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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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    Of the seven deadly sins, we'll take envy any day (especially over sloth). Join us this week as we explore luxe landscapes, glorious gardens, and beautifully designed outdoor spaces we can't help but wish were ours. Call us covetous, or call us inspired:

    Table of Contents: Garden Envy; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Justine Hand for Gardenista. For more, see Scents and Sensibility: 10 Tips for Growing Scented Geraniums.



    Above: Belgian design guru Axel Vervoodt lives in a 12th century castle (of course he does), where we were delighted to discover among its 50 rooms a conservatory full of design ideas for anyone with houseplants (personal orangery not required). We help water the plants in this week's Designer Visit.


    Classic layout for a townhouse garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Earlier this month we predicted the 10 Top Garden Trends of 2015. Today we'll explore 11 of the new year's top Landscape Design trends. 


    Above: Let us not forget that we have eminent Victorians to thank for specimen case terrariums; we've rounded up our modern favorites in this week's 10 Easy Pieces.


    Paradehuset Orangery ; Gardenista

    Above: The ultimate winter garden: it's green and humid and warms you to the toes. And Cheryl's found it, in the Netherlands. She takes us on a tour in this week's Garden Visit.


    Before and After Tudor house facade paint colors ; Gardenista

    Above: Our Paints & Palettes editor Stephanie Dorfman helps a Gardenista reader pick a color scheme for the facade of a stately Tudor style house in Hancock Park. (For one of Stephanie's favorite moody palettes, see Curb Appeal: Picking a Perfect Palette for a Dark Facade.)


    Exterior paints for metal iron work ; Gardenista

    Above: We'll explore the range of colors in a line of exterior paints specially formulated for use on iron railings and metal. If you're planning to paint the house (or a front door) this spring, browse our archives to see architects' favorite shades of Gray, Black, Green, Red, and White exterior paints.

    Currently coveting interior design are the Remodelista editors. Join them as they indulge in a week of House Envy.

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    What would a time traveler from the 12th century think, arriving today on the doorstep of Belgian design guru Axel Vervoordt's grand medieval castle?

    The sight of all those white sofas would of course be disorienting, as sofas weren't invented in the Middle Ages when Kasteel van 's-Gravenwezel was built. But the castle's original owners might feel right at home amid Vervoordt's vision of moody luxury, where old and new mix in every room.

    Ancient history is on display alongside the linen slipcovers In the indoor garden room that Vervoordt and his wife, May, use as a winter conservatory:

    Axel Vervoordt Belgian castle turret moat ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Telegraph.

    Situated in a particularly picturesque part of Flanders, a center of wealth and influence in the Middle Ages, 12th-century Kasteel van 's-Gravenwezel is protected by a moat. The castle has since 1984 been the home of tastemaker Vervoordt, whose celebrity clients include Robert De Niro, Kanye West, and Sting.

    To tour the penthouse suite Vervoordt designed for De Niro atop the Greenwich Hotel in New York, see On Top of the World: A Belgian Impresario Designs a Penthouse in NYC.


    Above: Photograph via Elle Decor.

    In the castle's orangery, a neutral palette place focuses attention on what's important: the architecture and, of course, the house plants.

    Vervoordt made his name four decades ago as an antiques dealer unafraid to mix old and new in grandly proportioned rooms. In the castle, he reminds visitors of history in a way that feels utterly modern—in every room (of which there are 50).

    Axel Vervoordt castle conservatory Belgium ; Gardenista  

    Above: Photograph via International Student Senate.

    In Vervoordt's orangery, potted citrus trees reach for the light. As the castle is surrounded by a moat, the grand piano in the corner is protected by potted plants including fig trees.

    Axel Vervoodt castle conservatory gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Marie Claire Maison.

    Tapestries and candelabra are at home with an oversized white sofa designed by Vervoordt.


    Above: Photograph via Caledonian Mining Company.

    House plants in terra cotta pots live on a deep windowsills and a stone slab serves as a bench.

    Axel Vervoodt orangery conservatory Belgian castle ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Marie Claire Maison.

    Mix and match. Table linens, a luxuriously upholstered chaise, and climbing plants soften the rough-and-rustic stone and brick (and aid the acoustics by absorbing sounds that bounce off harder surfaces).

    Axel Vervoordt wife May sons ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Kasia Gatkowska.

    Over the years, the entrepreneurial Vervoodt has diversified—into interior design, art galleries, and property development and sales. Vervoordt's empire is a family business; sons Boris and Dick head the company's design and real estate divisions.

    ; Axwl Vervoordt castle exterior ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Vestidos Lindos Atelier.

    For Required Reading, we recommend Vervoordt's book, Wabi Sabi Inspiration, which describes how the simplicity of Eastern art and philosophy is the guiding principle in Vervoordt's work.

    For more understated Belgian luxury, see:

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    When she was in school, Danish designer Line Grüner’s thesis project was to design a mobile greenhouse so a city gardener could grow food in even the tiniest urban garden. We assume she got an A.

    Grüner, who originally planned to become a woodworking teacher, realized she was onto something big the day she was pushing her Urban Greenhouse home from school along a street in Aarhus, Denmark. Passersby came up to her and cars slowed so drivers could roll down windows and call out to her. Everyone had the same question: Where can I buy one of those rolling greenhouses?

    Photography via Urban Greenhouse.

    Urban Greenhouse ; Gardenista

    Above: Inside, raised planting beds, storage, and seating for two. The Urban Greenhouse is about 5.5 feet long by 4.5 feet wide and measures about 6.5 feet high.

    Urban Greenhouse on wheels ; Gardenista

    Above: Manufactured in Denmark in collaboration with a Danish window manufacturer, the Urban Greenhouse sells for 19,000 DKK (approximately $2,837 US).

    Urban Greenhouse on wheels ; Gardenista

    Above: The Urban Greenhouse is built of wood and UV-coated polycarbonate, and is built by a Dutch window maker. "Many told me it could not be done, to manufacture something like this locally," says Grüner. "But it should be part of the overall narrative, to grow vegetables locally in a product that is produced in our own country."

