Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spring Bulbs

Fall is the time to plant your garden beds full of hope using spring bulbs.  It is best to buy them sooner rather than later so you can get a good selection, and plant them anytime before the ground freezes, but not too early, the soil should be around 55 degrees for best root development.

Bulbs like well draining and nutritious soil, otherwise they might drown or rot.  Some companies say that not much fertilizer is needed until spring, but since the soil in Central Oregon is almost sterile, I do suggest that you mix in some compost with a little bone meal to your planting area for best results.

Plant the bulbs where you will appreciate them the most, taking care to ensure that they get some sunlight. Daffodils need at least six hours of sun to really do their best, and look stunning when planted together with Muscari or other blue flowering bulb.

There are many shade tolerant or light shade varieties, usually called woodland varieties. Some of these are Squill, Snowdrops and Winter Wolf's Bane.  I would love to one day plant a woodland area with thousands of bulbs, allowing them to create a carpet of spring color, wouldn't that be amazing!

This is an image of English Bluebell taken by Clive Nichols at Coton Manor in England, stunning.

Other varieties to consider are Allium, Fritillaria, Camassia and Snake's Head.  Whenever I see these in a landscape it always makes me stop an extra moment to enjoy the view.  Do something different these year, plant Alliums and Fritillaria's!




Snake's Head
I think these Snake's Head would look great in a meadow planting, they bloom early to mid season so could be followed by Columbine (perennial, not a bulb) and Daisy.
Spring bulbs bring much joy and promise.  They are like a fantastic secret hidden under the cold soil waiting to surprise you come spring.  Plant bulbs in masses and add a smile to your garden.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Living Wall Inspiration

I am designing an outdoor living wall for a client of mine.  It is an awesome project, the clients are creative, stylish people and it is so fun to work with them.

Here is the inspiration behind the wall, the new produce display at Newport Market created by Mikey, friends of the clients.

As you can see, this is not going to be your run of the mill wall!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reclaimed Wood Table

Another beautiful reclaimed high wood table heading to Jackson's Corner this morning.  Made by Peter Tseng Construction, he has made many table for Jackson's Corner restaurant, each unique in their rustic appearance.

This table is bar height, I love the beautiful variations in the wood grain patterns!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Harvest

Fresh raspberries for breakfast today!

First raspberry harvest of the season.
My daughter and I picked these fresh for breakfast,
what better way to start the day?!
The golden ones are the tastiest, I will be adding more
of those for next year.

What are you harvesting now?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Front Yards and Sidewalk Strips

I was talking with a friend today about the latest landscape design job I did, explaining it was a frontyard remodel, taking out the grass and putting in hardy perennials, small boulders and shrubs.
I realized I have designed a number of lawn-ness front yards here in Bend and thought I should share them with you.

Barton Crossing Residence, took out the lawn replacing it with hardy flowering perennials, seasonal shrubs, fragrant plants, apple trees and ground covers.  We will take out the remaining lawn this year putting in a veggie and cut flower bed, it will be beautiful!

This residence had an awful lawn that was nothing but trouble for the home owners.  Now they are greeted by the most exciting front garden in their entire neighborhood!  It is full of life from the grasses that sway in the slightest breeze to the hummingbirds and butterflies that frequent their flowers.

This is the same residence just the other side of the driveway.  This also had horrible lawn which is now a very practical, diverse raised bed planting. 

This landscape design is a combination of the two properties so instead of each residence having a narrow yard they both enjoy a seasonal display of nature's bounty.  The irrigation is divided per each property and each owner is in charge of their own side, but the gardens blends together seamlessly and the border is invisible.  This is a lawn-less front garden with seasonal interest, flowers that bloom throught the season, deer resistant, hardy, mostly drought tolerant  and fairly low maintenance, wow!

More images of the combined frontyard landscape design:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Ideas - Succulent Cube Garden

Stylish, cute, easy and perfect for any home or garden, succulent cube gardens by Vivaterra.  The blocks are lightweight and can arranged on a windowsill or center piece on a table. 

