Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New 'Ruffled Patty' Poppy

In the latest e-newsletter from Gardens Illustrated they highlighted a new variety of Papaver orientale to hit the market, 'Ruffled Patty'.

According to Heronswood Nursery, this poppy "bears huge lavender-streaked plum-color flowers whose petals are doubled, fringed, and twisted. Since the blossoms are strongly held on thick stems, rain and wind will not ruffle this Patty's constitution. Tolerant of drought and resists browsing deer and nibbling rabbits".  It stands about three feet tall and blooms early summer. 
Even before they bloom, the foliage of the oriental poppies fill the garden with lush greenery.  Leave the seed heads for autumn and winter interest or cut for long lasting dried flower arrangements.

Ask your local nursery about it or order from Heronswood or Nature Hills Nursery.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tumbled Glass Garden

Try using tumbled glass in your gardens as a ground cover.  Add color and excitement to your beds and patio's.

Here is an article showing a large portion of a garden done with tumbled glass (which is smooth and like walking on the beach barefoot).

Tumbled Glass Garden

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Terra Trellis

A great interior designer friend of mine Charmaine Manely of Charmaine Manley Design sent me this link for very artsy and fantastic trellis's for the garden.

I love the big round orange one. Now where am I going to put it....

Check out Terra Trellis for more info.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Driftwood & Metal Table wins European Consumers Choice Award

The French firm Bleu Nature has won the European Consumers Choice award for it's Natsiq table and bench made out of driftwood and metal.  It has simple, airy elegance to go with a variety of styles.

Here is another article with more photos on Archidir.com beautiful, beautiful work.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Plants and Timing Tips

Some beautiful flowering spring plants to inspire you:

Pasque Flowers are some of the first to bloom.  Notice the fairly rocky and well draining soil?  That's what they like when you plant them in your garden.  The seed heads are fluffy like and interesting as well.  These remind me of baby birds in a nest.

 Pasque Flowers also come in maroon and white.  This is one in a well watered garden with creeping phlox in the foreground which is a fantastic flowering ground cover for Bend and Central Oregon.

Not to confuse you but this first picture is Winter Hazel. The flowers are pendulous and very graceful.

 Witch Hazel has a very open vase shape which I find very striking.  It's flowers are more fluffy and have a maroon center.

It is a great idea to go the nurseries to see these in bloom to buy them and be extra careful planting them to avoid disrupting their blooming.  Dig the hole nice and wide and mix in 1/3 compost planting mix to 2/3 native soil and water well.

'Gardening in the Inland Northwest' by Tonie Jean Fitzgerald has some timing tips for planting out in our special climate and I just love this type of folklore knowledge:

Plant root crops - carrots, turnips, potatoes, radishes - when lilacs are in bud
Plant cold hardy veggies - lettuce, peas, spinach - when lilacs begin to leaf
Plant frost tender vegetables - tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers - when lilacs are past full bloom

And remember that Bend has an average of 90 frost free days (though it can freeze suddenly in July) and our average last frost is June 1st and our average first frost is September 1st.  Use those season extenders!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Clover Lawn as a healthier option

I read a great article by Horticulture magazine about overseeding your lawn with clover.  Clover is a nitrogen fixer, meaning it adds nitrogen to the soil and helps things grow and green up.  A clover lawn stays green longer than regular grass and beneficial insects likes bees love it. 

Clover used to be part of lawns until people started to use chemical herbicides.  Clover is not a weed and should be considered a healthy part of your lawn. Click here to read the full article.

Here is another article posted by CloverLawn.org regarding using clover as a lawn. 

Clover lawn by Touchstone Property Services

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's that time of year for . . . patience

I was out on Monday doing a little yard clean up for a client and I do believe it was the first of more very nice, not too cold Spring days.

The crocus and snowdrops are up, the daffodils and hyacinth are beginning to poke their heads through the soil, and the hellebores are coming along as well.  I must say that I think Spring is here.

I do love Spring, all the promise of a new season, warmer weather, going outside without putting on layers of clothing and getting to play in the garden again.

But before we get too excited . . . . . wait.

We will get more freezing weather and storms and our planting season doesn't officially begin until Memorial Day weekend.  Most of us (me included) have gotten excited and planted things too early that got bit by a freeze and was lost.

What you can do is clean up.  Prune out any broken or damaged tree limbs. Trim down those ornamental grasses and perennials from last year.  Rake up your pine needles and add a hefty dose of compost to all your planting beds. Plan how you want your yard and/or garden to be like this year if you haven't already.

