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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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    In the micro-climate of modern London, a minimal house needs a minimal garden. With every material and each plant highly considered, the trick is to allow a garden to relax and come alive. Here are 11 ideas to steal from the city:

    Every Inch Counts

    Verbena bonariensis Anna Wardrop garden. Gardenista

    Above: Garden designer Anna Wardrop created a multi-tasking corner with built-in seating in A Small Town Garden in Stoke Newington.

    This north London garden has a clever mix of planes: horizontals provide seating and raised beds while vertical surfaces are criss-crossed with climbers. Built-in seating allows you to be among your plants, at eye level.

    Tall Plant, Small Footprint

    Verbena boniarensis ; Gardenista

    Above: Shrubs lurking in dark corners are the first thing to go when planning a new town garden. Wavy screens of Verbena bonariensis (Shown) bring in movement and color; the popularity of this self-seeding, no-staking verbena in the UK shows no sign of abating. Verbena and members of the scabious family are particularly attractive to pollinators.

    Giant scabious ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Nina Pope via Flickr.

    Perfect for busy people, both verbena and scabious (Above) look after themselves. For giant scabious in a town garden, see Garden Designer Visit: Jinny Blom in Primrose Hill.

    Blurred Boundaries

    charlotte-rowe-black-white-london-garden-gardenista

    Above: For a client who was a fashion designer in Fulham. London-based garden designer Charlotte Rowe made a small townhouse backyard into an extension of indoor space with a dark-stained oak deck that matches the indoor flooring. For more, Before & After: A Jet Black Garden with White Jasmine Perfume.

    A feature of larger country gardens is the outdoor room, away from the house: it helps to structure a space and to provide shelter. Here, shelter is a given, with frost almost unknown in London. Even when the back door is closed however, it makes sense to connect the indoor room with the very visible one outdoors, through hard materials and palette.

    Trees as Sculpture

    Ginkgo trees pollarded ; Gardenista

    Above: Ginkgo trees against a glossy black backdrop. For more, see Trend Alert: Black Fences.

    Discipline is key in a town garden. Repeating plants, repeating trees; lots of green and if you really want to look at your plants (instead of letting them disappear into a sea of brown-gray brick) lots of black. These trees will bring in extremely vibrant autumn color as well.

    Ups and Downs

    Chris Moss London Garden aerial view ; Gardenista

    Above: Designer Chris Moss uses his own south London garden as a moodboard where design solutions occur at different elevations. For more, see The Black and Green Garden of Chris Moss.

    For house-dwellers, a garden needs to be designed from above. (Standing in the basement of a London house can involve mainly looking at a brick wall, as the garden comes into its own up a flight of dark steps.) Designer Chris Moss created a lightwell by pushing back the area and building wide steps, for a more generous, livable feel.

    Ornamental Edibles

    edible-garden-raised-beds-london-charlotte-rowe-gardenista

    Above: Designer Charlotte Rowe's raised beds for an edible garden in London.

    Growing food in a constricted space is less daunting than the traditional sprawl of a vegetable garden. Raised beds are easier to cultivate while providing a controlled environment for plants. They look smarter than holes in the ground and are natural components of an urban design. Built to a reasonable height, they double as seating.

    Pared Down Palette

    london-tree-ferns-tom-stuart-smith-gardenista

    Above: Designer Tom Stuart-Smith limits the palette to green in a long, narrow London garden. for more of this garden, see Designer Visit: At Home in Jurassic Park, in London.

    Tom Stuart-Smith can be relied on to go against the grain and this garden is less of an outdoor room than a parallel universe. At the back, somewhere, is hidden a children's sandpit but this is less about practicality and family-friendliness than drama. Tree ferns need to be wrapped up in winter, north of London, but here they provide year-round light and shade, with solid green box balls at their feet. The grasses and vines do react to the seasons.

    Box Balls

    Boxwood balls shrubs London ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

    Evergreen shapes are a must in a town garden whether it is formal or informal. They provide structure, in any shape you care for. Despite the ongoing desire for box, the dread of blight means that many designers are using alternatives such as yew, which can be maintained at a diminutive size. For more on yew, see Renew with Yew: The Easiest and Hardiest Hedge.

    With box, allow a certain distance between topiaries to allow good air circulation. For more on healthy shrubs, see How to Eliminate Boxwood Blight.

    No-Lawn Zone

    London backyard garden Del Buono Gazerwitz ; Gardenista

    Above: Near Hyde Park, a tiny town garden by del Buono Gazerwitz Landscape Architects has a quartet of pleached mulberry trees clipped to create a shade canopy. For more of the firm's work, see A London Terrace Gets a Grown Up Update.

    Which is more important: a perfect lawn or privacy? A pergola here provides some cover and further dashes the hopes of a decent sward. Added to space constrictions, grass is a bit of a pipe dream in town gardens plus, it requires more care than it perhaps deserves. Ditch it.

    Soft Hardscapes

    Pleached mulberry trees del Buono Gazerwitz ; Gardenista

    Above: In another London garden by del Buono Gazerwitz, pleached mulberries are trained against a pergola. Photograph (L) via Haverum.

    More privacy, with a Mediterranean flourish. The 2014 garden of del Buono Gazerwitz at the Chelsea Flower Show featured "roof-trained" limes. It was a homage to Italian horticultural heritage, in a modernist setting. Here the effect is achieved with mulberries, more usually associated with ancient gardens, gnarled into strange shapes. Training and pleaching is a signature look for the design duo and an ideal solution to the urban predicament of too many neighbors.

    Water Rills and Shallow Steps

    Water rills shallow steps London garden design Chelsea 2014 ; Gardenista

    Above: Luciano Giubbilei's garden at the Chelsea Flower Show last year. Photograph by Carolyn Willitts via Flickr.

    Over the clipped bay hedge from the del Buono Gazerwitz garden at Chelsea last year was another anglicized Italian star Luciano Giubbilei. His 'Best in Show' garden was similarly geometric in its hardscaping, with very ebullient planting (including yellow lupines) to lift the mood. The water rills which ran through the hoggin, with its park-sand effect, ended in a shallow pool. Wide steps are an invitation to sit or paddle. With or without water, the proportions calm everything down.

    For more of our favorite London gardens, see:

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    Fluted metal planters owe their design to the barrel shapes of Victorian-era laundry tubs. (In those pre-wringer days, lightweight zinc wash tubs were easier to haul around than heavy wooden barrels.) Isn't it nice to live in the 21st century?

    Here are 10 ribbed metal planters that will look better in the garden than they ever could in a laundry room:

    Zinc ribbed garden planters boxwood ; Gardenista

    Above: Named after the city in Provence that inspired the design, a set of two zinc-plated steel Vence Planters is £95 from Garden Trading.

    Fluted zinc Planters, Gardenista

    Above: For US shoppers, Vence Planters are available in two sizes (with diameters of 12.5 inches of 16 inches) and are sold in pairs; they are available for $79.95 and $99.95 respectively from Williams-Sonoma. Color and wax are applied to the ribbed surfaces to make them look aged.

    Zinc planter barrel ; Gardenista

    Above: Made of thin zinc plates, a 20-inch-tall Vitzink barrel is best used as a decorative outer pot (it's not watertight). IT is 299 SEK from Granit.

    Fluted zinc planters ; Gardenista

    Above: A pair of zinc-plated steel Tall Fluted Planters is watertight and has drainage holes; £125 from Cox and Cox.