    Are you trying to grow plants in a small space? Or...a teeny space? We can help. See:

    See more Garden Design stories ; Gardenista

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    Good garden design can change your life—and remove boundaries between indoors and out to instantly increase your living space. We've rounded up 13 new ideas to steal from designers to improve your landscape this year, whether you're planning a major hardscaping project or need a few accessories to add curb appeal:

    Black Hardscaping Palette

    Black Hardscape Garden Backdrop ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Raquel Lamac.

    Monochromatic and minimalist, a black palette is a dramatic foil for green plants, the silvery wood of weathered furniture, and gray gravel. Start by painting a wall or fence to establish a tone. Add black pots and planters; see our favorites at 10 Easy Pieces: Little Black Planters

    swatches of favorite black paint recommended by architects on Gardenista

    Above: Looking for the perfect shade of black paint? See Paints & Palettes: Architects' Top 8 Black Paint Picks.

    Chris Moss Garden London rubber trug ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Chris Moss.

    Add black accessories: paint handles black to make tools display worthy. Simple black tables and benches will complement other furniture made of wood or natural materials such as bamboo or rattan. Recycled rubber trugs made from tires are durable and inexpensive. For more of our favorites, see Saving the Earth, One Trug at a Time.

    For more ideas, see Designer Visit: The Black and Green London Garden of Chris Moss.

    Indoor/Outdoor Flow

    Elizabeth Roberts steel window wall Brooklyn townhouse garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Think like an architect and incorporate the garden into living space to increase your home's livable square footage. Maximize indoor-outdoor flow by increasing the width of door openings or with French doors.

    Brooklyn-based architect Elizabeth Roberts replaced a back wall of a townhouse in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with a window wall (Above) to erase the boundaries between indoors and out. See more of the project at Indoor/Outdoor Living, Brooklyn Edition.

    Wall Fountains

    Garden wall fountain Hotel Nord Pinus Tanger ; Gardenista

    Above: A wall fountain at the Hotel Nord-Pinus in Tanger.

    Good for small spaces, wall fountains don't take up valuable planting space in the garden. A narrow trough at the base of a wall fountain can catch water and recirculate it.

    Are you considering a fountain or water feature? We rounded up 10 of our favorites (wall fountains included) in Ultimate Luxury: 10 Favorite Fountains and Garden Water Features.

    Columnar Trees

    Columnar fastigiate hornbeam trees; Gardenista

    Above: Fastigiate hornbeam trees are pruned to create garden walls in a London garden by Luciano Giubbilei.

    Plant fastigiate trees (which grow from a single trunk in a narrow, upright direction) in small gardens or to solve a landscape design problem. Columnar trees grow up instead of out. Their footprint is minor but their impact is major. Popular choices include cypress trees, Japanese holly 'Sky Pencil', European green beech, or fastigiate hornbeam trees. Easily shaped by pruning, columnar trees can be trained to grow flat against a wall or as topiaries or as dense hedges.

    For special trees, see Shopper's Diary: Specimen Trees and Special Shrubs from Solitair Nursery in Belgium.

    Garden Bells

    M Quan jingle bells ; Gardenista

    Above: Ceramic Nautley Jingle Bells (available in three colors) are $178 apiece at Anthropologie.

    Garden bells are the new wind chimes. But better because, as all know from watching It's a Wonderful Life, "every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."  

    New York-based artist Michele Quan created her version of jingle bells(Above)  after a visit to a Shinto shrine, where visitors ring clusters of bells to announce their presence to the spirits. In a landscape, Quan's bells dangle like earrings from trees, walls, and overhangs. For more, see Ceramic Bells Inspired by Japanese Shrines.

    Fire Features

    fire pit The Capri Ten Eyck ; Gardenista

    Above: The fire pit at The Capri Lounge in Marfa, Texas designed by Christine Ten Eyck. Photograph by Terrence Moore.

     A fire feature creates turns a garden in a gathering place. A fire pit or fireplace is a lure because it creates warmth and light. And because of the hypnotic quality of flame and crackling wood.  

    Cook on it, warm your hands over it, or just pull up chairs on a chilly night.

    Portable Garden Beds

    Top landscape design trends 2015 portable garden on wheels ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Hus & Hem.

    A portable garden is a perfect solution for renters who don't want to invest a lot of money into hardscaping. And for the rest of us. Put raised beds or planters on casters and you can wheel them around to chase the sun or to instantly re-arrange an outdoor space. In winter, potted plants on rolling plant stands can come indoors easily no matter how heavy the pot.

    For more ideas, see Small Space Gardening: A Tiny Greenhouse on Wheels.

    And read about a portable Berlin community garden that moves indoors every winter at A Movable Feast: Berlin's Community Garden.

    House Numbers as Art

      Marble house numbers ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Il Granito.

    No longer an afterthought plucked from a hardware store aisle, house numbers set a tone. Hand-crafted, bespoke, or painted: custom house numbers are becoming common and create instant curb appeal. Heath Ceramics has designed its own beautiful line of Clay House Numbers. Gilded House Numbers made of thin layers of precious metals (silver, copper, or gold) add glamor to a traditional brownstone or Victorian townhouse. And hand-chiseled stone house numbers (Above) made of marble, granite, limestone, or onyx lend a formal air of permanence to a facade.

    For more of our favorite house numbers, see Gilded Numbers by See.Painting and 10 Easy Pieces: Tile House Numbers.

    Outdoor Showers

    Outdoor Shower simple plumbing ; Gardenista

    Above: A simple and stylish outdoor shower at A Floating Farmhouse in Upstate New York.

    They're so common, they're the new hose. All you need for an outdoor shower is plumbing and a shower head; let it drain into the grass or a shallow bed of gravel.

    Wondering how easy it would be install an outdoor shower? Janet looks at the pros and cons in Hardscaping 101: Outdoor Showers.

    Horizontal Slat Fences

    Curb Appeal horizontal slatted fence ; Gardenista

    Above: For more of our favorites, see Fence Fashion: 11 Ways to Add Curb Appeal with Horizontal Stripes.

