Tagged: Grow

  • Habit + Habitat: Laura Harris Twilley

    Ever wonder what the folks at terrain do when we're not in the nursery? In our monthly series, Habit + Habitat, we're finding out by asking one person to share a favorite habit and a beloved habitat. This month, we’re chatting with Art Director Laura Harris Twilley, the creative mind behind our photography and interactive design. Laura and her family recently moved out of the city, where she's growing a habitat-- a crafting garden-- inspired by her habit of making beautiful, botanical creations.

    terrain: What is your role at terrain? Can you describe your typical day?

    Laura: I’m Art Director of Photography and Interactive. A typical day entails conversations with the team about upcoming projects, looking at various visual references and pulling ideas together, going through the website, and finding areas to continually inspire and provide for our customer.

    terrain: How did you come up with the idea for a craft garden?

    Laura: During the fall last year, I moved to a home with yard for the very first time as an adult. I was so inspired by what I could create with the harvest all around me: wild berry vines, pinecones, seed heads, etc. I thought it would be fun to actually grow the materials for what I make.


  • Ask Our Experts: Fall Gardening Tips

    Garden season is winding down as the temperatures drop, but we're not ready to say goodbye to our favorite blooms just yet. In search of tips for making the best of our gardens as the seasons change, we turned to our experts-- Creative Director Greg L. and Senior Plant Buyer Steven H. From indoor gardening to winterizing, here are their best bets for a flourishing fall.

    Extend the Season: Fall doesn't mean that plants have to be thrown away; enjoy their transformations for as long as possible. As nightly temperatures dip lower, some leaves will turn color and others will drop. The beautiful structure that once supported the leaves is left behind-- consider it a living sculpture. To keep flowering plants bright a little longer, throw a light fabric over them at night to keep frost at bay and remove it each morning. Plants can be kept alive well past the first frost by covering. 

    Replant: Throw away old seasonal plants and pick out a fresh selection for the holiday season. Think ahead to Christmas with hardy wintergreen, pine, miniature conifers, and holly. If you plan ahead, this is also a great time to plant perennials that will come back in the spring. In the meantime, they can be hidden among their fall and winter neighbors. 

    Overwinter Indoors: Tropical plants, some annuals, and plants that go dormant can be brought indoors during the colder months. For dormant plants, let them die back and enjoy their structure throughout the winter. Tropical and subtropical plants, such as gardenia and hibiscus, can be brought inside as well. Finally, annuals can be cut and rooted in a sunny window. Keep in mind that they might not thrive inside; it's a common misconception that all plants will be as lush indoors as they are outside. In reality, they'll be in a half-alive state-- but that's okay! The goal of bringing them indoors is to keep them alive so they can thrive outdoors again in the spring. 

  • A Pumpkin Primer

    October 20, 2014

    Our Gardens
    , Grow

    With Halloween just around the corner, we're making our final picks for the perfect Jack o' Lantern. Every fall, our plant experts head to auctions across the Pennsylvania countryside in search of the year's very best pumpkins. Our stores are now fully stocked with their picks of the patch, from the prettiest pumpkins to the spookiest squash. Read on to learn about some of our favorite varieties for fall decorating, baking, and carving.

    1. American Tondo: An old Italian variety, this striped beauty is a relatively new face in the United States. Thick ribs and deep green bands against an orange background make the perfect pair of color and texture for fall decorating. This variety can reach up to 15 pounds, but is best for eating when harvested young. 

    2. Cinderella: A unique French heirloom properly known as Rouge vif d’Etampes, this decorator's favorite gets its nickname from the famous fairytale. Historical record suggests that this variety was cultivated by early American settlers and eaten at the second Thanksgiving dinner. Today, it remains a good choice for any pie or winter squash recipe. 

    3a. Blue Hubbard: Introduced by New England seed trader and squash expert James J.H. Gregory, this popular squash gets its name from Elizabeth Hubbard, the woman who gave Gregory her heirloom squash seeds. Noteworthy thanks to its blue-gray hue, this winter squash is a long-lasting variety with firm, bright-orange flesh inside. 

    3b. Pink Rascal: We love this squat, deeply-furrowed pumpkin for its unique, pale pink hue and tasty, fine-grained flesh. Bred specifically to raise funds for cancer research, a portion of the seed sales from this new variety are donated each year.

