Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Drought Tolerant Landscaping and Edible Landscaping

This Friday October 10th is the Northwest Green Building Industry Summit held at the West Side Church in Bend, Oregon.
This very informative event will have a day full of speakers on topics all related to making your home and property more green and is for the homeowner, building, designer and anyone interested in building more smart and sustainably.

I am speaking on the topic of Drought Tolerant Landscaping and Edible Landscaping for Central Oregon and this will be my third year presenting.  I always enjoy this summit and have a great time during my presentation sharing tips and techniques to landscape in a more sustainable manner.

I hope to see you this Friday, spread the word!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Backyard Transformation

It seems I am always blessed with wonderful clients and on my latest project I worked with truly great people who really wanted to transform their backyard.  These folks living in the Higher Ground Community of Bend, Oregon have a great artistic and creative side to them and they really allowed me to do something different and fantastic, and the results are spectacular!

Here is the before photo:

Pretty bad right?  The back yard had been neglected for years and was mostly an eyesore but the clients and I knew we could transform it into a place they longed to be and could be an extension of their house.

What we did create completely transformed the backyard into a destination, a sanctuary, an extra room, a place of peace and joy and wonderfulness!

Check it out!

We completely eliminated the squareness of the space creating an oasis for dining, reading, relaxing and entertaining!  And best of all, the clients are happy beyond their expectations.  :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More Awesome Plants!

I was loading or pinning plant images onto Pinterest for a client and when I looked back I was thrilled with the selection and these are only the ones the client's were unfamiliar with.

This has been a slow journey in transforming their long neglected back yard.  Yes, pictures to come Friday when we start shaping the beds and planting the first installment.  So exciting!

Check out all my other project boards at Pinterst for more great images!

Elderberry 'Sutherland Gold'
This is stunning in the landscape and contrasts nicely with most everything
else in garden.  We will have a dark blue bubbling fountain next to it, gorgeous!

Coreopsis 'Red Satin'
I can't get enough of this dark red color! Plus it blooms
all summer and is great for pollinators!

Pink Monkey Flower
Native to Central Oregon and a stunning perennial!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Evergreens for an entry

One of my clients has a large property out by the Bend airport with a very large lawn leading up to the house.  We want to mark the entry path in an obvious and welcoming way and I am considering planting two evergreen trees as "sentries".  I was going to use two Crabapple Trees but since our winters are so long I think evergreens would be a better choice.

Here are my choices so far:

Korean Silberlocke Fir

The Korean Silberlocke Fir has up curved green needles with contrasting silver/white undersides and produces an abundance of large showy cones.  It is slow growing to 10' tall and 6' wide in 10 years, ultimately 20' tall.   This selection is about 5-7' tall and can be found at Schultz Farm and Garden between Bend and Redmond.

Green Columnar Spiral Juniper Tree

Junipers are very hardy in Central Oregon (they are considered weeds by many) but can be very useful when trained right.  A spiral trained Juniper is stunning and adds shape and style to the landscape but does require light pruning throughout the year to maintain a nice shape.  

Here is another version this time of a Skyrocket Juniper which has a more grey/green/blue color than the one shown above.

'Acrocona' Spruce

Acrocona Spruce is a lovely evergreen with purple cones and is a medium irregular grower to about 4-10 feet tall and 10-12 feet wide and does best in full sun. Another great option for a small space.

Which do you like the best?  I am veering towards the Silberlocke because I like it so much!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sweet Summer Love Clematis, My New Favorite

As a landscape designer it is difficult to name my favorite plant, but I do have a current favorite, 'Sweet Summer Love' clematis.
I grew 'Sweet Autumn' clematis back in Northern California and loved how it completely covered a patio wall there, I wanted to try again here in the High Desert and couldn't resist to try this colorful variety!

It is a Proven Winner and a repeat bloomer of cranberry/purple fragrant flowers - what's not to love!

I generally stick to what is available in our local nurseries since our climate is tricky and my clients want dependable plants, but this one I ordered through Harmony Farms in Tumalo for a client (and one for me of course!) to add some color to her patio.

The fragrance is like soft vanilla and the small flowers are beautiful little violet beauties, I can't wait to see how it does in Central Oregon. If it over winters well then look out for it next year I will be ordering lots more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gorgeous Gardens in Bend

Whenever I am driving or biking around town my eyes are always peeled for great flower combinations or beautiful landscapes.

