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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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    When Sarah and Mike Hudnall bought a renovated townhouse in Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood, they were thrilled to finally have a backyard. But they knew it needed lots of work. They wanted the long, skinny space—typical of New York City backyards—to serve many functions: providing space for cooking, for hanging out, for growing things, and for the kids (aged 10 and 4) to play. Sean Lewis and Jesse Terzi, partners in Brooklyn's New Eco Landscapes, got the job done in four weeks.

    Photography by Douglas Lyle Thompson for Gardenista.

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, rear view; Gardenista

    Above: "Mike and Sarah were open to design ideas," says Sean Lewis, "but they specifically asked for a 'showstopper'." They got it in the wooden pergola, a cantilevered structure that shades the dining table in the middle of the day and defines the space. 

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, patio; Gardenista

    Above: Much of the backyard was concrete slab; New Eco covered that with gravel and bluestone. The designers also sourced the furnishings: blue Fermob chairs; teak tables, couch, and chairs; and barnlight sconces. Heat lamps for chilly evenings are mounted over the couch and on the pergola.

    In an unusual move for this densely populated city, several sections of fence were left partially open. "We did that to allow more light in," says Lewis, "and not shut out the neighbors so much."

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, pergola detail; Gardenista

    Above: New Eco custom-designed the two powder-coated steel brackets that support the pergola. The footings are anchored in 3 feet of concrete underground. "They're not going anywhere," Lewis says. Behind, a shade-loving acuba shrub and liriope, a hardy perennial that thrives in full sun or full shade.

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, woodstove, mural and stumps; Gardenista

    Above: "The stump stools are from a locust tree that fell across the yard at my place in upstate New York," says Lewis. Waterproof white paint provides a finish for the tops. New Eco suggested a green wall of ivy, but the Hudnalls found something they liked better. They collaborated with artists Gray Edgerton and Manoela Madera of Kiik Create to come up with this colorful mandala-like mural.

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, woodstove; Gardenista

    Above: A request for a "fire feature" resulted in this wood-burning stove from the Dutch company Weltevree; the stove is rusting beautifully in place. Open the door and slide in a pizza to bake.

    Planted next to the stove: coreopsis, a reliable, low-maintenance perennial that flowers all summer. A water-efficient irrigation system keeps all the plants happy.

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, overhead view; Gardenista

    Above: A propane grill expands the cooking possibilities. It stands on a custom-built cedar cabinet with poured concrete countertops on both sides and plenty of storage space. (Tabletop items provided by ABC Carpet & Home.)

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, mint; Gardenista

    Above: Pots of mint and other herbs sit on a ledge beside the stairs leading down to the yard, close at hand whether the food prep is indoors or out.

    New Eco Landscapes, Clinton Hill, rear view2; Gardenista

    Above: Locust trees shade the back section of the yard, but Lewis suggests they might need a trim to encourage the lawn, which was put in a few months ago. Sarah planted the raised bed with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and jalapeños—a small crop, and mostly for fun. 

    "Having a Brooklyn backyard was our dream," says Sarah. "And the way Sean and his team completed it was beyond all our expectations."

    For another style of Brooklyn garden, see Steal This Look: Midcentury Mod Townhouse Garden. And check out the before-and-after shots of a Brooklyn garden where plants rule at The Magicians: An English Professor and a Novelist Conjure a Garden in Brooklyn.

    And don't forget to vote for the finalists in the 2013 Considered Design Awards. You can vote daily in all seven categories, now through August 8th. Winners will be announced on August 9th.

    Vote button; Gardenista

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    I can't remember the last time I had dinner indoors. March? January? It seems like a distant memory. I hope summer lasts forever. Meanwhile, the only challenge is to not run out of ideas for delicious (and easy to assemble) dishes to pack in the picnic basket. Here's one of my favorite summer menus, with recipes from our Garden-to-Table Recipe files:

    Watermelon Gazpacho ; Gardenista

    Above: Cookbook writer Aran Goyoaga grew up in Basque country, and her approach to cooking is "taking what is available and fresh, and preparing it as simply as possible. No big fuss." For more, see Basque Cooking Demystified . . . or try her recipe for a no-cook cold soup, Blender Magic: Instant Watermelon Gazpacho.

    Avocado beach picnic sandwich recipe ; Gardenista

    Above: You can make Olivia Rae James's Avocado Lemon Sprout Sandwich in less time than it takes to slather on sunscreen. While you're at it? Make two (trust us on this).

      Mint ice tea caffeine free ; Gardenista

    Above: Take along a pitcher (or thermos) of Kendra's minty Caffeine-Free Herbal Iced Tea.

    Recipe Quinoa Nut Bars ; Gardenista

    Above: For dessert? Pack a batch of Quinoa Fruit and Nut Bars. He Needs Food blogger John Bek makes a batch every week, just to have them around. It only takes one taste to understand his motives.

    For more easy dinner ideas, see our archive of Garden-to-Table Recipes.

    And don't forget to vote for the finalists in the 2014 Considered Design Awards! You vote now and every day until August 8th. The winners will be announced August 9th.

    Vote button Gardenista

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  • 07/28/14--11:30: Field Guide: Spinach
  • Spinach, Spinacea oleracea: "Mr. Workhorse"

    I'd like to express my gratitude to the Arab traders who brought spinach to China, where it eventually spread with the help of travelers and farmers right to my own backyard here in North America. Can't forget to thank Popeye, too—his thrilling biceps spiked American spinach consumption by 33 percent in the 1930s. While Popeye may have been the one pumping iron, spinach is the real workhorse. It's easy to grow, tastes amazing with just the barest of seasonings, and can be wilted onto or into almost any dish for an extra boost of incredible nutrition.

      Spinach and lettuce in raised garden beds at river cafe london ; Gardenista

    Above: For more images of Spinach, see our Gardenista Gallery.

    Spinach packs a laundry list of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, in particular delivering hearty doses of iron and calcium per calorie. Weird health tip of the day? The oxalates in this dark leafy green hinder our ability to take in spinach's iron. But nutritionists have a simple solution. Just serve the wonder-green with a side of orange slices to combat the oxalic effect.  

    spinach lettuce edible garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by David Ferris.

    Cheat Sheet

    • Beautiful dark green foliage can be used as a garden edging
    • Prevent spinach from bolting by planting it in the shade of beans or peas 
    • A side benefit of bolting: yellow-green flowers

    Keep It Alive

    • When sowing seeds directly into the garden, clear soil of weeds first. This delicate green can suffer from undue competition during its early growth
    • Spinach likes full sun to partial shade and consistent water (it will bolt if soil is too dry)
    • In hotter climates, plant in containers and move them away from the heat of the sun at midday to prevent bolting

    deer fencing edible kitchen garden lisa bloom long island ; Gardenista

     Above: Elegant Deer Fencing protects the salad greens in garden designer Lisa Bynon's garden in Southampton, Long Island.

    Spinach might be available year-round in grocery stores, but you'll get the best results in your home garden if you treat the green as a cool-weather crop. Plant a few successions in early spring, take a break in the summer, and plant again in the fall. In mild climates, you can mulch with straw or lightly cover the plants to keep your crop growing through the winter, or at least to reap another harvest from the same plants in the spring. If you live in a climate that's too warm for spinach, or want nutritious greens all summer long, try an alternative such as purslane, lamb's-quarters, amaranth, or orach. 

    Spinach Lentil Crostini ; Gardenista

    Above: What's for dinner? May we recommend Crostini With Lentils, Spinach, Herbs, and Greek Yogurt? Photograph via 101 Cookbooks.

    Read More:

    Leafy greens gardenista

    For more dinner ideas (and leafy green love), see our archive of Garden-to-Table Recipes. And read about Tomatoes, Lettuce, and Chives in our Field Guide archives.

    Voting is on now for the 2014 Considered Design Awards. You can vote for your favorite finalists every day until August 8th; the winners will be announced on August 9th. Let your voice be heard! 

    Vote button Gardenista

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    Celia Hart is an illustrator and printmaker whose blog, Purple Podded Peas, keeps readers up to date on developments in both her garden and her work (oh, and her chickens, too). 

    The old walled garden that inspires Celia is tucked into a corner of Suffolk near Cambridge, England. An arched doorway separates the garden from the chicken coop and maintains harmony. We peeked through it the other day:

    Photography by Jim Powell for Gardenista.

    An artist's garden in Suffolk, Gardenista

    Above: The wall and door shown here form the boundary of Celia's flower garden and outdoor living area. The property used to be part of a bigger estate, and the backdrop is of mature trees and utter, blissful privacy.

    Artist's Garden Visit, Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: Celia's avatar is a lino cut of a plump chicken, so it's no surprise that a rather stately henhouse takes pride of place in the center of her garden. Cheep the Rooster was a hasty gift from a friend, when his siblings were being savaged by their mother. He is equipped with the fighting spirit.

