Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blossoms and Shadows

I took this photograph early one morning last week, just before we had a snow storm. Of course that snow was short lived; it’s just been too warm and windy for any moisture to hang around for long. Speaking of wind, I’ve had a tough time taking many successful photos this spring. I’m determined to upgrade my digital camera this year and am considering the new Nikon D60. Has anyone tried this out yet, or had experience with other mid-range Nikon digitals?

Yesterday I was at Colorado State University to team teach a class on sales techniques for landscape designers. The class was part of a course called “Professional Practices” that was developed by the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado in conjunction with the CSU faculty. The goal of the class series, which is taught by working landscape professionals, is to give students in the landscape design and construction program a “real life” look at the realities of business in their chosen profession. I love visiting with the students there---it always amazes and impresses me to see how much the program has improved since I was a student there (class of 1980!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Impressions

First Impressions is the title of a new class that I’m presenting this week on Thursday, April 17th. The presentation will guide you through landscape solutions for developing basic curb appeal (i.e. I’m putting my house on the market, now what?) to creating the perfect setting for your dream home. Many of my recommendations are simple and inexpensive; others will require more of an investment in thought, money, and care. So if you are ready to take your front yard from “ow” to “WOW,” then join me at Echter’s Garden Center at 6:00pm on Thursday. It’s free!

Crazy Crow

Can you see the crow perched in the top of the spruce (Picea pungens) tree? That crazy crow has spent the last three days sitting up there cawing his head off! As soon as another crow comes along he swoops down, chases it away then promptly returns to sit. And caw. Now, I know nothing about crow behavior or crow society, so I wonder: Is this crow protecting a former or choosing a new nest site? Is this crow calling for an old mate or looking for a new one? Is he claiming an entire territory visible from the tallest tree around? Whatever the problem is, I hope it gets resolved soon. CAW!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

This Bud's for You

I wanted to show a whole collection of shrubs and trees ready to burst into bloom, but my little digital point-and-shoot camera just isn’t up to the task. So…enjoy this portrait of Mahonia repens (creeping Oregon grape holly). It will soon to burst into bright yellow flowers.

Spring seems to be lagging behind this year. At first I thought it was just psychological---the early switch to Daylight Savings Time was tricking me into thinking it was later in the season than it actually is. However, plants that are reliable March bloomers in my yard, like my apricot tree and cameo quince, are just now in bud and may take another week to actually bloom. So what gives? The winter weather was not unusual, and the spring weather seems pretty “normal” too.

Ah, the mysteries of mother nature.