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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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    In my rich garden fantasy life, I not only have a well-appointed kitchen garden from which I can harvest delicious food on demand, I also have a perfect al fresco dining spot for enjoying the bounty.

    The Vintage House Daylesford—which is in Victoria, Australia, and available to book for a luxurious stay—has just the kind of simple outdoor dining area where I envision hosting summer soirées and mid-afternoon lemonade breaks.

    Here's how to get the look:

    steal this look: outdoor dining | gardenista

    Above: A well-worn garden shed, light-colored gravel, farm table, and fire pit set the scene. Colorful spread of garden-grown fare not pictured but easily imagined. Photograph courtesy of Vintage House Daylesford

    steal this look: dining al fresco

    Above: This Small Fire Bowl is one of the best looking fire pits I've seen. Simple and unpretentious, the steel bowl comes with a removable tripod and holes in the base for air circulation; £99 from Toast. Living in the US? The fire bowl ships to the US for just £7.

    steal this look: dining al fresco

    Above: Pearly Quartz Pebbles would make a similarly light-colored gravel application. A bulk bag covers approximately 11 square meters and costs £222.75 from Retail Stone in the UK. See Pearly Quartz put to use in A London Terrace Gets a Grownup Update from del Buono Gazerwitz. Other landscaping options might include white marble chips or a light granite gravel. Get in touch with your local quarry to find similar gravel options in your area.

    steal this look: dining al fresco

    Above: Have a go at making your own reclaimed wood table by sourcing the individual elements. Like garden stone, reclaimed wood is best sourced close to home. Consult your local salvage yard for available boards and see Janet's post Slow Design: Restoration Timber on Remodelista for more sources. A pair of Flat Metal Table Legs is $169.99 from Blue Ridge Metal Works. The legs are 1/4 inches thick and 4 inches wide, and available in matte black, clear coat, or raw steel.

    steal this look: dining al fresco

    Above: Satisfied to let someone else do the hard work? Consider a pair of Dendro Co. Reclaimed Wood and Steel Benches ($140 each) and one of their Reclaimed Urban Wood Dining Tables, starting at $975.

    steal this look: dining al fresco | gardenista

    Above: Try Benjamin Moore's Silvery Blue to capture a color similar to the inside of those open shed doors. For more barely-there blues see Remodelista's post Palette & Paints: Pale Blues. Paint swatch courtesy of House Beautiful.

    Hoping to see the real thing? Book a stay at Vintage House Daylesford from $620/night.

    Want to steal other good ideas? See all of Remodelista's Steal This Look archive and scour our archive for Potting Sheds and accessories worth coveting.

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    It's a conundrum. With their refined palates, many urbanites would love nothing more than to grow fresh herbs for their own meals. But in tiny apartments where even a windowsill is considered prime real estate, this might not be possible. Enter Boskke Sky Planters.

    Thanks to Boskke, which derives its name from the Old English term "bosky" meaning "a small forest," it's possible to have fresh herbs and other plants all over the house. All you need is a little ceiling space. 

    Boskke Skyplanter in the kitchen, Gardenista

    Above: Hanging right overhead, Boskke planters could not be more user friendly. And I actually don't think they are limited to small spaces. I'm considering some for my large kitchen, where I think they would create a greater sense of intimacy.

    Boskke Skyplanter large and small, Gardenista

    Above: Boskke Sky Planters come in a variety of materials—from ceramic to recycled plastic—sizes, and colors. Shown here, their Ceramic Medium White (L); $59, and Ceramic Small White (R); $35. Each planter comes with a ceiling hook and mount. Ceiling Extensions are sold separately for $11.95 each.

    Boskke Skyplanter wall hanger, Gardenista

    Above: A Boskke Wall Mount is also available in Small and Large; $11.95 and $15.95.

    Boskke Skyplanter watering, Gardenista

    Above: Boskke's Recycled Sky Planter ($27.95) has a float stick to indicate water level. Eco-friendly and easy to use (just water from the top), Boskke Sky Planters have a unique reservoir system that feeds water gradually to the plant roots and minimizes moisture loss through evaporation or drainage. A medium-sized Sky Planter will typically hold enough water to last up to two weeks in a temperate climate. 

    Boskke Skyplanter secure mesh holder, Gardenista

    Above: Plants are held securely in place by a locking lip with mesh.

    Boskke Sky Planters, Gardenista

    Above: Not just for herbs, Sky Planters also work well with a variety of other plants. Boskke's website provides a detailed list of Top Plants for growing in the Sky Planters, along with helpful care instructions.

    Boskke outdoor Sky Planter, Gardenista

    Above: Though all Sky Planters can also be used outside, Boskke offers an Outdoor Planter for large plants. Available in black, white, and red; $37.95.

    Want more creative space-saving solutions? We've gathered some of our Favorite Hanging Planters. Over at Remodelista, artist Wendy Furman recently shared 10 Secrets for Living in a Small Space and Sarah Lonsdale revealed her Favorite Utensils for Small Space Cooking.

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    Part country store, part café, and part wedding and reception venue, Blueberry Café in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa was recently given a total overhaul by South African product and design studio, Anatomy Design.

    The redesign embraces the café's rural location, but adds a modern twist. Spearheaded by Andrea Kleinloog of Anatomy Design, the café has been given a new start—from interior design, to product design and development, to menu—with the help of stylist and product developer Mia Widlake, graphic designer Wendy Dixon, and chef Bianca Davies. Blueberry Café is now reopened,and the work of the team will continue to be unveiled as new products get released into the store and restaurant. 

    Photographs by Samantha Maber.

    Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: This glassed-in atrium was originally an open space between two barns. The area was enclosed to create a sheltered reception for guests entering the restaurant and retail sections of the project. Mia Widlake explains, "The glass creates a greenhouse-like effect from an aesthetic point of view as well as encouraging perfect conditions for plant growth." 

    Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: A wall of hanging planters. The team selected plants that are happy to grow indoors and require little water, such as philodendron. Edible plants, such as herbs, lettuces, and wild strawberries, have also been added to the wall-mounted planters and will be rotated according to the season. Indigenous olive trees in large wine barrel planters reflect the native plant life of the region and create shade in the reception seating area. The team envisions that as olive trees grow upward, they'll cast shadows and lend a soft dappled light to the space.

    Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: Custom-designed hanging plant baskets of heavy-gauge wire spot welded at the joints are suspended from the glass ceiling. The hope is that the plants will grow over the sides of their baskets and create a canopy of greenery above the reception area.

    Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: The hanging and wall-mounted planters were inspired by vintage vegetable baskets and put to use as light covers as well as containers for plants. The team chose copper-plated wire to lend a modern touch to the rustic setting. Read more about the clever design in this afternoon's DIY: Blueberry Café's Hanging Plant Baskets.

    Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: Inside the shop, walls are painted a bright bone white and steel elements stand out in black.

    Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: Tables and shelves are lined with pottery, wooden utensils, and other housewares, along with locally made comestibles.

    Shopper's Diary: Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: The reworked Blueberry Café logo emblazoned on a wooden crate inside the café.

