Tagged: Our Gardens

Plant a Pumpkin Patch

October 31, 2014

Our Gardens
, Grow

Plant a Pumpkin Patch

Did you know that the heirloom pumpkins and gourds you picked out for festive decorating this fall can be used to grow your own pumpkin patch for next year’s crop? After Halloween, take your pumpkins outdoors and stow them in an out-of-sight location until they break down completely. Then, simply bury them no more than six inches deep in your garden before the first frost and cover with mulch. Throughout the winter, the fermented squash will spread their seeds in the soil, then begin to grow in the spring. Make sure you plant your pumpkins in an area with ample space, about 3-6 feet apart – they will need lots of room to spread their vines, which can grow up to 30 feet! Compost, ample fertilizer, lots of sunlight, and well-draining soil will ensure that your squash thrive. If you notice the soil getting dry, water immediately, as pumpkins are largely made up of water. However, note that overwatering can make them sickly; deep, infrequent watering yields the best result.

Our Product and Community Coordinator, Kelly S., put this method of pumpkin-growing to the test in her yard and harvested her crop from early August until late October. She says, “When the shell of your pumpkin has hardened and changed color, you’ll know it’s ready to harvest. Unfortunately, many of our pumpkins got stolen by hungry critters, so next year we plan to put up fencing and use other measures to keep pests at bay. Our favorite discovery was that the yellow flowers produced by pumpkin vines are edible – simply remove the inner parts and they’re a delicious top note on a frittata or a garnish for salads!”


Behind the Scenes: terrain's Living Wall

For a fall event at our headquarters, terrain Landscape's Fine Gardening team created a remarkable installation-- the gorgeous Greenwall above. Transforming an unused building on our campus into a blooming focal point, we're thrilled that this beautiful garden is now a permanent part of our landscape. We recently caught up with two people who brought the wall to life, nursery manager Greg O. and plant buyer Karen C., to learn more about how the project came together.

Greg O. tells us, "terrain's Creative Director, Greg Lehmkuhl, designed the Greenwall. He envisioned a harvest wall that would be at its most colorful during the event at the end of September. It's composed of 36 individual hayrack planters, arranged in 12 rows of three. A faux moss fabric lines the baskets to hold the soil, a potting mix from Organic Mechanics. Karen did a brilliant job of choosing and sourcing the plants to be used."


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.


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."


Last week, our friend Tara Douglass of Brooklyn Plant Studio shared the story of her wedding-- she made it an event to remember by personally growing and arranging all the flowers for her big day. After cultivating more than 4,000 blooms, Tara and her husband were ready for a much-deserved vacation. In our next installment of "A Gardener Gets Married," she's telling us all about her magical honeymoon, where plants and botanicals reigned supreme on a European adventure!

terrain: Where did you go on your honeymoon, and why did you choose those destinations?

Tara: We went to Sweden and France from the end of July through the beginning of early August. My husband has traveled fairly extensively, so we wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had been before. Also, we didn't go on our honeymoon immediately after our wedding, so it was nice to still have something to look forward to once the festivities were over.

terrain: Tell us a bit about Sweden-- what were some highlights from your time there?

Tara: Sweden is a great country. There’s no pretense, and people don’t expect you to be able to speak Swedish, which is comforting. Many people don’t realize that Sweden is actually a series of islands that are bundled close together. Each island has its own neighborhood feel, its own personality. Sweden has super long days in the summer – it’s light out until midnight and never really becomes fully dark. Because of this, it changes the normal growing patterns of plants and allows for healthy, long blooming, and unseasonably fresh growth. I was surprised to see artichokes growing way before they would normally be ready.


This week, we invited our friend and photographer Olivia Rae James from Charleston, SC to visit Styer’s and capture the terrain experience through her lens. We love seeing our nursery in a new light, and her visit has us feeling ready for the transition into fall. Enjoy some of the beautiful images Olivia took above, and read on to learn more about her artistic process and first trip to terrain

terrain: Can you tell us a bit about your background and what sparked your interest in photography?

Olivia: I was as interested in photography as any other kid, playing with Polaroids and disposables, but it wasn't until high school or college that I became obsessed with documentation. I didn't want anything to ever be forgotten (still don't), though I've definitely reached a point where I embrace putting my camera away and focusing on the present. I do think having a camera in my hand at all times for so many years, attempting to capture everything, was a great trial-and-error education. I never formally studied photography aside from a few workshops (I have a degree in English from the College of Charleston), but I realized within a year of graduating that photography was what I wanted to set my sights on. 

terrain: What inspires you the most? What are your favorite kinds of photographs to take? 

Olivia: Traveling is my preferred way to recharge and get inspired. Even if it means leaving my camera in the hotel for a day or two. I love to capture real, quiet moments. My favorite photographs often include morning light, evening light, flowers, the sea, people, new places, and pretty food.

terrain: What did you enjoy most about shooting at terrain?

Olivia: Oh, so many things! terrain is a hub for the things I love most. The plants and flowers, the home goods, the sweetest garden shed, the light streaming through greenhouse windows, the amazing cafe in the greenhouse -- it's just perfect!


From aubergine to periwinkle, late summer is the perfect time to welcome pops of purple in the garden. Two of our favorites? The often-overlooked Joe Pye Weed and Oriental Fountain Grass. We love how their unexpected beauty not only adds color to summer plantings, but height and dimension too! Read on to learn more about how to grow and care for these purple perennials. 

Joe Pye Weed: Native to the northeastern United States, Joe Pye Weed is an herbaceous perennial that blooms from July to September in cheerful shades of mauve. This low-maintenance bloomer enjoys full sun to partial shade and moist soil, and is great for attracting butterflies thanks to its tantalizing vanilla fragrance. 

Oriental Fountain Grass: Arching in feathery clumps, the purple-hued blooms of Oriental Fountain Grass lend themselves naturally to bringing height and texture in container plantings and borders. Moist, well-draining soil and partial sun or shade are all it takes to allow this perennial to thrive season after season. 

Throughout the season, our plant team highlights their freshest additions to the garden with New in the Nursery. Check in at your local store to take home these newly-arrived blooms.


The arrival of our much-anticipated, terrain exclusive collection of garden structures has us excited and inspired, eager to incorporate these natural beauties into our landscapes. Made from natural willow, many of the pieces in the collection are expandable for customizable sizing, providing a host of different use options and looks. We asked our Creative Director, Greg, to give us some expert advice on how to style each piece so that our structures can truly shine. View his parings above, and learn how to create them in your own garden below. 

1. Paired Planters, Willow Cones + Black-Eyed Susan Vine
 When it comes to planters, two is always better than one. Particularly when topped with willow cones and planted with bright Black-Eyed Susan Vines. 

2. Willow Obelisk + Globe Lights
This structure welcomes guests for a summer soiree when strung with globe lights.

3. Willow Urn + Hanging Basket
Give hanging baskets a break from the rafters by placing them in the bowl of this wicker urn for an elegant, draped effect.

4. Willow Pyramid + Kitchen Garden
For herb or vegetable plots small, medium, or large the pyramid makes a perfect starting place.

5. Expandable Willow Diamond Fence + Clematis
An expandable fence, or even two fences joined together, creates brings interest to the garden as an eye-catching backdrop for clematis.