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Showing posts from 2014

A Beautiful Christmas Tree

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           I have always wanted a beautiful Christmas tree. When I enter homes where there are designer trees--coordinating colors and ornaments skillfully arranged on a perfectly shaped tree--I am hit with a feeling of envy that is quite out of tune with the whole Christmas spirit thing. I can visualize how my beautiful tree would look. The color scheme would be red and gold, the style ornate and bordering on Baroque. When it comes to Christmas, I am a traditionalist.

The Wedding--Part 2

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     We got the pictures taken by our wedding photographer, Alicia Richmond. Check out her work at Alicia Richmond Photography on Facebook.     Several of her pictures showed off the yard and details well, so I'm doing another wedding post using them.

The Wedding

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     It finally arrived--the wedding day!      Bear in mind that as the mother of the bride, I was too busy to take pictures. So I'm dependent on other people's photography to get pictures of how the yard looked for the wedding. I've had a couple of people send me photos, and I'll post some of them here. If I get more later that show the yard well, I'll do a "The Wedding--Part 2" post.           I'll start off with a picture of my whole clan. It was a wonderful day of celebration, and all of my children and grandchildren were there. Between that and the gorgeous weather we had--not the norm for the past few weeks--I felt very blessed!  

Getting Ready for a Wedding--Acid Staining the Concrete

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    We have a concrete slab in our backyard that we call "the basketball court." It is where our children learned to ride bikes and where countless games of Horse have been played. For the wedding, it will serve as the dance floor.           When I looked at this utilitarian, but ugly, concrete and imagined the chiffon lined tent complete with chandeliers that will cover it for the wedding, the designer in me said, "No, no, no, this will not do at all!" The floor under the tent needed to be something more attractive.  But concrete is what we had, and we weren't getting rid of it. So what was I to do?

Getting Ready for a Wedding--Fixing Up the Swing Set

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     My husband built this swing set over fifteen years ago. It is still sturdy and, as you can see from this picture taken at our annual Easter Egg Hunt, it gets a lot of use.      But despite still being functional, it wasn't looking very good. Since the swing set is right by the main area for the reception, we decided it needed a little sprucing up.

Getting Ready for a Wedding--The Bridal Shower

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     Last evening my niece hosted a bridal shower for my daughter. It was held in my yard. We cleaned up all the construction debris that has been littering the yard for the past few weeks, and low and behold, things didn't look too bad. There are still places where the lawn needs more recovery time, the beds need to be weeded, and I do have a few more projects I want to get done. But overall, I was encouraged that in four weeks, this place will be ready for a wedding reception.  Me with my beautiful daughters         The weather was perfect--no wind, no rain not too hot, and not too cool. So what I want to know now is where can I place an order for any evening just like that for four weeks from now!

Getting Ready for a Wedding--Hiding an Eyesore

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        Right up next to our house on the west end is a woodpile. My husband has joked that the rest of the yard is mine, but that spot is his. The problem is that it is the first view of our house anyone coming from the west gets. And even more of a problem, that is the side of the house people will be entering from for the wedding reception. As you can see, it isn't very attractive--not exactly the first impression I want to have wedding guests have of our yard.      I have thought of moving the woodpile, but this location is the most convenient, and there really isn't anyplace else I'd rather have it. So if I can't move the eyesore, the least I can do is hide it instead.

Getting Ready for a Wedding--Rejuvenating Flowerpots

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          When my daughter told us she wanted to have her wedding reception in our yard in September, I knew there wouldn't be many of my perennial plants and bushes in bloom at that time of year. So whenever anyone asked if they could do anything to help me with the wedding, I replied, "Plant pink and coral flowers in your pots." I did the same. These pots will add much needed color to the yard for the wedding.          As you can see from this picture taken last week, the pots are looking gorgeous, which would be great if the wedding were today. But there is still a month until the wedding. By then the flowerpots could be looking straggly and spent. I decided it was time to take action to make sure that didn't happen.

