Archive | 9 July 2012


In My Garden

A few years ago we re-did the back patio.

Lifting all the worn out brick,

Expanding it a bit and

Replacing it with new brick.

At the same time we bought GIANT new pots

Traditional Rolled Rim Italian clay were our choice

I think we were on the garden tour that first year.

So I invested in fantastic pink tropical Hibiscus.

Glorious in the green house

Not a bloom on them the weekend of the garden tour!

Thus began my years of problem pots.

I won’t bore you with  year by year disaster stories.

Suffice it to say that I’ve had trouble finding the right mix.

Last fall I murdered the mile high purple fountain grass.

It was great till it grew so tall I couldn’t see my garden from the breakfast room

And…the wind blew it over onto the flowers.

So out it went.

For lack of a better idea…

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In My Garden


You may recall that earlier this spring I made another attempt at figuring out my patio pots.

Years of so so results had left me not at all excited about container gardening.

I’m pleased to report I think I’ve figured it out.

My theory was all wrong.

For years I have planted lots

And I mean lots of small bedding plants.

Petunias, marigolds, petunias…

I always picked a variety in case it was a bad year for a particular plant.

It had worked lots of places that I had lived and gardened.

But for some reason the theory was all wrong here.

I think it’s because the pots are so big

And I couldn’t put anything tall  like a topiary basket

in the middle since it would block the view from the breakfast room.

So this year I went for fewer bigger plants.

I mean bigger in every sense of the word.

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Container Gardening 101

Halifax Garden Network

One of the best things about gardening is that you don’t really need a garden! You can adjust to virtually any amount of space using containers for your plants. Plants can thrive in containers of many shapes and sizes and make anything look pretty. Containers can be tires, food buckets, pots, old sinks, baskets, kettles, shoes, bags, cans and more. You can really be as creative as you like!

When container gardening, be sure to provide your plants with adequate sunlight and water, healthy soil, proper drainage, and love! Keep in mind that containers tend to dry out much quicker than garden beds, so keep an eye on your pots/tires/buckets to make sure they have enough to drink.

You can also check out this post on how to construct a self-watering container. We built one for the first time this week, it went really well for some first timers! These…

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Containers With Pizazz ! Not Your Ordinary Container!

Finesse With Containers

Updated April, 2016 

I create containers for clients all the time and am always looking for inspiration to move away from the “geraniums with spike and trailer”  school of thought. With a little more planning and shopping, you can come up with a showplace masterpiece with WOW impact. For pollinator containers, go to Nectar in a Pot- Movable Feast 

Artful Containers

The best piece of advice that I picked up over the years was the secret to coordinating your colors in a container.  Choose a piece of fabric or piece of art that you really like and take it with you when you plant shop.  Of course, you can’t take a painting with you so grab refrigerator magnets with famous paintings on them from museums, or cut out paintings from magazines.  My most successful container was inspired from a Van Gogh magnet obtained from my many museum visits. Van Gogh’s iris painting has that…

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Transforming a Patio – An Outdoor Living Space That Looks Like Home

The Challenge

I was asked to decorate the bluestone patiospace for the Baltimore Symphony’s Decorator Show House this spring. Normally I ‘decorate’ gardens, not patios, but I was up to the challenge!  The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra chooses a house every year that is usually vacant and/or for sale, and invites interior and exterior decorators to design their own unique space. It is an honor to be asked and always a great deal of work! The houses that are picked are very different and have their own unique idiosyncrasies.

The 36th annual Show House is a fundraiser for the Baltimore Symphony Associates and gives decorators the chance to promote their businesses while helping out a great cause.

Laying the Groundwork

I visited the Eck House at Cromwell Farm, in February, to look it over and see what the house and grounds looked like. As usual at that time of year, it was a dreary day and the surrounding fields were…

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Miniature Gardens – Whimsical Creations

Trough Gardens 

I am a garden designer by trade and normally design gardens in full size, but also love to design gardens in miniature! There is something unique about creating a complete space in small scale that is so satisfying and fun!  I can have garden features that I have only dreamed about – like a bridge over a dry stream bed, mossy nooks and crannies, arbors, and birdhouses just like I was creating a larger space. Even a tiny gazing ball. But at a fraction of the cost! It seems like more nurseries are catering to this gardening  trend and it isn’t hard to find small scale plants and tchotchkes to add to the theme.



I think the hardest part of creating mini gardens is finding the appropriate container.  A shallow wide open container is desirable but hard to find.  That is why I make a lot of my…

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50 Shades of Black

Black is Beautiful

For my updated post on black flowers, check out Black Goes With Everything.

There has been an explosion of black flowers and foliage in the past couple of years in the gardening world.  It started out as a trickle and now is a tsunami of everything black! When I go to the nursery and look at new cultivars of annuals, perennials, and shrubs, all shades of black predominates.

But you have to know how to use black for the best effect. I like to place black flowers or foliage next to very bright intense colors, such as hot pink or lime green to get the biggest impact. The black color gives the eye a rest when you pair it with bright vibrant colors. If you place black plants next to darker hued plants, it just doesn’t work and the black color fades in the background. So use black carefully and…

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Container Gardening


I thought I would spend some time talking about a favorite subject of mine, the container garden.  This was a special request from my sister, Carrice, who lives in a condo and has limited gardening space.

There are three important steps; the container, the soil and the plants.  Lets start with the container.  Anything that  can have holes drilled in it can be a container.  Use your imagination!  I have used tool boxes, wheelbarrows, beds, wash tubs and much more.  You can also go to your local nursery and buy some pots, too!  I think groupings look best if you use an odd number of pots, (think throw pillows on the couch or bed) usually 3 or 5.  They can be different sizes and colors as long as they compliment each other.  Make sure there are drain holes.  This is VERY important as you don’t want your plants to rot. …

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