    As we noted recently, "Horizontal stripes make things look wider, which is why you don't wear them. But your garden should. A horizontal slat fence will create the same optical illusion outdoors—and make your garden look bigger, too."

    Designer Doormats

    Coir doormat commune Design ; Gardenista

    Above: The Hex Doormat from Commune Design is $60 from Lulu and Georgia. 

    Good design can elevate even the most utilitarian item to art. After she read about it on Remodelista, actress Julianne Moore bought a Hex Doormat (Above) designed by LA studio Commune. Learn why at The Humble Doormat, Made Modern.

    See more doormats that add instant curb appeal in 10 Easy Pieces: Stylish Doormats.

    French Drains


    Above: Belgian design impresario Axel Vervoordt 's conservatory uses a dramatic French drain as a design element, running across the floor like the border on a carpet.

    Embrace the beauty in the everyday details. There's no need to try to hide drainage, irrigation, or sump pumps. Instead consider them an element to add to the landscape design. For more ideas, see Garden Envy: 10 Dramatic Drainage Ideas to Steal.

    Artificial Turf

    Artificial turf; Gardenista

    Above: Mill Valley, CA-based architect Barbara Chambers installed artificial turf in her own garden a few months ago.

    Fake grass has gotten good at fooling us. And in drought country—or anywhere where water usage is of concern in the garden—it has artificial turf has undeniable benefits.  It requires no water, weeding, fertilizing, or mowing. And as a design element, it's as reliable as indoor carpet.  It will stay the same color and in the same condition as the day you lay it if you care for it properly.

    For more about the pros and cons of artificial turf, see Hardscaping 101: Artificial Grass.

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    A precursor to the terrarium, Wardian cases were invented in the mid-1800s to transport rare plant specimens. And they had staying power—they're just as useful for protecting your prized plants today. Here's a roundup of 10 of our favorites.

    Wondering what to put in a Wardian case? See Gardening 101: How to Plant a Closed Terrarium.


    Above: With a design inspired by museum display cases, a Specimen Case Terrarium pays homage to the Victorian plant hunters who brought home exotic and fragile flowers; $128 from Terrain.

    glass specimen display case; Gardenista

    Above: A rectangular glass and wood Specimen Display Case comes in three sizes, at prices ranging from $129 to $159 at Restoration Hardware.

      glass specimen display case l Gardenista

    Above: A Glass Specimen Display Case measures 9-by-9 inches square by 12.5 inches high; it's $105 from Industry Home.

    Square Glass Wardian Case Terrarium l Gardenista

    Above: Measuring 9.25 inches square and 12.75 inches high, an English Greenhouse Terrarium is $49.99 from Ohio-based Hirts Garden via eBay. 


    Above: A modern re-interpretation of the Wardian case, a Ikea Socker Greenhouse measures 17.75 inches wide and 8.75 inches deep; $19.99.

    Above: A Steel/Glass Indoor Greenhouse with glass panes and an adjustable ventilation lid; it's approximately 10.5 inches long by 6.5 inches wide and is 19.5€ from Manufactum. Use it to house small orchids; for more equipment, see 5 Favorites: Essential Equipment for Orchids.

    Above: Modeled on the 1800s variety, the Wardian Case from Paxton Gate measures 9 inches wide and 5 inches deep and is $115.

    Above: A classic conservatory style in miniature, the H. Potter Wardian Case Terrarium measures 5.5 inches wide and 9 inches deep; $79 through Amazon.

    brass display case l Gardenista

    Above: A Clarus Brass Display Box, available in three sizes at prices from $59.95 to $99.97 at Crate & Barrel, are suitable for displaying air plants (crack the lid for them once in a while).

    Above: A pared-down version (minus the Victorian-inspired details), the H. Potter Rectangular Terrarium has a hinged door in the roof that allows for easy access to your plants; $69 through Amazon.

    For more terrariums and tips for planting them, see:

    See More Houseplants posts ; Gardenista

    N.B.: This is an update of a post published October 24, 2012.

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    The site: A medieval nobleman's summer retreat, a palace in ruins, in the Piedmontese hills of northern Italy.

    The challenge: Create a modern garden to complement a renovated complex converted into a luxury hotel and spa, Rocca Civalieri.

    The solution: Turin-based landscape architect Cristiana Ruspa of Giardino Segreto created a hardscaping plan to create discrete outdoor spaces—a circular driveway, a shaded terrace, and an inner courtyard with a bleached wood pergola—unified by a single plant palette of colorful and hardy low-water ornamentals and perennials grasses suited to a Mediterranean climate.

    Photography by Dario Fusaro via Cristiana Ruspa, except where noted.


    Above: The color palette of the garden plants—moody purples set off by the silver and gold leaves of ground covers and perennial grasses—complements the color of the metal-clad tunnel architects Baietto Battatiato Bianco designed to reinforce existing structures and to connect buildings from the medieval complex to one another.

    In this garden bed, plants include silvery Artemesia 'Ponis Castle', perennial grass Stipa tenuissima, and purple spikes of Russian sage.


    Before and After Rocca Civalieri ; Gardenista

    Above: Photographs via Baietto Battiato Bianco.

    Shells of buildings and no evidence of a former garden, save a few spindly trees.

      Rocca Civalieri Italian garden Before and After ; Gardenista

    Above: Ruspa designed a circular driveway with a single planting bed in the center. Photograph via Thinking Outside the Boxwood.

    copper edging garden bed ; Gardenista

    Above: Copper edging defines the perimeter of the garden bed. Photograph via Thinking Outside the Boxwood.



    Above: In the large driveway circle is a mix of grasses and ornamental flowering plants.


    Above: Plants include grasses miscanthus, stipa, and festuca, as well as flowering plants verbena and euphorbia.


    Above: Existing trees were pruned and shaped to provide dappled light. The arched branches of the tree in the driveway echoes the shape of the hotel loggia's archways.


