Trends

geranuim garden shelves by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com
A couple of months back I was chatting with a new garden friend when she openly wondered what the next big garden trend will be.  I have to admit — while I look for design trends all the time…I hadn’t thought much about the big arcs of our collective garden specific tastes.  I think it is fair to say that vertical gardening isn’t the new kid on the block anymore.  It’s here to stay, but you can’t be new forever.  So what next?

rustic wabi sabi garden shelves via www.studiogblog.com

I think that the answer to her question might be a twist on the idea of vertical gardens — Shelved Gardens.   They are kind of like vertical gardens (in that the point is to fill a vertical space with plants) but different.  Admittedly, the idea of putting plants on shelves is not new…but doing it outside of the retail environment or for any other reason than purely for the sake of necessity is (at least a little) an original twist.

rustic wabi sabi garden shelves via www.studiogblog.com

Will we soon be combining the succulent trend with ever more interesting containers and then combining the containers to create ever more  vertical visual appeal?

garden shelves by fabulous minds blog via www.studiogblog.com

Tiered plant stands had a moment when I was kid (I remember seeing them in many friends homes in the 70’s) – but like all good fashion…they went out at some point but I think are now on their way back in but with new and refreshed style.

garden shelves by Borella Design via www.studiogblog.com
garden shelves by Borella Design via www.studiogblog.com

The variation and style choices are endless.   The shelves, the containers, the plant choices and how you mix and match them together, provide infinite options for self-expression.  These are just a few that have caught my eye recently.  The one above perhaps being my favorite — it looks like it takes some inspiration from a library…and the idea of having a library of potted plants sounds good to me.

So, do we have the making of a big new garden trend?  Shelved Gardens?  What do you think?

images: top to bottom – rochelle greayer, littleyard, fabulous minds, and AT casa

 

 

I was watching the weather all day Sunday as my wife and one of our daughters were heading down to Portland to watch a live performance of A Christmas Carol. The weather websites were predicting that here is coastal Maine, we could receive up to 6″ of snow over the next couple of days.

Vinales, Cuba

This is quite different from where I was almost 12 years ago. In January of 2001, a group of us were lucky enough to visit Cuba. Besides discovering a country of beautiful scenery and fun people, we encountered a botanical concoction called mojito. In case you have never had a mojito, it is a drink which among its various ingredients includes rum and mint. The mint is slightly crushed and included whole in the glass. The reason I include this is that I am guessing that the appearance of the mint in the mojito is what inspired the name of my favorite elephant ear, Colocasia ‘Mojito.’ It was either that, or the folks who found the plant were drinking mojitos at the time.

Colocasia 'Mojito' close up

Colocasia ‘Mojito’ is a superb and striking plant. The green leaves are randomly splotched with black. The best way I know how to describe the appearance is that of a psychedelic camouflage pattern. Longwood Gardens grew a wide assortment of elephant ears last summer and this was one of the best performers in their Idea Garden.

Mojito elephant ear was brought to the market by Agri-Starts, Inc. down in Florida. They have patented the plant as plant patent 21,995.

Colocasia 'Mojito' leaf

I will definitely be including Colocasia ‘Mojito’ in the gardens at Coastal Maine in 2013. We will have to lift the plants and store them over next winter since it is only hardy down to zone 7b (we are in 6a). With that striking coloration, I could see it doing well as a color echo for a chartreuse ground cover of even something dark like the dark leaved sweet potatoes. There are also quite a few coleus selections that would go well with this elephant ear as well.

How about you? Have you grown Colocasia ‘Mojito?’ Are there other elephant ears that we should consider growing in 2013? – Rodney

Images: lonelyplanet.com, theplantprincess.blogspot.com, josephhillenmeyerandassoc.wordpress.com

Bull terrier and australian girl circa 1934

Please accept my apologies for being away yesterday.  The day was packed to the gills and getting online was ultimately not in the cards.  But, among other things, I think we have finally found a puppy — he is a couple weeks from arriving at our home, but this sweet picture gives a good idea of the future Greayer family dog.

With all the new snow in New England we are planning to take advantage of  great conditions and hit the slopes.  What are you up to this weekend?

Here are a few fun links to check out til Monday!

Have a great weekend ~ R

image: Margaret Shaffhauser with and English bull terrier at the Canine Association Show, 3 Nov 1934 / by Ted Hood from flickr

Care for a little trend spotting first thing on a Monday Morning?  I’m noticing (what I’ll call) ‘deconstructed florals’  all over the place.

