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the Greening of a Driveway

photos  via carol mullet
Out with the endless expanse of blacktop, the sea of stained cracked concrete, and the rutted out weed infested gravel drive.
In with the green grass & cobblestone guideway, seamlessly connecting to the rest of the landscape

I came across this driveway yesterday by Belgium landscape architect Jan Joris and immediately fell in love with how well it incorporates and does not section one area from another.

If  cobblestone is cost prohibitive in your budget, any number of concrete paver products will work as well , just make sure they are installed on a 6" concrete footing.


Introducing Bobo

image via southern living

Turning heads, all summer long engulfed in abundant large white flowers from top to bottom Bobo, a new dwarf hydrangea from Proven Winners is
an undeniable asset to any garden. 

Small enough for flanking a doorway in matching pots, tucked among fading perennials in late summer, in patio pots on a covered loggia or even in mass as the photo above, are just some of the many uses of this long     blooming woody plant.

image via Finke gardens

image via proven winner
An added feature to this winner , as the flowers mature, they will lenghten, turning a pale pink in fall.


Abundant white summer flowers.  Blooms every year.  Hardy.  Soil pH does not affect bloom color.  Dwarf.

Shrub Type: 
Height Category: 
Garden Height: 
 30 - 36 Inches
Spacing Maximum: 
 60 Inches
 36 - 48 Inches
Flower Shade: 
 White summer flowers
Foliage Shade: 
Container Role: 

Plant Needs

Light Requirement: 
 Part Sun to Sun
Blooms On: 
 New Wood
Bloom Time: 
 Early Summer
Hardiness Zones: 
Water Category: 
 Average, but will withstand drought
Maintenance Category: 
Maintenance Notes: 
Prefers good, loamy soil.  Adaptable to many soils, moderate moisture required. Blooms regardless of climate, soil, pH or pruning. Prune in late winter/early spring.  Fertilize in early spring by applying a slow release fertilizer specialized for trees and shrubs.  Follow the label recommendations for rates of application.
Patent Information: 
Bobo® Hydrangea paniculata


Color Blocking

image via great british gardens

Color blocking in "drifts" is one of the easier fail proof design concepts. Easy to do for even the novice plantsman. Chose two to three different plants in two to three different colors, plant in mass as well as in broad sweeping curves. Add an interesting garden accessory and instant success!


gravel paths and patios

image via tales of carmel

When deciding on a gravel path or patio, keep in mind that as charming and timeless as they are they do require maintenance to keep them looking picture perfect. Raking out ruts and leaves can be back breaking work if the area is large, as well as the need for reapplying gravel periodically. My advice would be to try to include an easy access to the area wide enough for a delivery truck to pass through. This would alleviate the need for wheel barreling the heavy material to and from the drop off site each time a new layer is added.

image via garden photo stream

image via pinterest

image via annie pierce

image via barbara colvin

image via garden conservancy

image via et si on se promenait...a pari

image via elenor cummings


In The Cotswolds

The design team of Dan Pearson have recreated the gardens of what is said to be the home of the original "Alice" of wonderland fame. This historic Georgian rectory was once home to the Reverend Edward Litton and his little daughter Alice. A good friend, Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll  was a frequent visitor to the home, and it is said that the Reverend's daughter was the inspiration for his heroine in "Alice in Wonderland".

Pearson's design team chose to replace by piece meal areas overgrown and no longer workable with upright perennials in shades of blue, white and purple with touches here and there of yellow. Horizontal planes of clipped boxwood add formality and structure to the garden, something I myself prefer most times. Doing this keeps the perennials from becoming a jumbled mess over time. If  hedging is not in the design plan then planting large groups of the same plant within the assorted perennial borders will  also help to keep semblance of order and a more formal look.


Happy Friday

image via hoerr schaudt landscape architects

 I have been a little more than distracted this week....my son is just back from Afghanistan.....but wanted to share this "sitting room" with you. I have always loved the idea of bringing indoor furniture outdoors but have been hesitant in doing so. Seeing these pieces with the skirted cushions seemed like a good alternative. I of course would add more pillows and a throw, but that is just me. The fireplace and vined trellis .....gorgeous!
I so wish I could see more of this space.


Shades of Grey

There is nothing I can say short of "Wonderful" to describe the work of Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects. The use of traditional elements in a contemporary setting. The choice of greys as  back ground colors for not only the paving and gravel paths but the fencing and trellis as well. The straight line and right angles,the lush plantings tumbling over onto the gravel beds, all work together to allow the plant material to take center stage....and yet strong enough elements to stand alone.

all images via hoerr schaudt landscape architects chicago' illinois