    An artist's garden in Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: Celia has beds of annuals on either side of the patio, where hollyhocks, 'Black Ball' cornflowers, and self-seeded opium poppies grow.

    Artist's Garden Visit, Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: In the vegetable garden, a bed dedicated to zucchini, cucumbers, and runner beans is a variation on the Three Sisters (the traditional companion planting of squash, corn, and beans). The branchy supports shown here are trimmings from an ash tree. 

    Artist's Garden Visit, Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: A harvest of potatoes from the plot.

    Artist's Garden Visit, Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: Celia grows drought-tolerant perennials in a south-facing border. Shown here: Achillea 'Fanal' and Anthemis tinctoria 'E.C. Buxton'.

    An artist's garden in Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: Two hazels meet in an arch, dividing the lawn from a wilder area with a pond.

    Artist's Garden Visit, Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: In autumn, Celia sows seeds from Higgledy Garden. Shown here: Ammi majus (Queen Anne's lace), dill 'Mammoth', larkspur 'Giant Imperials', and 'Black Ball' cornflowers.

    For more on Higgledy Garden, see Brit Style: Flower Farming on Wheels.

    An artist's garden in Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: Siesta time. The birds seek shade and shelter in the undergrowth on summer afternoons. A discreet dust bowl can be found under an old yew, a leftover from the formal garden. Celia's studio is in the former billiard hall.

    An artist's garden in Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: Self-seeded hollyhocks, reaching for the sky. "I find a plant family that does well for me and stick to it," says Celia. This is a very dry part of England, with only about 20 inches of rain a year. Celia also focuses on salvias and verbascum.

    An artist's garden in Suffolk. Gardenista

    Above: Celia has created topiary from cuttings and also from the boxwood bushes dotted around the old vegetable garden. Before she and her husband arrived, the garden had been meticulously maintained—and heavily sprayed. "There were no insects and no wildlife," she says. Now the chickens are happy and the natural cycle is hard at work.

    Tempted to start raising chickens yourself? You're not alone! Get some ideas on where to keep them at 5 Favorites: Backyard Chicken Coops for Small Flocks. For more on growing with chickens, see Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard.

    Don't forget to cast your vote in the 2014 Gardenista Considered Design Awards. You can vote for your favorite finalists every day until August 8th; we'll be revealing the winners on August 9th.

    Vote button Gardenista  

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    French doors? Check. Floor-to-ceiling windows? Check. A flower from the garden next to the kitchen sink? Must be summer.

    We recently took note of the indoor/outdoor kitchen of Swedish blogger Catarina Skoglund via her site, Another Side of This Life. Cattie and her husband, Robert, and their daughter, Stella, live in a two-story apartment in a 1927 building outside Gothenburg, Sweden. A fan of Anglo-eccentric decorating, Cattie drew inspiration from English magazines and movies for the renovation of the family kitchen. The results—a Brit-meets-Scandi space with a casual, lived-in attitude—are a welcome change from the hyper-styled black-and-white interiors of so many Scandi bloggers.

    Indoor/outdoor kitchen of Swedish blogger Catarina Skoglund

    Above: Green-painted French doors lead from the backyard into the eat-in kitchen, where geometric-patterned floor tiles give way to a light-gray painted wood floor. The 15-foot-high ceiling makes the narrow room feel spacious and airy. Photographs via Lovely Life

    Above: The original divided glass windows frame the French doors. Eames and Thonet chairs surround a simple black-topped table. The colorful Eames Hang-It-All Coat Hanger on the wall comes in handy for jackets and bags. 


    Above: A white porcelain farm sink with a mint-green tiled backsplash gives the kitchen a fresh vintage look. 


    Above: Sleek black counters are paired with simple white cabinets fitted with brass knobs. The couple opted for a white vintage-style refrigerator. 


    Above: An exposed brick wall was left in its original state, lending the space a rustic/industrial feel.

    Here's how to recreate the room's look:


    Above: Ikea's ceramic Domsjö Sink Bowl comes with a 25-year warranty; $185.99.


    Above: The Ikea Edsvik dual-handled faucet is made of chrome-plated brass and has an energy-saving water flow regulator. It comes with a 10-year warranty; $49.99.


    Above: The Smeg FAB50B is a fifties-style refrigerator-freezer in design and proportions; it comes in many colors. Contact Smeg for your local US dealer.


    Above: Clay Squared offers a minty green tile called Light Green Mid-Century. The tiles measure 4.25 inches by 4.25 inches and cost $12 per square foot; they're also available in other sizes.

    Above: The Lauréy 443 Solid Brass Knob with a satin finish is $7.35 from ATG Stores.


    Above: Granada Tile's Burgos geometric tiles can be custom-made according to color preference—there are 32 colors to choose from. The tiles are made of concrete and come in two sizes: 8 by 8 inches and 10 by 10 inches. Contact Granada Tile in LA directly for pricing. Another option: Little Diamond tiles from Heath Ceramics' Dwell Patterns, which also come in several colorways; inquire for pricing.


    Above: The Nud Classic Pendant by the Swedish company Nud Collection is available in seven cord color combinations; $49.95 from LBC Lighting. Photo via Merci Merci.

    Above: Create a pendant light with the Nud cord and Lee Broom's Crystal Bulb. Hand-cut by Cumbria Crystal, the last UK-based full-lead crystal producer; $175 from the A+R Store.

    Above: The Etch Brass Pendant by Tom Dixon is made from digitally etched brass sheets that cast multiple shadows when lit; $495 from Horne.

    Above: The Raft Table N2 is designed by Norm Architects for Danish Traditions. It's available in a black, dark brown, or white top; $1,857.50 via AmbienteDirect. 

    Above: The Eames Molded Plastic Dowel-Leg Side Chair is $399 at Design Within Reach. Besides white, it comes in black, aqua, red orange, and gray.


    Above: The Era Chair with Cane Seat by Thonet comes in classic black as well as five colors; $245 from Design Within Reach.


    Above: The Eames Hang-It-All Coat Hanger; $199 from Lumens.

    Above: The Redecker Hard Dish Brush is handcrafted in Germany of beechwood with bristles from Tampico fiber; $4.95 from Crate and Barrel. 


    Above: Swedish-made organic L:A Bruket Soap contains a blend of cedar, rosemary, and orange; 219 SEK via L:A Bruket's Shop.


    Above: The Lup Candle Holder by Swedish design group Hay is available in solid copper or black powder-coated steel; $45 from the Dwell Store.


    Above: An Edward Wohl Maple Cutting Board measures 11 by 15.5 inches and is $125 from Heath Ceramics.   


    Above: Alvar Aalto's Vase for Iittala is mouth-blown from non-leaded crystal and dates to 1936; $84 for the 4.75-inch-tall size from All Modern.


    Above: The Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker is a 1933 Italian design made from cast aluminum; $39.95 for the nine-cup size from Williams Sonoma.

    Above: The finishing touch for a brick wall, the hanging Kay Bojesen Monkey; $124 from the Scandinavian Design Center. For more on Kay Bojesen, see Revived: The National Flatware of Denmark.

    Above: The geometric-patterned Ivory Macrame Wool Rug is made from New Zealand wool and comes in several sizes. Prices start at $295 for a three-by-five-foot rug from Serena & Lily.

    If you like this kitchen, you'll love the rest of the house featured in Lovely Life. Is green your color? See Seeing Green: The Best Shades of Green Paint. And how about a kitchen with mint green cabinets? Go to Steal This Look: A Mint Green Kitchen from a Scandinavian Stylist

    Don't forget to cast your vote in the 2014 Gardenista Considered Design Awards. You can vote for the finalists every day until August 8; we'll announce the winners on August 9.

    Vote button Gardenista  

    N.B. This is an update of a post originally published December 10, 2013.

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    When I was 20, I lived for five months with a woman named Fabienne and her two young daughters in the city of Toulouse, in southern France. Beyond my delight at speaking French all day and indulging in a daily chocolatine from a neighborhood bakery in the afternoons, I was enthralled by something much more mundane: Fabienne's refrigerator.

    Every evening when I returned from classes, I'd peek into the family refrigerator to see if I could determine what we might be having for dinner. I was foiled every time. I knew we wouldn't be dining on butter and cheese alone, but night after night, those were the only things that I found. Despite the spartan contents of Fabienne's fridge, she churned out consistently delicious meals. Fresh ingredients, daily visits to the market, and an unrelenting mission to finish what she'd purchased were the secrets to her tidiness.

