Garden marries home at destination nursery/garden shop Terrain


Anthropologie meets Flora Grubb Gardens? Yes, please! While in the Brandywine Valley outside of Philadelphia earlier this month, I was eager to visit Terrain, a nursery, home and garden shop, and restaurant located in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. (There’s a second location in Westport, Connecticut.)


Founded by the company that owns Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, Terrain is an upscale eden of lush plants, beautiful garden furnishings, and tempting home goods arranged and displayed with the same creativity and attention to detail that makes Anthropologie stores such a delight to shop in.


My traveling companion, Diana/Sharing Nature’s Garden, and I arrived after our visit to Winterthur.


From the moment we walked in, I was wowed by the plant arrangements and displays, with everything layered on stands and tables so you can really see it.


Love these grapevine tuteurs


A smoke tree underplanted with pretty companions


Signs cleverly advertised potted succulents for Father’s Day.


Hanging lights and lanterns are displayed throughout the nursery. I like these metal-strap orb lights.


I think I’ve seen these Moroccan-style metal lanterns at Barton Springs Nursery here in Austin.


Or how about a plant “picture” for your walls?


An even bigger vertical garden fills a shed wall near the parking lot.


Display gardens are set up to tempt you before you even get out of your car.


After oohing and aahing over the entry diplays…


…let’s explore the nursery grounds, which are extensive, with plenty of room for event-space rentals. People even get married here.


Beautiful seating areas are set up throughout the grounds. I can imagine someone coming in and saying, “I’ll take the whole room.”


This casually perfect arrangement evokes a Swedish garden, don’t you think?


Wooden pots filled with creeping Jenny line an outdoor dining table.


Little pots of sunshine


Multiple rustic outbuildings add charm to the display gardens, including this one adorned with old funnels planted with asparagus fern and white lantana. (The painted sign alludes to Styer’s, a popular nursery that formerly occupied the site. When Terrain took over, they kept Styer’s as part of their name for this location.)


Each funnel row is planted with just one type of plant.


Isn’t it fun?


I love it when stores display their Fermob furniture this way, in a rainbow of colors across a wall.


‘Bonfire’ begonia and lantana baskets for summer color


So many plants for sale


Check out these massive fire pits.


Terrain has a potting bar where their stylists pot up cool table displays.


You can also buy the supplies you need to make your own.


“Potting stone” — i.e., colored glass to top off your pots.


And then you step into the garden and home shop, where rustic wooden walls, glowing lights strung across the ceiling, and beautifully merchandised tables and shelves invite you to open your wallet and just hand the whole thing over.


And this is just the entry room! The biggest part of the shop is still to come.


Above the register, a chalkboard sign advertises events at the nursery.


Orchids in glass goblets


A candelabra makes a pretty place to hang jars of sweet peas and baby’s breath.


Succulent platters


Terrariums


Tillandsias too


More “potting stone” in a range of pretty blues, white, and green


There is so much more, but we were hungry, so we popped into the cafe for dinner. Terrain’s Garden Café serves lunch and dinner, farm-to-table style.


Diners were seated in the greenhouse dining space, and you’ll notice it’s all women. I did see one man eventually, when the place had filled up, but clearly Terrain appeals most to women.


Everyone else seemed to know to BYOB, but we didn’t realize that Terrain doesn’t sell alcohol, so we were sadly without wine. Even so, dinner was absolutely delicious, with service that was attentive and knowledgeable.


What a wonderful way to end our first garden-touring day! How I’d love to see Terrain open a store in Austin — or even Dallas or Houston. But perhaps it’s best for my wallet if that doesn’t happen.

Up next: Longwood Gardens’ formal spaces, including the rambler rose pergola and the dancing fountains in the Italian water garden. For a look back at Enchanted Woods, the children’s garden at Winterthur, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Dining, dancing amid flowers on Field to Vase Dinner Tour


A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou may be pleasant enough. But add Crayola-bright fields of flowers, a big blue barn, tables adorned with festive bouquets, chef-made dishes, a western swing band, and the starry skies of the Texas Hill Country, and you have an event not to be missed.