    Above: Says Ruspa, "The inner court of the hotel has a bleached wood pergola, designed in conjunction with the renovation architect, with gravel walks under the pergola and a lawn in the open central section."


    Above: Mixed borders of perennial grasses and hardy flowering plants similar to those in the driveway circle are in garden beds at the base of the pergola. Climbing roses (Iceberg) and clematis vines will eventually grow up and over the wooden structure.


    Above: The plants are low-water, hardy perennials that thrive in full sunlight.


    Above: The hotel Rocca Civalieri is located in the countryside, an hour's drive east from Turin, Italy. For more information, see Rocca Civalieri.

    For more of our favorite Before & After garden rehabs, see:

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    A few weeks ago we asked readers if anyone wanted help picking perfect paint colors for a house exterior. Answer: yes! We got more email than Santa in our Inbox.

    The first reader to write was Vanessa, who lives in a handsome Tudor-style house in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. She said, "We need to repaint and are trying to decide if we should keep the same colors (seems boring) or go for a dramatic change. I would especially like to have an exciting front door instead of the faux-finished brown that it is now. Thoughts?"

    As an interior designer, I love to solve paint dilemmas. After an email consultation with Vanessa, I've suggested three paint palettes (see below) for her facade. 

    Which paint palette is the best? Help Vanessa choose—vote for the paint palette you like best and tell us why in the comments section below.

    Before and After Curb Appeal Exterior Paint Palette Tudor House ; Gardenista

    Above: This is how Vanessa's house looks now. The first thing that struck me when I saw the photos was that her lovely windows disappear into the blackness of the current trim paint color. They look like holes! Also, the dark trim around the dark doorway sucks out all the light and life from the facade. 

    Vanessa said she wanted a paint palette with more "romance and excitement," and I wanted to lighten those windows.

    Vote now painy palette ; Gardenista

    Above: I chose exterior colors from Farrow & Ball, a durable line of paint that in my experience stands up longest against the weather without cracking, peeling, or fading.  

    Paint Palette No. 1


    Above: The walls of the house are Pigeon, the trim is Lime White, and the front door is Pitch Black

    For the wall color, I chose Pigeon because it's a lovely greeny-gray. To play off the body of the house, I chose Lime White because it's warm. (I don't like to go too bright with a white trim color because anything you put outdoors is going to look even brighter in the sunlight.) For the front door, I chose Pitch Black, a strong black, to complement the green tone of the walls.

    Paint Palette No. 2


    Above: The walls are Light Gray, the trim is Lime White, and the door is painted Hague Blue.

    To add color to Warm Gray, I chose a dark blue for the front door.

    Paint Palette No. 3


    Above: The walls are Mole's Breath. The trim is Off White. And the door is Red Earth. Here I wanted to brighten the dark gray body, so I chose an orange color for the front door. The key to picking an orange is to keep in mind the color of the bricks on the front walkway. I picked an orange to complement (not clash) with the bricks.

    I also chose a darker white for the trim because I wanted it to have the same level of contrast against the darker gray wall color. I wanted the contrast between walls and trim to be soft rather than jarring.

    exterior paint palette ; gardenista

    Above: Ready to vote? Tell us which paint palette is your favorite and why in the comments section below. Next week we'll announce the winner—and show you how the winning paint palette would look on Vanessa's house.

    For more of our favorite paint colors for a house exterior, see:

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    About 40 miles south of Copenhagen is Paradehuset, an orangery on the palatial grounds of Gisselfeld Castle, in the town of Haslev. Designed in 1876 after the Crystal Palace of London's Great Exhibition and partially destroyed by a hurricane about 15 years ago, the greenhouse was completely restored in 2010.

    Under the operation of garden designer and local TV personality Stig Lauritsen and landscape architect Greg Korbett, the conservatory still houses orange trees—as well as agapanthus, orchids, and 50 kinds of geraniums. Think of it as Scandi-tropical meets Queen Victoria:  

    Photographs by Tina Brok Hensen via Clemmenson and Brok, unless otherwise noted.

    Above: The entrance to the Johan Daniel Herholdt-designed glass house. The south-facing longitudinal facade makes the most of the limited Nordic sunlight.

    At the urging of his English wife, estate owner Christian Conrad Sophus, the Count of Danneskiold-Samsoe, built the architectural marvel in 1876 (heavily inspired by the Crystal Palace unveiled during London's Great Exhibition). Photograph via Poppins' Garden

    Above: Tropical species in urns and aged terra cotta—and the fragrance from 50 varieties of geraniums—greet visitors. 

    Paradehuset orangery greenhouse ; Gardenista

    Above: Sandstone fountains, olive trees, camellias, and myrtle are also in residence.

    Above: Stig Lauritsen, who operates a garden design business on the premises, is available to take visitors on a guided tour. For schedules and booking information, email the Orangery. Photograph via Havefolket

    Potted orange trees Paradehuset greenhouse ; Gardenista

    Above: Potted orange trees bask in the sunlight.

    Paradehuset orangery citrus trees ; Gardenista

    Above: Picking fruit is not allowed despite strong temptation.

    Above: A French drain, decorative in addition to being functional, runs down the aisle of the brick floor.  

    Above: The greenhouse nursery also cultivates some of the same plants grown in the castle in the mid-1600s.

    Paradehuset greenhouse watering cans; Gardenista

    Above: Galvanized watering cans and terra cotta pots report for duty.

    Above: Mark your calendar: the park's 2015 opening date is March 28. Admission fee is 35 DKK. For information and visiting hours, visit Gisselfeld Kloster. Photograph via Gisselfeld Kloster.

    Planning to holiday in Copenhagen? See more of our favorite spots for garden and design lovers:


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    A trio of leggy wire plant stands will strike graceful ballerina poses—did they rehearse that?—in the corner of any room. When the weather improves, move the set outdoors or onto a covered porch.

    Spotted via New Zealand-based The Trestle Union, the plant stands are all available in black or a clear coated steel finish.

    White wire planter stands ; Gardenista

    Above: A set of three wire Pot Plant Stands at different heights ranging from 15.5 inches to 31 inches is $95 NZ from The Trestle Union.

