Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Love of Fall

Today I would like to celebrate the start of fall...and my love of it! Please enjoy these enchanting images from three talented photographers...while you kick around some leaves.

Photo courtesy of Irene Suchocki Photography

feet in leaves
Photo courtesy of 3191 Miles Apart

Photo courtesy of Tokketok

fall forest
Photo courtesy of Irene Suchocki Photography

For more lovely fall images visit this fun post on A Touch of Autumn by Scoutie Girl.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Power of Weeds

These words might make you grumble at the thought of how weeds can take over our gardening lives.

I challenge you to take a step back and change your perspective towards these unwelcome guests. Rather they having power over you, how can you create power by their presence?

Photo courtesy of Tracey Clark

I enjoy weeding (there, I said it). Why? Because I feel powerful around them.

I earn the power of physical activity. It's a great way to add variety to your excercise routine (if you have one and if not, you just got a little sweat).

I am rewarded with the power of contemplation. Weeds give me the chance to slow down and think simple thoughts.

I am bonded with the power of connection. Weeding allows me to get closer to my plants, watch their progress, and simply helps me develop a better relationship to a wonderful landscape (that I created).

I am fulfilled with the power of accomplishment. Some days I feel like I've rushed through life and not achieved a single thing. With weeding you see (and feel) accomplishment withing minutes.

pom pom girl
Photo courtesy of Sandrine Estrade Boulet

Change your perspective and celebrate the power of weeds.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Cutting Garden :: Pink Bouquet

One of my favorite things to grow is cut flowers. I can't be outside 24-7, so I bring in as many flowers as possible. My husband kindly makes me a large area near the vegetable garden where I can hack away as many blooms as needed (he hates it when I touch his perennials).

pink bouquet
Photo courtesy of small stump + studio choo

Each month I'd like to show you an array of floral design using mostly garden flowers with hints of greenhouse ones. This arrangement is a beauty from small stump + studio choo. The flowers are identified below.

bouquet with text

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Dichotomy of Formal and Informal

In high school I became enamored with farms and prairie.

red barn
Photo courtesy of Maleah Matthews Photography

As we ran long distances in cross country we would pass one perfect farm after the other. I became intrigued with the big barns, two-story houses and rows of corn. The geometry was mesmerizing and held a secret world unknown to me (I lived in town and when much younger in the big city of Chicago).

white wash barn
Photo courtesy of Matthew Morgan Photography

We also ran in a beautiful county park filled with prairie, woodlands and streams. I was equally mesmerized by this informal landscape. Today I still enjoy the dichotomy of formal and informal.
in the pasture
Photo courtesy of Jonas Peterson

Why do you need to favor one over the other? Quite honestly, it's the combination that creates edginess in the landscape.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beauty and Function

Beauty and function go hand in hand more often than we think.

metal chair
Photo courtesy of Bloom, Grow, Love

I found this lovely quote while writing my thesis on farm gardens. It describes me and what I love perfectly. I have always been intrigued with functional things and how they bring beauty into our lives.

Photo courtesy of Gingerlillytea

Think of a colorful clothesline, a comfy chair or even the dishes on which you enjoy a tasty dinner. All have a purpose and can be quite stunning. These are the things that give life to our gardens.

picnic in a suitcase
Photo courtesy of Skunkboy Creatures

Take a peak around your landscape and find beauty in vernacular objects. What loveliness hides in your backyard that deserves a second look?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Tiramisu Part

The "tiramisu" part of my title refers to how we live in the garden. How do you use your landscape? Do you entertain, read a book, hang your laundry or even sleep in your garden?

party in the orchard
Photo courtesy of Mary and Gabrielle

Next time you enjoy that lovely piece of carrot cake, take it outside on a pretty plate, sit in that rustic adirondack chair and enjoy the breeze.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Topiary Part

How did I arrive at the title of this blog? I wanted words that described my garden ideal. The "topiary" part refers to my passion for garden history and formal design.

green arbor
Photo courtesy of Obsession with Jello

A co-worker recently said to me...why do people always want to see a formal garden with clipped hedges, topiary and perfectly groomed paths? Frankly, it's because they never get to see that. How many of you have a knot garden in your backyard? Think about the energy that goes into a garden like this. Yes, it's time consuming, but think of the personal connection you develop with that type of landscape (you either hate it or love it), but in the end we're all intrigued with it.

woman on horse

Just so you know, this blog is not just about formal's really about how we manipulate our outdoor environment to make it our own. What's up with the "tiramisu" part? That's in the next post.