Down the Garden Path

As mentioned I’ve embarked on my new [revisted] gardening business, Bunch Garden Design.  I’ll be posting more of my inspiration photos along the way, I hope you’ll find some inspiration for your garden as well.  My interior design friends should know I will still be doing posts on wonderful rooms that make me happy, and will hopefully make you happy too.

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Today I’m researching options for garden paths created with various materials.  I have a client who is requesting some ideas for enhancing her stepping stone path to her backyard.  Currently the path is made with irregular blue stone on dirt.  Ugh, we both know it can be more.  In California, smaller lot size means every inch has possibilities.

We have a path in our small cottage garden in the rental we’re living in…we didn’t install the Mexican pavers, but they work just fine with this small garden space. [Madison, my constant furry companion]

Copy of garden path Camphor

In our former home of 35 years, we developed this pea gravel space in our backyard.  The trees served as air conditioning in the summer…not a path but it shows the versatility of gravel.

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Ground cover is an option for my client, but I seldom find it covers 100% around every stone.  So many paths with ground cover have dead patches of plant growth. If any of you have had great success with ground cover around stepping stones, I’d love to know of the plant name.

Garden, Home and Party: pareing down

The more permanent path [below] is certainly an option.  I especially like this one that includes a border of different stones as an edge to the planting area.

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Decomposed granite is a surface I particularly love because it reminds me of this exact kind of formal/historic garden.  One thing the client needs to know is that decomposed granite will need to be reapplied every few years.  I sure love the way it looks in the setting below.

Belgian Pearls

Flagstone gravel [below] is a color option for the right yard or garden.

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Brick is always welcome in the garden, this pathway stands the test of time and is classic.

bunny williams by phyllis, border for formal gdn

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If you decide to add a garden path to your yard, here are some steps recommended to prevent weeds from trying to take over your path.

  1. Step 1: Mark out the design. …
  2. Step 2: Level the ground. …
  3. Step 3: Cover the area with weed blocking fabric. …
  4. Step 4: Add a layer of aggregate and compress. …
  5. Step 5: Add a layer of sand and level. …
  6. Step 6: Lay pavers. …
  7. Step 7: Add your gravel or plants

I hope you’re having a pleasant spring.  We’re experiencing one of the coolest springs I remember. I don’t mind, summer will be here before we know it and it may be blazing hot!

xo

 

 

 

Inviting rooms

For as long as I can remember, I’ve found visits to favorite blog sites, a good shelter magazine, design books and actual visits to pretty homes, comforting. They are not just inspirational but they seem to transport me and lower my blood pressure.  🙂

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Sometimes it can be a vignette that catches my attention and I’m happy.

Blue and White coffee table tray

Discovering a well-designed room, by a designer that is new to me, makes me smile.

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Jared Hughes Design is an Atlanta designer.  His projects include a traditional design with a global influence.  I love the two rooms below, just the right about of blue and white beauty.

Jared Hughes Home

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I only recently discovered Amber Lewis.  Her website All Sorts Of is filled with inspirational ideas.

Amber Interiors - Client Tupac Meets Biggie To Decorate The Diggies

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Rooms with a splash of blue and white always catch my attention.

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Gardens have once again taken a large amount of my attention, but pretty rooms will always be a happy place for me.

xo

 

Gardens: Hiding Utilities

A backyard or side yard typically houses the a/c unit and sometimes trash cans.  I believe we would all enjoy our yards and gardens to their fullest if these essential, but often unsightly, utilities were hidden with attractive plants or structures. Below are some pretty examples of camouflaging the utilities you might have.

If you look towards the gate, on the left, you’ll notice the a/c units.  This space has been planted with lush vines and shrubs which don’t fully cover the air conditioner units, but they certainly keep you from noticing them.

I can’t be certain what this attractive structure is covering…I would have found a way to include space for the trash cans.

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This side yard is pretty and appears to have a couple of built ins that house maybe garden tools, trash cans and other yard essential.

90 beautiful side yard garden decor ideas (14)

This lattice structure is a favorite solution for me.  I’m always looking for a sunny location that can house my sweet pea vines during the season.

lattice screen

Well designed, this surround has a walk in space, possibly to accommodate the service that some a/c units can require.

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This surround is pretty basic but attractive due to its simplicity.  I’m sure the pine would gray with age, like the fencing.

