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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Entries in Wildflowers (3)


This Landscaper Does Beautiful Work with Native Plants and Wild Flowers

http://www.pwsteinbeiser.comNo matter how plentiful the ideas that garden designers discover in their personal well of creativity, occasionally, there is a need to refresh and invigorate the mind. Searching online for inspiration is one of many ways that I add to my body of knowledge, because one cannot predict where, or when, the next innovative gardening concept will be born.

http://www.pwsteinbeiser.comThis quest keeps me researching online during the winter, when I cannot garden. On any morning, when I open up my computer, I have no clue where my hunting expedition will lead. Recently, I tripped over the Paul W.Steinbaiser Landscaping website and it stopped me in my tracks. The impressive images, I found there, reminded me that beautiful, eye-catching, flowerbeds can be created using mainly native plants and wildflowers.

In the gardening community, these two genres of perennials have taken center stage, of late, for several reasons. They are reliable, low-maintenance, hardy, easy to propagate, native to some locations, and many supply textural winter interest. While there is no consensus on the role that native plants should - or should not - play in landscaping, gardeners who are concerned about sustainability always find ways to include them in their plans.

http://www.pwsteinbeiser.comConsequently, plants in this category appear as basic themes in many gardens, all over the world. Steinbaiser, too, uses ordinary, easily accessible, perennials to create extraordinarily eye-catching compositions. Yet, rarely have I seen them designed and photographed so effectively.

http://www.pwsteinbeiser.comI return regularly to this website for several other reasons. First, there is much to learn about designing with native and wildflowers from the imaginative work of this commercial landscaper. Secondly, gardeners who have been wondering how they might adapt Piet Oufdolf’s and Michael King’s native and wildflower meadows, to their modest sized properties, will find some inspiration here, even though the examples are limited to a handfull of images. Thirdly, it offers evidence that Rudbeckia, a perennial that I have been avoiding, deserves reconsideration.  

The landscape design and construction firm of Paul W. Steinbaiser, in Frenchtown, New Jersey, USA, also operates a native plant nursery. The organization focuses on the long-lived relationships between the landscape and its users. Local stone, soil, and native plant communities are sourced to create sustainable and eye-catching wildflower meadows and native plant gardens.


Wildflower Meadows: Rob Cardillo Creates a Landscape Masterpiece

Image is the copyright property of Rob Cardillo and used here with his permission.Those who read illustrated garden books or magazines are familiar with the work of the talented photographer, Rob Cardillo. Over the years, we have come to appreciate his intimate images of flowers, fruit, foliage, ornamental shrubs, as well as close ups of beautiful garden compositions. Whether it’s inside a book or on a magazine cover, Rob’s photography is first class.

This month, fans of his work are in for a treat. The September/October 2011 edition of Garden Design, a recently revamped magazine, commissioned Rob to photograph the private retreat of Larry Weaner, a designer of natural-looking landscapes, with 200 meadows to his credit. Mr. Weaner’s property, a retreat situated outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania, is the subject of an article written by Bill Marken and titled Pasture Perfect: Wildflowers and meadows create a sustainable rural retreat. Some of the photo outtakes from that project appear in this post.

Image is the copyright property of Rob Cardillo and is used here with his permission.In this photo essay, Rob Cardillo’s images are pivotal because, with their publication, he raises the bar for his own work and moves from respected photographer to Impressionist artist. Some of his perspectives of the Weaner garden capture light as an element of garden design. In one picture it appears as strong rays of sun flooding down, and through, tree branches, while in another, it illuminates, from afar, tree foliage and grasses. In Mr. Cardillo's own words:That garden is especially gorgeous in the morning when the sun breaks through the summer fog. 

The color blue features prominently in most of the photographs in this project. In one, it is found in an overcast sky. In another, it is revealed in multi hued patio stones. A colorful flower garden next to a water feature highlights the Caribbean blue that lines a pool, while a shade of violet-blue is picked up by the sun as it hits the shingles of a barn’s roof. In each instance, blue effectively sets off all of the other colors in the picture.

A double-page opening photograph captures the garden in overcast weather. The flowers on the right hand page trick the eye into thinking that the petals were brushed onto a painter’s canvas; there is a desire to reach out and touch them. The ethereal qualities of the image is captivating, while the directional lines of a brown fence tapering into the near background - but not the horizon - draws the viewer into the scene. The artist/photographer has created a masterpiece.

When I first came upon the double-page photo, I heard myself gasp with surprise and awe; I couldn’t take my eyes away from it. For over a week, the magazine remained open, to the left of my placemat on the kitchen table as I stared at it endlessly. Something kept drawing me to - and into - the picture. I wanted to step inside and lean against the brown fence and experience the hypnotic landscape just as the photographer discovered it - such is the talent of this artist.

I never expected to see pictures of this quality in a mass market garden magazine. Even the epitome of all horticultural publications, Gardens Illustrated, does not featured photography of this caliber. I hope that Mr. Weaner feels honored that the distinguished artist/photographer Rob Cardillo has forever preserved his magical retreat with such exquisite imagery


Web Photos That I Like

Here is an eye-catching photo of a garden of annual wildflowers grown from seed. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds inspired the seed mixture for gardeners seeking to develop wildlife havens in their gardens. This selection, “RSPB Wildlife Attracting Seed Range”, is available from the British supplier, Sutton Seeds.

Victor Gardiner in Plymouth, Devon, England in the UK is the photographer of this stunning image. He used a Sony K750i cell phone and uploaded the image to the site of “The Voice of Plymouth”.

The tiny lavender flowers on the bottom of the picture are Lobelia, either erinus or tenuior. The red flowers are Papaver rhoeas or Red Wild Field Poppies. The yellow flowers are Chrysanthemum segetum or Corn Marigolds. The Blue flowers are Centaura cyanus or Blue Cornflowers. The small purple flowers in the upper left corner are Matthiolla longipetula or Night Scented Stocks.