Garden designers talk a lot about form and texture.
Shapes, lines, outdoor structures — these elements persist long after ephemeral features such as flowers have come and gone. They comprise what experts often call the “bones” of a landscape.
I appreciate what they’re saying. Really, I do.
But I have to admit that when I’m plant-shopping or visiting a friend’s garden and a gorgeous hue or a colorful combination catches my eye, I gravitate toward it like a bee to, well, a beautiful blossom.
For color-holics like me, the reissue of “The Gardener’s Book of Color” is all the encouragement we need.
“Color is the most potent weapon in a gardener’s armory,” writes author Andrew Lawson. “Nothing in a garden makes more impact.”
This is perhaps the ideal topic for Lawson, who has spent decades as a professional garden photographer in his native Britain and whose work is enjoyed around the world.
“When I fell into garden photography in 1985, I had no idea it could be a profession. But that is how it has turned out,” he writes on his website, www.andrewlawson.com. “For me, being a garden photographer brings together my joint passions for natural history and for making pictures.”
“The Gardener’s Book of Color” also unites those passions — and in a most appealing and enlightening manner.
It combines a mini-class on color theory, observations on the emotional aspects of color, and page after page of inspiring photos that show how color functions and how gardeners can use it.
Although not exactly light reading, his discussions of concepts such as saturation and the color wheel clearly explain effects that gardeners might have noticed but not quite understood.
Readers may find themselves saying “Aha!” more than once as they learn about how and why certain hues behave as they do — and they may never look at a garden the same way.
He explains why some colors look good together while others clash; why some landscapes feel relaxing or even soothing; and why, for instance, a certain yellow succeeds in a mixed planting while a slightly different shade puts you off.
Readers needn’t be physicists, though, to grasp the power of color.
Thankfully, Lawson appreciates its emotional as well as physiological aspects.
“Memory and symbolic associations, without a doubt, play a very strong part in our experience of color,” he writes.
Red, for instance, may feel agitating, while blue is often “calming and dreamy.”
Although Lawson offers dozens of individual examples, from orange dahlias to purple crocuses, the sections on combinations might be the most inspiring.
“Color harmonies are the result of putting together closely related colors, such as those that are next to each other on the color wheel,” he explains.
Pink and lavender, for example, make gentle partners.
On the other hand, “Contrasts in the garden are stimulating. They happen in such a way that each intensifies the other” — red flowers, for instance, with green leaves.
In the 20 years since the first edition, styles of gardening “have changed massively.”
“There has been a wholly admirable return to the natural look,” Lawson observes. Meadows and random combinations, for example, have become hugely popular.
What remains steadfast, though, is the human desire to use color to create beautiful landscapes.
Diana Lockwood, a freelance writer covering gardening topics, posts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mrsgardenperson.
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Whenever I used to think of a balloon garland I would think of a kids party or something similar. But not anymore! I created this balloon garland for my daughter’s bridal shower and could not believe how classy and simply gorgeous it turned out! Find the step by step balloon garland tutorial below.
Making this balloon garland is surprisingly simple and straight forward! Continue reading to see how I made it and get the links to the products I used, some of them make all the difference!
How to Make a Balloon Garland
- Cut your balloon tape to size- give yourself a little extra wiggle room, you can always trim it down if you need.
- Attach your Command hooks to the ceiling or you can tie your banner to (a mantle, a stair rail, table, etc). We chose to use a staple gun to staple our balloon garland to the wallboard.
- Inflate up your balloons- Inflate the balloons to various sizes. We inflated balloons from 5 in – 11 in. Most of them were smaller. You will need lots of small ones to fill in the gaps.
- Plug the balloons into the balloon tape- eyeball where to put the ballons, we didn’t put a balloon in every hole.
- Not every balloon goes into the balloon tape. Some balloons get added to the garland with the glue dots (see below)
- Add the glue dots and/or double-sided tape- after you add the balloons to the tape, then start adding the glue dots to keep the balloons in place.
