As I have mentioned before (a lot), over at Red Twig Farms we grow different varieties of dogwood and willow for cut ornamental stems. The majority of the inventory is sold over the holidays for outdoor containers and flower arrangements. Come spring, we look at the remaining crop and think of different ways we could have used the remaining stems. Last year we made wreaths that are great for winter and spring doors. This year we made four willow planters for an east coast garden. These are very similar to all the wattle fencing you see in culinary gardens. However, instead of being willow fence panels wired together, we created these as one complete frame. The best element of the solid design is the wrapping of the branches around the corners more like a basket. These were a labor of love, so will most likely will not be until next winter that we will have these available for ordering.
Here are the planters we made prior to shipping off to the client. These baskets are 24x24x13 for size reference.
Here are some other examples of waddle fencing used in vegetable gardens:
Here is a photo of wattle fencing at the kitchen garden of Daylesford Organic. These are created in panels that are joined at the corners. This method allows you flexibility to the size of planter bed.
The garden is by del Buono Gazerwitz Landscape Architecture at the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show, their design for Daylesford Organic. Trust me, wattle fences are used by more than just Daylesford Organic.
Here is a post with the wreath we made this past winter with the Red dogwood branches. These were very easy to make relative to the waddle planters. Next on the list for this year we are going to make an archway that will be great for the entrance to a woodland garden or for a wedding. Will share photos once its completed. See there is a never-ending list of things you can do with cut ornamental branches!
As a gardeners and plant nerds, Earth Day is the day everyone else notices what we see everyday in the wonders of Mother Nature. In celebration of this day, here are native flowers in their untouched natural environment that we found over the weekend. This is a protected valley located in the heart of Clintonville, Ohio that when we visited two years ago was filled with waves of blue flowers (Blue Squill). We have been visiting periodically this spring to catch the blooms and photograph. However, this weekend we found a better surprise, a mix of four Ohio natives in blooming waves of white, yellow, blue and purple.
The valley has a number of invasive plants like wild garlic mustard and honeysuckle that the local community has been helping to manage, but still these native plants continue to thrive. It is also a reminder how quickly things change during spring and how you should carry your camera at all times because what is blooming today, might be done tomorrow.
Trout Lily -Erythronium americanum
Marsh Marigold-Caltha palustris
Dutchman’s Breeches – Dicentra cucullaria
Dutchman’s Breeches – Dicentra cucullaria
Virginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica
Virginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica with a pink and blue bloom
Cercis canadensis- Eastern Redbud & Virginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica
Spring has finally arrived in Ohio. With three warm sunny days in arrow, we have dried out from the early April showers. This weather should have you excited to plant your spring containers, if you have not already. If you are still looking for some inspiration, peruse the options on Container Gardens: Spring + Summer. Together with terrain, I have complied some of my favorite container designs from Pinterest to provide you some great inspiration to welcoming spring. As a bonus, terrain is offering a $500 gift card giveaway if you repin your favorite container design from the board. The giveaway ends April 25, but don’t wait too long to plant your containers and it will be time for summer color. Here are some direct links to enter:
- Here is a link directly to the board: HERE
- You can also pin directly from terrain’s site: HERE
Some quick ideas for building your spring containers: More than just Pansies. We use a lot of pansies in containers, they are great for color, price and resiliency to spring’s temperamental weather. But build a container with more than just pansies. Try an evergreen or edible like kale to mix up the texture and dimension to the container. The container below includes some topiaries underplanted with pansies and a few deep pink heuchera to play off the mauve of the pansies. This was photographed and planted the same day, but in a few weeks the heuchera will have a bigger presence.
Look for unique containers. These can either be vintage containers or items not initially intended to be planters. I like to look for old barrels in either wood, galvanized or steel. The come in all sizes, but generally have a large scale or top opening to fill with with numerous plants. Remember to drill a hole in the bottom for draining before planting. Below is a vintage grape crate from terrain.
I will share some more container designs from this spring later this week, and reminders to pin to win!