Friday, 28 September 2012

A few more interiors purchases

The purchasing I did for inside the redbrickbuilding last week has been trickling in.  I liked quite a few of the items enough to keep them, but of course they're spread out all over the house, so no completed in-room photos for you yet.

To start with, I got a medium sized Olive Jar planter from Crate and Barrel: 

It's good in the master bathroom.  So good that I just ordered a small one too.  And massive.  The medium is 24" high and 18.5" in diameter.  It reads a bit more 'ancient Egyptian' than I was looking for and it's a bit of a darker brown than in the online photos but it definitely works with the red brick tile.  I'm now on the hunt for appropriate vine-y occupants.

I also ordered this knock off of the Restoration Hardware Baby and Child patchwork hide Rio rug from Rugs USA:

It was half the price of what the RH version would have cost me, even after my RH trade discount.   I'd planned on using it in my stepdaughter's bedroom but the tones are cooler and grayer than I had expected so I tried it in the exercise room and it actually looks really good there.  We need to rearrange some of the furniture in there before making the final decision about whether it's the right size for that room.  But bottom line, I love me a good knock-off.

A pair of these outdoor teak chairs arrived from Ballard Designs:

They're definitely too chunky to use indoors in the off-season but they're pretty good for outdoors, especially on sale at about $200 a pop.  You know my beef with North American garden furniture, but these have more curve and detail than most.  Plus they'll easily support my husband's burliest guy friends.

I also bought these Saxon Accent Lamps from Restoration Hardware:

The quality is extremely good: weighty, plus they take a 100 watt bulb if you want it, with a 3 way dimmer switch.  (I have no problem with RH's prices when they go above and beyond on quality.)  I paired the glass bases with these shades I got on sale from Anthropologie a while back:

They're playful and unexpected during the day but maybe a bit energetic for my taste in the evening when I want to settle in and be soothed.  I'm considering getting some more-subdued-yet-not-totally-generic silk shades down the road.  For the time being, the scale is a bazillion times better than the puny things we were making do with before.  Relief.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A major gardening day

Saturday was a big day for gardening.  All the fall perennials and shrubs that I mail-ordered arrived late last week and they needed to be planted.  First, though, I had to dig up quite a few existing plants and find them appropriate new homes.  That was actually the more challenging and time-consuming task.

Before I rearranged everything, I took a lot of photos, so I'd have a record of how the roof garden looked 6 months after planting.  Here is what the garden looked like before I re-planted:

That's the so-called "right-hand side" of the garden.  (It's to the right when you step out onto the stone patio.)  To the left, it's a real jungle, not helped by the fact that the kosteletzkya virginica turned out to be much larger and more unruly than I'd imagined.  (And adding insult to injury, it has lots of buds but is taking its sweet time about flowering.)  Too much of a wildflower for me, I am definitely going to be moving it to the beach house in the spring!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Turtle and the Rabbit

I was searching eBay a couple of weeks ago and randomly came across this charming antique rabbit-shaped vessel:

I find it hard to resist a good, life-like rabbit, and even more so when it's functional, so I bid...and won.  I'm going to display her in a vignette with the turtle-shaped change dish I picked up from West Elm a few months back, currently on my husband's bedside table:

I think they'll make a cute couple.

Friday, 21 September 2012

A furniture and a decor purchase

This week I've shifted some of my attention back to the interior of the red brick building, starting to think about which pieces are still missing before I can declare certain rooms "finished".  I made some mood boards and am in the midst of placing furniture and decor orders.  I stopped in at the Restoration Hardware outlet to see if they had any of the items on my list and had some luck.  They had the Scrolling Corinthian Capital side table

...for $170!  Sold.  It's made of resin and hollow on the inside, so although it looks substantial, it weighs about 50 lbs.  It's going to live in the garden next to the chaise lounges in the summer and in the master bathroom next to the bathtub in the winter.  Here it is, together with some of the other bathroom elements:

Seeing it there makes me realize that I really need to get some plants in place.  And I also have to figure out the planters.  My first instinct is to look for something that ties in with the bathtub.

This is the moodboard I put together for the powder room:

The wall shelf arrived yesterday.  It's from Urban Outfitters so I wasn't sure what it would be like in person.  I'm not a fan of the black plaque on it, but think I might be able to take it off.  Also, I might end up painting the bare wood white: I'm not really going for rustic in there.  The constraint is that the wall the sink is mounted on is a scant 21" wide and I really want a surface in the room where we can place a small bouquet of flowers or a candle.

The mirror is from Pottery Barn.  I've been looking for an antique for over a year but it's very hard to find one that's narrow enough.  I was hoping for something with a really luxurious frame, like tortoiseshell, but nothing has turned up and it's really annoying not having anything in there at all.  While design-wise it's nothing special in itself, the PB mirror seems like it would blend inoffensively with the look of the light fixture.  I'm trying to find it in stock at a local store before ordering it online and paying the shipping.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

3 Prettiest Things: Mid-September

 I've been exclaiming over my white 'Immortality' irises all week.  They're blooming for the second time since I planted them and I am beyond excited to see these spring favorites again in early fall.  I love their wide blue-green leaves.

Also looking amazing is my sweet autumn clematis:

It's all over the iron railing, is smothering the top of the parapet wall and is starting to spill over the front facade of the red brick building.  It's the first roof garden plant that you can see from street level.  Rock star!

