Friday, May 29, 2009

On The Road: More On FLS Honorees

From our features editor Jenny Andrews reporting from New York: "Henriette Granville Suhr and her late husband Billy worked tirelessly for many years to create a beautiful garden at their home in Westchester County, known as Rocky Hills. She is putting a plan in place to preserve the garden long term as a horticulture education center, with the help of The Garden Conservancy, Friends of Rocky Hills and Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.

Writer Mac Griswold has several noteworthy books to her credit, including Washington’s Gardens at Mount Vernon. Her latest project explores the remarkable history of Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island, where Griswold is currently the Director of Archival Research. Entitled Slaves in the Attic, Rediscovering a Long Island Plantation, the book is due out in spring 2010.

Adrian Benepe has been Commissioner of the Department of Parks & Recreation since 2002, another link in the chain of his nearly 30 years spent improving and protecting the green spaces of New York City. (In fact I saw him later that day on “taxi TV” being interviewed about Central Park.)"

On The Road: Collect Pond Park

This week, amidst Lower Manhattan's concrete and asphalt, a flowering meadow will begin to grow. A temporary landscape designed by Julie Farris and Sarah Wayland-Smith, A Clearing in the Streets, is a new installation commissioned by the Public Art Fund. Farris, a landscape designer, and Wayland-Smith, an artist and landscape designer, are committed to finding innovative ways to incorporate the natural world into the urban environment. A ten-sided plywood structure located at Collect Pond Park houses a meadow, fifteen feet in diameter, offset by a panoramic interior mural of a vast blue sky. Eight-inch gaps spaced throughout the structure permit controlled visual access to the enclosed landscape, exaggerating the disjunction between the natural ecology growing inside and the architecturally defined exterior. A full plant list is stenciled on one of the exterior panel walls to identify what is growing inside. The constructed design and limited viewing opportunities magnify the natural cyclical processes of the ecology that, over a four month period, will evolve from seeds and seedlings to a lush meadow of flowering native plants and grasses.

Collect Pond Park is located on Leonard Street between Centre and Lafayette Streets.

On The Road: Foundation for Landscape Studies Luncheon

From our features editor Jenny Andrews reporting from New York: "Speaking of garden restoration efforts, at a benefit luncheon held at Tavern on the Green, the Foundation for Landscape Studies honored Henriette Granville Suhr and Mac Griswold with Place Maker Awards, and Adrian Benepe with a Place Keeper Award. Presenters included honorary chairman of FLS Jack Lenor Larsen, director of LongHouse Reserve; Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, president of FLS; and Antonia Adezio, president of The Garden Conservancy."

On the Road: Kokobo Plantscapes

From our features editor Jenny Andrews reporting from New York: "Scouting with Michael Madarash of Kokobo Plantscapes led me to several of his chic residential rooftop spaces, but also two community gardens that he designed in Harlem in conjunction with the New York Restoration Project, one sponsored by Target and the other sponsored by Home Depot. The Home Depot space had just officially opened that day (in attendance was Bette Midler, avid spokesperson for NYRP) and balloons still nodded in the breeze at the front gate; the Target garden opened the next day. NYRP rep Elvira Catter-Martinez was just cleaning up after the opening festivities and still welcoming parents and children into the Home Depot space, which features play/learning stations and a miniature Tudor house straight out of a fairytale. The kids were lovin’ it. In the Target garden, which includes seating areas and bright red “umbrellas” styled like modern art, a man had found a quiet corner to read. Wedged between derelict buildings, the NYRP gardens are a welcome green interlude in this very urban area."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On The Road: Mariani Gardens

Our photo editor Chelsea Stickel just returned from a trip to Long Island, where she photographed some Preservation Projects for the Garden Conservancy. While she was there, she stopped by Mariani Gardens at 45 Bedford Road in Armonk. She says: "I was amazed at their tree selection – they sell fully mature trees on site, and they are laid out on the nursery grounds as if they are part of a garden." Side note: They also have a small cafĂ© and their French toast with Berries is fantastic.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In This Issue: May 2009

One of the stories I'm most excited about in our May issue is our Living Green department's coverage of a meadow-style garden designed by John Greenlee as an addition to a Ron Herman landscape in California. Greenlee, known as "the grass man" has been promoting meadow making for the past 15 years as a best-case alternative to thirsty lawns. This particular meadow has about 50 varieties of grasses and grassy plants! Other great features in this garden: a dry stream for runoff cactchment, drought-tolerant plants, a sloped lawn for efficient water use, and premeable pathways made of natural materials.

