Monday, August 31, 2009

Functional Garden Art

We had this handrail made for us by the talented artist Diane Mattern. She is a local artist here in Omaha and we actually carry a handful of her sculptures in our shop. Diane has an eye for rustic garden art and we love to use her work in our client's landscapes. She does amazing arbors and will even do a unique detail on a garden gate. We have enjoyed our new handrail since April and we have watched it form its beautiful patina over the summer. We are so excited to see what it looks like in the snow!

Of course, as a landscape designer, I am a little more concerned with my client's landscapes and projects during the warm months. You can see in the bottom photo that we are working on our front porch. We have been slowly chipping away at it all summer. It should be completed soon and we will post some pictures for you.

I am also very busy this week with a project in Fremont, NE. There is a wedding in their backyard this Friday (yikes) and due to the recent rains in our area, we are rushing to complete it! We will have it done though and I look forward to posting about it soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Costa Rica Green

I recently returned from a mission trip to Costa Rica so I thought I would share some of the photos that I took of the lush vegetation. I have never been anywhere more green! I also love that it is not unusual to have orchids growing in your front yard there and they happen to have the LARGEST hydrangea blooms I have ever seen! Not to mention, countless mystery plants. It is such a nice place for a gardener or a landscape designer or a florist to visit... or anyone who appreciates things that grow! I highly recommend a trip.

I have been playing catch up since I got back from Costa Rica, but I hope to have some photos of some of our current projects soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fuschia Blooms

A Scabiosa bud and a Mandevilla bloom.
Two of my favorites.
I'm looking forward to fall but a little sad to see the summer blooms fading.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gourd Time

Our gourds are finally covering our random piece of chain link fence in the backyard. We tore down the rest of the fence last year, but decided to keep this small section because we knew it would be handy for something... we just didn't know what. There is a compost bin behind the fence and the gourd vines do a good job of hiding it from view. Now that it has grown in, it is also providing a second "wall" to our outdoor living space. Our gourd tee pee is in the second photo, but we're not sure it is tall enough! It looks like the gourds are making a break for the power pole! The fruit is coming along nicely and it looks like we'll have an abundance of gourds!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Multi-Level Backyard Project

This project was a challenge, but also very rewarding in the end. The yard had a unique slope that wasn't really user friendly, so we made it a multi-level garden space with a spot for eating dinner, a spot for the hot tub and the crowd-pleasing fire pit. It is the ultimate party spot (for suburban America anyway)!
This is the view from the fire pit. There is an upper level patio for dining and also the empty space to the left probably has a table on it by now. We used a variety of materials, including flagstone, boulders and stamped concrete.
Here is the focal point of the yard, the fire pit. There is a flagstone seat wall surrounded by grasses. It was a fun project.

View from the upper level dining area.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cool Water Feature for Hot Days

This is a water feature we designed as a focal point for a patio. On a hot day like today, it would be a nice addition to any garden space. We included italian mosaic tile, copper and mexican beach pebble to give it a beach-y vibe. For us land-locked Nebraskans, a little water goes a long way!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Favorite Time of Day

This is Jess, our cat, enjoying a nice little spot next to the lamb's ear in our garden. She lives for meal time and garden time! She is normally an indoor cat so getting to sit outside with us is a special treat.

We are trying to find time to work on our own garden. Being in the landscaping business it can be a challenge because we are often working on someone else's garden. We wouldn't have it any other way though, it is what we love to do! We like to work on it in the evenings while enjoying a cold refreshment usually! It is probably our dog and cat's favorite time of day. They love to watch us work!

We also really enjoy composting. It's great to generate your own dirt! We have a had a basic compost pile for quite some time, consisting of mostly leaves, weeds and some kitchen scrap, but we want to make it a richer, healthier soil. Just found this list of 75 Things You Can Compost via the Dirt Du Jour blog. It's eye-opening to see just how much you can put in your compost pile. We may need to expand our bin, it's already overflowing!