Although I'm guessing you probably got the memo this morning, a gentle reminder: summer is over. Done with. Gone bye-bye. Ancient history. Left the building.  


To help usher in my favorite season, fall, here's a look back at 20 of the most memorable, most commented on posts from the summer of 2011 that you may have missed while dodging Rip the Drip, playing Trash Tycoon, or documenting your poorly lit living room. As always, it was a super busy, super eclectic season in green home and garden-land with a couple or reoccurring themes worth noting: limited square footagelandscaping squabbles, and, of course, light bulbs


What’s been your favorite post from this past summer? Was there a particular story or trend that I missed out on that you would like to have seen featured? And are there any topics that you'd like to see more coverage of this fall?As always, thanks for reading! 




• Needed: A deluge of rain gardens in the Puget Sound by 2013

In an unprecedented effort to reduce polluted runoff, prevent flooding and beautify neighborhoods, a Seattle-based nonprofit and a university extension program launch the 12,000 Rain Gardens campaign.


• Strung out horticulture: Fedor van Der Valk's amazing string gardens

Hanging baskets ... who needs 'em? Get a load of Fedor van der Valk's 'string gardens,' suspended, pot-less plant arrangements that defy easy description (and not to mention gravity).


• Solar Stars: They're (somewhat) just like us

Combining urban solar mapping and celeb real estate savvy, Txchnologist publishes a gallery detailing how much famous New Yorkers could save if they were to install solar panels on their Big Apple residences.


• Prefabulous showhouse to hit auction block

Effusive eco-cheerleader Zem Joaquin returns to Dwell on Design with the ecofabulous Modern Living Showhouse, a tricked-out prefab abode that can be all yours via an upcoming eBay auction.


• Spool's out for the summer! 

From Grain Design, purveyor of recyclable shower curtains and electrical wiring jewelry, comes Spool, a modular home furnishing system consisting of spools upcycled from the L.A. apparel industry.



• Wet bandits: Biggest water hogs in Hamptons revealed 

In the Hamptons, land of golf course-sized lawns, top water-guzzlers include Depeche Mode crooner Dave Gahan and J. Crew's Mickey Drexler, whose home consumed 18.4 million gallons of water in 2010.


• Spinach or the slammer? Defiant front-yard gardener faces jail time

Julie Bass of Oak Park, Mich., battles officials over her decision to grow vegetables in her front yard, a space that, according to city ordinances, is reserved for 'suitable' things like trees, grass and shrubbery.


• Google Maps goof results in state park-sized headache for N.J. homeowner

Laurie Gneiding has Google Maps to thank for providing her with one giant summertime headache: The web-mapping service has mistakenly identified her driveway as the entrance to a nearby state park.


• Colossal concrete eco-estate under construction in Ozarks

A concrete kingpin is behind an energy-efficient 'residential chateau' in rural Missouri that's built to withstand an F-5 tornado. And then there's this not-so-small tidbit: The home measures 72,000 square feet.


• A 'CounterEvolutionary' log cabin and the furniture line inspired by it

Little Big North, Jim Malone's rustic/modern log cabin near the Catskill Mountains, is filled with CounterEvolution benches, chairs and tables handcrafted from reclaimed bowling alley flooring.




• Infamous L.A. home for sale, Davids included

Fame-seeking singer Norwood Young decides to sell his Los Angeles home for $2.1 million because he's upset that the 19 statutes of David that grace his front yard are more famous than he is.


• Every inch counts: Manhattan architect downsizes to 78-square-foot apartment

Meet Luke Clark Tyler, a New Yorker who — in order to live in the thick of it all while not spending all of his money on rent — happily resides in a 78-square-foot apartment for $800 a month.


• 'Leaf to Home': A charging system that powers your home (and then some)

In response to Japan's power crunch resulting from the Fukushima disaster, Nissan unveils a two-way charging system that makes it possible for your home to be powered by your car during power shortages.


• Kids build the darndest things: Austin Hay's tiny house 

Meet Austin Hay, a high school junior who's in the process of constructing his very own tiny-house-on-wheels that he plans to take to college ... provided he can find somewhere to park it (and put his greywater).


• The far-out fantasy homes of SunRay Kelley 

He's not your average barefoot, chain-smoking, nature-obsessed green builder ... take a tour of SunRay Kelley's woodsy compound filled with homes built from natural materials and seemingly imported from another time and place.





• Evergreen homes: zHome

After breaking ground in 2008 on the worst day possible and suffering subsequent financial setbacks, zHome in Issaquah, Wash. persevered and opens this month as the first net-zero, market-rate multifamily project in the U.S.


• Red, white and solar: 160,000 military homes to get rooftop arrays

Hot on the announcement of a massive investment from Google, SolarCity launches a military housing-focused program that's expected to double the number of residential solar installations in the U.S.


• Today's poopy diaper, tomorrow's recycled roof shingle

Recycling company Knowaste plans to open 5 factories in the U.K. that will transform used diapers, incontinence and feminine hygiene products into green home building materials such as shingles and siding.


• Unity College's deep green student 'hausing'

Unity College students settle into TerraHaus, the sustainability-focused Maine institution's new residence hall that's built to stringent, super-efficient Passive House standards.


• Dumpster, sweet Dumpster: Artist turns waste receptacle into mini-home

Using a repurposed trash bin, Berkeley-based artist Gregory Kloehn creates Oscar the Grouch's dream home: A comfortable, one-room dwelling complete with hardwood flooring and stainless steel appliances.





Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Summer rewind 2011: 20 posts to revisit
If you aren't entirely too distraught by the fact that fall officially starts today, take a few moments to revisit 20 superlative posts from this past summer. Y