    White wire planter stands ; Gardenista

    Above: The hexagonal support rings are a flexible shape, able to hold a variety of pots or planters.

    White wire planter stands ; Gardenista

    Above: Climbers or trailing houseplants are particularly suited to the plant stands; spindly tendrils and vines reinforce the leggy silhouettes of the planters.

    For more stylish ways to display houseplants, see:

    See more houseplants stories ; Gardenista

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    Courtyard gardens, surrounded on all four sides by walls, are lifesavers for cramped spaces. They preserve privacy while welcoming in sunlight. They make even the smallest indoor room feel larger. We've collected 10 of our favorites:

    Alterstudio Architecture Modern Home with Glass Walled Interior Courtyard, Gardenista

    Above: In a densely populated neighborhood of modest homes and businesses, this Austin, TX home by Alterstudio Architecture has an internal courtyard for privacy and to create communal outdoor space. All the adjacent rooms have natural ventilation and light.

    Japanese lace leaf maples interior courtyard ; GArdenista

    Above: Like a gallery space, plantings encircle the Green Edge House in Japan. For more, see Architect Visit: A Hidden Japanese Garden.

    An Antwerp courtyard garden with rain forest plants ; Gardenista

    Above: A courtyard garden in Antwerp, with rain forest plants including tree ferns and Kangaroo paws. Photograph via Bart & Pieter.

    Hotel Nord Pinus courtyard ; Gardenista

    Above: A shady inner courtyard at Hotel Nord-Pinus. For more, see Rock the Casbah: A Courtyard Hotel in Tanger.

    Modern House in Converted Vicarage with Transition Courtyard, Gardenista

    Above: London architects Stiff + Trevillion turned a Victorian vicarage into a single-family home. The resulting part-Gothic, part-modern home features a skylit courtyard to ease the transition from the interior portion of the home to the exterior. See more of the firm's new/old aesthetic in A Victorian Remodel with an Industrial Edge.

    Walled courtyard garden in Belgium ; Gardenista

    Above: A courtyard garden in Belgium by Archi-Verde. For more, see Steal This Look: The Spirit of Provence in a Walled Belgian Garden.

    Susan Wisniewski courtyard view ; Gardenista  

    Above: Landscape architect Susan Wisniewski's courtyard garden for a Manhattan townhouse has layers of texture—stone, wood, and greenery—to create an illusion of greater space. For more of her work, see Landscape Architect Visit: A Hudson Valley Farm, Pond Included.

    A Brooklyn Heights townhouse courtyard garden by Robin Key ; Gardenista

    Above: In Brooklyn Heights, landscape architect Robin Key used salvaged bluestone in a client's courtyard garden. For more, see Robin Key Landscape Architecture.

    Courtyard garden NYC townhouse Robin Key ; Gardenista

    Above: Robin Key Landscape Architecture created a modern outdoor room for a young family in downtown Manhattan. For more, see Lush Life: A Townhouse Garden in Manhattan.

    Courtyard garden San Francisco Scott Lewis ; Gardenista

    Above: San Francisco-based Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture created a multi-level courtyard garden to extend a family's living space. For more see A Jewel Box Townhouse Garden in SF

    For more of our favorite courtyard gardens, see:

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    Wondering where to begin when it comes to paths and pavers? If you're choosing materials or designing a path or walkway, start with our Paths and Pavers Design Guide:

    We've explored the pros and cons of using materials such as bluestone, limestone, brick, decomposed granite, concrete, and gravel. Maybe curb appeal is your greatest concern. Or how a path feels underfoot. Or matching the style of your house. 

    For prices and facts—and design tips to maximize curb appeal—here are 17 of our most popular posts about paths and pavers: 

    Design Guidelines

    Garden path decomposed granite ; Gardenista

    Above: a crushed stone path is permeable, adding drainage—and if properly graded can divert water away from a foundation. For more, see Design Sleuth: An Elegant Gravel Path.

    A front path is the first impression your house makes to a visitor. Make sure it's a welcoming width (from 4 to 6 feet wide) and that it points the way clearly to your front door. Should it be a solid path or stepping stones? Straight or curvy? What paver material will best suit the style of your house? For everything you need to know about designing a front path, see Hardscaping 101: Front Paths.

    Side paths are another story. Depending on how you use a side walkway, you can make it ramble or pave it in a whimsical material. To see some of our favorites, see 5 Favorites: Rambling Paths and Uneven Pavers.

    Materials: Decomposed Granite

    Decomposed granite Hardscaping 101 ; Gardenista

    Above: Decomposed granite is available in a number of colors and sizes. For more, see Hardscaping 101: Decomposed Granite.

    Decomposed granite—or DG, as it is referred to commonly—is like gravel, but finer and less likely to wash away. An inexpensive material for pathways, it feels soft underfoot and its permeability makes it an environmentally friendly choice.

    Deborah Nevins pea gravel and stepping stone path boxwoods ; Gardenista

    Above: Flanked by globe boxwoods, a pea gravel path designed by landscape designer Deborah Nevins has inset stepping stones. For more, see Hedge Fun: At Home with Designer Deborah Nevins.

    Is pea gravel the right material for your path? See Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel.

    Boxwood is a handsome edging plant for a path. For more ways to use boxwood, see Shrub Facts: For the Love of Boxwood.

    Materials: Bricks

    Brick bluestone path walkway Sissinghurst ; Gardenista

    Above: Bluestone meets brick on a path at Sissinghurst, where Vita Sackville-West loved the play of mixed textures and surfaces. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
    Clay brick colors ; Gardenista

    Above: Bricks are made of clay soil, combined with lime and sand. Depending on the proportions, colors will vary. For brick types, prices, and patterns, see Hardscaping 101: Bricks.

    Materials: Bluestone

    Bluestone paver metal edging gravel pathway lawn ; Gardenista

    Above: Dutch garden designer Martin Veltkamp abuts a bluestone path with a gravel walkway with metal edging. For more, see A Classical Approach to a Minimalist Dutch Garden.


