planter ideas by Brooke

Putting together some mood boards for planters this week.  I should have some good photos of the "real life" versions soon.  Deciding where to put planters and what to put in them is one of my favorite parts of landscape design.  I'm always surprised at what a difference a few well-placed planters will make on a home.  A great place for experimentation as well! planter ideas

1.  These planters are from Crate & Barrel.  I like the variety of heights here.

2.  Blue Star Agave.  I love agave.  It is very drought resistant and hardly ever needs to be watered.  The look, too, is impressive and dramatic.

3. Cactus Pencil Plant.  Another unique plant and also very pretty.

4. Sedum Blue Spruce.  Also a great drought resistant plant.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  It is nice to have plants that don't need a lot of water in your planters, so you don't have to worry about leaving on vacation for a week or standing out with your hose hours each day.

5. Agave Quadracolor.  This agave has beautiful stripes in bright greens and yellows.

6. Green Mountain Boxwood.  Another classic I like using in pots and planters.


We are putting these all together soon at a landscaping job we're finishing up.  Excited to see the end result!

boxwood by Brooke

Going to start posting some of my favorite evergreens.  It's nice to have greenery that will look good in the dead of winter, especially in Cache Valley since it's always winter here.  Or at least feels that way in the middle of January with temperatures way below zero.  But I'm not complaining.  Ok, maybe a little bit.  

Moving on.  Boxwood has always been a favorite of mine.  It looks great in the summer and still looks good in the winter because it keeps its nice, green foliage.  It is also fun because you can prune boxwood and give it a nice shape.  Like here with the benches.  Think this would be fun to try.

I love the way the green breaks up the concrete.  It's a nice effect.


I'll be back soon with more evergreens.

'Tis the Season by Brooke

I love having boxwood around.  They stay tidy and neat in the summer, hearty and green in the winter, and you can use cuttings to make great holiday wreaths.  That's win-win-win-win.  Or maybe just three wins.  In any case, they are fun to have around.  For this one, I used an old frame as the base and attached boxwood all around.  So easy.


Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Landscaping dilemma: retention pond by Brooke

  One of my favorite things about landscape design is being forced to think. I like a good challenge. This home in Millville was certainly that. Here is what we were up against:

The home: a beautiful three-story house with a contemporary-classic style

The family: 4 young kids, 2 busy parents, and 1 dog.  Looking for outdoor space to send the kids and dog, as well as room to entertain company.

The dilemma: The backyard of this newly built home holds a retention pond to catch storm water and water runoff with a (ahem) lovely oversized drain. And this giant eyesore (as well as the retention pond itself) is required to stay in their backyard with lots and lots of restrictions by the city. What to do?


I admit, I spent a few sleepless nights tossing this one over. But I think we were all pleased with the end result.  So here is what we came up with:

First, we tried to use these restrictions to our advantage. Instead of trying to hide it, we decided to use the shape of the retention pond to become the usable space of their yard. So we put in some concrete walls but terraced them in two levels (so it didn't appear to be a massive concrete wall).

In between the levels, we put grass. Which is perfect for entertaining since the grass “steps” can double as lawn furniture. Because they have young kids, it also becomes a child's dream summer stage and play area. But with a sophisticated, classic look. The grass keeps maintenance low and softens the look.


The concrete also makes room for some planter boxes, so we could fill those with some nice boxwoods and beautiful spring snow crab trees, giving a formal, classic look.

We opted to do concrete walls on the east side only, to keep cost lows but more importantly to save the space from looking like an empty swimming pool.

Also we put in two sets of stairs for easy access to patio areas and lawn furniture. The wide stairs give a nice, dramatic look.

The result is a charming backyard with great space for young kids but still perfect for entertaining large groups.  Isn't it lovely?  I am picturing lots of casual summer parties and fourth of July barbecues but you could do something more formal, too -- like a wedding, I think.

Such great view.




Nice when it all comes together.


all things pots and planters by sadie


It will come as no shock that I have a weakness for pots and planters.  Let's face it.  I have a weakness for just about everything we talk about.  That's why I'm here. So today let's talk pots.  I love what they add as a finishing touch to a great landscaping job.  They attract attention, pull a space together, and can switch out from year to year, keeping things fresh.  I like my pots simple, but interesting.  Here are a few favorites.


Geraniums are always popular and can be very striking.  Here in small pots with sweet potato vine.  I love the stark contrast of colors here.

Geraniums in a bigger planter draws more attention.  I love how full and lush they are, which is important when filling a larger space.  You don't want the pot looking sparse.

When filling bigger planters, I like to be more dramatic.  You can do this by adding a larger perennial or shrub.  Like here with the boxwood in the center, surrounded by full white geraniums.


Again the boxwood, with wandering jew this time.

Lately I have been loving the look of agave.  It adds a great color and texture contrast.  Planting some annuals like these lobelias really make it pop.  This year I paired the agave with calibrachoa aloha series.  It's also very nice.

These classic terra cotta pots have a fresh, modern look when paired with the right plant.  Like the sedum and creeping jenny on the left.  Then some blue fescue grass and scotch moss on the right.  Again, I love the texture and contrast between the two.

Just stunning.

Planters and Pots

I think I may start my own pot collection.  Oh wait, I think I already have.