I love the front yard of my friend Anna's house, she is a gardener and you can tell, it's all gorgeous perennials.

She also has the best sidewalk strip planting in town!

With my daisies and echinacea in bloom, I am having lots of visiting pollinators, check out this happy camper!

Plant a diverse garden and you will love the results!  Happy Gardening!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Creating Great Landscapes for Central Oregon

Creating the ideal landscape for clients is my passion and it totally warms my heart when my clients say things like this happy client:

"We think the yard looks great!  It is exactly what we were looking/hoping for. Everything seems to be doing well so far and the new  mulch finishes it off wonderfully.  We enjoy sitting out front gazing out over it and are looking forward to seeing it mature. "

:)   Have a great and glorious day everyone!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2014 COBA Tour of Homes

Mid summer in Central Oregon means many things and one of those is the COBA Tour of Homes.  I am proud to be the landscape designer on the home at 2915 NW Horizon Drive on Awbrey Butte in Bend.

The home was designed and built by Dream Home Building and Design who does beautiful work and I couldn't be happier with our partnership.  This picture was taken in the fall of 2013 before the remainder of the landscape was installed.  Come and see us this weekend beginning July 18-20 or next weekend July 25-27th.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cool Pots, Benches and Outdoor Products

There are so many fantastic outdoor products on the market these days, it makes my job as a landscape designer super fun!

Every time I visit one of awesome local nurseries I always try to see what other items they might have to offer beside plants.  Sometimes I am looking for a nice bench to put near a clients Bocce Ball Court, or funky chairs for another clients hip back yard.

Check out some of the fun finds right here in Central Oregon:

Super cool metal lanterns

Lovely stone bench, plant flowers in the end or fill it with ice for cold beverages!

I can just see this bench under a wild rose bush....

Bring the sound of water to your small deck or patio with these wall fountains!

Wow, the butterfly bench is amazing!

I love these chairs, they come in different colors and would bring much fun to any landscape!

Turn this planter into a fountain or plant it with grasses and purple trialing petunia's, fantastic!
All of these items are available at Landsystems Nursery off Hwy 20 East just past Worthy Brewing.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gray Butte Hike and Widlflowers

On Mother's Day I went hiking out at Gray Butte, by Smith Rock, and was happily excited at all the gorgeous scenery.  It was perfect wildflower time, there were whites, yellows, blues, pinks, purples, and even green! 

In addition to the wildflowers, the views were spectacular!  We were looking across the agricultural lands of Central Oregon towards the Cascade Range, and we thought we could even see Mt. Hood.

But back to the wildflowers.  Being a flower in Central Oregon is not an easy thing.  Water gets scarce towards summer so a flower has to get real busy while there is still moisture in the spring.  A lot of them are quite to flower and go to seed before the heat of summer kicks in and they need all their energy to stay alive, no more seed making. 
The flowers are also smaller than others you might see in more wet areas (like the Cascade or Coastal Ranges).  That is one thing I have come to appreciate about the desert, you have to look at the world a little differently and see the beauty in the smaller things, the smaller flowers, the curve of that mature Juniper tree, the way the light catches on the grass at dusk.

Our wildflowers may be small but they sure do pack a punch.  I highly recommend hiking Gray Butte right now while the flowers are still in bloom.  Then in a month or so check out Look Out Mountain in the Ochoco's and Iron Mountain off Hwy 20 West towards the Cascades. 

From Top Right: Field of Spreading Phlox and Nine-Leaved or Desert Parley, Unknown blue flower - do you know it?, Indian Paintbrush with Big Headed Clover and Yellow Salsify (or False Dandelion) , Middle Row: Puccoon, View towards the Cascade Range, Big Headed Clover, Bottom Row: Sage and Fescue meadow with view towards the West, Spreading Phlox with Lupine and Salsify, unknown white flowers - do you know it?

So many more out there that I did not capture, you will have to see them for yourself!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Backyard Landscape Designs

In researching project photos for a new client, I stumbled across many older photos I haven't looked at in a while.  As we are all thinking of this new season and lots of time spent outdoors in our yards and beyond, enjoy these photos and be inspired!

This was the site of an old defunct water feature with small pool, we were able to completely redo the whole corner without too much cost and still keep a water feature, one that is much easier to take care of!  Plus it is a gorgeous spot to sit mornings or evenings.

