From the Washington Post’s Going Out Guide…

31 03 2012

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Vertical beauties

2 11 2011

When my friend Senthil was visiting in September (to be photographed for the cover of the upcoming November/December 2011 Hearing Loss Magazine), Michael and I dropped him off at the U.S. Capitol building so he could get some photographs. I went over to check out the sprawling vertical garden display outside the U.S. Botanic Garden, which is in view of the Capitol.

Apparently the exhibit has been in place for a couple of years and I just got to see the very end of the exhibit. I can’t find anything on the web regarding who designed it or any details on the types of plants, how-to’s, etc., but I do have some photographs to share. It was really a sight to see—and had I the room to build something like this in my own backyard garden, it would happen in a nanosecond. I shot some closeups so you can see the details. The wood frames have coco fiber “shelf baskets” held into place with wire screen. The plants are tucked either directly into the liner baskets or through holes made in the side of the baskets.

There were a lot of plants that I recognized immediately, including vegetables and ornamental plants, plus herbs such as oregano, sage and basil; various coleus plants, licorice plants, flowering annuals, sweet potato vine, ferns, ivies, catmint and catnip, just to name a few. Read more about vertical gardening here.

Michael and I saw these Woolly Pocket living planters in the gift shop at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden last week. They’re made from recycled plastic bottles and come in unlined (for outdoor use) and lined (for indoor use) versions, along with wall anchors. You can line an entire wall with these pockets (which come in a multitude of sizes and colors), fill them with a variety of plants, and achieve impressive results!

But the type of vertical gardening that makes me swoon are the “succulent gardens” shown on Flora Grubb Garden’s blog here and their main website here. Jaw-dropping beautiful pieces of living art—they remind me of landscapes as seen from the air. Flora Grubb sells the tray components to achieve these looks in your own home or on a garden wall.

Authors and gardeners Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet recently published Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces, available here. Author and garden photographer Derek Fell has written Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space, available here. And on my list of books to add to my gardening library is green thumb artist and French botanist Patrick Blanc’s tome The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City, available here. Want to see some spectacular living walls? Visit Blanc’s website here.





How’s this for some eye-poppin’ color?

26 06 2011

‘Kim’s Knee High’ Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) against a backdrop of False Cypress (possibly Gold Thread or maybe Lemon Thread?). It was just too much color to resist!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The coolest bathroom hallway EVER

28 05 2011

I shot this photo below of the restroom hallway in Longwood’s new East Conservatory Plaza. It is the largest “living wall” in North America, and was designed by famed British landscape architect Kim Wilkie.

This is the first time I’ve seen a living wall planted with ferns and other greenery (28 plant species and 47,000 plants in total!)—rather than succulents. (I blogged here about the gorgeous living wall of succulents on the facade of the Anthropologie store in Huntsville, Alabama). Watch the video below to see how the project came together and see the Longwood Gardens blog here for more information.





Hellebore

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Fringed Tulips

22 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





How many more days until spring?

11 02 2011

These images were all shot in one my most favorite photography spots in the world—Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. When things are in bloom, I escape to this place as fast and as often as I can, even if it’s just for a half hour of shooting. It is my respite, my calm, my own private paradise…just me with my camera, surrounded by bountiful blooms and bustling bugs under a balmy blue sky. It is where I go to think, to dream, to regroup, to create. Spring can’t come soon enough for me!

See more images shot at Green Spring Gardens here.

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.