Other great ideas include an herb basket, these can be purchaes at most local nurseries or at Giving Plants:

Happy Mother's Day and happy planting!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Queen of Denmark Rose

Happy Birthday to her royal majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark born in 1940.  To honor her birthday Daves Garden website choose the old garden rose 'Queen of Denmark' as their plant of the week.  Here is what they say about this lovely rose:

April 16, is the birthday of Queen Margrethe of Denmark. Born this day in 1940, she was crowned queen upon her father's death in 1972. This made her the first female ruler of the country since Margrethe l, who ruled from 1375–1412. The lovely old garden rose 'Queen of Denmark' honors both of them and is a favorite rose among gardeners. While it only blooms once, in late spring, the beautiful, fragrant flowers are captivating. The soft pink blossoms are quartered rosettes and are very full, having up to 100 petals. Plant in full sun and give it room to grow, as the shrub can get quite large. The plants are disease resistant and hardy and it is considered a good 'beginner' rose."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New USDA Hardiness Zone Map

The USDA has come out with a new hardiness zone map with help from Oregon State University PRISM Climate Group among others.  Check out the new map:  New USDA Zone Map

According to the new zones map, Bend is now 6b.  I am rather surprised at the high rating and I would still be careful and stick to zone 5 plants.  Our irregular climate is what makes it difficult here for many plants, as well as our drying air and sterile soils. 

Remember if you live west of Mt. Washington Blvd. you are in a different micro climate than the rest of Bend being at a slightly higher elevation and more prone to harsh winds.  Deschutes River Woods and Sunriver are also different (colder) climates. 

Shop at our local nurseries and ask lots of questions for the most success!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

International Garden Photographer of the Year Winner

Beautiful and stunning images of gardens, landscapes and plants on the KEW website for the International Garden Photographer of Year.

Here is the overall winner Magdalena Wascizek 'Upside Down':

Others include:

 'Hummingbird' by Patrick Corning, the Young Photographer of the Year winner:

'Morning Glow' by Abigail Rex:

The see all the photos from  the different categories visit the International Garden Photographer of the Year website.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beautifull Landscape Design

Browsing through images of scotch moss for a client, I came across this serene image of a landscape designed by Sculpt Gardens out of San Francisco, CA. 

I particulary like the use of the moss between the stone wall and the patio, ingenious!  Take a look at their portfolio for more beautifully designed landscapes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Landscape Design Fun

I was trolling for landscape images for a client the other day and came across this one.  The lightness and good humor of it all was just what I needed on a winter's day.

'Clothespin' from the Rueben Miller website by

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Growing a Salad Garden in a Pot

This past year I thoroughly enjoyed harvesting fresh greens from my garden for dinner salads and I plan to expand my edible gardening this year.  Since I now have a drip irrigation system for my garden bed and all my containers, I can easily add more containers without the worry of having them dry out.

I came across this article in Garden Design about growing salad greens which provides very good information and planting ideas.  Here in Central Oregon, we definetly need to grow produce that harvests quickly since our season is short (officially Memorial Day to Labor Day) and our nights are cool (plants stop growing when the temperature dips below 55 degrees).  I have had good luck with cherry tomatoes and I do cover their beds with plastic to reduce nigh heat loss.

The article mentions growing 'Bright Lights' Swiss Chard which is one of those edibles frequently used in combination edible/ornamental gardens since it looks quite stunning with its multi-colored leaves.  Consider incorporating this beauty into your garden for this year.

'Bright Lights' Swiss Chard image by OSU Extension

This past year I also had a surprise cucumber.  I thought I had planted some squash, the leaves looked the same, but then after our first frost and all the leaves died, I saw I had a cucumber.  It was delicious as well.  Since cucumber is one of the few vegetables my daughter eats, I will plant many more this year. 

Cucumber image by Vegetable Gardening Ideas

I know it is only January but winter is the time for landscape designers and gardeners to plan for the coming season and this warm weather has me itching to get back outside in the garden.  I actually did get out today to water some of my plants and it was very, very pleasant. 
Let me know what edibles you are planning to add to your garden this year, there is nothing better than home grown goodness!