Two weeks ago, on Saturday, May 21, I attended the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour in Blanco, Texas (officially listed as Austin), about an hour west of Austin. Debra Prinzing, the Seattle-based author and founder of Slow Flowers (not to mention co-planner of the 2011 Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling), invited me to the dinner as her guest, along with a few other Texas-based garden writers, and I was delighted to accept. My friend Jenny Peterson carpooled with me to the event.


Winding, scenic highways lined with orange and lavender wildflowers led us to Blanco and, just outside of town, the Arnosky Family Farm. We were warmly welcomed and invited to have drinks and appetizers behind the barn.


But first — wow! — I had to admire the dining set-up in the barn. Later I learned that the original plan was to set up the tables in the flower fields, but with a possible thunderstorm in the forecast, they moved everything into the barn. With doors and windows open to the fields and string lights twinkling from the rafters, the barn made for a wonderful, open-air, yet sheltered dining experience.


Fresh-picked bouquets from the farm — homegrown favorites like orange marigolds, black-eyed Susans, crimson zinnias, moonshine-yellow lilies, and bold sunflowers — corralled in blue-glass vases, lined the center of each long table.


Burlap-wrapped poles rose above the tables to support strings of glass globes, into which were tucked succulents, moss, and battery-operated tea lights.


Bouquets perched on windowsills overlooking fields of zinnias and marigolds.


It was all so beautiful.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
Frank and Pamela Arnosky have owned and operated their farm for 26 years. Their Texas Specialty Cut Flowers are sold in HEB grocery stores and other commercial outlets as well as in their own Blue Barn Farm Market.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
The Field to Vase tour, which will be hosted in 8 cities across the U.S. this year and into 2017, was launched last year to promote American-grown flowers, tapping into widespread interest in buying fresh, local, and sustainably-grown food and flowers.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
“With approximately 80 percent of flowers in the U.S. being imported today,” according to the tour press release, “this popular pop-up dinner series puts a floral twist on the farm-to-fork concept, making locally grown flowers the center of the evening’s discussion.”


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
The dinner also features local floral designers, locally grown food, and locally produced wine and beer, making each stop on the tour a distinctively regional experience.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
In addition to the family-style dinner, attendees receive beautiful bouquets to take home. I enjoyed mine for more than a week after the event.


Photo by Jenny Peterson
When we were able to stop exclaiming over the flowers and decor, we naturally took a few selfies in front of a wall of flowers. Here I am with Jenny Peterson and Debra Prinzing.


The always-photogenic Jenny was farm-fresh in gingham and turquoise.


As appetizers and drinks were passed around on trays, Frank Arnosky led a tour of the farm.


I’m never very good about sticking with a tour, and I wandered off to commune with the flowers on my own.


The sunflowers were soaking up the rays on that warm afternoon.


Zinnias stretched for the sun too.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
Amid golden marigolds, we garden writers posed for a group shot: Jenny; Debra; Ann McCormick, a columnist at the Dallas Morning News and blogger at Herb ‘n Cowgirl; Jay White of The Masters of Horticulture; and me.


Inside, a four-piece band led by Austin mandolinist Paul Glasse (standing) began strumming toe-tapping tunes.


It was the perfect accompaniment to a festive Texas dinner.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
The menu promised plenty of deliciousness to come…


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
…like baby field lettuces with beets and watermelon radish…


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
…and grilled pork chops with peach relish.


Shared family-style, the food brought us together, turning strangers into new friends.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
The woman in the black-and-white dress, pointing to the menu, is my friend Andrea Fox of the blog Grow Where You’re Planted in College Station, who was dining with her husband. It was a fun surprise to run into her there! I also saw Linda Lehmusvirta there earlier that afternoon, filming for Central Texas Gardener, so look for that episode to air next season.


Debra spoke briefly, reminding us to buy American when it comes to flowers, supporting local farmers like the Arnoskys.


Photo credit: Whitney Devin for Field to Vase Dinner Tour
Hats off to everyone who put this one-of-a-kind event together, and especially to farmers Pamela and Frank. It was a delightful experience!


