These Â gorgeous, three-tier container gardens were spotted in front of theÂ Fairmont Hotel in Chicago where I stayed this week.
The Â first thing that caught my attention was the copper containers themselves and then I noticed how dynamic the plant arrangement was!
Not only are the copper containers Â a feature in this landscape, but the “understory” planting of bulbs and annuals all work together for this spectacular vignette.
Note how the tulips, Swedish ivy and other annuals complete the look underneath the copper container garden arrangement.
The top Â tier features the “thriller” plant, or featured plant- a strappy and billowy ornamental grass.
Underneath are lavender azaleas and spilling, Swedish ivy.
The three-tier container plant arrangement is elevated from the bottom level for prominence.
A metal planter stand raises the copper containers for greater prominence.
I recommend using a concrete paver to place the stand on.
It will balance that the metal legs Â so they don’t sink into the soil and tilt over.
You can always cover the paver with a sheet of moss.
Every tier in the container garden arrangement is elevated.
When selecting a plant stand for use within another pot like this, make sure the legs sit as low to the bottom of the container as possible so that it doesn’t “sink” after filling with soil and plants.
I suggest using a metal plant stand that is powder coated so that it doesn’t rot from the constant contact with moist soil.
Hope this container garden arrangement inspires you to create your own!
Need some inspiration for your personalized garden shed?
I've been challenged by Debra Prinzing's book,Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideawaysto consider the creative use of sheds within the garden as personal retreats, work spaces and hobby rooms.
Although I'm a landscape designer who relishes the unconventional, I haven't crossed the bridge yet to design a "non-gardening" related shed.
Garden sheds are very common, yet I bet you haven't seen sheds like the ones presented in Debra's book before.
Photographed by the talented, William Wright, the book is visually stunning and offers inspirational accounts of how these customized retreats have enriched the lives of its keepers.
Caution: Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways may cause uncontrollable desire for a shed of ones own!
Usually, I don't care to read about the homeowner's lives in a design book, I just want to see the pictures!
The profiles about the shed owners in the book, complimented my appreciation for the sheds.
It opened my eyes to how a well designed garden structure could meet a variety of needs.
One shed was used as a design studio, another as an artist retreat, another for writing, yet another as a children's playroom.
With descriptive names for each shed like "Planting Paradise, "Mod Pod," and "Hampton Hut," I finished the book with the impression that there is a perfect shed out there for everyone and everyone should have one!
Here are a few examples from Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways:
One of the smallest sheds profiled in the book is an 8' x 8' foot potting shed in Santa Cruz, California owned by Martha Mendoza that Debra dubbed, the "Newsroom."
Martha, a Pulitzer-prize-winning investigative reporter, finished the interior of an old wood shed and uses it as her office.
She now has a private place to write that is close to home and her family.
The "Newsroom" is a good example of a shed that is accessible for many people.
I can just see Martha "digging up some dirt" for a story while enjoying the sweet view of her vegetable and flower garden!
Pictured above is one of my other favorite sheds that Debra named the "Rec Room."
Lin Su, a young technology professional for Yahoo, felt cramped in her 600 square foot Santa Monica cottage and needed more space for work and entertaining.
Lin opted for a prefabricated structure designed by Ryan Grey Smith of Modern-Shed and found the 10-by-12-foot studio perfect for her needs and budget.
Set in her modern garden, Lin's shed allows her to enjoy urban living at its finest!
I fell for this romantic shed, named the "Sweet Retreat!" Can you see yourself in this room?
Designers Rand Babock and Tony Nahr, created this garden retreat and filled it with their favorite antiques and mementos.
Debra writes that Rand and Tonyr often use the room for dining, reading and intimate gatherings.
I wouldn't mind ironing mountains of clothes if I could do it in this room!
The "Sweet Retreat" measures a mere 10-feet-by-10-feet proving again that great things come in small packages!
Thank you Debra for including a Mediterranean-style shed for us "dry gardeners" who thirst for an oasis to relax in!
William Wright's camera lens closes in on this open-air pavilion aptly found under the "Extravagant Gestures" section of the book.
Located in Fallbrook, California and proudly owned by Les Olson and Patrick Anderson, the golden retreat is a crowning jewel in the two acre Eden that is home to plants that spike, whorl, fan and delight!
Debra devoted 8-pages to this jaw-dropping-gorgeous retreat and garden, so you will have to buy the book to see the close ups!
Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways is a well-crafted book and includes highlighted sections specifying information such as material used, design challenges, creative solutions and featured decor.
Use it as guidebook and muse for creating your garden hideaway.
All you need is a little yard space, lots of imagination and a small or generous budget.
Shoppers at independent garden centers will have an added value service provided by Monrovia Growers, in-store boutiques that offer outdoor living and garden design ideas! Monrovia Growers, one of the world’s leading producers of container grown plants is setting up a “boutique within a store” display area in garden centers throughout the country.
Â Don’t expect to see this level of inspiration in your big box stores- Monrovia has a staff of visual merchandising experts and Â talented designers whose sole responsibility will be to keep the garden design ideas coming season after season. Monrovia does not sell their high quality plants in big box stores anyway and their stock is highly distinquished from their “anemic cousins” offered at discount outlets.
Monrovia worked the “foliage and texture” power combination to bring color to the autumn garden. I’m sold!
I got a preview of Monrovia’sÂ design prowess at the Independent Garden Center show I attended in Chicago a few weeks ago. Their autumn container garden display was “out of the box” with uncommon use of landscape plants like phormiums,Â carex, huecheras and cotoneasters anchoring vignettes for the porch along with their signature topiaries.
A sense of playfulness and humor was evident in the use of unconventional “pumpkin” planters and the use of contrasting texture and form combinations like yellow mums and toffee-colored carex.
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Â Check out my video interview with Monrovia visual merchandising guru, Aaron Shiver at the Independent Garden Center Show.
Monrovia plants have always been popular with design professionals and now the general consumer can enjoy the full benefit of their quality plants along with some great ideas for using them in the garden and other outdoor areas.
Monrovia’s whimsical holiday display opens our minds up to the different possibilities.
Bio: Hi! My name is Shirley and I'm an "EdenMaker!" I'm a happily married mom of 4 kids and I design gardens for a living in Los Angeles and appear as the garden lifestyle expert on the Home & Family show on the Hallmark Channel.
People know me from my garden makeovers on television and my many web series!
Start watching my shows:
http://GardenCenterTV.ning.com & http://Blip.TV/Garden-World-Report