Here is an example:
test tube chandelier from peppermags

To me it’s the floral mash-up of vertical gardening, meadow-like and wild landscaping and just plain (wonderful) messiness.

shelf arrangement from design sponge

Elements of the trend seem include (but are not exclusively):

  • wild and delicate flowers
  • test tubes and other little found vases
  • multiples (of everything)
  • groupings of one kind of plant or flower
  • stuff put on walls (and generally hanging)
  • singles
  • leaves and non-flower materials taking center stage
  • and order that comes from arranging lots of containers or stems individually rather than composing flowers together  in a single container.

Here are whole bunch of images to show you what I’m talking about.   Have you noticed this trend?

images from hatch creativestudioruffled blogmartha stewart weddingsdesign frontbhldndesign spongejoys hopestyle me prettypocketful of starlightsunday-suppers and someranneblog.

sun block printing on tile

I am not sure how I feel about being old enough to see fashions and fads truly recycle themselves.  I remember my grandmother and mother saying to me “Thats not new….I remember when blah blah was the fashion back when I was….blah blah”.  Well, now I am saying it.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with my sun block printing kit.   I loved it and it seemed at the time like something lots of other people did too…..so the resurgence of this pretty way to capture a bit of your garden for your home couldn’t please me more, even if it does make me sound like my mother and make me wonder if I may need to begin lying about my age.

Have you noticed the resurgence of sun prints?

Sun printing was originally developed by Anna Atkins (a British botanist, 1799-1871) who used the process to document and catalog plants.  She felt it was more accurate than her drawings.  There is a great telling of the story of her and the algea that she first documented at Venetian Red.

The process (as applied to not just scientific record keeping) reveals beautiful results that are perfect for decor of all kinds.

Here is my round up of all the sunblocking that is catching my attention:

blueware sun printed tiles from studio glithero

Blueware Tiles, vases and even lampshades by Studio Glithero.


Both Martha  Stewart and Garden Design have nice write-ups about the how-tos and you can get printable fabric at blue prints on fabric.

You can also learn more about doing it yourself from a new book by  Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop.

sun prints by rinne allen

I am excited to give this old craft of mine a new twist….maybe I can even get my kids hooked on it, and one day when they are 30 something, they can say, hey- “that’s not new,  I used to do blah blah back when I was blah blah…”;)

To see more sun-spiring print inspiration, check out my newest pinterest board.

images from Martha  Stewart , Garden Design, Rinne Allen,  and that cake (which is not really cyanotype but an airbrushed edible copy) is from Once Wed.

foxglove and cow parsley arrangement

I have heard of many interesting and off beat ideas for gift giving to newly-wed couples, but a garden makeover has not, until now, been one of them.  A company called Bottom Drawer in the UK has evolved a scheme by which couples can work through them and a local team of landscape professionals to figure out a garden plan and then break it out into gift-able gift registry pieces.

So, Aunt Rose can give you a bed of roses, the Mother-in law to be can make sure you eat right with a freshly planted kitchen garden, and maybe the best friend can give the privacy hedge newlyweds might desire.

image from style me pretty.

Have you ever heard of term Jump the Shark? (wikipedia defines: something (usually a tv show) has broadened beyond television – indicating the moment in its evolution when a brand, design, or creative effort moves beyond the essential qualities that initially defined its success, beyond relevance or recovery – in a moment characterized by absurdity.)

I thought of that this morning when I saw this video.  Do you think that it is possible for horticultural trends to ‘jump the shark‘?

This makes me think so.  I really hate when something (like in this case the popularity of succulents) goes to a point of stupidity.  Here, they are being used in a promo video that has nothing to do with plants, their usefulness, their ease of growing, their appropriateness to a site, or really anything even related to gardens or horticulture.

I think the succulent craze may have jumped the shark with this one.  What do you think? Has the succulent craze hit its crescendo yet?  Can horti trends (or even design trends in general)  jump the shark?  I am curious what you think?

In the mean time, lets take a moment of silence for the little plants that are surely all dead now after what was certainly a long photo shoot to create this irrelevant little video.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not some sort of PETA-ish plant protector, plants die, it happens all the time.  Flower shows are hard on plants, TV and other demonstrative activities can kill delicate ecosystems and visiting gardens can alter the environment permanently and irrevocably.  But these have a point, education, health, fresh air, design, teaching, inspiring, etc. etc…..

Here though, these little plants are being used as objects that in no way relate to the brand and their use accomplishes nothing…..except that they are trendy. I just don’t get it.

Est (the brand) –  is a new online shelter magazine from Australia — and even though I am (probably) overly grumpy this morning about this little video, the magazine very much worth perusing. (online here)