Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Modern Landscape - Summer 2011 Progress

For almost every weekend since winter has past, we've been working hard to finish selecting plants for the enclosed concrete landscape beds along the front of our house.  Before we begin, have a look at where we started with beige 80's mania.  Lately, everything has started to fill in nicely, we are sitting back enjoying our new view(s) so it's time to share our progress.  On the left side approaching our house we have two tiered beds, and along the front we have one really long bed that gets varying levels of sun and shade which has made our plant selection tricky.

On the far left we have a full sun perennial garden and closer up the higher bed is half sun (angularly) and half shade.  We've always done well with a couple of annuals, the rest are perennials.   This bed is in almost full summer bloom and adds a nice splash of color against the front of the house.  
A close up of the mixed color.  Echinacea flowers in the rear add a natural screen wall to the far side of our house.  Up front are some summer phlox, veronica candles, different echinacea, and balloon flowers.  Behind the tall echinacea, we have our herb garden. 

Over in front of the concrete porch we poured a few years ago and adjacent to the newer walkway slabs we poured last spring is our other full sun perennial garden.  We've tried to mix a lot of color throughout the seasons to contrast against the gray color of the house.  Next year, this bed should be a slow fireworks display of color. 

On the other side of this bed is a totally different color array of flowers.  The long planting bed is made up of three different sections predicated on the quantity of sun each area receives.  We've tried to stick to only flowering perennial plants in this section. 

Looking straight at the full sun bed, there's a mix of agastache, echinacea, geranium, salvia, liatris, & shasta daisies. We are planning to add   allium bulbs to have some early spring blooms.

The middle section is full shade due to our thriving Magnolia tree. We've kept is simple here with impatients and some spiderwort clusters. Over time the spiderwort will take over a majority of this area hopefully.  It's a finicky plant, only blooms once a day in the morning for a short period.

On the far side is our almost full shade garden. Last year we had planted 5 azaleas to anchor this bed. Unfortunately, due to an accident by our roofers we lost two of them. We moved the remaining plants spacing the 3 survivors evenly and added some columbine, astilbe, and irish moss along the back side. The astilbe and columbine are spring bloomers and looked great when they were in bloom.

Walking pack along the paver path to the front door we added phlox down the entire length of the bed, previously we had only done half the length.  It now anchors the whole bed and is slowly growing over the edge of the wall.  This also flowers in early spring before almost anything else.  Behind the phlox is a row of shasta daisies.  

From our front door looking straight on the walkway.  We've prescribed to mostly geometric, linear arrangements, this bed is the anomaly, but it's a good thing.  We scored the large planter shortly after moving in the house at a DWR warehouse sale and have it stuffed full of cascading flowers.

Trying to catch a little color in front of the dark gray.  All this is the culmination of several years of work, we are glad to be at a point of completion.  You'll have to forgive all the kid toys in the photos, this is the way we roll most of the time with two young kids you have to keep it real.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thrift Store Scores - Misc. Recent Finds

Lately, I've been hitting up thrift stores more than working on our house.  In all honesty we've been working our asses off on the landscape every chance the sun comes out, more on our progress soon.  It's been hit and miss around the thrifting scene lately, giving cause to pull out the modern eagle eye and search the filled aisles of shelves that most thrift stores have.  Here's what I've scored lately:

Just the other day I scored this wood Roadrunner.  Searching Google I found a few similar ones floating around but nothing exactly like this one.  It's unmarked yet totally has a Danish look, looks like we're going to start collecting more birds.

Hiding under a few things Wendy found this little Jere-esque copper / metal flying bug.  It's really small but totally reminds me of Curtis Jere's work.  The body is an old thick nail with wire legs and copper wings.  It had a single antennae that has since fallen off with the slightest touch, you can see where it originally had two. 

A Danish candlestick is always a MCM household staple for generally any flat surface whether it be a mantle or credenza.  I usually prefer these in pairs but couldn't pass on the profile of this one.  It's made by a company called PEET with purpleheart wood, the tapered part is about 1/4" thick, probably wasn't easy to turn this wood so thin, but it's rock solid.

If you scroll back a few posts, you can see we've been on an Art Glass search and acquire mission. Not only does this piece weigh about 5 lbs, but has a nice cone profile on the inside void creating a cool atomic profile.  It has a sticker on the bottom 'Made in Czechoslavakia' but I know nothing more about it other than we like it.

Last but not least, is this metal bird, I wasn't kidding about collecting birds, eh?  It instantly reminded me of a Cardinal with the Eames bird kinda look.  It doesn't fit with our wooden bird original scheme, since it's just our 3rd bird, we'll let it hang around until the next score.

Another shot from above of all the latest additions to our collection.