• Kat Cervoni

The Cultivation, Issue 6

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

June 10, 2020


The Cultivation by Staghorn Living is a weekly newsletter offering expert insight for garden-filled living. Here you'll find ideas and hands-on guidance for everything from planting tricks and patio decor to the tools and tips we treasure.

Roses add incredible color and fragrance to the garden this time of year. Photo by Kat Aul Cervoni. 

Editor's Note


Almost 100 days after we had planned to make our first garden maintenance visit of the year, here we are, starting our season in mid-June! It’s certainly a first. Since we have no idea what kind of site conditions we’ll be walking into, we're going to follow the ethos of starting where you are. That means we'll begin with whatever we find and move forward from there. It's a good approach for gardening — and for life. Maybe you weren’t able to do the planting you wanted to in May. Perhaps your weeds are already out of control. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to just get to work. In this issue, you'll find inspiration for pretty, pollinator-friendly border plants and hanging planters that are perfect for bringing a little life to a dull corner. Don’t let the date on the calendar hold you back. Now is the time to dive in and start where you are.


Happy planting!

Indoors: Ceiling-Hanging Planters

If you’re short on floor or surface space, one of our favorite ways to add a pop of green is with a ceiling-hung planter. There are tons of style options out there, from statement-making macrame to neutral ceramic. Here are a few of our favorites.


Simplicity Ceramic Hanging Planter from Magnolia

This clean, contemporary pot has a nice textural detail along the top and its minimalist design allows the plant be the focal point. We recommend planting it with a variegated pothos (Epipremnum aureum).


Woven Hanging Planter from Convivial

Made by a small business, this small-scale geometric planter leans contemporary but has a soft edge thanks to it's macrame hanger, which adds a bohemian note without screaming doorway beads or head shop. We recommended planting it with a birds nest fern (Asplenium nidus).


OPIARY Concrete Hanging Plant Saucer

We adore the sculptural design of this earthy, shallow hanger. It's on the large size and a bit weighty, so you’ll need plenty of hanging space or somewhere with minimal foot traffic. We recommend planting it with a maidenhair ferns (Adiantum).


Hanging Copper Planter from Williams Sonoma

With a gleaming copper finish and classic bowl shape, this durable metal pot makes a brilliant contrast to any kind of foliage. We recommended planting it with burro's tail (Sedum morganianum).


What to Plant Now: Pollinator-Friendly Plants

You don’t need a huge, sunny meadow to create a garden that supports pollinators. Each of these much-loved and easy-to-care-for plants will add gorgeous blooms and fragrance to your garden while supporting wildlife, too.


Photo credits (from top left): Bulgac courtesy iStock, YinYang courtesy iStock, Maria Ermolova courtesy iStock, skymoon13 courtesy iStock, Kat Aul Cervoni, skymoon13 courtesy iStock. 


Garden History Spotlight: David Williston

David Williston, Image courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

An accomplished teacher, horticulturist, and designer, David Williston (1896–1962) was also a pioneer in the field of landscape architecture. The first professionally-trained black landscape architect in the United States, Williston graduated from Cornell University in 1898 with a degree in agriculture and pursued his studies further through municipal engineering courses at the International Correspondence School in Scranton, PA.

A group photo of the Horticultural Lazy Club, informally known as “Bailey’s Boys” in the late 1890s. David Williston, standing fourth from left, was the first African-American student to join the club, organized by Liberty Hyde Bailey, far right. Image and text courtesy Cornell University. 

Williston was a design aficionado of collegiate spaces and a champion of the English landscape style. While his portfolio consisted of numerous college campuses, including Clark University, Lane College, Howard University, Philander Smith College, and Alcorn State University, much of his professional career was spent at Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama. During his tenure there, he not only taught and practiced landscape architecture, he was also the superintendent of the grounds and buildings so he had a significant impact on the layout and aesthetics of the campus. His time at the Tuskegee Institute also led to a notable collaboration with perhaps his most famous colleague, George Washington Carver. Records indicate that the two men worked together on the plant selections both for the Tuskegee Institute and The Oaks, the home built for Booker T. Washington. Without access to white-owned nurseries, Williston cultivated his own plantings (often through propagation) or sought out native specimens in nearby forests.


Williston's Site Plan for The Oaks, Tuskegee Institute Campus Image courtesy NPS/Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS AL-877), Library of Congress

After Tuskegee, Williston moved to Washington, D.C., where he opened the first black-owned landscape architecture firm while continuing to teach and consult. A standalone in the field, he created a legacy that can still be seen and experienced in landscapes throughout the South.



In the Garden: Gloves + Hand Care

A long day in the garden can take a major toll on our hands, so we’re sharing our favorite measures — gloves and good hand cream – for keeping them protected and feeling nourished.


Nitrile Touch Gloves

These gloves are inexpensive, lightweight, and well-fitted so you don’t have to sacrifice good tactile functionality while doing delicate weeding or plant-handling. As with most gardening gloves, your hands will still get wet and dirty after a big day of digging, but you’ll be much better off than if you had worked without them!


All-Leather Gauntlet Gloves

Anyone who's ever tried pruning a rose knows that even the most careful movements won't keep you from being scratched to oblivion. Our favorite gloves for the job is this extra-durable all-leather pair from Womanswork. They're also great for working around and with prickly evergreens, such as ilex and juniper.

Weleda Skin Food

Skin Food is the stuff of legends. We find it especially soothing after handling lots of soil which can be drying, or in the winter. Since it's full of fragrant oils, we like using it right before bed.


First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Wonderfully effective, this fragrance-free formula is ideal for when we're in the mood for something really neutral.


We hope you enjoyed Issue 6 of The Cultivation. Since our biggest goal with this newsletter is to provide content that captivates, educates, and inspires you, let us know if there's something you'd like us to include next time. Please send your thoughts by emailing us here. See you next week.

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