Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Carlseng Designs Happy Clients

A huge part of any designer's job is to figure out what makes the client tick, their likes and dislikes, what their sense of style really is (not always what they say).  Then we have to make that work within budget, architectural or environmental constraints.

The first thing I do when I meet a new client is to listen.  I listen to them talk about why they live here, how they enjoy being outside, how they relate to their yard, what plants remind them of their childhood, what colors or fragrance bring them joy.

It is difficult to get it 100% right on every time but I have gotten really good at just about nailing it most of the time.  I just received this email from a client I am working with down in Christmas Valley and wanted to share.  Spreading landscape love one client at a time.

"I want to tell you I absolutely LOVE it I can not tell you how amazed I was when I opened it (the pdf of the design). I love how you incorporated the gravel area by the pump house I think that is going to look so good and not just be one dust bowl left out in the middle. Anyway I just wanted to let you know how much I am loving it and how amazing you did and interpreting what I wanted and putting it on paper. I was absolutely amazed."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Plants for a Bend, Oregon Landscape

Gardening and Landscaping in Central Oregon is actually not as difficult as most folks think it is, but then maybe I just like challenges  :)

When I moved to Bend in 2006 I had been living in a USDA zone 9 and I thought I was crazy moving to a zone 5 (sometimes 4 and sometimes 5 depending on the microclimate). I had a garden full of flowers, bulbs, trees, shrubs, vines and had just planted one of my favorite apple trees (King apple).   I even had a screen of clumping bamboo in the backyard, it was paradise!

But I soon realized that Central Oregon helped me to become more creative with the new challenges I faced and I have grown tremendously as a designer.  Since I can't rely so heavily on the plants to carry the show I focus more on the structure, the patterns and the textures in a landscape, and the plants then become more of an icing on top of the cake.

Of course I still love my plants and my little yard here in Bend is filling up with varieties I am testing out and experimenting with.  When I am working with a client though most likely they request low maintenance and/or deer resistant (as much as is possible with deer!) plants.  I thought I would share with you some hardy varieties I am using for a current design on Awbrey Butte.  These are all deer resistant.  Enjoy!

                                                                                                         Alpine Fir Trees
Japanese Red Leaf Barberry                                                    

                                                                                       Orange Rocket Barberry

Golden Spirit Smoketree Bush

                               Yellow Potentilla

Red Sunset Potentilla

A very mature Vine Maple, best with some shade

Mountain Ash tree, one of my favorites!

Native Idaho Fescue Grass
Shenandoah Switch Grass, great coloring!

There are many more plants I will be using, see the rest Carlseng Designs Pinterest