Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Identity

I good friend sent me an article today. I liked what the author had to say. Here is a little preview:

I'm not simply a proud owner; I am the gardener who reigns over this plot. It is my dominion--not just a place, but an expression of identity and self... Social media creates a seductive mirage, a watery image of ourselves. Identity is not created by what you tweet, but what you do. What you create. What you love.

~Thomas Rainer 'The Garden in October' 

I love this. Doesn't it make you step back and take a look at your garden. Is it an expression of who you are? Let's not miss out on creating in real life!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Neat Squash

The harvest is in! This is one of our favorites this year for it's obvious novelty. Some say it looks like a brain- I prefer to think it looks like a squash that is trying to grow peanuts! Either way, they look beautiful tucked in to a display of 'regular' pumpkins and squash. I have a few on my front porch!

Galeux d'esyines 

We hope you are having an enjoyable fall! Stay tuned for news about our big pumpkin growing contest for 2013! Details will soon be out!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Shamelessly Overlooked Bulbs.

When we think bulbs, we think tulips and daffodils. Some of us may go so far as to think of hyacinths and crocus, but can you say that you ever think, 'Oh my, I need to get some bulbs in the ground! I need to go pick up some Chionodoxa and Puschkinia bulbs!'? Probably not. It is sad how much we emphasize all the ordinary bulbs, yet forget the miraculous beauty of some of the lesser known. How could your breath not be taken away when you see bulbs standing strongly and blooming fiercely in the midst of the snow and winds of late winter? When I begin to lose my energy and strength toward the end of winter, longing for sun and warmth, these bulbs come into their own, bringing light to the late winter gloom. I wonder at them.  All of the following lesser known (save the Fritillaria) start as bulbs only measuring upwards of 1/2 to 1 inch, making them easier to plant then the common tulip and daffodil! We also love it when we come across bulbs that will tolerate part to full shade-most of these do just that!

This year, let's not overlook the overlooked! 
In order to enjoy these wonders next spring, we must plant now!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Daily Inspiration: My favorite Grass

This is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite grass...
Northern Sea Oats
(Chasmanthium latifolium)

I love this grass for many reasons. First, it's a clumping grass, meaning it won't spread every which way in your garden. Second, it has an almost bamboo-like structure, while still remaining soft and almost fragile looking. The third reason (the best reason) is that it's beautiful. By mid-summer, it is COVERED with these beautiful, arching 'oats' that hang daintily and move gracefully in the wind. The oats turn from a grassy-green to a sandy-wheat by the end of fall. When cut, they bring the finishing touch to all my garden bouquets for the house. I just love them. I don't know if two clumps of these will do it. I must have more! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quilt Show!

If you are in need of inspiration, look no further!

 On Saturday we are starting our first ever Quilt Show! We have over 75 quilts, all made by local artists (wonderful customers and friends :), that will be on display for all of us to enjoy! They will be up from September 1st through the month of October! So, be sure to come down, grab a warm drink (compliments of Andrews!), and stroll around for some serious quilt inspiration!

(Quilt by Shirley Matthews)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Rare Blooms

Have you ever seen a cactus bloom?
I'm used to seeing our little cacti (barrel, paddle, etc.) bloom, 
but I've never seen the big cacti bloom in person! So exciting!

Peruvian Torch Cactus
(Echinopsis peruviana)
A fast-growing, columnar cactus native to the western slope of the Andes in Peru.
(Don't mind my reflection in the window. This cactus happens to be surrounded by a bench and a bunch of other cacti- so, I took the easy route and took the picture from outside the window!)

On the left arm there are two more blooms getting ready to open! They measure 8-9 inches long!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mushroom Quandry

Mushrooms are something that we indoor gardeners sometimes have to deal with. 
 I found this in one of my houseplants last week...

Mushrooms in potted plants can be tough to get rid of, so I thought I would share a few tips with you!

1. Remove the caps. 
By removing that caps as soon as possible, you are removing their method of spreading spores. This will hinder mushroom growth in that pot, as well as keep spores from traveling to other pots. 

2. Soil Patrol. 
You can do one of two things: scrape the top two inches of soil off and replace it, or you can remove the soil completely and start with fresh stuff. 

