It’s that time for reflecting on accomplishments and misses along with planning for the year to come, and during Ohio winters those are the only two items we can really do for our gardens. I have been placing seed orders, flipping through books, designing, reading articles, giving talks, designing some more and compiling long lists of things to do, with the majority only after the freeze of winter breaks.
A stop along the APLD Boston Conference garden tours. Next set of posts to include individual garden tour recaps.
One of my lists includes all the blog topics I want to explore and write, which continues to grow every year from the last since I never write as many posts as I plan. A redesign for the blog is in the works (about time), along with creating an official content calendar to keep us on top of posting. The plan is not to post for the sake of posting, but making sure I am planning ahead, getting the photos I need, have deadlines for writing and creating graphics. I don’t think I will ever get to a weekly post (or I should say we because it’s a team effort with Allison), but I do plan on putting more effort in dedicating time to Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com.
Terrain in Westport, CT from my visit on the way out to Boston. More photos from the visit back in this post HERE.
I started the blog to share garden design from my point of view and knowledge of plants and how to install and maintain. I don’t check my site analytics nor ever wish to include ads. I write for the comments (please comment) and meeting anyone that has said they read a post. I pin my content to Pinterest and get excited for every repin, not because of the exposure, but because someone is learning from my content or are inspired by the image. I am still trying to figure out what the future of the blog will become, but for now it will stay a place to share work, inspiration and know-how from my point of view.
Holiday Containers from this past Christmas, this par looked like torches when you past them on the street at night.
First posts of the new year will be garden tours from the APLD conference. Will post these in a quick session this week. Please comment or email me if there is anything specific you think I should write about.
Last week we returned from a 10 day, 1,600 miles and 30 hours of diving trip out to the East Coast for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) conference in Boston. We decided to drive out and tack a few days on the front and back to visit family, take the kids to New York City and visit Niagara Falls with the flexibility to make additional stops as we wished. We included in our itinerary a stop at Terrain in Westport, Ct. I have visited the Pennsylvania location during the fall when the store was between fall and holiday, but was excited to see their merchandising prowess during the summer’s abundance of plants. We visited on a Tuesday when the store opened, so had the ability to explore and photograph with little disruption.
You get the sense the store is set up more for the “do it for me” clientele than the home gardener, but there are great ideas for any gardening retailer for merchandising techniques. Throughout all areas there completed grab and go containers or examples for shoppers to request the same combo to take home.
CREATE COLLECTIONS. Terrain took advantage of “end-cap” displays similar to grocery stores in the rows of plants. They used it as an area to highlight different planting combinations, not just related to a specific species.
GOING VERTICAL. The play on height was used throughout the outdoor area. Very few products were placed on the ground, with most placed on tiered displays. The height brought plants closer to eye level and allowed more variety to be seen at one time. It also helped create gardening rooms and intimacy to the shopping experience.
CROSS-MERCHANDISE. Another key element was the cross-merchandising of containers with plant material and furniture. There were specific areas dedicated to containers, but in almost all plant areas, empty and planted containers were also merchandised.
VINTAGE & FOUND ITEMS: The display antiques synonymous with Anthropologie stores are also included through out the space. I was hoping for a bit more selection of the one-off items. They are still mainly used as visual props, however the best store for merchandising and selling antique items is Detroit Garden Works.
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!