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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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    I'm not good at remembering to drink water. The number of glasses I drink on a daily basis often doesn't move beyond two—never mind the recommended eight. But like most things, if I put some effort into the ritual, I find myself taking gulps more regularly.

    Whether you're trying to increase your own liquid intake or impress guests with a fancified version of a classic refreshment, these two herbal waters will elevate drinking water from a mere necessity to a veritable pleasure.

    Photographs by Erin Boyle.

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    During a weekend visit to my parents in Connecticut, I took advantage of their ample herb garden to concoct two herbal waters that are perfect for early summer. A mix of sweet woodruff, stevia, and strawberry made a sweet thirst quencher, while lovage, lemon peel, and lemon balm made one that was as bright as it was refreshing. 

    A 4-inch-tall Rings Juice Glass is 95 cents from Crate & Barrel.

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    For my first herbal water, I did a non-alcoholic riff on the classic German May Wine. The ingredients: sweet woodruff, stevia, and a handful of fresh strawberries.

    A set of three Vintage Glass Ball Jars with glass lids and wire bale seals was offered at $18.99 by KTsVersion via Etsy.

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    Sweet woodruff is an herb that carpets shady spots under trees. I picked a few stems from the patch in my parents' yard, and used both the flowers and the leaves to make my water.

      herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    First, I let the woodruff flowers wilt a little to make their slightly sweet scent more pronounced.

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    Next, I picked a stem of stevia. An innocuous-looking herb with a very sweet secret, it's often used in powdered form as a sugar substitute. The leaves can also lend a sweet note to cooking.

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    I pinched five or six stevia leaves and slightly bruised them with the back of a wooden spoon to release their essential oils. Then I added them to my quart jar.

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    For the best flavor, I got strawberries from the farmers' market.

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista

    I sliced five strawberries thinly and added them to the stevia and sweet woodruff in my quart jar. 

    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista
    Next, I filled the jar with fresh water and refrigerated it overnight. The water turned a delightful shade of pale pink. If you're serving it to guests, you might want to strain the water and add fresh fruit, as the strawberries will have lost some color overnight.
    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista
    The second recipe: For a brighter, crisper-tasting water, I combined lovage, lemon peel, and lemon balm.
    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista
    Lovage, one of the first herbs up in the garden, is often under-appreciated. Its sharp, celery-like flavor makes it perfect to add a little kick to water.
    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista
    I used only the leafy tops of the lovage stems.
    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista
    For an extra bite, I peeled some lemon rind, making sure not to take too much pith, which would make the water bitter. Note that any ingredients you add to herbal water should ideally be pesticide-free. 
    herbal waters for late spring, gardenista
    For good measure, I added a few leaves of lemon balm. As with the stevia, I lightly bruised the lemon balm to release the essential oils.
    When you're making herbal waters, the possibilities are nearly endless. I like these two versions because they're a little unexpected without being totally foreign. Now, how about you? I'd love to hear what you're adding to your water this time of year. 
    For another of our favorite herb-infused beverages, see DIY: Lavender Soda.
    Looking to make enough for a crowd? See A Glass Decanter for Outdoor Parties.
    This is an update of a post originally published May 29th, 2013.

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    Thanks, Remodelista, for spending the week doing what we love best: finding new ways to make the indoors an extension of our outdoor living space. 

    Heather Taylor Dinner Napkins; Remodelista

    Above: Table settings bring a little outdoors (eucalyptus leaves) to the plate. Julie thinks LA designer Heather Taylor is making the perfect linen napkins for summer. Couldn't agree more. See why in Left Coast Luxury, Table Linen Edition.

    Shaker peg rails at High Road House, a London hotel, Remodelista

    Above: Christine tells all in her Remodeling 101 post on How Shaker Peg Rails Saved My Summer Sanity: her fear of losing it over the soggy towels and swimsuits tossed aside by her sons and their friends at her Connecticut home. To the rescue: Shaker peg rails, inspired by rooms like this one at the serene High Road House hotel in London, where floors are mercifully clutter-free. 

      A coastal California kitchen by Eric Olsen Design; Remodelista

    Above: Do we even need to say this? If it's too hot, get out of the kitchen. We can help you with that, with a backyard setup. See Beyond the Barbecue: 13 Modern Outdoor Kitchens.

    DIY wine table, Napa Valley, Remodelista

    Above: Izabella spotted this Built-in Picnic Table Wine Bar at Medlock Ames Winery, in the Napa Valley town of Healdsburg, and shows us how easy it is to make the same thing for our backyard. Our new motto: tipsy without toppling bottles.

    Sail shades of UV-blocking fabric; Remodelista

    Above: In her Design Sleuth post about Shade Sails, Julie hunts down stylish versions of those tension-mounted triangles of UV-blocking fabric that double the comfort of your outdoor space when temperatures rise. For example, the Coolaroo Shade Sail shown here shuts out up to 90 percent of UV rays. 

    indoor/outdoor furniture from Tait of Melbourne, Australia; Remodelista

    Above: Furniture that works just as well inside as outside: Is there such a thing? A husband-and-wife team in Melbourne, Australia, makes carefree rockers, Shiny Happy Furniture From Melbourne, that will cheer up both a deck and a living room.

    For more from Remodelista, see this week's full report on Indoor/Outdoor design. 

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    Yes, roses, we know you're in bloom. (How could we miss you?) But you're not the only kid on the block this week: 

    Brooklyn Botanical Garden Peonies in Bloom | Gardenista

    Trematon Castle Garden | Gardenista

    Kale Salad by 101 Cookbooks/Heidi Swanson | Gardenista

    Wood and leather stool | Gardenista

      pink roses picket fence ; Gardenista
    • Above: Oh, and roses? No hard feelings, guys, we love you too. (We'll be snapping and pinning you like mad all week.) Look for us on Pinterest and Instagram.

    For more from this week on Gardenista, see Outdoor Living. And check out Remodelista's Indoor/Outdoor issue. 

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    "One evening in Paris, we walked over to the grounds of the Louvre, hoping to visit the Tuileries Garden at dusk," reports Manhattan-based photographer Alice Gao. "Unfortunately the garden was just closing, and the gates were already up."

    So Alice stuck her camera through the fence openings, "just doing the best I could" to capture the golden light. We think her best is pretty perfect:

    Photographs by Alice Gao.

    tuileries at twilight in june by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: Foxgloves march in a row.

    It is hard to imagine anything looking lovelier than the Tuileries Garden in the golden light of dusk. And yet, the French did not always appreciate Catherine de Medici's taste in gardens.

    In the mid 1500s, Catherine de Medici was in mourning for her husband, the king of France—who was killed jousting, after a lance went into his brain—when she commissioned the Tuileries Palace to be built on the Right Bank of the Seine. She hired a landscape architect from Florence to create Italian-style gardens that would remind her of home.

    Tuileries in twilight in june by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: Catherine's grand gardens featured fountains and statues, a grotto, and canals. She also had vineyards, and a kitchen garden, and sprawling lawns separated by long allées.

