Inviting Birds into the Garden

The sounds of birds and the buzzing of insects in springtime is a reminder for me that our homestead supports more than just our own sustenance. Here are some tips on making sure your garden offers an open invitation for birds. Give Them Water. Birds need a place to stop for a drink or a… Read more »

Our Homestead Plan

We moved into our homestead back in 2006 when it was just a blank canvas of lawn, with a couple old rose bushes here and there. After six years of major landscape changes, it’s about time I got around to making a decent planting plan of the homestead. I used AutoCAD to create the above… Read more »

Rediscovering Spring

What is springtime through the senses of a newborn? Juniper is a tender two weeks old, so I’m guessing most of it is lost on her. She’s focused on discovering the taste of milk, the smell of momma, the feeling of daddy’s freshly shaven cheek. Nevertheless, spring is sprung and I have been introducing her… Read more »

Portland Prospects

Although I am in the midst of writing my thesis, I am already looking ahead toward June when I get to walk across that stage and accept my masters degree in landscape architecture. Focusing on graduating is helping my motivation stay strong amongst the many distractions around me – namely the baby kicking my rib… Read more »

Get Busy!

The growing season is not too far around the corner! Witch hazel is already blooming and my flowering quince buds are days away from opening. If we can get a handle on some garden chores now, we’ll be in good shape to maximize the harvest from our homesteads this year. When it comes to growing… Read more »

Risky Business: Exotic Edible Plants

January is the time when nursery catalogs pour through our mail slots and cold evenings are spent carefully deciding what new trees, shrubs and vines to add to the homestead. There is an on-going debate between permaculture advocates and native plant experts on which plant species should be planted and which ones are dangerous. David… Read more »

Fall Studio Wrap Up

I finished my LAST design studio of my grad program a couple weeks ago. Woohoo! Only a couple classes and my thesis stand in the way between me and graduation this June. We had a hypothetical project this past term involving high-speed rail. I worked with a great team of other landscape architecture grad students… Read more »

Problem Solver: Strawberry Tree

In late fall and winter, you may start to notice a lack of anything looking alive in your landscape. The trees lose their leaves and there’s nothing left behind but a skeleton of plantings. That is when you know you need more “evergreen structure” – something to give life to your garden year round. Here… Read more »

Raking Is Not Homework

“I can resist anything but temptation.” -Oscar Wilde This became the theme of my weekend, for better or worse. I tried hard to sit at my desk focusing on homework while Jay worked on tidying up the backyard. Have you ever seen those old psychology experiments that tested the ability of little kids to resist… Read more »

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