    Blueberry Café | Gardenista

    Above: The café furniture was sourced from a variety of suppliers. The tabletops shown here were custom-made by a local KwaZulu-Natal Midlands carpentry company called Homewood and set onto standard cast iron café bases. The chairs are reproductions of the classic Tolix Marais A chair updated with wooden seats. 

    Above: The café is located on Nottingham Road in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. For more information and driving directions visit Blueberry Café.

    See A Whitewashed Villa in South Africa, Breezes Included for a residential spin on South African design on Remodelista.

    For more bistro-style seating options, see 10 Easy Pieces: Outdoor Bistro Table and Chair Sets

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    An outdoor utility sink is a luxury we could get used to. Here, we've gathered a collection of favorites. Some are supremely simple basins with drainage holes, others are the grand, built-in fixtures of a working garden. All are beautiful and handily located outdoors (or very nearby).

    Modern outdoor steel trough sink with black painted wall, Gardenista

    Above: A stainless steel trough sink looks sleek and modern against a black-painted wall. Photograph by Magnus Persson, courtesy of Jimmy Schönning Hem

    Red outdoor sink and shower with solar-powered hot water, Gardenista

    Above: Flow Environments of Ontario, Canada, designed this outdoor shower and washing station on an organic permaculture farm. Hot water is generated via a solar panel on the left. Photograph courtesy of Flow Environments.

    Vintage utility sink in Brooklyn home, Gardenista

    Above: An enamel basin and pitcher in the Greenpoint, Brooklyn, home of designers and brothers Evan and Oliver Haslegrave. Photograph by Jennifer Causey courtesy of Design Sponge.

    Outdoor Mediterranean concrete sink with olive branches, Gardenista

    Above: A stone sink full of olive branches channels a Mediterranean vibe. Photograph courtesy of Chapel Hill Magazine

    Black utility sink in Maine garden house, Gardenista

    Above: We've long admired this black sink set against warm wood in a Maine garden house by architect Carol Wilson. See others like it in Outdoors: Utility & Garden Sink Roundup. Photograph courtesy of Carol Wilson

    Gray marble or soapstone utility sink via Better Homes and Gardens, Gardenista

    Above: A gray marble or soapstone potting sink dotted with tiny topiaries. Photograph courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

    Outdoor utility sink in Netherlands, Gardenista

    Above: A utility sink in the Netherlands spotted on Vosges Paris. Photograph courtesy of VT Wonen.

    Galvanized steel basin as outdoor sink on Greek island, Gardenista

    Above: A galvanized steel basin-as-sink at a beach house on the Greek island of Serifos. Photograph courtesy of Marie Claire Maison

    Black and white beach house in Denmark with small outdoor kitchen, Gardenista

    Above: A tiny black-and-white outdoor kitchen in an updated Danish seaside cottage built in 1939. Photograph courtesy of Danish site Femina.

    Browse more of the useful and beautiful in our 10 Easy Pieces posts on Garden UrnsPotting Benches, and Freestanding Wood Stoves.

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  • 03/12/14--09:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Herb Markers
  • Growing up I was often given the chore of snipping herbs for the evening's dinner. Usually the task was simple (rosemary, mint, thyme), but then there was lemon thyme and purple basil and shiso leaves and sorrel. My limited knowledge of culinary herbs left me cold and confused in the garden for longer than necessary. Here are 10 different markers—in metal, ceramic, and wood—for those of us trying to remember what's what.

    Above: A set of 6 Herb Garden Labels made from white clay and colored glaze have individually hand printed names (rosemary, heirloom tomato, cilantro, oregano, basil, and parsley). Contact Paulova on Etsy for a custom order.

    Above: A set of 10 Aluminum Plant Labels that can be stuck into the ground or wrapped around a branch. Meant to be marked with a permanent felt pen and made of anodized aluminum, they are €8 from Manufactum in Germany.

    Above: Herb Garden Stakes are made from raw, high-fired porcelain stamped with herb and vegetable names: lavender, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, sage, basil, dill, oregano, mint, and thyme. Contact Pigeon Toe Ceramics for a custom order.

    Above: Zinc Hang Tags are made from galvanized metal that remains rust-free (but not patina-free) and can be labeled with a chalk or grease pencil; a set of six is $11.95 from Agrarian.

    Above: The Seed Dibber and Label Set from Labour and Wait includes a wooden plant dibber with 1-inch increments, two sets of aluminum plant labels, and a carbon garden pencil (our favorite part of the set) that reacts with the aluminum of the tags. The writing is weatherproof and can only be removed with an eraser; £11.50.

    Terracotta plant markers from Kaufmann Mercantile, Gardenista

    Above: These Terracotta Herb Markers are made in England and come as a set of eight labeled sage, basil, dill, chives, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, and parsley; $17.95 at Kaufmann Mercantile. (Currently out of stock but Sign Up to be notified when they're available.) 

    Above: We're giving away a set of these Copper Plant Markers—plus a $1,000 gift card—as part of our spring Pinterest Contest with Terrain. The copper plate of each label is slightly tilted for easier reading in the garden; $18 for a set of 10 at Terrain.

    Above: This set of 20 smooth-surfaced slate markers of different sizes and shapes comes with a slate pencil. Made from castoff pieces of slate from quarries in Wales, a Wood Box Set of Slate Labels is £49.50 ( or approximately $82.40 US) from Great English Outdoors.

    Above: Oak Plant Labels are made from FSC-certified English oak and come in a pack of four with a pencil; £5.50 for the small and £9.50 for the large from Objects of Use in London; currently sold out.

    Above: Agrarian's Set of 5 Oak Garden Markers are designed in the UK and made in Poland from FSC-certified oak with a natural oil finish; on sale for $5.99 (down from $12.95) at Williams-Sonoma.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 26, 2013 in Gardenista issue Belgium & Beyond.

    Looking for more garden accessories? Check out our favorite Japanese Garden Boots, these 5 Potting Shed Essentials, and, of course, The Ultimate Twine Holder.


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    One of my favorite elements of this week's Shopper's Diary of Blueberry Café in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa are the hanging plant baskets suspended from the glass atrium. They manage to be playful and whimsical without feeling twee. The plant hangers are modeled on vintage vegetable baskets and were commissioned by Anatomy Design for their redesign of the café. They've got me thinking about a DIY version, and I've rounded up the goods I think I'd need to recreate the look:

    Blueberry Cafe Planter Hangers | Gardenista

    Above: Hanging wire planters at the Blueberry Café. Photographs by Samantha Maber.

    Blueberry Café Hanging Planters | Gardenista

    Above: For starters, a 12-inch Traditional Coco Basket comes with a molded coco fiber liner that can easily be removed; $6.98 at Home Depot.

      Blueberry Café Hanging Planter | Gardenista

    Above: To recreate the coppery shine of the wall-mounted planter and copper lights hanging throughout the store, I'd consider using a metallic spray paint. An 11-ounce bottle of Rust-oleum's Metallic Spray, Copper is $15.05.

    Blueberry Café Hanging Planters | Gardenista

    Above: I prefer the clean lines of the wire hangers used in the Blueberry Café design, so I'd remove the chains from my hanging basket and replace them with 20-Gauge Hobby Wire; $12.28 at Tool King.

