Leaf Magazine Spring 2013

Spring is Sprung with Leaf Magazine

I hope you’re not tired of hearing about the new issues of Leaf and my involvement with them.  I think the latest issue–out today– Spring 2013–is as good, if not better, than those that have come before it.

Leaf Magazine Spring 2013

It’s a great source of professional pride for me that we–Rochelle Greayer and I– continue to publish it and to push the envelope of what we believe a great American magazine focusing on design outside can be.

Our audience continues to grow–our last issue was seen by more than 1 million people.  We are actively seeking publishing partnerships (however that becomes defined) and exploring new ways to deliver content to even more readers. So please  enjoy this issue and let me know what you think in the comments or email me at scohan @ leafmag dot com.

Leaf Magazine

The State of Garden Things

December is a strange month – a holiday cocktail blended from the current year, the past year, and the next.  It’s hard to ignore, so I won’t.  This year I have revealed my Dirty Little Garden Secret, finished a large and glorious landscape design project that will be photographed next year (you have to be patient), and continued to work with a fabulous group of people to grow Leaf magazine into a publication that has been embraced by design enthusiasts everywhere.  Since I already wrote about the first, and will write about the second next year, that leaves Leaf.

Of anything I’ve worked on in the past several years, and most of my projects are somewhat collaborative, Leaf has been the most satisfying and simultaneously the most challenging.  Rochelle and I started out to make the magazine that we wanted to read never really thinking that hundreds of thousands of others (92K this month so far…) would also!  The warm embrace of the design community has been driving us forward to make each issue all that it can be, and more than the each of the previous ones, but there is so much potential for more.

Leaf Magazine
Leaf makes a great holiday gift!

We started Leaf on a shoestring, with a super small, super enthusiastic staff (shout out to Lynn, Marti and John) with a virtual office and have grown to the extent that we realize we can’t do it all by ourselves—we need more help! (Remember the super mom syndrome? That’s me.)  There is so much more we can do to grow Leaf into the must use platform for all things related to ‘Design Outside’ but we have to grow and stretch and grow to do that.

So we are actively looking for possible financial partners/publishers/audience builders/tech gurus who want to ride along with us on this remarkable journey.  Know someone with expertise?  We’d love to hear from them.  Just email me at scohan at leafmag dot com.  I promise I’ll answer!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a great holiday gift…subscriptions to Leaf are still free!

Leaf’s Anniversary and Westward Ho!

Yesterday was a whirlwind of last minute edits, technical glitches and nail biting as we got the First Anniversary issue of Leaf out the virtual door.  It’s always that way.

Today it’s all about getting myself out the door to meet up with my APLD landscape designer compatriots in San Francisco. I think a day of rest would be a welcome thing, but it’s not going to happen…well maybe a few hours or so…

Here’s the latest issue of Leaf (just click to read it here).  I hope you like it.

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Happy Birthday Leaf Magazine!

It’s hard for me to believe that Leaf Magazine is going to be a year old.  Actually it’s way older if you count the planning stages, but our Autumn 2012 issue that will publish next week will mark a full seasonal circle for us.  It’s been a journey of discovery on so many levels and I want to thank everyone who reads it and supports the magazine.  (No I’m not preparing for an awards acceptance speech!)  Some details below the cover…

Inside this issue you are going to find our usual range of things that we find interesting such as Corn Whiskey and Foraged Beauty products along with gardens, plants, books and great furniture and accessories for all types of outdoor styles.

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.



A Curated Collection…

The flow of my daily working life changed a bit when we started publishing a magazine.  I still manage my design clients on a daily basis, but also squeeze in several hours each day to manage, scout and produce Leaf.

One of the fun things that we have gotten to do is to curate a sale of outdoor products for Joss and Main which is going on right now and ends on Sunday, 5/21/12.  Here’s a peek.

Want to duplicate this look from our spring issue?

Try these

Zinc finish troughs to plant up!

Or maybe shake up one of  Warren Bobrow‘s cocktail recipes in one of these?

Shake it in style!

