Tuesday, September 27, 2011

new work - el segundo progress

our new project in el segundo is getting so close!!  i'm going to be there tomorrow and i'll take photos of the pergola and plantings to share with you.  now we just need to furnish, add cushions and accessories and finishing touches.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

studio shots

A little looksy at what is going on in the studio today.  Rocking flowers by none other than Conceptual Nature.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

new work - el segundo

remember my recent post on urbanite?

we are having way too much fun at our current project in el segundo removing an old driveway and transforming it into a dynamic outdoor living space!  i'll share more progress photos this week so stay tuned...

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Passion for Perfume

Over the past few months Vanessa & I have been daydreaming nonstop about the art of fragrance.   So two weeks ago we took the plunge and met up with the lovely and talented Sarah Horowitz of Sarah Horowitz Parfums.  Sarah taught us the ins and outs of perfumery during one of her inspirational classes.  Afterwards we packed our bags full of luxurious treasures and headed into our studio.  I have been hard at work mixing fragrance oils and testing ideas.  Looking forward to the day we get to introduce some of our new creations to you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

dark fridays - agonis flexuosa 'jervis bay afterdark'

It's Friday People!  and why am I still working at this hour?  Because I'm dedicated, that's why... and a glass of cabernet really helps too.

I just couldn't leave you for the weekend without giving you a taste of the dark friday du jour.   Today is a real treat.  If you like it dark, this tree will bring you to your knees... Agonis Flexuosa 'Jervis Bay Afterdark'

And afterdark it is.  So deep rich purple that it could be black.  You'll notice that the new growth has a lighter burgundy tint to it.  This is an excellent mid-sized tree to use in a drought tolerant garden.  Since the long fine leaves are so textural, I like to pair this with sculptural agaves and succulents.  One more thing, the leaves have a lovely peppermint scent when you crush them!  

I've used agonis in pots and in the ground and it is always a beauty.  It makes a great foliage to use in floral arrangements too!

Now go have a great weekend, I'm off to fill up my glass...
Latin Name: Agonis Flexuosa 'Jervis Bay Afterdark"
Common Name: After Dark Peppermint Tree

Category:  Tree
Zones:  15-17, 20-24 for info on climate zones go here 
Exposure: Full sun
Water: low water needs
Size: 15-25' tall, 10-15' wide
Flower: White, Spring-Summer
Growth: Slow growing

Specs from Sunset Western Garden Book

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

birds and the bees

Butterflies go totally crazy over butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) as proven while out plant shopping the other day.  We saved these two love birds from the middle of the road from death by golf cart as they were too drunk off of milkweed to go get a room...

Friday, August 12, 2011

dark fridays - cosmos 'chocolate'

Happy Friday everyone.  Vanessa here... and I have a deep dark confession today.  I'm a landscape designer, but I never really liked "flowers." 

I know, I know... how can I design gardens and have a flower shop and not like flowers?!  Well before I get tarred and petaled, let me explain that when I said that, I meant that I don't like landscapes that depend on flowers.  A flowery rose garden with annuals upon annuals is just not my cup of tea.  I typically leave that type of planting to pots which can be changed out seasonally.  I prefer a garden full of colorful and interesting foliage.  Something structured that is going to provide year long interest.  I love playing with texture and I feel that is best expressed through shrubs, leafy perennials, and succulents!  Flowers can then be an accent, an almost seasonal surprise that can come and go but the garden is not dependent on them...
I have to say that since Stephanie has started the floral design arm of Foundation design, I have warmed up to all kinds of flowers and I definitely use them more in our garden designs as well.  I have a select palate of what I consider flowery perennials and one of my favorites is the Chocolate Cosmos (you had me at "chocolate"... ).

Chocolate Cosmos is an excellent garden perennial blooming in the late summer and fall (right now) with deep reddish brown 2-inch wide flowers.  It looks great in a wild garden such as this one below.  The best part?  The flowers even have a perfume of chocolate or vanilla!  Love at first sniff.

Stephanie uses Chocolate Cosmos in many of her Flower arrangements when she needs a little dark kick or contrast.  Gorgeous right?

Latin Name: Cosmos astrosanguineus
Common Name: "Chocolate Cosmos"

Category:  Perennial in Milder Climates, Annual in Cold
Zones:  4-9, 14-24 for info on climate zones go here 
Exposure: Cool sun
Water: moderate water needs
Size: 2-2 1/2' tall, 1 1/2' wide
Flower: Burgundy Late Summer-Early Fall Bloom
Growth: Perennial from tuberous roots, self sows freely

Specs from Sunset Western Garden Book