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A Time to Dream and Scheme

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast

Man never is, but always to be blessed_”
– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man







January has delivered we Cape Codders a real taste of Winter with some snow and very cold temperatures. But as gardeners, this time of year heralds the arrival of catalogues and an abundance of posts on the web for thinking about and planning our 2015 gardens. In this posting I will share some great sites to peruse to stimulate your senses and provide ideas for your landscapes.

White Flower Farm, Proven Winners and Monrovia have posted their new introductions and these sites offer so much “eye candy” we can easily get too ambitious in our enthusiasm without making some notes and simple sketches of existing areas in our yards. I recommended in a previous post that it is a good idea to journalize successes and failures of last year’s attempts. If you didn’t do this, take heart, I am sure with a little imagination you can create such a list. Let’s face it, when it is 5 degrees outside, this can be a pleasant way to spend an afternoon with a cup of tea curled up by the fire. Monrovia’s site has a fun surv ey where you can fine tune your gardening style and see photos of gardens that depict this style. Check it out Magazines like Fine Gardening and their sister web sites remain one of my favorites and posts have occurred highlighting new introductions and lots of gardening advice for designing and growing plants.

It is also the time for reviewing trends and speculation on what might be the “hot” new product or landscaping amenity. The last couple of years folks have dramatically expanded the use of the outdoor spaces with terraces, decks, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, et. al. it seems we Americans are really starting to appreciate “exterior decorating” paying as much attention to the outside as they do to the interiors of their homes. Julie Moir Meservey’s latest book, Landscaping Ideas that Work, is an excellent resource. I also love Billy Goodnick’s Yards_Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of your Dreams. He writes in a very refreshing style and you will find a no-nonsense approach to design. Vanessa Nagel, an award winning designer and author, shares her experience and creative genus in her book, Understanding Garden Design, a treasure trove of inspiration and practical advice.

Julie Yards




There is a continued interest in container gardening, having fun with succulents and tropicals with an emphasis on foliage and texture. Again, please take a look at Karen Chapman’s and Christina Salwitz’s Fine Foliage and visit their Facebook page. Their photos are luscious and sure to wow. The availability of plant material in the Pacific Northwest make me green with envy. Also check out Detroit Garden Works for creating containers that will be the envy of all your friends.

Fine Foliage

Always fun is the announcement of Pantone’s color of the year, Marsala. Always appearing first with the fashion industry we will see this color everywhere in interiors, magazine covers and of course applications for the garden. I received this post recently from Landscaping with the link to their Pinterest board displaying some whimsical photos of the use of Marsala in all it’s color variations. Be on the look out for the marketing of flowers and new introductions highlighting these colors.


Vegetable gardens can be beautiful as well and this book will show you how: The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner. It’s exciting to see the interest in raising your own food and this trend is taking the country by storm. Our collective consciousness has been awakened as people become more informed and proactive on sustainability issues, buying locally grown produce and taking stands on companies like Monsanto and the GMO controversies. A good thing for sure. Even if time and space does not allow you to cultivate an extensive vegetable garden, we can find a sunny niche and plant in containers and or little raised beds.
I do hope you spend some time in the new few weeks to peruse the suggestions mentioned here and enjoy the journey as you solidify your ideas for 2015. Happy New Year and a fruitful gardening year. Please visit my Houzz idea books and like my Facebook page, Elaine’s Design Studio, to stay in the loop of new and exciting gardening news.



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