Category Archives: gardening

5 Unkillable Houseplants for Guys without a Green-Thumb

If you find yourself in that transitional period where dog-eared beer cozies seem passé, yet the idea of spending $300 on bed sheets is laughable, investing in a houseplant might be just the ticket.

Guaranteed to spruce up your home and improve the quality of air you breathe, while simultaneously sending out clear eligible signals to any ladies passing through, houseplants are enjoying something of a comeback right now. The Manual suggests getting all up in it, with our pick of the (kill-proof) bunch.

1. Echeveria Nodulos

This distinct species is part of the succulent family – low-growing, low-maintenance fleshy plants to you and me. Able to store water within its leaves, this little fella will grow steadily if left on a sunny windowsill or–if you’re feeling adventurous–in a terrarium. When watering, the trick is to keep the soil cool and damp, so a splash of water every couple of days should be plenty.

Continue reading 5 Unkillable Houseplants for Guys without a Green-Thumb


In Abu Dhabi, A Desert Park With A Secret Garden

Thomas Heatherwick has redesigned the 30-acre Al Fayah Park in Abu Dhabi to embrace its desert setting.


In Abu Dhabi, a grassy European-style park requires constant irrigation to counteract the sun’s intensity. With that in mind, the London-based architect Thomas Heatherwick plans to redesign the 30-acre Al Fayah Park to embrace the desert setting while providing a comfortable place for people to gather.

It features 65-foot-high canopies that shade gardens, streams and gathering spaces below.

Heatherwick Studio reconceives the Abu Dhabi public park in a way that ensures that the park is attuned to its climate. The park, which is scheduled for completion in 2017, includes 65-foot-high canopies that mimic the fractured look of a cracked desert landscape. Those same canopies shield a garden oasis from the heat and sun, reducing the amount of water lost to evaporation and improving the park’s energy efficiency.

The canopies mimic the fractured look of a cracked desert landscape.

Underneath these canopies, in the shade, visitors will find pools and streams, vegetable gardens, spaces for performances and festivals, a cafe, a library, and a mosque. In the cooler evening hours, people can gather ontop of the canopies, to wander.

The design was envisioned “as a way of celebrating the beauty of the desert and its distinct surrounding landscape,” the architects write. “Instead of denying the presence of the desert that the city is built on, we set ourselves the task of making a park out of the desert itself.”

Top 10 Products from Dwell on Design

As mentioned in our recent DoD 2013 summary post, fellow Land8 writer Mitch Howard and I scoured the expansive DoD exhibit hall, poked and prodded, kicked and shook, and endlessly interrogated sales people, all to find the latest and greatest products for our Land8 readers. We were able to narrow down our extensive list to 10 (not in a particular order) of what we believe are the best of the best. You’re welcome.

1. Treehouses by Peter Nelson: Do you or your clients ever daydream about being up in the trees, overlooking the landscape below? Well, you can now do it in style. Peter Nelson has designed and installed glorious treehouses all around the world. This is not your little brother’s treehouse. Even though this is not a product, per se, I would love to have one of these in my backyard! Now, if I only had some trees.

2. Meadow Grasses and California Natives by John Greenlee & Associates/Suncrest Nurseries and Shades of Green/Mountain States Wholesale Nursery: Need to turn your next project into a drought tolerant, dynamic landscape? Look no farther than meadow grasses and California natives! John Greenlee selected and Suncrest Nurseries supplied the beautiful grasses, and Shades of Green masterfully designed and Mountain States provided all the California natives for the Dwell Outdoor exhibit. The plants gave texture, movement and color to the space while showing everyone that natives are beautiful! They can do the same for your designs.

3. Trellis Sculptures by Terra Trellis: Trellises and other garden structures made from rebar and core-ten steel. They provide a twist in your traditional trellis, adding a modern element to your landscape designs. These are exposed armatures after my heart.

4. Pebbles sculptural seating by EIS Studio: These are organically shaped indoor-outdoor seats. They can be made of wood, stone, fabric, or fiberglass. Create spaces that allow for creative seating, or informal resting places, while still providing a modern aesthetic. Fun follows function, just don’t try and skip them.

