March 30, 2010


Everything is happening so fast!    

Ever feel like this?

Or this?
Piles are looming.............landscape designs.............interior calls..... a gazillion details.......time wasted searching for things;  keys, cell phone, files....... And I miss reading my favorite blogs and commenting.

I WILL get out will all come always does

This week we are partnering with NEST candles in promoting Autism Speaks. And April is Autism Awarness month.
Laura Slatkin, creator of NEST candles has an autistic child and Laura has developed  the 'Blue Garden' fragrance, a refreshing burst of spring with scents of Blue Hydrangea, Hyacinth and Forget-me-nots with fresh green notes. BUT...........100% of the proceeds goes to Autism Speaks!

Join us in the launch April 1st and April 2nd at the shop. Refreshments, extended hours (until 7pm) and Scentimental Gardens will be donating 10% of our sales to Autism research.

Some of the aforementioned plate spinning is of my own doing.
But I am excited to share some news........we are opening our third shop in Chicago. Preparations are fast underway and there IS SO MUCH TO DO as we hope to open in May! But until further updates save June 18th for our grand opening party......and I cannot wait to reveal who our special guests are once all the details are finalized.

Opening at the same time, next door, will be my good friend Julia Edelmann of Buckingham I.D. and the Chicago blogger of Material Girls.................Oh do we have plans!

Then it is off next week on an antique buying jaunt, one of life's little pleasures. Birmingham, Knoxville, Atlanta and Louisville.

This time will be different...........the newly retired Steve will be the driver/co-shopper.
Some of our conversations;

Me;   "If I need a bathroom break will you stop?"
Him;  "Of course, I am retired now!"
Me;   sigh.........

Him  "I will help you buy"
Me:  "Ok, will learn about antiques?"
Hin:  "No, I will watch what you are spending".
Me   SIGH..........

Sister used to join me on these trips, but as you can see she is busy. Busy with new friends, such as Art Smith. Sound familiar? That is the newly svelte Art of Oprah's personal chef fame. But if in town, his restaurant 'Table 52' is a must!

Happy Easter!

March 22, 2010


Yes!!  You read that correctly........he is now on the market!

Corporate by day...........master carpenter........ as time allowed.

BUT, I have been terribly selfish..........terribly

The vast majority of his craft has been for me and my ever expanding list

Why the sudden change of heart?       Corporate just said "Thank you for your decades of service."

Translate...................(we can get someone younger and cheaper)

My suggestions were not embraced.  He could learn to COOK

Take over the duty of DISH you can read , MOST DO!

For long time readers, you know my love of bagpipes........he could become a PIPER!!

Well, since all my suggestions have been refuted, there must be something else..................

Something, he must do something before I run. Shades of "what is for breakfast?" and "where are you going?" are whispered.

So is your chance!!!!    Remember those past posts, the one's that showed his handy work and all of you that wrote saying "I sure wish I had a Steve in my life!"

Let's review his projects with minimum commentary and "impartial" enthusiasm

Remember this? He designed and built the stove surround

I love it, looks appropriately old...........this is an 1850's cottage

Another kitchen shot. Totally designed and built by Steve; cabinets, ceiling, opening you see to the foyer which was not there before.

Master Bedroom. Sure wish I had the "before". This entire wall was a fireplace with sheets of plywood on either side with finger holes to slide back and forth to enter the closet. Again the ceiling and he stripped the floors. Can you imagine that at one point someone glued linoleum to these floors?

Den;  Was previously a gut wrenching wallpaper of powder blue and peach (remember those days?). Steve removed the powder blue wall to wall cheap carpeting, the ceilings including rescued barn beams, he added the high shelf and I hired for the wallpaper; Brunschwig & Fils 'On Pointe'.

Having always heard "couples that hang wallpaper together go to court together." 

Then I NEEDED a animals, yet...........but a place to house my landscape equipment, projects and antiques for the shop.              sorry.....ugly Illinois in March photo's.

All built by hand, Steve did everything including electrical and plumbing, everything....well almost......the concrete floor was contracted.

Cupolas are a favorite architectural element. Stand back and look at your home..........could a cupola enhance it? Give it presence? If you opt to go in that direction error on the side of larger than too small.

Of course a pass through was needed to get from the pool to the pond. This year he added lights up inside the peak that reflect down and sets off a warm glow. Oh, and take a peak at the double decker birdhouse.....who else?

Many of you have seen this photo here before, but in case you have not...........feast your eyes on the powder blue aluminum siding, dirty awning and negligent landscaping. This photo is from the day of purchase.

Siding and awning off. Overhangs built over the doors. Thick white molding around the windows and at the corners.................

The pool house had to match, here you can get a better view of the white molding trim earlier referenced. New door in high gloss black, three dimensional dog head sprayed in high gloss black.

Wait, I just remembered.........I need shutters on the house in high gloss black, the real kind that open and close, with shutter dogs!

