Monday, November 6, 2017

High Desert Design Competition 2017 Landscape Design Winner

I am very proud to be this years winner of the High Desert Design Council's design competition for Landscape Design!  The project was a backyard upgrade for wonderful clients in Northwest Crossing in Bend, Oregon.  They had a corner of their backyard that was unsightly and under-utilized.  The lawn was removed and replaced with a gorgeous square paver patio and fire pit.  It is so wonderful and the clients love it!  Here are some pictures, enjoy!


Modern Patio

Belgard Plaza Pavers

Cove Fire Bowl fire pit

Path to fire pit patio

Friday, October 27, 2017

Carlseng Design wins 2017 High Desert Design competition!

I am very pleased to announce that my landscape design entry "Northwest Crossing Backyard Upgrade" won the landscape design category of the 2017 High Desert Design competition!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Central Oregon High Desert Garden Tour 2017

The High Desert garden tour this year was inspirational!  I saw many great plant combinations, low water landscapes, listened to beautiful music in garden #2 and enjoyed the Artisans Market at garden #7.  I took many pictures, some as reminders of plants I saw, others to record the styles and materials.  This is just a snippet of all I saw, I hope you enjoy!

Garden 3 had a section of Fescue Grass by the sidewalk, very low maintenance and beautiful.

A large part of Garden 3 were deer resistant, hardy and xeriscape type perennials.

The Threadleaf Coresopsis was spreading nicely in Garden 3 to fill in.

Garden 3 also had many xeriscape plants tucked into pockets in the very rocky landscape.

Garden 3 made great use of all the pine needles as a path material, also know as Pine Straw.

Though most of the paths were pine needles in Garden 3, there was a section of Decomposed Granite, one of my favorite materials for paths and patios because of it's hard, porous and easy to maintain surface plus the lovely tan color.  

I didn't notice these statues at first, they played so nicely with the trim and accent pieces already on the porch. I love how these frame the entry steps at Garden 2.

 Garden 2 had a patio painted in a lovely pattern plus live music.

Garden 2 had the painter John Hillmer painting an original.  Two other of his paintings hung in the garden and really made the space come alive in a different way than plants could.

Garden 2 here is one of John HIllmer's paintings creating a lovely space beyond a covered swing.

Garden 5 was a real treat as it exemplified what can really be done with good planning and plant placement!  They have a pond about 30'x12' which did not seem overly large at all, surrounding it were a perfect blend of perennials, shrubs, trees and deciduous and evergreen plants.  They also made good use of their space for two shaded patios, shown here is one with an excellent view of the pond.

A close-up of the ponds water feature.  This garden backs up to Bear Creek Road and there is considerate road noise, but this water feature does a great job of blocking that out, creating instead a white noise peaceful water falling.

Walk around the back of the pond at Garden 5 is a lovely shade garden, very peaceful and inviting. Notice how the curve of the path invites you to explore around the bend?

Garden 4 right next to #5 had an excellent shade garden under a Serviceberry Tree.

The pond at Garden 4 was also stunning with a beautiful plant palette surrounding it.

Garden 6 is truly a masterpiece and incredibly most of it was accomplished in just 13 years!
This beautiful little Buddha statue sat within a peaceful fountain off the rear covered patio.  And yes that is bamboo growing next to it.  Bamboo can grow in Bend giving the right conditions and winter watering.  

The other side of the Buddha water feature was a lovely shade garden with a good selection of Hostas.

Beyond the shade was a vegetable garden secured by an electric fence.  Notice how they have a diversity of flowers surrounding it? That encourages a host of beneficial insects and encourages pollintators.

The other side of the home featured a good sized gazebo next to the pond in the middle of the expanse of lawn.  The combination of the pond and shaded area created a nice and cooler micro climate to relax in.  

They planted a Chinese Wisteria back in 2015 and it is doing very well.  They said they were going to plant more since the Honeysuckle they have planted is not fairing nearly as well. 

Water Lilies sitting beautifully in the pond.

Garden 7 had extensive structures over their raised vegetable bed for grapes and it looked like they were going to have a good harvest this year!

Just beyond the vegetable garden and under two large apple trees was a simple patio table.  Many of the gardens I saw on the tour had many such places to sit and admire the garden.

 Here was a lovely desert bed with Decomposed Granite as mulch, such a fantastic use of the material!  I love the color.  Also notice the artwork off to the side....

 A very large pond sits on the outskirts of the lawn with a firepit surrounded by Decomposed Granite.  Love the simple chairs in the shade of the Mountain Ash tree in the left fore ground.

Whimsy in the garden!

