How to Photograph Plants in Winter

December 23, 2013
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Capturing a garden’s vitality through a camera’s lens can pose a challenge — trying to do so in winter is even harder. Photographer Karen Bell has led seasonal photography workshops at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden since 2005. Here, she offers a few tips for creating compelling outdoor images. 

Creating Long-Lasting Floral Arrangements

October 11, 2013
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A minimalist aesthetic is the hallmark of Spruce’s floral arrangements, which derive much of their beauty from their simplicity. Many of the arrangements are made to be dried and preserved.

Now that autumn has arrived, it’s time to think about salvaging the last blooms of summer before they wither away in your garden. Cut bouquets of roses, hydrangeas and other showy flowers can be preserved indoors for years if you let them dry naturally.

Steel Comes Home

October 06, 2013
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Steel Fence

Palm Springs, Calif. is a Mecca of modern architecture from mid-century restorations to futuristic open dwellings. When fences, partitions and screens are called for, the traditional cedar board fence just doesn't fit into these landscapes. Damage by wind, blowing sand, and extreme heat of the southern California desert excludes most outdoor wood products.

Pebble Mosaic Walkways

October 02, 2013
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The design trend away from solid concrete to permeable walking surfaces has opened the door to fresh paving options. Smaller homes and yards make it possible to explore alternative, sometimes truly unique surfaces without breaking the budget. One of the most exciting is pebble mosaics, which utilize naturally rounded stones in various colors to create patterns and images. This technique predated Roman mosaics by a thousand years.

Herbal Household Helpers

September 30, 2012
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Garden expert Trisha Shirey of Lake Austin Spa Resort shares recipes from the herb garden. 

Herbal Scouring Powder

A gentle and fragrant way to clean in the kitchen and bath.

½ cup baking soda

½ cup borax powder

¼ dried herbs, ground in a mortar and pestle

(Suggested herbs: basil, bay laurel, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, scented geraniums, thyme)

Photo by: Marianne Majerus

It is difficult to pinpoint when the living roof jumped from eco-fantasy to eco-solution — there have been startling and innovative green roofs all across the country and in Europe seemingly forever. But in my mind, technology and design caught up with the dream in 2008 when a sweeping marvel of native plants, wildflowers, and engineering was built atop San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences.

This article was first published in Garden Design March 2012

Kevin Gillespie stoops in the cool of the evening to gently pull back the brilliant burgundy leaves of red beets, then bares an aha grin as his tattooed arms unearth a key ingredient for a favorite recipe he’s about to prepare.

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