    During Catherine's lifetime, the gardens were not as beloved as they are today. This had something to do with the fact that the average 16th-century Frenchman was facing the threat of plague, starvation, and poverty while the queen was spending buckets of money on exorbitantly expensive architectural projects (she had a penchant for elaborately carved columns, too). As the poet Pierre de Ronsard put it: 

    The queen must cease building, 
    Her lime must stop swallowing our wealth . . .
    Painters, masons, engravers, stone-carvers
    Drain the treasury with their deceits. 
    Of what use is her Tuileries to us?
    Of none, Moreau; it is but vanity.
    It will be deserted within a hundred years.

    Tuileries statue at twilight, alice gao; Gardenista

    Over the next centuries, the Tuileries went the way of many royal gardens: ephemeral, ignored, and overgrown for a while. Then the garden was rediscovered.

    New terraces were built. Royals romped. Hunts were hosted. Exotic menageries roamed the lawns. In captivity, Marie Antoinette strolled restlessly in the same golden light during the French Revolution.

    In the end, Catherine's gardens outlived her Tuileries Palace (which did not survive a fire set during the 1871 Paris Uprising).

    tuileries flowers in bloom at twilight by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: Ronsard's prophecy proved only partially prophetic. Yes, the palace is gone. But the gardens, more than 400 years later, are anything but deserted.

    flower beds and allee at tuileries in june by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: Lawns and perennial beds line the allées.

    tuileries with palace in distance by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: The Tuileries are open to the public every day; the gates close at 9 pm in the summer months and at 7:30 pm from September through March.

    bridge over seine near tuileries by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: "I mean, seriously, is it a different sun over there?" photographer Alice Gao writes. "Can I just bring this light with me to NYC, please?"

    allee of trees at tuileries in june by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: An avenue lined by horse chestnut trees.

    flower borders at tuileries in june by alice gao; Gardenista

    Above: For more of Alice Gao's photos from Paris, see Lingered Upon.


    View Larger Map

    Above: The Tuileries Garden is located at Rue de Rivoli, Paris.

    N.B.: This is an update of a post published June 4, 2013.

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  • 06/09/14--03:00: Table of Contents: Cool Dads
  • It's time to celebrate fathers and all they do. And in the garden, they do a lot, especially when it comes to digging. And grilling. And turning the compost. Join us this week as we give dads the recognition they deserve—and work our way up to Father's Day (yes, it's this Sunday—get shopping).

    Cool dads; Gardenista


    Tomato on vine, Gardenista

    Above: A tomato on the vine—is there a more sublime sign of summer? Yours probably aren't ripe yet, but this week's Field Guide will help them on their way, with advice that's especially useful to novice growers. Photograph by Melanie M. via Flickr.


    Hanging orchids in Buenos Aires; Gardenista

    Above: Sophia's Uncle Jorge raised three grown children at his home in the San Isidro neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Then he turned his hand to raising orchids. Sophia takes us on a Garden Visit to see the rare and spectacular orchids that Jorge collects on his travels and hangs from the trees.


    Handful of compost with worms; Gardenista

    Above: However you feel about compost, you'll gain new respect for "black gold" after you read Kendra's DIY post. And if you thought you'd never see gorgeous compost photos, get ready to be amazed. Photograph by Jim Powell.


    Royal Horticultural Society roses at Wisley; England; Gardenista

    Above: As theories about growing roses have evolved, even England's oh-so-traditional Royal Horticultural Society has been moved to rethink the design of the rose garden at Wisley, in Surrey. Here's how their once-rectangular beds entered the modern era. Photograph by Allan Pollok-Morris.


    Rodic Davidson Architects; Cambridge, England; Gardenista

    Above: After architect Ben Davidson inherited his grandfather's woodworking tools and workbench, he designed a garden shed to house them in style at his home in Cambridge, England. How could the world's most gorgeous tool shed not be our Outbuilding of the Week? Photograph courtesy of Ben Davidson and Rodić Davidson Architects.

     And be sure to check out the Cool Dads showcased in this week's issue of Remodelista.

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    Received wisdom says: Find your talent and stick to it. You cannot do lots of things well. But what about Jacqueline Morabito, designer of interiors and objects, from jewelry to lighting? Surely she can't be a genius garden designer, too? She can. We visit her olive grove garden in Provence:

    Photography by Clive Nichols.

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: The Grove, Jacqueline Morabito's retreat, lies on the French Riviera just north of Nice. The garden's layout is a response to the terrain that was there when she found it: terraces of olive trees. The walls and the trees stayed as signs of habitation were carefully added. Angular structures, such as this dining shelter, fit in with the angular terraces, and nothing looks too new.

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: A white cube house can be dropped into this landscape without looking too bright because the whitewash is allowed to age. The building's off-white color echoes the local limestone; its angles rub up against the unpredictable shapes of nature.

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: Straight white walls emerge from clipped, rounded green. The singular shapes of olive trees lend some silver and black.

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: Ah, the canvas and steel butterfly chair. Do we need anything else?

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: The swimming pool slotted into the terrace adds its rectangular shape to the other manmade rectangles. The effect is elegant utilitarian.

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: The narrow pool is lined with gray concrete to avoid swimming-pool-turquoise—and to better reflect the changing color of the sky through the seasons.

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: Stone circle, wooden-plank trestle table. The eating areas are fluid; it's more of an adventure to pick up the table and move somewhere different every day. With so many trees, you always can find the right degree of light and shadow.

    Jacqueline Morabito design, France; Clive Nichols photo. Gardenista

    Above: The old-grove vernacular of stone walls and straight rows of olive trees echoes the parallels of the house, pool, and sheltered dining area. The low walls resemble house foundations. There is an intriguing interplay here between ancient and modern, the former looking more linear than usual and the latter more scruffed up.

    For more Provençal clippings, see: A Magical Garden Where Clouds Grow on a Hillside in Provence and, on Remodelista, A Week in Provence. Traveling to France this summer? Plan your itinerary with help from our City Guide: France.

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    Why does London have all the luck? A new garden fair is coming to Hampstead Heath this month. Well, at least we get to co-sponsor it. Billed as a contemporary garden fair, GROW London will feature modern design, small-space garden ideas, informational workshops—and a trend forecast from our own editors.

    We'll be co-sponsoring the fair, which runs from June 20th to 22nd, on Hampstead Heath. Look for new and rare plants; fresh ideas in outdoor furniture, accessories, and planters for gardeners who want to extend their living space to the outdoors; and even a champagne bar. Tickets are £16; Gardenista readers will receive a 50 percent discount when they purchase tickets online at GROW London and use the discount code GROWGARDENISTA.

    For more information, visit GROW London.

    GROW London Logo ; Gardenista

    Above: Speakers will include floral designers Shane Connolly (perhaps you remember the wedding bouquet he made for Kate Middleton?), the very amusing gardening columnist James Alexander-Sinclair, and our own Christine Chang Hanway (with our trend forecast).