    Above: If you are considering bluestone for a path, there are lots of choices to make about color, texture, size, edging, and patterns. For everything you need to know about bluestone, see Hardscaping 101: Bluestone.

    Materials: Limestone Pavers

      Helen Dillon garden Dublin limestone pavers pond ; Gardenista

    Above: Irish plantswoman Helen Dillon laid limestone pavers to create a walkway around her garden pond. For more of her garden, see At Home in Dublin with Helen Dillon.

    When the poet W. H. Auden tried to imagine paradise, he wrote, "What I see is a limestone landscape." So do we. Or at least a limestone path. Among the most luxurious of hardscaping materials, limestone is three times as expensive as bluestone. But it will last forever. Dense, durable, and available in a wide range of colors, it's a serious investment. Is it right for your path? Explore the pros and cons at Hardscaping 101: Limestone Pavers.

    Materials: Concrete Pavers

    Concrete pavers set in gravel front path curb appeal ; Gardenista

    Above: For clients working within a strict budget, LA-based garden designer Naomi Sanders came up with a solution: a stylish front walkway of pre-cast 18-by-18-inch square pre-cast concrete pavers set in crushed gravel. For more of the project, see LA Confidential: A Private Courtyard Budget Goes Luxe on a Budget.

    Concrete pavers are affordable, durable, and easy to install( and replace). Is concrete the right material for your path? For the pros and cons, see Hardscaping 101: Concrete Pavers.

    Pathway Lighting Design

    Pathway lighting landscape design hardscaping 101 ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Pedersen Associates Landscape Architecture.

    Canopy garden lights that direct light downward are typically from 18 to 24 inches tall. Avoid a runway effect by staggering their placement alongside a path or walkway. For more tips on how to choose pathway lighting, see Hardscaping 101: Garden and Pathway Lighting.

    For more of our favorite paths and walkways, see:

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    Silvana de Soissons' tiny empire is growing: her online journal—The Foodie Bugle—just became a charming shop and tearoom on a Somerset high street.

    In 2001, Italian-born, England-based Silvana started The Foodie Bugle—an online journal to celebrate her love of "clean, fair, delicious, seasonal food grown and made with love and care." (We profiled the publication in The Foodie Bugle: A Brash Upstart is Already a Must-Read.) The Foodie Bugle soon added a print edition, then an online shop, and then a lecture series to help fellow small businesses grow.

    And grow Silvana does: in December, she opened The Foodie Bugle brick-and-mortar in Bath in England's southwest. From eight in the morning (when she's serving tea) until eight at night (when she's serving wine), her shop supplies locals with fresh groceries, flowers, kitchenware, and garden tools. 

    Follow Silvana on Instagram and you'll learn it's hard work but true love. Up next: the Foodie Bugle Supper Club (the first session was held this week), and Silvana and her husband John-Paul are soon to launch their own line of jams and preserves. For more, visit The Foodie Bugle Journal and Online Shop.

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: By seven in the morning, Silvana is already setting up shop and prepping ingredients for the day's tearoom menu. Photograph by Jason Ingram

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: At The Foodie Bugle, customers stop for tea and croissants on their way into work, then charcuterie and wines by the glass on their journeys home. 

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: Silvana's first morning task is to set out the day's bread from the nearby Thoughtful Bakery. 

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: The Foodie Bugle window display changes daily. On this frigid January morning, the produce got a rare respite indoors.

    Red chard Larkhill Foodie Bugle Shop ; Gardenista

    Above: Locally grown red chard for sale.

    Microgreens Foodie Bugle ; Gardenista

    Above: Microgreens from the winter garden.

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: The Foodie Bugle aims to keep prices low, even for highest-quality goods: these pink-and-white January tulips are £7 a bunch.

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: A little table by the window for coffee-and-cake breaks. Silvana also sets a table outdoors for "intrepid customers who enjoy Arctic coffee-drinking conditions."

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: The Foodie Bugle offers a variety of British cheeses and crackers on its daily tearoom menu.  

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: For a rapidly growing business, The Foodie Bugle pays generous attention to details. Silvana had stamps hand made in Dorset for making shop tags and price labels. 

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: A narrow hallway at the shop entrance offers winter squashes for sale and decoration.

    The Foodie Bugle Shop in Bath, England | Gardenista

    Above: The Foodie Bugle staff sport traditional English grocers' coats and aprons. 

    While in England, see: 

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    Although they're inherently practical, there's something luxurious about garden sheds and outbuildings. As extra spaces, they're not required to meet the basic needs of a main home. As demonstrated here, a shed can really be whatever you want it to be. 

    Collected from the Gardenista Gallery of nearly 4,000 images, here are 11 of our favorite sheds and outbuildings:

    White painted barn host of Tricia Foley's New General Store, Gardenista

    Above: Author Tricia Foley sets up shop as The New General Store several times a year in a small barn near her 1820s summer home on Long Island. It's an idyllic country setting for her idyllic country wares. Read more about Foley's venture in Shopper's Diary: The New General Store by Tricia Foley, and take a look at 28 of our favorite Summer Homes in our gallery.

    Junkalholique garden shed work studio ; Gardenista

    Above: Artemis Russell is the collector behind the blog and online shop Junkaholique and the designer at Rust, the London-based jewelry company she runs with her husband, Nao. She gets creative in a tiny studio in the backyard. For more, see Outbuilding of the Week: Artemis Russell's Tiny Garden Shed.

    Clayton & Little, Travis Heights Art Studio, Austin, Texas | Remodellista

    Above: On a corner lot in Austin, TX, a 500-square-foot modern shed and art studio sits in the shadow of a grand Victorian house. For more, see Outbuilding of the Week: Travis Heights Arts Studio by Clayton & Little.

    Perfect potting shed ; Gardenista

    Above: Kitted out. For more, see Steal This Look: The Perfect Potting Shed.

    Luxury Garden and Potting Sheds | Remodelista

    Above: Potting shed, nursery, and living space, Scandi-style. For more, see Outbuilding of the Week: A Glassy Greenhouse in Sweden.

