Saturday, June 19, 2010

War in the Garden

That's it!! I declare war in my garden!!
While I was out of town for four days, count them FOUR days, the garden was decimated by cucumber beetles. I returned home and toured the garden - I am heartsick.
How quickly these *%$!@*& ravenous bugs can wipe out a garden!

This is not the first time that I have to do battle with these pests. I tried to be proactive this year and sprayed with a "green" pesticide spray when the little seedlings emerged. I thought I was safe - HA!!
The cucumber beetle LOVES to eat cucurbits. They are difficult to battle as they winter over in the soil. Previously I purchased beneficial nematodes and released them in the garden in my quest to be green. The nematodes supposedly eat the cucumber beetles.
Results from the nematodes - not so good!!! The cucumber beetles laugh at the nematodes.
One year I tried making traps by painting a few boards yellow and applying a sticky substance. The bugs are supposed to be attracted to the yellow and get stuck in the tanglefoot. HA!! I got a just a few in the trap and the rest merrily chomped away on my veggies.

So after much insistence by my fellow gardener, Steve, out comes the sprayer and the big guns. :(

Well, the hope is to get this under control before the plants die, if they are not dead already, or before they bloom. Can't spray when the bees are present. What a conundrum!!

I am sick about it. I WANT to be an organic gardener. What if I was a pioneer, without the local grocery down the street, and I had to depend on what I grew? Could I afford the risk of loosing my whole crop? I am not crazy about wasting all of my time preparing the ground, planting and weeding just to be foiled by the bugs.

What do you do when the bugs are winning???



See the dead little $%#*&@# cucumber beetles on the leaf

Butternut Squash




Looking healthy from a distance

Upon closer inspection you can the the beginnings of Stewart's Bacterial Wilt

See the curled and brown leaf? It's starting.

On a brighter note...happy radishes for breakfast

My Hydrangeas - love all the colors!!

Doesn't that just make you smile?
I need something to make me smile after the morning tour of the garden.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Timberframe Journal - Update

Lawry's Timberframe home is finally coming together. I know that we are close to completion when the light fixtures go in and the balance of the tile is being installed.
Hurray for Lawry!! I know that he can't wait to move in!
The project has been a true labor of love for Lawry as he has been "hands on" literally through every square inch and every phase of building his new home. He has applied the finish to the exterior siding, sanded and applied the finish to the cut beams that I wanted for window sills, applied finish to the base molding, and on, and on.
He has driven and picked up siding, tile, beams, appliances, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, finishes, etc. He has sorted and cleaned literally tons and tons of stone and I bet that Lawry dreams of rocks in his sleep.

Here is a short video showing the pools and waterfall that Lawry recently finished. He has been tweaking the waterfall to get just the right sound. I think he's got it!!

His soul is in this home and I feel it when I enter this warm, rich, inviting abode.
I thought I would share some pictures from my site visit today. Our finished project photos in the future will better convey the beauty of the spaces but here is a tickler of what's to come.

View of Dining Area fixture from 2nd Avenue and the Hammerton fixture for over the Kitchen Island.

The Hammerton center island light fixture. I love this fixture. I think it makes the space!

2nd Avenue fixtures for above the long dining table.

Fire Mountain Forge chandelier for the Great Room.
We have two of this smaller sized fixture on either end of the Great Room and one larger version of this fixture in the center of this great space - just in front of the wonderful fireplace.

We spent many, many hours searching for the right tile for the bath floors. Lawry doesn't like anything with too much pattern or movement. He likes clean, natural, real stone. Ah, a man after my own heart. :)
In the end we selected this 12"x12"quartzite tile. My tile rep. (who walks on water) had the factory sort the tile and in the end we received just the right colors. Whew. It was a long process with a happy ending.

I found this pillowed limestone, in stock, with just the right feel and tone to work with the quartzite on the floor. It feels wonderfully smooth to the touch.

As soon as the warm weather arrived, Lawry headed outside to work on the landscaping and the stonework. He is amazing! He and another person have been busy building this fire pit and laying out the stones for the patio.