    Fluted metal Provence planters ; Gardenista

    Above: Available in two sizes, fluted metal Provence Planters measure 15.75 inches tall (small size) and 19.5 inches tall (large size). They are £65 and £75 depending on size from The Balcony Gardener.

    Vintage fluted metal planter tubs ; Gardenista

    Above: After a previous life as laundry tubs, a collection of nine Vintage Galvanized Dolly Tub Planters is £95 apiece from Goose Home and Garden. Each planter has a one-of-a-kind ribbed pattern.

    Fluted Zinc planter bucket set ; Gardenista

    Above: With jute handles and a distressed finish, a Zinc Planter Set of three metal buckets is £75 from Nordic House.

    fluted-metal-barrel-planters-gardenista

    Above: A Metal Planter Set with three fluted barrels in graduated sizes is on sale for $239.25 from Aidan Gray.

    Vintage galvanized wash tubs ; Gardenista

    Above: Available with two styles of rim, a 19-inch-high Vintage Galvanized Wash Tub is $265 from Detroit Garden Works.

    Large metal barrel fluted galvanized planters ; Gardenista

    Above: An extra large barrel Eclectic Galvanized Metal Planter measures 24 inches high and is $149 from Pottery Barn.

    If you're looking for patio planters, see more of our favorites at:

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  • 03/31/15--09:00: DIY: Hanging Easter Posies
  • In celebration of that time of year when one gets to indulge with abandon in bunnies, chicks, and all things "cute, pretty, and pastel,"  my children and I have been creating myriad Easter projects. But this is one I did all on my own when they were at school: delicate, tiny Easter posies hanging from the window, a welcoming homage to spring.

    Photography by Justine Hand.

    Above: Since your egg vases are fairly small, check them daily for water.

    Above: A completed posy in its little egg vase awaits a sunny spot in the window.

    Materials:

    Above: For this project all you need is: ribbon, flowers, scissors, glue, and some cleaned eggs shells with the tops taken off (like a soft boiled egg.) We collected our eggs over several breakfasts. Don't worry about creating even edges; the flowers will hide them.

    Step-by-Step Instructions:

    Above: I selected Studio Carta's 2/8" Width Cotton Ribbon in sophisticated hues, such as this "iron" spool pictured here. I also chose: marigold, sage, pool, chartreuse, and ice at $9 each for five yards.

    First, measure a length of ribbon from the top of your window to the height at which you want to hang the egg vases. Double this length and cut. I found it best to stagger lengths slightly.

    Above: Place glue across the lengthwise circumference of the egg. Then place the middle of your ribbon at the bottom center of the egg and press down to glue along the sides.

    Above: To make sure that the glue adheres to the sides, cross the ribbons over the top of each egg and let the eggs dry for several hours.

    Above: Taking your flowers, assemble them into a small bouquet. Measure the stems against your egg to make sure that each bouquet sits right in your vase. (Ideally, this forager would have loved to use vernal garden flowers, such as crocus and narcissus. But springtime drags its feet here in New England, so I selected a mix of blooms, herbs, and branches from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

    Above: Place the posy in the egg and water it. I found that my soy sauce pitcher was perfect for this task.

    Above: Repeat with other arrangements. Here I used pussy willow, an orange tulip, and sage.

    Above: An aster, cherry blossom, and pussy willow arrangement sits next to my original pink tulip bouquet.

    Above: My finished posies.

    Abve: You could adapt this project and use similar egg vases (with shorter ribbons perhaps) to create a blooming centerpiece for your Easter table or even place them in egg cups to use as place card holders.

    Above: Tie off the ends of your ribbons in a small bow and hang them with a tack (yes, it's strong enough) in the window. (Now, if only that snow outside the window would melt!)

    For more Easter floral arrangements, see:

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    Born in 1971, designer Luciano Giubbilei wasn't even 30 years old when he began to create a modern, sharp-edged garden on an awkwardly shaped property in The Boltons, an exclusive enclave of Victorian townhouses near Kensington Palace.

    Giubbilei envisioned the garden—with its formal structure, precisely clipped trees and shrubs, and utter absence of a color other than green—as just another room. "I'm really just an interior designer, outdoors," he says.

    Fifteen years after its completion, the garden's design looks as modern and as singular as when it was completed: 

    Photography via Luciano Giubbilei.

    uciano-giubbilei-topiary-hornbeams-london-garden-gardenista.

    Above: This is not a low-maintenance garden. Yew cubes that stand at attention along the length of the garden are kept precisely clipped. Similarly manicured lines of trees delineate separate "rooms" and create privacy.

    Luciano Guibbilei London garden hornbeams ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Andrew Twort.

    Texture and scale are two primary considerations in a garden where color is not part of the palette. The shapes of pleached hornbeam and rows of squared lime play off each other. A generous budget enabled Giubbilei to plant mature specimens—many hand-picked from specialty growers in the Belgium and the Netherlands—to create instant impact in the garden.

    uciano-giubbilei-topiary-hornbeams-london-garden-gardenista.

    Above: "Originally an awkward and angular site, the garden was carefully carved into a series of different entertaining and green spaces," says Giubbilei.

    uciano-giubbilei-topiary-hornbeams-london-garden-gardenista.

    Above: Wide steps of Portland stone (a porous limestone common in London) connect the garden to a sunken terrace laid in a stacked bond pattern.

    uciano-giubbilei-topiary-hornbeams-london-garden-gardenista.

    Above: The precise geometry of the plantings and the sharp right angles of paths mask the fact that the lot is irregularly shaped and create an optical illusion that the garden is a perfectly proportioned rectangle.

    uciano-giubbilei-topiary-hornbeams-london-garden-gardenista.

    Above: A limestone gravel path runs alongside evergreen shrubs that lend year-round structure and interest to the garden.

    For more of our favorite London gardens, see:

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    Designer Faye Toogood's home in London could be torn from the pages of The World of Interiors, where she got her start at 21 years old. In Toogood's garden, a small patio looks spacious, with clean paving and spare furniture. Grapevines scale a burnt wood pergola overhead, and strangulated roses crawl the front of the rusted steel backplane. 

    Recreate the key elements of her modern city garden with ready-to-buy essentials and a few hard-to-source art pieces from the designer herself:

    Faye Toogood London Garden Patio | Gardenista

    Above: Designed in collaboration with Paul Gazerwitz of London firm del Buono Gazerwitz, Toogood's garden is furnished with a cast aluminum version of her own Spade chairs. Photograph by Henry Bourne for T Magazine.

    Faye Toogood Spade Chair and Starck Hudson Chair | Gardenista

    Above: Available at Oliver Gustav in Copenhagen, Toogood's aluminum Spade Chair (left) borrows inspiration from a milking stool with a spade handle. Similar in composition, the Starck Hudson Chair in brushed aluminum is built for outdoor use; $820 at Design Within Reach. The affordable Arc En Ciel Folding Chair is a slightly similar look in powder-coated steel for $98 also at Design With Reach.

    Restoration Hardware Catalina Rectangular Outdoor Table | Gardenista

    Above: The mildly traditional Catalina Rectangular Dining Table is built of a darkened, rustproof aluminum; currently $1,015 at Restoration Hardware.

    Cobble Hill Burnt Oak Parsons Bench | Gardenista

    Above: The Cobble Hill Parsons Bench, designed for ABC Carpet & Home, is made from a sustainable burnt oak with brass inlay detail for $795.

