A white door pops against gray and red brick in a historic Atlanta neighborhood. Brick homes can use a front door color other than red, says landscape designer Danna Cain of Home & Garden Design. Photo by JJ Ortega Real Estate Photography.
John Barrentine of the RED Real Estate Group at Keller Williams/Larchmont is a big fan of low garden walls to “create intimate spaces or living landscape dividers that create restful vignettes. They’re a great way to draw visitors into the space and add interest,” he says.
Turn up the light in a partial to full shade garden with a few plants of ‘Red Lightning’ heuchera. Also known as coral bells, this plant unfurls gold leaves with bright red veins. The contrasting colors make this perennial a real wow factor in any garden. Plants grow 11 inches tall by 16 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) is a beautiful late-season native that adds color to gardens in late summer and fall. ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod is a relative newcomer, opening flowers on long, arching stems. It’s a favorite among pollinators and also seed-eating birds. Many goldenrods spread aggressively in the garden, but ‘Fireworks’ has a tamer habit, slowly spreading to form clumps. Don’t worry that goldenrod will stoke seasonal allergies—it won’t. The real culprit behind fall pollen allergies is ragweed. ‘Fireworks’ grows to 3 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
The bee is the Savannah College of Art and Design's mascot, "a unique icon of industry" says SCAD president Paula Wallace. The bee is also the star of a new organic garden and apiary legacy project and teaching tool at the college where students can learn about a host of relevant topics including garden design; sustainability; use of plants in beauty and fragrance products; the use of beeswax in jewelry-making and painting; and how to dye fabrics using plants. In just about every way SCAD Back40 is the perfect, holistic teaching tool and laboratory for a school perpetually expanding its approach to incorporating real world practices into its curriculum. Pictured: a bee pollinating anise hyssop.
Joseph Eichler was a California real estate developer who created a prototype with architects for residential homes in the early fifties that incorporated modernist architecture with a “bring the outside inside” concept. The Eichler home favored wall-to-ceiling windows with glass transoms in all the major rooms with direct access to private garden patios and courtyards. This remodeled single-family home by Klopf Architecture takes an original Eichler home and updates it with a truly “open” design.
Sharp blades are vital to successful gardening, whether they come in a pair (pruners) or as single blades, like these tools. The large tool is a perennial divider. The heart-shape blade slices through the center of perennials like pudding, and the short handle provides enough space to get some real oomph behind the effort. It also makes quick work of edging a small bed. The big knife (sold as Fiskars Big Grip Knife) makes quick work of weeding, seed planting, dividing small plants and digging holes for bedding plants. A similar tool is the Japanese hori-hori knife (which can easily take the place of a trowel). While these types of bladed tools are somewhat specialized, their versatility in the garden makes them worth the investment.