The remodeled deck of the same project.  The steps were widened and deepened to double as seating and to make access to the yard even easier.  The pergola adds shade (southern exposure) and a great place to hang plants or party lights!

This was a fantastic project to work on.  We took out the lawn and replaced it with low maintenance plants with interest for all seasons.  The flagstone path is planted with ground cover thyme which smells heavenly!  Now the front is a hang out for the client enjoying the afternoon sun.

This project turned out awesome!  I designed this yard to be super functional and easy.  Just enough lawn for picnics, a lounge area plus more around the corner.....

This has worked out so well for the client.  A whole second area for more formal outdoor dining or just ducking out of the winds that come up in the late afternoons. 

And more projects coming all the time!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Outdoor Shade Options

After weeks of cold weather we now have a forecast of hot and sunny days, yahoo!

As much as I want to bask in the sun I know it can be too much and shade is a requirement for our Central Oregon summers.  Take a look at some of these nifty options, stylish and functional products to help you get your shade on.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fun with Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

I have the most wonderful client and project right now on the outskirts of Bend.  It is a large property and we will be creating an 'Central Oregon English Estate'.  It presents more challenges than normal here in Central Oregon (which comes with lots of challenges!) but I get have so much fun and be creative in creating the most wonderful spaces throughout the property.

One idea I have for one large bed is to have a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar trained to grow up and along a frame, parallel to the ground, with it's blue tendrils having down to tickle the plants below. 

I would have it in the middle of the bed, maybe even trim it to frame the view of the swimming pond beyond...

Isn't this gorgeous!!!!

You can so many creative things with Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, the only limit is your imagination...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools? Just Spring in Central Oregon

I awoke this morning to a vision of winter outside my window.  At first I was surprised but then I remembered that in Central Oregon, anything goes really when it comes to weather and it's actually not an April Fools joke by Mother Nature.

My daughter is convinced that it is still Winter even though I have explained that it really is Spring, at least it's not freezing anymore.  That is one thing I tell my clients over and over, it is not so much our planting zone but the unpredictability of our weather that makes it more difficult to garden here in Bend and Central Oregon.

My hardy Rugosa Rose will be fine even though it has been budding out and greening up.  Hardy plants that can take our erratic weather patterns are the best choices for a successful garden as well as plant diversity.

Mother Nature couldn't have chosen a better day to make it snow, but I know that it is still Spring and I'm planning my garden anyways.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, March 10, 2014

It sure feels like Spring to me!

The weather was so gorgeous last Friday that I spent most of the afternoon cleaning up my garden and soaking up the warm air. 

Spring is such a gorgeous time of year, full of new hope, flip flops, spring bulbs and new plans.  I love the return of leaves on the trees, warm earth and new plants. 

First Daffodil of Spring
So many catalogs and magazines have inspired me these past few months, my favorite being "The American Gardener" by the American Horticultural Society.  A recent article was about the new plants for 2014.  It's just amazing what the plant breeders can come up with! 
Here are some of my faves that will grow in Central Oregon:
Echinacea purpurea Supreme 'Cantaloupe by Terra Nova Nurseries
'Rose Bells' Pasqueflower by Jelitto Seed

This is a gorgeous re-blooming Daylily from Walters Garden, 'Midnight Raider'
Coreopsis always do well in Central Oregon, and this one has a great yellow and red color,
this is 'Bengal Tiger' from Terra Nova Nurseries

I am planning on growing carrots this year and there is a great new selection from Johhnys Selected Seeds called the 'Adelaide' carrot.  It matures in about 55 days and is a baby carrot at 3-4 inches long at maturity, perfect for my daughter!

Happy Gardening!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Creating Outdoor Spaces

I am working with a fantastic outdoor lifestyles contractor idea generator Backcountry Builders on an amazing backyard remodel and we are generating lots of ideas for creating a relaxing, inviting, outdoor scape for entertaining and lounging.
It must be on everyone's mind right now because I just came across an article in Garden Design titled "Eat, Play, Lounge". Lot of great ideas for large or small outdoor areas, my favorite is the wooden lounge deck:

What a great space for picnics, plays, painting, dancing.......

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time to Design!

It is the beginning of a new year and thoughts of new ideas for my garden are brewing.  Spring will be here soon enough, what would you like to do this year?

Thank you to Seed Savers Exchange for the thoughtful quote.