Soon you can also plant trees, shrubs and hardy perennials since the soil is no longer frozen.  When planting, build up a water well to hold the water in around them.  And, remember to water them regularly by hose until your irrigation system is turned on.

Speaking of irrigation, I highly recommend Miller Irrigation if you don't already have a company you are happy with.  I know Scott Miller and his family and they are knowledgeable good hard workers.  You can get a hold of them at 541-388-0190 to help you get your system turned on and tuned up.

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Affordable Glazed Containers

I wait for this ever year and now it has happened once again.  Grocery Outlet has an awesome collection of very, very, very well priced good looking glazed pots for sale.

These kinds of pots will make great fountains, water gardens and add excitement to your landscape.

These green pots sell for $19.99 - wow!  Elsewhere they would be $60 or more.
What a nice color green!  Nasturtiums would look great trailing out of these pots.

Grocery Outlet in Bend is located on the corner of 3rd and Wilson.  While there, check and see what flavors of Ben and Jerry's they have....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Great Follow-Up

During the heat wave back in January (though it happens every year, this year was a doozy) I got to help a client increase their curb appeal for a house they were putting on the market.  I got in on the property the day after he called me, got it all weeded, trimmed, blown and bark mulched and it made a fantastic difference as to how prospective buyers will now view the property.

Since I didn't know how long the house might be on the market, I follow-up with an email as to how to maintain the impeccable look of the landscape and some things to do once spring arrives.

This is something I always do, follow up with a client and so this was no different for me.  The client though was very appreciative of the feed back and had this to say:

"I must say I've never seen this type of follow up from pretty much anyone! That is very helpful."

Exceeding expectations and giving people excellent service (plus a fantastic looking landscape) is just all in a day's work for me because I am invested in each project and am passionate about what I do.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vintage Japanese Playscape

I am a follower of the blog Playscapes and the latest blog features photos of older Japanese playgrounds.  I love this image of the elephant slide:

I love the fun, creative design in these slides.  Children love whimsical and I think adults do too, it helps to set the imagination free. 
Check out Playcapes for more great posts on playgrounds and playscapes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2010 American Garden Award Winner

One of my favorite magazines is "The American Gardener", the magazine of the American Horticultural Society.  In the November/December issue they had an article about the 2010 American Garden Award Winner. 

The 2010 American Garden Award, now in its second year, featured four new flower varieties chosen by their breeders for their excellent garden performance.  Once these new varieties were planted and put on display by the participating gardens, the public was invited to vote on their favorite.  The winner for 2010 is Rudbeckia Denver Daisy from Brenary of America.



According the American Garden website: "'Denver Daisy' wowed voters with masses of reddish ringed golden flowers having a delicious looking chocolate brown center. It's a knockout with huge 4-6 inch golden blooms that cover attractive deep green foliage. The long-lasting golden dark eyed blooms proved their ability to stand up under extreme weather conditions. This most popular winner guarantees fantastic summer-long flower power throughout the country in gardens, mixed containers and landscapes. This variety was created and named in honor of Denver's 150th anniversary."

Second place is Echinacea 'Prarie Splendor' from Syngenta Flowers with it's three inch amethyst blooms and long blooming period from early summer to late fall.

Both of these selections will be very well in our climate and will be well appreciated by bees and other insects.

The third place winner, an annual, is the ornamental pepper 'Purple Flash' from PanAmerican Seed.  

This will look fantastic in a container, adding great color and interest, it would also look great surrounding a pot of Rudbeckia 'Denver Daisy'.  Now that's a fun combo.

I'm getting excited about spring and the upcoming season, I can't wait to plant these this year!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Bulbs are Coming Up!

I went to go visit a client and her landscape yesterday to make sure everything was overwintering well and it all looked great, including the crocus bulbs coming up.


It is early February and in Central Oregon that is too early for even the early bulbs to be coming up.  Even though it is really a lovely bright spot in her garden, she was concerned that she wouldn't have the beauty of the bulbs for later in the season.

For the bulbs that have already flowered or are budding, there is nothing to be done.  There actually is not much to be done at all when unseasonally warm weather prompts bulbs to grow or trees to start budding out earlier than normal.  The bulbs that have not budded should slow down with the return of the cold temperatures.  Putting down some extra mulch to eliminate any light that the bulbs are getting might also slow their current growth down.

Meanwhile, enjoy those little spots of color and start thinking, planning and dreaming of this years gardening season!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ilex 'Sparkleberry' for winter interest indoors and out

Horticulture magazine just posted an article on their website highlighting Ilex verticillata 'Sparkleberry', a lovely addition to brighten up the winter landscape or to bring branches indoors for decoration.  This prompted me to do a little more research since I am familiar with the evergreen hollies for our area but haven't delved into the deciduous varieties as much.  Since 'Sparkleberry' is a deciduous shrub, the red berries that persist through the winter really stand out adding a lovely red sparkle to the landscape.

