Month: August 2019

7 Enticing, Little-Known Annuals of the Plant World

My grandpa, agile with his hands longer for framing barns than nice cabinetry, built one of the most memorable presents of my entire early childhood: a postage stamp-size greenhouse. Heated using a set of hanging red lamps, dangling beside the farm truck and also the garage, my greenhouse further enflamed my plant addiction. The majority of my plants consisted of select annuals the regional growers wouldn’t grow. Over the years — and eventually in a much-upgraded greenhouse — I had the opportunity to test a medley of famous seasonal beauties. Of all of them, here are seven that became favorites.

CYAN Horticulture

Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’
(Same manly title)

It would be a stretch to claim that Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ is anything elusive and rare. I think, however, that it’s underutilized. Introduced about 10 years ago by giants of the horticultural industry, this deceptively discreet tender plant is not much to check at on nursery shelves. Laced one of showier annuals, though, it enlivens any and all compositions, such as baby’s breath one of cut roses. A little bit of religion is all anglers need to ensure its achievement.

USDA zones: Tender
Water requirement: Well-drained to damp dirt
moderate requirement: Full sun to dappled shade
Mature size: 1 foot tall and broad
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

CYAN Horticulture

Partridge Pea
(Cassia fasciculata)

Really infrequent is the charming sun-loving legume named Partridge Pea (Cassia fasciculata). Better known to farmers and recovery biologists, it nonetheless does a fantastic job in borders and beds, as exhibited here at the Montreal Botanical Garden. I also have seen it used on a shore to good effect. Approximately 3 feet high, it blooms.

USDA zones: N/A
Water requirement: Well-drained to dry dirt
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 3 1/4 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet broad
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

CYAN Horticulture

Flowering Tobacco
(Nicotiana spp and cvs)

Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana spp and cvs) was a staple of spring annual sales for decades. Unfortunately, contemporary breeders have turned these aromatic and tasteful heirlooms into short and graceless cookie cutter solutions. Thankfully, some speciality seed homes and growers still offer the greater ones. N. langdorfii, N. mutabilis, N. sylvestris and the like are excellent options.

USDA zones: N/A
Water requirement: Well-drained to damp dirt
Light requirement: Full sun to dappled shade
Mature dimensions: Varies
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

CYAN Horticulture

Globe Amaranth
(Gomphrena haageana ‘Strawberry Fields’)

A similar problem affects most globe amaranths: They’re so dense and short they’re hopeless to weave into any makeup. Not too much with Gomphrena haageana ‘Strawberry Fields’, a taller, more relaxed globe amaranth that sports an infinite series of bright red inflorescences. In full sunlight and a well-drained location, it poses no difficulty in any way.

USDA zones: N/A
Water requirement: Well-drained dirt
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 1 2/3 feet tall and 1 foot wide
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

CYAN Horticulture

Red-Leaf Hibiscus
(Hibiscus acetosella ‘Red Shield’)

As misleading as it’s impactful, red-leaf hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella ‘Red Shield’) has exchanged the typical dinner-plate-size flowers for saturated burgundy foliage. It is a vigorous grower; the small cutting purchased in the spring will rapidly become a stately shrub. I find it particularly helpful for filling those gaps left by juvenile perennials and shrubs.

USDA zones: Tender
Water requirement: Moist soil
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 3 1/4 feet tall and broad
Seasonal attention: Spring to collapse
When to plant: Spring

CYAN Horticulture

Gentian Sage
(Salvia patens)

Authentic blue is a much-sought-after colour in the backyard, and very few other plants can match sages on this wedge of the chromatic circle. Of the dozens of species available, the marginally tender Salvia patens always wins my heart. The rivalry between the sky-blue ‘Cambridge Blue’ and the dark blue ‘Oxford Blue’ is depended solely by personal preference (I favor the latter).

USDA zones: 8 to 10 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Well-drained to damp dirt
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 1 2/3 feet tall and 1 1/3 feet broad
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring to summer

CYAN Horticulture

Silver Sage
(Salvia argentea)

Another sage, eons from the preceding one, is famed for its large white woolly leaves. As a biennial, it first hugs the ground and, even if left to overwinter, then skyrockets into a candelabra of average white flowers. Personally, I replace it every year. This kind of alien-looking plant convinced makes for a refreshing antidote to the oh-so-common stiff marigold and tacky petunia.