A lamp post

And........once in a great while.........time to do a project for a client. This is one of our treasured landscape clients. For Sharon a contemporary pergola was designed and crafted by Steve

Go for it Steve! You have supported my passions, now it is your turn!

March 17, 2010


The planting season is nearing...well, here in the north. And now it a great time to assess your containers.
How do you determine if yours are a match to your home?

My business is to "know" but........ taste being subjective...........let's explore options

  • A sense of formality
  • The colorway would mirror the limestone trim
  • The body scallop is a near repetition of the limestone 

  • Informal container as the home is country French
  • The large empty spot on either side of the door could be nestled with this container
  • As this container ages it will take on the color ways of the house, stain would make that instant
  • An obelisk as shown in the smaller existing pot would be a nice touch

  • I am partial to the container on the's simplicity does not upstage the house
  • The interjection of some curves to a very square profile
  • Would paint it white to match the trim or the teal/gray of the left option for a pop of color

  • The existing containers work; they do not upstage the complexity of the house
  • These are another idea........the formality and strong colorway are complimentary

  • The height of those on the left counterbalance the low profile of the structure
  • The large  picture window would become a focal point with window boxes
  • Color? I love the color of that pale blue. What do you think if the shutters went to a dark bluish/charcoal?

  • Both home and planter are not too formal but has elements of formality
  • Love the spheres near the walkway, this color would highlight them
  • Personally would do some re-arranging and place the planters on plinths for height and set in front of the shutters where they meet. What a perfect stage for the plants.

  • Two options here, both could work and both are very different.
  • The fish scale pot replicates the shingles at the peak. I would place at the bottom of the stairs on a matching base and put a rust toned glaze over the pot to blend
  • The wire pot on a stand suggests the Victorian era. If kept planted profusely, I would place it on the ground centered on the front porch to the right

  • Notice the prominent slate roof? The amazing colorways?
  • This choice picks up the lead color in the roof, and the cistern nature blends with the era and style

  • The angular nature of this contemporary home needs a softening effect
  • The wavy motion like form in the same colorway could be planted with exotic/architectural stop in your tracks plants
  • There is already the cedar fence which introduces an opposing color, this choice does not add to that; i would stain the fence grey

  • There is a lot going on here architecturally. I would add a complimentary, to the window trim, planter and allow the plantings to "speak"

  • GORGEOUS!!    The Faux Bois oversized cement planter created by friend Richard Taylor
  • Mimics the same old world charm, would not upstage but enhance

  • Folk Victorian; in the day.........a middle American take on the more elaborate Victorian
  • The black pots are classic but not fussy. Black will bring down the height and blend with the shutters.

  • A blend of architectural styles does not replicate any one look. I would say the overall look is traditional in a relaxed manner. 
  • My choice would be these wooden containers stained in the dark brown of the trim

  • Italiannate......what else but the same; black and large

  • Formal...... meet formal
  • From about the same era, the white is perfect and I would place them on either side of the front door....between the door and window........the red brick is a perfect back drop

  • Two strong elements here are the tile roof and the curved arches.
  • Placed out into the garden this would both enhance and create a tie-in

  • Let's be different! A window box would be expected. A series of free formed pots mounted under the window would be charming......horizontally that is.

  • Prairie styled home............prairie styled pots. And, the color is perfect!

  • Lot's of action here.....would keep it simple, match the shutters and fill with bronzey foliage plants and primary colored flowers

  • Two options here;
  1. An eye popping contrast with the over sized copper pots
  2. Charming wooden planters either allowed to age to the mellow gray or painted white

  • This home is very asymmetrical. One planter near the bench in an aged patina would work

  • Choices choices! 
  • Against the home and within the courtyard allows for many styles. Love the cylindrical lead planter as shown and the strapped and hinged planter in the center

  • Arts and craft meet arts and craft!

  • South Carolina courtyard full of your pot!
  • I would stain this concrete urn BLACK and place on a plinth in place of the low ringed bowl as shown

  • You guessed it.............A HOUSE OF TIRES.....needs.......tada!

Let's get inspired with beautiful containers in lovely settings

Not a true match on the window box and sometimes opposites attract. This box stands out but, is still tied this case the front door

Do not be afraid to blend materials but know when to stop...........two colorways are great......three or more is pushing it

This home's height can be imposing. By replicating colorways OUT into the garden "brings down" the structure. LOVE when pots come out onto the property versus always on either side of the door.

CRAZY for this palette; bluestone shades are enhanced with the zinc planters. You could not possibly rush to this door and ring the doorbell but stop, sigh and let everything sink in.

The 'Terra Cotta Pot" house. Look close, the entire front is layered with varying heights of all one type of pot. Love how this arrangement becomes "one with the house" by adding the trellis panels and making this composition blend..

Unsure of your planters?  Send me photo's, we will look together 

"Wishin' you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold............Irish blessing


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