    Black and white Scandi orangery potting shed with vine and sink ; Gardenista

    Above: Swedish blogger Agneta Enzell turned her potting shed into a family space. For more, see Outbuilding of the Week: Black and White Orangery, Scandi Style.

    Luxury Garden and Potting Sheds | Remodelista

    Above: A year-round potting shed in a cold climate. For more, see 10 Garden Ideas to Steal from Scandinavia.

    Steal This Look: Ikea Kitchenette guest cottage outbuilding ; Gardenista

    Above: In 186 square feet, a guest cottage, garden shed, and backyard clubhouse. For more see Steal This Look: Guest Cottage Kitchenette by Ikea.

    Garden workshop Rodic Davidson ; Gardenista

    Above: London-based architect Ben Davidson of Rodić Davidson Architects designed a new home for his grandfather's workbench and tools. For more, see Architect Visit: A Garden Workshop in Cambridge.

    Jamie Home Garden Shed, Gardenista

    Above: In Oakland, CA, Jamie Kidson keeps beekeeping attire, tools, seeds, and gardening accessories in her backyard shed. For more, see Hardscaping 101: Garden Sheds.

    Tiny garden shed reclaimed windows ; Gardenista

    Above: For more, see Garden Visit: A Tiny Shed in San Francisco's Foggiest Backyard.

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    Find more sheds in Norwegian Wood: Garden Sheds, Retractable Roof and Walls Included and Architect Visit: A Garden Workshop in Cambridge

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    We're admiring a luxe line of 84 exterior paint colors from London-based Marston-Langinger, a manufacturer of bespoke conservatories, greenhouses, and (should you need something a bit more specialized) orangeries.

    Formulated to look their best outdoors, the Exterior Eggshell colors have been mixed to reflect sunlight without glare. "Exterior Eggshell possesses such remarkable chroma (color intensity) that it appears to radiate color, and the range of tones you will see in different lights is positively beguiling," Marston-Langinger promises.

    Which of the 84 colors would you like for your front door?

    Marston Langinger paint ; Gardenista

    Above: Marston-Langinger's 84 colors of Exterior Eggshell paints are available in three sizes—1-liter, 2.5-liter, and 5-liter cans—at prices that range from £25 to £89.50 (£71.60 exclusive of VAT).


    Above: A facade and door painted in Charlbury with window trim painted in Parchment. Sample pots are £5 apiece from Marston-Langinger.


    Above: A facade and window trim painted in Granite; £5 for a sample pot from Marston-Langinger.


    Above: Marston-Langinger's line of 84 paint colors also is available in two interior finishes, Interior Eggshell and Chalky Interior Matt (shown).

    Are you trying to pick a color to paint your house (or front door)? For more of our favorite paints, see:

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    Is it wrong to covet? This week the Remodelista editors said no—and gave us a bad case of house envy. Julie and team tempted us with many, many  enviable living spaces, including glamorous kitchens and dining rooms with marble-topped tables. Plus, glossy black furniture on wheels:

    Vincent Van Duysen Tyrolean chairs La Cornue range; Gardenista

    Above: There comes a point in many a remodel—after the contractor's relentless change orders start to pile up—when you are tempted to eliminate features that feel like luxuries. Don't. Here are 15 Luxuries Worth Keeping in Your Remodel.

    Heerenhuis chair on wheels ; Gardenista

    Above: Resolved: that all furniture have wheels. Discuss.

    LA dining room Modo Chandelier ; Remodelista

    Above: Is all fair in love and chandelier design? In this week's High/Low, Julie discovers a copycat version of the $5,800 Modo Chandelier by Jason Miller for Roll & Hill. But would she buy it?

    Elizabeth Roberts Townhouse Garden Fort Greene Brooklyn ; Gardenista

    Above: Who needs walls? Full height windows slide open to bring the garden indoors to a townhouse kitchen that architect Elizabeth Roberts designed in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. See the whole house in Indoor/Outdoor Living, Brooklyn Edition.

    10 Easy Pieces Marble Topped Dining Table ; Remodelista

    Above: We're suckers for marble, as proved by Michelle's quest to Remove Kitchen Stains from Marble. (She's become obsessed with poultices.) We just hope she missed Julie's post on marble-topped dining tables in this week's 10 Easy Pieces.

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    Talk about curb appeal. On streets with "good" names (like Lake or Sunset), home values are higher than over on Main or 2nd. We've been obsessively checking the name of every street where we ever lived. Compare your street here:

    Chalkboard Magazine Whitney Leigh Morris House Tour | Gardenista

    cucumber vine floral arrangement by sophia moreno bunge ; Gardenista

    • Above: Attention, LA readers. Our contributor Sophia Moreno-Bunge is in town at Brrch to teach floral arranging with native flowers. Sign up here.  Photograph by Sophia Moreno-Bunge.
    • Pastoral perfection. 

    Garden Design Appreciates Begonias | Gardenista

    The Sill's Heart Cactus | Gardenista

    • Above: Heart-shaped cactus, anyone? Our friends at The Sill are offering these next week, just in time for Valentine's Day. 

    folding willow screen ; Gardenista

    • Above: With McDreamy actor Patrick Dempsey and his wife planning to divorce, who gets the Airstream?

    Instagram and Pinterest Picks of the Week

    Gardenista Instagram Pick of the Week: @hollyflorala

    Gardenista Pinterest Pick of the Week: Ploy Rangdilok

    • Above: Cacti, mini planters, hanging houseplants and more in Ploy Rangkadilok's A Little Garden pinboard. 

    Want more Gardenista? Read all the posts from this week's Garden Envy issue—and don't miss Remodelista's week of House Envy

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    In the Rhaethian Alps along the borders of Switzerland and Italy, Milan-based architects act_romegialli transformed an unloved concrete garage into a vine-covered green garden pavilion. What makes it look so magical?

    Instead of trying to cover up the concrete bunker look, they celebrated the original architecture, using the existing garage as a giant trellis for greenery run amok.

