The Cedar Waxwings are Back

29 Sep

I love the tiny purple berries on my Callacarpa this time of year. I wait patiently all season for them, to have the cedar waxwings come in and feast. What’s a reasonable person to do? She asks.


Hardy Hibiscus is the Eye Popper this Month

23 Aug

This being the second day in Portland for smoked filled air from the wild fires in eastern Oregon and Washington, we send all good thoughts that way. I especially think of everyone who has lost their home and garden to the fires.

With the smoke, yesterday was a perfect photo opp for the hibiscus blooming in my backyard. It is THE most spectacular bloom in the universe!! The bloom is easily 8 inches across and the colors are breath taking. I bet Pantone can’t name the colors.

Do I exaggerate?


Tomorrows bloom

Tomorrows bloom

The Swing’s New Eco Roof

20 Jul


Before the hot weather arrived,the Green Feathers eco roof got installed on my swing. Its was so easy to do.

The Egress with a View

13 Jul

After the first egress window post, someone asked ‘What does it look like from inside out?’ Duh, that’s an easy question to answer. Why didn’t I think of that myself?

Plants have a lot of growing to do, but it’s already peaceful.

Pretty Egress Windows ?

8 Jul

Egress windows are a great safety feature in basements. I believe in them and hope I never need to climb out of them. With that said they don’t need to be ugly concrete walls either. This setting is close to the property line and visible from the street so I wanted it to look nice and yet be able to get into the backyard. A bridge over a rock garden is the perfect solution.

This sunken garden will grow into a lush green fern, ginger, hosta and astilbe shade grotto. Visitors love walking across a bridge to get into the back yard. The fun begins in the front and the troll is gentle.

The Nicest Benefit of Being a Landscape Designer

1 Jul

This morning I was at a long time clients, 1998 or so, deadheading and detailing her rose garden for the daughter’s wedding Saturday afternoon. The rose garden in a front yard was challenging to design, but it has provided so much pleasure and now a wedding. Wow. What better way to be proud of what I do and the beauty it adds to a home and family memories. I wish the heavenly old rose fragrance could be conveyed in this picture.


Kelly will be married under the rose arbor.

The Cactus Bloom Saga continues – The value of waiting your turn.

24 Jun

I have learned that Cactus are quite polite and genteel. Each plant has bloomed one at a time waiting for one to finish blooming before the next starts. My last, the prickly pear is just starting to bloom. The first blooms were coral orange and today they are yellow.



I’m sure that over the years, cactus have figured out that they need all the insects they can get when blooming so to compete for bugs is a losing battle. There is a message here for us too.

Desert Bloom continues

22 Jun


Even a bumble bee likes my cactus blooms. This will be the last of the blooms on this cactus, but the other ones are just showing color.

Desert Bloom

14 Jun

Yesterday morning, coffee in hand,  I came across my 1st desert cactus in bloom.  Yes, in my own front yard.  This is quite the event. When I planted the cactus after our spring home and garden show,  I wasn’t sure of anything.  Cactus in Portland?  oolala

This morning it was wilted.


A touch of tranquility

11 Jun

My client wanted a front yard that has low maintenance, no grass, low water usage and reflected her profession as an acupuncturist.   Her symbol for the business is the Chinese sign for tranquility, so we put it on a metal disc placed in a new gate entering the private garden area.

The low fence around the graveled area is the same design as the gate.  It gives the garden a finished look

You see Microbiota decussata, a low conifer, by the path as well as purple heuchera.  A Pinus strobus ‘Pendula” (weeping white pine) and a Nyssa sylvatica (Tupelo) are in the background.   A large existing Magnolia is showing above the gate.

Front Yard Makeover with an Asian feel

Front Yard Makeover with an Asian feel

Tranquility Gate

Tranquility Gate

Before make over
Before make over