Category Archives: gardening

stefano boeri has revealed plans for his latest vertical forest, which will be built in the town of villiers sur marne in the eastern quadrant of the parisian metropolitan area

stefano boeri has revealed plans for his latest vertical forest, which will be built in the town of villiers sur marne in the eastern quadrant of the parisian metropolitan area.named ‘forêt blanche’, the project forms part of a new urban development called ‘balcon sur paris’, where architects such as kengo kuma and X-TU architects are also planning buildings.

Continue reading stefano boeri has revealed plans for his latest vertical forest, which will be built in the town of villiers sur marne in the eastern quadrant of the parisian metropolitan area


Urbanature Garden Planter Unfolds Like Scissors


Urbanature’s folding garden planter and stand takes urban gardening to new heights. I’m always on the hunt for small space garden products that an urban gardener can easily store out of place when not in use, then unfolds to fit the particular space.


Vertical Garden That Folds For Storage
Jörg Brachmann’s design not only makes it easy to grow vegetables in a confined space like a balcony, but at the end of the season, it just folds together flat for easy storage.



No More Fear of Heights
Inspired by one of those scissoring foldable laundry dryers, the height varies according to whim, depending on how much you unfold it and your particular space constraints. It’s lightweight solid wood (oak, walnut, ash) frame accepts up to six galvanized steel, white powder coated planter boxes.



Now, get planting and watch your garden unfold. 

Tiny, adorable baby animal rescued from imminent doom by hero Arizonans

A starving, struggling otter in Arizona was nursed back to health after utility workers plucked it from a canal on the outskirts of Phoenix.

The 4-week-old animal was dehydrated and covered with fleas when three heroes from Salt River Project noticed the otter struggling to escape the drying canal.

Continue reading Tiny, adorable baby animal rescued from imminent doom by hero Arizonans

Envisioning housing ideas for New York City’s affordability crisis

For as long as New York City’s affordability crisis persists, potential affordable housing solutions will always be needed. In one of their latest competitions, Bee Breeders challenged architects and designers worldwide to submit their most innovative housing ideas in the New York Affordable Housing Challenge.

“This competition recognizes the responsibility of architecture and its discipline in a systemic issue entwined between the built environment, policy, economics, and culture,” Bee Breeders writes.

Continue reading Envisioning housing ideas for New York City’s affordability crisis

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!