Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beautiful Container Combination

Spotted this container combo at a restaurant in Kansas City this past weekend. Thought I would share it with you and maybe try it next year! I love how the 'dragon wing' begonia peeks out of the lime coleus. I also like how they combined two different types of coleus and the creeping jenny underneath. Gotta love surprise inspiration.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Patio and Landscape Upgrade

With this particular design, we were challenged to make a small yard more functional. We chose an otherwise awkward, unusable space in the side yard to feature a new concrete patio. Although it isn't yet furnished, it will be a nice spot to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and talk with the neighbors. This patio will function almost as a substitute for the traditional front porch.
We extended the patio into the backyard in order to have a more private place to sit and also a place to hide the grill. The backyard is small, but we left plenty of green space for the dogs, for play and for future gardening. Once the plants grow in and the patio is softened with some container plantings, it will be a very enjoyable little spot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beware Arachnophobes!

You know it's fall when the spiders start making their presence known! We found this spider spinning her web on our porch last night. When we left the house this morning, her web was complete and there she was waiting patiently for her prey. She is very large and beautiful! She is an argiope aurantia otherwise known as the "writing spider" because of the intricate zig zag down the center of her web. The males are actually much smaller and are only seen when it is time to mate. They are not poisonous so no need to rush to kill them! They are actually quite common all over the world, so you may find one in your garden one of these days! Has anyone else seen a "writing spider" lately?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Master Plan for the Garden

This is an example of a detailed master landscape plan. There are many ways of shaping an outdoor living space. For many, it happens over years of hard work and a few mistakes and victories along the way. (That is how my wife and I do it). For others, a major overhaul may take place in one season. They want it done so they can spend their time enjoying their space. We design master plans for both types of people.

Often, a client wants to chip away at their yard over the years, but they need a plan to guide them along the way. They will be able to refer back to the design whenever they want. Having a design done with their specific needs in mind will help to ensure proper plant placement and hopefully save them some time and headache in the future.

For those that are professionally installing a landscape in one season, it is crucial that a professionally designed plan be followed. The above plan includes many different elements including a paver patio with an outdoor kitchen and firepit, a kid's play area, a driveway with coordinating paver banding and, of course, several perennial gardens. Having a plan helps the homeowners and the different companies involved in the installation to be on the same page at all times. It also helps the landscape installation company work more efficiently. If the homeowner is concerned with plant placement (one would hope..) a design will keep things on track.

Most gardeners love the process of planting and working the garden over a lifetime. I love to experiment with plants and see what works and what doesn't, but a landscape design sure does help to visualize a project and keeps one from making a potentially expensive mistake.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The scabiosa are still going strong in our yard this year. The "black night" scabiosa is such a striking color. They are a great flower to plant for a cutting garden. They last for quite some time in a vase and look really beautiful when paired with hydrangeas and roses. In the garden they can kind of flop over, but would look really nice in front of or on top of a rock wall. That way, you would be sure to see the blooms. Scabiosa are also surprisingly tough, our dog trampled them more than once this year and they still look great!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rockbrook Art Fair

Come visit us during the Rockbrook Art Fair this weekend! We have local art on display in our store as well as beautiful containers and garden art. We would love to see your smiling faces!

Saturday 10-6
Sunday 10-5

Rockbrook Village - 108th & Center
Olive Branch Integrated Outdoor Design (across from Great Harvest Bread Co.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Backyard Pathway

Here is a smattering of images taken of the "wedding" project we completed last week. A big thanks to VIP Outdoor Living and David Jordan Remodeling for the amazing work they do implementing our designs. We had a very important deadline on this project and due to rain, we were pushed to the wire. We completed it Friday afternoon, a few hours before the wedding rehearsal. phew. It is good to be challenged and know that we can accomplish quality work in a limited amount of time.

There were many big decisions to be made by the homeowner and she didn't have the luxury of time that most people do for such a large project. She did a great job and has great taste. She has a unique home for small town Nebraska. She is inspired by all things Asian which was fun to include in the design.

The pathway and the fence include bamboo pieces from CaliBamboo. This is the first time I have edged a garden with bamboo and I think it does it's job beautifully. It won't be the last. The homeowners also love copper (notice their copper windows) so we decided to include copper panels on the fence. These will patina naturally over time. The fence and pathway were designed to direct visitors to the homeowners garden which includes a beautiful pond and waterfall. Previously, people would just walk straight across the lawn, bypassing much of the plantings and garden space along the way to the pond. Now they will have to slow down and enjoy the journey!