      Blueberry Cafe Hanging Planters | Gardenista

    Above: To complete the clean look, I'd use aluminum wire Crimping Sleeves to secure the wires to the basket; 50 for $5.99 on Amazon.

    Blueberry Café Hanging Planters | Gardenista

    Above: A Leatherman Super Tool is a handy multipurpose tool to have around for all sorts of craft projects and it includes a wire crimper tool; $72.97 at Tool King.

    Blueberry Café Hanging Planters | Gardenista

    Above: The café's hanging wire planters hold what appear to be small astilbe starts still in their nursery pots. Two of my favorite astilbes are the Astilbearendsii 'Peaches and Cream' and Astilbechinensis  'Serenade'; both $8.95 at Bluestone Perennials.

    What do you think? A passable hack or a DIY project with potential to go haywire?

    Not convinced that metallic spray paint would do the trick? See Izabella's recent Remodelista DIY: The $7 Pendant Light Redo featuring a faux brass finish.

    Prefer not to go the DIY route? Browse our featured Hanging Planters.

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    Sarah Raven, gardener, writer and TV personality, has it pretty good as far as I can tell. She lives in East Sussex, England, a mecca for gardeners, in a charming old dairy farm called Perch Hill where she has been gardening and hosting gardening courses for years. And if that isn't enough to make you jealous, two years ago she and her family spent eight years living at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, the family home of her husband Adam Nicolson, the grandson of the late great Vita Sackville-West. Their time there had a mission; both had books they wanted to write on the place and its history and much effort was spent trying to reconnect the property, now owned by the National Trust, to its agricultural roots.  

    I visited Sarah years ago at Perch Hill and felt completely transported strolling around her garden. Like Sarah, it's loaded with ideas. There are always projects on the go, and above all there's lots of color. She is not one to shy away from a vibrant palette. Her borders—whether they are designed to be productive or simply ornamental—are always artfully filled with color and texture combinations to covet. On my visit I learned that bold combinations, such as plums-with-orange-and-reds (one of Sarah's favorites), can be playful and sophisticated when done right. Photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo visited Perch Hill a few years ago in early June and captured the garden in its delightful allium phase. 

    Photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: A view down the garden path of the Oast garden at Perch Hill. The beds are loaded with allium, complemented by chartreuse and deep plum foliage. 

    The Oast garden, which is adjacent to the family's living quarters, was designed to be ornamental and is a rich mix of color and structure. Salvias, cardoons, angelica, brightly colored dahlias and zinnias, gladioli, and jungly foliage from cannas and banana are all there throughout the seasons. Sarah is a fan of alliums for their boldness, structure, long-lasting quality, and whimsy. Her favorites are Allium christophii, Allium schubertiii, and Allium 'Purple Sensation.' She mixes them with other May/June highlights such as Orlaya grandiflora, ostrich fern, and aquilegias. The trick to keep them coming back year after year is to not disturb them. Sarah is known to use the seed pods in arrangements, and for Christmas she sprays the dry seed pods silver to decorate her tree.

    Sarah's thriving garden (open to the public several times a year) and online shop are all about productive gardening. Her focus on vegetables, herbs, flowers, bulbs, and seeds is to teach students how to grow everything well and what to do with it all after you have.

    Coming later today: Ask The Expert: Sarah Raven's 10 Tips for Creating an Instant Kitchen Garden for specifics.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: Another view of the Oast garden shows the old garden wall and a striking hit of red from an Oriental poppy.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: Throughout the Oast garden, Sarah nestles in tall long pots that she had made and fills them with flowers that can be switched out through the season. Here she has red-toned Argyanthemum 'Maderia Red' and 'Cherry Red' contrasting with the purples of the allium—a classic Sarah color combination.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: A view looking back at the Oast house, where the family sleeps. To the left in the border, you can see a tall angelica starting to do its thing.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: Alliums merge with ostrich fern in the Oast garden.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: A view looking back at the viburnum hedge row through a haze of fennel foliage on the left and alliums and poppies on the right.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: Deep bronze-colored foliage of vigorous Clematis montana 'Elizabeth' covers a metal structure. It's one of the most fragrant of the montanas.

    Perch Hill Farm Garden Visit | Gardenista

    Above: A charming gate through the viburnum leads out to the meadow.

    Above: A map of Perch Hill Farm's location: Willingford Lane, Brightling, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5HP. Open to the public on select visiting days and by appointment. Visit Sarah Raven for more details.

    For more from East Sussex, see Steal This Look: East Sussex Children's Room and A Family-Friendly House in Sussex, both on Remodelista.

    For Sarah's tips on building a flower bouquet, see DIY: An Easter Bouquet with Sarah Raven.

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    As the framing of my new house neared completion and the roofers were about to arrive, I found myself staring at roofs in the area, wondering which type to choose.

    I like standing seam metal roofs, but there was the budget to keep in mind. At approximately half the cost, asphalt shingles were the wiser choice. After I made that decision, there were others: color, texture, contrast, and lifespan, all of which required additional thought and research. And in the end? I learned to appreciate asphalt, a material that's been around for more 100 years and continues to evolve.

    Hardscaping 101: Asphalt Shingles | Gardenista

    Above: CertainTeed's triple-laminated Presidential Shake asphalt shingle in charcoal at The Guideboat Company (formerly Mill Valley Lumber). Photograph by Ellen Jenkins.  

    What are asphalt shingles?

    Asphalt shingles (often called composition shingles) were developed in the United States at the turn of the 20th century and have become the country's most common roofing material. Made of either organic material or fiberglass sandwiched between asphalt and ceramic granules, they are lightweight and easy to install. GAF, Pabco, Malarkey, Owens Corning, CertainTeed, and IKO are some of the main producers. Most asphalt shingles come with warranties of 30 years or longer. Asphalt has certain advantages over other roofing materials such as metal, tile, slate, and wood shake because it's economical and relatively easy to install and maintain.

    What are the different types of asphalt shingles?

    There are two main types:

    • 3-tab shingles have two cutouts along the longer edge to give the appearance of three equal-sized shingles. They are, lighter, flatter, and cheaper than laminated shingles. While many roofing contractors recommend laminated shingles for their longevity, I liked the simplicity and uniformity of 3-tab shingles.  When it comes time for a new roof, 3-tab shingles have an advantage; a layer of new shingles can be added without removing the old.
    • Laminated shingles (also known as dimensional shingles or architectural shingles) have a heavier base mat to which two or three shingles of varying sizes are adhered (making them up to 50 percent heavier than 3-tabs). The thickness and texture can make them appear more like slate or wood shake. Laminated shingles usually have longer warranties and can withstand stronger winds than 3-tabs (and are more expensive). Of the many varieties of laminated shingles available, one of my favorites is a shadowed stair-step style offered by several manufacturers: GAF's Grand Sequoia and CertainTeed's Presidential Shake (Above) are examples.

      Hardscaping 101: Asphalt Shingles | Gardenista

    Above: Laminated charcoal-colored asphalt shingles on a house designed by Ken Linsteadt Architects

    What colors are available?

