Containers – Look for Something Different

C O N T A I N E R S | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I admit I was a bit jealous over the weekend watching everyone’s Instagram posts from Trade Secrets and even worst, the mad rush of finishing RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens (have you seen photos of Dan Pearson’s garden yet?) I was able to console myself with a trip to Dawes Arboretum and Springfield Antique show with the family.  At Dawes, I found a new respect for rhododendrons, which were in full bloom with their rainbow of flowers. Typically you see the pinks and whites, but Dawes had some amazing purples, yellows, reds and oranges.  In particular I really liked Rhododendron yakushimanum ‘Yaku Angel’. (sorry only photo I took was of the ID tag).


Sunday we went to Springfield Antique Show, and even though it was the last day I was still able to find some good deals.  Besides purchasing some plants, I found an assortment of items to add to my ever-growing collection of potential garden containers. I justify buying them with plans to sell to clients, but so far have not be able to part with very many. What I normally purchase are items that had a previous utilitarian life before I transform into a container. Others are unique cast iron garden urns that you don’t see very often, such as my Kramer Brothers urns. Often I get questioned what I am going to do with an item, and only when potted is the vision clear.


Containers - Look for Something Different, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

My current collection of barrels. The smallest (purchased this weekend) is a street cleaner’s rubbish bin. The wider was found at an Amish farm, not sure what they used it for. Finally, I don’t know what the tall narrow barrel was used for, but love the graphic quality of the lettering. These are great pulled together, but each was used for a completely different reason before. The galvanized feed bin was a purchase last year mainly because it still had the feed label. All these containers have been planted this year with a mix of annuals, perennials and vegetables.


Containers - Look for Something Different, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I have a pair of these long baskets which I plan to have brackets made and turn into moss lined window baskets. We don’t have a window to use these yet, so will be awhile before get implemented.


Containers - Look for Something Different, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This long galvanized feeder has great crisp edges and is very long. This could be a beverage holder for our next family function, or will be great filled with a selection of herbs. Lots of options with this container.


Containers - Look for Something Different, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This is a small chicken feeder I purchased because of the crimped edges. The plan was to fill with succulents, but I have not gotten around to it.


Containers - Look for Something Different, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

These are a pair of urns that I saw this weekend, but did not purchase. They are a little smaller than I like to use since can only fill with 1-2 plants, but the rope and tassel handles were a great detail. They wanted $350 for the pair, which being cast iron in good condition, is a good price.


Containers - Look for Something Different, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

There was also a booth with a collection of chimney pots or caps (these are just two). I have seen these used in a grouping of containers, flanking doorways and mixed within a perennial bed. I am waiting for find one for a great deal or in a design I have not seen before.


For complete disclosure this is just the tip of the collection I have. The majority of our items are in storage while we wait for our house to be built (this has been two years in the making). Once we finally have a permanent home and garden I will have all my containers together and will be able to evaluate what to keep and what to sell. Just with plants, I buy based on emotion and eventually find the container the perfect home.


FOUND – Ina Garten’s Firebowl

Inspiration, Landscape Products | Tagged , , , , , , ,

FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 (Image from The New York Times article – here)


I have long admired Ina Garten’s home and gardens from the articles published and images shared. I recently caught the tail end of her cooking show and was caught by the scale of her firebowl.  At 68 inches wide, the bowl is very wide (bigger than my dinning room table), but it is also elevated just below your waist thanks to a three-legged stand.  The scale and height makes it so unique and complements the scale of the sounding architecture and landscape. The height & size are great for cocktail gatherings where people mingle compared to lounging around encircle.  I was able to locate the same bowl via FireFeatures.  The specifications denote 68NL Mild Steel Firebowl with three-legged stand, without the stand is about $4,300.  Not necessarily a price point for everyone, but gets you thinking of a different scale/height to use a firebowl.


FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodFOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I attempted to find some images of the bowl with people around for scale, and this photo via episode guide was as close as I could get. 



In reviewing the FireFeatures website, I found another project with a large bowl that included a mixed branch insert.  Intrigued by the surrounding gardens, I located additional photos of the project.  The property design is attributed to Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and Brian E. Boyle, however I am unsure if they complete the garden design. I found the additional photos of the project via Yatzer.

FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood FOUND - Ina Garten's Firebowl, Thinking Outside the Boxwood


The Barefoot Contessa episode I watched also included lighting designer Grey Yale, whose designs are featured throughout Ina’s home. He created the nighttime dinner lighting and used large helium balloons filled with lights flying over the barn patio area in addition to party lights in the trees. Despite fruitless efforts to find a photo of the party, I did find some 36’ white round balloons and LED balloon lights  via Amazon you could use to recreate the look.  I am going to give it a try, just need the right occasion to celebrate.

Plant Crush: Aquilegia

Perennials, Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Every September I make a plant order from Holland for us to grow in our nursery the following year. I create the list based on the plants I have seen in inspiring gardens throughout the year (either through Pinterest, traveling or reading) or just those that catch my eye in the catalog. The plants then arrive at the tail end of winter for us to plant and nurture in the greenhouse until they are rooted and can start planting outdoors. There is a good six months between ordering the plants and when they arrive, and then another two months before we get to see them in all their glory.  Before the end of the year, the plants I order normally find a home, but if not we add them to the gardens around our offices or at my home. The result of my ordering process results in a lot of excitement around the greenhouse in April/May as we get to see what unique items we have to play with this year.   Plant Crush: Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow', Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Black Barlow’ is an example of a plant I saw in a Pinterest pin and ordered 100 plants without a specific project to use.  The image that spurred my purchase is from a garden designed by Wilson McWilliams for the Chelsea Flower show. The link for the image does not go back to a site with any information, but with more research ‘Black Barlow’ was used in the Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden in the  RHS 2013 Chelsea Flower Show.   Plant Crush: Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow', Thinking Outside the Boxwood     With my order of bareroot plants, we got a surprise with an additional cultivar and species of Aquilegia plants; Aquilegia ‘Chrysantha’ and Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Rose Barlow’. The ‘Chrysantha’ is a beautiful yellow with delicate yellow cup flower surrounded by five long, pale outer petals, while the ‘Rose Barlow’ is a pink with white tips flower matching the ‘Black Barlow’. We only have a few of these plants so will either use them in a container design or in our gardens around the shop. Plant Crush: Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow': Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow'Aquilegia 'Chrysantha' and Aquilegia vulgaris 'Rose Barlow', Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I will share photos of these planted in the garden later this year. With only 100 plants I think these will go pretty fast.