Hello!  Since Bonnie is in the midst of moving mayhem (big supportive hug to her)  I’m going to step up the gardening posts for a few weeks.  This is a great time to get out in the garden and play (and work…today is a fun post, but soon there will be the fall garden chores post…). Over the next week I’m going to share a series of posts on how I improve gardens, from a design point of view.  Today I am going to focus on adding color and texture to the garden.

This is the time of year when I step back and take a look at the gardens in my life.  As a landscape designer this is my favorite time of year.  Usually projects I began working on last year or in the Spring have begun to manifest, and I can take a cold look at my ideas and make some tweaks here and there.  Here is a comforting fact:  Most garden designs undergo some tweaking once they are in the ground.  My favorite way to design a garden is to pick the plants, bring them to the site  and then play with grouping them together before planting. Obviously this is not conducive to most client’s garden, but it works wonderfully for friends and family. It drives some people bonkers, but it’s a major part of my process…and one of the ways I tap into my creativity.

My professional focus right now is on improving established gardens.  Fall is a great time of year to plant perennials, trees and shrubs.  The weather is cooler, the plants are cheaper and I’ve seen the garden for at least a season so I know what is working and what is missing.  I step back and question the garden…with the first question being:

1. Was there enough color and texture in the garden?

I always look to see if I can use a plants with good foliage color instead of relying on flowers alone. My favorite manifestation of this idea comes from the garden of  Margaret Roach.  This underplanting is just remarkable.  Who needs flowers when foliage does such a great job! Her story on how the planting came together is a great read…I really cannot wait for her new book to come out!

Do you see the texture in the plants?  The long draping, yellow blades of the Hakonechola macra ‘All Gold’ , the glossy round leaves of the European Ginger, the softer rounded leaves of the Hosta ‘June”(…notice the continuation of the yellow color on the interior stripes of the hosta), then the sharper and softly pointed purple fronds of the Japanese painted ferns. Do you see the way the ferns, hosta and Hakonechola all seem to be bursting out of the ground…creating movement and moving the eye around the garden?  And what about those two little yellow punctuation marks created by the “Lime Rickey” heuchera!  That’s pizzaz!

On a much larger scale, this garden designed by Piet Oudolf is another gorgeous example of color and texture working together to create a dynamic and interesting garden:

Here we have large drifts of plantings undulating and moving the eye through.  I look at this garden and can feel it.  Do you get what I mean by that? That’s what I want in my gardens…feeling and movement, color and texture, scent and tactile moments…..a full sensory experience.  I know those large pink echinaceas have spiky centers that are hard to the touch…but the oat grass to the left is a soft and fuzzy plant that dances in the breeze.  This is a garden that would never be still and would never become boring.

Here are two more Piet Oudolf gardens to take inspiration from:

Allium Gladiator (those large purple balls) are one of my favorite plants…but I can’t help but want to take a whack at them with a baseball bat….too much tee-ball in my youth perhaps??!!

Piet Oudolf creates rivers and ponds of plants...can you see these in the photos above?  What else do you notice about his design?  Do you see the similarities of structure, even though the plants are so different?  Could you see these gardens in a smaller space or do you think they need the large expanses of space to be successful?  What do you find appealing about these gardens?  How can you translate that into your own gardens?

Whenever I look at gardens, be it live or in photos, I ask myself a ton of questions…this is how I sharpen my own aesthetic and design skills.  A good garden design is something to be studied and examined and picked apart….and enjoyed!

Do you have favorite designers you take inspiration from?  Or favorite plants to add color or texture to your garden?

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Posted by in handmade

Confections for your Correspondence just like visiting the fair, paper pastries will leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth and a pretty prize in your hand!  properly put, these ‘confections for your correspondence’ will dress up your snail mail and inspire you to get out your writing pen.  let’s have a revival for pen pal’s, sideways stamps and love letters!

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is it really thursday already?

