Great Garden Design – Outdoor Sinks

Garden Tours, Inspiration

The benefit of touring private gardens is you get to see the functional elements they add to the garden you don’t get to see in display gardens. As the complexity of outdoor kitchens expand, so do the frequency of seeing outdoor sinks. Not necessary like a grill and many times a hose can fulfill the need of a sink to wash or rinse. However, the following sinks prove a beautiful sink can be designed into a garden and not feel like a repeat of indoor kitchen.

Great Garden Design - Outdoor Sinks. well designed outdoor sinks using natural soap stone, concrete or stainless.

This grill and soapstone sink laid on a natural stone base blend naturally into the garden. The soapstone is a great stone that holds up outdoors. 


Great Garden Design - Outdoor Sinks. well designed outdoor sinks using natural soap stone, concrete or stainless.

This sink is made of strips of granite feels natural in the garden with the stone pedestal base.   


A soapstone greenhouse sink seen on the APLD Boston Trip. From

Another soapstone slab sink found in a greenhouse not at an outdoor kitchen is another great sink design that is very practical with the arched faucet for filling watering cans or watering plants. The secondary hose hookup also makes the area useful for using the single water source for the most functions possible.  


In storage we have a single bay concrete sink we saved out of a basement laundry room that we plan on using in our (far) future outdoor kitchen and greenhouse combo area. We will not have it plumbed, but instead use a nearby hose and a bucket to reuse waste water for watering plants. It will be a space to wash dirty hands and veggies from the garden.


Waiting on Spring…

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Well at least the sun is shining today, but as I write the temperature is just above freezing with no foreseeable spring temps. Normally by the first week of April we have done 2 rounds of mowing, and this year we have yet to put mower to turf. Now we are into the “April showers” and the ground is over saturated with 3 inches plus of rain in just the past few days. As gardeners we forget how cruel spring can be for our anxiousness to get outside and work. The only good part is extending the winter off-season project completion timetable, which includes finally the site redesign which is just moving into development.


Since it looks like another week of cold, wind and threat of snow, here are some summer garden images of projects from last year to warm you up until more spring action starts in the garden.

The wedding Garden at Oak Grove. 100 year old Lord & Burnham greenhouse and tobacco barn surrounds a cocktail lawn. Design by McCullough's Landscape & Nursery.

The gardens surrounding Oak Grove, a wedding and event space outside Columbus, will be even grander this summer as they mature in their second year in the ground. Over the winter the space is expanding to include a 250 guest dinning space with the surround pastural setting taking center stage. More to come once the space opens in the coming weeks (previews on my instagram).


A small space garden with a large impact with seasonal color, dog friendly design and making the most of a smaller garden. Design, Install and Maintenance by McCullough's Landscape & Nursery

This garden was planted two years ago so this year it will be fully matured and ready for photographing extensively. (a good guide for planting expectations is first year it looks good, second year great, and by the third year best.) The back garden is about 100 feet wide by 25 feet deep, so every space needed to be functional and beautiful. This garden is great for showing how focusing on good bones and function combined with purposeful placement of seasonal color can maximize a homeowner’s enjoyment.



A french influenced garden located in the art of the Midwest, is planted with a large sweeping bed of fragrant lavender. Design, Install and Maintenance by McCullough's Landscape & Nursery

Every June we count down the days for when this large sweep of hybrid lavender (LavenderPhenomenal‘) comes into bloom. The entire courtyard of this home (and street) is overrun with the intoxicating scent. Last year we even harvested a few of the plant’s stocks for drying and creating lavender sachets for the client as a holiday gift. This is another garden that keeps getting better year after year and is ready for a full scale photoshoot.


This garden showcases the magic of landscape lighting with a selection Hinkley Outdoor lighting. More at

Last summer I worked with Hinkely Lighting at a client’s home for shooting Hinkely’s outdoor lighting collection in use. It was an amazing two days. I am excited to showcase how this garden evolves when the sun goes down and the lighting keeps the garden alive in a future post.


Well by the time I finished this post, I have been able to enjoy how much warmth the sun can provide even on a cold day. An old wives tale states, three snows remaining after forsythia blooms.  Our forsythia started blooming early last week and we have had two noticeable snows, that leaves one more and finally spring can arrive.