Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Progress: Kips Bay 2009 Decorator Show House

Jacqueline Togneri of Plant Specialists has been keeping me posted on progress at the Kips Bay Show House. "(Friday) morning we installed the Christmas Palms at the show house," she writes. "We had to unload the truck on Madison Avenue and push the trees a block north to the building entrance. Watching our crew push the palm trees down Madison Avenue is one of those things you see 'only in New York'. I think we turned a few heads!"

On The Road: Stella McCartney Los Angeles

Another fine garden by Jon Goldstein--just had to share it with you all! Jon worked with fashion designer Stella McCartney's London and New York teams, and after learning about Stella’s likes and dislikes, made her Los Angeles space a soft soothing garden in her trademark white flowers with an occasional pastel. "There was a very lovely topiary iron horse which I planted," says Jon. "Now all of the shop girls have nick named her Bessie. The garden is unique in that it has a private feeling and a great little greenhouse and back rose arbor which gives the clients a relaxing place to look at and be in while trying on Stella’s latest and greatest collections. It is very refreshing to find that Stella is so committed to her garden, and to using gardens and their green benefits as the ultimate fashion accessory."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just Now: West Week 5

During West Week, our publisher Diane Turner hosted a party with Stephen Block of Inner Gardens as his Melrose Ave. location a block from the Pacific Design Center. Our managing editor Leigh Ann Ledford spent time talking with guest Amelia Lima, a landscape architect based in San Diego, and her son Philippe.

Friday, March 27, 2009

On The Road: The Dearden-Cranston Garden

Our next stop was at the home of Robin Dearden and Bryan Cranston who plays Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, whose attention to remodeling every part of the landscape has paid off with a cohesive, party-friendly garden, designed by Jon Goldstein. Their guests at an outdoor dinner tomorrow night will be seated in the back yard around an 8-person table next to a (built-in grill) and fire-pit. The outdoor kitchen and dining room are book-ended by a pool on one side and a park-like lawn and tree with a tree house on the other. The front part of the garden is an enclosed courtyard space with a waterfall fountain designed by Cranston himself. Steps away, a small pergola supports a hammock—a perfect place for a nap with the sound of trickling water nearby.

On The Road: The MacLachlan Garden

Leigh Ann and I spent the day with landscape designer Jon Goldstein yesterday. Jon was an amazing host and showed us projects all over Los Angeles. Our first stop was at actor Kyle MacLachlan’s (Twin Peaks, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives) house, whose eclectic garden includes lush perennials in the front (especially love the delphiniums), a view of an incredible stand of bamboo from off the lawn in the back, and back patio (“the blue room”) and a pool defined by lava rock.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do It: Fordhook Farm Open Days

Coming up in just a few days, the Garden Conservancy's "Awakening of the Garden Celebration" will be held at Burpee’s Fordhook Farm, 105 New Britain Road, Doylestown, PA. Visitors will get a glimpse of the exquisite gardens in early spring form, and the April 3rd & 4th event will also offer attendees an opportunity to participate in a seed sowing workshop, plant sale, guided tours and lectures. Simon Crawford and George Ball will be the featured speakers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just Now: West Week 4

I just saw the bench that I want. And I can't have it! There are only 7 in the world, and at a cool 10K, right out of my price range. But this indoor-outdoor piece designed by Jon Goulder for Living Edge is the ultimate functional sculpture, created from plywood hoops. The Living Edge showroom is new at the PDC, and I'm excited to see what pieces they bring from Australia in the coming years.

Just Now: West Week 3

If you check out our Swatch Watch column, edited by senior editor Megan Padilla, you'll notice that outdoor fabrics from Perennials show up regularly. We just can't get enough of their subdued, sensual textiles. Kicking it up a notch, their new marketing campaign brings us Rocco the Rhino. I have his business card, and he is my new FaceBook friend. For real. According to the slogan on his card, Rocco is "wrapped in fabric and horny". He'll be making appearances at major industry events all year.

Just Now: West Week 2

Having just shown a piece from Ego Paris in our fresh-from-the-printer April issue, we are excited to see their new lines in person. The Bain De Soleil Tandem (modeled here by me--left--and Leigh Ann--right) can be flipped for side-by-side or facing use. As the lovely and charming Jean Sommereux told us, the mesh fabric allows you to dry off while sunning--no towel needed, and no sweating. The chaises also fold down flat so you can stretch out.

Just Now: West Week

Our managing editor Leigh Ann and I are here in West Hollywood for West Week at the Pacific Design Center. New product releases for the outdoors are not as plentiful as in years past, but what we are seeing, we like. At the Sutherland showroom, Ann and David Sutherland showed us the Datcha Rectangular Dining Table from the Philippe Hurel Collection, an iconic piece now translated for the outdoors. With a teak base, aluminum cross bars and flamed datcha stone top, the frame and X braces are each available in multiple finishes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Check It Out: Pasadena Outdoor Fireplace

I have yet to see a product from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet that doesn't knock my socks off. The quality is inspiring--and so are their designs. Last year their Edo grill blew us all away, and now it is the latest release, the freestanding Pasadena Outdoor Fireplace, which will be available on March 26th.

Do It: Newport, Rhode Island, Garden Excursion

You've heard from Charles Birnbaum many a time in the pages of our magazine. His work at the helm of The Cultural Landscape Foundation helps fund the protection of historic landscapes. The TCLF is hosting a garden excursion to Newport, Rhode Island, in May, and whatever else your plans, it is worth the time and the trip--add it to your calendar. From the private garden tours, once-in-a-lifetime lectures and dinner and drinks at the home of landscape architect Doug Reed, the Thursday-to-Sunday excursion is one of the year's best events for garden enthusiasts.