- It might look like it’s not coming together, but it will! Just keep adding little balloons to the garland to fill in all the spaces.
- The balloon inflator was a must! We inflated around 100-110 balloons. This machine was invaluable.
- There were five of us inflating the balloons. It took about 45 minutes – 1 hour to inflate all the balloons and about 30 minutes to add them to the balloon strip. Another 15 minutes to add it to the wall and place florals in between the balloons. We didn’t add any glue dots to the florals we just placed them in between the balloons
- We used a staple gun to staple the plastic ballon strip (not the balloons) to the wallboard. Be careful though! We only had one balloon pop.
- If you do create the garland ahead of time, do not place in a hot room like a garage. Heat will destroy the prettiness of the balloons and shrivel them.
- Make sure to start early on the balloon garland. You could also do it the day before- using air the garland should last for 3-4 days. Depending on the size of the garland it can hours to make. Ours took under 2 hours. We had 5 helpers doing the garland.
Some of my cute helpers!
I love that this garland is very versatile and would work for any type of party with any color scheme! Do you think you’ll try making one! I would love to hear what you think in the comments!
Another blog post we share how to create a Christmas Balloon Garland for the table.
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Transitional is the most popular kitchen design in the National Kitchen + Bath Association’s 2019 kitchen design trends. In fact, 65% of kitchens designed in the past year were transitional, more than double the kitchens that were traditional, contemporary or farmhouse, according to Tricia Zack, Market Research Analyst at the NKBA.
Why are transitional kitchens so popular? And, perhaps more importantly, would this style fit your design aesthetic? Freshome asked Zack and John Starck, CEO and Owner of Showcase Kitchens in Manhasset, NY, to explain the features that define a transitional kitchen.
Clean and relaxed
“Transitional design offers the best of both worlds, blending the textures of traditional with the sleekness of contemporary design,” says Starck. “For kitchens, think geometric, clean and practical lines for the countertops, cabinetry, crown molding and other crafted elements.”
Starck says non-fussy is a key element of transitional kitchens. “Never would you include corbels or ornate appliques or other heavily decorative features typical of traditional kitchens,” he explains.
Since transitional kitchens often open to the living area, designers are opting for smooth features that blend in. What’s more, they often aim to achieve a light and airy effect. “Designers report using clean colors such as whites, grays, beiges, bones and blues,” Zack says. Those are good choices for now — and when homeowners decide to sell since neutral colors appeal to buyers.
In transitional kitchens, cabinets are usually a light or medium color in painted wood, wood grain or mixed materials. “Our report reveals that designers are using integrated storage with recessed panels, and doors are not as prevalent as drawers,” Zack says. Matte decorative hardware or integrated hardware are also traits of this design style.
“White kitchens with stainless steel appliances are still king — with frequently contrasting island and perimeter cabinetry,” explains Starck. Also, expect to find fully-integrated French-door refrigerators in transitional kitchens. “Designers have told us there will either be an induction cooktop along with a wall oven and microwave, or a dual-fuel or gas range,” Zack says. Updraft hoods and standard-door dishwashers are other staples in this design.
Countertops and backsplashes
“Marble countertops and even marble backsplashes work beautifully for transitional kitchens,” Starck says. Other popular features that define transitional kitchens include quartz and quartzite. “Designers say countertops are thick (1¼ inch) and are either traditional or they have waterfall edges,” Zack explains.
“Subway tile for backsplashes is still a favorite, but mosaics and glass tile in a variety of sizes work great, too,” Starck explains.
Sinks and faucets
“Popular sinks styles among designers include stainless steel single bowl or apron sinks,” Zack says.
Among faucets, brushed stainless steel finishes reign; matte, polished or satin finishes are also popular. However, there is no preference regarding faucet functionality. “Designers are selecting faucets that are motion-controlled, touch or even manual,” she says.
Flooring and lighting
“The flooring can be either tile or wood, typically high gloss, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Starck. Designers are using both hardwood and engineered wood plank, continuing the debate on using hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms. “The various types of large-format tile used in transitional kitchens include ceramic, porcelain and stone,” Zack says. “Some designers are also using luxury vinyl.”