    Keeping a refrigerator like Fabienne's is one of my goals. Until I get there, I rely on a little trick that keeps my refrigerator smelling fresh, if not perfectly edited.

    make your own refrigerator odor absorber, gardenista

    Above: When it comes to natural cleaning products, baking soda is King and sweet-scented lavender is Queen. These two ingredients are all you need to make a 100-percent-natural odor absorber.

    make your own refrigerator odor absorber, gardenista

    Above: An aluminum Dredger, made for sprinkling flour or powdered sugar, is the perfect vessel for this project. I purchased mine for $3.50 at Whisk.

    make your own refrigerator odor absorber, gardenista

    Above: The Union Square Greenmarket is my go-to spot for dried lavender. Dried Lavender Flowers are $14.24 per pound from Amazon. (Or you can use a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil; a ½-ounce bottle is $4 from Botanic Choice.)

    make your own refrigerator odor absorber, gardenista

    Above: To make the odor absorber, fill the dredger about three quarters of the way with baking soda. (Baking soda all by itself works wonders to absorb odors.)

    make your own refrigerator odor absorber, gardenista

    Above: Adding lavender flowers helps mask unpleasant odors. Remove the lavender buds from the stems by rubbing the blossoms between your thumb and forefinger, then mix the buds into the baking soda with a spoon. I used about 10 stems of lavender to make a batch of odor absorber.

    make your own refrigerator odor absorber, gardenista

    Above: The dredger's perforated top allows the baking soda to absorb smells while avoiding spills. As an added bonus, if there's a day when your trash can is particularly offensive, you can sprinkle some of the baking soda mixture on top of the garbage. 

    make your own odor absorber, gardenista

    Above: Tucked into the back of the refrigerator, the dredger will fit in without drawing attention to itself. Replace your baking soda and lavender every few months to keep a perfectly odor-free refrigerator.

    Erin also uses herbs to deter moths. Read about her technique in DIY: Modern Mothballs (No Chemicals Included). And for more of her cleaning secrets, see The Secret Ingredient to Make Windows Shine Bright Like a Diamond

    N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published May 9, 2013.

    Have you cast your vote today for the 2014 Gardenista Considered Design Awards? You can vote for the finalists of your choice every day until August 8; we'll announce the winners on August 9.

    Vote button Gardenista

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    Our judges have selected the finalists, and now you get to choose the winners. Vote in each of the 17 Considered Design Awards categories, on both Gardenista and Remodelista. You can cast your vote once a day in each category, now through August 8.

    In the Best Hardscape Project, our five finalists are Specht Harpman Architects, Egon Walesch, SHED Architecture & Design, Steven Harris Architects, and Howells Architecture & Design.

    Project 1

    Specht Harpman Architects | Weston, CT | Weston Residence

    Design Statement: Blurring the distinction between built and natural, the roofscape, or fifth façade, becomes a critical element. Terraced planes with year-round, regional succulents step down the hill. The planted roofs are integral to the high-performance envelope.

    Chosen by: Guest judge Neisha Crosland, who described this as a "great landscaping job that is in harmony and complements the landscape."

    Gardenista considered design awards

    Above: Terraced roofscape.

    Spect Harpman on Gardenista Considered Design Awards

    Above: An outdoor living area.

    Specht Harpman on Gardenista

    Above: The overview at night.

    Specht Harpman on Gardenista Considered Design Awards

    Above: A view from the creek.

    Project 2

    Egon Walesch | London, England | London Garden Remodel

    Design Statement: The garden of an Edwardian house in London was redesigned when a garden room extension linking the kitchen/dining area of the house was linked to the garden. A small courtyard for dining and entertaining was created, as well as an oval-shaped lawn surrounded by borders of shrubs, trees, herbs, and herbaceous perennials.

    Chosen by: Gardenista Editor-in-Chief Michelle Slatalla: "It's wonderful not only to find a Mediterranean microclimate in the middle of London, but also an owner who pays enough attention to the weather to know that an olive tree will flourish. The hardscaping elements and the plants work well together to create outdoor living space."

    Egon Walesch

    Above: The paving is a mix of travertine and poured concrete in three complementary shades.

    Egon Walesch on Gardenista

    Above: The garden has lots of spaces to sit and take in the surroundings, as well as entertain.

    Egon Walesch Gardenista

    Above: The lawn is in the shape of an oval to add interest to the design.

    Egon Walesch Gardenista

    Above: Mediterranean and semi-tropical species thrive in the temperate London microclimate.

    Egon Walesch Gardenista

    Above: The garden room extension links the house and garden. Harmony is created by using materials and finishes that are similar to the original structure, while the design is contemporary.

    Egon Walesch on Gardenista

    Above: The planting is a mix of old and new, with shrubs, trees, and herbaceous perennials all happy bedfellows. The olive tree was planted as a small specimen but enjoys the climate.

    Project 3

    SHED Architecture & Design | Seattle, WA | Denny Blaine Yardscape

    Design Statement: The original house, designed by architect Paul Thiry, had long been neglected before the new owners purchased the property. Once they began to clear away the overgrown shrubs it became obvious how large the yard was, and the opportunity they had to create a beautiful indoor/outdoor living space. SHED Architecture & Design created a contemporary yard design that played off the international design style of the original house: simple forms, clean lines, and a flat roof. The new design features a grassy area, a small garden bed, a patio for outdoor dining, and a fire pit. The long concrete wall creates privacy, yet is low enough to allow a connection to the street and neighbors passing by.

    Chosen by: Michelle Slatalla. "Behind an unassuming concrete wall is enough outdoor living space to render the indoors obsolete. This is a project that makes the most of the land as well as the landscaping."

    SHED architecture and design on Gardenista

    Gardenista Considered Design Awards

    Above: A cozy outdoor fire pit with wood storage shed.

    SHED Architecture Gardenista Considered Design Awards

    Above: A large concrete planter houses a maple tree and provides additional seating along its edges.

    SHED Architecture & Design on Gardenista

    Above: Ample space for outdoor dining, lounging, and lawn games.

    SHED Architecture & Design  

    Above: Concrete was used to create a strong and smooth wall that defined the south edge of the yard while setting off the brick of the house.

    SHED Architecture on Gardenista

    Above: Once grown in, perennials and billowy grasses will soften the exterior concrete wall while creating a beautiful layer of color.

    Project 4

    Steven Harris Architecture | Calistoga, CA | Napa Valley Pool

    Design Statement: This gunnite pool is semi-inground, situated on a ridge that overlooks Napa Valley. The top two feet of the pool wall rise above ground in a straight datum that contrasts with the natural topography of the slope. The 25-meter pool was designed as a lap pool, with a wooden planked bridge separating the main pool from a small reflecting pool at the end, which adjoins a stepped seating area. This shallow pool perfectly accommodates children. A rammed-earth wall that bounds the property ends at the head of the pool and is capped in a water feature designed by Brooklyn artist Peter Lane. The surrounding landscape, like that of the entire property, is planted with native species of trees and low-lying shrubs, including tanoaks, manzanitas, and madrones.

    Chosen by: Neisha Crosland, who said she loves "the way the pool cuts through the natural landscape like a sneaky alligator. The landscape is enhanced by the presence of the pool as much as the pool is enhanced by the fantastic landscape."

    Steven Harris on Gardenista  

    Above: A rammed-earth wall runs the length of the property before ending in a water feature by Brooklyn artist Peter Lane. Water moves along a runnel before cascading into the pool.

    Steven Harris on Gardenista Design Awards

    Above: The markedly orthogonal pool contrasts with and highlights the craggy topography of the natural landscape.

    Steven harris on Gardenista

    Above: Though the pool rises slightly above ground, it is low-lying and subtly incorporated into the landscape; a surprise amidst the native trees and shrubs.

    Steven Harris on Gardenista

    Above: The pool is situated on a ridge overlooking Napa Valley. Here, a planked path leads to a sunken seating area and separates the lap pool from the shallow children's pool.

    Steven Harris on Gardenista Design Awards

    Above: The grounded geometry of the pool wall and walkways imparts a tranquil, anchoring presence onto the property.

    Project 5

    Howells Architecture & Design | Portland, OR | Laurelhurst Garden

    Design Statement: This project reimagines an unremarkable and underused backyard in Portland, creating an urban garden with an adjacent writer’s studio. Taking inspiration from Japanese precedents, we conceived of a paving scheme with planters, a cedar soaking tub, a fire pit, and a seven-foot-tall cedar fence. A maple tree forms the focal point and will grow to shade the yard. Board-formed concrete planters house conifers, maples, and moss, appropriate to the Pacific Northwest climate. Moss plantings between the pavers break up the rigorous geometry, softening the landscape both visually and underfoot. Challenges included working sensitively with the root systems of trees on the four adjacent properties, integration of a new site drainage system, and the complexity of fitting a dimensionally rigorous design into a site that appears rectangular but isn’t. The new fencing is sheathed on both sides, both to afford greater privacy for the owners and to provide an aesthetic experience for the neighbors that is equal to that on the owner’s side of the fence. The cedar will weather to a silver-gray.

    Chosen by: Michelle Slatalla. "The before-and-after photos tell a Cinderella story that should be heartening to anyone who is wondering what to do with a plain Jane backyard."

