Hiding Charming Animals in Your Garden

animal-statueA novel outdoor design idea is to incorporate animal statues into your garden layout. Unlike real animals that are never around when you want to show off your garden or that eat and dig up your plants, no-hassle replica animals safely create the illusion of a populated habitat.

At Marvin Gardens, we carry a wide array of birds, woodland critters, and larger beasts made from high quality materials designed to outlast the elements of nature. Our sculptures range from meticulously detailed and elegant models to quirky and delightful folk-art style creations.

It’s easy to create vignettes full of character and humor with our farmhouse animals or add a bit of exotic mystery with creatures like elephants and koi.  If you prefer a natural look, woodland creatures appear as though they just wandered into your garden.

If you’re considering adding an animal display to your garden, be sure you choose statues that are appropriate for your space, taking into consideration both size and visual appeal. To fill your garden menagerie with animal statuary, visit us at Marvin Gardens today and see what we have in stock!

Planning Your Garden Setting for the Spring

spring garden planting
Image via Pinterest

Winter is finally coming to an end, which means you can begin using your garden setting again, whether it’s for preparing the garden for spring planting, or setting out your patio furniture to begin entertaining. The following are a few tips to help with planning your garden for this upcoming spring.

  • Prepare for Spring Planting – Make sure to test the pH level of your soil. For example, if it is lacking calcium, then add gypsum. Make sure the soil has plenty of nutrients for when you begin planting by adding a layer of compost to the soil. Begin planning out what you are going to plant and where. Some vegetables that are perfect for spring include arugula, carrots, kale, lettuce and spinach.
  • Prepare for Entertaining – Take out any furniture that you stored during the winter months and make sure you clean them off thoroughly, as they may have gotten dusty or dirty. Add to the atmosphere by picking up vases, small tables, extra chairs, throw pillows, garden statues and more.

Be sure to visit us online at Marvin Gardens to find all the garden inspiration that you need this spring.

Downton Abbey: A Look at a Divine Garden Design

garden designs
Image via Garden Design

“Classic” and “divine” are two words that can certainly describe the gardens in the 19th century Highclere Castle, the backdrop scene for our favorite Downton Abbey television series. In grand English fashion, Lancelot Capability Brown set out the garden purposely to heighten the English aesthete worthy of his fabulous name. A garden design idea or two can be taken from his impressive outlay that can be used in our own gardens.

Brown sprinkled free-standing architectural ornamentations throughout the gardens. They called them ‘follies’ and we called them statues, or unique or re-purposed items that enhance the flow of the landscape. They can be whimsical, quirky or vintage. For example, blocks of discarded industrial, retro pieces can easily be re-purposed. Outfitted with vegetation or gorged with beautiful flowers, they create a distinctive setting, as any garden should.

Spreads of azaleas, rhododendrons and rare acers dotted Brown’s gardens. There were also plenty of fruit trees. Weeping Beech trees were used for dramatic effect and cedar trees by the hundreds were planted. Snapdragons, dark lobelia and astrantia were found along walls.

The beautifully planned gardens of Downton consummate taste can be a reflection of your own yard, no matter what size. Visit Marvin Gardens to experience the inspiration it takes to create a setting reminiscent of Downton Abbey.

The Overlooked Benefits of Landscape Hedges

When you look through pictures of luxuriously landscaped gardens, many of them feature some classic qualities. Among the classic design elements, hedges are often one of the binding features that set a garden apart. For centuries, European gardens used hedges to section off properties, block views, or enclose grand estates. Today, many homeowners miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on many of these same benefits.

Garden Hedges

Garden hedges are much more than just something for the history books. The “living fences” provide a stunning way to frame a home’s landscape and to provide privacy. In many residences, we’re seeing several forms of hedges used to provide visual interest and unique design. Hedges can now be found in layers, various hedges, and even in a range of colors.

Garden Hedges

Have you ever considered the use of garden hedges at your own home? What do you think of the look?

Garden Hedges

Images via Traditional Home (1), Coastal Living (2), GAP Gardens (3)

Lose the Winter Blues When You Remember the Northeast Natives!

With plenty of snow in the forecast, it looks like the cold weather is certainly settling in here in the Northeast! Though the winter weather isn’t a surprise for us, it can make our landscapes and outdoors a little dreary and depressing. To liven up your thoughts on exteriors and give you a peak into the spring, today we’d like to feature some of our most favorite plants and flowers that are native to our New England climate. Looking through the images will give you something to look forward to for the spring and it’ll also give you the opportunity to envision how  the beautiful garden accessories from Marvin Gardens will fit into your garden style!

The Wild Anemone 

Northeast Native Plants

Lovely Merrybells 

Northeast Native Plants

 The Easter Bluestar

Northeast Native Plants

 Swamp Milkweed 

Northeast Native Plants

Each of these lovely flowers provide a bit of color to your garden and are relatively easy to grow. To learn more about how to plan for your gardens and landscape design this year, just give us a call at 203-544-2020. We would love to share with you how to go outside the boundaries of garden design!

