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Author: admin, 18.07.2016. Category: Garden Soil

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The concept behind this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, held at the Royal Hospital in London, was ‘increasing people’s connection with their gardens’. Inside rooms are often out of sync with the best garden views and key windows don’t always offer chances to view favourite scenes or plants.
Tom Hobbin’s Cornish Memories Garden was a linear design stemming from a modern pergola at one end. Luciano Giubbilei, an old friend I have worked with in the past, created magical planting in his garden for Laurent Perrier. I could sit for hours and watch the light changing as it percolates through the canopies of the Persian ironwood trees, throwing shadows over the Peter Randall Page sculpted boulders. None of the Chelsea designs specifically develop my idea that it is possible to be outdoors for more of our lives, if we do what we do inside outside – cooking, eating, sitting before or after the meal (although I suspect this needs a fireplace).
There is nothing better than cooking with fresh herbs, so a herb garden in the kitchen makes so much sense, and it looks cool too! Most of the fencing I have in my current garden is a rustic-style split-rail fence with cedar posts and hardwood rails, also stained to match the house and outbuildings. The other problem with rail fence—which I very much wish I had thought of before having many hundreds of feet of it installed—is the maintenance it requires. Well, working on the low-maintenance principle (getting rid of the boring stuff you don’t like to do, not the fun stuff such as planting and puttering), I soon figured out a way to deal with that annoying edge: adding plantings outside of the fence too.
And to finish, a reminder to check out the comments section of the December 1 post for the Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop.
On another, related, topic: Does everybody have the same reaction to vinyl fence that I have? Some neighbors were proudly installing a white picket vinyl fence the other day and it made think that the neighborhood was on the way downhill.
Is it the plasticy sheen, the hyper uniform features of factory-produced 8′ panels, the unyielding smoothness, or the environmental cost that turns me off so much? No matter the maintenance, that fence and arbor (with the swag of morning glories) is gorgeous!
Meanwhile, if you’re interested, the fence article on my site includes pictures of my own picket fence and links to more pictures of the cottage-style garden it encloses.
I think the structure of your garden is fantastic, and it’s the perfect setting for a Colonial kitchen garden.
Nan, I was sitting there tonight reading a gardening book that I had recently picked up from the library and saw the name Nancy Ondra on the book. Thanks for this post and inspiring me to think about fences and what they do to the feel of our garden. Johnny Grey Studios designed a garden kitchen that was on display at the end of May during the Chelsea Flower Show. I exhibited with Alitex, the classy conservatory and greenhouse makers who commissioned our garden kitchen. They had in common a desire to create a sanctuary, a place to escape the world and renew ourselves. Inspired by William Robinson, the father of wild gardening movement from the nineteenth century. Wooden oval columns and curved, machined roof timbers supported an oval sheet-glass roof surrounded by dogwoods, rhododendrons and virburnum.