    Howells Architecture on Gardenista Considered Design

    Above: A multi-use landscape includes a soaking tub, a fire pit, a barbecue area, and an outdoor dining area. The pavers are cast-in-place concrete.

    Howells Architecture on Gardenista

    Above: A 7-foot-tall cedar fence is sheathed on both sides, to afford maximum privacy and give the neighbors a quality fence, too.

    Howells Architecture on Gardenista

    Above: Board-formed concrete references a Portland tradition.

    Howells Architecture on Gardenista

    Above: A cedar soaking tub will weather to a silver-gray, like the fence.

    Howells Architecture on Gardenista

    Above: Moss between the pavers softens the design, both visually and underfoot.

    Howells Architecture on Gardenista

    Above: Before, an underused backyard.

    Like what you see? Click below to cast your vote for your favorite finalist in the Best Hardscaping Project category. You can vote for the finalists in all seven categories every day until August 8th; winners will be announced on August 9th.

    Vote button Gardenista

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    The historic site of Colonial Williamsburg, the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia, has many stunning landscapes, such as the formal Dutch-Renaissance-style garden at Governor's Palace. But during a recent visit, I was drawn to the humble gardens outside the more modest houses. On these plots, Williamsburg's researchers and re-enactors use traditional tools and period plants to create living examples of historic gardens.

    Photography by Justine Hand for Gardenista.

    delphinium garden at Colonial Williamsburg, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: The experts at Colonial Williamsburg use archeological evidence and historic documents to recreate authentic period gardens. In the colonial era, only the very wealthy would have separate gardens for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. So here in the kitchen garden behind Shield's Tavern, larkspur and foxgloves mix with dill and other herbs to form a textured border.

    Shields Tavern kitchen garden cabbages, Colonial Williamsburg, Gardenista

    Above: Hearty cabbages (a colonial favorite) also grow in the Shield's Tavern garden, which provides the produce for the tavern's 18th-century menu. Note the neat beds: Colonial gardens were organized, symmetrical affairs.

    Colonial Nursery, Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: At the Colonial Nursery and Garden, the beds are protected by low "wattle" fences and separated by crushed-shell paths. It all makes Revolutionary-era gardening look pretty romantic, but you should know that by the time of the Revolution, most colonists had given up growing their own vegetables. It was just too unpredictable and too much labor—think 50 trips to the well and back, according to a vivid account by Therese Ciesinski. In 1750, diets consisted of less than 10 percent vegetables, mostly grown on nearby plantations. 

    willow fencing Colonial Williamsburg Nursery, Gardenista

    Above: A closeup of one of the wattle fences. The shells come from nearby Chesapeake Bay.

    wheelbarrows, Colonial Nursery, Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: Workers at the Colonial Nursery and Garden use only period tools. Many of the charming wheelbarrows are made on-site. 

    willow stacking of peas, Colonial Nursery, Colonial Williamsburg, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: Colonial Williamsburg's garden structures are just as intriguing as the plants. Here, a bent-twig trellis supports growing peas.

    pots, Colonial Nursery, Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: The nursery sells a wide selection of plants, period tools, and simple pots made on the premises.

    poppies and corn flowers Colonial Nursery, Colonial Williamsburg, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: Among the many small flowerbeds, this vibrant display of poppies and cornflowers stood out.

    herbs , Colonial Nursery, Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: Herbs and other plants favored by the colonists line the walkway outside the nursery.

    baskets, Colonial Nursery, Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: You can also buy a hand-woven basket for gathering vegetables and flowers back home.

    broken pots, Colonial Williamburg Gardens, Gardenista

    Above: Broken pots? No worries. Terra-cotta shards serve as mulch around this garden shed.

    peas, Colonial Nursery, Colonial Williamsburg, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: Peas destined for one of the taverns, where the kitchens follow traditional 18th-century recipes.

    sheep, Colonial Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: Much like the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg, livestock pens are nestled right up against the houses. Here, spring lambs feed at twilight.

    delphinium path Colonial Willimsburg, Gardenista

    Above: A kitchen garden, conveniently close to the house. 

    orchard, Colonial Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: The fruit orchards are enclosed with a variety of period fencing.

    picket fence, Colonial Williamsburg, VA, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: No matter how small, each colonial cottage had its own yard and garden.

    Want to see more colonial gardening techniques put into practice? See Hardscaping 101: Seashell Paths and Driveways and Garden Must-Have: Woven Willow Fences and Trellises. You can also take a tour of Williamsburg in the 21st Century over at Remodelista.

    Don't forget to vote for the finalists in the 2014 Gardenista Considered Design Awards! Until August 8th, you can vote once a day in all seven categories. We're announcing the winners on August 9th. Click below to vote!

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    Question: What is the modern equivalent of a root cellar? Answer: A root cellar, of course. Unfortunately, most of us don't have one these days (I imagine that even my grandmother's has been turned into a basement rec room by now).

    The next best thing? Get a woven basket with good ventilation that allows air to circulate around your onions and heads of garlic. Hang the basket in a cool spot and your vegetables will stay fresh for weeks. We've rounded up 10 of our favorite woven hanging baskets for onion and garlic storage:

    Natural Fiber Baskets

    Clyde Oak hanging woven root basket ; Gardenista

    Above: Handwoven in North Carolina, a Root Basket keeps vegetables dry and within easy reach; $39 from Clyde Oak. Note: If you have space for two baskets, separate the potatoes to avoid contaminating them with onion odors.

    Woven onion basket ; Gardenista

    Above: Woven from fiber rush, a "tautly twisted paper material," an Onion Basket measures 10 to 13 inches high and has a 4½-inch handle; $15 from Gather Journal.

    Shaker onion basket ; Gardenista

    Above: Made of reed, a Shaker Onion Basket "smells like a hayride through a forest on a fall day," says Alisa Grifo, proprietor of the homewares store Kiosk; $45 from Cooper Hewitt.

      Onion basket set of two ; Gardenista

    Above: A set of two hand-woven rattan Onion Baskets (the tall one is 14 inches high, including its handle; the smaller one is 13½ inches) is $29.95 from Williams-Sonoma.

    vintage 3 tier woven hanging kitchen basket ; Gardenista

    Above: A vintage, one-of-a-kind Three Tier Woven Wicker Hanging Basket is $22 from White Elephant Co. via Etsy. For a contemporary version, a three-tier Hanging Basket woven from Nito vine measures 25 inches tall and 12 inches in diameter; $59.50 from Kouboo.

    woven hanging garlic basket ; Gardenista

    Above: Working with dyed jute and cane, Auckland artist Ruth Castle weaves Black Garlic Baskets in three sizes; for pricing and availability, see Everyday Needs.

     Wire Baskets

    Wire hanging kitchen baskets ; Gardenista

    Above: Hanging Wire Baskets from Australia are available in black or white wire; for more information and prices, see Love Loans and Linens.

    Food 52 Provisions hanging basket ; Gardenista

    Above: A steel wire Spherical Hanging Basket made in Connecticut is 14 inches high including the hanging loop and will hold garlic, onions, or small tomatoes; $60 from Provisions.

    Nutley wire garlic basket ; Gardenista

    Above: A Traditional Garlic Basket will hold from five to six bulbs; £8.75 from Nutley's Kitchen Gardens.

      Metal Basket with wooden handle ; Gardenista

    Above: Made in France, a galvanized Metal Basket with a wooden handle measures 25 centimeters long (nearly 10 inches) and is €24 from Neëst.

    Headed to the farmers' market? See our 10 Easy Pieces: French Market Totes and, on Remodelista: 10 Parisian-Style Net Bags.

    Have you voted for the finalists in the 2014 Gardenista Considered Design Awards? You can vote every day for your favorites in all seven categories. Voting ends August 8th; we'll announce the winners on August 9th. Click below for details!

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    When I was offered the assignment to make a hydrangea bouquet, I was skeptical. It's well known that Gardenista harbors pro-pom-pom sympathies. But why did Michelle choose to ask me if I wanted to create a DIY bouquet with summer's favorite bloom?

    There was only one reason, I figured. Michelle had turned to the resident Cape Codder because, let's face it, hydrangeas reign supreme here. 

    "Err, trouble is, Michelle," I said, "I don't actually like hydrangeas."

    Dead silence on the other end of the line. Clearly I had committed a floral faux pas. 

    If I can judge by the number of hydrangeas in New England landscapes, my opinion is in the minority. But I guess something has to be done with them. So despite my initial objections, I accepted Michelle's assignment, treating it as a design challenge. Could I create a hydrangea bouquet that even haters would love?

    Photography by Justine Hand

    hydrangeas by Justine Hand for Gardenista

    Above: Because I have no hydrangeas in my yard, my friend Alexandra kindly donated a few of hers to my project. (OK, I have to admit, they do look lovely in the amber light of dusk.)

