Tag Archives: garden chairs

Friday miscellany

The porch of Burnside Plantation in 1938, by photographer Frances Benjamin Johnson for the Carnegie Survey of the South.


The Washington Post has an interesting, and rather sad, article (and colorful slide show), here, about the once-great floating gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico City. Although it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, “the ancient plots and their life-giving canals are weedy and abandoned, overrun by cattle, invaded by exotic fish, sucked dry by urban sprawl — and a dozen agencies of government have failed to save one of the wonders of the world.”

Anne Raver in The New York Times writes about Nancy Goodwin’s celebrated Montrose Gardens in winter, here. The slide show includes a photo of her lath house, which has been on my list of favorite garden structures since I saw it in Garden Design in the 1990s.

In urban landmark news, the first Starbucks on the East Coast, at Wisconsin and Idaho Avenues, N.W., in Washington, D.C., has closed. The building it occupied will soon be demolished. However, The Huffington Post reports, here, that the new, mixed-use development will still have a Starbucks (whew!). In the meantime, if you visit the nearby National Cathedral’s Bishop’s Garden, you can get coffee (and fudge) in the gift shop.

(Also, a slideshow in the header of the National Cathedral’s website, here, has some revealing photos of the earthquake damage of last summer.)

This link from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the University of Texas at Austin displays a map of the U.S. Click on a state and you get a list of native plants suitable for that region. Also, here’s an interesting perspective on the honey bee as a pollinator of American native plants, at Garden Rant.

Finally, if you need a reminder to always be alert to possibilities for design, click here.


Filed under American gardens, art, design, garden design, garden writing, landscape, nature, Washington, D.C., gardens

A Friday miscellany

I’ve been looking online again at Ikea’s garden seats — some new, some not.

I thought of antique English garden benches when I saw this Äpplarö corner seat in acacia wood ($109).  There are also one-seat units ($79.99) that you can add to make a longer bench.

I also like this Ammerö in handwoven black plastic rattan ($139.00 with the cushions; one-seat units also available).

This Varmdö rocking chair looks great, and comes in black as well ($129).

Finally,  I think I’d love to have some of these aluminum Reidar chairs for eating outside ($49.99). I’ll buy anything orange, but they also come in beige, black, blue, and white.

All photos via http://www.ikea.com.

Garden Design’s blog has just posted a slide show of some remarkable garden seating, here.

Surely ruminating and lolling, squandering slivers of time as you ponder on this or that plant; perching about the place on seats chosen for their essential and individual quality, are other whole aspects of being a gardener. Why shouldn’t we? We sit in other people’s gardens, why not in our own?
– Mirabel Osler, The Garden Bench

To read . . .

As you head out for Garden Open Days this spring, be sure to take along Black Walnut Dispatch’s very funny rubric for keeping score.

The Financial Times had an informative article earlier in the month about some of the tough issues behind the international cut flower trade — a $40 billion industry. I found the link while reading Earth at Work, a blog by South Africa-born (now living in London) writer/editor Vivienne Hambly. She writes on “the small, intriguing interactions between plants, humans and the planet” and has an interesting perspective on “guerrilla gardening,” here.

You can also see some small examples of guerrilla gardening in east London here. (You have to scroll down to “Il faut du temps” [‘It takes time’].) And this seems like a wonderful addition to the urban landscape.

The New York Times has an article on Tina Nelson, the Soil, Water, and Ecology Coordinator for Central Park, here.  She and her staff make her own formula of ‘compost tea’ to keep the park healthy — 500 gallons of it twice a year.

The paper also has a profile by Anne Raver of writer Barbara Damrosch and her husband, Eliot Coleman, and their Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine.

Damrosch’s own column this week for The Washington Post is about the value of mulching with “ramial chipped wood” or chipped branches with a diameter of about 3″ or less.

Pick a pepper: Adrian Higgins of The Washington Post discusses his own vegetable seed choices for 2012, here.

The L.A. Times home and garden blog has a post about growing different kinds of aloes in the garden, with some beautiful photos.

Thinking of travel . . .

Are you planning on being in Washington, D.C., in a month? If so, mark your calendar now for the Smithsonian Craft Show, April 19-20, at the gorgeous National Building Museum. It will be the Smithsonian Women’s Committee’s 30th anniversary show, and proceeds will support various projects at the Smithsonian Institution.

We are thinking of visiting Lyon, France, this spring.  Can anyone recommend some good gardens (or other sites) to see there?

Always eat dessert first (really)

Finally (this has nothing to do with gardens), life is good:  Researchers have found that a low-calorie meal plan that includes “a high-carbohydrate, protein-enriched breakfast with a choice of cookies, chocolate, cake, or ice cream for dessert” may help dieters. It’s in the New York Times, here, so I’m in.

I took it into my head to covet some white Arbois wine. . . .  [B]ut unluckily, I could never drink without eating; the difficulty lay therefore, in procuring bread. . . .  I could not bear to purchase it myself; how could a fine gentleman, with a sword by his side, enter a baker’s shop to buy a small loaf of bread? — it was utterly impossible. At length I recollected the last-resort solution [le pis-aller] of a great princess, who, on being informed that the country people had no bread, replied, “Then let them eat cake!”  [“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!”]

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions, written 1765 (when Marie A. was nine years old)


Filed under American gardens, art, design, food, garden design, garden writing, landscape, nature, plants, working in the garden