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Entries in landscaping (16)

Thursday
Jun152017

an insta garden to love

If I hadn't ended up in interiors, I think I would have loved landscape design.  For me, there is nothing more satisfying or therapeutic than planting, pulling weeds, trimming bushes, deadheading flowers or picking plants and blooms for my pots.  After having lived in this house for seven years now, our landscaping (all of which we planted ourselves) has really taken off and gotten to a place where everything has filled in so nicely, it makes me so happy to pull into my driveway!

I'm crushing so hard lately on landscaping pics that pop up on my Instagram feed because the hubby "accidentally" got his weed kill mixed up earlier this spring and ended up killing all the bermuda grass on three sides of the pool, grr.  One of my favorites to follow for landscaping eye candy is Kelli Delaney of KDHamptons.  Kelli was one of the very first people I followed on Instagram and all these years later, I'm still so enamored by the perfectly manicured grounds on her Hamptons property, including her pergola-covered patio, the hydrangeas wrapping around her front porch, creeping roses and slate-surrounded pool.  It's seriously a little slice of heaven:

Monday
Apr252016

3 tips for showstopping planters + pots this spring and summer!

I may be guilty of leading most of my indoor plants to an untimely death, but when it comes to gardening and landscaping, my thumbs are emerald green! With the pollen finally gone and the temps holding steady in the 80's, it's finally time to get my flower pots ready for spring and summer!  I've always had luck with my flower pots, so I thought I'd share a few easy tips that have worked for me time and time again:

Good drainage is key.  If your pots don't have holes, make some yourself!  When I bought my whiskey barrel planters, I ended up having to drill a bunch along the bottom.  It's super easy and will ensure that your plants won't rot.

Put your pinecones to good use.  Filling your pots halfway with pinecones before you add potting soil is a trick I learned years ago and it provides a ton of benefits!  It keeps your pots lighter in case you need to move them, helps with drainage, gives you a break on the number of bags of potting soil you need to schlep home (especially helpful with bigger pots!) and helps get rid of all those pinecones all over your yard!  You can also use empty plastic water bottles or packing peanuts, although, I will warn you that the packing peanuts make a MESS. 

Fertilizer, lime and soil conditioner are a MUST. Our soil is super sandy so a conditioner is absolutely  vital in order for plants to thrive, whether they're in pots or in the ground!  It doesn't matter whether I'm planting six foot evergreen trees along my fence or pansies in pots for the winter, I always mix in some soil conditioner to give them a little more oomph.  I also throw a handful of fertilizer and pelletized lime in for super healthy and strong plants.  You can all of this at your local nursery, but these are the three I use and have always had luck with here in North Carolina - obviously, the zone you live in may dictate what to feed your plants, but this is what I've found amazing for me:

What are some of your tips for healthy looking planters and pots?

Monday
Apr112016

for the love of ligustrum

Spring has officially sprung around here and I couldn't be happier!  As the last of the pollen clears out, I've been spending countless nap times pulling weeds and picking up the five million pinecones all over my yard in preparation for opening the pool for summer.  It takes me a while because I stop to admire my insane (in a good way) landscaping and the most amazing, versatile, GORGEOUS evergreen shrubs we planted four years ago that seem like they have doubled in size every year and make my relatively new yard seem like it's been here forever!  I thought I'd share my little plant secret in case some of you have the itch to revamp your landscaping or need to build a privacy hedge...if you're like me and like instant gratification for all your hard work in the yard, you won't be disappointed!!

When we built our house, we asked the builder to dig beds all around the perimeter but to leave them empty so that we could landscape ourselves. I knew I could save a lot of dough on both the greenery and the labor and end up with what I really wanted, but I also wanted to take my time figuring out what would be the perfect match for every space around the house.  It turns out the answer was ligustrum, an incredibly versatile evergreen shrub that is more like a wonder plant!  Part of the privet family, it thrives in full sun and does extremely well in part shade, too; it grows up to 12 feet tall, makes a great privacy hedge or a backdrop for smaller plants or a perennial garden; it boasts small white blooms in spring with an amazing scent that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, is easy to find and is so affordably priced!  The more you prune it back, the more it fills out, making it the perfect plant for filling in spots in your landscaping. 

I wish I could find a picture of when I first planted these four years ago just to show you how tiny they were and how much they've grown in such a short time!  I prune these under my deck every so often so that I can still see the pool from my kitchen and doing so makes them even more bushy and full!

A closeup of the waxy green leaves.  I love to plant lime green or purple sweet potato vine as an accent around them for a pop of color:

The vine growing up my deck steps is Carolina Jasmine.  It, too, gets more and more full the more you prune it back (it has a tendency to sprout two foot pieces literally overnight in the summer) and in Spring it has the prettiest yellow blooms that smell AMAZING:

Happy Monday and happy planting!!

Monday
Jul202015

a dreamy backyard retreat

Living in the South, the weather is decent enough to be outside for basically nine months of the year and so outdoor spaces are a big part of the way most of us live down here.  It goes without saying, then, that the best outdoor spaces are those that live like extensions of the indoors with plenty of comfy seating, covered porches and separate eating areas.  This Southampton retreat by designer Juan Montoya takes my breath away with its incredibly chic landscaping (THOSE HYDRANGEAS!!!), a classic blue and white color palette, a perfect pool for swimming laps or watching the kids play, a covered eating area for impromptu summer dinners and lots of comfy, cozy seating.  Summer living just doesn't get any better than this:

The pool, the hedges, the hydrangeas, the pergola.....what more is there to say?  Absolute perfection:

Proof that shingle-style will be forever chic:

Not a bad view from the pergola-covered dining area; this would be my breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks spot, for sure...I CANNOT get enough of those hydrangeas!

Another view of the pergola-covered eating area - I love the slate flooring and the rustic lighting fixtures:

Wicker seating, beautiful greenery and a to-die-for teak coffee table are eclipsed only by the sheer size of the back porch:

Here are a few picks to create a similar look and feel with lots of navy blue, rattan, monogrammed outdoor throw pillows, a touch of gold and a forever classic Lutyens bench:

Rattan charger / Juliska Country Estate dinnerware / Lutyens bench / Monogrammed outdoor pillow

Cutout bathing suit / Sun hat / Topiary / Hanging chair / Gold flatware set / Wicker chair

Blue and white ginger jar / Oversize clam shell

Happy Monday!  Hope you're all off to a great start this week!

Tuesday
Jul012014

a little outdoor slice of heaven

If there's anything I love more than a beautifully weathered, shingle-style chic cottage, it's an equally beautiful porch or patio in which to enjoy said cottage.  I'm sure by now you've all seen Chris Burch's Southampton home tour that was featured in Architectural Digest a while back, but Mackenzie Horan's personal photos of the exterior of his house on a recent trip to the Hamptons had me drooling all over my laptop!  The shot below is deceiving - the house is actually huge, but this side view makes it look quaint and so, so charming - cedar shakes, crisp white trim, that second floor balcony overlooking the pool, climbing roses and boxwoods, boxwoods and more boxwoods.  Just perfection:

Following Friday's post, I think a Lutyens bench would look fabulous in this outdoor space so I went with it and added some navy blue, stripes, string lights, a metal garden orb and, of course, topiary for table tops!  Here is how I would bring an outdoor space together if this were my home:

bench / chippendale planter / monogram pillow / garden orb / stripe pillow

knot mat / topiary / string lights

Happy Tuesday!  Hope you're having a great week!