Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 Symphony Designer House XXII

I had a wonderful time at The Symphony House this week!  We are inviting all to come out and experience this fabulous experience!  This yearly project has always had a special place in our hearts and this year will be bigger and better than ever! The official website can be viewed here
This event is open to the public. The schedule for 2013 is as follows:
April 19th thru May 12th, 2013 - Open to the public. I designed part of the back patio area. My team and I designed and installed an elaborate hard scape that includes a suspended dining table with a combination including a contemporary flair and a Mediterranean Napa Valley design. Come on out and enjoy this beautiful home!

Susan Marsh

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Filling in the Gaps

The term “flowerbed is a little misleading.  You don’t want your “beds of flowers” to be snoozers or wallflowers, but to show a little curb appeal instead!  Colorful annuals can immediately change your flowerbed’s whole attitude by creating alluring displays of color and beauty.  If you are looking for those annuals (plants that bloom and seed in one season) that will continue to flirt all summer in the Southern heat then I have the perfect matches for you- these are also the annuals I grow in my own garden at La Casa de Olsen.

Oktoberfest Confetti Garden Mixture
Honey Bee Mine Petunia
Million Bells Petunia (Calibrachoa)
Peach Frost Fusion Impatiens
Infrared Apricot Fusion  Impatiens
Luscious Citrus Lantana
Giant Pink Supertunia
Bubblegum Supertunia
Purple Wondering Jew
Under the Sea Coleus Collection
Vancouver Centennial
Indian Tunes
Fan Flower

The Pear Essentials

Who knew pears could satisfy more than our sense of taste. Not only are pears great when you need a sweet treat or delectable recipe ingredient,  but they are also eye candy making beautiful and elegant fresh d├ęcor for your home, wedding or special event. Here are some easy ideas to create the perfect spring and summer decor for any gathering. 

Stack-able Pear Arrangement:

Take a 1 inch x 6 inch board (any length) and paint it a nice green color.  Then drill and secure several metal rods into the board about 12 inches tall or a little shorter at a random pattern.   All you have to do now is just slide fresh pears onto the rods.   I also like to use sheet moss to hide and camouflage the painted board for a softer look.  Don't forget to scatter a few pears on the table itself.

For that perfect kitchen accessory just take a real or artificial pear and dip half of each fruit into a bowl full of acrylic paint.  Choose any color that you like.  Let dry and then fill a bowl full of these colorful wonders.  Even a painted pear placed in a bird's next makes for an eye catching display.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Plants that Like it Hot..

With the summer heat in Arkansas so many plants begin to suffer and some even burn out by August.  So, if you are looking for plants that thrive in our tropical heat then, I have several new and exciting varieties that will last from April until the end of November depending on our first frost.  That's right.... 8 monthsWOW!!!
Here are some of my favorites that you can find at Botanica Gardens in Little Rock or some but not all at other garden centers.
*Clerodendrum-Blue Butterfly Wings
*White and Purple Duranta (Great flowering shrub)
*Bromeliad Imperial (Silver Sword Bromeliad)
*Cat Whiskers
*Cissus Discolor
*Trailing Maidenhair Fern
*Alocasia Boa
*Alocasis Stingray
*Red Sister Cordyline
*Crocodile Fern
Plant these great and wonderful plants and you will have a beautiful landscape for months to come.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Space Savers

You can bring spring indoors by reusing old spice bottles, tomato sauce jars, and for that matter any type of clean recycled jar.  I prefer to leave the labels in tack.   Now simply go out into your yard and cut an assortment of spring flowers and even foliage plants.  If you don"t have a big selection of plants in your yard, then go to your local florist and chose flowers that look as though grandma picked them from her garden. An assortment of sweet peas, forsythia, quince, tulips, daffodils, etc. will do the trick.
Just mix-n-match the different varieties of flowers in the different size jars and arranged with the tallest glass jars in the back and the shortest ones toward the front.  Your space will dictate how many jars and bottles to use. 
Just one reused jar with fresh flowers also makes for a perfect gift.  This is what I bring when I go to a dinner party instead of a bottle of wine.

Flowering Tree with Spring Pizazz

This is the time of year that I just love! Everything starts to spring forth with wonderful flowers and lush foliage.  If you are considering replacing some of your damaged trees from this past winter,  here are a few of my favorites.  The ultimate spring bloomer is the Yoshino Cherry tree.  I can't say enough about this tree.  It grows about 40 feet tall and nice and wide.   Unlike a Bradford Pear tree, this tree blooms along the stems and looks more oriental in shape.  It is so graceful when covered in pale pink flowers.  Plus, since the wood is strong, there is less of a chance for winter damage.  Then you may want to grow the Forest Redbud tree.  Unlike the native redbud, this variety blooms very dark purple flowers and it also has burgundy foliage. You get a two for one with this beauty!  Last,  plant a Jane Tulip Magnolia.  This tree is usually multi-trunk and is covered in purple tulip shape flowers instead of the common pale pink.  Plant one or all three of these trees for a spring  season that is so colorful each and every year to come.