    And don't forget to stop by the Gardenista Editors' Showcase of outdoor furniture and accessories, curated by our UK correspondent Kendra Wilson.

    More Stories from Gardenista

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  • 06/09/14--11:30: Field Guide: Tomatoes
  • Tomatoes: "Wolf Peaches"

    Tomatoes are something like that co-worker who sweetly wears pencil skirts and cardigans, and is all sunshine and timely expense reports. Then she starts telling you about the motorcycle she just bought and the skydiving lessons that are her New Year's resolution. Tomatoes, like her, have a dark side. They're in the nightshade family, after all, kin to the traditional witchy plants, foxglove, and belladonna.

    Tomatoes bewitch most gardeners too, with their beautiful vines and plentiful fruit. But they also require plenty of sunlight, regular irrigation and fertilization, and, most importantly, the right timing. Seasoned gardeners generally have their own laundry list of tricks and tips, and I am no exception. Below, my advice for novice tomato growers:

    Field Guide Tomatoes: Gardenista

    Leave nothing to chance. If you plan to start tomatoes from seed, check with neighbors or local extension agents to get the exact right time for your region. Plant too soon, and your seedlings will have outgrown their pots more than once before the weather warms up. Too late, and you'll still have green plants in August.

    More than 7,500 varieties of tomatoes exist. There are a number of ways to narrow the options: Choose between cherry, plum, or regular-sized fruit. Decide on bush or staking plants. If you want to get the whole crop of fruit at once, pick the determinate variety. For a harvest period that extends over several weeks, get indeterminate. Finally, select for length of growing period: for cold climates, the earlier the better. Once you find a perfect fit, be aware that tomato plants can be prolific, so choose sparingly and plant just a few seeds of each variety. (For more photos and recipes for Tomatoes, see our Gardenista Gallery.)

      Tomato on vine with suckers bamboo stake ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Melanie M. via Flickr.

    On indeterminate tomato plants, the fruit ripens one by one, rather than all at once. For the best harvest, you'll need to snap or snip off the suckers—the lighter-colored vines that sprout between the V's made by the leader branches. Removing the suckers sends energy down the main vines.

    Tomato seedlings ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Karen Jackson via Flickr.

    Cheat Sheet

    • Treat tomato plants as an ornamental, interplanting them with flowers in your garden. Why not take advantage of the plant's beauty—the pale yellow flowers and dark green foliage, not to mention the fruit, in so many shades of green, red, yellow, purple, white, black, and pink?
    • The tomato's delicate nature makes it a perfect choice for backyard gardens. Home-grown fruit fresh off the vine is far tastier than the grocery-store variety. You lose flavor even during the journey from the farmer's market to home.
    • The tomato plant's flowers and fruit attract pollinators, and the dark green foliage sets off any flower bed beautifully. 

    Keep It Alive

    • Side-dress your tomato plants with compost in spring when they blossom, and again after they start to set fruit. That makes the plants resilient enough to withstand chilly temperatures on late-summer nights.
    • Live in a cold climate? Stick with cherry and plum varieties, choose heirloom seeds bred for early yield and cold hardiness, and time your starts so they'll be ready when the ground thaws and temperatures warm—not before.
    • Don't sneeze at container gardening. Especially with cherry varieties, you can grow very tasty tomatoes indoors. 

      Kitchen Memories Lucy Boyd cookbook tomatoes ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Laura Edwards.

    A bit of history: The original tomato gardeners, Mesoamerican people like the Aztecs and Pueblos, ate tomatoes cooked, and believed the seeds could aid in divination. Following colonization, the seeds of those plants slowly spread across continents, meeting resistance in some places. Tomatoes are now a staple of cuisines from South America and North America all the way to North Africa. 

    Sliced grape tomatoes ; Gardenista

    Above: For one of our favorite easy tomato recipes, check out Irresistible Vegetable Soup in 30 Minutes or Less. Looking for a good summer salad? See Summertime Delicacies: Corn and Tomato Salad. Photograph by Erin Boyle.

    Black tomato ; Gardenista

    Above: When ripe, Indigo Rose tomatoes turn almost dark purple—and are loaded with antioxidants. Seeds available from Johnny's Seeds. For more, see Why We Need a Blue Tomato.

    Planting a summer garden? Read about more of our favorite edibles, including Carrots, Chives, and Rosemary in our Field Guide archive. 

    More Stories from Gardenista

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    The San Isidro neighborhood of Buenos Aires is filled with old stone houses, Neo-Gothic churches, cobblestone streets, and lush greenery. Huge magnolia and jacaranda trees live happily next to tropical palms, and climbing roses cover stone walls. It's a bit grand, a bit rundown, and loaded with South American charm.

    This is where my aunt and uncle have raised their family. About 10 years ago, after their three children were grown, Uncle Jorge turned to raising orchids. His garden is a perfect micro-landscape of San Isidro: Orchids grow alongside sweetgum and maple trees, Japanese anemones, and the most glorious gladiolas. 

    Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: You walk down a driveway to enter my uncle's garden.

    Hanging Orchid Garden, Buenos Aires | Gardenista

    Above: The first thing you'll notice is the orchids hanging from the trees beside the driveway. These aren't blooming yet, but they will soon.

    Hanging Orchid Garden, Buenos Aires | Gardenista

    Above: At the end of the driveway, you come upon a huge tree covered in more than 30 orchids.

    Orchids by Sophia Moreno Bunges ; Gardenista

    Above: Some of the orchids cling to the branches, some grow on the trunks, and some hang in wooden crates. 

    Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: While these orchids love humidity and wet climates, they don't like to sit in pools of water, so proper drainage is very important. 

    Hanging Orchid Garden, Buenos Aires | Gardenista

    Above: Behind the tree is my uncle's small greenhouse, filled with even more orchids, many brought home from his travels.

      Hanging Orchid Garden, Buenos Aires | Gardenista

    Above: In summer, when it's hot and there's little rain, Jorge waters the orchids every day. In fall and winter he waters less often, depending on how much rain there is. (It's often wet in South America, but rainfall varies.)

    Hanging Orchid Garden, Buenos Aires | Gardenista

    Above: Jorge's orchids are used to being partly covered by the canopy of the rain forest. If I were planting orchids at home, I would research the best varieties for my region. Some orchids found in Africa, for example, do well in dry climates. 

    Hanging Orchid Garden, Buenos Aires | Gardenista

    Above: Native to Brazil, the Brassavola Tuberculata orchid loves hot and humid savannas. It is an epiphyte, meaning it grows on other plants, getting its nutrients from the air and the debris that falls from the tree it lives on. 

    Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: Epiphytic orchids cling to a tree trunk. Many of the orchids in Jorge's garden are epiphytic.

      Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: Oncidium orchids, like this one, are native to Argentina and other parts of South America.

      Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: This Cattleya orchid is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Mexico. They flourish in the Andes, up to altitudes of 10,000 feet. Cattleyas are epiphytes that can endure temperatures ranging from 50 degrees F to 90 degrees F—in fact, variations in temperature help them grow and bloom.

      Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: I love the color of these tiny red orchids.

    Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: And though I'm not normally a gladiola fan, I love my uncle's use of this coral gladiola, reminiscent of the orchids in both shape and color. 

      Hanging Orchid Garden | Gardenista

    Above: This orchid looks similar to the Miltonia Flavescens, said to be native to Peru and found in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

    Hanging Orchid Garden, Buenos Aires | Gardenista

    Over the years my uncle's garden has flourished. Gardens will do that.

    Inspired to try growing orchids yourself? We offer advice in 5 Favorites: Essential Equipment for Orchids and How Not to Kill an Orchid

    But don't say we didn't warn you: Orchids tend to evoke obsessive behavior (The Orchid That Owned Me).


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    I'm a skeptic when it comes to outdoor kitchens. After all, who needs anything more than a grill and a pair of tongs? I'm keeping an open mind, however, after spotting—and swooning over—the ultimate setup from the Netherlands.

    WWOO Outdoor Kitchens; Gardenista

    From WWOO Outdoor Kitchens comes the perfect combination of stylish design and Dutch practicality. The company uses modular components to create kitchens that range from barely-beyond-basic to fully equipped. Add-ons might include a pizza oven, a steel fireplace, and a stainless firebox. WWOO Showrooms are located throughout the Netherlands, and in Paris, Stuttgart, and Prague.

    Those of us who live in the US can recreate the look using a contractor and the products we've sourced below:

    Above: WWOO accessories range from wooden storage boxes to cutting boards and Big Green Egg ceramic grills.

    Above: The designer behind WWOO Kitchens, Piet Jan van den Kommer, feels that many outdoor kitchens on the market are expensive, poorly designed, and require too much maintenance. His kitchen system is built for endurance.

    Above: WWOO Kitchens are made of durable concrete, which needs next to no maintenance. The concrete components are available in gray or anthracite (shown).

    Above: The stainless steel sink is topped with a stainless spout connected to a "fire tap."

    Above: The Big Green Egg ceramic grill is a modern version of a Japanese kamado cooker—a wood- or charcoal-fired earthen vessel capable of achieving both high and low temperatures for greater control. The Big Green Egg comes in five sizes, from mini to extra large. The medium size is $950 (including a stand and other accessories). The Big Green Egg with a Compact Cypress Table on wheels starts at $1,175; both at Big Green Egg Chicago.

    Above: Pair a Key Stop and Waste Valve with female inlet ($41.03 at Wayfair) with a Chicago Faucets Rigid Gooseneck Spout with a male outlet ($120.30) and the necessary plumbing fittings (contact your plumber) to attach to the water supply.

    Above: The simple 15-inch stainless steel Lenova Rim Series Single Basin Sink is $392 at ATG Stores.

    Above: For a flush counter grill, consider the Fire Magic Classic Drop-In Countertop Charcoal Grill; from $254.34 for the 23-inch size, from Amazon.

    Above: For a countertop option, the stainless steel Kavkaz Mini Grill measures 16 inches wide and 12 inches deep (larger sizes available); $144.99 through BAS Metal. An optional top grate is available.

    Above: The Lodge 6-Quart Camp Dutch Oven works for for campfire or fireplace cooking; $59.99 at Amazon.

    Above: The sturdy Ratskeller Crate from Perry and Co. is made of pine and holds 24 glass bottles. Contact Perry and Co. for price and availability. As another option, look for vintage wooden crates offered by a variety of Etsy sellers.

    For more on outdoor kitchens, see 10 Favorites: Ultimate Outdoor Kitchens.

    Inspired to fire up the grill yourself? See World's Best Barbecue Grills.

    This is an update of a post originally published August 14, 2012.

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    Looking for the perfect Father's Day gift? Rugged and timeless, just like Dad, waxed canvas carry-alls are the perfect way to honor the hardworking style of fathers everywhere. Here are our Etsy favorites to help Dad store and carry everything from logs to laptops, and from toiletries to tools.

    Duffle Bag by Peg and Awl, Gardenista

    Above: A piece of history, Peg and Awl's extra-large, handmade Waxed Canvas Weekender Bag has leather straps that come from WWII gunslings; $320.

    waxed cotton half apron by Volcano, Gardenista

    Above: The Volcano Store's Waxed Duck Canvas Half Apron is an efficient and elegant way to carry your tools as you work; $44.

    Toiletries kit by ItalicHome, Gardenista

    Above: Handmade from lightweight yet durable waxed canvas, Italic Home's Jack Dopp Kit in caramel brown is perfect for the traveling man; $60.

    Personal Effects Bag by Artifact, Gardenista

    Above: Stash your phone charger, loose change, business cards, and other odds and ends in Artifact Bag's No. 9 Personal Effects Bag. It comes in nine color combinations of waxed canvas and Horween leather; $75.

    Croaker Sack Bag by Peg and Awl, Gardenista

    Above: Inspired by a WWI Navy laundry bag and an apple picking bag from the early 1900s, Peg and Awl's Waxed Canvas Croaker Sack has two interior pockets and adjustable cotton rope straps; $104.

    Bike Tool Bag by Overlap, Gardenista

    Above: Roadside assistance for your bicycle, Overlap's Waxed Canvas Bike Tool Bag Wrap straps right to your bike; $36. Not just for tools, it holds a phone, money and more.

    (For more clever storage for your bike, see Bicycle Bags From Save the C.)

    Garden Tool Tote Bag by Artifact, Gardenista

    Above: Don't be fooled by the elegant look of Artifact's No. 175-L Garden/Tool Tote in Waxed Canvas & Horween Leather. Owner and designer Chris Hughes uses this "versatile workhorse" for everything: books, tools, laptop, and groceries. Available in five color combinations; $300.

    tool roll by Volcano Store, Gardenista

    Above: For compact tools, Volcano Store's Handmade Tool Roll in Waxed Heavy Duty Canvas can also be worn as an apron. Available in black, tan, charcoal, olive, and red; $22.

    Log Carrier by Rugged Material, Gardenista

    Above: Forget using your arms, Rugged Material's Waxed Canvas Log Firewood Carrier Tote can heft up to 100 pounds of wood; $60.

    waxed cotton lunch bag by Overlap, Gardenista

    Above: The eco-friendly "brown bag," Overlap's Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag comes in olive green, gray, brown, and black; $48.

    N.B. Want to see some other enduring and versatile totes? See 10 Easy Pieces: Log Carrier Bags and 10 Easy Pieces: Canvas Weekender Bags.

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    When it comes to Father's Day gifts, something unusual and homemade—with a little science thrown in—always wins. Just explain to your dad all about epiphytes, which grow non-parasitically on another plant, getting moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and debris. What dad wouldn't be intrigued? 

    See below for step-by-step instructions and a list of materials:

    Photography by Sophia Moreno-Bunge for Gardenista.

    Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: Start with a medium-size Oncidium orchid (pronounced on-SID-ee-um) in a pot. 

    Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: Gather everything before you start.

