Coming Soon: Tales from the N.W. Bloom Crew

We are super excited to share a fun little trailer we made.  Our 1st movie, about what to expect… coming soon: Video (on youtube), Newsletter (sign up here), new speaking events and employment opportunities!

Spring is Coming!

Last week mother nature decided to begin her tease into the spring season.  It was 60 degrees and sunny through out the Puget Sound and everyone had huge smiles plastered across their faces.  Of course we then promptly received several feet of snow in the mountains and the temperature down here plummeted back down with the onset of clouds and rain.  That’s how spring seems to always begin – teasing us with little touches of light and life.  The garden is beginning to poke its head out and those little glimpses of color keep us feigning for more.  Hang on – she will be here soon!

crocus

The crocus are out!

fuki blooming

The Fuki in our greenhouse and around the pond are starting their funky blooms.

rhodies

The first rhodie flowers of the season!

rhubarb

Yummy – the rhubarb is working it’s way up too.

seedlings

We have a bunch of seeds going! Kale and some other greens as well as some artichokes and rhubarb are awaiting their larger pots.

 

 

The Gift of Garden Help

1503993_10202958904641957_1558719125_n

Do you have avid gardeners in your family?  Or those who want to be but they need that extra helping hand?  

Winter may not seem like gardening time, but it is the best time for planning, preparing, and catching up on maintenance so that you can get the most out of your garden during the productive growing months.  Landscapes should be a source of joy, not stress, and we have some great options to give to people who might need an extra hand, some more color in their life, or some inspiration to help create the yard they want.

A Design Consultation: a gift that will give back for a lifetime!   We specialize in unique designs to fit whatever needs one might have and creates them in a way that is perennial, ecologically sustainable, and low maintenance.  A consultation is designed to help with whatever needs a client hour knowledgeable team can help with a vast variety of landscape  to-dos.  We can work with you to create a gift certificate specific to your loved ones and their gardening needs.  Here are a few of our ideas, and areas of expertise, and we are also more than willing to work with you to create a unique gift as well.


Consultation topics can include:

  • Landscape design, planning and coaching
  • Rainwise advice and guidance
  • Edible gardening
  • Outdoor living and entertainment space ideas
  • Farm planning and animal / forage integration
  • Problem area solutions
  • Much, much more!

Maintenance: let us do the heavy lifting!

  • Pruning, weeding, seasonal cleanup
  • mulching
  • compost tea
  • whatever is needed!

Containers: Add color where ever you are.

  • Your pots or new
  • Perennial and annual
  • Totally unique

If this sounds like something you’d like to do you can contact us at nwbloomoffice@gmail.com  or (425) 486-6902 and we can get a gift certificate sent to you in time for the holidays. 

It’s Garden Show time!

Here we are again about to plunge into the fun and chaos of the NW Flower and Garden Show!  This year we are doing something totally different and we’re gonna have a booth in the Plant Market! That’s right, we’re selling the best, tastiest and most functional plants for our Pacific NW gardens.  Be sure to stop by and visit us at Booth #2626 we will be giving away free plants – just be sure to visit a kiosk for details.

Perennial edible plants have arrived!

Also, Jessi will be teaching two seminars both followed with book signings:

  • Easy Peasy Edibles  Plant Once & Enjoy the Harvest for Years  Thurs, Feb 21 at 9:30 am/Hood Room Join landscape designer Jessi Bloom talk about her favorite low maintenance edibles for the Pacific Northwest – all perennials! Plant them once and enjoy the harvest for years to come, plus arrange them beautifully for a gorgeous edible landscape!
  • What the Cluck?! Everything You Need to Know for Chicken Gardening Sat, Feb 23 at 12:15 pm / Hood Room  Join best-selling author and designer Jessica Bloom as she helps you master the basics of how to integrate chickens into your garden, starting with chicken raising myth busters, to designing habitat for them and you to benefit from; Jessi Bloom, author of Free Range Chicken Gardens will also share her favorite top 10 chicken garden plants!”

To see our involvement at the show over the years, be sure to check out these links for photos and recaps: 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012.   Keep an eye on our facebook page if you want to follow what is happening at the show including cool finds & great garden ideas!

