Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting to listen to Lauren :)

I had the pleasure of listening to Lauren Springer Ogden and her husband Scott Ogden speak at the Pro Green expo yesterday.  One of the things that I appreciate most about these two is the fact that they actually use PLANTS in their landscape.  Too often we are seeing a huge splurge on "outdoor living spaces" that include hardscapes without plants to soften the area up.  Now, I love some of the outdoor living spaces, and most people that know me know that I cannot wait to build our deck out in the back to be able to spend more time outdoors.  But to me, what is the point of having an outdoor space if there is nothing to look at?

Lauren and Scott (look at me, I'm using their first names!) have what I believe is a half acre in Fort Collins, Co.  When showing their slides, it looked over three acres because they have so many plants.  Their use of texture, color, new plants and old inspires me to keep doing what I am doing in my own yard, along with offering the advice to my friends to do the same.  Now, there isn't an ounce of grass (besides ornamentals) that I saw in their back yard.  Not everyone is willing to forgo grass.  However, they had plenty of gathering spaces within their yard to enjoy the sites.

Their key points were:

Putting plants first.
I explained a little about that above.  If you're going to provide an outdoor living space, provide the plants to go with it.  They said, "plants are partners in the design rather than subordinate to it". 

Gardening where you are
Plant plants that work where you are putting them!  Hot, dry areas...plant plants that will make it!  There is nothing more frustrating than to keep planting every year because you like a plant there, but it's not the right place for that particular plant.  If in doubt, ask!  It's amazing how adaptable plants are here in CO, but they aren't superhuman.  Find the plants right for the area.

Meeting climate challenges
Plant NATIVE.  We all like to try new things as gardeners, and it gives us a cheap thrill.  To have a successful garden, plant native plants that thrive with each other.  If you have a large budget, plant those new plants.  Otherwise, stick to the ones that have been around forever!

Celebrating sensuality
Plant a lot of one plant here and there.  Celebrate the light that we naturally get in Colorado in those late summers.  Have the plants play off of each other. Find plants that have , and plant them in a place that you can smell it!  Since we have cooler summers, find those plants that really show off their stuff in the late afternoons and evenings.  You will be rewarded!

Connecting with Oneself and others
Provide invitations in your garden.  Have a bench far off to invite people to go through the gardens.  Plant a large bush that people have to go beyond to see what's further in.

Provide plants that wildlife want to come to!  Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, other birds.  This is a sanctuary for not only you, but for those that are living around you.

All in all, the shop was nothing that I hadn't heard before (I have read all of their books), but it enforces what I believe in as a designer.  Plant what works, use the spaces you have wisely, and don't just plant for yourself!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where to start?

I will start with some awesome news, because I always love writing about positive things. My niece was born! Adilynne Laurel Hunter was born on January 19. She is beautiful, healthy, and quite the eater! I have had the opportunity to spend tons of time with her, and she already has me wrapped around her little finger. She has the screwing up the face in a pout before she starts crying, and I am seriously feeling for her parents. Who can resist a face like that??  I am enjoying being an aunt (again), and love having babies to hold without being the actual parent!  I even can be counted on being the diaper changer to give the parents a break! :)

I am still recovering from my surgery. All in all it was a pretty simple procedure.  I only have on owie that is healing (which is my bellybutton) because I was a candidate to do that type of laproscopic surgery.  I feel like I have this little owie and a HUGE stomach due to the fact that everything is still swollen.  The worse part of the actual aftermath of surgery was the gas pains that happen since they blow up your stomach with gas to get to all of your parts.  NOT something I would want to go through again.  I am healing.  Slowly.  Trying to take it easy because I still am getting tired by 2:00 p.m.  I've had some problems with digesting things still, which really pisses me off, but I am hoping that will get better. 

The new problem is, I have been having problems with pains in my legs, along with numbness and tingling.  I have been told time and time again that this has NOTHING to do with the surgery (which I finally believe) but am impatiently waiting to figure out what is going on with me.  I have started seeing a new chiropractor (whom I just love) and he is trying to figure it all out.  With the numbness is the fear that I might have Multiple Sclerosis and so I am having an MRI next month just to rule that out.  I am not too concerned about that. but still would like to have the test since my mom was diagnosed about this time in her life.  After seeing the chiro, I am seeing some changes (baby steps!) and am hoping I am on the road to recovery. 

I would like to feel normal again.  I would like to feel 34 rather than 70.  I cannot wait for the day that I wake up and don't have to take a pain reliever! Ha! 

I am attending the Pro Green Expo which gets me so excited to start back up at Picadilly.  We actually have a booth this year, and it's been fun hanging out with the crew again.  I have been a little disappointed in the classes this year, but I am a firm believer that if you gain ONE ounce of knowledge per day, it's a good day.  I have picked up some new things, and I am grateful for the opportunity that working at Picadilly gives me.  Tomorrow I get to hear Lauren Springer and her husband Scott do a lecture on Plant Driven Design.  I am so excited to hear what they have to say.  I hold both of them with the highest regard!  Both as designers and with their overwhelming knowledge they have of plants that work in Colorado.  Needless to say, I am way excited!

Other than these things, my life has been dull.  As I said, I'm taking it easy which is extremely hard for me.  I am usually running around the house with a million things to do, and I've been catching up on reading and movies the past couple of weeks.  It's a hard life.  ;)