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Water requirement: Well-drained to dry dirt
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 1 foot tall and 2 1/2 feet broad
Seasonal attention: Spring to collapse
When to plant: Spring to summer

See related

Cooking With Color: When to Use Black in the Kitchen

Black is a timeless hue in fashion — there’s the little black dress as well as the debonair black tuxedo, and I’m certain I’m not the only person out there having way more pairs of black shoes in my closet than there are times of this week. Yet when it comes to decorating our homes, most of us tend to shy away from using black more than a mere accent color. Yes, black can suck a good deal of light from a room, which makes it appear bloated and dreary, but when used successfully it can be crisp, striking and refined.

Have a look at eight stunning kitchens which feature this darkest of colors, along with suggestions on how best to work with black in the kitchen.

Urrutia Design

Black absorbs rather then reflects light, so if you are using a large amount of the hue in a place, attempt to counter it with loads of light — preferably of the natural selection. The large white ceiling, skylights and wall of sliding glass doors in this kitchen greater than balance the black out.

Jordan Iverson Signature Homes

But you don’t have to have walls of windows or skylights galore to create black work in your kitchen. You can find different ways to balance it. For example, this gorgeous kitchen includes closets which have a black-washed look which makes them thick and monolithic than closets painted solid black. And since the black is paired with plenty of light neutrals and reflective materials, this kitchen feels open and light.

The Last Inch

I’m a big fan of adaptive reuse, of taking an old commercial or public-use building — in this case a one time Carnegie library in California — and converting it into a living room. I like seeing something classic or classic get tweaked with modern elements in a way that still respects the original.

Here, the big modern black pendants over the island contrast nicely with the classic exposed-brick walls. So simple, and yet the effect is dramatic and refined. The restrained yet rich colour palette of blacks, blacks and brick red is also quite profitable.

Watch more of this kitchen

Laurence Cafritz Builders

If you favor a black and white kitchen, I recommend adding another bold color or accents of warm neutral colors, taupes or beiges to keep it from appearing dull and cold. The wood floor in this kitchen warms things up nicely.

High-Contrast Kitchens for Every Style

Dirk Denison Architects

Use black to call attention to your kitchen’s intriguing architectural details, fixtures or finishes. Against a light background, these elements will stand out, whereas everything white will seep into the background.

William Roy Designer Kitchens

Consider the sheen of the dark surfaces in your kitchen, too. Matte black absorbs light and tends to look flat and dark. Glossy surfaces will reflect light into the space — however, you can definitely see the texture of the surface, so make certain it’s something you would like highlighted. This kitchen has a wonderful mix of shiny and textured surfaces, along with the crisp black actually defines the distance.

Notice how light affects color

Design Line Construction, Inc..

As it’s a neutral, black works with any other colour that you need to present. All these lemon-yellow counter stools add this black kitchen and a twist.

A.S.D. Interiors – Shirry Dolgin, Owner

Black brings a whole lot of drama into a kitchen, so it requires very little ornamentation. You truly can not go wrong with high quality finish workmanship and materials together with a restrained palette thick on black.

Jennifer Ott Design

Most paint manufacturers carry a true black hue, but be sure to check out the many shades of black accessible which have subtle colour differences. Some appear cooler, with hints of green, blue or purple; a few are warmer — of a brownish black. These subtle differences will be noticeable in abundant daylight. As with any paint colour, it’s a good idea to check a couple of different blacks in the actual room you want to utilize it into to see how the colour looks in the space and changes throughout the day and night.

4 enticing black colors to attempt (left to right):

1. Dark Kettle Black 4011-2, from Valspar
2. Caviar SW6990, from Sherwin-Williams
3. Black Berry 2119-20, from Benjamin Moore.
4. Cracked Pepper UL260-1, from Behr

Tell us Should black stay in the fashion world, or are you ready to get cooking with it?

More: Are You Ready for a Dark and Sophisticated Kitchen?

Guides: Working black into your design

See related

Kitchen of the Week: New Surfaces Cover Each of the Style Bases

Although small by some standards, this 85-square-foot kitchen seems pretty spacious for a New York City apartment. It was a Formica-covered wreck when the owners bought the House, in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. The couple, who have a 1-year-old daughter, worked with Elizabeth Maletz to bring in a tidy, midcentury-inspired style. Light and dark custom cabinetry, Calacatta marble countertops and a modern backsplash design combine to make a fresh look.