    Faye Toogood Concrete Bowl at Fumi Gallery | Gardenista

    Above: Faye Toogood's own Concrete Bowl, above, is an oversize bowl cast from concrete and available through Fumi Gallery in London. For a similar effect, Chen Chen and Kai Williams' Green Square Tray in colored cement is $80 at Matter and their Cantaloupe Planter is $44 directly from Chen Chen and Kai Williams.

    Lobmeyr Alpha Collection Tablewear in Light Blue | Gardenista

    Above: Knowing Toogood's affinity for blue inside her home, the handblown set of Lobmeyr Alpha Glassware by Hans Harald Rath is a likely set for outdoor serving; $65 per Water Tumbler and $210 for the Water Pitcher at March.

    Blue Pavers from Hardscaping 101: Pennsylvania Bluestone | Gardenista

    Above: For a similar look to Faye's herringbone patio, see our post on Pennsylvania Bluestone and Hardscaping 101: Design Guide for Patio Pavers.

    Terrain Fiberclay Barrel Pot in Black | Gardenista

    Above: Available at Terrain, lightweight Fiberclay Barrel Pots range from $28-$78 each. For a metal version, see 10 Easy Pieces: Zinc Barrel Planters.

    Plodes Geometric Firepit at Design Within Reach | Gardenista

    Above: Similar to Gazerwitz's installation of the garden's steel backplane, Plodes Studio's Geometric Firepit is made from evenly rusted low-carbon steel; $1,195 for the small size at Design Within Reach.

    For more from del Buono Gazerwitz, see our post Landscape Architect Visit: A London Terrace Gets a Grownup Update from del Buono Gazerwitz. For more dining sets, shop through our Outdoor Furniture selects.

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    After decamping from London for the country, designer-maker Rupert McKelvie established Out of the Valley, his Devon, England, workshop devoted to building sustainable, off-the-grid, "efficient yet aesthetic" cabins. His model design on the banks of the River Teign happens to be available for rent by the night.

    Photography via Out of the Valley.

    Devon England UK cabin for rent ; Gardenista

    Above: McKelvie's little cabin in the woods is solar-powered and perfectly sized for two. It has a shou sugi ban exterior—read about the Japanese technique in Torched Lumber—and a black corrugated roof. 

    Trained as a classical wood boat builder, 31-year-old McKelvie went on to study 3D design and sustainability at Falmouth University and then worked in London as a product and furniture designer. He moved to Devon to start his own practice with a focus on off-the-grid living.

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: The oak deck is furnished with Net Chairs by Mark Product of Cornwall and a McKelvie burned-wood table inspired by a Kaspar Hamacher design: "After seeing them, I wanted to have a go at making one."

    Out of the Valley cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: The deck has a canvas shade stitched by a sailmaker. The cabin has a wood stove and solar-powered lighting.

    Out of the Valley cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: A king-sized bed is tucked into an alcove off the open living space. The kitchen comes complete with cooker and gas hob. "For the next cabin, I'd like to incorporate gray water recycling and not use any gas," says McKelvie.

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: All of the furniture and built-ins are McKelvie's own designs in ash and oak, which he and his small crew fabricate. "I wanted to use a minimal material and color palette, three at most," says McKelvie. "Less is so much more when it comes to the architecture of small spaces; each material allows the next to have room to breath." The conical wood hanging lights are by Secto Design of Finland.

    Out-of-the-Valley-rental-cabin-Devon-England-Gardenista-8.jpg

    Above: The wood print over the banquette is made from an ash tree on the property felled in a storm. It's by McKelvie's friend illustrator Bea Forshall.

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: A sliding door off the kitchen opens to the compact bathroom. The glass-and-concrete Leimu table lamp is by London-based designer Magnus Pettersen for Iittala.

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: The bathroom is detailed with Carrara marble tiles and has a brass monsoon shower head (plus a compost toilet).

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: The sink is kitted out with reconditioned old brass taps. (If you're looking to source your own old-fashioned hot-and-cold spouts, see Objects Lessons: The British Cloakroom Basin Tap.)

    Out of the Valley vanity table | Gardenista

    Above: McKelvie is about to launch Out of the Valley's first furniture collection, which will include cabin-inspired sinks with surface-mounted copper pipes and vintage taps.

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: The cabin overlooks a former farm field that slopes down to the river, where guest are can fly fish and take skinny dips. Bluebells and foxgloves bloom around the property in early summer, and McElvie reports seeing wagtails, wood warblers, herons, and kingfishers near the water.

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: The field is surrounded by National Trust woodland.

    Out of the Valley rental cabin in Devon, England | Gardenista

    Above: Star gazing from the deck is the main night-time activity. 

    The Out of the Valley cabin rents for £130 ($193) to £160 ($237.63) per night depending on the season. It's located on the northern edge of Dartmoor in Devon's Teign Valley. Two castles—Drogo and Bovey—are nearby, as is the Devon coast.

    Explore more cabins in the woods in our Outbuildings of the Week posts, including a Tree Cocoon.

    For more examples of shou-sugi-ban, see:

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    The secret to a successful garden? Know thyself and definitely know thy limitations.

    We arrived in London 17 years ago, urban to the core. As New York architects, we had a deep and extensive knowledge of building materials, but we knew next to nothing about plants. With a small garden to fill, we knew the plants had to be low-maintenance so we called in the experts—landscape architect friends.

    Their solution? To create a micro rain forest of hardy, shade resistant plants in the heart of London. Anchored around four New Zealand ferns, it grows more lush every year despite my neglectful parenting. Five minutes in my private eco system, listening to the birds and chirruping insects, is all you need before the din of London melts away and the calm sets in.

    To see the interiors of my house, go to Christine's House: Living Small in London.

    Photography by Christine Hanway, except where noted.

    Above: Two custom built sheds enclose the outdoor room and provide us with much-needed storage for bicycles, garden equipment, and tools.

    Above: A view through the ferns. The large splayed leaves of Monstera deliciosa (L) create structure to frame the perimeter. In the center raised bed, the striped leaves of Liriope muscari 'Variegata' (Front, L) complement shades of burgundy including the small, rounded leaves of Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple' (Front, R). Photograph by Kristin Perers.

    Above: An outdoor carpet and a few chairs are all you need for an outdoor room. (For more, see Design Sleuth: Christine's Outdoor Rug.)

    Above: Jasmine climbs the trellis and smells divine in the summer.

    Above: The large leaves of Monstera deliciosa (L) provide contrast to both the vine and the textured, slightly furry leaves of white pelargonium (R). For more about pelargoniums, see Please Don't Call Them Geraniums.

    Above: Ferns and black bamboo in a London rain forest.

    Above: Bamboo provides a canopy for the ferns.

    Above: A bird's eye view of our ecosystem.

    For more of our favorite gardens in London, see:

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    N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published July 17, 2012.

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    It's official: spring is here. That means it's time to drag the outdoor furniture from hibernation or, if you live in sunnier climes, add it to your spring cleaning list to get ready for dining al fresco. Don't know where to start? Here's our cheat sheet on how to clean and care for outdoor wood furniture.

    Stay tuned—in the coming weeks, we'll tackle tips for metal, wicker, and plastic furniture (plus a special report on how to clean and care for outdoor fabrics). In the meantime, consult our checklist of General Cleaning Tips below:

    Patio with weathered teak furniture, Gardenista  

    Above: Weathered teak and metal outdoor furniture dusted off and ready for spring. (See how the Gardenista Team planted this patio.) Photograph by John Merkl.

