SPOTTED – the Hookie Planter…

We do love a bit of internal planting here on the Ecospot, especially when it is hanging planting. Plants really can make the space come alive, plus it can help to soften an otherwise hard interior design scheme, especially if you are going down the industrial styled route, as we often are. Add in the air cleansing qualities of plants and you are onto a winner. So when we saw these new Hookie planters, we were, er, hooked. hookie

Founded by Finnish industrial designer Niko Laukkarinen, the Hookie was borm out of the idea of supporting multiple plants from one single fixing point. It is also rather sculptural, which is an element that we particularly like.

And you can also support the project itself, as it is currently looking for funding here.

Play Hookie With These Hanging Planters in main home furnishings  Category

(images via Hookie funded by me page)

SPOTTED – a few lovely public landscaping details in Berlin…

Ok – we are still talking about our recent trip to Berlin, but hey – there was loads of great stuff to report about. Rest assured, we will be finishing our Berlin series this week… But, before we do, we are dedicating today’s post to a few fantastic little bits of public landscaping that we spotted while we were there.

bikini berlin landscaping 1

As we reported yesterday, the whole area of Bikini Berlin, which encompasses both the new concept mall and the 25hrs hotel has undergone a serious amount of regeneration of late. The new concept mall is on three levels, with the top level stores opening out onto the public roof terrace – overlooking the monkey enclosures of the zoological garden again.

What was lovely about this space was, firstly, it was publically accessible – too often the lovely pieces of landscaping that surround buildings, or sit above buildings are closed off to the general public. Not so here – there was plenty of space to sit and take in the views of the tiergarten or the city either on one of the cafe areas or on the public seating, which hooray, there was also an abundance of.

bikini berlin landscaping 2

These large bench seats, which were colour matched to the soft green of the metalwork inside the mall were also fitted with a very simple and very clever back rest adjustment system, so you can decide which way to face. Very nice.

The detailing on the terrace was also rather nice – the geometric wave set into the railings that looked over the zoological garden mirroring the angular rooflights that floods the mall below with light.

bikini berlin landscaping 3

Also, the front of the hotel entrance carried on this angular public landscaping, with stepped planters rising out of the flat paved areas – creating both visual interest and a planting depth to allow larger specimens without the planter being blocky. It was also – as I discovered – rather good to sit against.

A very lovely example of cool, contemporary, angular landscaping – and not just for the private office and workspace users of the area – for the public.

Long may it continue.

(photos by claire potter)

join us on our Chelsea Fringe edible city foraging walk this saturday…

Hello everyone. Apologies for the few posts that have disappeared over the past few days, we have been experiencing a bit of a tech melt down… but, we are still here (actually, we are in Berlin at present with Fixperts, but more of that next week) and we will also be getting ready for our Chelsea Fringe event this coming Saturday!

Chelsea Fringe 2014 Flyer merged

Last year, we ran a very popular guided foraging walk in Brighton, so we have decided to keep to the theme and are running another three – this time in the centre of Brighton, starting in the landscape behind Brighthelm on North Road. This will be a bit of an intro to what you can find in the city which can be easily foraged.

We will be starting at 11, with each walk taking about an hour, including a free foraged cordial drink at the end and a free copy of our very special and very new map of Brighton which you can customise yourself with the icon stickers…

Spaces on the walk are FREE but VERY limited, so please get in touch to reserve a space on one of the following time slots:

11.00 am walk / 1.00 walk / 3.00 walk – email us on hello@clairepotterdesign.com to reserve a space, or use the booking form on the right of this page…

In between times, we will be at our little stand in Brighthelm selling copies of our Edible City pack (map and stickers), plus copies of our limited edition A-Z of British Apples prints, so please do pop by and say hello! If there are any spaces left on the day you will be welcome to join one of the walks but we cannot guarantee that there will be any left!