    After I zeroed in on my style and texture preferences, I had to choose a color. Colors range from varying shades of gray, brown, green, red, and blue. Most manufacturers offer lines with either high degrees of color contrast (sometimes called "high-definition") in which different color granules are applied to give the shingles a variegated look. I preferred the more even-toned lines, such as GAF's Natural Shadow shingles and the 3-tab lines from Pabco and Malarkey.  

    One color, Weathered Wood, reminiscent of an old wooden fence and offered by many manufacturers, is a neutral that works with almost any house color. Charcoal, a dark gray, is also a good neutral, although it may absorb more heat if high temperatures are an issue in your region. For a less-neutral look, Malarkey and Pabco offer red and green color options in their 3-tab lines, both of which work well with a cream or white house. Maple Red by Pabco is used on the buildings of one my favorite areas of San Francisco, the former military base called the Presidio. The roofs blend beautifully with the nearby Golden Gate Bridge.

    Hardscaping 101: Asphalt Shingles | Gardenista

    Above: A roof of 3-tab shingles in Maple Red on a San Francisco Presidio building. Photograph by Ellen Jenkins.

    Hardscaping 101: Asphalt Shingles | Gardenista

    Above: Laminated shingles in a Weathered Wood color in Mill Valley. Photograph by Ellen Jenkins.

    How much do asphalt roof shingles cost?

    The cost of asphalt shingles for a 2,000-square-foot house ranges from $1,000 to $4,000, with installation costs ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $9,000, depending on your area and the configuration and steepness of your roof. You also need to figure in the cost of removal of an old roof and any repairs to the roofing membrane. 


    Above: 3-tab shingles cover walls as well as a roof designed by DesignOffice, in Australia.  Photograph courtesy of DesignOffice.

    Asphalt Shingles Recap:


    • Economical.
    • Durable.
    • Relatively easy to install and repair.
    • Fire and wind resistant.


    • Shorter life expectancy than metal or tile.
    • Spent asphalt shingles often end up in landfills (though some recycling services are becoming available).
    • Should not be used on low-pitched roof (17% slope or less).
    • Extreme temperature changes can cause material to oxidize and become brittle.
    • Can be damaged by hail.

    Would you dare to use asphalt indoors? See it put to use as flooring in Rare Fruit: Design Distilled in Southern Germany on Remodelista.

    Are you choosing materials for a remodeling project? Browse our other Hardscaping 101 posts.

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    You've toiled to reap a bounty from your garden. Don't let it drop now. Equip yourself with a trug to collect and carry your harvest. We've rounded up our favorite wooden and woven garden trugs to do the job.

    What are our criteria? Light enough to cradle comfortably on your arm (or hang from a tree) for hands-free picking. Durable enough to withstand damp and dirt. Shallow and wide for collecting leafy vegetables, herbs, and flowers; or, deep and sturdy for collecting tree fruits, potatoes, or other items that need containment. And, attractive enough to display your harvest indoors or serve double duty as a countertop holder for table linens or other kitchen essentials after the work is done. 


    Wood Garden Trug from Kaufmann Mercantile, Gardenista

    Above: The Rothers Garden Trug is hand made by Thomas Smith in East Sussex, England. This version is made of weatherproof Latvian and Finnish birch plywood fastened with durable (and attractive) copper tacks and nails; $119 at Kaufmann Mercantile. 

    Wondering about its origins? Michelle demystifies the Classic Sussex Garden Trug and offers British-based sources. 

    Myrtlewood Garden Trug, Gardenista

    Above: Made in the US by a former shipbuilder, the Myrtlewood Garden Trug features copper hardware and measures 11 by 19 inches; $118 at Terrain.

    Maine Garden Hod, Gardenista

    Above: Modeled after traditional Maine clam hods used to gather and rinse shellfish, the Pike's Original Maine Garden Hod is designed for harvesting and washing plants, fruits, and vegetables (and, rumored to be used for collecting vegetables from the White House Garden). Made in the US with an oak handle and food-grade PVC-coated wire body, it measures 19 inches in length; $44.95 at Maine Garden Products.

    Wooden Garden Trug, Gardenista

    Above: The Geoffrey Fisher Bespoke Trug is made in Buckinghamshire, England of European redwood. Finished with food-safe eggshell paint, the 17.5-by-9.5-by-5-inch trug features a movable and removable handle; on sale for $59.99 (down from $99.95) at Williams-Sonoma. 


    Wood and wire garden collecting basket from Williams-Sonoma, Gardenista

    Above: The wood-and-wire Gathering Basket allows dirt and debris to fall through, and at 19 inches long it can accommodate longer vegetables; $39.95 at Williams-Sonoma.


    Felicity Irons Garden Trug, Gardenista

    Above: Felicity Irons' Garden Trug is woven of British freshwater rush. The leather-handled basket measures 19.5 by 9 inches; £95 at David Mellor Design.

    Gathering Basket, Gardenista

    Above: Hand woven in southern Ohio, the Weathered Westpy Gathering Basket measures 24 by 14 by 5 inches. It's $84.90 at Bev's Baskets. 

    Peterboro Basket Gardening Caddy from Modest Wanderer, Gardenista

    Above: The Peterboro Basket Gardening Caddy is made in the US of American-grown Appalachian white ash and finished with solid brass nails. Available in cherry or honey finishes for $35 from Modest Wanderer & Co.

    Sea grass garden baskets from Barebones, Gardenista

    Above: Individually woven from natural sea grass, a set of three leather-handled Harvest Baskets is $49.99 from Barebones.

    Harvest Basket with Hook Gardensita

    Above: Perfect for gathering tree fruit, the 23.5-inch Harvest Basket features a rope and hook to hang from a tree or fence while you pick and load; $19.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 4, 2013 in Gardenista issue Take My Zucchini Please.

    Now, polish your skills with Picking Fruit the Easy Way, and find something to harvest in 10 Easy Pieces: U-Pick Orchards.

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    British gardening and cookery writer Sarah Raven is fortunate in being scientific as well as artistic. She is also a busy person who likes to eat so her kitchen garden is organized in a way that gives maximum output while avoiding the look of a messy market garden. Quite the opposite. She shares her logical yet aesthetic ideas with us from East Sussex. Seeds are available in the UK from Sarah Raven; for US gardeners, good sources are Johnny's Seeds and Baker Creek:

    Photographs by Jonathan Buckley except where noted.

    Sarah Raven's kitchen garden, photograph: Jonathan Buckley. Gardenista

    Above: The vegetable bank at Perch Hill, the home Sarah Raven shares with writer Adam Nicolson and their family. Shown here, from the background to the foreground: lime green clouds of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii (£7.95); Tulipa 'Gentle Giants'; Mustard 'Red Frills' (£1.95 for 250 seeds); Mustard 'Red Giant' (£1.95 for 250 seeds) mixed with Tulipa 'Compassion'. Tulip bulbs are available from Sarah's shop in autumn.

    Following are Sarah's top ten tips for bounty, ease, and good looks in your kitchen garden:

    1. Grow as much of what you like as possible. Clear as big a space as you can and think about maximum productivity per square inch.

