Recommended Gifts

Holiday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recommended Gifts, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

It’s time of the year for holiday gift guides. Not typically a fan of “gardener gift suggestions”, since they often created by folks that don’t garden and think all gardeners use are hoses, shovels, gloves and hand cream.  Here are my recommended items for either yourself or a gardener on your list based entirely on items I use or have.

 

Recommended Gifts, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

The Gardens of Arne Maynard. I judge garden books first by the photographs. It is impossible to get the same perspective from an image that you get from standing in a real garden. So the photos in garden books have to be incredible strong, with great color saturation, image size and paper quality to bridge that gap, and this book delivers all that.  With images both at the micro and macro levels of a garden, you are able to appreciate, study and learn from Arne Maynard’s design style.  Written by Maynard himself with the details a plantsman and designer wants learn, as if you were walking through the gardens with him listening to the stories, learnings, and inspiration for each space.

 

Swiss Army Floral Knife.  This knife is great for its thin profile (easy in the pocket), sharp, flat blade, bright colors (I have yellow) and price (if I lose it, not a big deal). Use it to cut back blooms, take cuttings, and open nursery boxes.

 

Wild Tomato Vine, Pure Soy Candle. My mom got me hooked on this candle after she purchased one during a trip to Detroit Garden Works. The fragrance of tomato vines creates such a sensory experience for me that when the grey of March becomes numbing, this candle reminds me that life is coming. Forget the smell of flowers, gardeners want that fresh vine ripened tomato smell.

 

Klein Tools Canvas Leather-Bottom Bucket Bag.  Designed for electrical workers, these bags are sturdy and just the right size for carrying my essential gardening tools around the yard and from job site to job site. I can carry pruners and soil knife when not in use, ear protection, cleaning supplies for pruners, etc. I also love the rough and tumbled look the leather and canvas as gained over the years.

 

The Wave Hill Chair by Dan Benarcik. My trip to Philadelphia this past fall was so inspiring, with over 200 photos on my camera taken in three short days. While there I was able to put together the connection of the iconic garden chair with the craftsman Dan Benarcik. Over the years Dan has been crafting and refining the famous Wave Hill chair and offers the chairs for sale in finished, kit and PDF plans. My winter project is attempting to craft the chair using some spare lumber we have at the shop from the PDF. If you feel less handy use the kit or even order a completed chair.    

 

Have a great holiday, and if you have any great tools or gifts you recommend please pass along. I am always looking for something to keep in my Klein bag.

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

G A R D E N S, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Annual trip to Detroit

Advice, annuals, art, Formal Garden, G A R D E N S, Garden Stores, Garden Structure, gardening, Gardens, Landscape Design, Landscape Products | Tagged , , , , ,

Last weekend I made my semi-annual trip up to the northern suburbs of Detroit for work and inspiration reboot (there are lots of photos to share). I have posted about this trip before, but I find new inspiration each time I go. Detroit is in the news mainly about the post apocalyptic state and mass exodus of the city proper residents. However those who can invest in the city and outside in the suburbs, really are investing, building and taking pride in their area. I am not one to go into the politics of the situation, but I do advocate visiting Detroit. We ate very well, explored very different areas and met with passionate gardeners. The Pure Michigan commercials really are true.

 

One of the main reasons for the timing of our trip was to take part of Detroit Garden Work’s annual Garden Cruise benefiting Greening of Detroit. I believe Deborah Silver and the folks at Branch and Detroit Garden Works are true artists, craftsmen and really just pure genius. When we drive around, you can spot Deborah’s work instantly in either container design or the form she creates in a garden. I really wanted the chance to tour her gardens from more than the street, and the pleasure of touring her own garden at home. There were six gardens featured, some all by Deborah others were a combo of her and the home owners.  Here are photos from the gardens on the tour:

 

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The containers are Branch Studio designed and were planted well over 10 feet tall. The photo does not do the scale justice.

 

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

The next house on the tour was a smaller Tudor style with a silver front yard and pure green structural back yard.

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This home featured a front bed planted with three pure silver plants, that provided a calm palette with movement and texture. See the photos below for the whole layered design.

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The home also featured branch studio window boxes planted with:

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The sphere and water features are both designed by Branch Studio via Detroit Garden Works.

 

Another house on the tour featured an elliptical shaped garden and a border of perennials- but the true show stoppers were the twin fountains flanking the central walkway.

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Our final stop on the tour was Deborah’s home. The show stopping feature were the home’s original containers (featured below) and her bubbling water feature. Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodAnnual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Work's Garden Cruise, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Since our trip was to pick up some containers from Detroit Garden Works, Here are some photos from the store. They create and import some of the finest garden containers and decor. Always worth a visit to see the unique.

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Works, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Works, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

This water feature was insane. It was created by welding all the individual rods by men swapping every 20 minutes to ensure a random pattern.

Annual Trip to Detroit,  Detroit Garden Works, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

We also made our first visit to Urban Detroit Gardens and Fleur Detroit which is just down the street from Detroit Garden Works. Honestly kicked ourselves for never stopping on previous trips. The shop blends the entire garden lifestyle with outdoor, interiors and flowers/events.

Annual Trip to Detroit, Urban Detroit Gardens and Fleur Detroit , Thinking Outside the Boxwood Annual Trip to Detroit, Urban Detroit Gardens and Fleur Detroit , Thinking Outside the Boxwood Annual Trip to Detroit, Urban Detroit Gardens and Fleur Detroit , Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Our Trip also included a visit to Cranbrook Educational Community Campus in Bloomfield Hills and Greenfield Village in Dearborn. The sprawling Cranbrook campus includes k-9 schools, collage and two museums.

Annual Trip to Detroit, Cranbrook Educational Community Campus , Thinking Outside the Boxwood A water feature at the Cranbrook Art Museum. There was so much more to take photos of, but we had rambunctious kids, so taking photos was limited.

 

Annual Trip to Detroit, Cranbrook Educational Community Campus , Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This was the Corten landform at the entrance of the campus. Corten has yet to make its appearance in Columbus, but you see it all round in Detroit’s landscapes.

 

Below is are garden at an 1600’s English cottage at Greenfield Village. We spent a full five hours touring the buildings, playing and riding the train. What Henry Ford created was almost like the Disney World for historical life. Buildings from across America and England were transported to the village to compile a 300 year view into working and living experiences.

Annual Trip to Detroit, Greenfield Village , Thinking Outside the BoxwoodAnnual Trip to Detroit, Greenfield Village , Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

So there was our Trip to Detroit in a 20 or so photos. I could add a few more must see places, so if anyone is interested in my complete list of places to see while in the area send me an email or comment. I feel like an unofficial ambassador for Southeast Michigan.