Oh – if you have previously got in touch about reserving a space on the walks, please get in touch again – we have lost a lot of emails in our recent tech fail…

We look forward to seeing you!

weekend colour inspiration – landscape details…

Today, as it is of course, the week of the Chelsea Flower Show, we are looking at a nice landscape detail we spotted on Pinterest…

landscaping lines

We are big fans of creating lines in the landscapes that we design, both in the detailing and the layout, so we thought that this particular piece of detailing was rather lovely. The grass strips linking into the paving, linking into the cobbles and paving beyond is a very good example of bringing interest to even the smallest of areas.

This sort of design can be used to navigate around an area, designating the walkways, or even areas that you are not supposed to travel within. It can also help to link borders into walkways by allowing planting to drift into the paving areas.

So – not strictly a colour inspiration, but hey ho.

(photo via Pinterest)

Monday musings – this years Chelsea Fringe event announced…

Well, well, well. Where exactly has this year gone? We honestly cannot believe that it is a year since we did our Edible City foraging walk for the Chelsea Fringe festival last year. So – what are we planning on doing this year Another Edible City foraging walk, but this year, we are planning a few little extras, which we will be revealing over the next week or so…

Chelsea Fringe 2014 Flyer merged

Yep. A foraging walk, a free map and even a foraged drink at the end…

Extra details coming very soon…

SPOTTED – the Brighton Artist’s Open Houses – the Fiveways trail part 2

For our second part of our jaunt around the Fiveways section of the Brighton Artist’s Open Houses we found a lovely little selection of garden ceramics and illustration. In fact, so far we have found quite a few great examples of exterior ceramics this year – all taking references from seed heads or petal formations, but each with their own twist.

First up was the beautiful exterior ceramics of Frances Doherty, which are currently on show at 31 Havelock Road, number 9 on the Fiveways trail this year. They look like massively enlarged close ups of flowers, giving the ‘bugs eye view’ that Doherty looks for in the pieces she creates. The colours are intense and beautifully formed and would look great in a flower bed to give extended interest, particularly in the winter months. 
frances doherty 1

Next we tripped over to 28 Florence Road (which is actually part of the Beyond the Level trail, but hey ho) to see a wonderful range of both painting, illustration and sculpture. We were very taken with the printing and illustration of Jonny Hannah, which had a very voodoo type styling, playing with the iconography of tarot cards in bright and brash paintings. We loved the ‘welcome to dark town’ prints, which each had a different back illustration.

jonny hannah 1

The tarot style painted playing cards were displayed in a large grid formation above the fireplace, which, in itself was very striking, but each one is actually available to purchase individually. Framed up, these little cards would bring a real injection of colour and character to a tiny room. Stunning work and we had trouble choosing our favourite.

jonny hannah 2

Last up, we ventured into the garden, with our pot of fresh coffee and cardamom coffee cake and carrot lime cake (highly recommended!) and enjoyed sitting beneath a fully blossomed tree in the sun, taking in the view of the gorgeous walled garden and the sculptures that were on display from Si Unwins.

si unwins 1Taking another view of the stylised naturalistic, these sculptures were created using centres of carved wood with bent, verdigris patternated copper nails creating the main seed head elements of the piece. Available in a variety of sizes and styles, these sculptures both blended with the surrounding foliage and created a real impact once you spotted them.

A great set of garden ceramics and illustration and definitely something for everyone…Especially if you like cake too. Which we do.

Check back at SPOTTED next Tuesday for the next instalment in our travels around the Artist’s Open Houses in Brighton…

(photos by claire potter)

 

wednesday walls – a hexagon based wall trellis…

oooh goodness. We have a bit of a thing for the hexagon here at the Ecospot. The love of hex is something that we have written about a few times, with hexagonal wall tiles, floor tiles, seating and all sorts featuring at various times both here and on our studio wish list. But now, we have found a rather fabulous use of the hexagon – in this wonderful hexagonal wall trellis.

combination trellis by arik levy

Created by designer Arik Levy, the ‘combination wall trellis’ is available in a variety of sizes which can be combined to create a scientific looking, modern support structure that can grow across the wall.

