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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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    We think crushed seashells should be on the short list for surfacing paths and driveways. After all, they’re natural, beautiful, functional, and remind us of the sea. Read on to find out if crushed seashell is the best hardscaping material for you. Shells are used as a paving material all over the world. In the US, seashell […]

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    If there’s a rock star garden designer worthy of a biopic, then Piet Oudolf is probably the one. Revered and admired, the Dutch landscaper has become famous the world over for his breathtaking projects: from from New York’s High Line to Hauser & Wirth’s sublime prairie garden in Somerset, England, to his private garden and […]

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    Your garden is like a stage set, and to keep the spotlight on the main players you need props to help them. Plant supports will prevent top-heavy flowers such peonies and floppy vines (looking at you, sweet peas) from toppling over in the garden. Here are 10 favorites to buy: We’ve rounded up 10 stylish […]

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    You have 12 days left to submit your garden design and home remodeling projects to the 2018 Considered Design Awards. Our contest is open to both professional and amateur gardeners and designers in separate categories, and open to readers in the US and Canada (excluding Quebec). Each of our category winners this year will receive […]

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    When a large family of several siblings started having children of their own, they wanted to vacation together in their beloved Cap Ferret, France, while retaining some semblance of normalcy for their individual families. “Their desire was to have a good time together,” said Paris architects Atelier du Pont, “and still have privacy and calm.” […]

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    Unlike freestanding grills which you can wheel around to avoid a downdraft if the wind changes while you are cooking, built-in grills are in a fixed position. From a design standpoint, the message they send says “outdoor kitchen” instead of “last-minute plans.” If you have sufficient space, an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill can […]

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  • 06/12/18--03:00: Gardening 101: Fleabane
  • Fleabane, Erigeron: “Dependable Daisy” Why is fleabane such a favorite? As a garden designer, I admittedly have a go-to list of plants curated over time and I reflexively consult it for any new project. Yes, this is to save time, yes to avoid reinventing the wheel, and mostly because I know can rely on these […]

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    Portugal’s gardens are a lesson in Europe’s long history of conquest. The Roman and Moorish invaders who descended centuries ago on the sunny Iberian peninsula brought a predilection for colorful tile courtyards, elaborate ironwork, and formal designs.  And yet Portuguese gardens look like no other landscapes in the world. The country’s climate is special. With […]

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    One downside of living in a big apartment building, as I do, is that most efforts at curb appeal are irrelevant: I can’t affix a charming house number to my door, and there would be no passersby to see it anyway. But had I the chance to choose a calling card of sorts for my […]

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  • 06/13/18--03:00: Gardening 101: Passionflower
  • Passionflower, Passiflora: Passion Vine Passion vine can solve many problems in a landscape. Like a strategically placed dab of concealer on the face, vigorous fast growing vines can quickly beautify a garden while mitigating almost any fault. Rusty chain link fence got you down? Tumbledown compost heap turned into an eyesore? Need to make the neighbors’ amateur […]

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    While I was in the midst of a major home construction project and feeling pretty good about some of my recent design decisions, the stonemason arrived and asked how I’d like the bluestone deck to look. “There are choices?” I asked. Until that moment I hadn’t realized there were a number of details to consider, […]

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    As much as I like working in my garden, what I really love is watching others work—squirrels furtively ferrying nuts to hideouts, bees on a tight schedule in the lemon tree, ants with plans. A comfortable garden bench is key to my surveillance efforts. Here are 10 wood garden benches (with deep seats and armrests) […]

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  • 06/14/18--03:00: Gardening 101: Dianthus
  • Pinks, Dianthus: “Savior of Sissinghurst” Consider the “vast tribe of pinks, or Dianthus,” as the legendary English plantswoman Vita Sackville-West did when planting out the next season’s flower beds in her Sissinghurst Castle gardens. “There are few plants more charming, traditional, or accommodating,” Sackville-West believed. “They make few demands. Sun-lovers, they like a well-drained and […]

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    Making sun tea is kind of like cheating. In the best way. It sounds fancy and tastes delicious, but requires less effort than you’d think. Our summer goddess sun tea recipe is from natural beauty expert Jessa Blades. It’s a bright, floral variation on the iced tea you’re probably already drinking. Sweetened with a brown sugar and […]

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    Small spaces can feel spacious with a few clever design ideas. This week the Remodelista investigated visual tricks to “move” walls, discovered simple furniture silhouettes, and found corner sinks to fit a tiny bath. See their favorite five small-space design ideas to steal: Dried Flowers “A magic thing about New York is the way that, […]

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  • 06/15/18--03:00: Gardening 101: Corydalis
  • Corydalis, Corydalis: “Bird in a Bush” Shaped like the head of a crested lark (according to the ancient Greeks), corydalis flowers have a flitting, temporary look. They come and go all summer but the evergreen, filigree foliage is an indication of the plant’s permanence: once it chooses your piece of wall, gravel or shady patch, […]

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    Staying in the city this weekend? Here are a few ways to escape and stay cool—plus more, on our radar. There’s only one week left to enter the Gardenista Considered Design Awards, for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Schoolhouse and a feature on Gardenista. Take a look at this year’s submissions here, […]

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    “Lilies as a group are very difficult,” wrote the late, great gardening writer Henry Mitchell. “What is especially difficult and infuriating about lilies is that they will grow like virtual weeds and bring on a great flush of triumph and, alas, hubris. Then they totally disappear or steadily decline, despite much activity and bustle with […]

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    Mild winters, cool summers, and flat stretches of landscape bordered by sandy shoreline characterize the growing conditions that gardeners in Denmark contend with. Wildly varied seasonal fluctuations in daylight (in Copenhagen the longest day of the year has 17 hours and 15 minutes of daylight and the shortest, in winter, only six hours and 44 […]

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    The idea of turning retired boat sails into sun shades, shower curtains, and other useful things initially blew me away. That was about five years ago. Many giant sail tote sightings later, the concept seemed gimmicky and questionable: did anyone need such unwieldy bags and were real sails actually being recycled?  That was until Francesca […]

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