Designers are incorporating a variety of lighting options in transitional kitchens. “This includes recessed lights and pendants and dimmer and traditional switches,” Zack says. Undercabinet lighting and interior cabinet lighting are also features of this kitchen style. And designers are more frequently adding motion sensors and keypads.
“Lighting, seating and hardware are areas where our clients have fun,” Starck says. “Contemporary, mid-century modern, industrial, glam and even traditional elements can blend successfully into a transitional kitchen.”
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The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) just dropped their list of 2019 landscaping trends. It reveals that homeowners want lower-maintenance yards that are peaceful, wildlife-friendly and set up for entertaining. As life in general becomes more hectic, homeowners want to come home and enjoy their easy-upkeep lawns and gardens.
Want your lawn and garden to stand out from your neighbor’s? If so, you’ll want to check out these five landscaping trends that freshen up your outdoor space and make it memorable:
1. Lawn Striping
Nothing is more welcoming than a lush, green lawn. Landscape pros are getting more requests from homeowners to “jazz up” their flawless lawns with stripes and other patterns.
Lawn striping isn’t hard to do. Most machines create a type of stripe as the lawnmower tires and deck bend the grass in the direction the mower is moving. But for more intricate or pronounced patterns, rollers and striping kits are available for certain lawn mowers.
2. Multi-Function Landscape Design
Landscape experts say homeowners no longer want a lawn and garden that’s only for admiring. Instead, families want to use their outdoor spaces — no area should be off-limits. Today, the more uses a garden has, the better.
Some of the top multi-purpose landscape trends are:
- Vertical gardens that also work as a privacy fence
- A small sitting area with a water feature and flowers that butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other wildlife can enjoy
- A winding path planted with edible herbs
- A wall with built-in seating
3. Pergolas For Outdoor Living
Merging indoor and outdoor living is high on a homeowner’s wish list. And an outdoor structure that creates an extra room adds to a home’s useful square footage. What’s more, today’s pergolas are more sophisticated than ever. Some of the top pergola trends now include structures with:
- Space heaters or a fire feature
- A luxury outdoor kitchen
- A sitting area featuring a large outdoor sectional
- Rolldown windows
- Sound systems
4. Outdoor Metal Elements
Metal is the latest landscaping trend material of choice. It’s partially because homeowners want durable and low-maintenance materials that don’t require staining, finishing, sanding and sealing.
Look for pergolas, furnishings and other accessories in metal. Brushed stainless steel continues to be popular, although industrial-looking black metal is also on-trend.
5. Pretty In Pink
Millennial pink, dusty rose and bold-yet-earthy coral have been big color trends in the last couple of years. And that’s especially true since Pantone named Living Coral their Color Of The Year for 2019.
Pink hues look fantastic against green, creating a big demand for pink flower beds. According to the report, landscape professionals also expect that softer, light blush pink tones will become the “the new neutral” for flooring materials, surfaces and finishes to tie in the bolder coral tones.
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Manual for Gorillas by Juan Rodulfo
9 Rules to be the “Fer-pect” Dictator
A study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, from March 2018 has come to the conclusion that a billion more people live under dictatorship now than was the case 15 years ago. The findings were the sum of research for the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s “Transformation Index” in which the institute analyzed the quality of democracy, the market economy and leadership in 129 countries. While the researchers concluded that the number of people living in democracies rose from 4 billion to 4.2 billion between 2003 and 2017, they also found that 3.3 billion people lived under dictatorship last year compared to 2.3 billion in 2003. The report further warned that growing restrictions on citizens’ rights and legal standards was an acute problem in democracies.
Juan Rodulfo, compiles in his book Manual for Gorilas: 9 Rules to be the “Fer-pect” Dictator, the rules you must follow to become into a “Fer-pect” Dictator.
Hurry up, the days end and there are less countries for you to start your Dictatorship Business…!
Available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1093796162
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