What will be gracing the curb appeal of landscape trends for the year 2020? Last year, it was all about metals, pergolas, and pinks. We’re sure homeowners will find delight in maintaining simple upkeep of backyards, but we’re excited to share the trends that will be topping off the effortless upkeep and simple beauty. Time to dig in!Read More
Before the designer could create this charming country cottage landscape in the heart of posh Wayzata, she had to win the trust of a client who had been disappointed by three previous contractors. Her own bold plan called for removing a row of failing cedars and creating an enchanting garden in the now sunny front yard. The plan would bring sense to the home’s complex elevation that had resulted from joining the main house and carriage house.
The goal was to make it easier to find the front entrance and to reclaim the space for a private garden that would feature improved paving, classic architectural elements, dog security and more manageable maintenance. By the time construction was underway the client was so confident she would simply refer questions to the designer.Read More
The 146-acre renewal center is dedicated to restoring balance in visitors’ lives by showing gratitude and learning from nature itself. The landscaping and outdoor structures had to be designed and built with sensitivity to this higher calling while satisfying the practical demands of a public meeting place. This design company’s relationship with the Center has grown organically over a series of projects that produced a serene natural environment that feels as good as it looks and functions better than ever before.Read More
The fence is the simplest way to divide boundaries and to create privacy in your yard. The difficulty with fences, however, is that many municipalities only allow for the construction of fences that are 6 feet in height. This limits to the amount of privacy that can be achieved with just a fence. If you would like to have anything taller, there are a few simple ways in which privacy can be achieved. The best such way being, with plants!Read More
While the foliage of snakeroots can be stunning, many gardens do not have enough space for them to extend their sprawling flower stems. Now that rich burgundy-cocoa sheen is available in a tidy package, "Chocolate Shogun" Astilbe. Diminutive even by astilbe standards, its foliage reaches a mere 15" above which it sends creamy pink plumes of bloom. Grows in all of the standard astilbe locations.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, rosemary, and basil are staples to a great vegetable and herb garden, providing fresh produce straight to your table. Whether you enjoy canning or cooking with your bounty, gardeners across the land cannot deny the benefits to growing your own food. Now, gardening isn’t a walk in the park. They need a lot of care and attention and I for one am a firm believer in rewarding oneself for hard work. My rewards usually tend to lean towards the adult beverage variety and being a gardener myself I feel like there is no reason why you cannot “spice” up (pun intended) your repertoire by using herbs and vegetables of your own with your favorite cocktails. There are limitless concoctions out there, my personal favorite being The Infused Bloody Mary. To infuse your own vodka for Bloody Marys you simply take fresh garlic, cilantro and jalapenos from your garden, add in your favorite vodka and seal it in a glass container to steep for a few days. Adding this infused vodka to any Bloody Mary mix or V8 or your very own freshly squeezed tomato juice will truly make your experience one of a kind.
I've never been the type to turn down a drink so I use my garden quite often to enhance my cocktail hour. Whether it is growing pearl onions for my Martini’s or adding lemon basil muddled with mint to my world class Mojitos. The list goes on and on with all the different ways you can create delicious beverages from your garden. If you are looking for a non-alcoholic way to enjoy your gardens many uses, I suggest adding rosemary, basil, and mint to green tea. Using a glass container is best, and allow the herbs to steep with the tea overnight in the refrigerator. Also for those punch bowl lovers, you can make ice cubes by freezing crushed fruit, such as blackberries or strawberries and mint in an ice cube tray. It is my experience, that for best results you should use distilled water. That way the ice cubes come out clear and not cloudy. Feel free to peruse the tasty drink recipes if have listed or get creative and see what signature cocktail you can come up with this summer!
Blackberry Mint Julep
- 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 pint blackberries
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 4 cups small ice cube
- 4 sprigs mint, for garnishing
- Roughly chop mint leaves.
- Puree the mint, blackberries, and sugar in a blender. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard seeds.
- Rinse blender, then return puree to blender, and add bourbon and small ice cubes; blend until smooth.
- Divide mixture among 4 glasses. Garnish each with a mint sprig.
Herbal Sun Tea
- 2 tablespoons loose rooibos tea
- 2 tablespoons dried lemon verbena or dried mint
- 2 quarts cold water
- Honey or sugar, to taste
- Place tea and lemon verbena or mint on a square of cheesecloth. Tie into a bundle with kitchen twine.
- Place tea bag in a large glass jar, and add water.
- Cover, and steep in direct sunlight for 2 hours.
- Strain tea, and discard solids. Stir in honey or sugar. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 3 days.
Lillet Basil Cocktail
- 1 cup ice, plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup Lillet Blanc
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) gin
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- Splash of tonic water
- 1 cucumber spear, for garnish
- 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
- Put ice, Lillet, gin, orange juice, and basil in a cocktail shaker; shake well.
- Fill a glass with ice; strain mixture into glass.
- Add tonic water. Garnish with cucumber spear, cinnamon stick, and basil sprigs.