Maletz Design

The prior kitchen hadn’t been remodeled since the 1980s. While the layout worked well, the Formica surfaces and worn linoleum floor sensed obsolete to the owners. Maletz maintained the simple setup but stripped the surfaces. New walnut lower cabinetry contrasts with holly on the upper cabinets and the custom fridge.

Cabinetry, shelving: South Slope Woodworks; countertops: Calacatta marble

Maletz Design

While it doesn’t work for everybody, the spacious shelving within this kitchen made sense for your household. The bits saved here create a gorgeous screen in a simple palette. A pantry in the far end “retains all the visual chaos from sight,” says Maletz.

Backsplash: Milk glass tile, Waterworks; range/oven: Wolf; faucet: Rohl Fireclay; faucet: Waterworks

Maletz Design

The owners discovered the painted timber sconce and pendant lighting themselves, and Maletz effortlessly incorporated them into the new layout. Both bits shed indirect light on the upper cabinetry. Task lighting under the upper cabinets illuminates the countertop.

Calacatta marble countertops, white walls and the milk glass tile backsplash help counter the timber.

Pendant: Nelson Saucer Lamp; dining table: Tulip Table; chairs: Wegner Wishbone

Maletz Design

Maletz replaced the linoleum with walnut parquet floors, carefully matching it with the existing flooring throughout the rest of the home. The Saarinen table, George Nelson pendant and Wegner chairs stay accurate to the owners’ love of naturally finished wood and midcentury furniture.

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero 700 TCI; folded sconce and comforter: LZF

See related

Stripe It Rich With a Strié Finish

Using its streaky texture and barely there colour variations, strié (a term from the French, pronounced stree-AY) is a semi classic layout technique. Although it originated as a means to evoke the appearance of thick, brushed-on paint tinged by decades of use, it’s expanded to include silk and other materials, tile and wood finishes, background and much more. It has become a favorite for its controlled yet rich visual appeal and its unfailing elegance.

All these spaces showcase strié in its various forms.

Mendelson Group

A strié wall treatment complements the undulating pattern from the art that graces this entryway. Between the two, the distance needs no additional embellishment to captivate guests.

Alan Kosa Interiors

Although strié can create a timeworn effect on pale tones like cream and gray, it also can proceed in the opposite direction on more optimistic hues. This hand-painted red background gets a hint of modern flourish using a tone-on-tone strié treatment.

Rivertown Homes by Design

A different way to get the strié appearance: Brush a sheer coat of paint or stain over timber. The unevenness of the colour and the inherent grain combine for an appealing faded appearance, just right for a shore house, cabin or rustic cabin.

LUX Design

Strié doesn’t have to be understated — a high-contrast version can yield a dramatic focal point, like with this slick kitchen island.

Shelburne Development

Tile using a strié appearance, somewhere between stone and wood in look, elevates this quietly neutral tub. The pattern provides the controlled palette a sense of power and motion.

Gina Fitzsimmons ASID

Strié can be a terrific way to tone down a hue that otherwise might be too bright for your room. A gray topcoat mutes this teal cupboard finish and gives a lovely weathered effect.

Cecilie Starin Design Inc..

Blue strié velvet on a pair of fauteuils sustains the formality of this living space, which is awash in detail and pattern. A good velvet would have appeared too plain, particularly combined with the ornate pattern on the seat backs.

Cecilie Starin Design Inc..

Following is a closer look at the velvet upholstery on the fauteuils. It’s basically two colors of blue, but the combed effect gives the impression of much greater color variation.

Are you a fan? Tell us why in the Comments!

See related

Fun and Eloquent in Manhattan

Carrie Hammer’s bright-colored apartment is an energy-filled house in one of Manhattan’s coolest neighborhoods, the West Village. It’s an perfect location for a young creative professional such as Hammer, founder and CEO of her own style line tailored for professional women. From an intricate aluminum painted ceiling and gloomy partitions to eclectic furnishings and artwork, Hammer’s flat mirrors her love of style and her artistic aesthetic.

in a Glance

Who lives here: Carrie Hammer and two housemates
Location: New York City
Size: Around 900 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 1 bath

Chris A Dorsey Photography

“I love what I do today, and I really like that my flat is filled with life and color,” Hammer says. She’s had housemates over the years, but the decorating is a reflection of her personal style.