Day One in DC: A Hike at the Mall

The White House's Front Yard has a kitchen garden (left) and a beehive! (middle)

My first day in DC I went for an all day hike to see the sights and in search of gardens in the Mall.  I was pleasantly surprised by the food gardens in the front lawn of the White House and a nice big beehive to boot!  Next, I think the Obama’s need to get some chickens! Just think: Executive poultry– I could imagine them keeping Silkies for sure!  😉

On the left of the picture is a better view of the hive!

Throughout the Mall three is a ridiculous amount of lawn.  Almost no shrub layer, and Liriope seems to be the favorite ground cover used everywhere.  But, I was also happy to see “weeds” in the lawns throughout.

Lovely "Ecolawns" throughout the Mall in DC

Not having spent much time on the East Coast I was blown away by so much impressive masonry and intricate designs and details throughout the monuments and even in the smallest buildings.  The diverse architecture is amazing – lots of brick and stone — has a old prestigious feel.

Details on the old gate house building at one of the White House south entrances.

Loved the stonework on this little building on a busy intersection near the World War II Memorial

Much of my time was spent visiting many of the Memorials which was a very emotional and powerful experience.  I spent hours in the Holocaust Museum, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial among several others.

Abe Lincoln - 20' marble statue

A dragonfly rests on the Vietnam Veteran Memorial wall amongst reflections of the sky

The Washington Monument

Several of the “gardens”  labeled on the maps weren’t exactly gardens, but I spent all day walking around and ran out of time.  If I can I am going to try and make it back to the East side of the Mall and see the US Botanic Garden.  I also got a tip to see the Enid Haupt Garden and Ripley Garden!

Composting with Kids

We are excited to have this guest post from Stacy Tornio (www.stacygrows.com) the author of “Project Garden: A Month by Month Guide to Planting, Growing,  and Enjoying All Your Backyard Has to Offer” a fantastic new book which includes over 175 activities for the whole family to enjoy!  I’ve been enjoying it and found that there are so many fantastic and creative ideas that kids will love. Check out how to win a copy of her new book < here  >

Composting with Kids

Truth be told, I don’t exactly find composting an “easy” activity for kids. I think it can involve a lot—finding the right space, knowing what is and isn’t okay to compost and having the patience for it all to turn into soil.

Yet, I regularly teach a composting class to kids through my volunteer work as a master gardener. How come?

The thing is, kids love it. I mean, what’s more magical than throwing your garbage into a bin and then it turns into soil? So to make composting with kids easier, here are a few suggestions:

Explain what’s happening. Make sure to tell the kids what’s going on throughout this process. There are some great books out there that explain what you should and should not compost (Compost Stew is a wonderful picture book). Depending on what age of kids you’re working with, make sure they understand what’s happening.

Find a good tumbler system. Old school composting systems involve a lot of turning and mixing by hand. But if you’re composting with kids, I recommend getting a good tumbler system. They’ll like to spin it, and it speeds up the process.

Learn the difference between brown and green. If you don’t get this part right, then nothing else matters. It’s easy to come up with green matter like kitchen waste, but don’t forget to add brown matter like leaves and cardboard. The general rule of thumb is you need about 25 to 30 parts brown material to one part green. (To learn what is and isn’t okay to compost, take a look at my video.)

Designate a spot. You definitely need a spot to keep your compost pile or bin outside, but also designate a place to keep your kitchen scraps. They make some bins, complete with compostable, odor-eliminating liners that are great. If you have it out where everyone can see, you’re more likely to keep doing it.

Experiment with worms. Worms speed up the composting process, and kids love them! When I teach composting classes, we create mini environments with red wiggler worms, shredded newspaper and soil. In the gardening world, it’s called vermicomposting. Check it out!

Recycle, recycle, recycle. The bottom line is that composting is a great way to recycle. Don’t lose sight of that. Even if you’re not successful right away or it’s a lot more involved than you imagined it to be, you can still use it as a way to recycle more. It’s still a worthwhile lesson.

It’s okay to take a break. Many people stop composting in winter (if they live in a colder climate) or find that they go in spurts. This is okay! Don’t try to do too much, and take a break if you need it.

