Jessie Davidson Interiors

Thicket by Jessie Davidson Interiors

Category: in-the-garden

In The Garden

Once a Municipal Nursery….

Imagine a crumbling municipal nursery paired with the vision of one Michelin Star top chef, Gert Jan Hageman...

The result is a glorious spot in Amsterdam - Restaurant De Kas - restaurant surrounded by nursery, encased in a spectacular  8 meter high glass greenhouse sitting in the center of Frankendael Park. I had the very good fortune to visit and enjoy lunch sitting in the herb garden at De Kas this past summer and it was an experience I will never forget. De Kas is a thriving, exciting place to gather and savor meals made with seasonal ingredients grown in their greenhouse and on their nearby farm.

March 22, 2015 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Growing Season

Given the harsh winter we have had in so many parts of the country, it is difficult to think about what is happening in the garden except hibernation!  So it was quite the gift this week to be able to see inside the growing greenhouses at the Chicago Botanic Garden. There are horticulturalists (botanic curators) for every garden and, by plan, they have plants growing throughout the year in preparation for filling display gardens. In these images you’ll see thousands of orchids, pansies, little geraniums, and hundreds of tiny vegetable starts that will soon be transplanted into the fruit and vegetable garden outside. 

This was inspiration for my eyes, yet the smell of damp earth may have been the best treat of all!  If winter has you down, find a greenhouse or conservatory and spend some time there.  Inhale!  And have faith that Spring IS coming sooner or later.

If you are in the Chicago area, don't miss the upcoming Antiques & Garden Fair at the Chicago Botanic Garden from April 11th - 13th, 10 am - 5 pm, daily. It is such a lovely and important show!

March 14, 2014 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Winter White And An Island Garden

Have we had enough snow yet!? 

Honestly though, I think in so many ways we are really, really lucky because it is absolutely beautiful!

Go for a walk at night or first thing in the morning, before any cars are out on the roads.  With a little moonlight, the whiteness of the snow reflects the light of the moon and makes everything sparkle.  And, walking on a new blanket of snow is so reverently silent, save the crunch of your steps.  I love that.

Snow accentuates the bones of a garden, be it a fence, boxwood hedge, furniture left out for the winter, even the most mundane bird-feeder.  This is when winter is at its best….when snow and the garden create a sculptural landscape, the beauty of which is impossible to ignore.

Think about this as you enjoy your garden next summer and remember not to forget the “bones” of your outdoor spaces.

And for a bit of spring and summer color to offer a contrast to all the winter white, Alcatraz Island. How can such a harsh place be so beautiful and hospitable today?  Over ten years ago the Garden Conservancy, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the National Parks Service began a collaborative effort to renew and tend the long-abandoned gardens on the island. 

I have put this on my list of places to see in 2014!  In the meantime, their site and the images above will give you a glimpse of the history of the island, the people who inhabited it, and the fabulous gardens that are there for all of us to enjoy today.

January 09, 2014 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

The Feeling of Fall

Fall really is the most glorious season and I hear over and over again how much so many people love it.  It is time to put the garden to bed, trimming back, digging up, mulching, and planning for the emergence of Spring.  A group of us compared thoughts the other day while enjoying a crisp, sunny day in a large community garden north of Chicago.  What we love about Fall is:

The yummy smell of the leaves and trees

Cool clear nights and chilly mornings

Maples with their sparkling gold and blazing orange/red leaves

Apple cider and pumpkin pie


Pulling on a cozy sweater

Late vegetable harvest

Windy days kicking through the fallen leaves with your dog

Anticipation of coming Holidays

So drink in the season and embrace each day for its bounty!

*All images from Pinterest.

November 18, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden


The Chicago Botanic Garden ,  in all its splendor on 385 acres of land situated in Glencoe, Illinois,  is one of the finest garden resources in the country!   One of my favorite areas is their Fruit & Vegetable Demonstration Garden, where the art of Espalier is beautifully utilized.  To espalier a woody plant or tree you tie and prune it into a specific shape so that it will grow in a flat plane.  And, while it is conventionally done with fruit trees, it can successfully be done with holly, magnolias, ivy, grapes… fact, the vines in vineyards ARE espaliered.  

Many local nurseries across the country carry espaliered plants and the one best know in the southeast is River Road Farms  where you will find a young couple that manages the growing, training, pruning and care of acres of these beautiful plants and trees.   Enjoy re-imagining your garden!

August 26, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Spring Bulbs and The Green Youth Farm

In our first newsletter and blog entry last year we talked about fall bulb planting.  Well….here is the beautiful result from this spring!

I recently became aware of The Green Youth Farm, a program created and managed by the Chicago Botanic Garden , which provides fantastic learning experiences for lucky high school kids in Chicago and Waukegan each summer.  Students work every week from June through September in one of three gardens under the supervision of a farm manager.  They learn to grow, harvest, and sell vegetables and herbs.  They learn bee keeping.  They take part in seminars on biodiversity in farming and soil management.  They learn to cook with fresh ingredients and share their recipes.  And, they earn a salary for their work every summer.  The money earned by selling their produce at local farmer’s markets is then pumped back into the program so that it can grow every year.  How much fun is this!

June 17, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Orchids & Cachepots

If you are in the New York area, be further inspired with orchids at the famed Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden through April 22nd, 2013. 

April 10, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Winter Gardens

A wonderful uplifting treat in the middle of winter is a stroll through a greenhouse or conservatory. Inhaling the fragrance of moist soil and warm air is rejuvenating during this season of dormancy. I recently visited the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, thoroughly enjoying the happy plants, related sculptures, and families who were fully ‘in the moment’. In early March they will release butterflies into the Conservatory’s Pacific Island Water Garden! Check it out: The charming bird topiary is from one of the greenhouses at the Chicago Botanic Garden - he was too cute not to include this picture!

Garden designers often refer to the bones of a garden and nothing could me more apparent than a parterre dusted with snow! This is my diminutive garden that I look out over from my Lake Bluff, Illinois office daily. It may actually be lovelier now complimented by our recent days of snow than when the Japanese beetles are feasting on the roses during the summer! We’ve included a few images of the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden as well - another lovely example of the understated beauty of a winter garden.

February 13, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Fall Bulb Planting

There is nothing more spectacular in Spring than a magnificent stand of tulips. 

A woodland drift of jonquils/daffodils - like those shown in the White Flower Farm catalog - are equally beautiful and a tad less formal. For me, large Floradales or showy white Parrot tulips, contained by a tidy boxwood hedge, are downright stately! I love how they herald the warmer, sunnier, longer days of Spring.

This year in early to mid November, we planted 400 Ivory Floradale tulips in front of the house here in Lake Bluff. Another 400 White Parrot Tulips were planted surrounding a low broad-branching Tina Crab beneath an old oak tree. Interspersed with the Parrots are one hundred Allium Caeruleum - charming little blue flower balls on a 20” stem. 

Come March, when I have had enough of our Chicago winter, I will just imagine what soil warmed by the May sun will produce. Ah, anticipation! I look forward to sharing pictures of the blooming bulbs with you in a few months!

January 06, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

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