    • Orchid, such as an Oncidium Sharry Baby ($15.95 from Royal Orchid Club)
    • A branch about 1 foot long and 2 or 3 inches thick (or driftwood, or Cork Bark available for $22.66 from Amazon)
    • A handful of New Zealand Sphagnum Moss (a 5-quart bag is $24.64 from Repot Me)
    • Clear fishing line
    • Twine
    • An eyelet screw

      Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: First, remove the orchid from the pot and soak the roots in water for about five minutes to make them more flexible (so they won't break when you attach them to the branch). But don't fret if a root does break; it will grow back.

    Next, rinse off the remaining dirt. 

      Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: Wrap the orchid's roots around the branch and tie them with fishing line. I used one piece of fishing line around the bottom of the roots and another around the base of the plant. As the orchid grows, its roots will attach to the bark and the fishing line no longer will be needed. 

    Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: Tuck clumps of moss between the roots and the fishing line. The moss will help the roots retain moisture; whenever it feels dry, the plant needs water. 

    Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: If you like, you can cover the fishing line on the back of the branch with more moss.

    Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: Last, put an eyelet screw in the top of the branch and thread a piece of thick twine through it to hang the orchid. 

    Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: The finished product. If you want to keep the orchid indoors, place it in a well-lit spot, but not in harsh direct sun. I keep mine in the bathroom, the most humid room in my house, and near a window where it gets just enough light. 

      Hanging Orchid DIY | Gardenista

    Above: The Sharry Baby has small, delicate blossoms and an amazing scent.

    A hanging orchid should be watered and fertilized more often than a potted orchid, because its roots are exposed. Every two days, spray the roots directly with a mister to soak them thoroughly. I spray the blooms and leaves almost daily, because many orchids love humidity. Experts suggest fertilizing once or twice a month, using special orchid fertilizer; the water-soluble type is easiest. You also can fertilize every week, at about a quarter strength.

    Follow Sophia on her visit to her uncle's spectacular garden in A Hanging Orchid Garden in San Isidro, Buenos Aires. And for Amanda's warning tale about how easy it is to become an obsessive orchid owner, read The Orchid That Owned Me.

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    When a warm summer night calls for s'mores, who steps in to ignite the backyard fire? Our guess is Dad. To show our admiration for the man and his lighter fluid, we've rounded up our favorite fire pits and outdoor fireplaces from members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory

    Cypress Garden Retreat Fireplace | Gardenista

    Above: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture added a minimalist fireplace to complement the refined landscaping at this outdoor space in Pebble Beach, CA. 

    Blasen Landscapes Healdsburg Outdoor Fire Pit Garden | Gardenista

    Above: A fire pit sits beside a swimming pool; ground cover softens the look of concrete pavers in this Healdsburg, CA, backyard designed by San Anselmo-based Blasen Landscape Architecture.  

    Elysian Landscapes Outfoor Fire Pit | Gardenista

    Above: In a redesign for the backyard of a mid-century LA home, landscape designer Judy Kameon of Elysian Landscapes turned the back wall into "a generous banquette with matching fire pit." Photograph by Erik Otesa. 

    Arterra Landscapes Outdoor Fire Pit Garden | Gardenista  

    Above: San Francisco-based Arterra Landscape Architects took "inspiration from the agrarian site and a rustic architectural vernacular" to design this Woodside, CA, garden. Photograph by Michelle Lee Wilson. 

    Coen Landscape Design Sullivan House Outdoor Fireplace | Gardenista

    Above: Coen + Partners, based in Minneapolis, anchored the backyard with an outdoor fireplace to accommodate a client's request for an outdoor entertaining space. Photograph by Paul Crosby. 

    Arterra Landscapes Outdoor Fire Pit Backyard | Gardenista

    Above: The backyard of a house in California's Carmel Valley gets a revamp from Arterra Landscape Architects. The space, neatly laid into the landscape, gives way to a stunning view. 

    For more fire pits, check out 10 Easy Pieces: Fire Pits and Bowls. See another roundup from the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory in 10 Favorites: Minimalist Fireplaces

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    Just as good fences make good neighbors, the traditional British laid hedge (in which branches are forced to grow horizontally) can have the same effect. And to lay a hedge properly, it turns out, requires a billhook. It wasn't until we read the Royal Horticultural Society's recently published Tales from the Tool Shed ($18.21 from Amazon), by Bill Laws, that we realized: This little-known pruning tool is exactly what we need. Read on to find out about more tools you didn't think you needed—until now.

    Photographs by Kendra Wilson.

    Required Reading: Tales from the Toolshed. Gardenista

    Above: Subtitled "The History and Use of Fifty Garden Tools," this neat volume is not restricted to the goings-on inside the toolshed, but extends its scope over the flower garden, kitchen garden, lawn, and orchard.

    A section on hoses reveals that an early rubber version was modeled after the way pasta was manufactured. Still, the rubber hose did not replace the earlier hand-stitched leather hose as quickly as you'd imagine, because the rubber was prone to cracking and splitting. Even now, the author advises that hoses are ideally stored flat, running alongside a bed. If you must roll up your hose, as most of us do, keep it loose.

    Required Reading: Tales from the Tool Shed; Opinel knife. Gardenista

    Above: A multipurpose knife is always useful in the garden, for sharpening stakes, cutting raffia, and harvesting produce. Some swear by their Classic Swiss Army Knife ($20), while others prefer the Opinel Garden Folding Knife ($14.95). As the author notes, the knife is one tool in which choice has proliferated over the last century.

    Required Reading: Tales from the Tool Shed; compost sieve. Gardenista

    Above: The soil sieve is a leftover from the days when all compost was homemade; gardeners used the sieve to sift fine loam for sowing seeds and potting. Mixing your own has become more popular again, and no one has improved on this classic circular sieve, designed thousands of years ago. (For more about sieves, see Garden Riddles: What's Round, and Sifts?)

    Required Reading: Tales from the Tool Shed; garden basket. Gardenista

    Above: "Every culture has its own style of garden basket," writes Bill Laws. Sussex has its trug, made of strips of chestnut; Catalonia its carriers of woven esparto grass. The oak swill basket with hazel handle, shown here, is native to England's Lake District. Its wide, shallow bottom is ideal for holding the harvest from the kitchen garden.

    Required Reading: Tales from the Tool Shed; sheep shears. Gardenista

    Above: During a quick tour of topiary, we learn that the Japanese art of cloud pruning has been influencing us for more than a century. And we're told how sheep shears could be treated better than the rusty ones shown here: "Clean the blades on a regular basis with wire wool and then wipe down with an oily rag."

    Required Reading: Tales from the Tool Shed; jute. Gardenista

    Above: It's fascinating how many of the tools in this book have remained unchanged for years—going from indispensable to discarded to appreciated all over again. Such is the case with jute, the vegetable fiber that can be twined into string, turned into hessian for sacking, and woven into the soles of espadrilles. Plastic string brought the era of the "jute baron" to an end, but modest purveyors such as Nutscene, in Scotland, are doing well against the odds with products like Natural Jute Twine String (prices range from £8 to £10).