Photo highlights from the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

I have a funny thing to admit… on the opening day of the show I had to get up at 4am to get ready for a live TV interview and while I was driving to the show I got all teary because I was so happy that the show was finally starting.  I could not wait! It is such a huge highlight of my year, I tend to get overly emotional with happiness!  I love it, seeing everyone – the people are fantastic, all the hard work put into the show, the garden family reunions and new discoveries and encounters.  So much garden love.. I can hardly handle it!  I’m looking forward to next year “Garden’s Go Hollywood” theme.. the question on my mind, is *will we* or *won’t we* build a garden?! Anyhoo, onto a photo album of  some fun stuff:

When I first saw this, I immediately wanted to lounge in this garden. Little did I know there would be fantastic entertainment later on… a beautiful belly dancer performed on the last day and we were lucky to catch her performance!

[Read more…]

It’s Almost Garden Show Time!

"Beep Beep!" says the gigantic loader at the NW Flower and Garden Show during garden construction

The Saturday before the big opening of the NW Flower and Garden Show has a way of making me extremely giddy but also raising my blood pressure at the same time — this is the day that garden creators start the insane process of building a completed display garden in 3 short days.  The excitement, the fear of something going wrong or not finishing on time, is an experience that one never forgets.  It is hard work, fast, fun and builds relationships with other garden creators, suppliers and our crew always loves it.  We can’t build a show garden every year, but I can always feel the timing of it, which is bitter sweet.  During the show is actually the best time – people are so happy to be inspired and ready for spring that the air is filled with joy– and the  sweet fragrance of plants coming to life again.  My absolute favorite thing about the show is seeing people that I adore, who all work in the garden industry – designers, builders, writers, artists, educators, etc. It is like one big family reunion!

I’m very excited about this years show, I’m not building a garden, but promoting by new book with something different  and fun planned everyday! If you are around, I’d love it if you stopped by to say “Hi!”…I’ll be here:

Wed:  7am King 5 Live with Christie Johnson.. later I’ll be checking out the gardens & shops in the morning

Thursday:  9am : Tweet up! (RSVP’s full) at  10-noon: I will be doing *FREE* garden design consultations at the APLD display garden.  If you are interested, be sure to sign up at that time here: Complimentary garden consults  at 2:00: Book Signing at the Molbak’s booth #402 near the display gardens, at 6pm: GWA reception

Friday:  3:15 What the Cluck Part 1 (chicken keeping 101) in the Hood Room, with a book signing immediately following

Saturday: 9am Radio interview with Phyllis Stephens of KXLY in Spokane 10am Radio interview with Mike Darcy from KEX in Portland 1:30pm What the Cluck Part 2 (Top 10 chicken garden plants) in the Hood Room with a book signing immediately following

Sunday:1:30 Book signing at the University Bookstore booth #212

Farm Tour: Days of Snow

When nearby Seattle anxiously awaits snowfall, chances are we already have a nice blanket covering our little farm.  This year has been full of new snow adventures and I thought I’d share some pictures of what is happening here with this years massive snow dump.  Total accumulation has been approx 15″ over the past several days.

This is what our driveway looks like - notice the small tree hanging on the power lines

as you keep coming down the drive.. there is another tree that we have our eyes on. I just hope it doesn't get windy!

[Read more…]

IT HATCHED!!

December 9th, 2011 3:45pm 

Weight: 1lbs 2oz  

Height: 9″

I’m such a proud mama to announce that the stork has delivered my beautiful baby hatchling book!  It has been  incubating for quite some time now; I’ve been keeping a close eye on temperature, making sure everyone involved has handled it carefully — luckily I have had the best publisher on the planet (Timber Press) who has adopted this baby as their own and provided everything it has ever needed during its development.

I am so grateful for everyone who has had a part in its creation – from all of the wonderful chicken lovers who shared their gardens, the writers who shared valuable guidance  to the  librarian who let me return books late and everyone who tolerated my insanity during the whole period.

I look forward to sharing this baby with the rest of the world and hope it inspires chicken lovers and gardeners everywhere!