I Love This: Living Walls

A few days ago, we got our April issue back from the printer. I am especially excited about our Fresh story on Living Walls. Senior editor Megan Padilla found examples of great new work of this nature around the country by Flora Grubb (San Francisco), Jane Hansen (Portland), Michael Madarash (New York) and Winston Flowers (Boston--and they are now doing landscape design, not just floral design). If that isn't enough to keep us all on our toes, today's first-thing-in-the-morning e-mail check revealed a living wall by a designer I haven't met before, Amelia Lima, who is originally from Brazil but now living in La Jolla, CA. Landscape architect Raymond Jungles, who is heavily influenced by Brazilian landscapes, sent me this photo of one of Lima's projects. Do you love it as much as I do?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Progress: Kips Bay 2009 Decorator Show House

Jacqueline Togneri from Plant Specialists has been keeping us up to date on progress at the Kips Bay Show House, where she and Daniel Richards are designing the conservatory and 5th floor terrace. Today she writes: "As you can see, the demolition debris has cleared, subflooring has been laid, and is ready for the glass tile flooring. The 5th floor terrace custom furniture is under construction in our yard. I’ll be sure you get images of that as well for you next week." Stay tuned!

Book Worm: Award Winners

Each year, the American Horticultural Society recognizes outstanding gardening books published in North America with its annual Book Award. Of this year's four recipients, three books were written by Garden Design contributors that have had a big impact on the plantaholic community: In her new book The Heirloom Tomato, Amy Goldman brings the same context of style and sensibility to tomatoes that she did for pumpkins, squashes, and gourds in her previous book The Compleat Squash, which we excerpted five years ago. William Cullina, who wrote a story on miniature orchids last year for our Plant Palette department, has now been recognized for his 2008 title, Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses. Most recently, Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden contributed to our landmark feature on climate change, A Change in the Weather. The stunning opening photo in that feature shows a glimpse of Lauren and Scott's garden. Their book Plant-Driven Design is just as impactful.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Love This: Working Outside

Variegated gingers to the left, palms to the right. Cool, blue pool 10 feet in front of me as I relax in a cabana on a chaise. No, I am not on vacation. Yes, it is a work day. Inspired by our columnist Damaris Colhoun, whose Style story for May covers the best products for the outdoor office, the Garden Design editorial team worked outside yesterday. And we were productive! Best moment: The editor of Windsurfing magazine shows up with a Wendy's Frosty for each of us.

Friday, March 13, 2009

In Progress: Kips Bay 2009 Decorator Show House

In addition to the Conservatory indoor garden room, Daniel Richards and the team from Plant Specialists is designing the 5th Floor Terrace for the Kips Bay 2009 Decorator Show House. Confronting people's expectations of what a traditional Upper East Side mansion should be, Richards has incorporated exciting materials such as perforated steel, powder coated aluminum, and light weight resins into his design. Of course, you won't see any of that bold new look yet--the installation has yet to begin. Continue checking back for updates!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do It: Santa Fe Garden Tours

Tickets go on sale for the Santa Fe Garden Tours on April 1st. The May 31 and June 7 tours are worthwhile fundraisers for Santa Fe Botanical Garden. As tour goers stroll through historic neighborhoods of Old Santa Fe, they will experience the ambience of the Acequia Madre and South Capitol neighborhoods, visiting private gardens, large and small. As a special option on one of the tour days, visitors will be able to purchase in advance a gourmet picnic lunch at the historic Inn of the Turquoise Bear, which also includes a tour of the inn and surrounding gardens.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sneak Peek: GD Green Awards Entries

I am giddy. Just took my first look at incoming entries for Garden Design’s first annual Green Awards program and I love what I am seeing! Entries are coming from the country’s top firms as well as unknown talents—all with the effect of promising an amazing feature in our September/October issue. This shot is from a naturalistic designed landscape in Ohio, submitted by Rick Espe.

In Progress: Kips Bay 2009 Decorator Show House

It looks scary now, but when Daniel Richards, lead designer at Plant Specialists, gets done with the conservatory and outdoor terraces for the Kips Bay 2009 Decorator Show House, the spaces will be every bit as enticing as Mr. Richards himself. His "classic with a twist" approach was demonstrated for last year's Kips Bay terraces, and we can hardly wait to see what he delivers in April. Plant Specialists promises living moss walls, 20' palm trees, McKinnon and Harris furnishings, and Italian glass mosaic flooring. Check back here for updates as the project progresses.

Check It Out: Royal Botania

Belgian outdoor furniture manufacturer Royal Botania now has a showroom in New York at 394 Broadway. I stopped by last week and loved the looks I saw. Clean, cool and ergonomic, Royal Botania pieces are going to be a big deal now that they've landed in the U.S.

The Kokoon, shown here, is new for 2009.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Engagements: Annual Callaway Gardening School

On Friday, March 27, 2009, Walter Reeves and Page Dickey will present garden design concepts to attendees of the annual Callaway Gardening School in Pine Mountain, GA.

Reeves’ focus is on transforming your garden to reflect your personality and individuality. Following the paradigm shift in approaches to garden design, Page Dickey will share tips on how to create a meadow in your own garden, large or small. Replacing a traditional lawn with a meadow garden saves time and both yours and the planet’s resources.

To register, contact the Callaway Gardens Education Department at education@callawaygardens.com.

The Winner: Mexican Grass Tree

My good friend Nicole McDonald was at the Philadelphia Flower Show today, and texted me this shot of the big winner, Dasylirion Longissimum. Not much more to say, but it sure is purtee!
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