    Furniture Covers

    Veranda patio chair cover ; Gardenista

    Above: A Veranda Patio Chair Cover is available in four sizes at prices starting at $34.99 from The Living Quarters. Inexpensive generic outdoor furniture covers are also plentiful through AmazonHome DepotLowe's, and other furniture retailers.

    Protective covers are often available for specific lines of furniture, such as Brown Jordan's Lounge Chair Cover and Custom Fit Outdoor Furniture Covers from Restoration Hardware, for an exact fit. 

    Weather Resistant Woods

    Teak bench Piet Hein Eek; Gardenista

    Above: Designer Piet Hein Eek's Wooden Garden Bench is made from recycled materials. For more, see 10 Easy Pieces: Garden Benches

    The key to longevity of outdoor wood furniture is to start with good quality pieces made with wood that is appropriate for outdoor use. Teak, cedar, white oak, and even the less expensive acacia woods are naturally rot resistant and durable enough to withstand all kinds of weather conditions.

    Routine Cleaning

    Glass cleaner made with corn starch ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph by Erin Boyle.

    Light cleaning of wood outdoor furniture is best done with a cloth moistened with water or a mild soapy solution. For deeper cleaning at the start and finish of each season or in the instance of tougher stains or mold, you can scrub with a soft brush and a mix of water and dishwasher detergent or oxygen bleach. Scrub in the direction of the wood grain. Remove challenging stains by lightly sanding (again, with the direction of the grain) and rinsing the surface.

    A Silvery Patina

    Weathered Teak Loungers Weiss Garden, Gardenista  

    Above: Weathered teak loungers with a silvery patina tucked amid the greenery of Vanity Fair art director Julie Weiss’ Manhattan Garden. Photograph by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista.

    Weathered Teak Bench, Gardenista

    Above: The maintenance needs of outdoor wood furniture primarily depends on the look you're after. Left untreated most woods develop a silver weathered patina, and because of their natural rot resistance, require little upkeep.

    Sealants

    Skargaarden teak table ; Gardenista

    Above: From Scandinavian design house Skargaarden, a 79-inch teak Djuro Trestle Table has a slatted top and is $2,700 from Horne.

    If you want to keep the wood looking like new, it can be treated with a sealant to preserve the color and provide added protection. Generally sealants need to be reapplied every few years depending on weather conditions and wear and tear. To do so you will need to wash, sand, and reapply the sealant. Consult the manufacturer for recommended products.

    Teak Outdoor Dining Table and Chair from Terrain, Gardenista

    Above: A Preserved Teak Folding Chair and a Preserved Teak Dining Table are available from Terrain. For more, see The Gardenista 100: Teak Dining Tables.

    Care and Cleaning Tips

    • Always start with a light cleaning, sweeping surfaces as needed with a soft brush or cloth. Then assess if further care and cleaning is needed.
    • When it comes to cleaning products for outdoor furniture, non-detergent liquid soap (think dish soap) is your friend. It will clean but not harm your furniture and its environs. For tougher stains and mildew, use water and white vinegar.
    • Read the manual. Unless you inherit or purchase vintage pieces, outdoor furniture should come with instructions about care and feeding.
    • Sunscreens and bird droppings should be cleaned off your furniture as soon as possible. They can be particularly damaging and cause permanent stains and corrosion. 
    • Consider covering your furniture when not in use for long periods of time (and during long bouts of inclement weather). Even if it can stand up to the elements, cleaning will extend its life and make maintenance easier after the outdoor season begins again. And, use breathable covers to avoid creating a mold incubator.
    • If you live in an area with especially harsh winter weather, try storing your furniture indoors if possible. 

    Are you considering an outdoor furniture purchase? See some of our favorite pieces at:

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    If growing your own Easter grass strikes you as a harebrained idea, well maybe it is. And maybe that's the point. 'Tis the season, after all. Before you dismiss this DIY as just another project for someone with too much time on their hands, reconsider it as an only-slightly-more-roundabout approach to making an omelet. And revel in the end result: a sweet spring-themed tabletop decoration that costs only pennies and demands only a modicum of patience. 

    Photography by Erin Boyle.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: I started with standard brown eggs from the farmers' market. Any egg will do—but I would have loved to see these sprouts coming out of pastel-colored or spotted eggs from Araucana or Welsummer hens, had I found those eggs at the market.

    When I began to research how to grow wheat grass, I couldn't find one definitive tutorial. Everyone seemed to have a different method: there were folks who soaked their grains just once before planting them and others with a more complicated triple-soak-and-rinse approach. I found one camp of enthusiasts who covered the tops of their seeds with soil, and others who let them sprout with no blanket of soil to protect them. The predicted sprout times varied wildly too: some said they saw sprouts in just a few days, others claimed sprouts came only after a week of waiting.

    As usual: I wanted to find the least labor-intensive way. In the end, I made a dozen green-topped eggs. One set of six had drainage holes and seeds covered in soil, the other had no drainage and seeds left out to breathe. I didn't bother to rinse or soak. All of my eggs sprouted cheery green tops. Turns out the instructions vary so drastically because just about any method will yield the desired results: green grass, fast.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: Step one is to rinse out the empty eggshells.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: Fill the eggshells with potting soil. Eggshells make pots to start any kind of seeds. To transplant seedings to the garden, crush the shell before planting so roots can grow.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: Sprinkle a dense single layer of wheat seed (also called wheat berries). No need to head to the nursery for seed; I found mine in the grains section of a local organic market.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: Seeds will germinate on a sunny windowsill. Don't worry too much about the seeds getting adequate sunlight—my eggs sprouted within three days in a north-facing window.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: Look for bright green tops after just three days and paler shoots even sooner. 

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: I used a White Porcelain Egg Carton by Seletti to prop my eggs on the tabletop; $19 from Design Menagerie. A paper egg carton with the top cut off will work just as well.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: You also could grow wheat grass in a lined Easter basket to create a bed of fresh grass to hide chocolate eggs and jelly beans.

    wheat grass easter eggs | gardenista

    Above: Wheat grass eggs after six days.

    Wheat Grass Easter Eggs

    Materials:

    • 6 eggs
    • 2 cups of potting soil
    • 1 cup (or so) of hard winter wheat 
    • Water
    • Dish soap
    • Hand drill or needle

    Instructions:

    1. Using the back of a knife, carefully crack the very top of each egg. Sse your fingers to pick the cracked shell apart, widening the hole until it's big enough for the yolk and white to slip out easily. (Preserve the contents for use in an omelet later.)

    2. Rinse the inside of the empty eggshells with warm water and a small bit of dish soap.

    3. Use a small hand drill or needle to poke a drainage hole in the bottom of the eggs. (I skipped this step in one of my two trials and didn't notice any difference. I also potted a glass jar of seeds just for fun and got a bushy crop of wheat grass in a vessel without any drainage.)

    4. Mix 2 cups (or so) of potting soil with a small bit of water so it's moist, but not soggy. Fill each egg with the soil.

    5. Cover the top of the soil with a single layer of hard winter wheat. For thick grass, the wheat should cover all of the visible soil, but it shouldn't be layered more than one seed thick. The eggs I topped off with a thin layer of soil seemed to yield tops that were slightly more lush than those I left bare, so feel free to add this step.

    6. Water and place in a sunny window. Water daily. In both of my trials, I had green shoots within three days. 

    For more easy Easter projects see DIY: Hanging Easter Posies and DIY: Easter Egg Radish Centerpiece on Remodelista.

