LaDew Topiary Gardens

Photo of building at LaDew
The Cafe and Studio at LaDew, seen from the Cutting Garden.

I’m so glad I finally made it to LaDew Gardens. I’m seeing so many new things this summer. This building is now the little cafe and artist studio area. Highlights of the garden are, of course, the topiaries, but also a wonderful butterfly pavilion and so many different garden rooms. The house tour was also so interesting, thanks to their great volunteers. Definitely a trip worth making.

Finally Made it to Bloedel Reserve

I finally made it to the Bloedel Reserve. We had a wonderful time walking the paths and enjoying the quiet. There are no signs or plant labels to read- one simply wanders through. It was a truly relaxing experience and I would gladly go back. Anyone who lives locally can buy an annual pass and walk the grounds as a regular activity. Delightful.

Artificial Turf is Perfect for an Urbanscape

We were in the Shaw neighborhood a couple days ago where I saw this wonderful streetscape. The new artificial turf products are fantastic! I love the green stripes. I’d enjoy seeing this on my daily walk or from my apartment window. We’re starting to see some progressive clients using this turf in their residential projects now. Don’t knock it until you’ve seen it and touched it! (I personally still have about 300 square feet of lawn that I love to mow.)

American Wisteria is the Best Choice

Photo of Wisteria frutescens
American Wisteria won’t pull your porch down.

We planted this Wisteria frutescens at the corner of my neighbor’s porch about 5 years ago. It is such a gorgeous and reliable bloomer. If the idea of Wisteria makes you nervous, just be sure to select the American variety. It doesn’t get nearly as big as the Asian varieties and won’t end up pulling down your structures over time.

I Heart Plastic Adirondack Chairs

Photo of plastic adirondack chairs

You know all those charming photos of colorful outdoor furniture you see in garden magazines? The French bistro chairs or the hand-crafted, marine-grade-painted wood benches from New England? Well, these aren’t them. These are the molded plastic Adirondack chairs you see in the grocery and hardware stores, and you know what? I love them! They are ridiculously comfortable, made in the U.S.A.,  and the epitome of “cheap and cheerful.” Don’t knock ’em till you’ve tried ’em. And now I must create a new Tag for “plastic furniture.”

APLD Design Magazine

APLD logoAs a member of APLD, I enjoy a lot of benefits. One of the best is their magazine, the designer, which I’m sharing with you here. I feel confident that everything in this magazine has been through “extreme vetting”! The products are real solutions and the practitioners are real people who know what they’re talking about. One thing this issue confirmed for me is that I really want to visit Austin, TX!

Have fun browsing!

Planting Time!


Yes, this is the perfect time to plant. The weather is mild, you don’t need to break the bank with the water bill, and plants get a chance to winter over before bursting back to life in the spring. Head to the garden center to find your inspiration!

Outdoor Lighting

Here’s a great article from Houzz on outdoor lighting…

The Land of Morning Calm

Photo of Korean Garden
The Garden of Morning Calm, Republic of S. Korea, July 2016 (M. Robinson)

We’ve had a wonderful summer in Asia, enjoying all the sights and sounds. This beautiful garden was a real highlight of our trip. It has multiple, themed garden areas, all wonderful, but this one was my favorite.

Tropical DC

photo of orchids

Need a dose of the tropics? Head over to the US Botanical Garden! I just went for the first time in several years to catch the end of the Christmas displays. It’s a great place to warm up and dream of spring.