    2. Skip the fancy frills. A vegetable patch divided by mini hedges, potager-style, means more work and less food. Rows of boxwood will encourage slugs and snails, and perennial weeds tangle themselves around the roots. Instead, try edible edging: rows of hardy alpine strawberries and nasturtiums will do the trick.

    Sarah Raven's kitchen garden: Jonathan Buckley photos. Gardenista

    3. Combine ornamentals and edibles. In an unexpected partnership (Above), Mustard 'Red Giant' mixes with Tulipa 'Compassion'. Bonus tip: green-flowered tulips are more perennial than the standard colored ones.

    Sarah Raven's Kitchen Garden_Photo by Jonathan Buckley. Gardenista

    4. Layer. Sarah planted this area (Above) near the drive more than a decade ago, greatly reducing labor while keeping the bed full over a long period. Perennial artichokes mix with bulbs and tubers in three layers: dahlias in trenches at the lowest level; Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation' (£8.50 for three plants) plus earlier and later allium varieties in the middle level; artichokes at the top level. The artichokes shown here are a mixture of 'Green Globe', Artichoke 'Violet de Provence' (£1.95 for 30 seeds), and Artichoke 'Gros Vert de Laon' (£1.95 for 30 seeds). 

    Sarah Raven Kitchen Garden, photo Jonathan Buckley. Gardenista

    5. Grow edible flowers all year. The following can all be harvested in the UK in winter and early spring: Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis 'Indian Prince', Above, £1.95 for 125 seeds), viola, polyanthus and primula. Conversely, vegetables such as kale are not just for eating. Green and purple kale look great in flower arrangements and are a good foil for flowers in an ornamental border.

    N.B.: For further tips on kale in flower arrangements, see Required Reading: The Surprising Life of Constance Spry.

    Sarah Raven's Kitchen Garden: Jonathan Buckley photos. Gardenista

    6. Plant the unusual. Planting heirloom or heritage varieties in unusual colors—including the purple French Bean 'Blauhilde' (£1.95 for 25 seeds) and the yellow 'Rocquencourt'—is proof to the world that you've grown them yourself. As is the size: greengrocers and supermarkets providing mainstream produce often sell vegetables harvested after they have grown too big. Beans taste better when they are younger and smaller and, it goes without saying, fresher.

    Sarah Raven's Kitchen Garden_Photo by Jonathan Buckley. Gardenista

    7. Sow heavy croppers. Tomatoes, zucchini, and beans all produce abundantly. Salad leaves (Above) also crop more heavily if you cut and come again. Start cutting non-hearting lettuce such as Mizuna or Oak Leaf lettuce at one end of a row and by the time you get to the other end, you can start again. Harvest by twisting off leaves around the edges: don't bulldoze the whole plant.

    8. Avoid gluts. Too much, then too little, leaves bald patches in the garden. Successional sowing of salad leaves every few weeks, for instance, will ease this pattern of feast or famine. Succession planting can also be applied to beans and peas.

    Sarah Raven's Kitchen Garden_Photo by Jonathan Buckley. Gardenista

    9. Build good bones. Raise your vegetable patch to another level in the middle as well as around the edges. Teepees, arches, and walkways in Sarah's small (and private) kitchen garden at Sissinghurst greatly increase the growing space in a smallish area. They can be covered in sweetpeas followed by the cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens) or morning glory. A sturdy arch will support squashes and zucchini.

    Sarah Raven's Kitchen Garden: Photo Jonathan Buckley. Gardenista

    10. Don't grow everything. Tricky plants such as celery are best bought, as are mainstream vegetables including cabbage, parsnips, and main crop potatoes. This still leaves plenty to choose from as Sarah Raven (Above) demonstrates.

    For Sarah's expertise on flowers, see DIY: An Easter Bouquet with Sarah Raven. And earlier today: a full tour of Sarah's Perch Hill Farm.

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    When contemporary art collectors Marlies and Jo Eyck purchased the 17th century Wijlre Castle in the Netherlands, they got sprawling formal gardens—and a dilapidated garden building. The structure, previously used as a toolshed, orchid room, and henhouse, needed to be rebuilt. The Eycks saw an opportunity: to add a gallery and exhibit space. But historical preservation rules precluded a complete change of use. The new building became a henhouse, greenhouse, tool shed, and art gallery. 

    Photography courtesy of Wiel Arets Architects

    Hedge House by Wiel Arts Architects ; Gardenista

    Above: The Eycks found willing partners in Wiel Arets Architects, who embraced their clients' notion that art is best served alongside the trappings of everyday life. In the so-called Hedge House, "everyday life" exists on the top floor, while the gallery and lounge space are carved out beneath. At nearly 6,000 square feet, the new building does not extend past the footprint of the prior dilapidated structure. Despite their avid love for art, the couple may love the garden even more: as Jo Eyck toldThe New York Times, in her garden, "Never would a tree be sacrificed to make a place for art."

    Hedge House Wiel Arts Architects ; Gardenista

    Above: Made of concrete and aluminum-framed glass, the building rises only a single story above the ground, barely exceeding the height of the surrounding hedges.

    Modern glass and concrete hen house in Netherlands, Gardenista

    Above: Perhaps the most beautiful henhouse we've ever seen: one wall of a triangular room opens onto a chicken run, and the other opens toward a garden room.

    Modern hen house and orchid room in Netherlands, Gardenista

    Above: Adjacent to the henhouse is one of two orchid rooms; both have glass ceilings.

    Modern orchid greenhouse in Netherlands, Gardenista

    Above: One orchid room has a table for planning and lounging.

    Modern concrete green room in Netherlands, Gardenista

    Above: A garden room has a sink and potting bench spanning the width of the room. 

    Modern concrete tool shed in Netherlands, Gardenista

    Above: The all-concrete toolshed.

    Art gallery with lofted ceilings and view of greenhouse, Gardenista

    Above: The art gallery has lofted ceilings and a view of the greenhouse.

    Hedge House Wiel Arts Architects Netherlands ; Gardenista

    Above: In the distance, the castle has a moat.

    Hedge House Wiel Arts Architects ; Gardenista

    Above: At the edge of the moat, the garden has fancifully clipped topiary hedges and shrubs.

    Convinced by concrete? See it in an interior application in Remodeling 101: Concrete Countertops on Remodelista.

    See more modern garden spaces in Steal This Look: A Silvery Blue Palette in Austin, TXA Bird Feeder Inspired by a Modern Masterpiece, and To Lawn or Not to Lawn? With Kids, That is the Question.

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    Foraging for wild edibles has reached a level of near hysteria. The exciting hunt for fresh, local sustainable food that the earth offers up has captured the imagination of many. We are foragers by nature, and reconnecting with what is around us that can be eaten is nothing new. But most of us lack the knowledge required to decipher what can and cannot be eaten and what to do with it. A Canadian web series that hit the scene last August, In the Weeds TV, showcases the bounty that can be found in city and country and introduces us to the experts who have made it their life's work to know what to look for and what to avoid. 

    Photographs courtesy of In the Weeds.

    in the weeds tv series | gardenista

    Above: Fresh foraged sumac, purslane, beach pea flowers, sea arugula, oyster leaf, sassafras, sedum, milkweed pods, and flowers.

