Tuesday’s Find…a swing

I’ve written about amusement parks here before.  Before computerized light displays and back lit plastic artwork, there was simple beauty and magic in these mostly summer places.  I am still drawn to travelling carnivals because of their simplicity and straightforward delivery of fun and innocent thrills.  I look forward to them each and every summer.

Now that summer is almost over, I imagine this vintage amusement park swing used in a garden.  There are so many ways other than a swing that come to mind…an easy shelf on a porch,  a support for a container, or as a simple curiousity…


Vintage amusement park swing

It can be had at Obsolete in Venice, California.

Fashion in the Garden…Plaid!

The fashionista in me goes into full swing in late August.  The big fall magazines are released and I’m all in.  My work as a co-founder of Leaf magazine has made this annual ritual of mine have broader meaning, but that doesn’t mean I don’t focus on what I think is fun either.  So without delay, one of the single biggest trends for fall is Plaid…the resurgence of Red is a secondary story.  Most of the time they play well together.

Here’s how I interpret them from a garden-y perspective…

In the beginning there was the big outdoors where plaid has always been a player…

Flyfishing from a vintage issue of Life Magazine

Then there was the plaid we took to school that could easily go out in to the garden today.  Remember the ubiquitous plaid thermos?

Plaid lunch box

Now things have been slightly updated. The fall cover of Wool People magazine.

Cover of Wool People Magazine

But plaid is still plaid and can work while we work in the garden.  Pruners and plaid can play together…

Woolrich Acorn Hill Vest
Vintage Plaid Shirts from Urban Outfitters
Plaid Welllies

And just in case you have to pick up a call…

Plaid iPhone case from Abercrombie

And if you’re like me…you need your glasses to see who’s calling…

Vintage plaid eyeglass frames

So put on some plaid and head out into the cool morning and enjoy the coming fall!

Tuesday’s Find…lawn chairs

Today my garden designer/blogger peers over at Garden Designers Roundtable along with the Lawn Reform Coalition will be discussing lawn alternatives.  Lawns are a hot button topic with many on both sides of the garden fence, so I thought I’d offer an alternative of my own–even though I’m not officially posting this month.

British artist Kevin Hunt presented these lawn chairs as part of his degree show in 2005.


Under a Rock…a semi shameless plug

I’ve been under a rock.  A leafy rock.  As you know I’m part of a small dedicated team –including Rochelle Greayer and Lynn Fellici-Gallant and a talented group of outside contributors and designers, who will be publishing an on-line design magazine called Leaf  in October.  The project has been gobbling up huge amounts of time.

Leaf  will focus on all things relating to outdoor design…not just gardens although there will be plenty of those.  Our first emailed flyer is below…

Our first mailer...

The response has been so positive that the pressure to deliver what we envision is even greater than what I imagined it would be.  I must be slightly (probably more than slightly) crazy to do this on top of an already flourishing design business.  I’ve always loved a challenge!  I hope you’ll join us as we explore design outside.

Tuesday’s Find…a Majolica Pot

I am usually ambivalent about Majolica pottery.  Often its explosion of surface decoration and eccentric forms are just too over the top. With that said, this uber pretty planter drew me in.  Because it is a specific type of collectible Majolica, it’s outrageously expensive…but it’s still lovely, romantic and best yet…turquoise.

It’s available at Linda Horn in New York.

Cache Pot


When a garden changes hands…

Last May I spent a morning with Rich Pomerantz photographing three of my gardens.  Normally I shoot all of my own photos, but I have never been able to get decent images of these three, so I brought in Rich to shoot them for me.

The garden was a reinvention of an early 20th century estate garden on a historic property that had fallen to ruin.  In its previous incarnation, 2 full time gardeners lived on the property and cared for it.  They had access to a small greenhouse, potting shed and gardeners cottage which have been partially restored.  There is also coldframe that is in such bad shape it could qualify as a partial archeological site.

Fast forward to 2011.  The property has been sold again and the garden that I built for may not survive the new owners.  To me that makes the following photos (all by Rich) so special.  It reminds me that gardens are always ephemeral…one minute in one is never the same as the next.

Peony walk with rose arbors
Salvaged fountain
A view across the interior lawn
Curtain wall with perennials

Tuesday’s Find…a bench I never thought I’d like

I usually don’t go for the cast iron benches so common in many gardens.  I find them fussy and uncomfortable–both in looks and reality.  Then I saw this and loved it.  It’s kind of like grandma gone wild–you know the ones with the bleach blond hair, lime green pants and pink lipstick?

Cast iron bench

Check out Gardenhouse for this and more vintage with a twist.

Leaf Magazine…Design Outside

I have a HUGE announcement!  Rochelle Greayer of StudioG, Lynn Felici-Gallant of Indigo Gardens and I have been hard at work getting ready to launch a new digital magazine this fall!

LEAF will cover everything related to design outside and how we live our lives beyond our back (and front) doors.  Subscriptions are free and easy…just click the logo above and complete the two line subscription form on our homepage.

You’ll get an announcement in your emailbox with a link every time we publish…no spam–you have our promise on that!

You can also follow LEAF on Facebook and Twitter.


Thoughts about Seattle…gardens etc.

I was in Seattle for a week.  I’d never been there before and really had no idea what to expect.  Four days of my visit was spent with other garden bloggers at the fourth annual Garden Bloggers Fling.

We visited gardens and ate and drank and gossiped and shopped.  It was great fun.  It takes me a long time to process what I see, so for now I’ll just share some pictures that embody this northeastern native’s skewed view of the northwest.

First the bloggers…

Cameras out at every garden!

Poppies and Crocossmia everywhere. An odd observation is that I’ve never seen so many yellow folliage plants used so often…must have to do with the lack of sun and needing bright color in the landscape.

Field of poppies in Barbara Lycett's garden
Crocossmia and Heleniums

Public space with people actively interacting with it…not just passively sitting there or walking through it.  What a concept.  It’s also ironic that in a city that gets 280 days of rain, that there are so many public water features…

Water feature (one of several) in University Village

Moss.  Moss. Moss.

Bloedel Reserve

Tuesday’s Find…a cast iron cow

Sometimes I wonder why I take a picture when I’m visiting a garden.  That doesn’t mean I shoot an image that I don’t like, it’s that I’m not always quite sure why I like it at that moment.  This was the case with the image below…

It's all about the cow...

Fast forward three weeks to the present Tuesday and look what I found!  I think I’d like a small herd.

A cast iron cow...

A bit larger, this one is in London at Christopher Edwards and is from the 1930s.