Trends on Trial:  Vertical Wall Gardens – An Urban Oasis or a Recipe for Architectural Disaster?

Trends on Trial: Vertical Wall Gardens – An Urban Oasis or a Recipe for Architectural Disaster?

Opening Statement: Green walls are not new. French botanist Patrick Blanc has been popularizing green walls by building awe inspiring, hydroponically fed, wall structures since the late 1980s. But are they really sustainable? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? And has the technology evolved to a point where homeowners can reasonably install a useful vertical…

What To Do With The Strawberry Tower?

What To Do With The Strawberry Tower?

My strawberries hate my strawberry tower. They literally run from it. Last year in my book writing garden absence, I let them run as they wished as I was failing the time to reign them in. Subsequently, if you drive by my house this weekend you will see a sign at the end of the…

Aerial Hedges

Aerial Hedges

Instead of writing about a particular plant or plant group, this week I thought I would talk about one of my favorite horticultural pruning techniques. The first time someone mentioned to me an “aerial hedge,” I envisioned puffy clouds of boxwoods floating through the air. But that would be weird and strange (like this week’s…

Before & After: April’s Bean Tunnel

Before & After: April’s Bean Tunnel

I found this really sweet bean tunnel over the winter and I’ve been dying to make one of my own ever since! April from Wahsega Valley Farm has an incredible backyard vegetable garden, and as soon as I saw this bare garden structure, I knew it would be a even cooler once the vines started to…

It May Be Cold Outside But I’m Thinking Of Joseph’s Coat For Next Summer

It May Be Cold Outside But I’m Thinking Of Joseph’s Coat For Next Summer

Our horticulture team at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is working on a new vertical wall idea for the summer of 2014. Today, we were brainstorming which plants to use in the vertical panels. Someone mentioned Sedum ‘Angelina,’ another idea was Lysmachia nummularia ‘Aurea,’ and then I remembered Joseph’s Coat or Alternanthera ficoidea. Alternanthera is a…

Succulent Cafe by Succulents and Sunshine

Succulent Cafe by Succulents and Sunshine

Trust me when I say that you should forget reading this post and just hop directly on over to Succulents and Sunshine.   Cassidy Tuttle stumbled across the most amazing cafe in Oceanside, California and then proceeded to take beautiful pictures of this inspiring place (because thats what awesome photographers do). Near as I can tell The Succulent Cafe has this gorgeousness and coffee…

Trend: Shelved Gardens

Trend: Shelved Gardens

A couple of months back I was chatting with a new garden friend when she openly wondered what the next big garden trend will be.  I have to admit — while I look for design trends all the time…I hadn’t thought much about the big arcs of our collective garden specific tastes.  I think it is fair…

Garden Gallery: Ryue Nishizawa’s Garden House

How about this little slice of inspiration for monday morning.  Landscapers are always trying to get architects, homeowners and builders  to involve them earlier and more holistically into the process of site design and construction….and it often doesn’t happen.  So this notion of integrating gardens and greenery to an even greater level seems particularly  remarkable. I do hope we…

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Catching a glimpse of this picture on Pinterest, I was immediately inspired to learn more about the building and artist who created it.  What a find to learn about architect -artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and the Hundertwasser House in Vienna, Austria. As a child Hundertwasser and his mother (who was Jewish) posed as Christians to avoid persecution in the time leading up to…

Garden Gallery: Amsterdam Vertical Garden

Garden Gallery: Amsterdam Vertical Garden

How into vertical gardens are you?  Really?   I can’t personally decide.  On a commercial level I am way into them…I love to find them in shops and restaurants and surprisingly up a wall in the middle of a city.   But in my own home I am quite undecided.  I just can’t imagine one anywhere in…