    Photography by Marcello Mariana via act_romegialli.

    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: The architects built a a galvanized metal frame around the garage and covered it with deciduous vines, including honeysuckle and mile-a-minute vine.


    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: The original garage had a flat roof.


    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: The renovated garden hideaway has two rooms, including a kitchen.

    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: The kitchen has a cook's range, sink and faucet, and firewood storage.

    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: Two soldered pipes create a faucet that mixes hot and cold water.

    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: Louvered windows allow air to circulate throughout the interior.

    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: Green vines are encouraged to come inside to soften the hard industrial surfaces.

    Before and After garage remodel Swiss alps ; Gardenista

    Above: Metal framed full-height windows open the interior to the outdoors.

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    For more about the project, see:

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    Living small doesn't mean you can't live large. This week we'll make the most of tiny gardens, with a sneak peek at Ikea's new summer collection for city gardeners and garden rehabs that make the miniature feel grand. Eke out every little bit of pleasure from your garden:

    Table of Contents: Living Small ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Natalie Weiss. For more of this tiny courtyard garden, see Private Paris: At Home with Artist Cecile Deládier.


    Socker balcony planter ; Gardenista

    Above: We got a sneak peek at Ikea's new Summer in the City collection for small space gardeners, coming to stores in March. For more, see Ikea.


    Steal This Look: Paris Patio with Wisteria and Japanese Maples | Gardenista

    Above: Meredith fell in love with a tiny Indoor/Outdoor patio that's dripping with wisteria so she sourced everything you need to Steal This Look.


    Apartment Garden Amsterdam City Terrace ; Gardenista  

    Above: In today's Roundup of Before & After spaces, we'll tour 11 rehabs that make small gardens feel grand.


    Finalist in Best Edible Garden Category of the 2014 Considered Design Awards, Gardenista

    Above: It's time to start planning—and in some cases planting—your spring edible garden. Start by reading our Hardscaping 101 design guide on Edible Gardens.


    DIY: Forced Muscari bulbs bloom indoors ; Gardenista

    Above: Forced bulb season is in full swing. We'll be coaxing grape hyacinths to bloom in this week's DIY.

    This week on Remodelista, the editors will be reveling in The Humble Abode. Join them for a week of posts about small spaces.

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    Remember when florist was just another job? Then Brooklyn flower girl Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua burst onto the scene with romantic, painterly arrangements that turned wedding flowers into an art form and spawned a generation of imitators. Today we visit Saipua's tiny Red Hook studio, open on weekdays by appointment only:

    Photography via Tacklebox Architecture except where noted.


    Above: When Ryhanen's business outgrew her first studio, Brooklyn-based Tacklebox Architecture designed a space for Saipua that serves a dual purpose: tiny retail shop and production facility. The studio is open from 12 to 6 pm on weekends and by appointment only on weekdays.


    Above: Photograph via Refinery 29.

    After an earlier career as an art gallery curator, Ryhanen founded Saipua in 2006 and started by selling olive oil soap and flowers. As the business has grown, so has her need for the locally grown, seasonal flowers she uses in her naturalistic, unstudied arrangements. Three years ago, Ryhanen and partner Eric Famisan began growing flowers upstate on a 107-acre farm called World's End.


    Above: In partnership with Brooklyn florist Nicolette Owen, Ryhanen also teaches floral arranging classes at Little Flower School. Coming this month: a six-hour Wedding Bouquet Intensive workshop; the cost is $1,600 per participant.


    Above: Ryhanen creates arrangements that evoke still life paintings. Describing her work, the blog Refinery 29 said, "Petals are her paint."


    Above: Saipua's design by Tacklebox was inspired by the idea of "an old dressmaker's sewing box," the architects said. "Life lies not in the wood and brass hinges from which the box is made, rather it is found within the multi-colored jumble of spools of thread and the assortment of pins placed at random in the pincushion. This is an arrangement that could only emerge from use— the result of an ongoing act between the dressmaker, the dressmaker’s tools, and the thing being made."


    Above: For Saipua, the "sewing box" is a freestanding box sited within the footprint of a warehouse. Weathered barn siding wraps the walls in two  boxy rooms (one nested inside the other) and nooks and shelves display the shop's inventory.


    Above: The silvery weathered wood is a neutral backdrop for books, soaps and other items.


    Above: Says Ryhanen: "It's a really good time to be in the market for a florist—there are just oodles of amazing, creative (mostly) women who are making gorgeous natural work."


    Above: The boxy backdrop inspires vignettes.


    Above: In a second room, production space where Ryhanen arranges flowers.

    Above: Saipua is at 147 Van Dyke St. in Brooklyn. For hours and information, see Saipua.

    For more of Sarah Ryhanen's work, see:

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    Coming from Ikea: a new Summer in the City collection of small space essentials for city gardeners. Here's a sneak peak at Ikea's 2015 items for urban gardens, available in March:

    Ikea New Summer Products for Small City Gardens; Gardenista

    Above: Top row, L to R: Socker plant pot with holders ($24.99), Ingefära plant pots with saucers ($1.99-$19.99), Bittergurka watering can ($9.99). Middle row, L to R: Ingefära plant pots with saucers ($1.99-$19.99), Mulig drying rack ($24.99), Socker balcony plant holder. Bottom row, L to R: Socker plant stand ($39.99), Äggplanta planter ($4.99), Sommar 2015 apron ($7.99).

    Socker balcony planter ; Gardenista

    Above: Ikea's popular line of Socker planters and accessories will be expanded to include a plant stand (which can double as a room divider), a wall-mounted balcony plant holder (shown), and a tiered plant stand.

    Bittergurka watering can ikea ; Gardenista

    Above: The new Bittergurka watering can is made of powder coated steel and has a bamboo handle.

    Ikea socker tiered plant stand ; Gardenista

    Above: A compact Socker three-tier plant stand fits into a tight corner to hold potted plants.



    Above: Galvanized herb pots from Ikea for balconies and small city gardens.

    For more of our favorite Ikea items, see:

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