    Required Reading: Tales from the Tool Shed; sunhat. Gardenista

    Above: A section of Tales from the Toolshed is dedicated to hats and gloves as essential kit. In the days when everyone wore hats, a gardener's cap told you that his status was lowly, whereas the head gardener was recognized by his bowler. Though hats are now optional, they shouldn't be. To keep the sun off the face, neck, and ears, Laws recommends a hat with a 3-inch brim. Ideally, the inside of the brim will be dark to absorb reflected UV light.

    Love vintage tools? See Shopper's Diary: Vintage Tools from Garden & Wood. And check out our Photo Gallery for more beautiful tools.

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  • 06/12/14--03:00: Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel
  • How did pea gravel get its name? We'll give you one guess.

    As gravel goes, it doesn't get any better. These rounded fragments of pea-size stone crunch underfoot as satisfyingly as crispy cereal. Good for covering driveways and paths, and for filling spaces between stone pavers, pea gravel is inexpensive and versatile.

    Yet sometimes we overlook this humble standby, especially with all the sexier hardscaping materials around. (Why, hello limestone. New in town?) But its natural appearance, permeability, and versatility often make pea gravel the best choice. If you're wondering how to build a weed- and mud-free garden path, edge a tidy vegetable plot, or put in a driveway without breaking the budget, pea gravel offers a lot of advantages. 

    Here's everything you need to know about this easy-to-install and inexpensive friend:

    Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel | Gardenista

    Above: Pea gravel covers the ground in a low-water-use garden in Ojai, CA, by Paul Hendershot Design.

    What is pea gravel?

    These small, fluid stones found near bodies of water have an appealingly smooth texture, the result of natural weathering. Pea gravel comes in sizes from 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch, about the size of a pea, and in a range of natural colors like buff, rust brown, shades of gray, white, and translucent.

    Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel | Gardenista

    Above: This geometric garden in a Brooklyn backyard, designed by Susan Welti of Foras Studio, features bluestone pavers and pea gravel. 

    What are the best uses for pea gravel?

    Paths, patios, driveways, and playgrounds are a few candidates. Pea gravel is often overlooked as mulch material around containers or garden plants: It suppresses weed growth, retains moisture, and doesn't decompose like organic mulch.  

    Pea gravel path in architect Barbara Chambers' Mill Valley garden ; Gardenista

    Above: A pea-gravel path abuts a bed of mulch and bluestone pavers, neatly separated by a strip of metal edging. Photograph by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista.

    Because of its tendency to travel, pea gravel must be contained by some type of edging material, such as brick, stones, Bender Board, or metal edging (as shown above). I found it worked well for the path in the narrow yard beside my house, providing both excellent drainage and a rodent barrier (big plus: rodents can't dig through pea gravel). We embedded flagstones in the gravel as the path approached the lawn, gradually phasing out the gravel—since gravel and lawn do not mix.

    Pea gravel path at Sarah Raven's Perch Hill Farm ; Gardenista

    Above: Pea gravel seems to flow like a river at Perch Hill, Sarah Raven's garden in East Sussex, England. Photograph by Ngoc Minh Ngo.

    Another consideration is that pea gravel shifts underfoot. As much as we love the crunching sound of footsteps on gravel, it can be hard to drag any wheeled conveyance (say, a suitcase or stroller) over pea gravel, and the surface may not be stable enough to support outdoor furniture. 

    Pea gravel path by Deborah Nevins ; Gardenista

    Above: A gravel path with paving stones is flanked by globe boxwoods in a Bridgehampton, Long Island, garden designed by Deborah Nevins & Associates.

    How do you install pea gravel?

    Compared to other hardscaping materials, installing pea gravel is relatively easy. Generally, you work the soil about 6 inches deep, remove any weeds, lay down 2 inches of coarsely textured base rock (also called crushed rock), and cover that with a 3-inch-deep layer of pea gravel. The base rock stabilizes the pea gravel to provide a firm surface.

    Depending on the persistence of the weeds in your area, you may wish to add a barrier of landscape cloth between the base rock and pea gravel. However, landscape cloth can have its own issues, deteriorating or becoming visible over time.

    If you're bothered by an existing pea gravel area that behaves like a pile of marbles, it was probably installed without base rock. Mixing in stone dust may help stabilize it.

    Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel | Gardenista

    Above: Regularly spaced vegetable beds outlined with brick and pea gravel, designed by Susan Cohan of Susan Cohan Gardens.

    How do you keep pea gravel looking good? 

    You'll probably need to tidy the surface with a rake every now and then. Luckily, pea gravel doesn't decompose, but it does sink into the soil (which improves drainage if you have clay soil). So you may need to replenish the gravel every four years or so. Most landscape material companies will deliver 50-pound bags, and you can spread the gravel with a mud rake. Snow removal is the biggest challenge: to avoid disturbing the gravel, you have to shovel off most of the snow but leave behind a thin layer, then melt the rest with salt.

    How much does pea gravel cost?

    A pea gravel walkway or patio costs about $5 per square foot, installed, including a layer of base rock. If you'd like to install it yourself, it will cost half as much. Add in the cost of a header or Bender Board. A wood header is about $5 per linear foot; a metal header is $6 (black metal disappears well). You won't need a header if you're installing gravel against a house, fence, or raised bed.

    Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel | Gardenista

    Above: At a garden in Malmö, Sweden, raised beds and stone walkways complement a base of light-colored pea gravel. Photograph by Maria Manning

    Pea Gravel Recap 


    • Inexpensive
    • Versatile: can be used for paths, patios, driveways, or as a base for paving stones
    • Easy to install
    • Serves as rodent barrier if used around base of house
    • Prevents weeds
    • Prevents erosion
    • Improves drainage
    • Easily maintained by raking stones into place


    • Travels: needs to be contained with edging material
    • Difficult to remove from soil if you decide to change landscape
    • Shifts underfoot; base rock must be added underneath to prevent this
    • Can be uncomfortable on bare feet (compared to flagstones or concrete)
    • Does not provide a solid base for dining furniture
    • Needs to be replenished every four years or so
    • Difficult for snow removal

    Planning a walkway? See Ellen's advice for designing a front path in Hardscaping 101: Front Paths. Ellen has also investigated the pros and cons of Decomposed Granite, Limestone Pavers, and Bluestone. And you can explore more ideas for patios, roofs, and fences in our Hardscaping 101 archive.

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    There are at least 50 million shades of gray. Which one will look best on your house? We asked members of our Architect/Designer Directory to reveal their favorites. Here are the 10 exterior gray paints that they most often turn to:

    Deciding between gray and white? See 10 Easy Pieces: Architects' White Exterior Paint Picks, also chosen by members of our Architect/Designer Directory. 

    Swatch photographs by Katie Newburn for Gardenista. 

