wood chips

Yes, woodchips.  Trees give so much, hamper soil erosion, maintain soil moisture, create habitat for a variety of insects, birds, mammal, add beauty, lower energy costs.  Even when they are cut down and chipped they still are giving back.  Trees.  I heart trees, naked, full with leaves, even chipped.  The fragrant aroma of the 2 maybe 3 types of trees in this pile was a nice addition to the garden. 

For tree service and/ or for requesting woodchips contact: Trees for Life, Inc. www.treesforlifeinc.net

It benefits Earth, you and the company!


5 doable things

Media is a buzz with the word ‘sustainable’.  Simple actions on a regular basis is all it takes. 

Here is a song to inspire.  Music tunes the heart, mind and spirit…re-center, re-focus, re-mind, re-form, re-generate what was there all along.


Alexi Murdoch, Slow Revolution

5 doable things:

1.  Run errands in your neighborhood and walk as you do them.  Don’t forget to smile, to share the sidewalk, and to say hello to people you pass.

2.  Have conversations with friends to come up with new ideas.

3.  Coveting your friends kickin’ jeans, have a clothing swap cocktail hour.  They may be up for trading. 

4.  Food dying in your refrigerator?  Ask a neighbor if they’d like your carrots, give them to the guy living down the block on the corner, ask someone over for dinner, figure out a situation that works for you. 

5.  Compost food at home.  It is free, no payment for the service required.

starts: begin NOW.

ooo…there are some capital letters in the title.  See, I’m not against making a strong impression.

Starting your own starts.  Good idea, go for it, you’ve nothing to lose!  You could say the time it takes to prep the starts BUT really!  That takes less than 15 minutes (after assembling all your materials). 

What do you need?  Seeds, compost, container, water.

What to do?

I have a stack of egg cartons and I’ve used the plastic start containers before.  I, Nedra, had trouble with the plastic containers.  I found it difficult getting the starts out with the dirt intact.  But maybe that’s just me.  I’m a bit uncoordinated sometimes.  I figure the egg cartons are made from recycled paper and will mulch nicely with the starts once they are put into the ground. 

Add compost.  I used Gardner and Bloom Potting soil purchased from City Peoples.  Make a hole to nestle in your seed.  Cover with dirt.  Place in a sunny warm spot for the seed to germinate.  The seed package will tell you how long the germination process will take.  Once the seeds sprout and a ready to transplant into the soil, Go for it!!  remember to  follow directions on the seed package.  Just like people, plants are particular to what helps them to grow strong and healthy.  (We just don’t come with instructions).  So follow the given instructions!

The next time I will  use a plastic, flexible cutting board for my working area.  Easy clean up, just have to shake the board into the bag holding the compost.  I also recommend lining the top of the egg carton with wax paper.  This keeps the flat, rectangular top from absorbing the water from the egg-shaped partitions that are now holding the seeds.

I’ll see how this goes and report back in a bit.  Super-duper…let me know if you have success.

broken branch

Last nights storms pelted my window melodiously.  Walking the neighborhood today I saw a cherry blossom branch that didn’t make it through the night.  In the spirit of not letting anything go to waste, I picked it up, brought it home, put them into vases and scattered them about the house.

These blossoming trees were given to the United States in 1912 from the then mayor of Tokyo, Mayor Yukio Ozaki.  3,020 were given to represent the budding friendship between the US and Japan.  You can see varieties throughout Seattle but exploring the Japanese Gardens is a great way to see the many cultivars that exists. http://www.cityofseattle.net/parks/parkspaces/japanesegarden.htm#about

The flowering cherry tree is known as ‘Sakura‘ in Japanese.  The fruiting tree comes from some of the other 200 cultivars.  The flowering cherry tree has strong symbolism; it connotes the ephemeral nature of life.  You find the blossoms depicted in nationalistic art, poetry, music, anime, etc.  I grew up with cherry blossoms in my yard in Georgia, that memory is stimulated time and time again here during Spring.

…all from one branch came these simple cuttings of beauty.  Once the buds fall, I’m going to see if the branches will propoigate.  If so, there will be about 9 up and coming trees.


3 beds outside the door

I’m in the thick of it.  From 1 to 3 garden beds was the challenge for a client.  Here are some photos.  I don’t have a “before” shot.  There was only 1 bed (3×4), rements of ivy and yard.

The plan is to add creeping thyme between the pavers to soften the feet, look, and to not give weeds a foothold.  Cover ends with a planter box made of lathe and fill the pockets with woodchips.  Plants from the Seattle Tilth early plant sale are headed to their new home.  Yay!!!

Vamp it up!

White walls are great in a museum and can be inspiring for some people to create like Georgia O’Keeffe, she like white walls.  But for some they can seem to sterile.

To add warmth; talked with tenet to get an understanding of what she wanted to create with her space.  She wanted a place to entertain, to relax, and a place to display artisan work from her home country of Peru.

The way I accomplished this was to design a method to display different sized tapestries to hang, select colors that would connect the room to the art work, and paint the walls in a way to maintain openness and invite simultaneously.