Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Summer (I think) Now What?

Our fleeting Summer is here (except for this funny cold snap we're experiencing - it was 32 degrees the other night!) and we've spent the Spring cleaning up, planting, adding compost so now what do we do?

Well, one thing to do is to enjoy it. I personally prefer Gin and Tonics on the front porch while I survey all that is mine and chat with the neighbors, but Ice Tea is nice too. Another thing to do is to add some color to bare spots in your landscape. Annuals are great fun and are instant gratification. Remember to think of the overall color theme of your garden before you get all crazy at the nursery and buy a rainbow. My experience is that sticking with a theme (maybe just a few colors) makes it look more manicured and intentional and easier on the eye (unless you're doing a bunch of red, I just can't look at bright red and green together).

For those of you with plants in containers, I hope you added Quench (water absorbing/dispensing granuals) to the pot so they don't dry out too fast, but you still need to keep an eye on them and remember to water them. If you have quite a few pots it is worth it to invest in a drip irrigation system so you're not having to water every other day. If you have small pots, place them where you will see them everyday so you remember to water them. The small ones dry out too fast.

I'm not a big container person (I prefer plants that can be forgotten about for lengths of time and pots aren't that) but I wanted to draw more attention to my main entry which is on the side of my house. People notoriously come to the kitchen door since it faces the street and I guess I don't blame them, an entry door is usually on the front of the house but my husband and I don't have your typical house so we put ours on the side.

Anyways, here's a picture of my little collection. We have Hakone Grass, Hardy Sempervirens, Sedum Stonecrop Purple Emperor, Sedum Stonecrop Autumn Joy, Blue Hair Grass and Creeping Wire Vine.

As you can see in the background we still have a lot of work to do to our own landscape but in the meantime I'm enjoying creating beautiful landscapes for the rest of Central Oregon.

If you have questions about gardening or landscaping here in Central Oregon or for what else to do in your garden feel free to email me at tanya@carlsengdesigns.com and remember to check out my website carlsengdesigns.com for more information and great photos of projects I've done.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spring Wildflowers

It's that time of year when the snows have melted in the mountains and the wildflowers are coming out. A week ago I took a hike with my family to Outlook Mountain in the Ochoco's to see how those flowers were faring. Turns out we were a little early for the spectacular display this area is know for, but there still were many for us to find.
In another week or two the whole area will be just popping with flowers.

The Mountain Bluebells were all over the trail like this one in the photo above.

As was the Arrowleaf Balsamroot below.
The thing I like most about wildflowers in the
desert is the fact that you have to really look more closely to find them. They are more like hidden little gems than obvious ornamental displays. I feel rewarded when I do find one and they are usually very rewarding with their gentle beauty.
This is one thing living here has taught me, to look for beauty in different ways. I look at the bark of the trees in the wintertime and admire their color and texture since the lushness of their leaves are gone. I appreciate the subtle color tones in the rocks and boulders and the twist and curves of the old juniper tree branches.

My daughter really enjoyed trying to walk around and she learned how to smell (or at least put them to her nose) the flowers. In this site, it may not look like it but I found quite a few different kinds.

I made it to the lookout! Behind me looks West towards where we came. We could just barely make out the Cascade Mountains. It only took us a little over an hour from Bend to get there but it looked so far away.

This is what inspires me about living here in the "High Desert", you can bike or drive to areas within close range that are lush and beautiful and full of beauty. And it usually won't rain on you while you're out enjoying it.