    4. Warty Gourd: Splashed with shades of deep green and bright orange, we love this bumpy member of the Cucurbita family for fall decorating. There's a sweet story behind the lumpy texture of the skin-- the high sugar content of these varieties cracks or erupts the skin, causing "warts."


  • terrain + The Lowline

    October 15, 2014

    , Grow

    Since its introduction in 2011, the Lowline project has been a point of interest and inspiration for all of us at terrain. The brainchild of co-founders James Ramsey and Dan Barasch, the Lowline is a planned underground park-- the first of its kind in the world-- in New York City's Lower East Side. Using innovative solar technology to bring sunlight below ground, a historic trolley terminal will be transformed into a stunning, subterranean space for relaxation in the midst of a dense urban environment (check out their conceptual sketch in the final slide, above). Fundraising for the Lowline began with a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, and continued this week with the organization's annual Anti-Gala. Hosted by director Spike Jonze and writer/Girls creator Lena Dunham, the evening was set against a backdrop of greenery designed and built by terrain's garden team. 

    Upon arrival, guests were greeted by a living wall of soft, woodsy sedum where they could pause for a photo-op. As they headed inside, they enjoyed cocktail hour in the shade of a 20-foot olive tree at the center of the bar, then headed beneath swags of lush fern garland to dinner. The highlight of the evening was a Lowline-inspired pathway leading to the tables, complete with illuminated trees, abundant blooms, and drifts of autumn leaves. At their seats, guests were greeted by cheerful, fall troughs filled with mossy plantings and scattered pumpkins. In keeping with the green spirit of the Lowline, terrain's living plants from the event will find homes at the LES Ecology Center and other locations around the Lower East Side. 

    The Lowline is projected to open in 2018. Learn more about the project and how you can contribute. Images courtesy of the Lowline.

  • In the past two weeks, we’ve followed our friend Tara Douglass of Brooklyn Plant Studio as she cultivated and arranged her own blooms for her hometown wedding, then biked around Sweden’s botanical sanctuaries and dined in some of France’s most remote locations on her honeymoon. Now, in our final installment of “A Gardener Gets Married,” Tara is back home with her new husband in their Brooklyn abode, and sharing what she’s been up to post-nuptials. If there’s one thing she’s not doing, it’s settling down! 

    terrain: What’s the first thing you did when you returned from your honeymoon? 

    Tara: We stayed pretty unplugged for most of our trip, so when we arrived home I was eagerly perusing Instagram when I stumbled across a posting from Philadelphia's Love ‘n Fresh Flowers. Owner Jennie Love was looking for an apprentice! Growing  a field of flower bulbs for my own wedding and then doing all the arranging made me realize how amazing it would be to have my own flower farm and florist business. Jennie does exactly that, so needless to say I leapt at the opportunity to learn from one of best. I reached out immediately and am now an apprentice on her farm, learning the ins and outs of what it will take to start a field to florist business of my own, ideally back in my hometown. 

    terrain: How has life changed since saying “I do”? 

    Tara: My husband and I have been living together in Brooklyn for the past 7 years, so not much has changed. We have our dogs, Basil and Biscuit, and our garden that we tend out back. We received some incredible gifts for our wedding, one of which was a large vase by acclaimed ceramic artist Frances Palmer. I’ve been obsessed with filling it full of fresh arrangements – it has definitely become a focal point in our home. 

    terrain: When you’re not busy growing and arranging fresh blossoms, what's your favorite pastime? 

    Tara: Beekeeping! I actually have a hive on the roof of our building, which I’ve been tending since 2009.  It was actually illegal when I started, but luckily my landlord and neighbors are very sweet and didn't mind.  I got interested in beekeeping after I heard about CCD - Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where the worker bees of a honey bee colony abruptly disappear, which is occurring more and more. I bought the hive and bees from a company in upstate New York that sources honeybees from Georgia, then set up the hive. Each year we harvest the honey, usually around 60 lbs of it! It's so easy and I just love seeing the bees; they're such an integral part of the gardening process. 

    Images courtesy of Tara Douglass.