    Best Outdoor Gray Exterior House Paint Colors, Gardenista

    Above: Top row, left to right: Benjamin Moore Sag Harbor Gray; ICI Grey Hearth; Dunn-Edwards Vulcan; Benjamin Moore Graphite; Benjamin Moore Bear Creek. Bottom row: Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain; Benjamin Moore Gravel Grey; Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn; Farrow & Ball Down Pipe; and Benjamin Moore Graystone.

    Best Exterior Gray House Paint Color, Dunn Edwards Vulcan, Gardenista

    Above: Los Angeles-based SIMO Design painted this house in Dunn-Edwards Vulcan, a cool blue-gray. It's the bluest of the shades in our top 10.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain, Gardenista

    Above: LA designers Nickey Kehoe Inc. had this house painted in Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain, a dark gray with a rich brown undertone. The same shade is also a favorite of Geremia Design and Klopf Architecture, both based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Photograph by Amy Neunsinger.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Sag Harbor Gray, Gardenista

    Above: Chatham, NY-based architect James Dixon chose Benjamin Moore's Sag Harbor Gray for this Hudson Valley farmhouse. A light green-gray, it's part of Benjamin Moore's Historic Color collection.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Graphite, Gardenista

    Above: Ana Williamson Architect, based in Menlo Park, CA, used Benjamin Moore Graphite on the siding of this modern house. The color is a true dark gray with just a hint of blue. For the trim, Williamson chose Benjamin Moore Gunmetal; the stucco was integrally colored to match Benjamin Moore Timber Wolf.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Bear Creek, Gardenista

    Above: SF Bay Area-based interior designer Kriste Michelini chose Benjamin Moore Bear Creek as her favorite gray. Rich in brown tones, it's lighter than Iron Mountain but darker than Grey Hearth. Photograph via Pinterest.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Farrow & Ball Down Pipe, Gardenista

    Above: Both LA-based DISC Interiors and SF-based Nicole Hollis picked Farrow & Ball Down Pipe as their top exterior gray. The popular color is a complex mix with hints of blue-green. Photograph via Farrow & Ball.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Gravel Gray, Gardenista

    Above: NYC-based architect Alex Scott Porter has used Benjamin Moore Gravel Gray on several projects, including this cabin on a Maine island. Gravel Gray is the darkest of the shades recommended here.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, ICI Grey Hearth, Gardenista

    Above: LA's Kevin Oreck Architect painted this new house in ICI Grey Hearth

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Sherwin Williams Peppercorn, Gardenista

    Above: Interior designer Laura Clayton Baker of LA-based The Uplifters Inc. used Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn on this Washington, D.C., house. The truest gray of those listed here, Peppercorn pairs well with the other shades Clayton Baker used on this exterior: Sherwin-Williams Pure White and Tricorn Black for the trim, and Benjamin Moore Vermilion in a high-gloss finish for the door.

    Best Exterior Gray Outdoor House Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Graystone, Gardenista

    Above: SF-based Klopf Architecture has used Benjamin Moore Graystone on several house exteriors; the shade is appealing in all kinds of light.

    Find lots more designer-approved outdoor paint picks for your house at Palette & Paints. Trying to get up the nerve to paint it black? Read 10 Modern Houses Gone to the Dark Side.

    This is an update of a post originally published September 16, 2013.

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    The RHS are the people who host the Chelsea Flower Show and give out medals there. Visitors arriving at the RHS headquarters at Wisley, in Surrey, naturally expect a very fine nursery (which they get) and also a garden that is the top tier of the wedding cake, horticulturally speaking.

    For some, roses are the bride and groom in this arrangement: Perfection is a given. So, why on earth did Wisley's curator decide that the only thing to do with the popular rose garden was to bulldoze it?

    Photography by Allan Pollok-Morris.

    Wisley Rose Garden, photo Allan Pollock-Morris. Gardenista

    Above: At Wisley, the garden came before the buildings. The Laboratory, shown here, was built to look "in keeping" with its surroundings, in 1916. It's still the workplace of botanists, scientists, and horticulture students.

    For decades, the roses at Wisley grew in neat rectangular beds. The old rose garden was a classic, with island beds ablaze all summer. In winter, however, it became only "a collection of sticks," as rose gardens are sometimes disparagingly known. 

    When a 21st-century master plan called for change at Wisley, the 172-acre garden was scrutinized to determine how to improve visitor flow and accommodate new theories about growing roses. The result? The roses went modern.

    Bowes Lyon Rose Garden, Wisley. Allan Pollok-Morris photo. Gardenista

    Above: Wisley's curator at the time, Jim Gardiner, commissioned Robert Myers Associates to make better use of the space. Myers, whose experience includes redesigning London's Sloane Square, wanted to keep some mature trees and this Sixties building, the Bowes-Lyon Pavilion. He anchored the pavilion to the landscape by means of a series of steps and a path that cuts through the length of the garden. Terracing enhances the views looking down over the rose collections.

    Wisley Rose Garden, photo Allan Pollock-Morris. Gardenista

    Above: The new rose garden opened in 2011, and welcomed perennials, shrubs, and trees into the roses' domain. Garden beds, now curving and terraced, are home to more than 4,000 herbaceous plants that complement the roses: daylilies, salvias, geraniums, Joe Pye weed, and rudbeckia. These extend the blooming period and create interest at varying heights. More-or-less circular rooms were designed around existing trees like this walnut, while yew and Magnolia grandiflora create dark backdrops for the roses. Pergolas and obelisks added new height. 

    Bowes Lyon Rose Garden, Wisley. Allan Pollok-Morris photo. Gardenista

    Above: Most rose gardens are a throwback to an earlier gardening style, the site of vicious battles against the typical afflictions of greenfly and blackspot. Planting roses with herbaceous perennials is now known to create greater biodiversity and a healthier growing environment. Suddenly, we're seeing roses in such unexpected combinations as the scenario shown here, where peachy Rosa 'Perdita' meets tangerine-colored Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford' and fiery spikes of Kniphofia 'Prince Igor.' 

    Bowes Lyon Rose Garden, Wisley. Allan Pollok-Morris photo. Gardenista

    Above: This area showcases a combination of pale pinks: Rosa 'The Generous Gardener' and R. 'Mortimer Sackler.' Leaving plenty of space between the plants allows for good air circulation.

    Bowes Lyon Rose Garden, Wisley. Allan Pollok-Morris photo. Gardenista

    Above: Piet Oudolf's "New Perennial" style, mainly associated with prairie-like drifts of flowers, influenced this planting. Combining roses with oversized grasses like the Stipa gigantea shown here is as experimental as anything carried out in the Wisley Laboratory. The white roses are Rosa 'Carpet White' and R. x alba 'Alba Semiplena.'

    Bowes Lyon Rose Garden, Wisley. Allan Pollok-Morris photo. Gardenista

    Above: What do purple roses go with? Green, of course, and darker perennials like Agastache mexicana, Eupatorium maculatum, salvias, sedum, and geranium.

