Explore the Field Guide to Outside Style

by | May 2023

Field Guide to Outside Style

Photos: Chris Emeott

Bailey Nurseries’ Ryan McEnaney releases a garden design book.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” This poignant phrase, written by poet Maya Angelou, graces one of the pages inside Ryan McEnaney’s garden design book, Field Guide to Outside Style. Quotes from a few other noteworthy leaders are sprinkled throughout his new book, which landed in stores this past December.

A fifth generation Bailey Nurseries family member and Woodbury native, McEnaney wants to help everyone—including new and nongardeners—feel empowered to beautify their own outdoor space. It was a nudge from a friend during the pandemic that helped motivate McEnaney to put his designing expertise down on paper.

“We were in COVID-19. There are so many people that aren’t gardeners or were new to gardening that needed this type of direction. This is my love letter to help people do it for themselves,” McEnaney, Bailey Nurseries marketing and communications manager, says.

In the book’s first chapter, Polka Dots or Stripes, McEnaney dives into color, texture, personality, harmony, function and more. Find the fun in Chapter 2: Date Night with Your Space. Here, McEnaney creates a menu and invites his readers to join him for brunch, or as he calls it: a mid-morning meal plus science. Pour some Champagne-based cocktails or bubbly water as he breaks down the science behind soil composition in a palatable way, and gives readers ideas on how to garden in their homes.

Keep reading and learn whether your style is more Martha, Tommy or Kelly—three key figures in McEnaney’s book. Martha’s style is classic: a refined, intentional design with a functional approach. Tommy’s focus is on minimalism: clean lines, tidy boxes and fashion over function. Kelly’s style is natural: dense and textural, sustainability focused and intentional wildness.

A family tradition that keeps on growing, Bailey Nurseries recently celebrated its 118th anniversary. Founded in 1905 by J.V. Bailey, (McEnaney’s great-great grandfather), the company’s headquarters still sits along Bailey Road in Woodbury, and has since the beginning.

It takes a lot of communication and dedication to core values to make it to a fifth generation, McEnaney says.

“How we relate to each other is so important. Finding the right people is key. If you met Terri, [McEnaney’s mother and current CEO of Bailey Nurseries], there’s so much humility in our leadership,” McEnaney says.

Growing up, he was constantly surrounded by family. “The fact that we all lived so close together, we were so connected and linked. It really was and is a special experience,” he says.

McEnaney and his husband, Paul, currently reside in Woodbury. A self-described foodie who loves Italian, Angelina’s Kitchen and Carmine’s Restaurant & Bar in Woodbury are some of his favorite spots.

Ryan McEnaney

Field Guide to Outside Style is currently available for purchase at the Woodbury location of Barnes & Noble and the Woodbury location of Kowalski’s Markets, plus online at Amazon and Target.

An Excerpt from Field Guide to Outside Style

“There’s nostalgia around plants. Whether it’s picking berries with grandma, pruning rose bushes with mom or the scent of lilacs wafting in through your childhood window, most everyone can think of a connection to the garden. I can distinctly remember picking blueberries as a young boy with my grandma Marcia at our cabin in northern Minnesota. To this day I bake blueberry cake in memory of those days. Think of your favorite stories and jot them down so we can be sure to include those special memories in your landscape plan.”

Instagram: @ryanplantsplants


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