Solutions to a Dark Entryway: Ideas from the SF Flower Mart

Posted by: on Sep 28, 2012 in blog, Garden visits, Garden wisdom | No Comments

A new Habitat client has a dark area at the entrance of her house — there’s not enough sunlight for plants to grow, and no irrigation. But for some reason there are two planting beds. What’s a person to do?

Well, on a recent visit to the SF Flower Mart, I came across a few ideas:

One thing you can do is to fill the area with beautiful objects derived from nature. Take the “trees” above, for example. They’re self-standing, and come in a variety of unique colors.

You’ll see a few photos of bamboo sticks in the photo gallery below. They would look great in a contemporary pot like the Venetian Fiberglass Planters above. By Gainey Ceramics, the pots above come in a variety of colors to suit any home. Shop Gainey Ceramics >

Check out some other ideas, courtesy of the San Francisco Flower Mart…


Jessy-Berg-Habitat-Design This article was written by Jessy Berg, professional landscape designer & co-founder of Habitat Design. Habitat Design provides full-service online landscape design planning for small and mid-sized gardens, & an online store of unique garden & home furnishings — all at an affordable price. Jessy believes that beautiful gardens should be accessible & affordable for everyone. Check out Habitat Design >


Product News: Habitat Design Now Does Edible Landscape Designs!

Posted by: on Sep 27, 2012 in blog, Habitat Design news, Specialty gardens | No Comments

Due to popular demand, we’re excited to announce that… we now do edible landscape designs!

Edible-landscape-design-online

What is an edible landscape?

An edible garden is a beautifully landscaped garden that incorporates edible fruit and veggie plants into the overall aesthetic and style of the garden. So, that means no raised veggie boxes that distract from the rest of your yard.

How can you get an edible landscape design?

Simply go through our online landscape design dashboard to select your style and color palette as you normally would — just make sure to select Edible in the Choose Your Plants section. Easy peasy!

Play around with different garden options, and only pay at the end. Then, receive professional landscape plans and a plant list within 5 days!

Check it out! >

PS: If you have any questions about incorporating edible plants into your garden, schedule a call with co-founder Jessy Berg!

This Week in the Bay: Autumn at Filoli Festival

Posted by: on Sep 24, 2012 in blog, SF Bay Area Events | No Comments

Now that it’s officially fall (the first day was Saturday), it’s time to party at Filoli in Woodside, CA!

autumn-at-filoli-festival
Filoli garden manager Alex Fernandez with “Esopus Spitzenberg” — a tree from the orchard. Photo via sfgate.com

Taking place this Saturday the 29th, the Autumn at Filoli Festival will be featuring a pumpkin patch, docent-led hikes around the beautiful property, live music and BBQ.

Something else unique they’re offering is a tasting of one-of-a-kind apples, pears and grapes from the Gentlemen’s Orchard — which features over 760 trees and vines of heirloom fruit. As if a trip to Filoli isn’t exciting enough (you could tour the gardens and estate for days), the Festival will have something for everyone! Get tickets here >

This Week in the Bay: All About Soil & Composting

Posted by: on Sep 18, 2012 in blog, SF Bay Area Events | No Comments

Healthy soil is incredibly important to the success of a garden. To learn more about soil and composting, attend one of these two great workshops going on this Saturday…

soil-and-composting
Photo via nationalgeographic.com

1. Soil Prep for the Urban Gardener, Sept. 22 in Palo Alto: Taking place at Common Ground Garden Supply, this workshop will teach you bed preparation options for higher crop yields and soil fertility. They will look at soil reports, soil amendments, discuss cost and resource uses in establishing growing areas, and conclude with why using your native soil and double-digging is the most efficient, cost-effective solution. Get tickets here >

2. Advanced Composting: Fine Aerobic Composting, Sept. 22 in Redwood City: Alane O’Reilly Weber, who has over 40 years of experience in the Bay Area professional landscape trades, will teach a workshop on how soil biology and the more rigorous methods of batch composting can make excellent, high grade compost appropriate for use with seedlings, gardens and compost tea. It’s all taking place at Lyngso Garden Center in Redwood City. Register here >