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    London-based architects Feilden Fowles designed a combination workshop and garage that is meant to disappear into the hillside at the base of a property in Conkwell near Bath (about a 2.5-hour drive west of London). It feels a little like visiting the Bat Cave:

    Photography via Feilden Fowles.

    Garage hidden in hillside ; Gardensta

    Above: "This scheme is buried into the hillside, allowing the landscape to wrap over the building, hiding it from above," the architects say. Visible on the hillside (Upper L) is a boulder-shaped studio building.

    feilden-fowles-garage-studio-gardenista

    Above: The timber sided building and adjacent retaining wall have undulating shapes to mimic the lines of the land.

    feilden-fowles-garage-studio-gardenista

    Above: The garage has a pair of hinged accordion doors.

    Feilden Fowles garage and workshop ; Gardenista

    Above: A view of the garage when it was under construction.

    feilden-fowles-garage-studio-gardenista

    Above: A pair of side doors leads to the workshop space tucked into the hill

    feilden-fowles-garage-studio-gardenista

    Above: Twin skylights fill the space to fill with stripes of sunlight.

    feilden-fowles-garage-studio-gardenista

    Above: The view from above.

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    In London where skies are often gray, a pink front door is a common pick-me-up. We've rounded up seven of our favorites—from sweet candy pinks to shocking shades you last saw in your grandma's lipstick drawer. Here's how to get the look and add curb appeal with your own dash of pink:

    Candy Striper

    Curb Appeal Pink Front Door paint colors ; Gardenista

    Above: Sweet pink and white play off each other in London, where shop owner Karine Kong of Bodie and Fou enlivens a facade with a pink front door and a Seussian olive tree topiary in a pot. Photograph via Milk Magazine.

    Bemjamin Moore countryside pink ; Gardenista

    Above: For a similar hydrangea pink, consider Benjamin Moore's Countryside Pink. The color also is a favorite of our London editor Christine Hanway, who spends summers in Connecticut and used Countryside Pink on her porch chairs. For more, see A Scandal in New England.

    Seasonal Splurge

    Pink door notting hill london ; Gardenista  

    Above: The front door on a Notting Hill townhouse complements the color or a flowering tree in spring—and serves as a year-round reminder that the blossoms will return. Photograph via Stefanie.

    Benjamin Moore Peony paint ; Gardenista

    Above: For a similar vibrant pink with a black undertone, consider Benjamin Moore Peony; $6.99 for a 16-ounce sample pot.

    Run for the Roses

    Pink paint front door London townhouse ; Gardenista

    Above: In Islington, a pink front door matches the climbing roses on the fence and facade. Photograph via Spongeville.

    climbing roses Gardenista ; Gardenista

    Above: To coordinate a rose-colored paint with bloom color, see our post 7 Best Climbing Roses to choose a flower.

    Side by Side

    Pink paint front doors ; Gardenista

    Above: Mix-and-match paint colors to play off one another if you have side-by-side doors. Photograph via Felicity Williams.

    Benjamin Moore Coral Pink Paint ; Gardenista

    Above: For a peachy pink that works well with brown and earthy beiges, consider Benjamin Moore Coral Pink; $6.99 for a 16-ounce sample pot.

    Black and White Booster

    Pink front door black and white tile London ; Gardenista

    Above: Pink door, black-and-white tile. Photography via A. Crew Diary.

    Black and white are opposite colors that when used together form a neutral backdrop for a vivid hue.

    Checkerboard mosaic tile Victorian ; Gardenista

    Above: Black and white checkerboard tile patterns dating from the Victorian era are a common sight in London. For more ideas, see Curb Appeal: Victorian Black and White Tile.

    Pink and Purple

    Pink front door, purple wisteria vine ; Gardenista

    Above: Pink front door, purple wisteria vine in London. Photograph via Melinda Gleghorn.

    Above: For a bright pink with purple undertones, consider Valspar Paints' Old Flame. A 4-ounce sample pot is $2.25 from My Perfect Color.

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

    Above: Before you plant a wisteria vine, know what you're in for: Wisteria, A Dangerous Beauty.

    With a Window Box

    Pink front door window box London ; Gardenista

    Above: Deep pink flowers in a window box complement a lighter pink paint on a front door.

    10 Best pink paint colors ; Gardenista

    Above: Still searching for the perfect pink?  See The 10 Best Pink Paints on Remodelista.

    For more pink inspiration, see:

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    Julie and the Remodelista editors spent the week in London, getting a first look at an Ikea collection by designer Ilse Crawford and visiting sleek, spare spaces where a new minimalism is on display. Here's what they found:

    Ikea Ilse Crawford furniture collection ; Gardenista

    Above: Margot takes a close look at a New Ikea Collection of 30 indoor-outdoor pieces created by designer Ilse Crawford's London studio (coming to stores in August). In the meantime, see the rest of the Ikea 2015 Outdoor Living line, available in stores now. (We're particularly coveting Ikea's Glass Greenhouse Cabinet.)

    Gingerbread-House-Laura-Dewe-Mathews-Remodelista

    Above: Alexa tests the burners in 13 Favorite Minimalist British Kitchens.

    dyers-grime-bedroom mohair velvet pillows ; Gardenista

    Above: Mohair pillows and a vintage velvet headboard make a minimalist London bedroom feel seriously luxe in this week's Steal This Look post.

    Kitchen inspired by Hammershoi painting ; Gardenista

    Above: The design of Remodelista's Kitchen of the Week (L) was inspired by paintings by Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershoi (R).

    Arne Jacobsen stainless steel flatware ; Gardenista

    Above: Janet rounds up her favorite architect-designed flatware patterns in this week's 10 Easy Pieces.

    Looking for more? See the rest of Remodelista's coverage of London Minimalism.

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  • 04/04/15--03:00: Current Obsessions: Dye Jobs
  • Here are 10 things that caught our attention this week. 

    Tiny Heirloom house for $65,000 | Gardenista

    101 Cookbooks Simple Asparagus Soup | Gardenista

    Design Sponge DIY Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs | Gardenista

    • Above: Dye eggs with turmeric, cabbage, onion skins, and beets. Photograph by Terri Lowenthal. 

    Indoor Plants | Gardenista

    • Above: How to live with greenery all year. 

    Instagram and Pinterest Pick of the Week

    Instagram Pick of the Week: @commonfarmflowers

    Pinterest Pick of the Week: Aniko Takacs | Gardenista

    • Above: Looking for Easter flower arrangement inspiration? Check out Aniko Takacs' collection on Pinterest

    Take a look at the best gardens in London and head over to Remodelista for a glimpse of London Minimalism

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    In the mood to head outside? Us too. This week we'll explore ways to life the indoor-outdoor life all year round. Join us:

    Gardenista Table of Contents: Indoor Outdoor Life

    Above: Marie Viljoen travels home to South Africa to show us her favorite hidden seaside retreat in this week's Hotels and Lodging post.

    Monday

    Before and After Napa Vineyard Retreat ; Gardenista

    Above: SF-based landscape architect Scott Lewis tells us how he transformed a Napa Valley garden into a water-saving, drought tolerant oasis in this week's Before & After post.

    h55-teak-lounge-chair-gardenista

    Above: Julie prepares for summer by testing folding deck chairs—and narrows her list to five favorites stylish enough to live indoors or out—in this week's Gardenista 100 roundup of the best outdoor furniture and accessories of 2015.

