Tag Archives: Kim Smith Designs

Spring Has Sprung at Willowdale! FREE Event in the Garden Tuesday Night!

Pink Tulips Willowdale Estate ©Kim Smith 2014The tulips are at peak perfection, and just in time for my Artist Spotlight Event! The warm weather this weekend coaxed many to bloom, and the cooler temperatures predicted will keep them very pretty.

Tulips Willowdale Estate ©Kim Smith 2014.

I hope you can come and enjoy  an evening of Willowdale’s hospitality and signature refreshments, the garden tour, and screening of my film, Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

For ticket information and to RSVP click here.

Spring Tulips Willowdale Estate ©Kim Smith 2014.

Happy Spring!

New Butterfly Garden at Pathways for Children!

Pathways before -2©Kim Smith 2014Breaking Ground!

Pathways Before ©Kim Smith 2014Pathways for Children “Before” Photo

This week we broke ground for a butterfly garden at Pathways for Children. I think it has been several years since Caroline Haines, the COO of Pathways, and I, first began discussing the possibility of a pollinator garden for Pathways. Then in the summer of 2012 we had an amazing Monarch Butterfly program for the children, and believe me when I write that it was truly a fabulous event because it just so happened that very day, several of the caterpillars pupated right before the children’s eyes! Caroline, the teachers, and the students had the “bug.”

After meeting with Caroline, Pathway’s Bernie Romanowski, and teacher Sandra, we determined the best use of the space would be to create an outdoor classroom within the flowering pollinator garden—no easy task as the front elevation is one long narrow sliver of space. Fortunately, though, the front of the building also faces primarily south, which is ideal for planting the most fun and colorful of butterfly, bee, and songbird attracting plants.

Pathways Liberty Mutual Volunteers ©Kim Smith 2014Liberty Mutual Volunteers

Bernie secured a bobcat for exactly two hours and proceeded to rip out the overgrown and diseased trees and shrubs. Under Bernie’s direction, we were then joined by a dream team of volunteers from Liberty Mutual who, in less than five hours, completely transformed the front to the beautiful canvas you see below. A fence, two- foot wide trellised pergola, and table are yet to be installed. And, the Manchester Garden Club has graciously offered to lend a hand with the planting!

Bernie Romanowski ©Kim Smith 2014 copyThe Amazing Can-Do Bernie Romanowski

Pathways new butterfly garden ©Kim Smith 2014Our Canvas

Stay tuned for more updates to come!

CONGRATULATIONS to The Women’s Fund of Essex County for a Fabulously Successful “Power of the Purse”!!!

Lana Rudym, Current President of North Shore Women in Business and Sarah Boucher © Kim Smith 2014jpg copyLana Rudym, current President of the North Shore Women in Business and Sarah Boucher, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, Willowdale Estate

Last night’s The Women’s Fund of Essex County’s “Power of the Purse” event, hosted by Willowdale Estate, was a smashing success. There were over 200 guests in attendance and you could feel the positive energy emanating from women helping women. Since 2003, The Women’s Fund of Essex County has awarded $825,000.00 in grants promoting and empowering women and girls. Read more about The Women’s Fund of Essex County here.

Willowdale Estate Poaer of the Purse copyBriar Forsythe, proprietor of Willowdale Estate, generously donated the venue, Willowdale signature refreshments, and outstanding staff.

Revelation Productions Design Willowdale EstateAnthony D’Elia, owner of Revelation Productions, donated the stunning lighting and parasol design decor for the event. More about Anthony in an upcoming Antennae for Design post.

May Basket ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Kim Smith “May Basket” design for the courtyard urns.

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GloucesterCast With Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/13/14

gloucestercastsquare11 (1)GloucesterCast With Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/13/14