    Canada was never known for its food, but over the past decade or so it has become the country to watch for innovative cooking that honors its heritage. Young Canadian chefs are finally getting the attention they deserve, cities like Toronto are buzzing with talent, and new restaurants open weekly, each one different enough from the last to merit a try.  

    in the weeds tv series | gardenista

    Above: An edible milkweed pod.

    Abby Ainsworth is the founder of In the Weeds TV, and as a Canadian she has made it her mission to show the world what Canada has to offer. A background in both film and restaurants—she worked for the industry leader of the local food movement chef Jamie Kennedy—gave her the chops to create a food-based Web series. 

    in the weeds tv series | gardenista

    Above: Dyson Forbes of Forbes Wild Foods gathers pheasant back mushrooms.

    in the weeds tv series | gardenista

    Above: Mulberry Vincotto by Chef Colin Moise.

    Foragers are protective by nature, but with a promise not to share specifics on their locales, Ainsworth has won them over. Her first season of short films is a fun romp with the chefs and foragers showing us the edible delights from the common mulberry, to chokecherries, to exotic mushrooms. They are visual appealing, informative, and leave you wanting more—and hungry for a meal. Fortunately, she shares the recipes with us on the In the Weeds website. Grab yourself a locally brewed brew and have a watch. I'm already looking forward to the next season. 

    in the weeds tv series | gardenista

    Above: Roasted Newfoundland partridge breast with anise roots and wild field garlic by Chef Colin Moise.

    in the weeds tv series | gardenista

    Above: Packaged and bagged foraged finds.

    Curious to see what else Canada has to offer? See Restaurant as DIY Gallery: l'Ouvrier in Toronto on Remodelista. 

    Haven't gotten your wildcrafting fix? See Feral Apples and Wild Mushrooms: Wildcrafting with Andrea Gentl

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    Do you love the concept of herbal medicine but find yourself paralyzed in the Whole Foods wellness department trying to make sense of all the options? Maybe you even have a collection in your medicine cabinet of "Natural This" and "Certified Organic Supplement That." Me too. Until I found Portland Apothecary.

    Photographs by Elie Barausky and Micah Fischer.

    Portland Apothecary | Gardenista  

    Above: Portland Apothecary is an online shop based in Oregon that sells such products as Cardamom and Fennel Digestive Bitters ($15), Spruce and Blood Orange Soap ($9), and an herbal blend of Nourish Tea ($15).

    In addition to individual products, the apothecary also sells seasonal collections of wellness products. Based on the model of Community Supported Agriculture (remember those CSA boxes of seasonal produce that arrive weekly on your doorstep?), the apothecary sells Community Supported Herbalism (CSH) collections that co-owners Elie Barausky and Kristen Dilley choose for you. 

    How do they choose the items in the seasonal collections? Loosely following the lead of traditional Chinese medicine—in which every season has an association with a specific body system—Barausky (educated in native plant herbalism) and Dilley (a licensed acupuncturist) offer small batch, handmade medicinals that promote preventative "seasonal healthcare." 

    Spring is associated with the liver and gallbladder organs, tendons, the color green, the wind, sour tastes, and the emotion of anger, so the Spring Share ($140) includes remedies to help the body stay healthy and strong throughout this period. The spring share includes items such as a Hawthorne, Peony and Rose Elixir (to promote a calm heart and steady mind); Nourish Tea filled with mineral-dense herbs such as nettle, red clover and oat tops; and Grapefruit and Geranium Cleansing Salt Scrub (to renew, circulate, and uplift). 

    Portland Apothecary | Gardenista

    Above: Elie blends and measures Nourish Tea, her favorite daily tonic.

    Portland Apothecary | Gardenista

    Above: Kristen labels and prepares ritual misters, which will be filled with a blend of steam-distilled essential oils and flower essences. "We love aromatherapy and find these remedies an easy way to fill our days with intention and magic," says Elie.

    Portland Apothecary | Gardenista

    Above: Elie and Kristen in their light-filled Portland Apothecary studio. They keep a large collection of herb and gardening books nearby for research and inspiration.

    Portland Apothecary | Gardenista

    Above: All Portland Apothecary soap is cold-processed and made with calendula-infused olive oil and healing botanicals like bamboo charcoal (to detoxify) and kelp (to moisturize). Each batch cures for more than a month to ensure a mild soap suitable for all skin types.

    Planning a trip to Portland? Browse the posts in Remodelista's Portland City Guide.

    Inspired to start a new skin care regimen? See our Health & Beauty posts.

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    This week, stories of gardeners lucky enough to have fresh vegetables growing outside their kitchen doors made us hungry. Make that ravenous.

    Lindsey welcomed us into the world's prettiest kitchen garden and Kendra told us how it got to looking so good. Meanwhile, Justine proved that all we need is a little ceiling space to grow edibles indoors. 

    See more of what has caught our eye this week, below:

    Spring Picnic | Gardenista

    Garden Sinks | Gardenista

    Lila B's | Gardenista

    Blueberry Cafe | Gardenista

    For more from this week on Gardenista, see Mr. McGregor's Garden and don't forget to take a look at Kitchen Composition on Remodelista (for deconstructed kitchen layouts and the dish on the best kitchen essentials).

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    Hiding a limp bundle of fresh rosemary or thyme in the back of the crisper drawer? I call this pure sacrilege. Herbs should be celebrated both for their culinary usefulness and for their beauty.

    With aesthetics and ease in mind, our friends at The Chalkboard  consulted Portland, Oregon-based florist Riley Messina of Erba Studio. It's no surprise that Riley, an admirer of woven herbs in flower arrangements, also came up with clever storage tips for culinary herbs. 

    Photographs by Parker Fitzgerald.

    Gardenista storing fresh herbs from The Chalkboard

    1. Bouquet-style: Riley suggests tying together several small bottles—each can hold one type of herb—to create a single centerpiece. Add water and fresh herbs to each vessel.

    Gardenista herbal bouquet from The Chalkboard

    2. Wrapped: Cut the stems of the herbs and wrap them in a damp paper towel and cloth. Tie the bundle together with twine and store in a cool place or in the refrigerator. 

    Gardenista store dried herbs The Chalkboard

    3. Frozen: Your glass of Jameson just got classier. Riley recommends making ice cubes by adding water to fill 1/4 of an ice cube mold, then adding the herb of your choice and letting it freeze. Repeat this process until the cube is complete. "Herbs will be encased in the cube, adding beauty and flavor to your cocktails," she says, For added color, see our own DIY: Rose Petal Ice Cubes.

    Gardenista storing herbs in salt from The Chalkboard Mag

    4. Salted: Cover the bottom of an airtight glass jar with a thick layer of salt. Add a single type of herb and then another light layer of salt. Continue until the container is full, making sure it is topped with a thick layer of salt. Close the jar and store in a cool, dark place.

    Gardenista storing herbs pinch pots

    5. Sized and Bundled: To make cooking easier, Riley suggests measuring out the amount of herbs you need for a recipe to fill a few small bottles, jars or pots, which she says saves time and "looks lovely in the kitchen."