Getting Ready for a Wedding--Edging for the Beds

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While the flowers in this bed look lovely, the line between the bed and the lawn isn't well defined.           In the back of our house we have three planting beds that sit several feet off the patio and create a wall between the entertaining area and the play area. When we first installed the beds, we edged them with a shallow trench. This worked well when the beds were new and the plants small. But now the beds have filled in, and the line between beds and lawn has become blurred and difficult to maintain.          We decided to edge the beds with pavers that match the patio. In addition to defining the line between bed and lawn, the pavers would act as a mowing strip, keeping the need of weed whacking at a minimum.

Getting Ready for a Wedding--New Paver Patio

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     Last spring our daughter, Madi, announced she was getting married in September. We were thrilled. Her fiancĂ© is a wonderful guy, and we know they'll make a great couple.      Madi also told us she wanted to have her wedding reception in our backyard. That was great too because it gave us a good excuse to tackle all of the projects we've been wanting to do in our yard but that got put on the back burner while we worked on other people's yards. That's what happens when you're a landscape designer.      I thought it would be fun to share on my blog the projects we work do, starting with the one we finished last week--redoing our paver patio.    

Composting in My Three Compartment Bin

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     My previous post generated the question of how to use the three compartments in the compost bin my son built for me.      I will answer that question, but first I'm going to take a moment to wax eloquent about compost in general.

Easy to Build Compost Bin

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If you're looking for a project for your garden, check out the compost bin my son built for me last summer.

Blooming Now--Ninebarks

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You may have seen these bushes flowering the past few weeks. With their round white flower clusters, it would be easy to assume these plants are related to snowball bushes, but they are not. So what are they?

Bring Something Wild to Your Landscape

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We spent last weekend in western  and northern Idaho. As we drove along the Payette River, I kept seeing bushes covered with large white flowers. They were growing everywhere--along the river, on the hillsides, even clinging to rocky cliffs. This is what I saw...     Do you know what it is?

The Great Strawberry Challenge

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Two years ago we  moved our strawberry patch. As we did so, we decided it was an ideal time to test different strawberry varieties and find the "best" one, or at least the best one for our area and our taste. I have come to refer to what followed as The Great Strawberry Challenge.

Blooming Now--Purple Leafed Flowering Plums

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    Covered in tiny light pink blossoms, purple leafed flowering plums are among the earliest flowering trees in spring.   

Time to Give Your Raspberries a Litte TLC

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Nothing says "summer" quite like the taste of fresh picked berries. Not all berries will grow well in the alkaline soil of southeast Idaho, but with a little TLC, raspberries will do very well here. And NOW is the time to give that TLC.

It's Time to Start Your Garden

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     Summer may still seem a long way off, but if you want the pleasure of harvesting fresh vegetables from your garden in summer, the time to think about planting is now. At least for some crops. These are plants that will tolerate cold temperatures, and in some cases, will even grow better if planted while the weather is still cool. These plants include: all cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, turnip, etc.) asparagus beets carrots kale lettuce onions (either seeds or sets) peas radish spinach Swiss chard If you can't get to this immediately, don't worry. Any time between now and the middle of May will be fine. After that, you can still plant these vegetables, but they may not do as well as they will if they are planted earlier.

Reason to Like The Cold Winter Weather #4

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      Everything looks beautiful covered in snow--even when that snow comes in April. 

Reason to Like the Cold Winter Weather #3

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Like spring blooming bulbs, lilac bushes require a period of cold before they will bloom. In the case of lilacs, several months of cold weather is needed. So when winter seems to hang on and hang on, think of the divine scent of lilacs.

Reason to Like the Cold Winter Weather #2

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Daffodils, tulips, and other spring bulbs require a chilling period before they will flower. So when you're feeling chilly, think of all the bright flowers we will have in a few months because of the cold temperatures.

Reason To Like the Cold Winter Weather #1

      School was canceled in my community today not because of snow, but because of cold. The temperature right as the kiddos would have been outside waiting for the bus was below -20 F. That's well below the "your breath comes out as steam" point. It's clear to the "your nostrils freeze shut when you breath in" point.      Sooooo, is there any reason to like the cold weather? (I almost wrote "to love the cold weather," but I thought that was pushing it a little.) Actually there is. So over the next few weeks I'll be giving you some of those reasons. Here is reason #1:   Cold weather kills insects. This means there will be fewer of those pests to attack our gardens and landscapes next summer. Hurray!