3. Fungicide Drench.
Thoroughly drenching the soil with a fungicide can help eliminate mushrooms, though it isn't guaranteed. If all the fungus isn't killed, the mushrooms will be back.

4. Change conditions.
Mushrooms thrive in moist, humid, and warm conditions. If you can moderate the amount of humidity, water, and warmth your plants get, it can help reduce and/or eliminate mushrooms. Unfortunately, houseplants do much better in humid, warm conditions, so changing the conditions would be the least recommended plan of attack. You don't want stressed houseplants! Stressed houseplant lead to a lot bigger problems! 

5. Lastly... If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! 
Some people will just let the mushrooms grow- even adding little fairy garden ornaments and such to create a whimsical forest garden.

When I found the mushrooms, I scraped some soil off, replaced it with new, and did a fungicide drench. Hopefully that will take care of the problem! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vole Patrol

No matter how deep my love for gardening goes, I will have to admit that there are a few really unfortunate things you have to put up with. It's just part of it. My most recent 'unfortunate' is voles. Have you ever dealt with them? If you haven't, be thankful. They have moved into my garden...en mass. They look like mice, but instead of being just a slight nuisance (like mice), they leave lovely, little mini-gopher mounds, they girdle and kill plants, and possibly the worst thing is that they burrow through the yard leaving devastation in their wake. 

I had noticed that some of the edges of my grass were starting to look puny, so I watered and watered with no improvement. I finally got down there to see exactly what was going on, and found the starting of a burrow, and continued to follow the burrow for a good 30 ft! This wasn't the only one I found. At this moment my yard is host to 10 different burrows! 

Let me know if you have a sure-fire way to kill these buggers! For now, I have set up a trap line (thanks to my husband who sets all the traps for me- I'm not talented in that department), I've used lots of MoleMax- a vole repellent, and have set out bags of Havoc. So far, we've dented the herd by about 8, but where there are 8, there is probably 100. 

That is my sad story. At least we have lots of beautifully blooming plants this time of year to distract me!

Here is an example of a yard with vole damage...
(not my yard... image from

and here is a vole...
(don't be fooled by it's cute face!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Daily Inspiration: A Winning Combo!

Sometimes, plants just work together...sometimes, they don't. 
This is a time when color and texture work beautifully:
The tight form and the glowing color of the Variegated Boxwood is at its best when it is backed by the loose and dark foliage of the Eupatorium 'Chocolate'.

It can take awhile and a few trials (and errors) to find the right plant combinations. Don't get discouraged if things in your yard aren't working quite yet...they will! Don't be afraid to dig plants up and move them around a bit, or give them to a friend. It's worth a little extra work to get a combination that is pleasing to look at! (I have a Pyramidal Blue Cypress and a 'Scarlet Curls Willow' that are both in their 3rd locations. I love how they look now, and am so glad I moved them!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Succulents!

I took this picture at Bauman Farms (in Gervais, OR) on our nursery tour. I've seen several different ways to use broken fountains and birdbaths, but I think they did an exceptional job planting these up! I love their use of color and texture with these succulents!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Nursery Tour!

It's good to be back! Mom, Monica, and I were gone for the last week on a garden tour! We toured several nurseries and wholesale grow operations in the Portland/Salem/Corvallis area. It's always such a great time of inspiration and learning. We stayed at the Oregon Garden Resort. It was gorgeous. I would go back in a second! They have gardens like this...
and my most favorite...the hobbit hole!

We toured Bauman Farms, Al's Garden Center, Bountifal Farms, Sun Gro, Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery, French Prairie Gardens, Munn's Nursery, Terra Garden's Nursery, Shonnard's Nursery, and Garland Nursery! Phew! 

While all of the above brought inspiration, our favorites were Bauman Farms with its fun and family feel (their goats, sheep, chickens, bunnies, and BAKERY made it easy to fall in love!), and Garland Nursery whose beautiful setting and products made us all never ready to leave! My personal favorite was Bountiful Farms-a wholesale grower specializing in topiary and espaliers! I now have two apple trees tagged out in the nursery, ready to go home and be trained into espalier submission! 

We weren't ready to leave the 70 degree weather, but we were ready to be home with our families and with our own gardens! Now we can go let some creative energy out! 

