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Small Stuff

»Posted on Dec 21, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Small Stuff

Probably, because I’m a Landscape Architect I get annoyed by ugly stuff in the landscape. I mean the small commonplace stuff, visually unappealing yet considered normal because it’s all around us. I’d like to think that most of us would appreciate beauty in the built environment if more of its potential could be on display. But, what about the small stuff?  Things like litter, graffiti or even ugly lawn headers that mysteriously rise out of the ground but just left year after year. But my gripe today is the attack on landscape plants at the hands of the Mow n Blow brigade.   How many shrubs and ornamental grasses are scalped each day by the fleet of power busily trimming them into tight little balls, squares, pyramids and other ridiculous forms! It doesn’t have...

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Autumn’s In The Air, Again.

»Posted on Oct 7, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Autumn’s In The Air, Again.

I love these warm, late summer days and the lengthening shadows of winter to come. I have projects on the board (because I hand draft), I’m working with great clients and the concepts we’ve developed are really exciting but I’m not writing about that. Starting in fall and into the Christmas Season I sharpen my carving knives and fashion characters from sweet potatoes at night after a day’s work in the studio. I touched on this and my book, “Twisted Taters” in an earlier blog if you’re interested. Anyway, I haven’t been near the potato bin yet but I’m posting a few of my ‘guys’ from last year and a couple cottages I carved the year before – hope you enjoy them.  ...

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What to do with what’s left over?

»Posted on Sep 24, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on What to do with what’s left over?

We have a compact back yard and in a few places, really just hot sunny slivers of dirt, there’s little room to grow anything that won’t outgrow the space quickly or just give up from the heat or lack of water. What to do with what’s left over? Well, every year we end up with more potted succulents then the year before so I snipped some offsets, dredged some river rock from the pond, added a few boulders and composed a vignette in an otherwise hot, sunny sliver of dirt. Next year I’ll pull them up roots and all (these happen to be Echiveria ‘afterglow’) cut them down to a small florette again and replant – real simple. Another example: two years ago our daughter dropped off a few Agave pups, well they happened to fit...

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One man’s garbage….

»Posted on May 10, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on One man’s garbage….

I own a small fragment of a large concrete fountain, actually three useless fragments. I picked them up years ago at Sylvestri, the statuary company down the street from the Cow Palace where Lois and I was heading one day to see the exhibits at the San Francisco Garden Show – I liked the lion’s heads cast into the pieces and Sylvestri was glad to get rid of the garbage. I epoxied the pieces and set the finished work in my backyard to be viewed as a buried “archaeological find” only partially exposed. In reality, what you see is all there is! Just a small unexpected detail which occasionally elicits a glance or comment. Didn’t cost...

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Bringing In The New Year

»Posted on Jan 28, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Bringing In The New Year

My latest “iron in the fire” aside from landscape design is the book I just published a month ago. What it is not is a book on garden design or plants or sustainability or anything like that – it’s a book on character carving! That’s right, but I’m not talking about the sitt’n on the front porch rocker whittlin a stick like a scene from Deliverance carving. I’ve done some wood carving but that includes the occasional blood letting that occurs when the pressure you exert with the blade in one hand exceeds the resistance of the wood you’re holding in the other – ouch! No, I’m talking about sweet potato carving, you know, the ones you buy at the grocery store. They’re easy to carve without the...

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Let’s Get Started #4

»Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Let’s Get Started #4

Well, it’s mid August and I feel an immeasurable weight off my shoulders. The narrow scrap of land we turned into a garden oasis has been maturing for several months now: plants are growing, the pond is clear and well stocked with butterfly koi which I purchased on E-Bay, the shade structure is built ( just in time) and the garden is weaving it’s magic as it fills in to create a botanical wonderland for our enjoyment! However, the garden will never be finished, ask any gardener, it’s more of a process then an end result. The driving force that propelled us forward in this project surfaced early during construction. I was reluctant to mention it before but I’m thinking it’s OK now. You see, shortly after we began construction late...

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