Green Ideas: Parish Furniture

Our group publisher Jay McKenzie is at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and spotted a new Peruvian company, Parish Furniture, that makes indoor-outdoor furniture crafted with black palm. They salvage it off the forest floor, and the folks at Parish tell Jay that black palm is second only to bamboo for its sustainability.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Do It! Enter Greenest Block In Brooklyn Contest

Just got word from our friends at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The deadline to vie for the coveted Greenest Block in Brooklyn title is fast approaching! June 1, 2009, marks the last day that you can submit an application to enter the annual contest.

The contest is a program of GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, in cooperation with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and sponsored by Independence Community Foundation. Hundreds of the borough’s blocks have organized and already entered the lively competition, which encourages Brooklynites to beautify their blocks, build community, and make Brooklyn green. GreenBridge’s community outreach program is designed to share the knowledge and resources of Brooklyn Botanic Garden with the neighborhoods of the borough.

Do It! Burpee's Open Day Garden Tours

Burpee’s upcoming Open Day events are available to the general public, and are offered with the assistance of The Garden Conservancy, a non-profit group dedicated to restoring gardens across the country. This season, Burpee is offering three more Open Day events at Fordhook Farm on the east coast as well as three open days on the west coast at Heronswood Nursery’s original garden. A list of events can be found below, and for more details, click here.

East Coast

Burpee's Fordhook Farm
Doylestown, PA

Midsummer Garden Party
Friday and Saturday, July 10-11

Burpee's Harvest Festival
Friday and Saturday, August 21-22

Autumn Garden Tour
Friday and Saturday, September 25-26

West Coast

Heronswood Nursery West Coast Garden
Kingston, WA

Garden Open Day and Rare Plant Auction
Sunday, July 19

Garden Open Day and Rare Plant Auction
Sunday, August 30

Eat This: The NYBG's edible gardening celebration

We're continually impressed with the programming at the New York Botanical Garden. Whatever they do, they do well--and they always have their finger on the pulse of the most important issues facing people and their gardens. All summer long, they will be celebrating the local foods movement and edible gardening with lectures, tastings and other events. If you're in New York year-round or this summer on a visit, you won't want to miss it. For details, click here. Photo credit: NYBG.

Green Ideas: EcoSmart Fires

It is months away, but we're already gearing up for our September 2009 Green Issue. Lots of new environmentally-friendly products have been developed for the garden, and since we can't squeeze them all into the issue, I'm going to be showing them off here on the blog. Part of EcoSmart Fire’s ethanol-burning Designer Range, Tower is a versatile freestanding fireplace that can be used interchangeably for both indoor and outdoor spaces. With its elevated flame set atop a solid plinth, the Tower stands approximately 4 feet high and is constructed from black or white powder-coated steel. It features a stainless steel burner insert and toughened glass surround, which not only enhances the drama of the fire, but also ensures safety.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do It! Tour San Rafael Estate

This Saturday landscape architect Heather Lenkin will take you on a tour of the San Rafael Estate in Pasadena, which she renovated and restored. The gardens surround the 1919 Reginald Johnson-designed mansion and the gardens were created by Paul Thiene. Call 626-793-3334, ext. 52 to reserve your spot. Do it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Update: Edible Floral Cake

Two weeks ago I blogged about an edible floral cake designed by garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes for his show garden at the Malvern Spring Flower Show in the UK. Now complete, the cake--and Paul--are shown here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On The Road: Garden Gourmet columnist Lauren Grymes

Roving reporting after the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show held May 1-3 at the ginormous Georgia World Congress Center