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Lush, green and wonderful.  This may serve as only a fence, but it could easily hide something not desired to be visible from the yard.

great fencing | Blog: Rister/Armstrong and Bellamy Gardens | kelly kilpatrick | Flickr

I hope you discovered some ideas if you have something you’d like to disguise from your yard.

As promised, I will be posting pictures of pretty rooms in my next post.  I love to be outdoors, and Southern California makes that pretty doable year round.  Still, my heart sings when spotting a pretty room in fellow blog posts.

Thanks to all of you that responded to my initial post after such a long absence.  It means the world to me.

xo

Pretty California Gardens

I have a weakness for formal gardens.  I realize they aren’t for everyone, but to me they are classic and I love the orderly appearance they provide.

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Some of you may remember the formal garden I installed in our house of 35 years and while I don’t miss our old house (fond memories keep me happy), I do miss my formal garden.

When someone has a space that could use some structure and they don’t care to add hardscape to their yard, I recommend Japanese Boxwood buxus microphylla or Boxleaf Euonymus eunoymus japonicus ‘microphyllus’.  So pretty!

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Then there’s the beauty of an English garden where plants are allowed to fill in garden space and ramble a bit.  My California clients don’t often have room for this look.  We’re notorious for our postage sized lots, still there’s room in most yards for a little ramble, non-structured area of the garden.  The garden below is the yard of on of my favorite blog sites, Trouvais.  Trish may have retired her blog, but it’s still active.  If you’re interested in seeing some beautiful gardens, take a look.

Peonies, roses and lavender gardentrouvais

I’m sure you’ve heard of Velvet & Linen.  This is a kitchen garden they had in a house they owned when I first started reading their posts.  Now they live on beautiful grounds in Ojai.  You will want to visit their site and be amazed at the beauty of the home and grounds.  Inspiration is everywhere, including the charming farm animals they have.

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Velvet and Linen

I love a rustic look and this outdoor dining space makes me smile.  I think the right vine can add to and patio cover, creates an inviting dining space.

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Maybe I should dress the part of garden designer…garden design for homes or hats! 🙂

via S G GENEVA – my good friend Debra of 5th and State

Do you enjoy gardening?

xo

A New Direction – Bunch Garden Design

If you receive an email that I have a new post, don’t faint.  I know it’s been awhile.  I will explain it all…

During my years blogging at this site some of you may know this, some will be surprised to learn that I was working full time as an Executive Assistant until 2017.  Then I went to work part time at a design business.  In January of this year I officially retired but knew I wouldn’t be able to sit around for long without getting antsy.  I’ve always been a little hyper active and possibly a little OCD.  So before I gave notice I did some soul searching for my next “career”.

For 13 years before getting a full time job, my partner and good friend and I ran a landscape business.  We planted cottage gardens and gave people options for renovating their yards and gardens.  We both loved the work (and that has never ended) and we grew our business with word-of-mouth referrals.  I decided to try my hand at this work once again.  I have had 2 very large jobs (referred by friends) and know I’ve made the right decision.

I thought somewhere down the line I would revamp this site and focus on inspiration images of beautiful gardens, as well as post pictures of my work.  Note:  Photography has never been in my strong suit, but I’ll attempt the process anyway.

I received an email from someone referred to me and the first thing she said was, I couldn’t find a website for you, do you have one?  It’s time…I need to get this party started. 🙂

I am now, officially  Bunch Garden Design

So,  I will be ‘blogging’ again.  It will mostly be landscape inspiration, but I confess, I’ve never stopped loving interior design as well so you can catch a few of my favorite design inspirations as well.

I hope you’ll join me in this new chapter.

xo

Karen

Wild for Birds

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Historically birds have always had a place in homes.  They add beauty and charm whether in the form of a pet bird, framed prints from the Audubon collection, bronze or porcelain figurines, birds depicted in fabrics and wallpaper, or neighborhood birds enjoying a meal at a bird feeder in your backyard.

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

I was recently contacted by Audubon Park with a kind offer to provide me with a bird feeder and special seed to attract most varieties of birds in our neighborhood.  An instruction book and journal was included.  {Thank you, Audubon ParkYou may remember our foray into feeding birds from my posts HERE and HERE.

