Leaf Magazine Summer 2012

It’s Summer!

It’s summer and that brings a whole different set of thoughts, ideas and activities.  I went out the other night to walk the dog and was totally enchanted by fireflies in a way I hadn’t been since childhood.  I miss the magic of summer and am going to try and recapture some of it this year.

We have tried to convey what we feel summer means our new issue of Leaf.

Leaf Magazine Summer 2012
Summer issue of Leaf Magazine

So for the next few summery weeks,  when I’m not working on landscape design related things, summer will be roadtrips, beach trips, picnics and all sorts of other non-garden-y activities.  Where am I going?  Next week points north for a bit, but more about that later.



Beehive Structures

Wayward paths are a curious thing.  My post last week about dovecotes and a quick look at some things I had pinned led me down this particular road.  I’ve become totally intrigued with beehive shaped structures and thinking about how to adapt them in my garden design work.

Clochans, monastic cells in Ireland
Beehive structures
Shade and storage built by women in the Sudan
Syrian beehive structures
Earthen beehive houses in northern Syria

Beehive ovens called horno are tradtional in the Southwest United States and Mexico and were used by both Native Americans and settlers.  There are also traditional variations on that theme in Eastern Europe and South America.

Traditional adobe horno
Pizza oven via House Beautiful

As a side note, (and I realize the connection is random) I also find it interesting that many of these structures are in areas of the world that are in extreme political and social upheaval including Syria and Sudan. Ireland is in economic turmoil. Incidentally, and not shown here there are beehive dovecotes–pigeon houses actually–in Egypt.

Tuesday’s Find…A Dovecote

Dovecotes fascinate me.  The ancient Romans had immense pigeon housing/raising structures.  They brought that idea with them on their march through Europe.  In the Middle Ages pigeons were a common part of the menu used for both eggs and meat, so the need to house them was functional as well as aesthetic.  Even those living in cities raised (some still do) rooftop pigeons.

Jump forward to the 21st century and dovecotes are among the most romantic of garden structures.

Vintage dovecote

This one is from Mary Ann Jones Antiques in Los Angeles.  Dovecotes can be small additons to an existing building or stand alone structures.  Often abandoned now, I think they deserve a second look, particularly with the upswing interest in backyard chickens…can pigeons be far behind?

The dovecote at Quatre Vents
Scottish 'beehive' dovecote
Classic round dovecote



Monochrome Inspiration

I’m inspired by monochrome gardens? Yes, I am.  These gardens with their washed out almost colorless spaces are really appealing to me.  Maybe it’s my current mood, or the abundance of summer color outside, or a knee jerk reaction to the cacophony of brights and layered patterns I see everywhere, but I’m totally inspired by these quiet images of gardens and patios.

via The New Victorian Ruralist
image via Pinterest


via Veranda
via Unique by Design

Tuesday’s Find…a boot scrape

I need one of these.  Gardens are muddy and those wimpy little boot brush things to put outside the door don’t do the job.  This boot scrape is elegant in its simplicity and utilitarian design.  It  would fantastic outside my cottage door.

19th c Boot Scraper
Wrougt iron boot scrape

This spring has been especially wet in the gardens I work in.  My mud shoes and boots are always full of other people’s muck–sometimes up to the ankles and my kitchen floor (I don’t have a mud room) is always dirty.  I’m tired of sweeping and mopping the floor (I don’t have help either) and if I take my boots off outside they never dry out and they’r oh, so cold, in the morning! It’s available from M. Finkel and Daughter in Philadelphia.