Gather the gardening tools!
Hi again friends, its beginning to look a lot like spring in the city of brotherly love (actually summer with these 80 degree days!) and I have been excited to watch our neighborhood burst into bloom. In NYC there wasn't much bloom-bursting in our concrete FIDI neighborhood, unless you count the 3 trees on the plaza opposite the Federal Reserve I occasionally happened by, looking for signs of life.
That being said, you may have guessed already that I don't have much of a green thumb! This doesn't necessarily mean I'm a plant-killer , but I really haven't been given many chances. So my new quest is learning a thing or two about gardening. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.. this post was originally going straight for the big guns in a complete garden roundup, but I decided to let this new passion "organically" grow and start small. A few beautiful vignettes, garden inspirations and containers to hold these blossoms is probably the best beginning...
This is a photo I took in London few years ago at a picturesque little garden boutique in South Kensington. The name completely escapes me. Regardless, since the Brits are royalty in all majestic greenery, it is best to pay homage and start here. This modern assemblage of containers and kaleidoscope of seaglass and vibrant green brought absolute joy to my day. I think that reason alone stands behind England's quirky past time obsession in such a gloomy general state of being. That's the sole reason for a garden, right?!
See link below for Smithsonian's list of the 12 most beautiful gardens in England to visit. Their love has spread to American enthusiasts as well, making it one of the top reasons to travel to the UK these days.
A perfect beginner's garden: a small herb garden to enjoy indoors or out! Just a little spraypaint and this Ikea Socker plant pot with stand will make you look like a pro. Although this stand may be discontinued, a few other excellent alternatives are below. The Ikea Raskog utilty cart or the Satsumas plant stand could do the trick while adding panache to your space as well.
Flower boxes... be still my heart. A small treasure trove with such a huge visual curb appeal. Easy enough to maintain with a handy hose bib or watering can, some prefer even less maintenance with built-in watering irrigation. Huh-hmmmm, hand raised over here. I just can't seem to remember to open the front door with a watering can. My neighbor really hit the nail on the head with their spring ranunculus choice in cheery yellow, red and oranges to contrast the navy shutters and boxes. A cool season perennial that thrives in the early spring months, these papery delicate layers have perfect juxtaposition to winter's brittle icy claw.
Obsessed. Love these hanging plant bags that completely transform an ordinary gate to a spectacular spring collage. My new gardener, Elizabeth Jacoby Design (oops, did I forgot to mention it's not completely DIY? Yeah, its not. ) arranged this masterpiece for my friend/neighbor. Stunning to say the least.
At this time of year, Society Hill is replete with a variety of vessels, new and old, simple and ornate. These perfectly scaled pair of urns are just the right hybrid of classicism and simplicity. The feathery daffodils and what appears to be grape hyacinth is a refreshing fusion to the ubiquitous pansy. It brings me utter happiness to stroll the blocks in search of fresh new compositions that may be appearing.
Lush gated courtyards have a mystical hold on me. A private oasis veiled from sight with opaque walls and trained greenery... ahhhh! Stop tempting the voyeur in me ! Just begging for me to be peek over and quench my curiosity... What happens inside these walls?
Afternoon mint juleps arranged at perfectly appointed garden tables surrounded by box hedges? A soiree at dusk lit only by strings of incandescent overhead orbs hung on reclaimed beams? Tealights and tea cakes? Imagination goes wild with narration unfolding. The perfect secret garden awaits just beyond the bricks.. what secrets have these cherry blossoms heard?
Perhaps this little jewel box of romance and whimsy says it all? A stunning garland of dried florals strung up on bamboo compliment the potted live plants and simple tabletop stems. A vintage fireplace mantel paired with perfectly mismatched garden chairs. If this was my secret oasis, I would just forget the gardening and have you all over for cocktails;)
Stay tuned for my next post with more outdoor enchantment, including (possibly!) my own courtyard progress report...depending on the outcome. If you don't see any mention or photos in the upcoming weeks on Instagram, assume I have zero floral mojo and we won't discuss it again. I'll be focusing on other things charming, whimsical, and practically unpredictable that don't include plants. Cheers!