 This home was also the site for the Artisans Market with some lovely artwork!
I was very struck with the artwork by Maya Wolf, especially this painting of a pet dog.

Gorgeous stepping stones by Step On This.  If you need stepping stones, these would bring so much life and beauty to your garden.

Thank you to OSU Extension Service and Master Gardeners for another fantastic tour and thank you very much to all the home owners who opened their homes and gardens for all to enjoy!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Iron Mountain Wildflowers

I hiked Iron Mountain and the wildflowers were going off!!!  The literature says there are over 300 species of flowers on Iron Mountain and I was rubber necking like crazy on the hike.

We drove up road 35 which is now called Civil Road, to the trailhead for Iron Mountain, a shorter hike instead of starting at Tompstone Pass.  Next time we will start from Tombstone so we get to see even more flowers!  Needless to say, I think it took us five times longer to hike it since we stopped so many times to admire and identify the flowers.  I highly recommend this hike, it is one of the best wildflower trails in Oregon!

View of the Three Sisters

Hillside covered in amazing diversity of wildflowers

Lupine and Western Columbine

Lupine in one of many the wildflower meadows

Northern Buckwheat was seen all over the trail

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ultimate Wood Burning Fire Cooking Grill Table!

I just spent the evening with the High Desert Design Council - HDDC - learning about the products at Patio World off Reed Mkt Road in Bend.  Wow, so many awesome products!
One of my ultimate favorites is the OFYR wood burning grill table.  You have to take a look at how it operates, so cool!
Take a look at the video:

It is beautiful in person and would be a gorgeous addition to anyone's outdoor living area, a one of a kind outdoor cooking experience!

The grill table is made of steel and gets quite hot so cannot be used for your cocktails but can grill up your salmon perfectly!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Projects in Process

Projects in progress!  I love this project, I get to do some different things than the typical Bend landscape and the clients are just wonderful people.  They are beautifully remodeling a home on the river in downtown Bend with mature landscaping that has been well cared for providing a gorgeous backdrop for a new planting design.
One section recently planted by Flower Power gardening is a tiny walled-in courtyard viewed from the master bath and the master bedroom.  The views here are key, the plantings need to look exceptional from two different angles and I do believe we achieved it.  When thinking of tiny walled-in courtyards I always think of Japanese gardens.  They Japanese are unrivaled in their understanding and respect for space and I strive to implement the same philosophy in the gardens I design.
The wall enclosing this courtyard still need to be finished and we are working on designs that will enhance the space.  Once the wall is finished and the windows cleaned I will post more pictures but enjoy what we have so far!

Master Bath View

Master Bedroom View

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hardy Native Clematis Vine

A few years ago I was visiting a consultation client out near Alfalfa on a very hot, dry, exposed site.  She wanted to create a more water-wise, low maintenance and beautiful landscape that was deer resistant and was being challenged by the task.  I came up with some really great ideas for her but as we were walking around the landscape I spotted a vine running twenty plus feet around between some trees and an old structure.  We could not identify it at the time but later I learned it was Western White Clematis.  No wonder clematis do so well in Central Oregon!  What a hardy, tough, beautiful, valuable vine!

Western White Clematis or Clematis lingusticifolia in its habitat.  Quite tough and beautiful!

Looks at these beautiful flowers!  Growing with Sagebrush here.

 Look at these gorgeous seed heads!  So much interest and value for one vine!

It is valuable for bees and attracts birds and hummingbirds.
It is a green deciduous vine growing 12-36' and is noted to like well draining moist soil but I found it growing in an area with minimal moisture, I would say it is adaptable but is healthier and more lush with moisture and certainly needs irrigation to get established.
For more information visit Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Great news!  Our local native plant resource for Central Oregon, Wintercreek Restoration and Native Nursery currently has this plant in stock.  Did you know you can check their availability online?
Wintercreek Nursery - what a great resource!

I am going to get one or two and plant them growing up the stairs to my rear deck, looking forward to trying it out!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Designing a Landscape with Chickens in Mind

Clients are always giving me interesting projects.  Last year was a backyard upgrade for a couple whose small dogs nibbled everything and so all plants had to be double checked on two lists of plants dangerous to dogs.  And the landscape still turned out fantastic!
This year I get to do a mid-town landscape upgrade for a couple who want chickens.  There is a separate area fenced off from the main yard for the chicken coop and chicken run area and I intend to make this area just as lovely as the rest of the yard.
In my research I came across this great website, Nifty Homestead, they have a great list of plants healthy for chickens in addition to a list of plants that are dangerous to chickens.  Some of the healthy plants listed are:

Most fruit trees

Some of the dangerous plants are:


Another good site is Backyard Chickens.

Photo from Family Food Garden