Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gardens Adorned

The plant groupings were endless. Containers were plentiful as were the ingredients that filled them. The thought and work that went into this estate and its surrounding gardens is the result of an alliance between a man's imagination and his hand with nature at its best. I had the opportunity to tour Craig Bergman's garden (a well known Chicago area landscape architect) on Sunday afternoon. His talent and design sense were obvious. The ou's and ah's seemed to be a chorus with the visitors that walked these gardens showing such pleasure and joy to be experiencing such beauty. The garden elements and the surprises nature had allowed him to create were plentiful. Come take a look . . . .

The path leading to the back gardens. . . I never
knew there were Dwarf Barberry (the red shrubs
on the right)

This etched stone was at the beginning of the path I have
shown you above. Not quite sure of the plant material
between the stones, but it released a wonderful fragrance
when stepped on.

This path was back in the Woodland Garden. Note the many shaded
plants and especially the hostas that had not been affected by the sun
after our terrible 100 degree weather a few weeks ago. We asked
one of his gardeners who was available for questions. . . . Why are none of
your hosta leaves not burned on the edges? He explained that not
only do they have to be watered frequently during such heat, but you
must also water the leaves. He explained that the leaves hold moisture
and thus a greater survival rate in over 100 degree temperatures.

NOTE: I love the mulch and the border of tree branches for a
woodland garden.

The end of the Woodland Garden path. It was so beautiful. The gate
was satin with age and I couldn't help wonder who had passed through
those gates many years ago.

Up close, the original hardware was still intact and rusted perfectly. The
gate had been secured to a new cement post close to the same color as
the gate.

A cement birdbath had been reborn with small
rocks of all different colors then planted with a
ground cover. Very effective.

This stone wheel barrel had been planted with various kinds of ferns
and was in a rather shaded area of this woodland garden. I loved
the various textures of ferns used for this planting.

From one of the back gardens, the house, the offices, the pool (far left and beyond the
rod iron fence)

A wonderful example of grey in the garden. Bruneria planted
at the base of an old tree. This plant flowers in the spring and
has tiny blue flowers.

This planting was beautiful with its small purple flowers.
I am sorry that I don't know its name. Does anyone
have any idea?

The filled containers on this estate were numerous and placed so
perfectly and filled so perfectly as well! The range of containers
used went from old to new, from cement to zinc, from urns to rain
barrels from Europe.

Another container garden

Areas to rests and relax were sprinkled all over the gardens. While not real visible,
This piece of stone (cement) had been cut to fit over an iron urn as a place to
put a glass of ice tea.

Great contrast in planting, not only in texture, but in color.

Shapes, contrast, borders and statuary

Love the placement of brick and stone in this eye catching statement. Artemesia
in the background that had come back from last year. Since it is an
annual, it was not supposed to.

When I thought I had seen it all . . . books strategically placed
on a stone bench. Of course we examined them and they were real,
but had been treated with a watered down cement to withstand the elements.
Truly amazing. I am going to experiment!!!

Love this stone planter filled with a succulant ground cover!

This boxwood had been shaped like a pear. Note the iron stem
of the pear at the top! Fabulous!

What fabulous texture and mixture of plantings. Note the urn high on a column
Brilliant I would say!

A very well appointed pergola! Note the support of the overhead beams
They were of some sort of slate and held by layers of cement.

A wonderful collection of succulents sitting on top os
an old silverplated tray. Another one to try!! It had been
placed on a glass tabletop with a cement textured base.

The "other side" of the fence.

Fabulous plantings of texture and color. NOTE: The terre cotta border
and been left in a storage area when purchased by Craig. It was at least
65 years old.

An indoor foyer to an office.

Craig Bergman's Offices.

I know this was a long post, but there was so much to see and share. I hope
you have retrived a few good ideas to incorporate into your own gardens.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hi . . . I Am Back and with the color Magenta

Before I begin my first post after 8 weeks of my absence in blogland, I would first like to quickly and simply explain that I underwent a surgical procedure that was far more than what I had bargained for.  If Katy Courig can discuss it on a national news channel, I can at least mention it here.  Following a colonoscopy I was faced with a few surprises that meant colon surgery.  Lots of prayers brought good news that all was benign. Part of my colon was removed and all is well.  I urge all of you after the age of 50 to have colonoscopys with out fail.  I would be talking a differenct story if I hadn't had the routine colonoscopy done.  Enough said.  I am so happy to be back and I have missed you all terribly. 

On to my blog post. . . . . . In defining the elements of my style when it comes to selecting color in a new room, I always tell my clients to begin with a color that they are not going to tire of.  If you begin with lots of color on the wall, you will all too soon tire of that color.  Lately, I have been doing a lot of gray with white or grays with warmth vs. the cool grays.  One of the warm grays happens to be a Benjamen Moore and it is called Thunder.  Another slight gray tone from Farrell and Ball is called Hardwick White, a mere suggestion of gray that too is on the warmer side.  When we have lived with, for example, cream tones and grays, good lighting, texture, books and great accessories, the question arises as to what color can I use as an exciting contrast which will bring drama to a room.  "I want a little change, I want to update. . . "  But, I still want my room to be soothing.  Inspired by a white orchid plant with veins of magenta, the story began.

The two solid magenta pillows are mohair.  I love mohair fabrics
which seem to bring a sense of depth to a color with highlights that
is characteristic of this fabric.  Mohair is a fabric or yarn that is made
wholly or in part of the long silky hair of the Angora goat.  I have done
drapes in blue mohair that were some of the most elegant, but comfortable drapes
I have ever done.

The orchid plant that inspired the drama of color

Entering the family room from the terrace.

The chair was also recovered in a great indescribable color
that was brown, but it wasn't, a touch of magenta in the brown ??
All I know, it was just perfect in the room with the winter white
sofa's and the drama of the magenta.

Great accessories on an antique French zinc document box.

Color lifts one's mood without a doubt. It creates drama
and is surely to make you smile.  Imagine this room without
those pillows.  While it would still be interesting, because of the
great texture all around, it wouldn't nearly be as exciting as
it is with the dramatic touch of color!

I will be back soon!!  I promise!