ATLANTA -- Most of the major outdoor appliance manufacturers did not show this year, with Lynx ( Dacor ( and GE Monogram ( among the exceptions. There was some evidence -- thanks to companies that provide the finishing touches -- that high-end outdoor kitchen design is still on the rise despite the bleak economy. Outdoor cabinetry is being made that is beautiful enough to be used indoors (check out Amazing stone and tile products, from concrete to to quartz, are available to cover floors, walls, fireplace surrounds, benches, counters and back-splashes - you name it. (See for chic new and yes, lower-on-the-pricing-end concrete tiles that can be used outdoors; an array of stylish options from; stunningly gorgeous quartz and other stone selections from Cosentino's new Prexury Collection; and the rich and tactile stone veneers from, which has a new modular masonry system designed just for building-in outdoor kitchens.) Lighting is often an afterthought when it comes to outdoor kitchen planning, but companies including,, and will have you basking and basting long after dusk with great-looking, functional and high-tech fixtures and systems. Word on the show hall floor (which, by the way, had a steady if not crowded flow of visitors) was that several of the high-end outdoor appliance makers are planning exciting new upgrades for 2010, so all only seems quiet on the gourmet cooking front.--Lauren Grymes

Monday, May 4, 2009

Check It Out: NYBG Antique Garden Furniture Show & Sale

Garden Design sponsors one of our favorite events every year--the New York Botanic Garden Antique Garden Furniture Show & Sale. All kinds of amazing things are there to be discovered. Our Style columnist Damaris Colhoun didn't go home empty handed. "Here I am at the preview gala the night before the show. The garden was selling a number of plants, and I bought this Gardenia jasminoides, which is frost-proof and supposedly deer-resistant! Perfect, I hope, for my new garden in Brooklyn."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Check It Out: A Rooftop Garden

Peeking out from over the roofline above L.V. Harkness in Lexington, a pergola declares that a garden lives up there. Jon Carloftis has created a very pretty rooftop garden that plays host to guests of the shops in that plaza when they hold special events. Jon tells me the garden has attracted new clients to the shops in this plaza. With its soothing fountain, comfortable seating and gorgeous plants that bloom outrageously, that really comes as no surprise!

Just Now: Belle Maison

A cluster of fabulous shops on West Short Street in Lexington includes the famous gift store L.V. Harkness and Debbie Chamblin's Belle Maison Antiques. Traveling to France with her husband for business, Debbie used to scour the flea markets in Paris. That was 8 or 9 years ago. When she brought home a huge shipment of her findings--beautiful furnishings and objects for indoors and out--and had a trunk sale here in town, the sale was a hit and Belle Maison was born.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Just Now: Nancy Barron's garden

I saw another treasure of a garden in Lexington, this one belonging to Nancy Barron and designed by Jon Carloftis. Nancy has made her home right next to her office on Grand Boulevard, and it is the courtyard gardens in front and in back of the house that distinguish it as a residential space. The garden is sustainable, and one of my favorite features is the rain collection system Nancy has set up (see pic). It is fun and artful, just like her. "If there's a drought, I could probably get away with watering from the spicket back here because it is hidden. But I'm not going to do that when no one else is watering. I have the rain barrels for that," she says.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Now: Cathy Clay's garden

I met Cathy Clay last night at the 2009 Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction in Lexington and she invited me by to see her garden this morning. Designed by landscape architect Ben Page of Nashville, TN, the landscape is dominated by shades of green. The back garden is terraced, with the level closest to the house inhabited by an oval-shaped pool and the upper terrace further from the house a great lawn.

Just Now: Here in Lexington

I woke up in Jon Carloftis’ guest bedroom this morning. First thing I had to do is walk outside and snap a shot of the birch allee that leads to his and Dale’s front door. I love the neighborhood with its neat 1920’s houses, but Jon and Dale have made theirs special with the entry. Not another one like it on the street. From here we go to Cathy Clay’s house to see her Ben Page-designed garden.
Visit Our Sister Sites at Bonnier Corporation:

Copyright 2009 Garden Design. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.