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Berries To Reconsider

When designing a garden I always add is what I call "cuttables" , to any planting list I create. Those wonderful evergreen boughs and berries we all seem to decorate with come the holidays.
Nothing gives me more satisfaction than being able to stroll through my gardens clipping and gathering an assortment branches, be they needled conifers or evergreen leaves such as hollies and box woods, all for indoor display.
 As gorgeous as the blog post have been these past few weeks, with all the wonderful winter arrangements, please remember that the majority of  colorful berries being used are poisonous to small animals as well as children. Once cut and brought indoors these berries become dry and easily fall off their branches.

Treehugger.com did a very informative post on poisonous berries a few weeks back, that you can read here. Though not a complete list it will give you a good idea as to what to avoid when building your display.
Alternatives?  You might want to consider the following,

 Nandinia domestica 'Alba'

Junipers, for their berries as well as foliage
Pyracantha, in wonderful shades of reds as well as oranges and yellows 

Or better yet try mixing faux berries with your fresh cut evergreens, as Cindy Hattersley of Rough Luxe Lifestyle did in this charming basket.

If you would like to add a more Classical Contemporary feel to your garden please contact me about e-designs  at mwhite8410@gmail.com


How A Garden Came To Be.

As most of you know I offer e-design on a regular basis. I love the idea of being able to connect with clients  on the east coast as well as across the country and Europe. It makes for  interesting work ......as well as great friendships.
Elizabeth Avenue Before
Last year I was fortunate to be able to collaborate ................I believe good residential design involves both the designer and the homeowner............with Maria Killam and Terreia Raufman.  Many of you know Maria from her color and design blog "Color Me Happy" . if not, stop by. You will be amazed by what  you will learn from each and every posting. Not only does she go into detail as to the whys and hows of color and design, her upbeat positive nature will inspire you.
And inspired we were. After our initial contact, it was decided that the gardens should have a loose, relaxed, almost country feel to them, with a bit of sophistication thrown in for good measure. Preliminary designs were created.
Rather than work with color,  we agreed on a white garden, this way we would not be competing with the interior colors but rather complimenting them with hints of yellow and green in the design.

With very little coaxing Maria realized certain major changes would have to take place before the design fun could happen. This of course would cut into the budget but sometimes "ya gotta do what ya gotta do"............ and so the backhoes were called in and the sea of concrete ripped out. Plants we were saving were relocated, grades were shot.....a term in the industry for checking the levels for water run off as well as sitting water and erosion .......and a rich top soil installed.
Once the not so pleasant work was over, walks were installed
Patios laid
Plants were planted

and a vegetable garden was born. 
Because the vegetable garden could be seen from the front entry, decorative fencing was installed to soften the view. The same fencing design was then carried to the front of the house as well, creating a transition from the driveway to the front and rear walks.
A good example of plantings being "worth their weight in gold"......This tree not only adds visual interest in the rear yard but from inside the front hall area as well.  If you look closely you will notice the hollies along the fence, They were used as vertical elements along with hiding the view along the studio from the kitchen window and when walking into the rear yard.  When planting, especially major elements  always walk around looking from different angles and views before deciding on the permanent local 

The ranch house itself had very little architectural detail we could work with..........so what I call accessories were added . Bits and pieces of architectural elements some classic some whimsical,  adding not only character but the warmth and charm the house first lacked. 

The landscape now compliments the existing structure, blending almost seamlessly into one impressive picture.
And so a Garden came to  be
All photos courtesy of Maria Killam

If you would like to add a more Classical feel to your garden please contact me for further information at mwhite841@verizon.net



If you would like to add a more Classical feel to your garden please contact me for further information at mwhite841@verizon.net


Neat, Orderly & One of a Kind

With carefully chosen plantings and ordered geometries the design company of Zaremba & Company has once again created a winning combination.

Asked to create a garden that is neat and organized yet be "one of a kind", the design team came up with a simplistic, elegant, contemporary landscape. Deciding to use right angle shapes and to mass plant with texture and subtle color changes rather than a riotous of color, a sense of calm is created. The designs energy comes in the movement of the plants.............a gently swaying of a mass planting of grasses can animate any design......as well as the water features through out the gardens.

This type of design can be repeated in most any garden setting whether it be traditional or contemporary. Just keep in mind the fundamentals applied in this landscape, straight and right angled planting beds as well as low layers of mass planting. Here boxwood, ornamental grasses, sedums, hostas, ferns.and ajuga were used to create this setting.

If you would like to add a more Classical feel to your garden please contact me for further information at mwhite841@verizon.net


Conifer Gardens

 image tex-oregongarden.com

As with all garden design, form, color and texture always come into play.

 Conifer Gardens are no exception. Where some fall short is not allowing shape to be the first and main element of the design,  followed by color and then texture. 

 image via flicker
 image via finegardening
 image via finegardening
 image via greatplantpicks.org

image via sunsetmagazine
 image via kellypinterest 
image viacarlazeilmann

If you would like to add a more Classical feel to your garden please contact me for further information at mwhite841@verizon.net


Painting With Plants

Henri Rousseau, French, Post Impressionist, Primitive Painter

Conrad McCormick "Coast of Northern Ireland"
image via Carolyn Mullet

Landscape design an art form using plants as the medium of artistic expression.


Happy Spring

anne johnson design

Wishing each and everyone a warm and sunny spring!


Bloom and Bloom Again

Bloom-a-thon, Boomerang, Lo-& Behold, Oso Easy,  Blue Moon, 
Rebloomers, Cycle Bloomers, Repeaters, All-season Bloomers.

When designing, I tend to be a bit of a "purist", which leads me to the question of whether or not a garden should be designed and plants chosen to celebrate a particular season, then have these plants gracefully bow out, allowing the next season to take hold,..........Or............... should caution be thrown to the wind, and a repeat bloomer be chosen instead, extending their blooming season and be allowing them to mingle among the next seasons blooms?




All above photos,  just a small sample of the available repeat bloomers available in nurseries today.

all images pinterest