After dessert, the tables were whisked away, the band kicked into high gear, and couples began two-stepping around the dance floor.


Frank and Pamela, who share on their website a story of falling in love on a dance floor — “I ran across the dance floor and slid to her on my knee and asked for a dance. We’ve been dancing ever since” — were there too, spinning in each other’s arms…


…clasping each other close in this wonderful place they’ve created.


As the sun dropped behind the hills, party lights set the night aglow, spilling out of the barn along with the lilting music. It was a perfect Texas evening.

If you’d like to attend a Field to Vase Dinner, check the schedule for a location near you — or make plans to travel to one! Dinners resume August through November in Boulder, Colorado; Quakertown, Pennsylvania; Sonoma, California; and Woodland, Washington. And for the adventurous, you can even attend a dinner in Homer, Alaska, in July 2017.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Dry-garden lushness: Linda Peterson’s San Antonio garden


Rooftop view of the walled courtyard and front garden. Not a blade of lawn grass anywhere, nor is it missed.

Seeing one of my new favorite gardens requires an hour-and-a-half road trip to San Antonio, but it’s worth every trafficky mile. Linda Peterson, whose dreamy garden I visited last September, invited a few friends over for tea after the San Antonio Watersaver Tour, and I was delighted to be included. Seeing Linda and her beautiful garden again in a different season, plus sitting down to a delicious high tea served by her charming daughters? Yes, please!

Courtyard Garden


Linda’s gray-green stucco home wraps around a large courtyard garden thanks to walls painted the same color. Linda and her husband built their home toward the rear of the property in order to preserve several sprawling, magnificent live oaks. The walls provide back-yard-style enclosure and privacy, and a generous stone patio and curving paths create seating areas and lead you through the space.


Linda led us up to her home’s flat roof via a spiral staircase so we could take in a bird’s-eye view. The perspective allows full appreciation of Linda’s planting style: massed groundcovers and shrubs, carefully pruned to show off their architectural forms. For example, the soap aloes (Aloe maculata) blooming at lower left are kept tidy by pulling out pups (baby aloes) from around their spiny leaves, leaving star-shaped solitary plants massed in a winding “aloe river.”


Panning right, you see a table and chairs in front of a focal-point fireplace, with wood stacked in niches on each side.


Back at ground level by the front door, a pair of metal rhinos greets visitors. Against the green walls of the house, the coral flowers of the soap aloes stand out nicely. The chartreuse groundcover in front may be Mexican sedum.


Agave weberi and prickly pear add year-round structure around a pot-style fountain.


Turning around, here’s what you see as you enter the courtyard.


Real and faux cacti mingle in a bed along the wall.


Succulent wreath on the fireplace


The long view from the fireplace seating. Don’t you just want to lie in that hammock all day?


And now we’ve circled back around to the rhinos. The swoosh of gray river stones is a nice touch, don’t you think? It looks like a stream the animals are about to cross.


Another view of the soap aloes, plus a wavy-armed variegated American agave


Linda collects metal and stone animals to adorn her home and garden. I don’t remember seeing this little armadillo last time I visited.


Linda is disciplined with her color choices, sticking with soft gray-green, ivory, and lavender with occasional pops of yellow. This purplish pink bougainvillea was, perhaps, the brightest hue in her garden.


It grows atop the arbor, offering cheery welcome to visitors.

Front Garden, Right of Front Walk


Winding paths lead both left and right into the front garden from the main walk. Turning to the right, a flagstone path widens into a small patio with a simple wooden bench, perfect for stopping to take in the view. Feathery bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa) hides the next-door driveway, and a low cluster of lantana blooms frothily.


Most lantanas have hot-colored flowers: orange, red, gold. These have white-and-pale-yellow flowers that fit nicely into Linda’s restrained color scheme.


Another view. Notice how the gray-green flagstone harmonizes with the house/wall color and the cool colors overall. Details like these give Linda’s garden cohesiveness.


