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Dear Diary

Seems like everybody we know is journaling (when did this word become a verb? Discuss) these days.

And with back-to-school season underway, we've been looking for an excuse to go shopping for supplies (colored pencils!) of our own. Following the lead of the folks at GRDN shop here in Brooklyn who …


A Visit to Somerset

"There is no better pleasure than to be out-talented by your own family," says Julian Temperley, the renowned cider brandy maker from Somerset, whose daughter Alice Temperley has added layers of talent to the family name. Her recent collaboration with British department store John Lewis is called …


10 Easy Pieces

Between my husband and me, we own one perfect weekend bag. When we travel, it turns into a tug of war (it's too small to accommodate both of us). It's time to get a second perfect weekend bag. Here are ten I'm coveting. Which one would you pick?

Above: The Weekend Bag by The Good Flock is made from …


Escape to Alcatraz

Who knew that for decades San Francisco's famous Alcatraz prison harbored not only notorious criminals, but also a collection of lush gardens?

The Gardens of Alcatraz were planted more than 150 years ago for the benefit of those serving duty, those serving time, and the San Francisco residents who …


Shopper's Diary

London's "it" florist Hattie Fox recently moved her Shoreditch studio, That Flower Shop, from a nearby former blacksmith's digs to a street-front shop at the new Ace Hotel. We can see why:

Above: Photograph by Mark Leary via Flickr.

To see more of the interiors' signature Pacific Northwest …


Black Magic: Architects' 8 Top Paint Picks

You love black houses; we love black houses. Easy to admire but a bold move to make, not just any shade will do. We've asked architect and designer members of our Professional Directory for their favorite black exterior paints. Here, they've shed some light for when you're ready to go dark.

What's …

The Ultimate Travel Scarf by Las Coleccionistas by Erin Boyle

I've never really mastered the art of tying a simple silk scarf. Do I tie it in a knot? A bow? The perfect twist and tie eludes me, but I have a friend who manages to pull off the look with incredible panache, and I'm convinced that one of these days I'll be able to wrap my locks into the perfect …


A Bucolic Shepherd's Hut in France by Sarah Lonsdale

A rustic shepherd's hut, once used to make cheese, has been restored into a simple, bucolic mountain retreat.

In 2004, Austrian Frederick Pfeffer purchased this 300-year-old stone hut in Cantal's volcanic Central Massif region, an area noted for its fromage. The mountain sides were once scattered …


Luxe Urban Camping

Kitted out by a professional yacht interior designer, a 1952 Airstream at the Hotel Daniel in Vienna offers luxe minimalism for the urban camper.

For more information, go to Hotel Daniel.

Above: The polished exterior of the Airstream reflects the surrounding park-like setting.

Above: Everything you …


A Fern of a Different Color

Identified: A sturdy houseplant that manages to look delicate. The Hardy Blue Fern (Phlebodium pseudoaureum) got my attention last spring, and I've finally found a specimen to bring into my apartment.

Above: I first spotted the glaucous plant (that's bluish-gray-green in botany speak) in the …


A Magical Glasshouse Garden in Pasadena by Michelle Slatalla

Rainy days can be the best time to visit a garden, as photographer Laure Joliet reminded us when she and her mother recently visited the collection of more than 3,000 succulents inside the Huntington Botanical Gardens greenhouse in Pasadena. Luckily she took her camera along.

We spotted these photos …


5 Favorites

In case your fall travel plans inspire the painter in you, we've collected five travel watercolor sets that are just the right size for toting.

Do you have a favorite watercolor set? Let us know in the comments.

Above: Original Design DIY Pocket Sized Watercolor Paint and Art Journal Travel Set is …


Garden Travel By Boat

When Henry David Thoreau wrote, "...if it were proposed to me to dwell in the neighborhood of the most beautiful garden that ever human art contrived, or else of a dismal swamp, I should certainly decide for the swamp," we can only imagine that he'd been accustomed primarily to the murky swamps of …

U.S. Travel

Brit Style

You might think of flower farmers as folk who tend to stay put—people who are rooted to a particular plot of land. Not so for everyone. British flower farmers often follow a southwest trajectory for more sun, more rain, a better life. Benjamin Ranyard of Higgledy Garden made that journey in a …



I know we've officially turned a corner when my morning walk begins with me buttoning up a lightweight jacket. At any moment, leaves will begin to turn and there will be a crunch underfoot. My neighbors will fill their stoops with pumpkins and the neighborhood will be overrun with rotund pots of …


5 Quick Fixes

There's more to life than tulips and daffodils. When planning next year's bulb garden, find a spot to tuck in a clump or two of our five hardworking favorites:

In what growing zone is your garden? (If you don't know, enter your zip code at USDA Hardiness Zone Map to find out.)