    My main problem with hydrangeas is that they're so common on Cape Cod they've become a cliché. One too many quaint cottages with hydrangeas, and I want to bury my head in the sand. I respond to the area's more dramatic, windswept landscapes, with the textured grasses and hardy natives. Hydrangeas feel too cultivated, too precious. 

    So once I'd agreed to create a bouquet, my first thought was that prim hydrangeas might benefit from a walk on the wild side. Maybe I could I add a little Danny Zuko to their Sandy (to use a Grease reference)? I set out in search of some unruly locals.

    cutting grape vines, Gardenista

    Above: Though these grapes are cultivated in my grandparents' yard, their wild cousins are abundant along Cape Cod's shores. The creeping vines, vibrant green leaves, and dripping fruit seemed the perfect counterpoint to hydrangea's neat blue pom-poms.

    locust tree, Gardenista

    Above: Almost as ubiquitous as hydrangeas (but far less adored by Cape Codders), locusts are considered a weed tree. But these scrappy trees have sweeping boughs that would lend an informal grace to hydrangea's pert blooms.

    me with my foragings, Gardenista

    Above: Specimens in hand, I was ready to arrange. (Photograph by my friend Alexandra.)

    smashing grape stems for cut flowers, Gardenista

    Above: Prepping the stems. Hydrangeas were named for the Greek word "hydro" (which means water) and they need lots of it. But their ability to draw water is compromised once cut. My local florist recommends making a long diagonal cut on each stem to prolong their life as cut flowers. Others swear by smashing the stems. I tried both and found the long diagonal slice worked best.

    There's not much research on how to keep cut grapevines or locust boughs looking fresh, so I experimented with three methods: smashing the stems, making long diagonal slices, and giving them a simple 45-degree cut. I found that grapevines prefer to be smashed, while the locust lasts longer with a simple cut.

    hydrangea bouquet with grape vine and locust 4, Gardenista

    Above: Arranging the flowers, I began by placing the hydrangeas toward the center of the vase. Then I worked the wilder greens in around the edges (up high and down low) to create a cascading, overgrown effect.

    hydrangea and grape vine bouquet detail 2, Gardenista

    Above: To me, pairing hydrangea with its more feral neighbors enhances its bountiful appeal.

    hydrangea bouquet with grape and locust, Gardenista

    Above: The acid greens of the grape and locust also complement what I consider the "tricky" blue of hydrangeas. 

    hydrangea bouquet in window, Gardenista

    Above: In my cottage window, my wild hydrangea arrangement pays homage to Cape Cod without being too predictable.

    hydrangea and grape vine bouquet, close up 2, Gardenista

    Above: A closeup shows why this arrangement has even made a convert of me.

    Want more hydrangeas? See our quick Field Guide; discover our Magic Trick: How To Make Your Hydrangea Change Color, and learn how to Dry Your Hydrangeas: Two Ways. And here's a hydrangea-blue landscape that even I love: Tiina Laakonen's home on Remodelista, at Rhapsody in Blue: A Finnish Stylist at Home in the Hamptons.

    Did you vote yet today for the finalists in the 2014 Gardenista Considered Design Awards? You can vote once a day in all seven categories until August 8th; we'll announce the winners on August 9th. Just click below!

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    There is something deeply satisfying about eating directly from the garden. The fruit of one’s own labor really does taste sweeter. As my husband, George, and I finish our fifth year of living full-time in our cedar-shingle cottage in upstate New York, the garden we have created together—full of native plants and heirloom vegetables—feeds us in so many ways.

    Photography by George Billard for Gardenista.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Our modest half-acre is surrounded by tall pines that rob us of precious sunshine. We began our garden with a couple of raised beds in the back. Those have now quadrupled and spread to the front as well, maximizing our growing area.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: At this rate, there will soon be no lawn at all. That’s fine with us.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Hops nearly cover our little barn out back, which serves as a writing room and guest quarters. Other crops that do well in these beds include sorrel, horseradish, lovage, shiso, amaranth, kale, garlic, scallions, hot peppers, rhubarb, squash, and catnip. Cucumbers climb over the fence, obscuring the clematis that bloomed so profusely in June.

    The tender shoots of hops are a traditional Italian dish; they're delicious in a spring omelette. In fall, we harvest the beautiful flowers for brewer friends who make gluten-free beer for George.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Field garlic, transplanted from the wild, and echinacea both find their way into the kitchen. I make an elixir with citrus and the dried flower heads to ward off flu in the winter.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: George grows potatoes in these wooden barrels (and extra tomatoes and cucumbers, because he can never have enough), building them up with wire cages and straw.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: These Mexican sour gherkins, a new addition this year, have really taken off. They drop from the stems when ripe, at which point I'll pickle them in a spicy brine.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: A hard pruning made our black raspberries more prolific this month—and for once, the birds and chipmunks did not make off with every last one. I used the berries as topping for a delicious cornmeal skillet cake. 

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: George grows complementary plants around his tomatoes and tomatillos, using nasturtiums, calendula, and ground cherries to help draw away predatory insects. In turn, I put the peppery nasturtium leaves in salads, make compound butter with the brilliant petals, and pickle the caper-like seed pods.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: The front beds hold beets, collards, kale, chard, lettuces, and as many herbs as I can fit. Off to the left, you can just make out the two beds devoted to George’s dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes. And back to the right are our beehives—we got our first honey this year and it had the citrus taste of pine.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Though he doesn’t care for beets, George grew these gorgeous cylindrical Foronos for me. I ate them roasted, along with fresh ricotta and a sprinkling of piment d’espelette dried from last year’s harvest.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: The great diversity of herbs inspires and transforms my cooking. Some of my favorites are epazote, essential for authentic Mexican dishes; delicate chervil; pungent rau ram (Vietnamese coriander); and several kinds of basil for pesto, pistou, flavored oils, and even cocktails.

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: I grow lots of medicinal herbs and many that are delicious in tisanes. From left to right: lavender, lemon verbena, chamomile, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. (Elsewhere are dill, wild fennel, tarragon, summer savory, cilantro, and a variety of mints.)

    Laura Silverman upstate NY kitchen garden ; Gardenista

    Above: I am never happier than when I’m walking through the garden in high summer, surrounded by the wonderful fragrance of crushed tomato leaves, wild bergamot, and spicy herbs. Except maybe when I get back into the kitchen with an armful of bounty and time to play. See more of my garden on my blog, Glutton for Life.

    Wondering if the inside of Laura's house is as magical as her garden? It is. See Laura Silverman at Home in Sullivan County, NY on Remodelista. For another of our favorite cook's gardens, see Architect Visit: Sheila Bonnell's Kitchen Garden on Cape Cod.

    And don't forget to vote for the finalists in the 2014 Considered Design Awards, for Gardenista and Remodelista. You can vote once a day until August 8th; the winners will be announced August 9th. Click below to cast your votes!

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    Here's a door with a split personality. Open and welcoming on the one hand, private and protective on the other. We're talking, of course, about the Dutch door. A precursor to the screen door, it keeps unwanted visitors out while allowing sunlight and breezes to wander in. The Dutch door may be rooted in agricultural history, but it's perfect for modern living. Find out if it deserves a spot on the front (or back) of your house (or even inside):

    Dutch Door, Gardenista  

    Above: With the top section open, a Dutch door offers a welcoming peek into your house while maintaining a degree of privacy. Photograph via Sköna Hem.

    What is a Dutch door?

    Simply put, a Dutch door is one that's divided into two parts horizontally, so the bottom half can remain closed while the top half is open. When the connecting hardware is locked, the two halves act as one, posing as a solid door.

    Paned Dutch Door, Gardenista

    Above: A wide Dutch door made by Josje, who blogs at A Beautiful World, allows light to flow into this kitchen in the Netherlands. Photographs via A Beautiful World. 

    What is the history of Dutch doors?

    The name is a dead giveaway (though they're sometimes called stable doors, half doors, and double-hung doors). Dutch doors were common in the Netherlands in the 17th century. They were devised for use as exterior doors on farmhouses to keep animals out and children in, while allowing air and light to come and go. Dutch settlers brought the style to the US, where it appeared on rural houses in New York and New Jersey. The style soon migrated to the cities, where they kept out vermin, street dirt, and debris. They also allowed residents to interact with deliverymen and the like without letting them inside the house. 

    Barn Dutch Door, Gardenista

    Above: A Dutch door hung with strap hinges on a Pennsylvania barn from the 1700s. Photograph via Brandywine Forge

    What are the benefits of Dutch doors?

    Besides adding a certain historic charm and casual indoor-outdoor feel, Dutch doors also:

    • Keep pets and/or small children contained to the outside or inside while still letting in the sun and breeze.
    • Act as a solid-door alternative inside the house, for example as the door to a laundry room or office, where you want to let light into the room but still have a barrier for pets or children.
    • Allow airflow into a garden shed or tool shed, while keeping out visitors such as wandering chickens or unwanted vermin.
    • Act as an attractive and functional alternative to an indoor baby gate, especially at the top of stairs.