September 23, 2010

Posted by in bonnie forkner

filtered by rachel follette

{filtered by rachel follett}

is it really thursday? …already?? this week is creeping by a little quicker than i thought it would! we still have so much to do, not to mention another yardsale this weekend!  the house is looking pretty disheveled, but room by room we’re getting there.  it’s so hard to figure out what we should take and what we should leave, sell, and give away.

my biggest efforts are still going to finding a place to live in colorado! what i really want is some old apartment that’s been painted white 100 times with drafty windows and hardwood floors (ok, maybe not drafty windows).  i need a little character, and everything i’m finding looks straight out of the 1980’s (or ’70’s).  is that too  much to ask for?   so the search continues… (unless any of you know the perfect place for us?).

so on to today’s to do list!

- finish up yesterday’s to do list

- move onto packing up the living room

- grab some bulk dog food for the toastie

- pay a few random bills

- use my gift certificate for my favorite local boutique (yeah!)

what’s on your agenda for the day?

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dulcet : paper, art, & design

September 22, 2010

Posted by in vintage finds

dulcet : paper, art, & design

“Imagine an attic filled with books, birdcages, costume jewelry and old linens. Antique trunks overflowing with dresses, photos, maps, advertisements. The delightful decadence of clawfoot bathtubs and love letters. The simple pleasures of dusty libraries and thrift stores.”

a quote from poet and shop owner, kristy bowen of dulcet, a vintage-inspired studio offering beautiful paper goods, accessories, and vintage finds.  with nearly 20 pages full of old world nostalgia, you’ll be indulging your vintage-chicness and taking a trip down memory lane!

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wednesday goals

September 22, 2010

Posted by in bonnie forkner

wednesday goals

{untitled by i.Anton}

happy first day of fall!!

this morning definitely feels like fall, it’s crisp, dewy and cool!  it’s supposed to be a beautiful season, and i’m ready for it.  every year i wish that fall would last just a little longer (or maybe a lot!).  yesterday was productive and we had a beautiful time with our families at dinner last night.  just a couple of tears, but mainly laughs and the telling of old stories.  my back felt really good all day yesterday, (yeah!) so i’m planning on it holding in there for today as well.  here’s what’s on the agenda!

– finish packing up the sewing room (dun dun duhh)

– finalize the list of possible living places in colorado and make appointments to see them

– start going through and packing up my clothes

- gather more items for the yardsale this weekend

- finalize getting a uhaul

whew! here we gooooo!

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bebe + alice

September 21, 2010

bebe + alice

named after her grandmothers, bebe and alice is an eco conscious company who knows that grandmother’s slow and simple ways are always best.  with paper goods, accessories, blouses and bags, each are made using eco friendly materials with a design that winks at the past and nods to the future.  visit her adorable website and blog to find out more!

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tuesday goals

September 21, 2010

Posted by in bonnie forkner

tuesday goals

{breaking through}

well, mission moving to colorado day 1 proved pretty productive! the hub accomplished an amazing amount of work- go david! i on the other hand had a case of the girls and terrible back ache so wasn’t doing much of the heavy lifting. sifting through papers, folding laundry, packing the books and being the general organizer was more my job. i’m feeling better already today so i should be able to do a little more lifting!  our house is pretty much totally disheveled, so i only wish you could see where i’m sitting right now.  piles everywhere!

tuesday goals:

finish packing up the guest room and office

make dinner reservations to go out with our families tonight

get started (and maybe finish?) packing up the sewing room

make toaster a grooming appointment (poor beeeebie)

be more careful with my back

– attempt to clean as i’m packing so the house remains sane!

i can’t even tell you how many blessings we’ve had throughout this entire process.  we even got news yesterday that our dear friends bekah and zach are going to be renting our house!  what a huge relief. through prayer, patience and trust, God has been an amazing provider throughout each and every detail.  things have come together that we couldn’t even foresee needed to in order for this move to take place!  i can even see how certain things that happened a year ago were completely necessary for this to take place in our lives.  how little did we know!  we are so thankful. :) now, back to work!

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fall is in the air

September 20, 2010

Posted by in photography

fall is in the air fall is in the air.. can you feel it? whether we want it to or not, it’s coming, and isphotography’s work makes me all the more ready for it.  crisp mornings and sweater evenings…  colorful leaves falling in the wind, pumpkins, apples and hot cider are just around the corner. it looks beautiful from irene suchocki’s camera lense, and it makes me eager for knitted scarves and pretty boots.

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