    Care to stay a bit longer in the Pacific Northwest? Visit The Woodsman Tavern and Market in Portland, OR.

    Planning to make a soup this weekend? Consider flavoring it with a Bouquet Garni. Growing your own kitchen herbs? Learn How to Roots Herbs in Water.

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    When I was a girl and slept at my grandmother's house, we stayed up to watch John Wayne movies. This was how, at an impressionable age and a very late hour, I happened for the first time to see Ireland.

    Or, rather, an idea of Ireland. In The Quiet Man, Wayne played an Irish prizefighter. My grandmother and I watched him punch his way through an implausibly Technicolor-green village, past low-slung cottages and over a stone bridge, to woo red-haired Maureen O'Hara. There were thatched roofs and rolling hills and rocky backdrops everywhere and, if I live to be a hundred, this will still be my version of Ireland.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day—and what's your version of Ireland? Tell us in the comment section below.

    Above: Imagine how excited I was to learn, the other day, that there exists a real-life facsimile of my childhood memory. The gardener's cottage near Glenveagh Castle in County Donegal is part of a national park, and if you visit, you may peer over the low stone wall. Or you can create your own iconic cottage garden, in any temperate climate; start with a patch of rosy-leafed stonecrop. Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut' ($9.95 at Bluestone Perennials) would be my choice.

    Above: If you have seen The Quiet Man, it will have occurred to you by now that the gardener's cottage looks nothing like the movie. This illustrates an important point: The gardens we love are more about feelings than facts. When I look at the photo above, via Positively Purple, I am transported back to my grandmother's sofa, to snack on apple slices she peeled with the methodical zeal of a chain-smoker. 

    Above: To create the color scheme of the cottage exterior, paint the trim a bright blue with dark undertones, to complement the range of pinks and purples you are about to strew about the informal, artfully messy flower beds. Pair Farrow & Ball's Blue Ground with a warm white, such as Slipper Satin.

    Above: Nothing telegraphs "cottage garden" faster than a cedar picket gate with a simple round-top design. For information and pricing, see Grange Fencing.

    Above: A hand-finished Strap Hinge from Rocky Mountain Hardware is $479 at Prowell Woodworks; install it after you paint the gate.

    Above: When buying boxwood, you can spend a lot, or a little. If you are planning to edge the entire garden, an economical choice is the common Buxus 'Green Velvet' (available at your local nursery, or for $12.95 from Wayside Gardens). The best way to shape this dense plant is to clip by hand, reaching inside the foliage to cut back individual stems. The technique allows air to circulate, foiling fungal diseases that can make leaves look powdery and lifeless. Photograph via Ikea.

    Above: The reason irises look so good corralled behind a prim border of boxwood is because of contrast—of the leaves' shapes, colors, and textures. Also, because they're irises. They look good almost anywhere, anytime, if you ask me. Photograph by WKnight94.

    Above: While you're trying to decide whether you want to complement the blue trim or clash with it (it is, after all, a cottage garden), Schreiner's Gardens offers a choice of hundreds of irises. Photograph by WKnight94.

    Above: It's not a cottage garden without some sort of folly. Twin urns above the entry are an unexpected surprise; a lightweight fiberglass Black Urn is $60 at Jamali.

    Above: The best climbing roses have flexible stems, allowing you to train them into all sorts of romantic contortions. A David Austin rose named the Generous Gardener ($25.95) has glossy, dark leaves and a strong, musky fragrance. Image via Lisa Cox Designs.

    Above: A climbing rose (or some netting) will provide good support for Clematis 'Jackmanii' ($17.50 at Eden Brothers). Photograph via Parker County Master Gardeners.

    Above: Topiaries and tulips, via Katanava, and there's Maureen O'Hara peeking out from behind the lace curtain.

    Above: A simple but substantial Door Pull from P.E. Guerin; contact the company to order. (N.B.: We've also admired the Vervloet Door Pull.)

    Above: Across the road, but still visible from the gardener's cottage, a traditional cottage garden mix of ornamental and edible plants includes an espaliered apple tree (don't let its label fool you); 6x1 Espaliered Apple Tree, with six kinds of apples, is $79.95 at Raintree Nursery. Image via Ireland for Free.

    For another sprawling cottage garden, see Vita's Sunset Garden.

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    Do four-leaf clovers exist? Have you ever found one? We could use a little luck around here, so in honor of St. Patrick's Day we'll be looking. In the meantime, we are happy to report that this week we'll be featuring other treasures we've discovered.

    At the end of the rainbow is Ireland's County Galway; there we'll visit a pair of 19th-century stone cottages transformed into modern guest quarters in a seaside landscape. Also coming this week: an exclusive look at a no-fail black-and-gray paint palette for your house facade; a roundup of some (surprising!) emerald green gardens, and everything you ever wanted to know about artificial turf but were afraid to ask.

    N.B.: Table of Contents is a new Monday column to fill you in on what's coming up every week on Gardenista.

    Table of Contents In the Clover ; Gardenista


    Galway Ireland Stone Cottages by the Sea ; Gardenista

    Above: In County Galway, a cottage and a shed dating to the early 1800s sit on seven acres of land at the edge of the sea. In an Architect Visit later today, Meredith will look at how Dublin-based Peter Legge Associates updated the derelict stone buildings to suit a retired couple from Dublin who needed guest quarters for visiting children and grandchildren. Hint: indoor-outdoor living is involved. Photograph by Sean and Yvette.


    Jessica Helgerson Library House Patio Steal This Look ; Gardenista

    Above: This week's Steal This Look will reveal all the details—including the paint colors on the house, trim, and door—that you need to recreate designer Jessica Helgerson's perfect backyard patio. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour.


    Cotton thistle by Peter Roan ; Gardenista

    Above: Some thistles are invasive, yes, but others are your friend. Justine will give us the lowdown in 5 Favorites: Thistles. Photograph by Peter Roan.


    Artificial turf by Conservation Grass ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Conservation Grass.

    Ellen will give us an exclusive look at the good, the bad, and the ugly (plus the price) of modern artificial turf.


    Backyard writer's shed with woodburning stove ; Gardenista

    Above: Erin will visit a writer's shed nice enough to inspire anybody to write the Great American Novel. Photograph by Wai Ming Ng.

    4 leaf clover by Joe Papp ; Gardenista

    Above: Here's proof that four-leaf clovers exist. They are in fact mutations of three-leafed clovers and are often evident among white clover plants. If you want to grow your own, scatter some New Zealand White Clover seeds ($4.65 a packet from Johnny's Seeds). Word is that five-leaved clover exists too. (Post a photo in the comments section if you've found evidence.) Photograph by Joe Papp.

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    For nearly 40 years, a retired couple from Dublin enjoyed a second home on the west coast of Ireland, about an hour's drive from Galway. As visiting children and grandchildren became a constant presence, the couple decided to expand the living quarters there.

    Rather than add on to their existing house, the couple chose, with Dublin-based Peter Legge Associates, to renovate a pair of dilapidated stone cottages located elsewhere on the property. Over time, the harsh landscape had destroyed the original structures—a house and animal shed dating from the early 1800s—but the landscape would also be a defining characteristic of the new project.