Bonnie’s Picks: Bold Garden Accents for Fall

Posted by: on Sep 13, 2012 in blog, Bonnie's Pick | No Comments

Fall is the perfect time of the year to bring out your bold home and garden accents — or buy new! Here are some of my favorites this season:

gainey_hanging_sphere_tangello

The Hanging Sphere by Gainey Ceramics

Recently featured on Fab.com, this hanging sphere has a mid-century modern vibe that I just love! It’s made of ceramic and can be hung indoors or out. Fill with three 4″ plants and you have an instant bold accent! Plus, these make great gifts. Get yours here >

polart-outdoor-armchair
Photo via polart.com.mx

Outdoor Armchair by PolArt

I first spotted this incredible outdoor furniture (yes, these are all plastic) at the Las Vegas Gift Show and fell in love. Truly unique outdoor furniture, PolArt has a whole collection of hollow plastic outdoor chairs, tables and loungers in a variety of bright colors. Get yours here >

outdoor-pods-table-top-planter
Photo via yliving.com

PODs Table Top Planter Half Skirt

Design by Eli Alexander & Thomas Robertson, the PODs Table Top Planters add a lively accent to a desk or table top. The 7″ width holds smaller plantings like succulents, herbs and potted flowers, and its rubber feet protect display surfaces. They’re made of aluminum and have a powdercoat finish, so they’re perfect for outdoors! Get yours here >


Bonnie-Gemmell-Habitat-Design This article was written by Bonnie Gemmell, co-founder & Style Curator of Habitat Design. Habitat Design provides full-service online landscape design planning for small and mid-sized gardens, & an online store of unique garden & home furnishings — all at an affordable price. Bonnie believes that beautiful gardens should be accessible & affordable for everyone. Check out Habitat Design >


Looking to Install an Edible Garden? Let’s Weigh the Options

Posted by: on Sep 12, 2012 in blog, Garden wisdom | 2 Comments

With the ever-increasing locavore movement, edible gardens are in higher demand than ever before. If you’re ready to get started on yours, you should know that you have a few options…

Photo via Sunset.com ‘Raised Planter Design’

Your first set of options has to do with style: you can make your garden edible by including raised planters with rows of vegetable — very utilitarian (as seen above). Or, you can integrate edible plants into the overall design of your garden (below). I prefer the latter.

Photo via Sunset.com ‘Integrated Edible Design’

Now, if you plan on integrating edibles into your garden design, you have three options: 

  1. Do it yourself
  2. Use an online landscape design service
  3. Hire a designer

1. Do It Yourself
This option requires the most time, interest and ability on your part. But it’s also the least expensive option.

Photo via goodreads.com

If you’re going to DIY, I recommend purchasing a book to help you design for your edible garden.

One of my favorites is Toby Hemenway’s book, Gaia’s Garden, available at Amazon. Billed as a ‘Guide to Home Scale Permaculture,’ Toby takes you through the planting methodology for an integrated edible design. His perspective is practical — he discusses what works best from a permaculture standpoint. From there, you can create your own garden design.

2. Use an Online Landscape Design Service
This option requires much less time, ability and energy on your part to create a design. It’s middle-of-the road when it comes to pricing.

Photo via HabitatDesign.com

For only $299 and up, you can use Habitat Design to get an integrated edible design — while still being able to choose your design style and color palette.

HabitatDesign.com takes you through an online process where you choose from several design options, add in a path, lighting and more. Then landscape designer Jessy Berg will create a full landscape plan and plant list for you within 5 days! Once you receive the plan, you can choose to either install it yourself or have a contractor/gardener do the install.

3. Hire a Designer
Finally, you can hire a designer. This option is the most expensive, but also the most customized.

Photo by Rosalind Creasy

Working with an experienced edible garden designer will get you a detailed plan based on your specific preferences.

The cost is usually based on a per-hour price. Depending on the size and details of your desired garden, a plan can run upwards of $1,000 — not including the price of hiring a contractor to install. If you’re looking for the best, Rosalind Creasy of Los Altos, CA is the grande dame of edible landscape design.


Jessy-Berg-Habitat-Design This article was written by Jessy Berg, professional landscape designer & co-founder of Habitat Design. Habitat Design provides full-service online landscape design planning for small and mid-sized gardens, & an online store of unique garden & home furnishings — all at an affordable price. Jessy believes that beautiful gardens should be accessible & affordable for everyone. Check out Habitat Design >