I will leave you with a little more inspiration...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Echinacea

It was a beautiful day yesterday for the 4th!

We spent the day at my parents house, so I was able to see some of their beautiful Echinacea!
'Big Sky Sundown'
'Big Sky Sundown' planted beside a hedge of 'Berggarten' Sage, with three of the four seasons statues looking on.
'Green Jewel'

Monday, July 2, 2012

Daily Inspiration: The Dirt!

It's a new month! Check out 'The Dirt' for July HERE!

Have a great Fourth of July everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Compost!

We've started our composting journey!
 Follow along on our 'Compost Chronicles' page right here on this blog! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Currants!

This is my first harvest (about 3 lbs.)! There are at least 10 more pounds of these little red jewels beginning to ripen on my currant bush!

My favorite way to use them: Raspberry-Currant Jam and Cinnamon-Currant Swirl Bread. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Jacob's Ladder

'Blue Whirl'
(Jacob's Ladder)
This is a great perennial for your shadier areas. Clusters of blue, trumpet-like flowers rise above feathery, ferny foliage from May through June! It grows 18-24" tall and 18" wide. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Childhood Flower

Everyone seems to have a flower that reminds them of their childhood-Scabiosa is one of mine (along with Iris, Peonies, and English Roses)!

Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue'
(skab ee OH sah)
Pincushion Flower

Scabiosa prefer full sun, and will bloom for most of the summer. They are great for cutting, and will attract bees and butterflies! Zone 4.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Summer-Long Color

Have you ever tried Lantana in your sun-loving pots? This picture is of the blooms on a Lantana TREE that we have down here in the nursery (a beautiful patio tree FULL of these orange and yellow blooms)!
Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to it, and we love it for it's summer-long, intensely-bright color (not to mention the fact that it is a water-wise choice)!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Pink Bells

Heuchera 'Rave On'
Coral Bells
I had to stop as I walked by the Heuchera table this morning. Almost all of them have bright, vivid bloom stalks on them. They are pretty enough with just foliage, but they are over-the-top when in bloom! 

P.S. I had a visitor in my garden a couple days ago... 
I don't mind snakes. In fact, I like them to be in my garden because of the beneficial rodent control aspect they bring, but they really should learn to start moving out of the way before I am 1 foot in front of them!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Coral

A 'Hawaiian Coral' Peony in mom's yard!
I wish peonies would bloom all season long (I wish there was a tree that REALLY grew money too... :)

BUT, I would settle for these beautiful coral blooms any day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Summer Blooms

We love Gallardia! 
It has already started to bloom for the summer and looks beautiful against this stone wall backdrop. If I had taken the picture from further away you would have seen it next to deep blue delphiniums and 'Tamora' roses.    Everything looks so fresh this time of year (except for the slight mess last night's windstorm left behind...).

Enjoy the cool day! Perfect day for garden projects!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I have to admit that occasionally I get in a planting rut. When I plant my garden, I ALWAYS grow Oregon Sugar Pod peas. I love them. They are sweet and tender, and produce like crazy, but this year I decided to try something different- Dwarf Grey Sugar Pod Peas. I liked the name. (What can I say? Any name  with the word 'sugar' in it is has GOT to be good! :) I seeded a touch late so mine are just now blooming, and I was pleasantly surprised by the color! I am just loving them!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Rare Find

The illusive Seagull Lily...
They only grow in our area, and they only bloom for a short time. 
We recently went on a day excursion to the hills and were lucky enough to stumble on a few!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Re-purposed Planter Update

We put together some re-purposed planters for our Container Design Seminar in April. I wanted to show you a couple pictures of how they are doing!

Here is mom's wicker dresser! We have been harvesting strawberries, chives, lettuce, and herbs from this! It's really doing great!

Here are my pallet planters! I am thrilled that they have done so well. I think they key was keeping the pallet flat for a couple weeks before setting it upright. It's important to let your plants root in a bit, otherwise you would be dealing with soil and plants falling out!

We hope that the Container Design seminar inspired you to try a few out-of-the-norm planter ideas!
I was inspired to experiment with different pot combinations at my own house this year. Although the fountain grass, spikes, etc., are gorgeous in pots, I weary of doing the same things! We'll see how they do!

Have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend!