Monday, March 27, 2017

Designing a Landscape with Chickens in Mind

Clients are always giving me interesting projects.  Last year was a backyard upgrade for a couple whose small dogs nibbled everything and so all plants had to be double checked on two lists of plants dangerous to dogs.  And the landscape still turned out fantastic!
This year I get to do a mid-town landscape upgrade for a couple who want chickens.  There is a separate area fenced off from the main yard for the chicken coop and chicken run area and I intend to make this area just as lovely as the rest of the yard.
In my research I came across this great website, Nifty Homestead, they have a great list of plants healthy for chickens in addition to a list of plants that are dangerous to chickens.  Some of the healthy plants listed are:

Most fruit trees

Some of the dangerous plants are:


Another good site is Backyard Chickens.

Photo from Family Food Garden

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Evergreen Trees for Small Yards

I was browsing at Schultz Farm and Garden nursery a couple of weeks ago to see what cool trees they had in and found one I had never seen before.  It is a Tolleymore Norway Spruce tree supposed to get 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide and it looks beautiful!

Evergreen Trees for Small Yards

I was browsing at Schultz Farm and Garden nursery a couple of weeks ago to see what cool trees they had in and found one I had never seen before.  It is a Tolleymore Norway Spruce tree supposed to get 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide and it looks beautiful!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fun with Fences

Fences are always a little difficult for some, we need them, but don't want them, or don't want to see them.
Some HOA's won't let you put them in, some require them to look a certain way or not exceed a certain height.  As a landscape designer I do my best to abide by the rules (most of the time) and to soften the fence with plants.
This year I have two separate clients needing fences but want them to be interesting and artsy - cool!  I have been having fun looking at different ideas and some of my favorite's I've posted to my Pinterest board Fences/Walls.  I really like the idea of patch working together rusty steel and reclaimed barn wood, or embedding colored glass into the fence like a window.

Here is an idea I saw in Bend a couple of years ago on the West side of Pilot Butte, simple but very effective:

Isn't this a great idea? I love that the fence is different heights and has the wriggly line running down the center of each board.  It probably added much time to the project but is a fence worth looking at.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Inspiring Garden Photos

I was renewing my subscription to Garden Design magazine this morning and had to take a side trip through the photos.  Wow!  One of the reasons I love this magazine is the phenomenal photos.

Take a look and be inspired:  Garden Design magazine

Here are some of my favorites:

I love the lines and shadows created here.
Lisa Roth Landscape Architect

 I always love grasses spilling over paths and the textures created by 
a tapestry of green.

I love cor-ten steel in the garden! 
By Landwest Design Group

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Homemade natural pest repellent spray

I typically only garden with plants that are quite hardy and suitable for my local environment, but every now and then pests still pose a challenge.

Last year we had such a mild winter that it was a very bad year for bugs, at least bad for us gardeners but good for the bugs.  My hardy Rugosa Rose bushes got infested with aphids in what appeared to be an overnight explosion of them.  I couldn't just pick them off or hose them off like I usually do.  I had previously had good luck with a homemade garlic dish detergent spray and decided to try it again.  Needless to say, even though I know it works, I was completely and pleasantly surprised when the aphids totally disappeared.

Check out this cool photo diagramming the aphids and ants on this rose bud:

The way this winter is progressing I don't think we will have a repeat of last years bug explosion but that doesn't mean we won't have any bugs.  I found this super cool recipe for a stellar bug spray and wanted to share it with all of you: Rodale's Organic Pest Spray.  Rodale's Organic Life is such a great site for so much helpful information, I am constantly checking for new articles.  Here is their recipe for homemade pest spray:

The ingredients can cause painful skin and eye irritation. When preparing and applying, wear rubber gloves and keep the mixture well away from your eyes and nose.

1 garlic bulb
1 small onion
1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
1 quart of water
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Chop, grind, or liquefy garlic and onion. Add cayenne pepper and mix with water. Steep 1 hour, strain through cheesecloth, then add liquid dish soa. Mix well. Spray your plants thoroughly, including the undersides of the leafs. Store the mixture for up to a week in a labeled, covered container in the refrigerator.

One thing to remember before your each for that bug spray, how bad is the infestation?  Is it just a few bugs that you can wipe off or live with?  Any pest spray will work on all pests, good or bad and most bugs in the garden are actually beneficial.  Make it a habit to walk through your garden on a regular basis and check the health of your plants and if there are any bugs you can deal with them easily before they get out of hand.  Happy Gardening!

One of my favorite plants for the High Desert of Central Oregon, the Hardy Rugosa Rose:

Plus they are deliciously fragrant!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Senescence - Winter Garden Beauty

I was inspired by a recent article in Horticulture magazine by Caleb Melchior called 'A Celebrated Senescence: Dried flower heads, curious seedpods and withering leaves can carry a garden through winter'.

I often talk with clients about proper pruning in their gardens and I let them know that they do not have to cut all their perennial plants back in the fall.  Allowing some plants to stand tall through the winter adds structure, interest, seeds and habitat for wildlife.

In my garden I let the Black-eyed Susans stay uncut and though it is not a large swatch of a planting as you might see in Piet Oudolf's garden in the Netherlands, when the ground is covered in snow and those dark eyed beauties poke through, it is beautiful.

Piet Oudolf's garden Hummelo during Winter

Senescence - the natural process of decay.  I find that I am attracted to that word, it flows off the tongue and brings to mind ethereal unworldly things.

In nature it is the seed heads of plants or flower heads.  One of my favorite plants is the yellow lantern Clematis because after the yellow flowers, the seed heads are gorgeous:

Imagine these covered in frost?

One last photo to encourage your appreciation of senescence:

Echinacea in the winter garden at Hummelo, Piet Outdolf's nursery garden.