Above: Allium …


The Romance of the Homemade Candle by Justine Hand

In the colonial era, enterprising New Englanders quickly discovered that the wax produced by boiling the prolific gray berries along the coast produced a clean, aromatic flame, and thus the bayberry candle was born. Though it was eventually replaced by mass produced waxes and commercial scents, the …


Green Tomato Chutney

Move to the country and make jam: it's a bit of a cliché but I did it, before realizing that I was useless at making jam. Besides, there are many top quality jars to be had at village fetes. In this season of gluts and gluttony, however, it seems criminal to ignore the heaps of green tomatoes on …


Tried and Tested: How to Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer

We're not so naive to think cut dahlias will stick around forever, but we're ready to do what it takes to keep them alive just a little bit longer. What if you dissolve an aspirin in the water? Or drop a copper penny into the bottom of a vase? Can it be that easy?

In the interest of science, we …


10 Easy Pieces

At the risk of stating the obvious, it's hard to find the best paint color for your house's exterior. White is a classic, but choose the wrong shade and you'll end up with a very expensive mistake.

We wanted to take the guesswork out of choosing the best white paint for your house, so we asked the …


Shopper's Diary

"My work is actually really messy, disguised by the overall look of controlled chaos," says florist Josephine Lau, co-owner of Daughters by Floral Magic in Singapore. She forgot to mention that it's also totally charming.

Spotted via Lilreddotfolks, Lau and partner Lucy Siah recently moved their …


10 Easy Pieces

You can never have enough hanging planters. I prefer to hang mine close to a window, which keeps the plant happy and makes for good conversation among my neighbors. Here are 10 (well, actually 11) white options that I would hang from my own ceiling.

Above: LA-based TW Pottery offers several hanging …


Required Reading

"Imagine a world in which blades of grass tower above you," writes Kate Bradbury in The Wildlife Gardener. "Where trees are giants and flowers big plates of food." Crawling through the undergrowth, Kate leads us through a fascinating place inhabited by small animals and minibeasts. Before we know …


What's the Point of Wasps? by Kendra Wilson

The picnic is ready. The weather has been kind and dietary requirements taken into consideration. The drinks are being poured. And then? A wasp looms into view, followed by another. "They're worse than ever this year," someone says, as a wasp (or yellow jacket) hovers between your drink and your …


10 Easy Pieces: U

The chill that creeps into the air signals the arrival of apple and pear season. Bushel baskets of pink, green, and red apples will appear at farmers' markets. But to get your hands on the freshest fruits of the fall harvest, consider a field trip to a U-pick orchard. Pack a picnic and make a day …


You Pinned It, We ID It

Love at first sight is a daily occurrence around here. Pinterest doles out plenty houseplant inspiration (and envy). Every time we refresh our stream, there are new houseplants to ogle.

We spot a photo with a carefully placed Fiddle Leaf Fig or Lacy-leafed Philodendron selloum—and everything else in …


A Rooftop Garden for All Seasons in Rotterdam by Michelle Slatalla

In 2002, landscape architect Astrid Hölzer and her husband bought a two-story apartment in a typical Dutch "herenhuis" (circa 1909) in Rotterdam. The apartment, on the top two floors of the townhouse, had a balcony, but not other outdoor spaces. Says Hölzer, "My husband and I are both landscape …


Wheelbarrow Chic from La Mule by Kendra Wilson

The French word for "mule" is easy to translate (la mule), rather like "le weekend," which is when you are most likely to use La Mule. As its name implies, this wooden barrow from France is a hard worker and will carry out a variety of unrelated tasks. Unlike a mule, it is ravishingly …


The Top 10 Gardening Apps You Need Now by Michelle Slatalla

Perhaps you saw a pair of blue jays conversing in the pear tree and realize it's time to get serious about your spring garden. Or, like my husband, you may have glanced up briefly from your cell phone to remark, "What's that loud chirping noise?" In either case, we've found an app for you:

1. …


DIY: Identify Leaves and Flowers (There's an App for That)

If you are like me, you are probably pretty good at the parlor game of identifying certain plants: the flowers your grandmother grew in her garden, the pine cones you spray painted gold in third grade, and forsythia (if blooming). Unfortunately this is not that helpful when you come across some new …