Spring in Miniature, RH + Branch Studios, Plant Obsessed and The English Garden Revivial

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I know “round ups” for blogs normally are posted on Fridays, but lately I have only been able to devote snippets of time to pleasure reading. Just in case the gardener’s spring to do list also has you busy, here are some quick hits of stuff you might find interesting.

 

SEEING: Spring in Miniature

We only had a few warm spring days so far this year, which has delayed any large showing of spring colors. Luckily there are a few bulbs poking through, even if they are on the petite size. I am so excited to see the first sights of spring, even if it means crouching down to appreciate.

firstsignsofspring

 

 

BUYING: Restoration Hardware collaboration with Branch Studios

Susan Cohan shared the scoop a few weeks ago on Deborah Silvers collaboration with Restoration Hardware and her Branch Studio containers. We have used her containers at client’s homes and they are as beautiful as they are durable, containers that will be around for years to come.  You can see the complete Restoration Hardware collection in the new Outdoor catalog, but currently you can only order the fountain. Congrats to Deborah and the entire Detroit Garden Works team, your work is visionary.

Restoration Hardware Deborah Silver containers

 

 

PLANTING: Camouflage™ Variegated Japanese Aralia

While reading the latest issue of Garden Design Magazine, I found a new plant that I am obsessed with, Camouflage™ Variegated Japanese Aralia. Introduced to North American by Dan Hinkley in 2008, the shrub is now distributed by Monrovia Nursery. Currently unavailable, the irregular variegation of the yellow, lime and green leaves on the distinct foliage shape makes it a focal point in any garden design. If I could get my hands on one, I would start with using it in a container and then place in a design once I can get at least three plants. Let me know if anyone has one!

camouglage variegated japanese aralia_02 camouglage variegated japanese aralia for Dan Hinkley and Monrovia Nurseries

 

 

WATCHING: The Great British Garden Revival

Over the winter I got hooked on watching season one episodes of The Great British Garden Revival off YouTube.  The hour long programs follow two different gardens types and provides the history, impact and how-to tips that both the novice and experienced would find valuable. I have not been able to locate any of the season two episodes online, but for those lucky Brits episodes are airing now.

Six Chartreuse Perennials and Shrubs for your Garden

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A few weeks ago I posted about a garden in Cheshire, England I visited awhile back and one of the key features of the garden was the use of chartreuse perennials throughout the gardens. When viewing a garden you can appreciate the hue spectrum found in green foliage. In particular, chartreuse is a great color to add to the garden given its distance from “grass green” in the color spectrum.

ILady's Mantle - Alchemila mollis ,Chartreuse Perennials and Shrubs for your Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

I have curated a group of six perennials and shrubs with chartreuse foliage you can in corporate into your garden and container designs. These are all plants I have used in my designs and have had great success with. Also, the list is limited to perennials and shrubs because the list of annuals would be endless.

 

Six Chartreuse Perennials and Shrubs for your Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

USING IN A DESIGN

A successful garden and container design is created by the relationship of the plants selected and how the play with (or against) another. One of my favorite combos with chartreuse plants are those with black/purple green foliage. The high contrast of the two shades, highlight both colors’ uniqueness.

Heuchera 'Obsidian' and Hakonekloa macra 'Aureola' : Six Chartreuse Perennials and Shrubs for your Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' and Sedum 'Angelina' : Six Chartreuse Perennials and Shrubs for your Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

PLANT DETAILS

Here are links to plant profiles and growers for the six plants profiled. You can use these links to confirm if a plant will work in your zone, sun exposure and soil conditions. (CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO LINK OUT)

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot' - Golden Spiritalchemilla_mollis_ladysmantleSagina subulata 'Aurea' - scotch mossHumulus lupulus 'Aureus' -  Golden HopsPhyscoarpus opulifolius 'darts gold'

Garden Tour: Tuinen Mien Ruys

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THE GARDEN:

Called one of the most influential garden designers of the past century, Mien Ruys paved the for the modern Dutch landscape design. With a background in perennials and architecture Mien, bridged the gap between the two mediums to create her style.  She was not afraid to push the envelope of design and experimented with combination of different materials. The gardens reside at the site of her parents’ perennial nursery and over the course of her career expanded into collection of 30 experimental areas. The highlights of her designs include the use of space (woods, open grass, etc), adaptable perennials, water features and art in different balances. It was her use of perennials in clean and simplistic designs that set her apart from the contemporaries of her time, saying perennials made it possible to have an experience of nature in a garden.

 

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

REFLECTIONS:

I was very fortunate to tour this garden in July of 2012 with a group from the Perennial Plant Association (PPA)- certified plant geeks!  Prior to visiting I had researched just enough to know what I was walking into.  I tend not to look at too many pictures prior to touring a garden because I don’t want my visions to be skewed by what others think I should be looking. So with a fresh perspective I walking into this iconic garden.  As with any Dutch garden the economy of space is well achieved.  The different garden rooms are divide very delicately so the garden flow is not disrupted- from one room to the next you are gently guided through the garden constantly wondering what is around the next hedge or at the end of the gravel path.  If I remember correctly I spent roughly 2 hours in the garden and that is more than enough time to stroll the different areas and contemplate the design elements.  I will say I visited on a weekday so the garden traffic was quite lite so I was able to take all my photos without someone strolling into my shot.  This garden was Mien’s proving ground or lab to experiment with different perennial combinations, to use new materials, or try a new technique.  The ever-present use of sculpture in each area tied the running theme together of the important Mien had of art in the garden.  There is no doubt Mien Ruys was one of the influential gardeners of her time.  She melded all of her loves together to create a moment in garden design we still see presents today in public and private garden.  This garden is a must visit if you love garden design as much as I do…..

 

WEBSITE:  http://www.tuinenmienruys.nl/en/ 

 

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Taxus hedging frames the mirror pool beautifully and the addition of the Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ creates a striking yet elegant contrast to the dark green evergreen.

 

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The corten “bending over’ silhouettes added a bit of whimsy to the garden. A great interpretation of the kitschy garden ornament.

 

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ massed in the forefront surround a trickling water feature

 

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Here is a detail shot of the water featured in the above image, flanked by the foliage of Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’

 

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

MIEN RUYS (16 of 18)

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Deschampsia cepitosa ‘Goldtau’ surround a corten sculpture.

 

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Garden Inspiration: Mien Ruys, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

  • Anet Scholma, the director of Mien Ruys Landscape Gardening bureau in Amsterdam published a dinfinative book on Mien  Ruys avaialbe via the Tuinen Mien Ruys bookstore via email here. I attempted to find a copy on Amazon with no luck.
  • Women Garden Designers; 1900 to present. Kristina Taylor (April 2015). (This book does not release until April, 2015. With 10 pages dedicated to Mein Ruys, Rosemarie Weisse and Jinny Blom, its looks to be a book worth adding to your library.) 

 

NEARBY GARDENS:

  • Du Tuinen van Appeltern – These gardens are definate visit while in the area. I also visited in 2012 and will feature in an upcoming post.
  • Vijvertuinen Ada Hofman – This is a water garden featuring 50 ponds within 30 gardens. During my visit, I did not particularly enjoy these gardens. I prefer designs that include ponds, fountains and pools as an element of the overall design. At Ada Hofman the water features are the primary element without the balance of plants, trees and negative space I prefer.