Garden, Home and Party: Bird feeder

I can share with you that it has been a relaxing and enjoyable experience and we have marveled at the visits by some of the most colorful birds, most we had no idea were in our neighborhood.  Should you wish to embark on this peaceful pass time, and with winter fast approaching it’s a great time to feed birds, Audubon Park not only provides these Tips for feeding birds but their site has information on where to buy their premium food and more:

  1. Know your local birds. [We happen to have a Field Guide to California birds].
  2. Feed them their favorite food
  3. Make them feel at home with trees, shrubs, flowers and a bird house
  4. Give them bath and drinking water
  5. Keep them safe: Make sure your seed, suet or nectar is made-in-the-USA and place feeders away from windows and predators

Because I can’t pass up an opportunity to showcase a pretty room, here are some additional ways birds find their way into our hearts and homes.

A chandelier ready for autumn, complete with a pair of faux American Crow perched on attached moss-laden branches…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

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Love this wallpaper with birds in flight…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

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Hotel Van Zandt, Austin, Texas displays birds made from old LP vinyl records…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

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a favorite room by the talented Holly Mathis, dressed for Christmas, features some wonderful Audubon prints…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

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Love the needlework peacocks in this bedroom…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

How sweet is this flamingo wallpaper for a baby girl’s room?…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

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Classic beauty in green and white…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this visit to the world of our feathered friends.  I’ve definitely had fun bird watching from our kitchen window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn flora in the home

Good morning, my friends!  So much for getting back to regular posting, right?!

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

I am an avid fan of fresh flowers and plants in my house year round.  I’ve used branches from shrubs and trees in the yard, and flowers from the market for our home most of my married life.  I also have several living plants in my home.  Ivy topiary, Peace Lily ‘spathiphyllum’ and a large pothos live in various rooms of the house.  When Christmas rolls around I’m happy to use faux garland, embellished with live cedar and pine.

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn flora

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

So it was with some hesitancy that I returned the kind email I received from Silk Plants Direct.  They were offering me a shopping visit of their site, where they would ship a product of my choice (with a generous pricing limit) for my honest review.  Still doubtful, I visited the link and found many of their plants to look very believable.  The item I selected reminds me of bittersweet, something that is sold live per stem by florists this time of year in our area.  I’ve always loved the look of bittersweet in autumn arrangements and wreaths, but couldn’t always find fresh stems.

I emailed my contact with Silk Plants Direct and was thrilled with the speedy delivery and the quality of the stems.  The flowers filled the large porcelain blue and white vases and finished the mantle decor for the season for me.  Thank you Silk Plants Direct!

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

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Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

Silk Plants Direct, a Silk flowers and plants retailer, has a user-friendly site and provides a column on their home page that allows shoppers to narrow their search by topics such as category, size, price, color, variety and season.

If you’re a die hard fan of real live plants and flowers, as I consider myself to be, you may be in for a surprise. I urge you to take a look at Silk Plants Direct.

Disclosure:  I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The honest opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

Nailed it!

As I mentioned earlier, I recently had our very tired, very sad red and white buffalo check sofa reupholstered. I’ve been using a more neutral palate wherever possible.  I have read it will calm me, so far, not so much. 🙂  You can take the Type A personality out of the chaos, but you can’t take the chaos out of the Type A.

We decided to add oil rubbed bronze nail heads to the arms this time  (in the picture they look brass, but in person they are definitely oil rubbed bronze in color). I like the extra detailing on the sofa and began to notice how many pieces of furniture in my ‘saved’ furniture file have nailheads.  {Sorry about the dog dishes in the kitchen, missed that in my viewfinder while taking this picture}

Garden, Home and Party: Nailed it

The New Jersey Star Ledger explained that this is an enduring element of furniture design…

The decorative use of nailheads on furniture is believed to have begun in 17th century France with the ornately carved wooden seating of the Louis XIII period. During this time when the most luxurious furnishings were coveted, craftsmen would use decorative nails to secure fine upholstery such as velvet, brocade, tapestries or leather.

I want to share some of my recent, and not so recent, furniture with nailheads finds…

Garden, Home and Party: Nailheads on furniture

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Garden, Home and Party: Nailheads on furniture

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I love the nailheads on these chairs, as well as the ikat fabric.

