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 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!