In the Garden With…Grace Bonney at Design Sponge

Who are we In The Garden with this week?  One of my favorite blogstresses ever – Grace Bonney of Design Sponge.  You might be interested to know that just yesterday Grace posted a huge list of garden accessories under $100.   It’s posts like that as well as the plethora of other inspiring images and stories and the business advice that she freely shares that brings me back again and again.

How would you define your style?

It’s constantly changing, but I think there’s a strong “vintage meets Southern preppy” vibe to everything I do. I can’t live without dots and stripes, spring pea green, or the warm wood patina that comes with age. Everything I buy tends to have one of those things in it.

The majority of our house is a mix of vintage furniture and basics that reflect our age/financial state. We’re still fairly young so my house still has a lot of Ikea and low-end chain store pieces. I wish it didn’t, but that’s just where we are right now.

grace bonney purple clover

Do you have a garden? If so what is it like?

No, but man I wish I did! I would give my right arm to have a garden or rooftop greenhouse. Though I guess it would be hard to garden with one arm. I feel like the older I get the more i feel a physical NEED to be surrounded by growing things and as much GREEN as humanly possible.

I currently keep a wide range of plants in my home, ranging from small pieces like baby’s tears to larger plants like begonias and hellebores.

Do you have any favorite or sentimental plants or flowers?  Why are they a favorite?

Absolutely- Jasmine. Jasmine is my number one. I love ANYTHING viney and whispy. It feels alive, growing, and utterly romantic. The smell is heavenly and reminds me of Savannah, where I was married.

What is your earliest or favorite gardening related memory?

This photo of my parents’ back yard is always my strongest garden memory. My parents are both amazing gardeners and put so much love and time into their yard- it’s like a garden oasis. I have dreams about it sometimes, where I’m sitting in the yard chairs and just listening to the sound of cicadas in the trees.
bonney residence garden chairs

What are three cardinal design rules (from your design field) that you think also apply to outdoor projects?

Symmetry and Asymmetry in the right places (I like symmetry in my large scale objects and asymmetry in small details)

Pattern always gives a space life (I use patterns in every room of my home- liberally- and would love to do that in a garden with all sorts of speckled plants and striped leaves)

Always go with your Gut (I don’t follow a lot of rules in my home design and I hope people do the same thing- if something grabs you and makes you feel good you just have to get it and take the leap. Shape a whole room or garden around it if you love it a lot- why not?)

image by cbonney

Grace Recommends….

1. Terrain at Styer’s: I could live in this store for the rest of my life and be a happy person. I’m starting to sound like a hired spokesperson for this shop, but I promise I’m not. I am literally their biggest fan and I drive down from Brooklyn on a regular basis to gorge myself on their delicious food and beautiful heirloom breed plants.

2. Woolly Pockets:  I’m dying to try these in my home. They make large scale plant installations in an urban space possible!

3. What’s Wrong with my Plant: this book is my personal go-to for all the ailments I’m no doubt causing my plants. I have a black thumb, but I’m trying to get better.

4. Juliet Roses: If I could grow these in my bedroom and surround myself with an indoor trellis of them I’d be the HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD. I bought my first Juliet Roses from Nicolette at Nicolette Camille.

5. Flower School: Nicolette and Sarah from Saipua teach really fun gardening/floral design classes from the Saipua shop in Brooklyn. I’m already debating which ones I’ll save up for this summer.

6. I love this Klein Reid vase. It lets me clip tiny bits of my plants off (without stripping the plant naked) and celebrate them in other rooms.

7. Terrarium houses: I love terrariums, but love them even more when they look like little houses.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

1 Comment

  1. Katie Stephenson on April 15, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I love that garden memory. I feel the same way about my parent’s garden, and I’d love to create that feeling for my kid(s)–I’ve only one right now but hope for maybe one more.

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