    Tuesday

    Adrian Grenier Garden Brooklyn Clinton Hill; Gardenista

    Above: We discover some surprising A-List Garden Ideas to Steal when we visit some of our favorite movie stars' gardens. In the meantime, see more of this garden in Adrian Grenier of Entourage Moves to Brooklyn.

    Wednesday

    Window box with daffodils narcissus ; Gardenista

    Above: We have step-by-step instructions for our top 10 projects to make it feel like spring indoors and out in this week's DIY post. In the meantime, catch up by browsing our Gardening 101 archive.

    Thursday

    Brown and Jordan Outdoor Furniture Cover, Gardenista

    Above: Janet has tips about how to care and clean metal outdoor furniture in this week's Hardscaping 101 post. If you missed her tips for wooden outdoor furniture, see Hardscaping 101: How to Clean and Care for Wood Outdoor Furniture.

    Friday

    texas-hill-country-studio-outside-ranch-gardenista

    Above: We're currently coveting a Fire Pit. See how to integrate a fire feature into your Garden Design in our Landscape Architect Visit to an award-winning Texas hill country ranch.

    Spring cleaning season arrives: the Remodelista editors are spending the week on Closet Cleanout.

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    A traditional shingled saltbox with a heavy arbor and flowering honeysuckle shadowing the front door looks right at home on Cape Cod. The problem? This house was in Northern California, surrounded by Napa Valley vineyards and golden hillsides. 

    "Our goal was to make this garden evocative of the surrounding landscape, which is just stunning," said SF-based landscape architect Scott Lewis, who came up with a garden design for the one-acre property that takes advantage of the agrarian nature of the Napa Valley . "There are vineyards you can see on four sides of the house. Part of what we did was clear the clutter away to take advantage of those views."

    Here's how a garden makeover changed the property's personality:

    Photography by Mathew Millman via Scott Lewis.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: For the front path, Lewis chose wide 2-by-4-foot limestone pavers because the material stays cool underfoot even in the intense summer heat of the Napa Valley. "We avoid using bluestone on properties in Napa, because with bluestone you can practically fry an egg on it when it gets hot," says Lewis.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: On both sides of the front path, Lewis planted perennial grass Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition' which turns a tawny gold in autumn, mimicking the color of the surrounding hillside. The two mature olive trees that flank the path were planted years ago.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: "From the foyer, you can see all the way through the house, which you weren't as aware of before because the facade was covered with front and back arbors that were heavy and had a lot of vines," says Lewis.

    Architect Andrew Mann, who oversaw a remodel of the house, designed new cantilevered arbors for shade. "Our plan was for arbors that are architectural, but with nothing planted on them," says Lewis.

    Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition' is a sturdy grass that will stand upright through autumn and into winter "until you get a really, really hard frost or a really big rain," says Lewis. "Then they'll start to smash down. We give all the grass in this garden a crewcut in early winter, before February 1."

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: A fence encloses all sides of the one-acre property; it's essentially the same design all the way around but the height varies to take advantage of views of nearby vineyards and distant mountains.

    The Property

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: "The positive thing about the site is that the bones were good and arrangement of structures—a main house, garage, and guest house—form a nice 'L' and are at the front of the site, not in the middle," says Lewis.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: Next to the guesthouse (L) was an existing arbor planted with old grapevines that Lewis integrated into the new design. a mix of meadow plantings cover from 30 to 40 percent of the site, including a mix of ornamental grasses that come into their colorful glory in autumn.

    The planting list for the project includes the following ornamental grasses: Carex pansa (California Dune Sedge); Festuca mairei (Atlas Fescue); Juncus patens 'Elk Blue'; Leymus arenarius 'Glaucus' (Blue Lyme Grass); Lygeum spartum (Esparto Grass); Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' (Morning Light Maiden Grass); M. sinensis 'Strictus' (Porcupine Grass); M. sinensis var. condensatus 'Cosmopolitan' (Cosmopolitan Silver Grass); Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal' (Blue Switchgrass); Pennisetum 'Fairy Tails' (a variety of Fountain Grass); Pennisetum messiacum 'Red Bunny Tails'; Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'; Pennisetum spathiolatum (Slender Veldt Grass); Sesleria autumnalis (Autumn Moor Grass); Stipa gigantea (Giant Stipa), and Vetivera zizanioides (Vetiver Grass).

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: The guest house has a wooden deck and wide, welcoming gravel path flanked by twin Olea europa 'Swan Hill' fruitless olive trees.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: "Ornamental grasses are soft, move in the wind, don’t use as much water as flowering plants, and have a country agrarian feel," says Lewis.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: When Lewis visited the site during the design phase of the project, he noticed a late afternoon breeze coming off the hills. To take advantage of the idyllic spot, he designed an open air pavilion surrounded by a grass meadow.

    "It is just a lovely stunning spot," he says. "One of the nice things about the area is you are 6 feet away from the adjacent neighbor's grapevines." Lewis lowered the height of the property's perimeter fence to 4 feet so the vineyard is visible from the pavilion.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: "Early on it was decided the pavilion would be roofed because of the heat," says Lewis.  

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: For a less formal look than the front path, a 5-foot-wide path is laid with 2.5-foot limestone pavers separated by 2-inch gravel joints. The gravel also aids drainage.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: On the back side of the house, an ipe deck is edge with limestone. Visible at Right is the guest house.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: The existing pool got a facelift, as well. It was re-plastered (with plaster that has a gray tint to make the color of the water more reflective) and the coping is limestone; turf grass surrounds the pool.

    In the distance beyond the pool, four existing olive trees are a focal point and have been underplanted with lavender.

    Before

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: "It really is the same pool," says Lewis. "It's amazing how a different color plaster can change the look of the water."

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: The previous incarnation of the garden featured "essentially, grass, boxwood, and clipped privets," says Lewis. "It was a look. From a time when nobody was thinking about how much water it would require."

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: Aggregate concrete pavement, topiaries, and plantings dependent on heavy water were part of the previous garden design.

    After

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: From the master bath, French doors look out towards a spa. "The idea is that as you are in the house, you will see little glimpses of the landscape," says Lewis.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: The spa area proximate to the master bedroom and bath. The spa tile is a custom blend of 2-by-4-inch "Aegean Blue" and "Azure" from McIntyre Tile Company in Healdsburg.

    scott-lewis-vineyard-retreat-grasses-northern-california

    Above: Uplighting in the olive trees and other outdoor lighting is by Anna Kondolf Lighting Design.

    For more of landscape designer Scott Lewis's work, see:

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    A roundup of smart-looking canvas chairs, equally at home on the deck or in an indoor setting. 

    Adico Folding Chair | Remodelista

    Above: The 660 Folding Chair from Adico has a metal frame and canvas upholstery connected with raw cotton cord; the base is available in black, white, red, mustard, off white, sky blue, turquoise, and taupe; £158 from Twenty Twenty-One.

    h55 Lounge Chair from Skargaarden | Remodelista

    Above: The H55 Teak Lounger designed in 1955 by Bjorn Hulten, is available in black, navy blue, or white Sunbrella fabric or in natural canvas; $900 from Horne.

    Jasper Morrison Fionda Chair | Gardenista

    Above: Designed by UK phenom Jasper Morrison, the Fionda Chair is £329 from Aram.

    Gallant and Jone Coral Beach Chair | Remodelista

    Above: Gallant and Jones Honomalino Deck Chair Lounger with fabric sling and pillow; $299.

