Archive for the ‘Retail Therapy’ Category

The Frick Museum Courtyard With NYC's First Snowfall in 2011

New York City's First Snowfall in 2011 at the Frick Museum Courtyard

The October snowstorm that landed in New York City on Halloween weekend was complete with thunder and lightning. October 27th is the average frost date for New York City, so I suppose this wintry storm shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. The pelting snowy slush froze tender annuals like Coleus and Begonias, but most shrubs and trees in the city are hanging on to their foliage. Central Park is barely even showing any fall color.

The Courtyard at the Frick Museum Designed by Russell Page

I had the chance to visit the Frick Museum this weekend. It has two tiny courtyards designed by the late landscape designer, Russell Page. I found the building and the grounds to be just as intriguing as the art collection, though there is a terrific display of Picasso sketches on exhibit until January 2012. The understated aesthetic that Mr. Page so well understood is something I admire. Although most of Page’s work is in his home country in the U.K. and abroad, we get to admire this jewel of a garden in New York City.

Yellow Chrysanthemum Plantings at the Frick Courtyard in Fall

A dear friend gave me “The Gardens of Russell Page” a book full of delicious properties and stunning gardens designed by Mr. Page. Each photograph is more elegant than the last. His designs are timeless and his focus on muted plant palettes is evident in his work. This book is well worth its weight in inspiration.

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Let’s continue our Pennsylvania theme with a quick shopping trip to Terrain at Styer’s store and nursery. With an array of indoor and outdoor autumn harvest accessories, here are a couple of picks I love that can easily find a home in your garden.

Slate Water Tank

Iron and Slate Water Tank Doubles as a Modern Planter

A former water tank constructed of iron and slate now doubles for a modern planting container that makes a statement. It has a certain feel of authenticity that you cannot find in fiberglass or cast resin planters. Mix it in with some more simple planters and let this one be the centerpiece. Make sure to pick the perfect spot for it because once it’s in place I’m guessing you won’t want to move it.

Gothic Candle Holder

Rustic Terra Cotta Candle Holder

This terra cotta candle holder  can bring a feeling of warmth to a patio whether or not a candle is burning inside. I would buy a bunch of these and line them up in a row on my outdoor dining table. How about putting them on top of a wall or along the front walk as a fresh take on luminaries during Halloween? They would be perfect!

Graphite Birdhouse

Ceramic Birdhouse For a Chilly Night

This super sleek gunmetal glazed birdhouse was designed by Denver Artist Michael McDowell. McDowell has created multiple plant and garden-related ceramic products. It may provide refuge to a feathered friend before things go south for the winter and it looks great too.

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As an artist I appreciate objects inspired by nature. As a landscape designer I feel that furnishings derived from organic forms can easily find a place in the garden. Veronica Martinez, of Madrid, created this ‘Autumn Leaf’ swing which marries forms from nature with the function of pleasure.

Autumn Leaf Swing by Veronica Martinez

This tasteful swing made is made of cast aluminum. Ms. Martinez recreated the sculpture in fiberglass as well. To maximize the understated elegance of this piece I would try using silver chain as opposed to the rope. The leaf comes in any color, but I prefer the neutral or white finish. Its small size is ideal for use in a courtyard or small patio.

Leaf Swing Images From http://www.veronicamartinez.com

Among her other collections, Veronica has created Seta stools inspired from mushrooms and a furniture line called Alba which pays tribute to shadows. All of her product lines are available to view on her website.

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Heat waves in late July and August are vicious. It’s this time of year that plants go crispy and lawns turn yellow. There is nothing worse as a plant lover to come home to wilted plants completely zapped of life from extreme weather conditions.  Planters that get full sun suffer the most when temperatures are above the 90’s.  Even containers in shady locations aren’t immune to added heat stress.

This PJM Rhododendron Fried Within One Week Without Sufficient Water

For those of us without the means to install an automatic irrigation system, moisture gels may provide relief when it comes to the task of keeping planters watered.  Moisture gels retain water within the soil so that it is accessible by plants for a longer period of time.  This, in return, means you can sweat a little less when it comes to watering your plants.

Ideally, the best time to incorporate moisture gels into your soil is at the time of planting.  If you’ve already planted, don’t worry it isn’t too late.  Add the suggested amount (as per product package) to the top 2-3 inches of soil in your containers so that the roots’ can get to the enlarged crystals.

Portulaca oleracea (AKA Moss Rose) In Good Shape Despite Heat Waves

Moisture gels or crystals are usually packaged in bags.  When opened, they resemble large grains of sand but watch out!  With contact to water, they expand to a much larger size.  While moisture gels require some up front cost, the results last for many years and provide a good return of beautiful container plants. As always, we don’t recommend using this as a way to avoid watering your plants. You should still check them regularly to ensure best results.

Article and photography by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design.

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The Boskke Sky Planter redefines the Topsy Turvy Planter collection into a posh container that can fit into any New York City kitchen.  Never underestimate the value of fresh-cut herbs.  If cooking isn’t your forte, think beverages. A little minty mojito could be the norm in your kitchen this summer.

An innovative watering system allows the plants to be watered without leaking onto your countertops and floors.  Have fun arranging individual planters at convenient heights in your apartment. To maximize visual interest of these planters, stagger the hanging heights for a layered effect.

Herbs best suited for growing in a sunny window include rosemary, mint, basil, oregano, thyme, chives, dill, fennel, and sage but don’t limit your imagination!  There are many options available and when one plant becomes bare, replace it with a different variety!

Article written by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design.

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Warm spring weather inspires new ideas for rooftop terraces and decks everywhere.  Poly pebbles should be on your checklist of things to add to your garden. They elegantly disguise soil in planters or planting beds, are lightweight for ease of use and are generally more sustainable since they are made with recycled materials.

Poly pebbles used in a planter

Poly pebbles are easy to install and last a lifetime.This product comes in different colors and sizes much like the natural stone they are modeled after. Pricing is comparable to natural stone.

Paired these pebbles with perfect color to create a sleek look. They add a sense of refinement that isn’t found with typical mulch nuggets or bare soil.  The pebbles are weather durable so they can be used indoors or out. Check out more pictures at www.interiorplantscaper.com/planters_poly_pebbles.htm

Article written by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design.

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Buds are starting to swell on trees and the earliest spring bulbs are showing signs of life. It’s time to remove any holiday or string lights from your landscape. If you leave them up all year, they aren’t special. Now that the days are growing longer you don’t need them. Replace them with a sleek oil lamp for the summer season.

Lighthouse Outdoor Torch

The Lighthouse Torch (pictured above) is available at Design Within Reach. Created by the Danish designer, Christian Bjorn, they have a very modern feel. Detailed in porcelain and stainless steel, the flame at the top is much bigger than what a typical candle provides. Read more about Christian Bjorn’s design aesthetic and products here: http://www.christianbjorn.dk/uk/index_uk.html

Stainless Steel Column Oil Lamps

For an even bigger impact in the landscape, try out this giant stainless steel version available at Frontgate. Ranging from 42″ to 64″ in height, these lamps are truly striking. You can even use citronella oil in them to keep pesky mosquitos under control. Who knew grandma’s stinky little bug candles would transform into something so sleek? I recommend using these in a backyard since rooftop gardens are generally too windy.

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