Provided with the right kind of outdoor space, we could be watching the garden and the sky instead of the television. In my last garden, I ended up with a variety of styles, but because they were all either white or green, they all seemed to work together. I’m not really sure why—perhaps it’s because it provides a definite sense of enclosure while still allowing the plants to peek through, so it’s friendly and welcoming too. Normally I’m not fond of anything white, but where enclosure is involved, any kind of white picket fence just speaks “garden” to me. It suits the site and serves the purpose of visually separating different areas while still allowing the inner gardens to be visible from the road—at least for the earlier part of the growing season.
If it weren’t for Mom, I seriously doubt I’d have ever gotten it all stained the first time, and it sure could do with another coat now. So now I’m left with one simple turf edge to maintain, rather than having to continually cut around each post and along the rails. You’ll find links to posts by several participants about their own garden fences and walls.
I’m thinking about posting about my fence for this topic, but I already posted all my fence photos last time, it seems. I did see some photos of a decent-looking brown and medium gray, but I wonder how they hold up over the years.
I thought the name was familiar to me so I came to the computer to check, sure enough, it was you. JGS designer Leila Ferraby and I used materials that would withstand outdoor temperatures and moisture levels: stainless steel, granite, solid maple, coconut palm and ceramic tiles.
Our hard wired need for nature aside, it has taken me a while to work this out as a key motivation for gardening, going beyond the beauty of plants and the alluring verdancy of nature’s offerings to a fulfilling and sustaining pathway to contentment. His garden had a foreground of wild flowers laid out in front of a shipping container, which was adapted into a garden room, its roof covered by plants.
Elegant water rills offering gentle background music for contemplation led into a natural swimming pool, which is based on coastal rock pools and planted with oxygenators to look like seaweed. On the BBC Luciano says ‘you can create the same atmosphere at a table as you can do in a garden’ – if he had not been a garden designer he would apparently have been a chef.
Not long before I decided to sell that house, I had a beautifully built solid-board fence installed to permanently enclose the garden, and Mom and I stained it a pretty mossy green.
Clean, brilliant, just-painted white is my preference, but I’m also quite fond of long-weathered, grayish white as well, depending on the setting. I’d paint a nice, smooth picket fence any day, but slapping stain onto rough rails simply isn’t high on my fun-to-do list. I suppose one could argue that the time required to create the outside-of-the-fence borders far exceeds the time I’d spend trimming. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan. I am working for the garden to be worthy of the great fence and fabulous raised beds now!!! All the show gardens had outdoor covered space to increase opportunities to feel close to plants.
She designed it so the posts were set in the ground but the individual panels could be lifted out for easier painting. If you too are a fan of white picket fences, you really need to visit Robin’s blog at A Bumblebee Garden.


Even more tedious than that, though, is the trimming required around every post and along the entire extent of rails—not to mention the nightmare of trying to maintain grass on one side and garden on the other, which requires cutting the edge at least once a year to keep them separate.
This “planting through” approach also makes the fence even more of a simple decorative element than a form of enclosure. Within a few months, though, they start to look dingy, and within a year or so, they start turning greenish with algae–and not a nice green, either! The idea is to make it as much like a Colonial kitchen garden as possible–without being overly prissy or slavish about what goes in. Wow.) By the way, if your Mom needs some more meditation time, I would be happy to have her help in Cleveland next spring! Circular pools were fed by sustainable capture and re-use of water, and insects supported by his ‘bug hotel’ in the dry stone walls. But it’s provided a brilliant excuse for making even more borders, and for that reason alone, I’d say that fence has been worth any amount of trouble!
So it seems to me that they actually need lots of maintenance if you want to keep them looking good (well, clean, anyway). Garden-style decorating evokes the spirit of vegetables sun-warmed from the vegetable patch and freshly picked flowers. From within the container, everything works to cocoon you in a beautiful garden that is both wild and contemporary. Part of it encloses two sides of the kitchen garden, and part of it extends along my holding beds to enclose one part of the lowest pasture. Simply looking at pictures of it makes me happy, and living with a garden like that every day must be bliss.
Best of all, you don’t have to live in a country cottage to decorate your kitchen garden style, get the look no matter where your home may be. It’s now stained to match the house, and it’s rustic enough to fit in with the rural setting.
Install white bead board halfway up the walls and paint the space above it sunshine yellow or grass green.
Stencil a bright sunflower yellow border around the top of the walls or on the cupboards.Install a plant window with extra deep sills to hold pots of herbs. Highlight it with seasonal plants like potted daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and amaryllis.Dress the windows in curtains in a garden print. Craft curtains from vintage dishtowels or table cloths featuring floral motifs.Display garden accessories. Keep cooking utensils on the counter in a large terra-cotta pot.Line up milk bottles, each holding a single bloom, on your windowsill. Hang flowers to dry from beams on your ceiling or a pot rack or peg board.Gather colorful vegetables like tomatoes, green and yellow peppers, purple onions and zucchini in a colander, basket or wooden bowl and place it on your table for an impromptu centerpiece. Hang wreaths made from garlic and hot red peppers on the wall and door.Hang wooden signs depicting vegetables and fruits on the wall. Display an old garden gate as art on your wall, if space allows.Arrange wicker chairs around your table or set one in a sunny corner. Create a seating area with Adirondack chairs right out of the garden and a coffee table fashioned from grapevines.Suspend hanging pots in macrame holders from brackets installed above your windows.



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