This Week in the Bay: Two Events We Know You’ll Like

Posted by: on Sep 10, 2012 in blog, SF Bay Area Events | No Comments

We know you’ll be interested in these events because some of you who attended Sunset Celebration Weekend were asking for them! So here they are…

terrarium-workshop
Photo via ladybirdandfellow.blogspot.com

1. Succulent Terrarium Workshop with Urban Bazaar, Sept. 13 in San Francisco: Taking place at the SF Conservatory of Flowers, this workshop will teach you how to create a tiny world of succulents, moss and rocks in a glass orb or jar. Brandi, the owner of Urban Bazaar, will be sharing skills such as identifying different types of succulents, succulent care and how to use color in your terrarium. Tickets are free, but space is limited so get your ticket here >

2. Installing Flagstone Patios and Pathways, Sept. 15 in Redwood City: Tons of people were asking about our flagstone patio at Sunset Celebration Weekend, and if you’re ready to install it yourself, this is the workshop to attend! Tony Morales, president of Redwood Landscape, Inc., will guide you from the initial design process, through construction and more. Register here >

Bonnie’s Pick: The Orla Kiely line of garden tools

Posted by: on Sep 6, 2012 in blog, Bonnie's Pick, Holiday & Gifts | No Comments

Orla Kiely — London-based designer known for her retro, colorful patterns — has just expanded her line to garden tools!

orla-kiely-garden-tools

Out Sept. 15th of this year, her garden line features a trowel and garden fork (#3 above), 3 pots of different colors & sizes (1), and a thermos (2) for when you get thirsty!

What I love about her garden products are the fun (but not too distracting) patterns that would work in virtually any style garden. Plus, you can mix and match different colors and everything will still look great together.

And if you’re thinking ahead, you might purchase one or a few of her items as a gift for a garden-loving friend or loved one!

Shop Orla Kiely products here >


Bonnie-Gemmell-Habitat-Design This article was written by Bonnie Gemmell, co-founder & Style Curator of Habitat Design. Habitat Design provides full-service online landscape design planning for small and mid-sized gardens, & an online store of unique garden & home furnishings — all at an affordable price. Bonnie believes that beautiful gardens should be accessible & affordable for everyone. Check out Habitat Design >


The Best Plants to Buy in the Fall

Posted by: on Sep 5, 2012 in blog, Garden wisdom | No Comments

Fall is a great time of year to go plant shopping. There’s usually a great selection — compared to the limited plant pickings during the winter through late March.

And since not everyone knows about the benefits of fall plant shopping, you can often score some pretty great discounts.

plant-shopping-in-fall
Photo via chaletnursery.com

Plants I always keep an eye out for when shopping in the fall:

Japanese_Maple
Photo via treeplantflowerid.com

Japanese Maples: The most beautiful Japanese Maples arrive in the nurseries in October and November. They come in what’s called “B&B,” which stands for “balled and burlapped”. This means that they’ve recently been dug out of ground, and haven’t yet been put into containers.

They will often still have some leaves on them, so you can see what color you’re getting. Plus, they will on the verge of entering their dormant season — so there will be even less transplant shock.

bulbs
Photo via americasbestflowers.com

Bulbs: Fall is also the best time to buy spring bulbs. When planted in the fall, bulbs will start poking out of the ground in spring — filling your garden with color. Some of my favorites that do well in our mild winter climate are Daffodils, Alliums, Freesia and Irises.


Jessy-Berg-Habitat-Design This article was written by Jessy Berg, professional landscape designer & co-founder of Habitat Design. Habitat Design provides full-service online landscape design planning for small and mid-sized gardens, & an online store of unique garden & home furnishings — all at an affordable price. Jessy believes that beautiful gardens should be accessible & affordable for everyone. Check out Habitat Design >


This Week in the Bay: Two Organic Garden Workshops!

Posted by: on Sep 4, 2012 in blog, SF Bay Area Events | No Comments

Organic gardening is a growing trend, and one that Habitat Design supports. If you’re ready to start your organic garden (or convert your current one), there are two great workshops this week taking place in Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Organic-Vegetable-garden
Photo via tipsfororganicgardening.com

1. Start Your Fall Organic Vegetable Garden, Sept. 8 in Palo Alto: Hosted at Common Ground Garden Supply, this workshop will teach you how to plant and grow winter veggies like arugula, beets and broccoli in an organic way. Instructors Lisa Putnam and Kathleen Putnam will cover everything from sowing seeds and caring for seedlings to composting and harvest season. Get your tickets here >

2. Organic Garden Design, Sept. 8 in San Francisco: Taking place at Garden for the Environment, this is a free workshop that will teach you how to grow a healthy and beautiful garden that minimizes the impacts on the environment. Topics include: composting, selecting climate-appropriate plants, how to water without waste, non-toxic weed control and more. More info here >