Mondern Window Box Inspiration

annuals, C O N T A I N E R S

Today is an other winter day stuck in the office….As I look outside the Ohio landscape is particularly dreary and grey today.  This week the sun has made an appearance a total of about 4 minutes….  Ah spring can not get here soon enough.  So for about the last half an hour I decide to get lost in some pictures form this past summer.  I came upon a picture of a simple / modern window box that caught my eye as I was wondering around the majestic streets of Bruges in Belgium.  Two plants Festuca glauce – the silvery blue grass and Oxalis ‘Burgundy Bliss’ the burgundy trailer with yellow flowers .  After looking at the combo for a minute there are couple design qualities I like about it.  First, the texture- the fine blades of the Festuca and the ovate foliage and flowers are great companions.  Second, the complementary colors, thought they are not a perfect match the color go great together.  Lastly, this window box is low maintenance!  In an average summer in the Midwest if you water this combo twice a week that would be more that enough to thrive.  I do not imagine when this home owner planted their window box they would think it would be the subject of blog post- but I do believe that there is beauty through simplicity and this is a prime example to me.


Garden Tours – Heerenhof Garden, Holland

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I am catching up with sharing the gardens I toured back in August during my trip to Holland and Belgium. First is the Heerenhof Garden or H House, located in the lush area of Maatricht, Holland. The gardens offer a fresh perspective on design and what can be done in a relatively small and narrow space.  The space offers dramatic lines of an ultra-modern glass house and framework of a garden created by the home owners; a dancer and actor turned landscape architects.  The gardens are divided into several linked rooms with different themes or in this case maybe scenes influenced by the couple’s theater background.  The drama is further reinforced as you walk into the garden where you are greeted by the couple pair of white peacocks which freely roam the garden.  The homeowners share an interest in modern art and the sculptures placed around the landscape create a strong presence of their aesthetic.  As you wonder the garden and walk through the stacked rooms you are transported from a formal modern theme, to a mixed cottage feel, and back into a hedge topiary sitting garden.  If you are in the area and looking for a place to stay the couple offers a chalet at the back of the garden you can rent for the night or two.

I love the contrasting shape of the glass sculpture with the foliage of the Chilean Rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria)

The vertical aspects of the garden a really add that extra element of beauty through form.

I mean come on, how cool is the corten giraffe….and flanked by the Upright Irish Yew (Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata)

The garden design in vastly green however the selective addition of the burgundy / board foliage of the

Red Abyssinian Bananna (Ensete ‘Maurelii’ adds a dramatic punch.  Not-to-mention really helps the set-off the different shades of green.

Garden Events for 2013


The slower pace of the winter months allows me time to plan for the coming year, which is normally busy from March to December.  Every year I make notes of the events and shows I want to attend, and work hard to step away to go. Below is a list of the items on my calendar this year. If you have any other recommendations please let me know! Most of my list is local or on the east coast and I would love to know more about what is going on out west.

February: Nashville Antiques & Garden Show (Feb 8 – 10)

I have never been to this show or Nashville, but the time of year is perfect for me to travel and get a dose of horticulture during the grey Ohio winter. The show is a combination of antiques and gardening with the theme being a tribute Interior Designer, Albert Hadley . I am interested in the lectures by Flower School New York and Gil Schafer (see my post on his home here). I am also very interested in seeing the display garden of and talking with Page|Duke, a landscape architecture firm out of Nashville that I admire design aesthetic.


March: Philadelphia Flower Show (March 2 – 10)

I was able to attend this event back in 2008, just before Terrain opened outside Philadelphia and was able to see their design talent at work with their display garden.  The display gardens are over the top, much larger than what you see at local home and garden shows (See Target’s display for Smith & Hawken in 2011). If you appreciate flowers roll in the garden this is a great show to visit.


April: Chicago Antique & Garden Show (April  19 – 21)

I have also never been to this show, however has been on my list for a few years (April is busy time for landscapers). This year I am especially excited to go to hear Charles Stick’s lecture, his work is so thoughtful yet simple (See Garden & Gun Article here). There will also be five display gardens created by local landscape architecture/design firms and a very long list of vendors with booths.


May: Rural Society Antique & Garden Show (May 3- 4) 

This is a local show in Mont Vernon, Ohio that takes place on a farm (see portions of country living article here) featuring garden and antiques that is wonderfully edited and at Midwestern prices. (Almost don’t want to share this and keep it a secret) It takes place twice a year (May & October). I recommend you be there Friday when they open, the good stuff goes fast!  After visiting the show, I recommend traveling to visit the beautiful campus of Kenyan College down the road.


May: RSH Chelsea Flower Show (May 21 -25)

I will someday go to the Chelsea Flower Show and see the best designers in the world display their talent in the display gardens in the pinnacle of garden design events.  I am beyond jealous to anyone that gets to attend and spend hours scouring the web to see others images from the show to visit vicariously through them. This year is the centenary of the show and will have Roger Platts design the main show garden.  Look for these gardens to influence the design trends in the months and years to come.


July: Garden Cruise, Detroit Garden Works (July 21 Tentative)

This event is a tour of the gardens designed by Deborah Silver of Detroit Garden Works in which proceeds benefit Greening of Detroit.  On this tour you will get to see some of the work showcased on Deborah’s blog, Dirt Simple.  If you make the drive for this event I also recommend visiting  the Kresge Foundation Headquarters (see my post on a visit here).


July: The Perennial Plant Association Symposium (July 21 – 27)

It was with the PPA that I went on my Belgium trip this past year and is a great organization I recommend for anyone that is a plant geek like me.  Each year the PPA’s symposium travels across North America to showcase the best of perennials in both the lectures and in the garden tours. This year’s event is in Vancouver, another area on my must visit list. I would love to see the gardens they have lined up for the tours this year.


September: Country Living Fair, Columbus Ohio. (Sept 13 – 15)

Last year was my first trip to the Country Living Fair and had a wonderful time listing to lectures, touring the booths and tasting yummy local food (the year before lectures included the Fabulous Beekman Boys).  I was even able to find a new local grower for unique and specimen trees.  I am glad they continue to bring this event back to Ohio. You can also visit the event in Texas and Georgia; keep an eye on the Country Living website for more information.


 Year Round –  Open Garden Days with The Garden Conservancy in your area.

If you cannot make it to any of the items listed above, check out the Garden Conservancy’s website to see if there will be open garden days in your area for you can attend. This is a great way to be inspired by gardens  that you can translate within your same zone and climate.