Garden Inspiration From a Fresh New Merimekko Dress

July 9, 2018

I am so happy to play around with design in a way that I haven’t in a long long time. Years ago, I had a regular feature here that was really just a good excuse for me to play with combining garden products, plants and ideas.

Inspired by fashion illustration, I pulled together garden design ideas and elements that captured the spirit of the woman in the drawing. (You can see some of the old ones here)

A cute an casual merimekko dress to inspire a garden design

I miss this creative exercise and I recently realized that many of you do too. Aside from my old practice of regularly posting before and after garden projects, this is one of the things that readers often mention and recall fondly from my old studio ‘g’ blog.   Truth is, I miss those posts too and I want to bring both of them back.

When I saw this charming summer dress from Merimekko, I knew it would be my first inspiration.  It is so casual and summery, but combines interesting colors and styling that implies a bit of vintage modern chic – Which is something I often want in garden.

Since I’ve reopened my eyes to inspiration for this series I’ve found so many things – from fashion to art to interiors. I can’t wait to share all of my new garden collections with you!amsonia and pink muhly grass by Rob cardillo in Fallscaping courtesy of Storey publishing

I found inspiration for planting, furniture and accessories in the stripes and lines of the dress as well as the colors (including that awesome brown-red of the model’s hair).   Along the way I learned about rain lilies – they literally bloom in response to rain and I think they have a perfect retro charm.

I also discovered a guy on etsy who makes a whole bunch of different mid-century wood pieces.  His beautiful red wood lounge chair really caught my eye.  And then there is the beautiful La Muralla Roja condo complex in Calpe, Spain that is now on my list of places to visit. If for no other reason than to play with photographing the strangely beautiful architecture.

I’ve been wanting to plant Amsonia in my garden for years but pink muhly grass isn’t hardy where I live, so I would replace it with Imperata rubra like in this image. I think it works equally well and captures the colors in planting design.

I’m curious does the dress inspire you with any garden ideas?  Feel free to share your inspiration in the comments.

All the product links are below the images.




A round up of garden design ideas inspired by a merimekko summer dres

A retro inspired redwood garden lounger and side table


la muralla roja - A great instagram destination in Calpe Spain



Marimekko Dress, Amsonia and Pink Muhly Grass,  Fermob yellow chair, Double Octahedron ring planterRain Lily Bulbs, Planter pot,  La Muralla RojaMid Century Lounge Chair,





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