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Topics Include: Gloucester, Massachusetts, Kim Smith Designs, Pleasant Street Tea and Coffee Co, Gloucester HarborWalk Cleanup, Catherine Ryan, Beth Chiancola, Susan Kelly, Jessie Carini, Earth Day April 22, Gloucester Strong With Art Haven and The Hive, The Hive Screen Printing, Killer Gloucester Strong Logo, Cape Ann Trail Stewards, Send In Your Earth Day Community Activity Information So We Can Post Them, Patti Amaral, Kim Smith’s Photos Featured In Sunday Boston Globe, Samson GoMic vs The Mutumbo Mic, Portable Podcasting Equipment, Cape Ann Media Group, Carry In Carry Out vs Trash Cans On The Beach, Proper Way To Send A Press Release, Tina Ketchopolos, GMG PR Person Of The Year, Addison Gilbert Hospital, Alison The Owner Of Pleasant Street Tea and Coffee Co Is Going With Dreadlocks, The Origin Of FOB, “American Blogger Documentary” A Spoof or Not?,  Frances Bouchie Asks Does Anyone Do Gloucester Geneology, Cape Ann Museum, Ann Kennedy, Call In Question, Google Hangouts Just Too Wonky, Planning The Podcasts, Washington St Sidewalks Looking Good, Email Subscription Service Is Broken, Webmasters Need To Understand Just How Many People Do Not Know How To Use A Search Engine To Find A Website Even If They Know The Name Of The Web Page, People Not Understanding How To Find And Bookmark The Blog, Please Explain To People That Aren’t Getting Their Email Subscription To The Blog That They Can Go Directly at www.goodmorninggloucester.com , Katrina’s, The Rudder, The Studio Opening Date!, Madfish,Gloucester MA, 01930

The GloucesterCast Has Been Been Invited To Be A Station On Stitcher Radio On Demand!

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DSC02766About Our Guest:

Kim Smith Is A Regular Contributor On Good Morning Gloucester Here is Her Profile:

Currently creating documentary films about the Monarch Butterfly, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, and Gloucester’s Feast of St. Joseph. Landscape designer for the Gloucester Harbor Walk Gardens. Designer, lecturer, author, illustrator, photographer. Visit my blog for more information about my landscape and interior design firm- kimsmithdesigns.wordpress.com. Good Morning Gloucester daily contributor.
Author/illustrator “Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden”

Sign Up for My Column on Habitat Gardening

American Robin American Holly Ilex opaca © Kim Smith 2014JPGBird Food!  ~ American Robin and American Holly (Ilex opaca)

My regular readers are aware, as are my fellow GMG contributors, that I write a monthly column/newsletter on gardening, with a focus on designing welcoming habitats for birds and butterflies. My readership has grown steadily, I think largely based on the fifteen or so habitat garden design lectures that I give each year (See the Lecture Program Page on my blog) and the newsletter is now read mostly in New England, but also throughout the US, England, Canada, and Mexico.  As does my book, the columns contain a wealth of information on creating habitat gardens, how to attract birds and butterflies to our gardens, and stories about local wildflowers and wildlife. Oftentimes readers write and I find it wonderfully gratifying when they share their success stories with what they are feeding and planting to attract birds and butterflies to their gardens.

The newsletter began awhile back while I was writing a bi-monthly column for the regional newspaper the North Shore Planet. Reader’s who lived beyond the area of distribution of the newspaper became interested in the columns and it was easy to send the columns via email. The columns are in the process of being archived and they will eventually be featured on a page of their own on my blog. If in the meantime you would like to receive via email my monthly column, please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com.

Winterberry Ilex verticillata © Kim Smith 2014Winterberry (Ilex verticilatta)

Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden is available through my publisher’s website at David R. Godine, Publisher.

My New Website

milkweed website copy final ©Kim Smith 2013

When you have a spare moment, I hope you’ll have a look at my new website at Kim Smith Designs. I think the wordpress theme Twenty Twelve is especially terrific for sharing photographs, films, and design projects. The Home page is my blog and above in the heading area are drop down menus highlighting current public design projects, new films, and more about my book Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!

On the HarborWalk page there are photos and information about some of the wildflowers planted there, with photos of the butterflies that these native beauties were planted to attract. You will also find a link to join the Friends of the HarborWalk. We are looking for volunteer members. I am going to be giving lots of talks about wildflowers and butterflies for members at the gardens this upcoming season and while volunteering, it will be a great opportunity for you to become better acquainted with the flora and fauna indigenous to the Northeast

I hope you find all easy to navigate. Thank you so much for visiting my website!

Getting Ready for the Gloucester Garden Tour

Jay Ramsey Farm Creek © Kim Smith 2013

Jay Ramsey (right) and crew Mauricio (left) and Mike (center)

On Tuesday, Jay Ramsey and his hard-working and dedicated crew from Farm Creek Landscaping, Mike and Mauricio, spent the morning whipping the HarborWalk Gardens into shape for Saturday’s Gloucester Garden Tour. I will be giving guided tours of the butterfly gardens at the HarborWalk on Saturday at 1:00 and at 2:00. The tours will begin under the Tulip Trees in St. Peter’s Square.

Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea © Kim Smith 2013 copy

Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)

One of  the more fanciful North American wildflowers that you’ll see on the tour is the Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea), which is just beginning its florescence; typically July through August. With elegant, thread-like ferny foliage and charming one-inch flowerheads, this member of the Legume Family (Fabaceae) also adds nitrogen to the soil. The seeds of Dalea purpurea are enjoyed by many songbirds and the nectar-rich rose-purple and gold flowers are attractive to myriad species of butterflies and bees. Purple Prairie Clover grows well in average garden loom, as well as sandy soil, and it is often used for erosion control. Dalea purpurea grows a deep taproot and, once established, it is nearly impervious to drought.

Visit the Gloucester Garden Tour website for information on ticket sales.

Coneflower and Bee -2 © Kim Smith 2013Echinacea and Bee at the HarborWalk

Thank you!

Willowdale Estate Artist Spolight Garden Kim Smith ©Kim Smith 2013- Dogwood

Butterfly Courtyard with Native Dogwood (Cornus florida)

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the Willowdale Estate Artist Spotlight Garden Tour Monday night. We had an absolutely wonderful turnout. I would especially like to thank Senator Bruce Tarr who, although he could not make it, sent his liaison, Gloucester’s Barry Pett. Mr. Pett is Senator Tarr’s Director of Community Outreach and Constituent Services, and also has a background in architecture. He lives in a historical Queen Anne on Middle Street and was especially appreciative of Willowdale, which is a stunning example of an exquisitely restored Arts and Crafts stone mansion.

Willowdale Estate Artist Spolight Garden Kim Smith window box anemone ©Kim Smith 2013.JPGCourtyard window box with anemones

Thank you Briar and Sarah for your gracious hospitality and for all that you did to make last night’s event such a singing success. There were gift bags for all who attended and the staff prepared a wonderful array of Briar’s signature cookies, as well as a delicious selection of fruit and cheese, topped with a favorite sparkling wine!

Willowdale Estate Artist Spolight Garden Kim Smith KATE ©Kim Smith 2013

Kate

Willowdale Estate Artist Spolight Garden Kim Smith ©Kim Smith 2013The tulips were in full, glorious bloom, as were many of our native flowering trees and spring ephemerals. Both the Eastern Redbud and Carolina Silverbell were abuzz with myriad species of bees and tiny winged-pollinators.

Willwodale Estate Artist Spolight Garden Kim Smith -carolina Silverbell ©Kim Smith 2013.JPGCarolina Silverbell

Willowdale Estate Artist Spolight Garden Kim Smith Redbud ©Kim Smith 2013 copyEastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas Dinner Napkins

Yesterday E.J. posted her photo of Haiti Projects merchandise for sale. I thought you might be interested to know that the set of four napkins pictured above was designed by me.

My designs were inspired by the first four verses of the English Christmas Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas–A partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, and four calling birds. Perhaps knowing what the images symbolize, you may be even more interested in purchasing as a holiday gift!

Daisy Table Mat with Matching Napkins

Over the years I designed many items for Haiti Projects and The Twelve Days of Christmas set of napkins was one of my favorites. All of the Haiti Projects linens are exquisitely hand embroidered, not machine embroidered. Additional photos are of several more of my designs for Haiti Projects, along with links to purchase each: Dove of Peace, Daisy Table Mat with Matching Napkins, Dragonfly Eye Pillow, and Sweet Dreams Eye Pillow. See also Apple Blossom Table Mat. The prices are all very reasonable and make very special gifts–as E.J. said, Give a Gift for Good.” Photos courtesy Haiti Projects website.

Dragonfly Eye Pillow ~ filled with lavender

Dove of Peace  ~ Also available in white ground with red embroidery

Sweet Dreams Eye Pillow

Gloucester Harbor Walk ~ What a Difference! Construction Phase Accomplished in Only a Few Months!

Congratulations and thank you to Mayor Kirk,  Sarah Garcia, Chris Muskopf, Jay Ramsey, and including everyone involved (there are many, many more than named here–these are the people I have had the pleasure to work with on the project) for having the vision, courage, tenacity, and talent to create Gloucester’s Harbor Walk.

