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Design

How to make a mini gabion

October 22, 2014

Gabions, which are metal mesh baskets that hold rocks or concrete, have historically been a tool employed by the likes of civil engineers. But these industrial building blocks have come into vogue for uses beyond securing structures and edifices. Today, gabion cages are regularly put to use in garden design as an alternative to other […]

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Cultivating Garden Style: Cottage au courant

October 21, 2014

Informal, quirky, and engaging characterize this garden style. Cottage gardens hold near-universal appeal, as they are often the gardens of our parents and grandparents. Born of necessity, the cottage garden was the original homesteader’s paradise. Always an overflowing, informal place where chickens might mingle with kids and bikes and vegetable patches, as well as the […]

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Cultivating Garden Style: Getting inspired

October 17, 2014

Cultivating Garden Style author Rochelle Greayer shares her strategy for design inspiration. Who wants a cookie cutter house anymore? No one I know. It is much more fun to let your character and taste shine through. We express our personal style every day in the choices we make: clothes, home decor, food, and products we […]

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The Creative Shrub Garden: Mediterranean style

October 6, 2014

Drought-tolerant shrubs in an easy-to-care-for scheme for a sunny spot. Picture the warm tones of the Mediterranean landscape: red-brown soil and sand-coloured rock blend with low-mounded shrubs adapted to withstand the summer sun, heat, and exposure. To resist desiccation in times of drought, some have small, tough leaves while others sport silver foliage. Colourful flowers […]

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Create a mood with The Creative Shrub Garden: Warm and relaxing

September 25, 2014

You can find more creative shrub mood schemes in Andy McIndoe’s new book, The Creative Shrub Garden. The colours in this scheme recall a warm summer’s afternoon in the garden. They are easy-to-live-with shades that create a relaxed and dreamy mood in the planting. These are the subtle hues that many of us are drawn […]

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A window on diverse functionality, from foundation plantings to living landscape

August 12, 2014

How a neglected part of the yard became a thriving spot of beauty and habitat for wildlife. This following series of images illustrates the transformation of a relatively sterile space off a north-facing bathroom window of our Pennsylvania home. Though a bathroom view may seem mundane, like the view from a kitchen window it is […]

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Natives in formal and informal designs

August 11, 2014

Though native plants are sometimes considered appropriate only for informal design styles, there’s no reason for this. Style, and formality or informality, have more to do with management than with plant selection. Ferns are among the most adaptable and durable possibilities for the herbaceous layer. Though many are deciduous, a few including marginal shield fern […]

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The Living Landscape: Applying layers to the Home Garden

August 7, 2014

What brings life to a landscape? Gardening is unique among the arts because its primary materials are literally alive, but are gardens merely beautiful arrangements of living objects? A growing awareness of a broad range of environmental relationships suggests the traditional object-oriented approach to garden-making is unable to guide us in the design and care […]

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Salvia: Plant of many possibilities

May 29, 2014

Designing with salvias opens a world of possibilities. Considering the wide diversity of plants in the genus Salvia, it is not difficult to find one or many salvias for any type of garden, in any climate zone. Their use in the landscape is as varied as the genus. Salvias are seen as groundcovers, as lively […]

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Hellstrip gardening: A case study

May 20, 2014

When Laura Crockett bought her property seventeen years ago, the front yard was entirely lawn. “I knew I wanted to make a private interior courtyard,” she says, “with an obvious, interesting entrance.” She laid out a linear garden 8 feet wide on either side of the 75-foot stretch of public sidewalk. One side is the […]

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