My third favorite plant right now are my 'Honorine Jobert' anemones.

They've been blooming for a couple of weeks now and are going strong.  The shape of the flowers is so pretty - I especially like their orange anthers - but the petals and stems also seem quite sturdy.  I have five plants and am looking forward to finding out how much they grow from season to season.  Then I'll be able to give in to my temptation to cut some of them for indoors without diminishing the display in the garden.  (They have lots of buds but the flowers only seem to open a few at a time.)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Fall 2012 Plant Order for the Roof Garden, Part 2

Consider this the "vines" edition. 

For the shady brick wall near the arbor and chaise lounges, I chose decumera barbara (Wood Vamp), a native version of climbing hydreangea:

It flowers white in the spring and is self-clinging, so it will be one less vine to train.

I also chose a pair of clematis to try to soften the same wall: clematis montana grandiflora, which tolerates shade

and clematis 'Candida':

(I had wanted 'Henryi' but it was sold out.)

For sun, since 'Mint Crisp' hasn't flowered this year and I'm getting impatient for the scent of honeysuckle, I bought a second honeysuckle Lonicera japonica 'Aureoreticulata':

Again, it was a back-up choice, after a honeysuckle named "Sweet Sue", which was sold out.  I have a suspicion that the variegated foliage might make 'Aureoreticulata' a better choice for me anyway.

I also ordered a golden hops vine (humulus lupulus 'Aureus') for it's vivid foliage and larger leaf size:

I want the climbers on the left hand side of the garden to lend a little more interest from their leaves.

And I decided to roll the dice and order 3 Clematis cirrhosa, which are evergreen winter-blooming clematis that are marginally hardy in my zone:

So delicate and pretty!  I might plant two in the garden and keep one indoors.  I'm worried they won't make it but find the possibility of flowers in the dead of winter much too tempting to resist.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fall 2012 Plant Order for the Roof Garden

I pulled the trigger today on my fall plant orders for the red brick building's roof garden.  There were some last minute additions, deletions and substitutions because a couple of items were out of stock, the shipping on one item was three times the price of the plant itself and I needed to meet certain minimum amounts for shipping at a couple of nurseries.  Here's what I ended up choosing.

Most exciting to me was the order I placed for five Osmanthus fastigata

I am decidedly obsessed with plants from the olive family, though it's tricky to find ones that will survive in zone 6.  This plant allegedly does, and I absolutely flip for the fragrance of osmanthus.  Their destiny is to become an evergreen hedge on the left side of the patio and to bloom in late fall/early winter, wafting their fragrance towards me whenever I dare to poke my head outside.

For hedging on the right side of the patio, I ordered a mixture of shrubs and made a last-minute substitution that I hope I won't regret.  The substitution was Hibiscus syriacus 'Jeanne D'Arc' instead of Deutzia x magnifica.  Here's Jeanne D'Arc:

I got freaked out that the deutzia was going to be tiny and take eons to grow.  Plus there was a minimum order amount that I was pretty far from reaching.  The hibiscus, meanwhile, is a large shrub type, not the kind of hibiscus that dies back to the ground in winter.  It is allegedly leggy, so I will need to find it a friend to camouflage its ankles and calves.  What appeals to me is that it's a late summer bloomer (I feel like the garden is lacking in flowers then), plus I was able to find a large size plant (or at least a large size pot!) so hopefully it won't be an eternity before the hedge has some height to it.

The second member of this informal hedge is Sambucus nigra 'Laciniata', which is the elderberry with cut leaves reminiscent of a Japanese maple that I described in my last post:

The third member(s) of the hedge is the Elaeagnus that I also described in my last post, but I got a bit freaked out that the variegation, while interesting, would add an unpleasant amount of yellow to my white garden, so I *also* ordered a plain, un-variegated version of the same olive family member.  Here's the plain Elaeagnus pungens:

Maybe a bit basic, but an effective screen, evergreen, and don't forget those highly fragrant late fall flowers.

The fourth plant for the hedge is going to be my already established Rosa moschata 'Nastarana' (Persian Musk Rose).  I did a little research, and though she's maaaybe 2ft tall now, she's supposed to grow to between 6 and 12 feet:

There's a corner behind the star magnolia's planter that turned out to be much shadier than I'd anticipated.  Two fancy double white geraniums met their Maker there, though the Japanese painted fern that I replaced them with as a (lack of) sun test is doing fine.  For that spot, I ordered a Sarcococca confusa ('Christmas box' or 'Sweet box'): 

It's a shade evergreen shrub that grows to between 2 and 4 feet tall and puts out fragrant flowers in the dead of winter.  We shall see!  (I love the idea of having something luscious to cut and bring indoors in winter.)

The last two non-vining plants I ordered for the roof garden were apple trees.  Yes, you read that right.  In my travels around the internet, I came across so-called "Colonnade" (or columnar) apple trees.  They are basically flowering, fruiting poles, that can grow to 12ft under optimal conditions.

I chose the cultivars 'Red Sentinel' and 'Golden Sentinel', both of which are supposed to flower white in spring and then produce normal sized apples in the fall.  I plan to put them on either end of my white lavender hedge, in order to provide more of a green frame for the sunroom windows.  Fingers crossed that they're gown in pots rather than in the ground, because otherwise they won't ship until the spring.

I'm quite planted out now so I'll post about the vines I ordered tomorrow.