Images via BHG

Crazy About Containers

If you’re a fan of Marvin Gardens on Facebook, you’re probably well aware of the fact that we’re just crazy about using industrial containers for new planter styles this fall as we’ve been uploading images of plenty of them. Well we’re not just crazy about them anymore—we’re carrying an exclusive handful of them that are now on sale! Many are made of zinc and have clean lines and a few particular recent additions include unique turpentine barrels (early 1900s) and bakery ingredient bins from the 1920-1940s. These styles can’t be found in catalogs anywhere and are entirely unique, which is our new focus. We want as much vintage as possible with the exception of modern day castings of iron urns.

Faux Asbestos Pots - Fabulous Design!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing individual items with photos and the story behind each, so check back with us soon to see them all!



Get on the Ball with a Marvin Gardens Subscription!

Do you like us? Like really, really like us? Well then you should subscribe to our blog if you haven’t done so already! Join the many that already have and opt in to receive our every update in your e-mail inbox! As a subscriber, here’s how it will work: every time we update our blog with a new post, you’ll receive a notification directly in your e-mail with the option to either read the entire post there (great if you’re on the go and just want easy access the blog information) or go to our blog and read that post as well as browse ass Marvin Gardens posts, past and present. It’s as simple as that!

Here’s how to get started:

In the upper right corner of the blog’s homepage is an area that says “Get Posts in E-mail”. Enter your e-mail address in the box right below. One you’ve done so, you’ll receive a verification e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription. After you’ve confirmed, you’re all set and on your way to staying up-to-date on all things Marvin Gardens! So hop to it!

Arrange Containers to Maximize Landscapes

Interested in adding some variety to your landscape this summer? Then consider incorporating an assortment of planters of different shapes and sizes! Whether they’re rustic and weathered or polished and chic, they will add depth and flavor to your garden.

Marvin Gardens has a handful of tips for you from container gardener Steve Silk to get started. Take a look below:

Even unfilled pots can be useful in the garden: Even though it wouldn’t seem like it right off the bat, it can become a fine focal point or seating area.

Use containers as a means of traffic regulation: Nothing slows a group down in their tracks like a narrow passageway. Group some containers together closing up a walkway to naturally slow visitors down.

Use pots to describe garden spaces: Things like hallways, enclosures and corners can all be created by with containers. This gives a unique “space” feel to any garden.

Arrange fragrant container plants to freshen walkways: The fragrance of varieties like pineapple sage, scented geraniums, rosemary, lavender and other herbs are wonderful container species that can be grouped in front of an entrance way for a nice burst of luxurious fragrances.

Contact Marvin Gardens today form more information on our wide variety of unique vintage garden containers!

Photo Credit: Pompeii

Introducing Rosemary Milner!

If you’re not already familiar with the deeply imaginative work of Rosemary Milner, then pay attention. Marvin Gardens has absolutely fallen in love with the screen-printed wallpaper, books and fabrics from this English artist. Her patterns are whimsical and she loves traditional approaches to printing and production and has perfected the art of hand stitching, hand etching, silk-screen printing and lino illustration. We came across some of her swatches on decor8 and we’re simply enamored with her current collections. They are inspired by flora and fauna with historical narratives including woodland animals, British birds and botany, alongside her own fresh take on them. Take a look below at some of the sweet and charming patterns that possess a fairy-tale like quality. From the soft butterflies to the fleeting foxes and everything in between, her patterns are perfect for a powder room or perhaps and children’s room reading nook.

Rosemary’s designs have a traditional, rural and bespoke quality; hand stitched motifs, stitched-into papers and fabrics and embellished vintage found items are quintessentially Rosemary’s style. The range also extends into mass-printable linens and furnishings for the home, evoking a subtle, composed feel for interiors.

Visit Rosemary Milner’s website to learn more about her creative designs!

Photo Credit: Rosemary Milner

Summer Croquet in New England

Aaaah, summertime. There’s nothing quite like it—and definitely nothing like a New England summer. While those Florida folks have their palm trees, water parks and flop flops, oh my, those of us here in good old Wilton have our sun dresses, Sperry’s boat shoes and light evening jackets. And when it comes to Connecticut pastimes, there’s got to be croquet on the lawn. The age-old game has been around since the early 1800s and involves hitting plastic or wooden balls with a mallet through hoops embedded into the grass playing court.

Marvin Gardens recently came across some fun photos on Habitually Chic chronicling the game being played by pop culture greats throughout history on a variety of breathtaking lawns. Take a look at a few of our favorites! What’s your favorite summer pastime?

George Harrison and John Lennon
Betty Grable playing croquet
Fairfield Croquet by Slim Aarons 1991
Olivia de Havilland
Louis Jourdan and friends by Slim Aarons
Croquet Lawn
Darryl Zanuck at Howard Hawks house by Slim Aarons 1955
The croquet lawn at Winston Churchill's old home.
Princess Diana

Photo Credit: Habitually Chic