There is disagreement as to which zone it grows best in.  I've seen it listed as growing in zones 3 - 8 but most of the listings show it as zones 5 - 9.  It is widely adaptable to varying soil conditions but since it is an Asian cross it prefers more moisture.  For best fruiting plant it in full sun and since this is a female variety, it needs to be paired with a male for pollination.  Ilex 'Apollo' has been bred to be used as the best male pollinator but other male hollies will work as well.

Sparkleberry may get up to 8 feet tall (it's listed as 12 but that is "valley speak", plants in Central Oregon never grow as big as listed on the tags) and wide and is a nice dark green turning yellow in autumn.

As with most hollies, the berries are a great food source for birds and will bring in a large variety of birds to feed on the shrub.  Another delightful addition to the landscape!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January Thoughts

Ahhh, January.  The month for skiing, relaxing and reflecting.  The holidays are over, the garden has been long wrapped up and it's still too early to do any real gardening. 
At least that's what you think. 
This is actually a time to be busy thinking about how your garden and landscape performed this past year and to make plans for this upcoming season.  Did your landscape provide you with good Spring, Summer and Fall interest?  Is it interesting in it's Winter state right now?  Do you want more color, texture, height or shade?  These are all great questions to think about and to help you create a more appealing landscape that you really want to spend time in. 
Right now when you can see the true "bones" or structure of your landscape, is a great time to consider what you might need to add, adjust or build in order to have an appealing Winter landscape.  Some of my favorites are personal art pieces be they sculptures or found junk.  These items add a real nice touch and a sense of "terroir" (sense of place) to individualize your garden and make it a true extension of your home. 

At Garden Fun they have a whimsical collection of garden art, stakes, bird feeders and more.  They have a lovely blue/green peacock sculpture that would really liven up any landscape.  Their site wouldn't let me copy the image so go here to see it.

Here are some other examples of fun and beautiful art for the landscape:

This Heron sculpture is from Big Bird Studios.

These pieces are from Craft Works Gallery.

Finally, don't limit yourself to 3D items, use the walls of your home to display art.  This image is from Inside Out Garden Art in the UK.  I love how this piece of art creates a room in this garden:

These are the kinds of things I think about in the winter as well as the plants that really help make a winter landscape more interesting. 
One of my all time favorite trees is the Mountain Ash.  I love the white umbrel shape of the flowers in the spring, the dense canopy for summer shade,  the orange, red blend of autumn foliage, and the red berries that persist into the winter adding natural holiday ornaments to the landscape. 

Along Simpson avenue here in Bend, between Columbia and Colorado, are stands of Mountain Ash trees.  They don't all still have their berries, usually the berries are perfectly ripe and soft by now and the birds swarm in to get a little winter fat.  I remember a couple of winters ago, we had a white Christmas and the Mountain Ash outside my dining room windows was full of red berries.  About mid January, for about two weeks, the tree was full of birds gorging themselves on the berries.  It added so much beauty and interest to my winter landscape that I try to put a Mountain Ash in every landscape if it is appropriate.  You can also get them in shrub form.  And guess what? They are native to Oregon!

There is also the favorite Red Twig Dogwood which provides the nice red branches to use for holiday decorations or outdoor viewing pleasure.  There is also the Yellow Twig, Mid Winter Fire and Arctic Fire which offer different colored branches.  Remember that the new branches are what provide the good coloring so you need to prune back the oldest canes in Spring.

Red Twig Dogwood:

 Yellow Twig Dogwood:

Mid Winter Fire Dogwood:

There there are also the trusty evergreens in tree or shrub form:

Hoopsii Blue Spruce:

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar"

Golden Korean Fir:

The naturally sculptural Manzanita:

Blue Star Juniper:

Procumbens Blue Spruce:

 Pinus strobus 'Niagara Falls', a new introduction by Iseli Nursery out in Boring Oregon and was selected as the Collector's Conifer of the Year in 2009.  A very interesting variety of the Cascading White Pine:

Gold Strike Juniper, also a new introduction from Iseli Nursery.  The brilliant yellow needles take on coral tones later in the year.  What a great little landscape brightener!

If you have any questions about what plants might be most appropriate for your landscape or would like me to take a look to improve your winter landscape, please contact me at tanya@carlsengdesigns.com.

As always, enjoy!