Designer’s Block- Ground Plain Inspiration

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This is the time of the year when I need to be on my game, the most creative, innovative…..  However this the point in the year when I feel most removed and beaten down by the winter.  To combat this “Designer’s Block” I peruse through images…. Pinterest, Instagram, and pictures from my travels.  Garden visiting is so vital to my creative being.  A change of scenery goes a long way into the generation of ideas.  I cherish the images I am able to capture on these journeys.

Today the focus is on the ground plain.  Paving is such a great way to set yourself as a designer.  I pride myself on my patterns and schemes I work into my designs.  Yes, I am a complete plant nerd- but I also love architecture and pattern.

Please enjoy images from my travels and I hope you find inspiration the pattern…..Maybe it will help to get you out of a funk, like it did me!

Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

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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!

Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Chanticleer- A Pleasure Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

FOUND – Ina Garten’s Firebowl

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FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 (Image from The New York Times article – here)

 

I have long admired Ina Garten’s home and gardens from the articles published and images shared. I recently caught the tail end of her cooking show and was caught by the scale of her firebowl.  At 68 inches wide, the bowl is very wide (bigger than my dinning room table), but it is also elevated just below your waist thanks to a three-legged stand.  The scale and height makes it so unique and complements the scale of the sounding architecture and landscape. The height & size are great for cocktail gatherings where people mingle compared to lounging around encircle.  I was able to locate the same bowl via FireFeatures.  The specifications denote 68NL Mild Steel Firebowl with three-legged stand, without the stand is about $4,300.  Not necessarily a price point for everyone, but gets you thinking of a different scale/height to use a firebowl.

 

FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodFOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I attempted to find some images of the bowl with people around for scale, and this photo via Foodnetwork.ca episode guide was as close as I could get. 

 

 

In reviewing the FireFeatures website, I found another project with a large bowl that included a mixed branch insert.  Intrigued by the surrounding gardens, I located additional photos of the project.  The property design is attributed to Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and Brian E. Boyle, however I am unsure if they complete the garden design. I found the additional photos of the project via Yatzer.

FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

The Barefoot Contessa episode I watched also included lighting designer Grey Yale, whose designs are featured throughout Ina’s home. He created the nighttime dinner lighting and used large helium balloons filled with lights flying over the barn patio area in addition to party lights in the trees. Despite fruitless efforts to find a photo of the party, I did find some 36’ white round balloons and LED balloon lights  via Amazon you could use to recreate the look.  I am going to give it a try, just need the right occasion to celebrate.