What to grow?

Advice, C O N T A I N E R S, Central Ohio, container, Inspiration, Landscape Design, McCullough, New Albany, Redtwig Farms | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

January is the month of seed catalogs and research for what to grow in the upcoming seasons. I keep a running list of plants that caught my interest the previous year, thumb through books and review Pinterest to pull together my order list. We have the benefit of a greenhouse and production fields that allow us to grow more unique varieties or nurture plants for a longer period to get items that are not easily available.


Cut Flower Inspiration:

I am currently researching what to grow on Red Twig Farms for the local flower markets. Our production fields currently produce peonies, dahlias, french pussy willows, alliums, ornamental branches and berries. We are looking for items more grand than zinnias and sunflowers, but will continue the cut from the garden feeling. My search for options normally starts on our bookshelf and our collection of flower specific books. Our cut flower specific books are a lot smaller than the garden design and plant tomes, and includes some rather older books as well as recent releases.

books to inspire growing flowers


Seedheads in the Garden. By Noel Kingsbury

Lee Bailey’s Country Flowers. By Lee Bailey

Bringing Nature Home. By Ngoc Minh Ngo

Flowers Rediscoveredby Madderlake, Tom Pritchard, Billy Jarecki, and Allen Boehmer

Flower Design. By Bridget von Boch

Living Color. By Paula Pryke

A Passion for Flowers. Carolyne Roehm

To Have & To Hold. by David Stark and Avi Adler

Fresh Cuts. Ken Druse, Edwina Van Cal and John M. Hall

The Flower Recipe Book. Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo




Also under the work on Red Twig Farms, we are growing specimen trees and shrubs. While I was in Belgium I was inspired by the nurseries and how in land much smaller than what we have, were growing amazing trees that they spent years training. This summer I ordered a truck of young Carpinus betulus  (European Hornbeam) that I am in the process of training in shapes and allee forms. I am looking forward to the time and training that goes into creating the art forms. I am working on a post about this tree as a Plant ID, which will include all the tree’s details.



Plants for Container Designs:

If you looked at our online portfolio of work you see that we do a lot of container designs.(http://mccland.com/Portfolio/3)  We have fun with this type of work because given its seasonal nature and small investment, we can experiment with different plant combos and go for big impact by playing with color, texture and height. I really think my best inspiration is travel, a change of scenery goes a long way in taking your imagination down a different, maybe more inspired path.  I had a chance to listen to Dan Benarcik, from the famed Chanticleer Garden (http://www.chanticleergarden.org/), this past Sunday at the Perennial Plant Association P.L.A.N.T. seminar in Columbus OH.  Dan gave a truly inspiring talk on his sources of creativity……and it was like he was speaking directly to me.  He too confides in his travels for a creative reset….If you have a chance to hear Dan talk, do not hesitate- you will not be disappointing.  When I travel I use my camera as my journal.  Click away, you never know when you might need a creative jump start.

Chanticleer Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood


Some of Dan’s work from a visit to Chanticleer Gardens a number of years ago I still draw inspiration from…

Chanticleer Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood


Mixed tropical and grass plantings at behind a boxwood hedge and Chanticleer.

Chanticleer Gardens, Thinking Outside the Boxwood


Golden hops trained on steel cages in a central courtyard at Chanticleer.

Thomas Hobbs private garden outside Vancouver, BC.  Thinking Outside the Boxwood


Planters from Thomas Hobbs private garden outside Vancouver BC.

swirled heather planting and cobble stone, Thinking Outside the Boxwood


A swirled planting of heather and a cobble stone path outside Vancouver, BC

Nicotiana and Cleome at Butchard Gardens, BC. Thinking Outside the Boxwood



Massed Nicotiana and and Cleome at Butchard Gardens Brentwood Bay, BC


Thankful for 2013, looking forward to 2014

Central Ohio, container, Family Gardening, G A R D E N S, Inspiration, Landscape Design, McCullough, My Work, New Albany

Happy first full week of 2014. I hope you are as excited to kick off the new year as I am. I love the rush of the holiday season and then the resulting relaxation of the week between Christmas and New Years. But with January already seven days down, its time to forge on with ticking off the long to do list of winter tasks. Before I get too far head down on designs, planing and research I wanted to share so of my favorite random photos from  2013.


My Favorite Photo of 2013:


This is my son inspecting an apple while visiting a client’s garden.


Other Favorites from this year:

garden in bloombest of 2013 thinking outside the boxwoodcontainers thinkingoutsidetheboxwood

steel arch garden thinkingoutsideboxwoodflowers from the garden

maple and squares cmasdecorating (2 of 2)-2