    Bowes Lyon Rose Garden, Wisley. Allan Pollok-Morris photo. Gardenista

    Above: The rose circle shown here is about as traditional as you'll get with this garden. Shades of yellow and deep peach are provided by 'Golden Beauty,' 'You Are My Sunshine,' and 'Lady Emma Hamilton' roses.

    For more unusual roses, see Endangered Roses: Are Any Hiding in Your Garden? And if you're as obsessed with English roses as we are, you'll love this DIY: Braided Rose Pillars.

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    After coming into possession of his grandfather's workbench and tools, London-based architect Ben Davidson of Rodić Davidson Architects designed a perfectly proportioned shed for them in his garden.

    We spotted the workshop via Dezeen, where Davidson described how he designed and built the shed four years after moving to his home in Cambridge.

    Photography courtesy of Ben Davidson and Rodić Davidson Architects.

    rodic davidson garden workshop | gardenista

    Above: The shed's exterior is clad in plywood siding, stained black. The windows are Velfac panels that Davidson was given for free by a contractor who had ordered the wrong size.

    rodic davidson garden workshop | gardenista

    Above: Davidson inherited his grandfather's workbench and tools after his father died in 2012. As he told Dezeen: "My grandfather was a carpenter by trade, and extraordinarily talented; he should have been a cabinet maker. I recall many summers in my early teens, being packed off for two weeks to stay with my grandparents in Norfolk. I'd spend the entire time with my grandfather in his workshop."

    rodic davidson garden workshop | gardenista

    Above: Davidson's grandfather's workbench has stood the test of time. The shed floor is concrete; the walls are lined with lacquered pegboard. 

    rodic davidson garden workshop | gardenista

    Above: The pegboard wall panels allow Davidson to display (rather than merely store) his grandfather's tools. In addition to windows, the shed has two skylights. 

    rodic davidson garden workshop | gardenista

    Above: A new maple workbench runs the length of one wall.

    rodic davidson garden workshop | gardenista

    Above: A Meddings pillar drill sits on a lowered platform.

    rodic davidson garden workshop | gardenista

    Above: More tools are displayed on a birch plywood shelving unit.


    Above: The workshop is one of two sheds Davidson built in his garden; a second is a home office.

    For more sheds, studios, and tool storage ideas, see our Outbuilding of the Week archive. And see more images of beautiful garden sheds in our Photo Gallery.

    N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published Feb. 3, 2014.

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    Not long ago, I finally decided to part with the ugly plastic box of tools that I'd been carting around since college. I'd keep the tools, but their carrier needed an upgrade. I have a limited budget and I'm partial to anything that shows its age, so when I found a vintage turquoise toolbox I snapped it up. When my dad came to visit a few weeks later, he laughed and told me he had two just like it sitting empty in his workshop. And I could have them.

    Photographs by Erin Boyle.

    Above: Garden tools needing a home. What do the contents of your toolbox look like? Show us by uploading a photo in the comment section below.

    Above: The vintage toolbox I found. After my dad gave me two more, I started using them to store not just tools but all sorts of things, since our tiny apartment has so little cabinet and closet space. I recently gave the boxes a major overhaul, taking everything out and rearranging the contents. By the time I finished, I'd designated one as my gardening toolbox.

    Above: I keep it under the couch, in easy reach for whenever I embark on a garden or flower project. Having all my gardening supplies in one place means I spend less time searching for the proper tools.

    Above: The newest additions to my collection: a Dewit Garden Hand Shovel (bottom right; $25.90 from Kaufmann Mercantile), a major step up from the soup spoon I'd been using; and Gardener's Goat Skin Work Gloves ($32 from Womanswork). The gloves are soft and supple, and most important, they fit my small hands.

    The contents of my tool box are particular to my urban gardening needs. Besides the gloves and the trusty trowel, I packed in a canvas bag for foraging finds, Japanese scissors, pruners, hand drills, and various bits of wire, tape, and twine. My Victorinox SwissTool ($127.50 from Swiss Army) is invaluable in a small apartment—or anywhere, really.

    Above: The smaller tools go in the top tray, and each one has a story. I bought the pruning shears at a hardware store in Providence, Rhode Island. The historic building where I did my graduate work has a garden designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and when I got permission to take clippings from its flowering quince, I knew kitchen scissors wouldn't do the trick. One day I might upgrade to one of these beautiful options, but for now, this is my best tool for clipping branches.

    Above: I have another box for craft supplies, but I keep some paper scraps and a pen and pencil in the upper tray of this box for making labels or jotting down notes as I work.

    Above: Below deck, I keep larger tools like my trowel and scissors for flower arranging. Seed packets and garden gloves also make their home here.

    Above: Finally, I tucked the dram vials I use as wall vases safely away in the bottom of the box.

    The rest of you urban gardeners out there: What are your must-have tools?

    Explore more: See 125 more posts about Garden Tools and one of our favorite tool boxes, The "It" Tool Box.

    This is an update of a post originally published March 7, 2013.

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    This week, the editors at Remodelista joined us (and, indeed, the rest of the Western World) in celebrating dads. Their angle: manly design. Believing every room benefits from a balance of yin and yang, we appreciate the male aesthetic.

    Architect Takaaki Kawabata, one-room family house, Remodelista

    Above: In The New Pioneers: An Architect's One-Room Family House, read how Takaaki Kawabata turned a modest, mountain-view cabin in upstate New York into a one-room open-plan house for his family. You may be surprised to hear that those kids roll up their own futons every morning. 

    Eames lounge chair; Joan McNamara bedroom, Remodelista

    Above: Napper's delight: The Eames lounge chair. This week's Object Lesson delves into the history of this iconic furnishing. Who knew that it all began with director Billy Wilder, who was looking for the "warm, receptive look of a well-worn first baseman's mitt"?

    Alastair Hendy's kitchen in London; table with vegetables; Remodelista

    Above: A work table (that becomes a dining table) in the trendsetting kitchen of London chef Alastair Hendy. Credit Hendy with today's use of stainless steel, concrete floors, and industrial lighting. And it still works. Read more in Revolution Road: A Ground-Breaking Kitchen in London.

    Leather pommel horse as bench; Country Living; Remodelista

    Above: Here's an unexpected way to achieve a low-key masculine vibe: A well-worn pommel horse gains new life as a hallway bench. For more ideas like this, see 10 Favorites: Vintage Gym Equipment as Decor.

    Japanese kitchen tools designed by Hagino Mitsunobu; Remodelista

    Above: Julie may have uncovered the world's most handsome kitchen utensils. Designed by Hagino Mitsunobu, they're made of rustproof stainless steel with a black matte finish—and built to last. Find out where to get them in Kitchen Tools with a Masculine Edge.

    Actor and handyman Corbin Bernsen; Amanda Pays; Remodelista

    Above: You might not expect an to know his way around a tool belt. But Corbin Bernsen and his wife, the interior designer (and former actor) Amanda Pays, have been renovating and flipping houses for decades now. Learn some of Corbin's remodeling tips in Ask the Expert: Corbin Bernsen, Star Handyman.

    And that's only a small part of Remodelista's Cool Dads posts for this week. Find out more here

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