    Roy McMakin Dutch Door, Gardenista

    Above: Two views of a Dutch door at a Santa Monica residence remodeled by architect Roy McMakin. Photographs via 338 East Rustic Road.

    White Dutch Door, Gardenista

    Above: A clean white home office with a Dutch door leading to a trellised garden. Photograph via Glynn Design Build

    Are there different styles of Dutch doors?

    Most variations in Dutch doors are found in the choice of wood, the panel designs, and the height of the dividing break in the door. And, while the design DNA of Dutch doors is country, their appeal hasn't escaped minimalist modern remakes.

    Dutch doors offer the flexibility of two styles in one, as you may choose different designs for the top and bottom. While the bottom half should be solid, many doors have a glass panel for the top half. Designs for both glass and solid panels vary widely: single or multiple-paned; clear or stained glass; flat, raised, or board-and-batten panel faces, and more. 

    Hardwood is the recommended material. Many homeowners choose to paint their doors, and a high-gloss, richly hued Dutch Door Paint exists for just this purpose. 

    Cottage Dutch Door, Gardenista  

    Above: The bottom half of a Dutch door can have a windowsill-like perch, such as the one on this welcoming door at a Sausalito cottage by Deer Creek Studio

    Modern Dutch Door by D'Apostrophe, Gardenista

    Above: An updated barn house by D'Apostrophe Design includes a modern slatted-wood Dutch door at the entrance. Image via D'Apostrophe Design.

    DeForest Architects Modern Farmhouse Dutch Door, Gardenista  

    Above: Seattle-based Deforest Architects mixes modern style with traditional elements of farm living, such as the minimalist Dutch door they built at Yum Yum Farm in Iowa.

    Do Dutch doors require special hardware?

    Here's the lowdown on hardware:

    Hinges: Dutch doors require a minimum of four hinges, two for each door half (standard doors only need three). Standard door hinges will work if they meet the weight requirements. Period hardware is often used, such as sturdy Colonial-style Strap Hinges.

    Knobs and Locks: The door knob and lock are installed on the lower half. For added security, a deadbolt can be placed on the top half.

    Latch: This is the special piece of hardware you need to interlock the top and bottom leaves of the door. The bolt must be used when the door is closed, but you can leave it in place when the door is open for traditional door functionality.

    Dutch Door Hardware, Gardenista

    Above: This traditional Dutch door with a paned top half has four sturdy hinges, a heavy-duty Dutch door bolt, a classic knob with lock, and a deadbolt on the upper half. Image via C&M WIndows & Doors.

    Dutch Door Hardware, Gardenista

    Above: Heavy door bolts are commonly used for latching the two halves of a Dutch door. The Deltana 4-inch Heavy Duty Dutch Door Bolt in oil-rubbed bronze is $23.63 at Amazon (other finishes available).

    Dutch Door Hardware, Gardenista  

    Above: The quadrant is another option for latching top and bottom. The Baldwin Non-Handed Dutch Door Quadrant is offered in 16 finishes and is $54.60 at Low Priced Doorknobs.

    Any tips for installing Dutch doors?

    • Consider whether to have a paned or solid top half. Do you want light to come in when the door is fully closed? Or do you want full privacy? 
    • Remember the door swing. We're not just talking about the standard door swing, but where your open top half will rest. Will it be in the way physically or visually? Is there ample space while it's in open position? 
    • Think about how you'll hold the top half of the door open. My contractor and I failed to consider that detail when we installed a Dutch door on our kitchen in Seattle. But it came to my attention during a dramatic finger-pinching event: My son had his hand over the lip of the door's bottom half when the wind blew the open top half (nearly) shut. We quickly installed a hefty hook and eye to hold the top section in place when open. 
    • For an exterior door, you'll need weatherstripping between the upper and lower leaves to keep wind and wet from sneaking in when the door is shut.
    • We recommend hiring a professional installer, especially for exterior doors where security and sealing out the weather elements is important. That said, if you're an avid DIYer, there are many tutorials available. (This DIY Interior Dutch Door tutorial from HGTV explains how to turn a solid door into a Dutch door.)

    Roy McMakin Dutch Door, Gardenista

    Above: A Dutch door entrance is part of the farm vernacular for this house on Vashon Island, Washington, by architect Roy McMakin. Image via Domestic Architecture.

    Where can I get Dutch doors?

    Many door and window manufacturers offer Dutch doors, if not in their regular stock, by special order. Oregon-based Jeld-Wen seems to have one of the larger ranges of Dutch doors. Reclaimed doors are available through architectural salvage suppliers. And a few online suppliers offer Dutch doors, including Sun Mountain and Vintage Doors.

    Yellow Dutch Door, Gardenista

    Above: A striking yellow Dutch door at Dutchess House No. 1 by Grzywinski+Pons Ltd. 

    Dutch Door Recap


    • Keeps out unwanted elements while letting in light and fresh air
    • Adds a casual and welcoming personality to an entry door
    • Offers a visual connection between indoors and out, or between two indoor rooms
    • An alternative to a baby gate indoors


    • Might not be good in insect-ridden areas (it's cumbersome to install a screen with a Dutch door)
    • Can be easy to pinch fingers between the door halves 

    For more door inspiration, see 5 Favorites: Daring Red Doors and 7 Retractable Garage Doors, used not for cars but for large entries to living spaces. And on Remodelista, they examined the Ins and Outs of French Doors and offer more Dutch Door Ideas.

    Planning a major outdoor renovation? See all of our Hardscaping 101 Features.  

    And don't forget that you can vote once a day for the finalists in the 2014 Considered Design Awards for Gardenista and Remodelista. Voting ends August 8th; the winners will be announced on August 9th. Click below for details.

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    Summer is a season of contradictions: so much delicious fresh food, so little desire to cook. For me, the perfect summer kitchen is one I barely see. Cold drinks and colder salads are the answer. Plus an endless supply of corn on the cob (but that goes without saying).

    After conducting extensive taste tests, I've rounded up five of my favorite garden-to-table salad recipes:

    Barcelona Empredet White Bean and Cod Salad Recipe ; Gardenista

    Above: In Catalonia, they know how to keep cool. I recently traveled all the way to Barcelona for a lesson in how to make the perfect White Bean and Cod Salad. Photograph by Pancho Tolchinsky for Gardenista.

    Garden to Table recipe watermelon purslane salad ; Gardenista

    Above: Sweet and sour, a Purslane and Watermelon Salad is just the thing to defeat a heat wave. Photograph by Rebecca Baust for Gardenista.

      Arugula and Proscuitto Salad ; Gardenista

    Above: A lemony dressing turns an Arugula and Proscuitto Salad into a surprise. Photograph via White on Rice Couple.

      Raw Kale Salad Apples and Almonds Recipe ; Gardenista

    Above: Warning, obligatory kale salad ahead. Except this one doesn't taste like a cliché, thanks to the crunchy bits in Erin's favorite Raw Kale Salad With Apples and Almonds. Photograph by Erin Boyle.

    Corn and Tomato Salad in white bowl ; Gardenista

    Above: Have we mentioned how much we love corn and tomatoes? And corn? And tomatoes? Throw in some basil and red onion to make our favorite Corn and Tomato Salad. Photograph by Erin Boyle.

    For more of our favorite Garden-to-Table Recipes, see our archives for Summer Cocktails and A Perfect Sandwich to Take to the Beach.

    And have we mentioned that you can vote every day for your favorite finalists in the Gardenista and Remodelista 2014 Considered Design Awards? Voting ends August 8th; we're announcing the winners on August 9th. Click below!

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    Our judges have selected the finalists, now you choose the winners. Vote for the finalists in each of 17 Considered Design Awards categories, on both Gardenista and Remodelista. You can vote once a day in each category, now through August 8.

    In the Best Amateur Small Garden category, our five finalists are Ashley Hamilton, Sarah S., Joke de Winter, Bridget, and Susan Nock.


    Project 1

    Ashley Hamilton | Edinburgh, Scotland | Evergreen

    Design Statement: Measuring in at 1.4 by 9 meters, my north-facing balcony is long, skinny, and shady. It took me a few years to figure out what to do with it, but I knew it had to be green year-round and offer some privacy. There have been a few casualties as far as plants are concerned. Sun-loving herbs and fragranced flowers suffered from the winter winds and lack of light. I got wise and started to embrace shade-tolerant plants. My foxgloves, bluebells, delphiniums, Jacob's ladder, and clematis are quite happy with the sliver of evening sun. My ivy pom-poms are coming along quite nicely; that's my take on urban topiary. I carry my dining chairs out when I fancy eating outdoors. Given how narrow it is, I didn’t want to take up space with unnecessary furniture. To be honest, I’m happier with a picnic on the floor. My marble table is usually topped with all sorts of cuttings in jars of water. Growing from cuttings and seed is my new thing; I feel pretty smug when I get a new plant for free. This year, my bird box hosted a nest of blue tits, my bird feeder is busy, and I’m thinking of building some tenements for bees. Future plans include some herbs, more flowers, more green. Other than that, I’m more than happy with my chilled-out green haven.

