tag: gardening

no such thing as a green thumb

well, isn’t that the truth? this sentiment, beautifully illustrated by justina blakeney, really hit home with me. i like to say i have a ‘murky green thumb‘, but in reality i just don’t do my homework. i’m determined to change that! justina encourages us to bring home a new plant and then do our homework. google it. learn what kind of light it likes and how much water it needs. if it looks sad, move it into another window. love your plants. what do you think.. yes?

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april gift guide

April 2, 2013

Posted by in gift guide

april earth day (2)

product links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5  

april earth day (1)

product links: 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

a handmade gift guide for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays… or for no reason at all!

fun facts for april:

>> national poetry month
>> earth day – april 22
>> april’s birthstone is the diamond
>> april’s flowers are the daisy and the sweet pea

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harvest and preserve

September 21, 2011

felix doolittle

whether we’re ready for it or not, summer is coming towards an end, but one of they many joys of fall is getting ready to harvest and preserve our seasons yummy produce. when i saw these summery kitchen labels from felix doolittle, i immediately thought about how pretty they would make a cupboard or how lovely they would make a gift of your garden’s goodies.

felix doolittle

with chef medallions, baker’s labels and oval kitchen labels, they are perfect for sharing garden goodies, canning, making jams and throwing parties! they all feature a gorgeous watercolor illustration by felix (he paints them almost to scale with a very tiny brush!) and come with personalization in a cute little tin, aren’t they lovely?
felix doolittle make sure to cruise by their notecard collections as well! i’ve found that if i have pretty notecards within reach, i’m much more likely to write my friends and family, something that i’ve been trying to a lot more of lately!

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fire escape farms

May 13, 2011

fire escape farms

happy friday friends! boy was i excited to get an email earlier this week from naya peterson introducing me to fire escape farms! she just opened this online gardening store for folks who live in apartments and don’t have the space to culitvate a large garden. brilliant! they believe even if you live in an urban space, you can still grow your own food. live in san francisco? they’ll even deliver to your door via a bio-diesel wagon.

fire escape farms

with the help of fire escape farms, you can turn even the smallest patch of sunlight into a farm and be eating home-grown food in no time! i especially love the sky planter and the wally one. with everything from seeds and soil to books and planters, you city folk can now get your hands dirty, no problem!

and just to make your friday a little sweeter, she’s offering a special discount to ghtr readers! enter the coupon code “homegrown” at checkout to receive 10% off through may 25th!

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plotting planters

May 12, 2011

repotting plants

hi friends! this week, i’ve been busy re-potting some of my plants. getting some green going on in our new place was just about first on the list of importance. some of these are old while others are newly found, and almost all of the planters have been found or thrifted for.

a little bit of a green house is what i ended up with! it’s one of my favorite places in the house. most of the new plants i’ve accumulated are succulents. i love them, becuase they come in so many varieties and are so easy to care for. just water twice a month and you should be good to go- now that’s my kind of plant! here are some succulent inspired planters that i’ve enjoyed finding for you:


wearable planter necklace


modern planter box


elmer the elephant planter


book planter


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Fall Gardening Guides

October 11, 2010

Wasted on the Wayside

Well here we are…October and still lots to do in the garden!  This week I’ve rounded up some guides on Fall gardening to get you going, no matter what zone you garden in!

General Guides:

October in the Garden

Monthly Guide to Gardening

Farmer’s Almanac

Backyard Biodynamics

Pumpkins and Cream Berry Wreath


A Way to Garden


Gardening With Confidence


Garden Calendar

UNL Extension


Fall Gardening

The Mountain West:

October Tips

Wool Acorns

Desert Southwest:

October Tips

Pacific Northwest:

Oregon State Extension Center

OSU Monthly Garden Calendar

Southern California:

Southern California Gardening Guide


Florida Gardener

Whatever you do, wherever you are, garden with joy in your heart!!!

Caroline Finnegan owns Ladybug Landscaping, a full service organic landscaping company. based in CT. She is a NOFA accredited landcare professional and when not designing gardens can be found rearranging her furniture or out at a flea market finding new goodies. She almost always has dirt under her nails.

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Hello!  I came across this amazing cottage garden and just had to share the photos with you all.  I thought these would be wonderfully inspirational for those of us who love the cottage garden look…which is all about creating layers of bloom and foliage.

Cottage gardens can very easily become messy and overgrown.  Avoid this by choosing a unified color palette, using larger shrubs to create structure and by practicing good pruning, deadheading and dividing practices. I have to be honest – cottage gardens are hard to successfully design.  They can take years of playing with plant combinations, color and structure.  If you are a fan of this look I highly recommend spending a good amount of time critically looking at inspiration photos.  Take the gardens apart and see what makes them successful.

Hardscaping makes a huge difference in cottage garden design.  Incorporating trellises, benches, arbors, fences and pathways brings focus and structure to the garden, and can help contain the rambunctious nature of the plants!

This photograph shows some of the garden’s structural accents.  Statuary, a large arbor, the fence in the back of the garden, even the mature evergreens and trees – they all contribute to the garden structure.  Also notice the placement of the statue in front of the arbor, tying the two garden beds together.

Do you notice that large ball of light in the far left corner of the picture? See how it balances out the white of the statue while drawing the eye to that corner of the garden?  Here’s a close up of what’s going on over there…

This planting incorporates two of my favorite plants, the peony and the ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ variegated willow.  The ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ deserves a place in all gardens that have the room for it...great color, structure and texture.

This is just dreamy…give me a hammock, some lemonade and a good book and I’ll happily spend many an afternoon in this backyard!

All photos from http://www.edelbrandbrennerei.at/page8.php

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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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