5. Stainless steel outdoor furniture by Half 13: Powder coated stainless steel that is simply designed, ergonomically proportioned and surprisingly comfortable. They are hand crafted and built to last. Use these furnishings as statement pieces indoors or out!

6. Airplantframes & Airplantvessels: by Airplantman Design: Framing and highlighting the incredible Air Plant, Josh Rosen designs elegant indoor and outdoor accents for your walls, tables or custom furniture. These air plants absorb water through their leaves and will not attract bugs. Cool.

7. Lime-Based Paints and Plaster by Ad Applications: Creating and old world look or a clean, modern feel to your outdoor project? This versatile environmentally conscious product looks great indoors and out!  Even though they are based in Europe it is available in the US for your next project. Check out their product widely used in celebrity homes all across the globe.

8. Nourishmat by Earth Starter: These pre-seeded mats would be great starter kits for a small balcony garden or any other sunny location where space is limited. Just hook up your water source to the built in irrigation and watch your garden grow. And don’t worry, you don’t need to keep track of what you planted, the nourishmat takes care of that. They also produce seedballs for a bit of guerilla gardening.

9. Oak Barrel Seats by Shades of Green: Reusing old oak barrels, these chairs, combined with powder-coated stainless steel, creates a modern outdoor chair. These seats would be great for wine lovers that have a modern aesthetic.

10. Reclaimed Wood by Restoration Timber/Stikwood and E&K Vintage Wood: Are you mindful of where your project materials come from? How about building your next bench from reclaimed wood? Restoration Timber and E&K Vintage Wood provides all things reclaimed wood, from floor to ceiling to the outdoors.

So there’s our list. Hope you found it useful. Would you use these products in your next project? Chime in below!

Greenhouse commercial Nature Fresh Farms Leamington Promotional video for Nature Fresh Farms in Leamington, Ontario shot by Delirium Media. This video shows the entire process, from sanitization, to planting, picking, and packing. It also shows some of the advanced technologies used at Nature Fresh, as well as their high safety standards.


World’s Largest Indoor Farm Switches On in Japan

Although modern agriculture is no doubt leaps and bounds ahead of anything seen a few centuries ago, there’s still one tiny problem with it. Weather remains out of our control. With all of our high-tech farming toys, all it takes is a bad drought, a freak storm, or an outbreak of particularly resilient vermin to destroy an entire harvest.

It’s happened before in our long history, and modern farming equipment – while it’s done a great deal to mitigate the problem – hasn’t removed it entirely. Now, one Japanese plant physiologist claims he’s found a solution to the weather problem – and possibly world hunger, as well. He’s opened the world’s largest indoor farm.

Continue reading World’s Largest Indoor Farm Switches On in Japan

Living Art Blends Ceramics and Horticulture

Inspired by his own landscape designs and a trip to his native Japan, Brooklyn-based artist and landscape designer Mineo Mizuno integrates ceramics and horticulture in Coexistence, an installation of living art forms.

Continue reading Living Art Blends Ceramics and Horticulture

Concrete Indoor-Outdoor Modular Green Wall Tiles From France


Oh how j’adore the verdant marriage of design and horticulture in French designer Benjamin Pawlica’s Deltaflore plantable concrete green wall tiles. (You may have noticed that I’m a little obsessed with indoor-outdoor concrete everything these days.)


Just think about the design possibilities for indoor and outdoor vertical gardens and living walls.  My imagination gets fired up when I visualize these triangular modules configured into indoor-outdoor green walls and facades, small screens, even living paintings. And until the plants fill them up, the tiles even look pretty nice empty.


Designed for LCDADeltaflore’s organically-shaped modular system offers design applications as infinite as the user’s creativity.


Indoor-Outdoor Design Accessory
I’m thinking of Pawlica’s tiles as an indoor-outdoor design accessory equally at home in the garden as in the living room or commercial space.


If cared for properly, the plants will thrive and flow from Deltaflore’s openings, cultivating interesting plays of light and shadow to provide, in the designer’s words, “a poetic atmosphere.”

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