    Chosen by: Guest judge Isabelle Palmer, who said, "Immediately on viewing this garden, I wanted to explore it. For me that is a key of great design. The ivy seems to be draped over the space in different forms—hanging, twisted, placed—and the bamboo acts as a stage set to really evoke a sense of intrigue."

    Ashley Hamilton garden on Gardenista

    Above: Long and skinny.

    Ashley Hamilton garden on Gardenista  

    Above: Tea and biscuits on the floor.

    Ashley Hamilton late spring garden on Gardenista Awards

    Above: Late spring.

    Ashley Hamilton garden on Gardenista

    Above: Lupin positioned for the evening sun.

    Garden finalist on Gardenista Design Awards

    Above: A tiny bit of color for the beasties.

    Ashley Hamilton garden on Gardenista

    Above: Ivy pom-poms in the making.

    Project 2

    Sarah S. | New York, NY | Harlem Patio

    Design Statement: An urban patio garden.

    Chosen by: Isabelle Palmer, who said "This speaks to me of the challenges of overcoming a small space to create a garden. I was instantly intrigued by the quirky design but also by its resemblance to an artistic installation. This garden, with its fall colors of coleus, geraniums, and herbs, uses its space to its fullest. It's functional in covering the window bars, delightful in bringing color and cheering passers-by, and useful in producing herbs for its owner. The different heights of the planters demonstrate the key to creating a miniature garden: utilizing available space."

    Harlem garden finalist on Gardenista

    Above: Coleus, geraniums, and herbs.

    Garden finalist on Gardenista Design awards

    Above: The garden in the fall.

    Harlem garden finalist on Gardenista

    Above: Herbs from the garden: mint, chives, basil, rosemary, oregano.

    Sarah S. harlem garden on Gardenista  

    Above: A full view of the patio.

    Project 3

    Joke de Winter | Loughborough, England | The Back Yard

    Design Statement: A small garden to grow things to brighten up breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. A place to eat or just sit around. A haven for beneficial insects and not so beneficial ones, too. And last but not least, weather permitting, a place to dry the laundry.

    Chosen by: Gardenista Editor-in-Chief Michelle Slatalla. "In the best tradition of a kitchen garden, this backyard combines edible and ornamental plants—and some that qualify in both categories—to create a pleasant, rambling space that's as delicious as it is beautiful."

    Joke de Winter on Gardenista

    Above: A view from the top.

    Joke de Winter on Gardenista

    Above: Digitalis for the bees, and raspberries (in the back) for breakfast.

    Joke de Winter on Gardenista Design Awards

    Above: Dill—great stuffed inside a roast chicken.

    Joke de Winter on Gardenista

    Above: Chives: a nice border plant, and the flowers are great in salads, too.

    Project 4

    Bridget | Brooklyn, NY | Fire Escape Window Boxes

    Design Statement: These images are of my first garden. I recently became interested in gardening/farming after stumbling upon a few blogs and books that speak to the subject matter (The Dirty Life; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Reading My Tea Leaves). I think it is important to have some understanding of where our food comes from, and what goes into producing it. I am slowly learning the process through my small green space, nestled on our fire escape. While the food grown here is not intended to fully sustain me, it has helped me make smarter decisions about what I'm putting inside my body. I enjoy coming home from work and taking a look to see how the plants have changed from the day before, and dreaming of a day when more space will allow me to expand.

    Chosen by: Michelle Slatalla. "This garden is testament to the ingenuity of both the dedicated urban gardener and the dedicated urban squirrel. Happy to see the gardener winning. (Also happy to see you can still use the fire escape for its intended purpose.) Now, if only your neighbors' roofs also had tomatoes growing on them . . . " 

    Bridget on Gardenista Awards  

    Above: I started the seeds in a plastic greenhouse in March. When I transplanted them outside, I quickly learned that the local squirrel population was a fan of everything I had planted. The chicken-wire frame was constructed to protect the plants.

    Cherry tomatoes on gardenista

    Above: Just-ripened cherry tomatoes.

    Bridget garden on gardenista

    Above: South view: lots of sunlight; not much space. But the added greenery outside my window makes me quite happy.

    Project 5

    Susan Nock | Wellesley, MA | Shady Container Garden

    Design Statement: Welcome to a small container garden in a mainly shady corner of our deck. I have planted the containers with a variety of shade-loving perennials, including ferns, masterwort, and ajuga. One large container holds cimicfuga, heuchera, ornamental oregano, and tuberous begonias. A few pots of succulents also live here. The bench is also home to a collection of heart-shaped rocks and lanterns. It is a place to sit and relax.

    Chosen by: Isabelle Palmer, who said, "I love the way this space is used to sit and relax. This is an integral aspect to any small space I design, even if it's just a view of a windowsill. I get a sense of the designer's style in the ornaments placed around. The tones in the thoughtful color scheme really complement each other. Nothing jars, and the different greens are so calming. The textures also create a wonderful display and flow."  

    Susan Nock garden on Gardenista

    Above: The shady container garden in a corner of our deck.

    Gardenista Design Awards

    Above: The large container is filled with cimicfuga, ornamental oregano, tuberous begonias, and heuchera, and surrounded by pots of masterwort, thyme, and succulents.

    Susan Nock on Gardenista  

    Above: A lantern surrounded by a fern and succulents.

    Succulents on Gardenista Design Awards

    Above: A pot of succulents.

    Susan Nock on Gardenista

    Above: A grouping of containers, lanterns, and rocks.

    Susan Nock on Gardenista Design Awards

    Above: Cimicfuga, ornamental oregano, tuberous begonias, and heuchera.

    Click below to vote for your favorite finalist in the Best Amateur Small Garden category—and for the finalists in the six other Gardenista categories. You can vote once a day until August 8th; we'll announce the winners on August 9th.

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    In the South London backyard of a grand brick house sits a shingled one-room cottage. It feels like a secret clubhouse, peeping out from behind the flower beds.

    The summerhouse, not far from Wandsworth Common, was spotted by Julie via Light Locations a few summers back. It's still one of our all-time favorite outbuildings:

    Photography via Light Locations.

    Backyard summerhouse urban outbuilding London ; Gardenista

    Above: Sets of double doors on two walls swing open to help obliterate the boundary between outdoors and in.

    Backyard summerhouse urban outbuilding London ; Gardenista

    Above: Beds of perennials and a potted olive tree bring the garden onto the deck.


    Above: Unfitted cabinetry, whitewashed walls, and a glossy painted floor make the kitchen feel as if it's on vacation, too.


    Above: Twin skylights keep the inside bright even when it's cloudy outside.


    Above: With all the doors thrown wide open, the summerhouse's interior becomes a natural extension of the garden.


    Above: Meals are taken on the deck, which means less furniture is needed indoors.

    Backyard summerhouse south London ; Gardenista

    Above: Picnic benches and a slingback chair strike stylishly casual notes.

    Backyard summerhouse south London ; Gardenista

    Above: Tiered flower beds cleverly keep the garden at eye level when you're up on the deck.

    Backyard summerhouse south London ; Gardenista

    Above: At the other end of the lawn is a stately brick house with a Victorian conservatory.

    For more interior views, see House Call: Summerhouse in South London on Remodelista. For another London surprise, see A Backyard Writer's Shed by Weston Surman & Deane.

    Don't forget to vote for the finalists in the 2014 Considered Design Awards! You can vote once a day for all categories in Gardenista and Remodelista. Voting ends August 8th, and we'll announce the winners August 9th. Click below to let your voice be heard!

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    Some days it's too hot to think about food. By all means, skip dinner. But dessert? Never. Here are five of our favorite recipes for garden-to-table summer desserts. Second helpings will make you feel even cooler.

    Meyer lemon and geranium petal tea cake DIY ; Gardenista

    Above: Flower petals are an essential ingredient in Justine's Rose Geranium and Meyer Lemon Tea Cake. Photograph by Justine Hand.

    DIY fruit popsicles avocado ; Gardenista

    Above: Cut back on sugar (and substitute vitamins instead) with DIY: Garden Popsicles. Photograph via Rancho Valencia.

    Juniper Berry Granita DIY Dessert ; Gardenista

    Above: Another frozen dessert for a hot day. Yossy Arefi went foraging with self-described weed eater Tama Matsuoka Wong and came back with the ingredients for DIY: Green Juniper Berry Granita. Photograph by Yossy Arefi for Gardenista.