Gloucester Harbor Walk ~  View of Gus Foote Park

The Harbor Walk is nearing completion. Despite the plethora of unforeseeable problems with the landfill at I4-C2, and current drought, the walk looks gorgeous. Come, take a stroll!

Gus Foote Park Last Year at this Time. What a difference–the build phase of the project was accomplished in only a few short months!

I will be bringing GMG readers more ‘before and after’ photos, as well as information about the native plants habitat gardens (and how you can translate that information to your own garden), in the coming months.

Antennae for Design Circa 1930-1940 Dressing Table

Winter is the time of year when I especially enjoy working on interior home improvement projects. This fabulous vintage dressing table and mirror set were found at a local antique shop. I wasn’t planning on a dressing table for my new sewing room/guest bedroom, but after seeing the dressing table —it was going for a song—I made a split second decision and purchased the pair.

Aren’t all the compartments in the drawers wonderfully practical? You can’t find anything made like this in today’s marketplace. I love that it is a very substantial width and height. The original and smaller circa 1930′s dressing table has had a larger custom-made top cut in a whimsical curved design. The curved glass tabletop lends a Hollywood Regency feel to the piece. The chest of drawers needs a fresh coat of paint (or several), but I will have to wait for spring when the windows can be left open to tackle that part of the project. A new length of fabric is needed for under the glass as well. Perhaps a silk moiré in pale watery green or blue as the thick glass has a greenish cast.

For the new skirt, I had a bolt of Ralph Lauren floral chintz on hand, which gives it a rather Nick and Nora meets summer cottage look, but I think too, in the spring, I’ll make another skirt, perhaps this one in sheer white cotton voile or dotted Swiss.

If I can help you with your interior design project send an email or give me a call. I look forward to hearing for you!

Thanks to Joey for showing me how he creates videos in one take. I couldn’t shoot this video in one take as I had to take the skirts on and off, but this is definitely a super fun and streamlined way of creating videos.

I almost forget to mention that inside one of the drawers was a heavy, solid lead engraved plaque-award given to Mrs. William D. Vogel by the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild for outstanding service to the arts. Doing a very quick Google search, I didn’t find too much about Mrs. Vogel, however her father was Ralph Harman Booth, publisher of a large newspaper chain, Booth Newspapers, and Detroit Institute of Art philanthropist.

Quite possibly this lovely dressing table was Mrs. Vogel’s, or her mother’s, Mrs. Harman, or possibly her daughter’s summerhouse dressing table. I would love to know the provenance of the piece.

Antennae for Design

January, February, March, and for we who dwell in New England, oftentimes well into April, are ideal months for interior home improvements. During these more homebound months I am actively seeking home and garden design inspiration. And, too, with projects that were shelved during the summer months because of seasonal work and summer guests, winter is a great time of year to focus on home improvements. I was inspired to write this weekly series after a recent visit to our home from Joey, Jill, and their two darling daughters. The family stopped by for hot chocolate and story time. Joey was non-stop with investigative questions and curiosity, reminding me of the impetus for writing my book, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!, which was originally conceived as a guide for young couples and new home owners (and someday, hopefully, for my children when they will one day have gardens of their own). My book grew to be more than that, but I am again thinking of the couples with young children that have recently moved to our East Gloucester neighborhood.

Plaster Ceiling Medallion

To think of it, we are following in an old Gloucester and northern seacoast tradition by tending to the interior of our homes during these winter months, in that of “house-pride.” The town’s carpenters, many of whom were master shipbuilders and shipwrights, would have had more free time during the winter months. Fine carpentry details are evident throughout our house, which was built in 1851. And, like many of Gloucester’s older houses, our home is graced with details created by the skilled plasterers that emigrated from Italy and settled on Cape Ann. Although a modest house, certainly by today’s “starter castle” standards, I wouldn’t trade our lovely 19th century home, with its quirky and elegant details (along with its all its foibles) for all the world’s McMansions.

Hand Carved Newel Post

I propose Antennae for Design will encompass home and garden design inspiration, home improvement tips, feature interviews with local business owners who specialize in art and design, and after visiting local, well-tended homes and gardens, sharing information found there.  Let me know through the comment section or by emailing at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com of your thoughts and any topic that you may find particularly relevant or of interest.