  • It’s not every day a bride grows and arranges all her own flowers for her wedding day. Our friend and Brooklyn-based floral and garden designer Tara Douglass of Brooklyn Plant Studio didn’t just grow her own flowers— she planted 4,325 bulbs on her family’s historic property in Columbia, Missouri, harvested the blooms, and arranged them all for her big day! Due to the unusually harsh winter, not all of her bulbs flowered, so Tara studied old family photographs of her great-great-grandparent's historic, Midwestern estate to gain insight on what she could expect to find in bloom when she arrived there before her May 3rd nuptials. With a supplement of foraged dogwood, may apple, lilac, and wisteria, Tara crafted 21 centerpieces in antique vases from her grandmother’s collection, her wedding bouquet, seven boutonnieres, and three garlands in a color scheme of rich whites, blues, and deep purples, thanks to her harvest of tulips, allium, fritallaria, and Spanish bluebells, to name just a few.

    The best part? Since bulbs are perennials, Tara will be able to return to her family’s home each year and see the flowers she planted in full bloom—talk about an incredible anniversary gift! We sat down with Tara to find out more about what it’s like to single-handedly plan and plant your own wedding. Read on to learn more about what it’s like when the gardener gets married! 

    terrain: What inspired you to grow and arrange your own flowers for your wedding?

    Tara: It’s every florist’s dream to do her own wedding. I wanted to grow varieties of flowers that were rare and unusual, and not something you could find at any florist. It was also deeply personal for me to have our wedding at my family’s home in Missouri, where I would be the third generation to get married on the property. I chose to plant bulbs instead of a traditional flower garden because the blossoms of bulbs tend to stay fresher longer, lasting for several weeks if the weather remains on the cooler side. I planted the bulbs 6 months before the wedding and left the rest in nature’s hands, returning to tend to the flower field several times leading up to the big day. We did end up transferring some of the bulbs into pots and storing them in the barn until the wedding once they blossomed to preserve them from the elements and native wild life. Deer love to munch on tulips! 


  • Fall Bulb Planting

    September 16, 2014

    , Grow

    The first thing that comes to mind when we think of bulbs is spring, but right now is the perfect time to sow next year's show stoppers! Available exclusively in stores, our bulb collections are ready for fall planting. Hand-selected by plant buyer Karen C., each collection offers a concentrated color display that will bloom in various forms and heights from late winter through early summer. “We were very picky with these assortments,” says Karen. “We selected only what we would really want to put in our own gardens – striking colors or forms (dark Fritillaria persica, sherbet Hyacinth ‘Gypsy Queen,' drumstick-shaped Allium sphaerocephalon), new and unusual varieties (Crocus ‘Orange Monarch,’ Iris ‘Lion King,’ Tulip ‘Weber’s Parrot Spectrum’), and proven performers (Galanthus, Muscari ‘Peppermint,' Tulip ‘Parade’). We’re also going a step beyond and calling out particular bulbs with a special “terrain favorite” sticker, like the Narcissus ‘Rip Van Winkle’—an unusual, spiky form of yellow daffodil.”

    “These bulbs need to be planted in the fall or early winter, as they require a period of cool temperatures in order to bloom in the spring,” says Karen. “It’s important to get them in the ground before it freezes (6 weeks before, if possible), as they need some time to develop strong roots. Plant them to the depth suggested on the package, normally about 3-6 inches, water them thoroughly, and let them go! Bulbs in general are remarkably tough and require little care.”

    After the bulbs bloom in the spring, Karen recommends letting the leaves remain as long as possible so the plant can build up the energy to bloom again next year. Instead of cutting back, try to camouflage any unsightly bulb foliage with blooming annuals and perennials for breathtaking botanicals all season long!

    Ready to start planting? Visit our stores to take home these brand-new bulb collections.

  • The Dirt | 2014 | week no. 35

    The Dirt is our version of a weekly link roundup, where we share what's currently capturing our interest around the web. Hope you'll enjoy, and feel free to share what you're reading in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

    How to grow a meadow. (via Modern Farmer)

    Ready for bonfire season? Here are a few practical tips for campfire cooking. (via Design Mom)

    Before you head to the orchard, some suggestions for freezing fruit. (via The Kitchn)

    Three great menus for homemade picnics. (via NYT)

    We'd love to spend Labor Day weekend on this dreamy porch. (via Instagram @haskellharris)

    A show-stopping cake for late summer, and some sweet garden bites (via The Cake Blog)