    Apple coconut crisp Olivia Rae James ; Gardenista

    Above: Get a leap on apple season with DIY: Apple Coconut Crisp. Photograph by Olivia Rae James for Gardenista.

    DIY Fruit Leather Roll ups recipe ; Gardenista

    Above: Justine has a suggestion for your berry harvest. Try her DIY: Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups. Photograph by Justine Hand.

    Need suggestions for the cocktail hour, as well? Try our DIY: Raspberry Sparkler and DIY: Sour Cherry Rickey, Brooklyn Edition.

    If you haven't voted today for the 2014 Considered Design Awards, click below! You can vote for the finalists once a day, on Gardenista and on Remodelista. Voting ends August 8th; the winners will be announced August 9th.

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    This week, the editors of Remodelista were happy to hang out in the kitchen—the easy, breezy, summer season kitchen that feels like an oasis, that is. Take a look at what they uncovered: foraged bouquets, peak-season tabletop ideas, and inspired ways to use bathroom fixtures in the kitchen. 

    Chinese apothecary drawers, kitchen, Gardenista

    Above: Julie outdoes herself in 11 Kitchen Storage Tricks to Steal from the Bathroom. Why did we never think of adding a recessed soap niche to a tiled backsplash? And we love the Chinese apothecary drawers in this rustic kitchen.

    Louesa Roebuck quince and time flower arrangement, Gardenista

    Above: A renegade floral designer in the Bay Area has led the forager movement for years. In DIY: Louesa Roebuck's Wild (and Edible) Bouquets, she tells us how to create two simple, wild arrangements using scrounged flowers, fruit, and herbs. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    Honey & Co. cookbook, Patricia Niven; Gardenista

    Above: Remodelista's London editors discovered Honey & Co. a couple of summers ago—it's right around the corner from our office in Fitzrovia. The restaurant has since been discovered by the rest of the neighborhood, and it's just published its own cookbook. Find out more in London Hangout: Middle Eastern Dining at Honey and Co.

    Eatrip restaurant in Japan; Gardenista

    Above: Another Restaurant Visit takes us to Eatrip in Tokyo, an oasis of calm in the busy Harajuku district. Surrounded by gardens, this simple farm cafe even has its own flower shop. Photograph by Aya Brackett for Remodelista.

    Foxgrove kitchen; herb garden in island; Gardenista

    Above: A Victorian house on the outskirts of London has been artfully remodeled with materials that bring in the sun. In Steal This Look: The Endless Summer Kitchen, Remodelista's design sleuths show how you can recreate the style. Our favorite part: the herb planter inset in a marble-topped island. Photograph from Blakes London.
    Don't forget: You can vote once a day for the finalists in the 2014 Considered Design Awards. Click below to cast your votes on Gardenista and Remodelista. The polls close August 8th; winners will be announced August 9th. Vote now!

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    Here's a look at what's on our radar this week:

    Corkvase on Of A Kind | Gardenista

    • Above: On our wish list: limited-edition cork vases, handmade in Oakland, California. Photograph courtesy of Of a Kind.
    • Design Milk founder and editor in chief, Jamie Derringer, is poised to overhaul her Southern California backyard (approvals pending); we're watching her every step. 

    Joy the Baker Deviled Eggs | Gardenista

    • Above: We're of the opinion that the best party guest is the one who brings the deviled eggs. We're trying this "extra-special" recipe for our next summer bash. Photograph courtesy of Joy the Baker. 
    • Two-ingredient compote, stone fruit and berries wanted. 

    Zizmor House in NY via Dwell | Gardenista

    • Above: Hostas, Hollywood juniper, and bamboo border the revamped outdoor space of an equally renovated Upper West Side apartment. Photograph by Roland Bello. 
    • A stylish tool for swatting those winged house invaders (no, not bats).

    Brass Weather Station via Provisions | Gardenista

    • Above: Put this brass weather station outdoors to monitor temperature and humidity. Photograph by Mark Weinberg. 

    Lily Pool Terrace at Brooklyn Botanical Garden is in Bloom for July and August | Gardenista

    • Above: It's already August? That means the lily pool at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is in full bloom. Photograph by Antonio M. Rosario.
    • We're announcing the winners of the Gardenista Considered Design Awards next Saturday, so be sure to vote for your favorite finalists, once a day until August 8. And while you're at it, vote for the Remodelista finalists as well! Just click below.

    For more from this week on Gardenista, see The Summer Kitchen. And don't miss Remodelista's week of Summery Kitchens

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    Spotted on Lizzie Garrett's Tomboy Style, a communal dinner in a greenhouse at Beetlebung Farm, on the southwestern edge of Martha's Vineyard.

    Beetlebung Farm, a five-acre property in Chilmark, Massachusetts, is the home of Chris Fischer, who grew up there and left to study cooking under such chefs as Mario Batali and Keith McNally in New York, London, and Rome. Now back home, Fischer sells his organic produce (customers have included the Obamas) and hosts communal greenhouse dinners. We must say the experience sounds magical.

    Says Lizzie Garrett: "We were served by friendly barefoot hosts on a dirt floor, sitting on wood benches and rusted metal chairs under a roof of stars and a garland of Jerusalem artichoke leaves. The aroma of the farm vegetables lingering with the salty Atlantic air was almost as intoxicating as the burrata, the kale salad served over a fried egg, the sugary sweet perfect tomatoes with squid, the pork tossed with pasta and basil . . ." Read on for the dessert:

    Photography by Gabriela Herman for Beetlebung Farm (except where noted).

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: Chris Fischer, the 12th generation of his family to live on the Vineyard, serves just-grown, fresh-picked food (prepared simply) in a greenhouse transformed into a dining room. Photograph by Lizzie Garrett of Tomboy Style.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: Burrata bruschetta. Photograph by Lizzie Garrett of Tomboy Style.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: The farm isn't an official restaurant; dinners are by invitation only. 

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: Recent greenhouse dinner guests have included actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Seth Meyers.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: A large bluefish stuffed with herbs and grilled over an open fire.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: The hoop house is set with a long dining table, mismatched chairs, and flowers from the farm. 

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: Organic produce under cultivation at Beetlebung Farm.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: A shed to keep cold frames warm.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: Beetlebung chef Chris Fischer is a descendant of Albert Osborne Fischer, who bought the farm in 1961.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: Makeshift lamps and strings of lights. Photograph by Lizzie Garrett of Tomboy Style.

    Dinner at Beetlebung Farm, Gardenista

    Above: And for dessert? "A buttery slice of cantaloupe," says Lizzie Garrett. "A simple and perfect dessert."

    For more greenhouse dining ideas, see A Tiny Glass Studio in Barcelona and Into the Field: A Dinner in an Oslo Greenhouse.

    Updated from a post originally published July 31, 2013.

    And don't forget: Voting ends on August 8th for the 2014 Considered Design Awards! You can vote once a day for the finalists on Gardenista and Remodelista. We're announcing the winners on August 9th. Click below to let your voice be heard.

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    The more time we spend gardening, the more we appreciate the sculptural shapes and subtle patterns and colors we see everywhere we go, not just in gardens and plantings and hardscapes, but in natural landscapes, as well. This week's issue is about developing an eye for beauty in all the forms it can take. 

    Table of Contents: Patterns & Prints ; Gardenista


    Marie Viljoen, Cape Town South Africa; Gardenista

    Above: Every year, Marie Viljoen visits her family home in the suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, where she grew up. In this week's Garden Visit, she tells us what she's learned from her mother's garden. Photograph by Marie Viljoen for Gardenista.


    Glenn Stancroff, Sag Harbor, galvanized planter; Gardenista

    Above: In the sweet town of Sag Harbor, on New York's Long Island, a self-taught gardener has built a galvanized planter that makes passersby stop and stare. We pay a Garden Visit to find out more. Photograph by Cara Greenberg for Gardenista.


    Egg hanging rattan chair; Gardenista

    Above: In 10 Easy Pieces, we search out the best hanging chairs for those lazy crazy days of summer. (This one? A classic, called The Egg.)


     Stelle Lomont Architects, Bridgehampton, NY; ribbon driveway; Gardenista

    Above: Jeanne investigates Ribbon Driveways for this week's Hardscaping 101: A nice way to give your entrance a bold stripe.


    Rehab Diary, Annette Gutierrez, remodeled garage; Gardenista

    Above: Read Outbuilding of the Week to find out how a savvy couple turned a 100-year-old garage in LA into a tiny cottage. Yes, 100 years old in LA. We were surprised, too. Photograph by Bethany Nauert.

    And check out Remodelista, where the editors are honing their own eye for Patterns and Prints

    Please don't forget: It's the last week of voting for the 2014 Considered Design Awards. You can vote for the finalists on Gardenista and Remodelista once a day until August 8th. The winners will be announced August 9th. 

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