    Malibu Sling Chair James Perse | Remodelista

    Above: The teak Malbu Sling Chair from James Perse has a linen cover; contact James Perse directly for pricing.

    For more of our favorite outdoor lounge furniture, see:

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    What do A-List celebrities know about gardens? Lena Dunham just bought a sweetly suburban Hollywood bungalow with a front yard to mow. Sting grows organic vegetables. Julianne Moore hangs outdoor art. And at her former ranch in Ojai, Reese Witherspoon was practically a poster child for permeable pavement.

    Here are 10 of our favorite ideas to steal from celebrities' gardens:

    Ellen DeGeneres: Take Cover

    ellen-degeneres-greystone-garden-gardenista

    Above: At Greystone, a 26-acre ranch in Thousand Oaks built in the 1920s for the actor William Powell (and which DeGeneres and and Portia de Rossi sold for $10.85 million in 2013), lounge chairs are clustered under the natural canopy of a mature tree to take advantage of shade and cool breezes. Photograph via NY Times.

    Sting: Grow Organic

    Sting Tuscany estate organic garden ; Gardenista

    Above: Musician Sting and wife Trudie Styler's 900-acre Tuscan vineyard estate Il Palagio produces organic grapes, and olive oil. Says Sting, "When I came here, I wanted first of all to feed my family with genuine foods...grown in a healthy environment." Another priority is to use agricultural practices to "nourish, rather than deplete, the land."  Photograph (L) via Il Poggiolo and (R) via Tuscan Dream.

    Lena Dunham: Love Your Shrubs

    lena-dunham-LA-garden-gardenista

    Above: At Lena Dunham's new three-bedroom bungalow in Hollywood, shrubs and hedges provide a backdrop for the white-on-white facade. Photograph via Architectural Digest.

    Julianne Moore: Hang Outdoor Art

    julianne-moore-hang-outdoor-art-gardenista

    Above: In her Greenwich Village townhouse garden, actress Julianne Moore displays mounted staghorn ferns on a brick wall. For more, see Design Sleuth: Julianne Moore's Staghorn Ferns.

    Reese Witherspoon: Go Barefoot

    eese-witherspoon-permeable-pavers-ojai-gardenista

    Above: At her 7-acre ranch in Ojai, CA (which she sold recently for $5 million), Reese Witherspoon paved courtyards and paths with decomposed granite, a permeable surface that prevents water runoff and feels good underfoot. For more ideas, see Low-Cost Luxury: 9 Ways to Use Decomposed Granite in a Landscape

    Patrick Dempsey: Cook with Fire

    patrick-dempsey-outdoor-kitchen-gardenista

    Above: Actor Patrick Dempsey's Malibu garden has a full outdoor kitchen and adjacent outdoor living room. For more of this garden, see Before & After: A Malibu Retreat for Grey's Anatomy Star Patrick Dempsey. Photographs via Architectural Digest.

    Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Use One Color

    brad-pitt-angelina-jolie-miraval-provence-garden-gardenista

    Above: At their chateau in Provence, Pitt and Jolie limit the planting scheme to shades of green—from grape leaves in the vineyard to the pencil-thin cypresses that punctuate the skyline—to keep the garden looking cool even in brutally hot summer months. Photograph via USQ.

    Mark Ruffalo: Keep It Simple

    Mark Ruffalo upstate NY garden ; Gardenista

    Above:  At his upstate New York farm, actor Mark Ruffalo has rigged up the simplest outdoor shower. For more, see In the Garden with Mark Ruffalo.

    Vincent Kartheiser: Get a Rollaway Wall

    Vincent Kartheiser Mad Man Hollywood house courtyard garden ; Gardenista

    Above: In Hollywood, Mad Man actor Vincent Kartheiser had rolling barn doors to connect the indoors to the courtyard garden in the hideaway house he sold last year. For more, see Designer Visit: A Mad Man's $800K Hollywood Hideaway.

    Adrian Grenier: Make the Most of Small Spaces

    adrian-grenier-garden-brooklyn-gardenista

    Above: In a narrow strip of front garden that separates Grenier's Clinton Hill house from the sidewalk, a path is bordered by garden beds. Photograph (L) via Brook Landscape. For more, see Adrian Grenier's Garden in Brooklyn.

    For more celebrity gardens, see:

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    Is it a garden cart or is it a wagon? The best of breed can do double duty. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to haul loads in the garden, at the beach, or from the market:

    Wicker garden wagon trolley cart ; Gardenista  

    Above: Design house Atelier Tradewinds updates its classic last-a-lifetime collapsible garden cart by adding a hard-sided wicker basket. The Wicker Wagon is £990 from The Van.

    Black canvas garden wagon ; Gardenista

    Above: Also from Atelier Tradewinds, the canvas version of The Wagon is rustproof, rotproof, and waterproof, Made from lightweight aluminum, polyester, and marine grade plywood, it has 12-inch pneumatic tires and is available in eight colors (including black as Shown) for €840 from The Van. For more about it, see The World's Best Collapsible Wagon.

    Kyboka garden cart trolley wagon ; Gardenista

    Above: A Black Edition garden cart from Kyboka has quick release stainless steel wheels, a black canvas cover and two straps to hold it securely, and a weatherproof storage bag; €699.

    Garden trolley wagon ; Gardenista

    Above: A Small Garden Trolley has a steel mesh base and sides which drop down for loading and unloading;  £94.96 from Home Logging.

    Garden wagon trolley cart ; Gardenista

    Above: An All-Terrain Landscapers Yard Cart has pneumatic wheels and can haul loads of up to 550 pounds. It's $129 from Gardener's Supply. 

    Folding garden wagon ; Gardenista

    Above: A Mac Sports Folding Wagon has a steel frame and nylon shell and can carry loads of up to 150 pounds; $79.99 from Target.

    Red canvas folding utility cart ; Gardenista

    Above: From On the Edge, a red Folding Utility Wagon is $146.99 from Amazon.

    Wooden garden cart ; Gardenista

    Above: With an extra wide wheel base and sturdy steel frame, a Wooden Garden Cart by Carts Vermont can haul loads easily over uneven terrain. It is $319 from Grow Organic.

    collapsible-aluminum-transport-cart-gardenista

    Above: A Collapsible Aluminum Transport Cart has a pair of extendable legs for added stability and is €354 from Manufactum. For US shoppers, the Tipke Industrial Cart is $319.95 from Carts on the Go.

    garden-cart-dolly-hand-truck-wheelbarrow-gardenista

    Above: A Little Mule Multi Cart is adjustable and can operate as a wheelbarrow, dolly, or hand truck; $199 from Gardener's Supply.

    For more ways to haul heavy loads, see:

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    You can tell a lot about a dog's personality by the way he digs in your garden.

    My dog Larry is like Peter Rabbit, shooting naughty glances over his shoulder as he uproots pansies. My other dog Sticky, on the hand, digs because she can't help it, as full of guilt and self loathing as a character on Girls.

    I don't know about your dogs. But mine need to be distracted in the garden to prevent them from engaging in destructive behavior. Like toddlers. As surely as you can baby-proof a home to keep a child from sticking a finger in a light socket, you can dog-proof a garden. Here are 11 tips:

    Photography by Michelle Slatalla.

    Pay Attention

    larry in the garden dog papillon

     Above: Larry aka Peter Rabbit in the garden.

     "Your dog needs attention," warned the Humane Society's "Dig This" webpage. "Make sure your dog has sufficient time with you on a daily basis."

