about the place….maybe it is the merging of art and horticulture?  Whatever it is, it is horticulture at its highest level.  It has been a few years since I last visited, which was on a hot July day. This time it was different, summer had come to an end and autumn was setting in.  The plants and borders were at their height of maturity but had not yet given up the ghost to the cool temperatures.  We were walked the garden with a few of the gardeners: Dan Benarcik, Lisa Roper, Jonathan Wright, and Bill Thomas (Executive Director & Head Gardener).   As we walked through the garden we were able to talk shop with them- stuff all gardeners love to do…..To hear their insight, their struggle, and see their successes made the garden that much more special to me.  The garden is ever evolving and pushing the envelope of what we know as gardening.  If you haven’t visited- go!  If you have gone- go again!  If you can’t make it- buy their new book from Timber Press… Both beautifully written and shot!  I know I am not the only gardener out there hoping this day would finally come!

The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from ChanticleerBy The Chanticleer Gardeners and R. William Thomas, Timber Press 2015

The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer By The Chanticleer Gardeners and R. William Thomas Photographs by Rob Cardillo. Timber Press 2015. Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This was an amazing opportunity to talk horticulture with fellow plant geeks and use my camera which has spent way too much time in the closet over the summer.  There is much more to come from this trip soon in up coming posts.  In the mean time enjoy some garden porn!  And thank you Geoff, from Utah, for your words of encouragement!

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Garden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo

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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.Garden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- boxwood, nasturtium, and garden mums Garden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- Taxus topiary and boxwood hedgesGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- Axial symmetry and grand fountainsGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- Hornbeam FramingGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- Hornbeam avenue Garden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- Boxwood and Orangery Garden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- Beech hedgeGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood- Beech hedgeGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodGarden Inspiration: Palace Het Loo, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Millstones in the Garden

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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.) 

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 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.

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

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.

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Martha Stewart's Bedford, CT Home

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Martha Stewart's Bedford, CT Home

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)

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Miriam's River House Designs

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)

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Janice Parker Landscape Design

Janice Parker Landscape used a millstone fountain in the center of this landscape. (Image Janice Parker Landscape’s website, here)

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Austin TX

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

 

 

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

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.

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

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.

 

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodMillstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 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)