What’s in season at Red Twig Farms – Pussy Willows


We have been harvesting pussy willow branches from Red Twig Farms. We have been selling bunches to our local Whole Foods and at Rose Bredl in the Short North. The selection we have available is a French variety with a slight pink tint, and next year we will have a few more varieties for sale.


We are taking photos of the stems in our home and it has been really nice have buckets of pussy willows in the house reminding us spring is on the way.

I stumbled across this back issue of Martha Stewart Magazine with an article on different types of willows and how to bring the cut stems indoors.

Disclaimer: my wife is both stylist and photographer on the images above.

Our trip to Nashville

Landscape Design, Uncategorized

This past weekend I made the 6 hour drive to Nashville with the family to visit the Nashville Antique & Garden Show. The show was one reason for going the others were to get out of Ohio for a bit and to explore Nashville. Here is a recap of the trip:


Nashville Antique & Garden Show

We just visited the show portion and did not make it to any of the speakers. I was disappointed in the show garden portion. There were really only four displays and some were better than others. The vendors with the garden antiques had some very interesting and unique items, but the majority of the show was focused on the antiques with some amazing items. We had a great time, but I would not go for the display gardens. Nashville antique and garden show

These items were from Thistle. which was located right when you walked into the show. She had a great interpretation of some common items like the wire hay feeders and the sheets of aged zinc. She will also be at the Chicago Antique & Garden Fair so if you are attending look for her booth.

I did not catch the name of this vendor, but they had a great selection of weathered garden items. Note the lichens on the faux bois benches.

I also did not get the name on this vendor but had a great presentation of the zinc tubs and dolly pots. The over sized lanterns were also amazing.

This was the display garden designed by Page | Duke (forgot the installer). Each garden was a tribute to a fabric by Albert Hadley. It was a great design, but I wanted to meet the designers and installer teams.

This display garden was designed by Anne Daigh and was an amazing interpretation of the Hadley pattern inspiration.

This was an interesting paving example from the garden by Kathi Medlin Gilleland, Brian Gilleland and Alfredo Varela.


Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

Even though it is February, we took an afternoon to explore Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. The weather was perfect and from the house you could see far across the valleys. We had a great time and were even able to find some Hellebores blooming.


Landscape Design in Nashville

Question for anyone that lives in Nashville. While driving around Belle Meade and the surrounding area we were expecting to see some amazing landscapes with the grand homes. There were lots of large old boxwoods but very few perennial beds. The climate is perfect for perennials, but they just did not exist. We even drove down to Brentwood to the newer homes and no really amazing landscape designs. Are there any amazing gardens we were missing? We found these two below in Belle Meade, but they were the exception.


We had a wonderful time, we even extended our trip an extra day so we could see more. We had great food including Burger Up, popsicles from Las Paletas, and even tried HOT Chicken.  We will be going back another time, either in the spring or fall.

Outdoor Kitchen Best Pratices


On Wednesday we participated in a webinar on outdoor kitchen best practices with Russ Faulk from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.  You never know how webinars are going to go, but this was very insightful and well presented. I highly recommend to anyone thinking of installing an outdoor kitchen to watch if offered again (watch the Kalamazoo website).

(Image from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet)

Outdoor kitchens share the same characteristics as their indoor partners; They provide a gathering point (food preparation always pulls in guests) and sense of occasion making meals outdoors memorable. Like indoors, outdoor kitchens require a lot of planning and thought. Questions need to be addressed like task lighting, maintenance, distance from the indoor kitchen, distance from existing utilities (gas, water and electric), ventilation  and prep zones. The list is very long, but when designed correctly can have the same ROI as indoor kitchen renovations.

This kitchen in the first two photos was featured in the May, 2011 House Beautiful Magazine as the Kitchen of the Month. It was designed by Kris Horiuchi of Botanica Fine Gardens LTD with consulting from Kalamazoo. The kitchen is located in Nantucket, which has salty air and harsh winters so you know it was designed to withstand the elements. The stainless steel cabinets are watertight and the field stone and granite counters are naturally weather proof.


There are many different methods to building an outdoor kitchen; modular, kit and custom. There are also a lot of options of what to include based on needs and access to existing resources. Below are some of the items you might want to consider in an outdoor kitchen:

Fridge, Lighting, Sink, Pizza Oven, Big Green Egg, Grill, trash

(One of the ah has I had during the presentation was to account for trash containers. Why would you build this beautiful kitchen then have gusts throw their trash away in a dingy trash can. Plan for trash and have it concealed and sized for your planned entertaining style.)


A big decision in an outdoor kitchen is the location; out in the open or under a structure. Both have their pros and cons and I think are all based on personal taste and the location of the kitchen (both in landscape and geographical). Below are some of the kitchens from my Pin Board, you can follow this board as I will keep it updated as I find new images.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


As you can see there are a lot of ways to interpret outdoor kitchens; from design, placement, functions and finishes. I think this just shows how many decisions and forethought goes into installing an outdoor kitchen, but can result in a place that everyone remembers and gathers towards.