Garden, Home and Party: Nailheads on furniture

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Aren’t these beds wonderful?  Perfect for a room for adolescent teens or visiting guests. {also, isn’t this wallpaper great?}

Garden, Home and Party: Nailheads on furniture

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Garden, Home and Party: Nailheads on furniture

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Garden, Home and Party: Nail heads

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This pretty chair is covered in Sebastian Tattersall in Sky, a part of the new SMW Home textile collection.

Garden, Home and Party: nailheads on furniture

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Garden, Home and Party: nailheads on furntire

What are your thoughts?  Do you like nailheads or could you skip them?

Karen

 

Matching paint – trim and walls

Hi there!  Happy Wednesday.

There is a relatively recent trend to paint walls and trim the same color.  I’ve seen some rooms done this way that are very appealing.  I confess, I’m old school and appreciate a distinction, no matter how subtle, between the two.

Garden, Home and Party: Paint

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Houzz gave the trend press in early 2013, with a quote from architect Treff LaFleche who states  that matching trim and walls “emphasize the functional purpose of architectural trim and creates a more understated and contemporary composition.” I agree, but my traditional leanings probably balk at the “contemporary” reference.

Garden, Home and Party: paint

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There is something modern and soothing about trim painted the exact same color as the walls. It creates a seamless look and works well if you plan to leave your walls bare or cover them with a thousand pieces of art.  -Houzz

Garden, Home and Party: paint

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Garden, Home and Party: paint

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Garden, Home and Party: paint

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Garden, Home and Party: paint

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This butler’s pantry is striking—slate walls, cupboard fronts and trim.

Garden, Home and Party: trim and paint

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The wood beadboard, crown moulding, window trim, and casing, match but the toile breaks up what could be too much of any one color.  A lively example of contrast between wall and trim.

Garden, Home and Party: paint

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All white kitchens are always beautiful to me.  Maybe the variance found in the counter, the stainless steel appliances, and the tile backsplash over the range give it the added pop of contrast.

Garden, Home and Party: paint

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Garden, Home and Party: paint

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Garden, Home and Party: paint

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What do you think?  Would you paint the trim and walls the same color?

Karen

 

Books, the subtle accessory in a room

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hello my friends, happy wednesday!

If you’ve visited me throughout the years you may have picked up on the fact that I love libraries.  Weather public, university or home libraries, they all hold equal interest for me. [HERE, HERE, and HERE] I love books and the warmth they give to a room.

This post was inspired by a post in late spring by my friend, Vanessa, of Reviving Charm. She shared information of a London based company known as Ultimate Library.  They will curate and assemble an entire library for you, whether it be a residential or commercial project. To read more about how this works and some of the locations where they have done this service visit HERE.

Garden, Home and Party: books, accessories

Today I’d like to talk about the role of books as an accessory.  I realize that anytime a book is placed in a stack on a coffee table it could be considered an adornment, as well as something to read, but it seems to me books have advanced to a more prominent place in a room today.

Beribboned antique books are used alongside an assortment of other tabletop antiques.

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

These beauties make such a statement in this bookcase.  Wouldn’t you love to open one {carefully} and read it, look for the date?

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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This desk vignette is beautiful and the books definitely play a role.

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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I’ve always loved a library table.  Wish I had room for one.  This book display hits all of my hot buttons. Art work, a vintage pocket watch, the tray and a scented candle, and the still life effect of it all by adding the bowl of apples, perfection.

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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I’m certain you’ve seen this trend in displaying books.  I guess you either hate it or love it.  I confess it appeals to me and I’ve done a version of it in my own bookcase with my design books.  Where do you stand on the color coordinated books topic?

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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…and what about removing the jackets.  Again, I’m sure there are those that feel it is sacrilege and others, like me, that actually like the look of the books better without their jackets than with!

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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I really like the way we all use books to elevate items such as this orchid and the smaller accessory on the chest when decorating.

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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Blue and white beauty with books and other wonderful items of interest.

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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I also like color coordinated books in a vignette.  Intentionally placing a stack of green books with the blue, white and green set-up just makes it all the prettier in my view.

Garden, Home and Party: accessories; books

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The collection of magnifying glasses, along with the leather books is divine!

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This space has a library feel to it.  The vintage prints, marble bust and books!

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I love this narrow opening in such a formal setting, filled to the top with vintage books!

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Tell me, do you decorate with books?

♥ Karen