Yes, I have a secret. You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything about my own gardens this year. That’s because I have a dirty, little secret about them.
Here it is. For the past year I have done nothing in the garden besides cutting back my neighbor’s wisteria before it overtook my studio windows and pull one giant weed. I really mean nothing. No supplemental water, no mulch, no deadheading or cutting back, no planting, no weeding, no deer spray, no nothing other than what I mentioned above.
Why? I wanted to see just how little maintenance the various gardens could takebefore they looked truly awful. Why? This is what happens to my installed gardens more often than not with unskilled labor taking care of them. That and all of the shrubs are pruned within an inch of their lives.
Here’s what happened. The two gardens that were largely perennials and grasses look like hell. The two that are mixed-shrubs, trees, and perennials look fine–a little blowsy but fine. I do (honking my own horn) attribute the success of these two gardens to good design.
I will have hell to pay later on and the Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and the wild onions will need a hard taskmaster next year. My gardener friends are appalled, but my neighbors still stop when I’m outside and tell me how beautiful the gardens are. So now my secret is out.
I have a renewed interest in wire frame chairs on the patio, so I’ve created a round-up of some favorites. They can be funky, classic or wacky and whimsical. They can sit by themselves as a conversation piece or they can be a part of a larger functional grouping. Many, in my opinion, need a beautiful cushion to make the comfortable for any length of time.
Here are a few…some serious, some not. Some you may have seen here before, some not.
Last year’s darling, the blue powder coated wire chair designed by Alessandra Baldereschi. Via Skitch. It’s also available as a side chair.
Vintage wire frame chairs from the 1950s via Drake.
Every now and then I get sucked in. I wander off my intended path and Voila! I find something wonderful, better yet when the possibility exists to stay there. I love the gardens at Le Pavillon de Galon, a bed and breakfast in the south of France. The balance between formal structure and wild plantings is something I try to achieve in my own designs. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
The gardens have been recognized by the French Ministry of Culture and Environment as ‘remarkable’. I agree.
I am not a fan of the current trend that extols us to grab a shipping pallet or some cast off boards and use them to make something else. Most of what results still looks like garbage. Who cares if the materials are free?
These chairs by Old & Board satisfy my designer instincts and are made from recycled wood.
There’s a current and rather annoying trend to share words of wisdom in graphic form on Pinterest and Facebook. I’ve been known to share said same on the former as the link proves. These are careless, superficial toss-offs pearls of wisdom or observation that resonate for a few seconds and then we move on. It’s the short attention span, instant gratification world we live in. But what if we believe in something enough to memorialize it in stone? Here are three who did.
If you decide you have something to say that deserves to be carved in stone, some stoneyards offer the service, but if not, then just visit your local headstone (aka gravestone) fabricator…they’ll do it for you.
Before I start dashing around this morning I wanted to share this with you. While in California two weeks ago with APLD, I visited Benzinger Family Winery in Sonoma. They have an incredible biodynamic operation that among many other things includes an insectary.
I keep on thinking about these beautiful, sculptural trellis structures in the insectary that were in part made from re-purposed barrel staves and wondering how I can interpret the idea in a client’s design.