    Dogs are pack animals, and want to be with you in the garden. Spend some time watching them watch you. Do they start digging when they think no one is noticing what they are up to? Engage their attention. Tell them to sit or lie by your side while you work; it gives them a purpose. 

    Make Surfaces Pet Friendly

    Michelle gravel garden path ; Gardenista

    Above: If you want them to walk on paths instead of through the garden beds, make the pavers comfortable for them. My garden paths are pea gravel; no sharp edges and the surface never gets too hot.

    Give Your Dog a Job

    sticky running in the garden with her tongue out papillon dog proof

    Above: Sticky in the garden. (What's with the tongue?)

    We all like to feel as if we have a purpose in life. For dogs, patrolling the yard is a priority. Larry and Sticky believe their calling is to patrol the perimeter, is to keep the property safe from squirrels, bumblebees, and the occasional stray leaf that wafts to the ground without permission.

    To give the dogs a hint about where we wanted them to patrol, we laid a path at the edge of the garden, near the fence (aka squirrel territory).

    Encourage Playdates

    Squirrel in garden ; Gardenista

    Above: My dogs are obsessed with one particular squirrel. We'll call him The Enemy. He taunts them from the fence, where he sits quietly and waits for them to notice. When they start barking, he runs back and forth across the fence and they run back and forth underneath. Everyone gets some exercise.

    Other playmates: butterflies, crows, and bees. I have a lot of plants that attract pollinators and that keeps the dogs busy.

    Create Comfort Zones

    larry and sticky in the garden looking at a squirrel

    Above: Dogs get hot fast when they run around; make sure there's a cool shady spot under a tree or an awning where they can lie down and recover from all that squirrel work.

    Water Bowls

    closeup of larry the papillon in dog proof garden

    Above: Put out a bowl of water. Preferably in or near the shady spot. 

    Make a Mini Dog Park

    larry and sticky play fetch papillons in dog proof garden

    Above: Designate a play area for fetch and chase games.  We have a grassy backyard where Larry and Sticky run figure eights around each other.

    Harmless Missiles

    larry and sticky play ball in the dog proof garden

    Above: Play fetch with a small, harmless object that won't destroy your prize peonies. Tiny tennis balls good for this purpose (if you have a small dog). If your dog is too big for tiny tennis balls, consider regular size tennis balls; they're not too destructive. A two-pack of small, Larry-size Beyond Tough Tennis Balls is $5.19 from PetCareRx.

    Plant a Sturdy Garden

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     Above: Photograph via Scott Lewis.

    Face it; there will be wrestling and rough housing; you don't want your dogs careening into your foxgloves because that will be the end of the foxgloves. Plant sturdy perennial grasses or dense edging plants like boxwood or low, resilient creepers—like, say, thyme—as a buffer zone between the dogs' play area and fragile flowers.

    Mind the Mulch

    larry papillon dog gallops across the dog proof garden

    Above: Mulch with mini chips that have soft edges and won't irritate paw pads.

    Fence Them In

    Michelle's picket fence ; Gardenista

    Above: Keep dogs safe by fencing the garden; they'll have room to roam and you won't have to worry they'll end up in the street or the neighbors' yards.

    Resign Yourself

    larry with a ball papillon dog proof garden

    Above: Dogs mark their territory. It's a thing they do. If you see your dog marking on plants or grass, use a hose to flood the area and dissipate the effects before plants turn brown or wilt. If you miss a spot, well, grass grows back.

    For more of our favorite strategies for living happily with pets, see:

    For more of Michelle's columns, see our archive of Domestic Dispatches.

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    Above the dunes on a blue bay in the whitewashed town of Paternoster, The Oystercatchers’ Haven is a sumptuous guest house with a mesmerizing view. In the bay below, humped granite rocks interrupt and define this stretch of South Africa’s West Coast.

    Photography by Marie Viljoen except where noted.

    paternoster-courtyard-facade-marie-viljoen-gardenista

    Above: When Wayne and Sandy Attrill built the Oystercatcher’s Haven in 2002 it was after collecting for years old doors and windows, anything that would give it “the feel of an Old House on the Hill,” wrote Wayne in an email.

    paternoster-courtyard-marie-viljoen-gardenista

    Above: High ceilings, polished concrete floors, gorgeous views, and high thread count sheets make the old house a sophisticated one.

    paternoster-lobster-boats-marie-viljoen-gardenista.

    Above: Colorful wooden fishing boats ride at anchor in the inlets as fisherman pursue rock lobsters, the catch that fuels this fishing town. Sea fog lifts and dissipates in blue days, and the beam of the nearby Cape Columbine lighthouse sweeps the sea at night. 

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    Above: The guest house is named for the distinctive black shorebird birds perching watchfully on the rocks below, and which mate for life. Their shrieking cry in flight is the sound of the southern African coast. 

    paternoster-view-marie-viljoen-gardenista

    Above: Once a quiet village of modest white-walled cottages, Paternoster experienced a tourist bonanza in the last decade.  The proliferation of restaurants that blossomed in response to the hungry and well-heeled arrivals still relies on rock lobsters and harders (mullet) to inspire its menus and satisfy the palates of visitors hungry for the flavors of the West Coast. Paternoster is now a beacon for discerning eaters.

    paternoster-mesembryanthemum-marie-viljoen-gardenista

    Above: Stepping straight from the deck of the Oystercatcher’s Haven to the dunes, a barefoot visitor will spot succulent Mesembryanthemums growing fatly in the sand. Later, lunching at Oep ve Koep, the restaurant founded by locavore chef Kobus van der Merwe, they may find the plant’s juicy leaves on their plate, or in a bowl of wild green broth. In spring the strandveld bristles with veldkool, the edible flower buds of Trachyandra species. Also on the menu.

    For more about Oep ve Koep, see my recent post at 66 Square Feet.

    paternoster-west-coast-spring-marie-viljoen-gardenista.

    Above: After a quiet season of winter rains, this entire coast erupts in a spring flower riot and for six weeks Paternoster is a boom town of local and international floral tourists.

    paternoster-cape-weaver-marie-viljoen-birdbath-gardenista.

    Above: Summers are hot and dry, and a birdbath beside the guest house’s deck lures a stream of grateful feathered visitors who splash and drink with abandon, including this Cape weaver.

    paternoster-sunet-vincent-mounier-marie-viljoen-gardenista.

    Above: Photograph by Vincent Mounier.

    The arresting courtyard of the guest house echoes its coastal surroundings. A flotsam and jetsam of found objects clusters on weathered wooden tables and shelves, the high tide chaos ordered by the right angles of the thick white walls. 

    paternoster-courtyard-facade-marie-viljoen-gardenista

    Above: Seaglass and pale statuary share quarters with indestructible succulents and water wise plants.

    paternoster-rock-kestrel-marie-viljoen-gardenista

    Above: In the courtyard another local bird, the agile rock kestrel is a regular visitor, clambering tamely amongst the gutters and in the thatch, on the hunt for starling nests. 

    paternoster-rock-kestrel-marie-viljoen-gardenista

    Above: And while the vast coastline lies waiting to be explored, the seduction of a private balcony offers the perfect spot to watch the water, sip the local wine, and wonder why you ever have to go home again.

    (The Oystercatcher was sold to new innkeepers, Rob and Sue-Anne Hammer in 2014; the Attrills still live in their home just behind it.)

    Traveling to South Africa? For more of our favorite local destinations, see:

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