Or serve guests on some high style outdoor plates? (Melamine is all grown up!)

Tree Portrait Plates

Maybe you were inspired by the benches in Shop?

Geometric green bench

Whatever it is, we hope you are inspired by the magazine and check out our sale.  We have really tried to exemplify what we show in the magazine and hope you like our picks!



I haven’t been here very much in the past few weeks…this April has been unusual in more ways than just the weather.   It’s been busy…way beyond what is usual.  March was warm so  my super active design season started early…so actually April is more like May–which is always my busiest month.

Here’s what’s been doing…

We moved a big tree.  This sugar maple was 18,000 lbs. and moved about 40′ to its new home.

The tree, just dug, on the move

I’ve been working on a designer show house space…that will open on May 1 with previews next week.  Here’s a link to the Pinterest board, but this week I’ve been running around getting all sorts of details taken care of for that (like ordering the beautiful piece below for the feature wall)…it’s not done yet by the way!


Made in Haiti from a 55 gallon oil drum

I’ve been working on designs for several clients…


A Family Party Space…


And last but not least there’s Leaf.  The spring issue published on April 2nd and we’re already hard at work on the summer issue.


A Raj inspired Patio Umbrella…Tuesday’s Find

Over at the magazine we didn’t end up using this umbrella in our Bollywood Mood piece.  I still think it’s pretty and would love to have it on a patio or deck.

So fun and vibrant!

Here’s the garden inspiration from pages 68-69 of the spring edition of Leaf.

Bollywood inspiration for your garden

If you want the vintage umbrella, it’s available from Mary Ann Jones Antiques.

Flower Shows vs. Garden Shows

There is an important distinction other than age (183 years) for the Philadelphia International Flower Show and most others…it’s a flower show…not a flower and garden show.  Floral designers, event planners, amateur and professional horticulturalists show and compete alongside landscape designers and nurseries.  This mix all happens inside a vacuous convention center with an industrial roof instead of sky and a concrete floor instead of soil.

I make the distinction because so many cry ‘fake’– ‘just theater’–‘unrealistic’ when it is supposed to be exactly that.  A show of flowers out of season and all jumbled up in new and exciting ways that can lead us to think about them differently.

One of my favorite parts of the show are the evening bags and jewelry made out of seeds, leaves, twigs and other plant parts.  They are super creative.  The one below was as glamorous as any Judith Leiber evening bag.

Gingko leaves, arborvitae foliage, cantaloupe seeds and more make this 'bag'

Another favorite (I’ve written about them in another year here) was Moda Botanica’s (a Philadelphia based floral and event design company) kinetic display of foliage that every viewer could change by manipulating the panels via large hand cranks.  It was super creative.

Foliage, bird netting , bicycle chain and plexiglass were used here

Since the real reason for my trip this year was to cover a display garden we’re featuring in the next issue of  Leaf Magazine you’ll have to wait until April 1st for that and the one major new trend I spotted!

Tuesday’s Find…Walter Lamb Chaise Lounge

This one hits all of my outdoor design buttons…modern, curvaceous, cleanlined and vintage.

Oh! would I love to have this in the garden that’s in my mind…not the one I currently have which is in shambles after the two punch hurricane/snowstorm we experienced this fall.

It’s time to start dreaming again…of gardens, outdoor spaces and stylish living outside.  If you want to dream about the chaise it’s available at CasaBauhaus.

Leaf…a back story

First I want to thank everyone– so many of you have read Leaf Magazine since its launch on Monday.  I thought it might be interesting to give you a wee bit of the back story….

We have a completely virtual office and all of our work is done collaboratively online.  In fact, we’re so far flung around the place that I’ve never met several of the people we’re working with face to face.   That makes Leaf pretty green too…except for the laptop energy we consume and there has been lots of that.

The first feature to be completed for the magazine…Yarn Bombs.  I wrote it when I was in Seattle in July.

Why the name?  It’s a quadruple entendre…leaf as in foliage, leaf as in what you do when you read a magazine, leaf as in a page, and leaf as in turning over a new one.

If you haven’t yet read it…click here to try it.