A wider view from the end of the path reveals a mass planting of foxtail fern (Asparagus meyeri), whose foliage echoes the form of a nearby agave.


Three culvert-pipe planters along the foundation of the house elevate a collection of palms.

Front Garden, Left of Front Walk


Heading left from the front walk takes you past a large agave, flowering society garlic, and more foxtail fern.


Where the undulating arms of a live oak have been preserved via cut-outs in the stucco wall, a rustic picnic table provides a spot to pause and enjoy the scene.


Looking back toward the front walk and arbor, you see more soap aloes blooming. Linda has a lot of different plants, but she also repeats clusters of plants to great effect.


Continuing along the path, a silvery cassia (Senna phyllodinea) blooms in perhaps the sunniest part of Linda’s garden.


A closeup of the cassia flowers and flat, curled seedpods


And one more view of the silvery cassia, balanced with a large, architectural agave


Tucked among the plants, a stone crocodile planter filled with succulents grins like the cat who ate the canary.


A mystery plant with rich purple flowers. Anyone able to ID it? It’s cupflower, or Nierembergia scoparia ‘Purple Robe’. (Thanks, Gretchen, and Linda for confirming.)


One advantage of a gravel garden — Linda’s entire garden is mulched with tan pea gravel — is that it allows you to have open spaces, like the desert. Agaves and other dry-loving plants look very natural in a garden mulched with rock, and open space does too, allowing you to use fewer plants, if you wish. (In contrast, open spaces in a wood-mulched garden never look quite natural.)


Our native golden leadball (Leucaena retusa) displays its yellow pom-pom flowers alongside the driveway.


The flowers are eye-catching.


Another cluster of soap aloes, along with a nicely pruned prickly pear


Variegated American agaves catch shafts of light and seem to glow.

Rear & Side Garden


Alongside the driveway, a potted Arabian lilac (Vitex trifolia ‘Purpurea’) flashes leaves that are gray-green on top and lavender underneath. Potted drought-tolerant plants are a smart choice for a difficult spot with rocky or tree-rooty soil.


A back deck transitions between the house and the rear garden. I love Linda’s treatment of the deck skirting: sturdy wire (the same as on the trellis above) cloaked with fig ivy, which closely follows the wire’s grid pattern. At ground level, a swath of variegated flax lily (Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’) makes an easy-care groundcover that lights up the shade.


Here’s the view from the deck: a perforated metal lantern hanging from a tree, and a triangular faux-bois birdbath below. A Texas redbud effectively screens neighboring houses from view. Linda also strategically hangs pots of asparagus fern from the wire trellis to block undesirable views.


Back at ground level, a pruned-up hedge of variegated pittosporum turns these sometimes unwieldy shrubs into graceful small trees. Linda treats a number of her shrubs and woody perennials this way, including Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) and rosemary, to great effect. It allows for air movement and visual openness, she explains. Foxtail fern adds feathery texture below.


An umbrella-shaded pair of rockers offers a pleasant spot to sit. Clumping bamboo softens the wooden privacy fence and provides extra privacy from neighboring houses.


The screen of bamboo continues, planted atop a curving berm that softens the back corner. More foxtail fern adds evergreen, fringey texture.


Even a work area at the back of the house is brightened with special touches, like green bottles upended on bamboo poles stuck in pots of ferns and (I think) agapanthus Neomarica caerulea ‘Regina’ (see lcp’s comment below).


On a back terrace, succulents are displayed in pots glazed blue and brown.

Thank you, Linda — and daughters Demi and Sam — for a very special afternoon! Click here to read about my visit to Linda’s garden last September, and here for Rock Rose’s post about the garden and tea party.

I welcome your comments. If you’re reading this in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment link at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Come see me at Festival of Flowers in San Antonio, May 28, time TBA. Learn more about water-saving gardening during my talk at San Antonio’s 19th annual Festival of Flowers. Get a signed copy of my book after the talk. Tickets to the all-day festival, which includes a plant sale and exchange, speakers, and a flower show, are available at the door: $6 adults; children under 10 free. Free parking.

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

I’m on Instagram as pamdigging. See you there!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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