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Floating Fantasy

A floating fantasy at the Ellerslie International Flower Show, Christchurch New Zealand. 
Ben Hoyle of Blue Gecko took home the gold  for his 
"French Grassed Parterre Floating Over Still Black Water".


Happy Friday

Wishing you a wonderful weekend of sheer fantasy !

To see more of more of Jean-François Rauzier’s visit  his website at , rauzier-hyperphoto.com


Up On The Roof part two

The Boho-Chic Roof Garden of interior designer Thomas Hays is a great example of the" Outdoor Room" concept. Many times a landscape architect will describe a plan as having outdoor rooms, not only to create intimate areas within a larger site, but to also to create a sense of security and privacy not available in a large open area. Depending on the placement of the "room" within to overall plot, a sense of mystery and curiosity can also be established.
By using a combination of not only walls but roofs, Hays has done just this with his 1600sg. ft. garden. Covered dining areas as well as a lounge area and a lush perennial garden have been created without obscuring the views of the downtown Chelsea area. 
Another design concept, that of levels, can also be used when trying to create these intimate spaces, but remember when doing so you will be forfeiting usable square footage. Something I would not suggest unless you have the extra space. Each time you create a different level the are area between the two levels becomes unusable for chairs, tables and groups of people who might be standing in conversation. A chair should never be placed closer than 2 ft. from a step of any kind, and further if it will be pulled out from a table. Another  issue to keep in mind when changing levels is to highlight the level change in some way be it with planted pots or different paving material so as to be clearly visible.



One of the most important considerations when designing a landscape is to take your cue from the existing architecture. Before putting pencil to paper look and study what is already present and viable in the surrounding landscape. The finished installation should not only work as a functional space, but compliment the architecture, appearing as though it had been there for decades.


 Atlanta based landscape architect Richard Anderson has achieved this by not only taking a broad overall view of what was existing but by also paying close attention to design details that might be overlooked by an untrained eye. A good example being the driveway curbing he has chosen. Rather than the typical cobblestone border, Anderson chose to use large irregular shaped granite stones to line the driveway giving the design a very old world established informal feel.


Lilac Love

Lilacs, a classic flowering shrub loved  for generations will soon be  in flower again. Until recently this shrubs flowering season was all too short for most of us. With the introduction of " Boomerang ", the season can be extended well into fall.. This amazing little shrub will bloom in May just like all the others, but instead of  fading to the background, this consistant little lilac will re-bloom again in July and continue until frost. Lavender-pink blooms in abundance appear in May with a deeper darker richer purple bloom in summer and fall, colors perfect for the summer and fall garden.




Re-Blooming, fragrant, deer resistant, deciduous, a height 48"-60", spread 48"-60" rounded habit, full sun, well drained soil, ideal for small gardens and containers

all images via Pinterest

Happy Spring

With the arrival of spring I could not help but share these utterly delightful photos of the Surma and Mursi tribes in the L"Oma Valley of Africa.  German born photographet Hans Silvester has captured in his  book  "Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration From Africa" what I feel is one of the most beautiful celebrations of flowers, spring and rebirth. I hope you enjoy.


Monarch Butterflies

As you might have read the Monarch Butterfly's population is drastically being reduced each year.
This year alone the winterizing Monarch's population in Mexico is has dropped to 59%, the lowest
record to date. Six of the last seven years have shown drops, and now sadly there are only one-fifteenth as many butterflies as there were in 1997. Staggering figures in my estimation.

World Wildlife Federation has blamed climate conditions as well as agricultural practices for this decline, sighting pesticides as a major contributor. Pesticides have been killing off the Monarch larva's soul source of food, milkweed.

 Migration is an inherited trait and no butterfly lives to make a round trip. As a result they need this plant to exist along their migration trail in order to survive. Feeding exclusively on milkweeds, a plant readily available at some local nurseries as well as mail order catalogs.

According to Craig Wilson a senior researcher at Texas A&M University,  if people want to help, they should plant milkweed. "There are more than 30 types of milkweed in Texas alone,  go to your local garden center, you'll see lots of Asclepias cultivars that'll look great in your garden.
According to Wilson, it's important to have a national priority in the US and Canada of planting milkweed to assure that Monarchs will not be wiped out. "If we could get several states to collaborate," he said, "we might be able to provide a 'feeding' corridor up to Canada for the Monarchs."

Not always the most appealing plant out of flower, when planted in along with daylilys or ornamental grasses they create a very handsome combination. If this is not to your liking why not try a planting of this important resource behind a garage or shed, the Monarchs will thank you for it!