What we particularly love about this product (apart from the hexagons, of course) is the fact that the trellis will look as beautiful and effective without anything on at all, as it would with a smattering of foliage. Indeed, it is such a striking product that you could argue that it should not be covered in it’s entirety, or at least be covered with a deciduous climber so that the frame is exposed, and enjoyed in winter when generally the garden is a little quieter.

A lovely contemporary twist to the trellis – an often overlooked piece of kit.

(image via gardenbeet)

weekend colour inspiration – purples, greens and seeds…

As it is now officially the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, we are looking to the garden today for a bit of our weekend colour inspiration with a smattering of purples and greens.

purple seeds

Now, this little selection is part of the basis for the new planting we are having at the front of the new studio (yes, it is coming soon) – a nice bunch of deepest purples, greys, greens and whites, with the odd dark burgundy red thrown in for good measure.

And even though we are fans of drifted planting, edible planting and planting that is good for the local wildlife, we do not really go in for the all colours blazing style of planting. We like to be a little bit organised, choosing tones that will work well together within a limited palette.

This is one of our favourites. Partnered with the bright green stems of dogwood and the pale silvers of lavender, these purple shades will sit nicely together.

So when you take a trip to the garden centre for your seeds, take a little time to really look at how the shades will sit against one another. Because creating a beautiful garden or landscape is rather like painting a balanced picture…

(photo by claire potter)

Wednesday walls – green walls from plastic bottles…

Today on Wednesday walls we are looking at a little bit of guerrilla gardening, with this fantastic pop up wall garden, which was installed at a home by Brazilian design studio Rosenbaum to help the underprivileged family gain direct access to food and medicinal herbs.

Brazilian design studio Rosenbaum created this hanging garden of recycled plastic bottles to help an underprivileged family with limited space in Sao Paulo live more sustainably. The old bottles were strung together and planted with flowers, spices and medicinal herbs.

We love this idea – we have written before about gutter gardening, which takes a similar form as this, but what we particularly love is the very low tech nature of this design and installation. Using locally sourced, waste 2ltr drinks bottles, the new installation is very simply constructed using suspended steel cables attached to the wall, which means that if any get broken, it is easy – and cheap to replace them.

As far as green walling goes, this is about as low tech as it gets, but the vital part is that the installation is completely suitable for the location, which is key to a great design intervention. Site, and client specific.

A wonderful, simple project that will create a real difference to the family, promote recycling and provide fresh food. And the best thing? It can be easily replicated…

(image via Innocent Facebook)

Monday musings – the new start of grow your own…

It appears as though we have been rather blessed with an early and sudden start to a hot spring. It has literally snuck up on us all, but wandering into the garden last week, we discovered that everything has woken up and is growing at the rate of knots. We also visited two different garden centres over the weekend – one to look at trees for a client and one to pick up a few seeds. Both were rammed.

grow your own

But we also spotted something very interesting. On both trips, in both the larger nursery and the standard DIY shed garden centre, there was a much bigger area given over to edible growing than ever before. Grow your own has taken over. 

Edible hedging, strips of vegetable seedlings, canes of berries, fruit trees of all sizes and a huge variety of seeds were there – and were very, very popular indeed. At one point we stood and watched as the traditional bedding plant area was pretty much bare of shoppers, but the fruit tree area could barely hold anyone else.

And we were part of the throng, purchasing violas (edible), bean seeds and a few extra varieties of mint. We also selected the trees we will be using in one of our schemes for our clients – a mix of apples, pears and a mulberry. We might even sneak in an almond.

So, for today, we really are having a bit of a musing. The mistrust of where our food comes from, plus the general increased interest in growing your own has filtered down to the DIY sheds who are fulfilling our desires for simple, semi self sufficiency with a bigger than ever range of grow your own products.

Which in our eyes, can only be a good thing. 

(image by claire potter)