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Entries in outdoor (20)

Friday
Mar182011

vertical woolly pocket garden how-to

Like many urban spaces, space can be tight and like a concrete jungle, natural light can be highly diffused and outdoor water sources can be scarce—which is why a vertical woolly pocket garden can be a creative and rewarding solution.

For our summer catalog, the location was sheer brick and concrete so we added lots of greenery to the walls and transformed the space into a lush, almost tropical getaway with 28 pockets.

Made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, the pockets are soft and pliable. They’re also modular and a breeze to install—just overlap the grommets and ‘wallpaper’ the space, which eventually will be completely covered with foliage. Grommet to grommet, they’re 22” across and 13” vertically—using these measurements, we recommend measuring the full wall to calculate how many pockets would be needed to fill it and to map the installation.

hint: to mount or attach them, hardware is included but we always recommend checking with a local hardware store for the best type to suit your walls.

The felt-like material is breathable—which, unlike container gardening, eliminates the need for drainage—but each pocket includes a moisture barrier to protect the walls that support them. Much like a self-watering planter, they’re engineered so roots feed from the bottom via a ‘tongue’ that wicks moisture to plant roots as needed and emulates natural conditions.

Once the pockets were secured, we planted 3-4 plants per pocket—the 6” pot size of Boston fern, creeping fig, and needlepoint ivy. All of these plants are great outdoors in the spring and summer—after all danger of frost—but are only hardy in zones 7-10. So if you live in a different zone and want to recreate this look, check with a local nursery to see what’s best for your area.

For a broader range of zones, following is a short list of optional plants—bountiful blue┬« blueberry, banana split┬« soft leaf yucca, adams needle, austral gem ‘bird’s nest fern’, holly fern, leatherleaf fern, gold fountains sedge, sparkler sedge, apricot queen New Zealand flax, compact sprenger asparagus fern, and creeping lilyturf.

hint hint: woolly pocket gardens also make great flower or herb gardens.

Thanks to curtis and april, CB2 catalog, for making us look so good!

Thursday
Jun102010

the hester street fair

The Hester Street Fair is a new weekly event that takes place every Saturday and Sunday in Manhattan’s lower east side from 10am til 6pm.

At the turn of the century, Hester Street was the site of the busiest outdoor market in New York City.

Today, it’s a small, fun mix of vendors—lots of delicious food, vintage goods and new jewelry/craft items.

Have a look around and watch for Vashali’s mini-terrariums in whirly candleholders!

Thanks to jen, store manager soho, for this submission.

Thursday
May202010

CB2 windows: sun spots

Come on in—the sun’s out, the water’s warm, and there’s a lifeguard on duty! Patrick, CB2 Berkeley

We love Airstream trailers! Jen, CB2 Union Square

We’re keeping our vertical garden hydrated by recycling raindrops! Kate, CB2 Lincoln Park

An urban oasis complete with cabanas. Vance, CB2 Soho

Inspired by the architecture of Palm Springs…

and just where are my shades? Todd, CB2 West Hollywood

Thanks to all the store designers who contributed.

Wednesday
May192010

10 steps: outdoor rooms

Whether your outdoor space is small or large, take the comforts of indoor spaces out into fresh air—which can be much more relaxed and casual, perfect for long lazy summer days that lie ahead.

Plan a weekend to “move in” much like you would rearrange or redecorate a living room or dining room.

 1. Do some research. Tear photos out of magazines and catalogs for inspiration. But act quick, planting season is fast approaching and outdoor items may have limited availability.

2. Measure the space so you know what will fit and where. Create a floor plan if necessary. Take care of the big stuff first—lounge or dining furniture, umbrellas for shade, lighting—everything else will follow.

3. For daytime lighting, a mainsail umbrella casts a large shadow for UV protection but still allows sunlight to flood the setting.

4. Define spaces and add color with a pegboard reversible outdoor rug.

5. Think about accent tables—coffee, side and console. All are useful for cocktails, appetizers and serving. They also complete an indoor look.

6. As artful as nature is, sometimes it can use embellishments. A 3-D sculpture adds another layer of texture and interest. A vertical garden can also add greenery to small spaces that lack ground cover.

7. Adding accessories is the personal touch that speaks to your personality. For evening entertaining, lots of pillows and candlelight set an inviting mood. We love the natural beauty of the outdoors but smart candle technology is ideal since they won’t blow out in strong winds—and clean up’s a breeze.

8. When choosing dining furniture, take into consideration how much space you have for a dining area and how many guests can fit comfortably. Do you prefer a round or rectangular table for long, casual conversations? As for chairs, comfort is key since you could be lingering for hours. And do they stack or disassemble for storage?

9. Dinnerware can be either melamine if you’re concerned about potential breakage, or porcelain from the kitchen to contrast with a weathered wood tabletop.

10. Gift guests with seasonal blossoms at each placesetting in joyce bud vases. Their wider base adds stability and reduces the risk of tipping.

Thursday
Apr292010

material world: galvanized steel

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebbbeginsfromdream//CC BY 2.0Invented in the early 1800s, corrugated sheet metal has evolved from a wavy iron to sheet steel that’s been hot-dipped in zinc for protection against rusting—which occurs naturally when steel is exposed to the elements.

The material quickly became widely used in construction for its many benefits. The “corrugated” rolling curves not only define its look, they also enhance its strength by distributing weight across channels instead of individual stress points throughout a flat sheet.

So not only can it support weight greater than itself, it’s rust resistant, affordable, easy to transport and easy to install. Few if any materials have matched its versatility which is why it’s maintained its popularity in rural and urban areas—not to mention developed and developing countries.

Derived from electrical impulse experiments first done by Italian physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-98), galvanization is synonymous with a crystalized—or spangle—finish that’s most often used on watering cans and outdoor accessories.

The prolific and consistent use of galvanized steel—especially corrugated steel—sealed its fate as an iconic reference to industry and the industrial age. Today it adds an urban flavor to any outdoor—or indoor setting.

For small plants, herbie is the perfect size to keep a variety of fresh herbs handy for cooking. The refined proportions of oscar planters literally elevate greenery or florals while the soft gray metal contrasts with and enhances landscapes.

Left outdoors for extended periods of time, galvanized steel can develop a patina that’s either a white-ish calcification or slight rusting—both are inherent characteristics of these natural materials.

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