Her favorite piece in the flat is the chandelier. “I’ve always wanted one,” she states. “It had been my life dream. I had a decal chandelier within my room in L.A.. Now I’ve got a real one, so that’s really exciting.”

Chandelier, carpet:; coffee table: Ikea; sofa: Door Store (now closed); pillows: Target

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hammer formerly worked in ad sales. She’d go to work and think, “What we wear is so boring; it’s all just variations of black and white with no colour” Wanting to come home to an energizing haven, she adorned her space with vibrant colours.

Length: Ung Drill, Ikea; mirror: Empire Gallery and Framing; paint: Benjamin Moore

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hanging on almost every wall in Hammer’s flat are framed fashion posters she picked up during Fashion Week in 2009. “This random subway guy was handing out these images. I took a few and thought, ‘One day I want to do so.'”

She put away the posters, then brought them out once she quit the sales job and began her fashion line, as a reminder of her want to do something more creative. “I framed them, and today I get to see them daily,” she states.

Frames: Westside Frame Shop; candleholders: Ikea; mantel clock: Linens n Things

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Her mother, artist Jean Wellshad a hand in the decor. “My mother is an artist, so I’ve grown up around art my entire life,” Hammer says. “She does oversize art, such as mosaics and things. She really did the silver wings over my TV.”

Hammer painted the iconic power.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hammer shares her apartment with 2 housemates. “I predict my area the bachelor flat,” she states. “It’s funny: If anyone goes out, it’s to have married!”

The dining table is a gift in the old housemate, and the mannequin is from the city’s Garment District.

Frames: Ikea

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Mannequins do dual duty as dressmaking forms and layout elements throughout the primary living spaces.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

These screen mannequins, including one covered in a toile pattern, have found a house in an unlikely area: the kitchen.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Also in her colorful kitchen are oversize fork and spoon stickers inspired by neighborhood restaurant Great on Greenwich. Hammer commissioned the art from Etsy vendor Household Words.

“I mailed them the colour I wanted and they snapped it and delivered to me,” she explains. Great has these huge framed forks, spoons and knives I just love, so once I was decorating I pulled those out of my toolbox.”

Table, chairs:

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hammer applied vinyl art by Etsy vendor Household Words to customize a straightforward Ikea Malm dresser in the bedroom.

Bedding: Bed Bath & Beyond

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The New York weather also inspires Hammer. She claims her native California, “There is no punctuation of seasons. Everyone should experience changing coasts.”

A bright purple quilt adds life into the space even on the coldest winter day.

Mirror: HomeGoods

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The painted over-sized playing card holds particular significance for Hammer, whose great-grandfather was an artist and a prisoner of war in World War I.

“In his camp the prisoners would make little trinkets and trade them with one another to get cigarettes, additional food or blankets. My great-grandfather took to painting the backs of playing cards to trade,” she states. “The general saw a deck of cards he made and moved him into a room from the camp along with different musicians, [who would] get delivered in to town to do things such as paint murals on churches”

Following five years Hammer’s great-grandfather was given a visa to go home. “I think all the time that had it was for a deck of playing cards, I literally wouldn’t be here now,” says Hammer.

See related

Show Us Your Christmas Tablescape

I know you have probably just finished up the last of the dishes from Thanksgiving, but when you’re hosting Christmas dinner, then it is time to begin planning your tablescape. ers, we want your help! Please add photos of your Christmas tablescape to the Opinions section below and tell us who’s coming over and the way your desk will wow them. Here are a few, from minimalist to ornate, to help get your creative vacation juices. Your entry might be featured in an upcoming vacation ideabook that was featured.

Regina Gust Designs

It’s always nice to maintain the table adorned when a meal is not imminent. The bright colors of all these organic goodies enliven this dining table for the holidays, although I have a sense this long platter was not complete for long!

Michelle Edwards

Can you live somewhere warm enough to dine al fresco? If so, I’m jealous, but I would love to understand your table.

Can you force bulbs to your centerpieces? Are you an type or a paperwhite if so? Please show us everything you have come up with to your own centerpieces and place settings. Post your very best photograph from last year or this year below!

See related