Lawry is using reclaimed curbs that he found. Aren't they beautiful?
Can't you picture sitting here with your feet up by the fire, relaxing, and gazing out over the valley below?

Note the interesting stone pattern that Lawry designed radiating out from the fire pit.

Stacks of limestone, sorted by size and waiting to be incorporated into the patio and retaining walls.

More stone stacked and waiting to be installed.

How beautiful are these?? The colors are wonderful!!

Great color on the stone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NeoCon 2010 Visit

I just returned home from my ASID training in Chicago and from the subsequent two day adventure to NeoCon. I love visiting Chicago, meeting new people, seeing new and beautiful things; and then it's always good to return home.

I really enjoyed the training seminars from ASID National. Our seminar given by Jody Turner from Culture of Future on Generation G and on the new trends has given me much food for thought. Some of her material I push back on but...then that fits my Baby Boomer mentality.

Some of the information about Generation G makes me cringe (and I'm obviously not techno shy) - and then, man does it make me feel like a dinosaur. It also makes me want to know more to overcome my limiting thoughts.

She talked about being ahead of trends in her life and I could relate to that. Long, long before there was a Starbucks on every corner, I told my ex-husband we should open a coffee shop. Sometimes I just know stuff.

I hope to share more about what I learned at training in the future. Thanks to ASID National for the opportunity to learn new skills and to participate in growing our profession.

Now for a few fun things from NeoCon.

Herman Miller Eames Sofa in white leather. Very classy and comfy.

Great lamp in the Steelcase showroom.

Steelcase Mediascape Lounge. This office furniture offering is part sectional, part desk, and part entertainment center. My initial reaction was to want one for home - something to lounge around and work/watch tv/peruse the Internet - all with a large screen and all with plenty of space to accommodate multiple people working together.

My next thought was that this would be phenomenal for a college campus. Great for students to hang out, work collaboratively, and spend time together. Really, it's comfortable, roomy, and provides great sound isolation and acoustics.

Large monitor on the Steelcase Mediascape Lounge.

Table with multiple connections on the MediaScape Lounge

Me, relaxing a moment and trying out the Denizen Personal Table from Steelcase.
Perfect height for a laptop.

Great vignette in the Milliken Showroom. Love this look.

As always - Boyd Lighting is wonderful, clean, modern and classic.

I have been eyeing the yummy leather floors from Edelman Leather for years. You know how it is - know a product is beautiful and just waiting for the right space to come along where you can finally incorporate this beloved item. I am still waiting for that perfect study, lobby, or office to appear.

My Rep, Elle, (she's wonderful) was in the showroom when Steve and I stopped by. She showed us the new blue and white leathers grouped together in a wonderful display. Apparently blue and white are all the rage. :) I love blue and white!!!

Pony hide covered mirror frame. Don't you think my timber frame home client, Lawry, should have this in his home? It is terrific. Note the cowlick on the top of the frame.

I caught Steve in the mirror reflection. I'm a little mischievous sometimes. ;)

Woodland has begun offering lighting and all the fixtures are OUTSTANDING!!! They also have a striking rug line along with new painted wood artisan finishes. We spend quite awhile in the Woodland showroom taking in all the beautiful new things.

Another selling point for me is that the Woodland line (except for the rugs) is manufactured here in the US - always one of the first questions.

The Janus et Cie showroom had loads of great new furniture to see. We were especially taken with the bamboo chair pictured above.

Can I take these Foo Dogs home????

I see Feng Shui at work everywhere I go.

One of the things about Chicago that impressed me was the use of flowers and green space everywhere. There were planters with flowers overflowing on almost every street corner. The city is clean.

This brings me to one of the tidbits that I took away from an ASID training seminar this weekend - Guerrilla Gardening. Stay tuned as I learn more about this movement that started in the UK. It's gardening without boundaries and it's global and ... it makes the world a better place, one small garden at a time. I'm in - anyone care to join me????

Thanks for following my blog and I hope that you have enjoyed this quick peek at some of my finds from this year's NeoCon. More to follow....