    N.B.: The three-bedroom house is available for rent when not in use; contact Dolanstown for more information. Read more about the home on ArchDaily and Architects + Artisans.

    Photography by Sean and Yvette.

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: The architect and owners wanted to retain the essential character of the two structures by maintaining them as two separate buildings—even though they are only three meters apart. Using stone from the property, they rebuilt on the original footprints and linked the two buildings with an all-glass stairway.

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: The clients wanted the peaceful landscape incorporated into the design, and the dramatic changes in weather to be on display from within. 

    One glazed wall of the ocean-facing dining room opens completely, allowing the kitchen, dining room, and outdoor terrace to operate as one.

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: Locals report that the last resident of the home was a Mr. Folan, who lived at the site until the 1980s. When the roof of the shed caved in, he reportedly let the animals join him inside the house.

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: The seven-acre long, narrow plot running from the main road to the sea is a conventional shape for properties in this part of Ireland.

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: The architects carefully reused the existing stonework, a mix of rocks dating from the pre-Cambrian era. They added a rainscreen on the outer face for extra protection against water accumulation. 

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: The glass stairwell serves as both the main entryway and the connection between the two cottages. It was intended to be the only visible modern detail on the exterior, so other contemporary updates like gutters and drain pipes are hidden beneath the stonework and slate roof.

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: A cantilevered concrete and steel stair inside the entryway contrasts with a wall of rough-hewn stone. 

    Restored Stone Cottages in Galway by Peter Legge, Gardenista

    Above: Through the cottage's skylights and walls of glass, residents can see the Twelve Pins mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, and many miles of green dotted with rock and collapsed enclosures.

    Keep exploring Ireland in Hike of the Week: Diamond Hill in Ireland, Wild Sheep and Goats Included, and on Remodelista, A Baronial Country House in County Cork

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  • 03/17/14--09:00: Field Guide: Hornbeam
  • Hornbeam, Carpinus: "The Hedge of Dreams"

    “Build it, and they will come,” the voices told Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, prompting him to make an entire baseball stadium from scratch on his Iowa farm. While we'd be loath to look out the window to find the Chicago Black Sox trampling the lawn, it turns out the same formula works for hornbeam: plant it, and a hedge will come. A beautiful hedge. Hornbeam, a small hardwood tree that can grow to be 30 feet tall (or happily pruned to make a perfect border) looks beautiful in any season. 

    hornbeam shrub and hedges ; Gardenista Field Guide

    Above: In plant classifications, the hornbeam tree is often mistaken for a shrub, though in fact, it belongs to the same family as the hazelnut tree and yields wrinkly brown nuts (that are not edible).


    • Perennial tree with gray bark
    • Hardy from zones 3 to 9
    • Bright green leaves turn rust-colored in winter


    • Plant in early fall
    • Seedlings need light shade; subsequently transplant it to partial or full sun
    • Water regularly during dry seasons

    Hornbeam trees by Tom Stuart-Smith ; Gardenista

    Above: Hornbeam shrubs delineate a lawn in a minimal landscape by Tom Stuart-Smith. Photograph by Barbara Baker.

    The leaves of a hornbeam hedge, or a standalone hornbeam tree, are a bright shade of green in the spring and summer. But hornbeam is the most stunning as cold weather approaches. The leaves turn a delicate shade of rust and crisp in the autumn sun. Then, best of all, their serrated and slightly raised edges catch snowflakes so each leaf is finely enameled with white powder. With hornbeam, there is a new surprise every season always better than the last.

    Hornbeam carpinus tree seeds ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Wikipedia.

    Growing hornbeam from seeds is an investment in the future of your garden. First, plant in 5-inch pots with two seeds per pot and cover with loamy soil mix. Layer with compost, and water when the compost feels dry. Young hornbeam seedlings do best in partial shade outdoors. Seedlings will germinate in the spring, and after a season, can be transplanted to a brighter area of the garden (spaced 25 feet apart). It takes several years for hornbeams to grow together into a hedge, but after they do, you can prune them like a fancy English garden or leave them be for a luscious and shady border.

    Read More:

    hornbeam posts on Gardenista

    For more of our Field Guide plants, see Crocus: The Early Riser and Carrots: The Honey Underground.

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    The Brits accessorize their gardens like no one else and their latest garden must-have is a handcrafted, luxury Sunbeam Jackie Parasol, created by artist couple Charlie and Katy Napier in their 12th century grain store studio in Cornwall. Combining their backgrounds in fine art, sculpture, and costume design, the couple uses antique, vintage and designer fabrics to create these individual works of art, which have been known to pop up like exotic butterflies across the UK during festival season—from Glastonbury to Bestival.

    Closer to home, those who are interested in having a Sunbeam Jackie parasol in their own garden can either purchase one from the existing collection of parasols available through the online shop or by bespoke commission. Prices start from £1,450.

    Photographs by Charlie Napier unless othwerise noted. 

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: A variety of Sunbeam Jackie's parasols lined up against a garden wall sit like ladies in waiting in their finery. The Napiers source their fabrics from a network of specialist textile dealers and create a unique fabric palette according to client preference. 

    “Working closely with each client we get to know them and their reasons for buying a Sunbeam Jackie parasol,” Charlie Napier says. “One client bought a parasol for each one of her four children. The fabrics for each parasol were carefully selected by the client to represent each child and now the parasols exist in her garden not only as beautiful functional objects, but also as a manifestation of her family.” 

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: Commissioned for a summer party, the Scarlet Pimpernel was made from a custom-dyed cotton combined with a floral fabric from the 1950s and is 2 meters in diameter. Photograph by Tim Mercer.

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: The Madame Butterfly is 2 meters in diameter and made from a combination of silks, floral satinized cottons and a rare butterfly print linen. Another multi-patterned parasol, The Tangerine Dream, is available online for £1,450.

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: The Peacock of Port Isaac was commisioned for a wedding ceremony in Cornwall and now sits in the garden of the newlyweds as a souvenir of the wedding. Decorated with a deep orange pom pom trim and vintage jacquard ribbon, it is 3 meters in diameter and made from a geometric Liberty print, which is paired with a 1940s Welsh woven linen.

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: Based around a vintage Laura Ashley print with a broad woven ribbon and pink tassling, the Pink Gin is 2.5 meters in diameter. Photograph by Tim Mercer. A similarly floral parasol, The Serpentine, is available online for £1,450.

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: The Burford Belle was an anniversary present from a husband to his wife to be used in their classic English country garden in the Cotswolds. It is 2.5 meters in diameter and made from a combination of vintage florals and moss green tassling. 

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: Details of an antique gold brocade parasol, finished with two different types of decorative trim. 

    Sunbeam hand-crafted colorful outdoor parasols | Gardenista

    Above: When open, the parasols perch like exotic butterflies.

    Ready to start researching your summer shade umbrella? Start with our favorites in 10 Easy Pieces: Shade Umbrellas. And if you're not ready to go outside just yet, have a look at Umbrella as Lighting Fixture or try the patchwork look with curtains in DIY: 10 Patchwork Curtains Made from Vintage Linens on Remodelista.

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