I decorated :)

Now send presents!
Strategically cropped to hide the rest of the room for ... no reason at all, it's pristine ;)

Baby it's cold outside...

We are not doing much, so more chilly photos for you. The pond is bringing all kinds of birds since there are not many fresh water sources around in these constant freezing temps. We keep the pump running and a heater coil just warm enough to keep the pond from icing over completely.

Snappin n' Chillin

Frosty is on the way and he's nippy, but leaves a nice sparkle.

Pearl Sale on now!

Click on the pretty pearls to shop!

I finally have them all listed for your perusal, all at 20% off. I concentrated on getting a few of some favorite colors in nice grades rather than many in few colors, because I love the colors! This year I should be able to acquire a more regular stock of freshwater pearls assuming they sell as well as I hope they should. Thanks to all for your patience and support!

Found, coin pearls in a nice grade, larger bright color freshwater.... sadly, there were no druzy pearls as requested. I go back in March for more!

Pearl sale!

Next weekend I plan to purchase a boatload of pearls for your beading pleasure. Big ones, little ones, bright ones, classic ones..... If you want something specific, now is the time to let me know!

I have several requests already in, feel free to let me know what you want me to hunt out. My hunt is by no means limited to pearls.

The PEARL SALE will start as soon as I can get things listed. For those of you who are already subscribed to the Vault newsletter, thanks!

If you are not subscribed to the newsletter and ever buy beads, it's a great idea that is totally worth your while to $ubscribe! So subscribe already : http://eepurl.com/b2xL

Okay Houdini, get outta this!

So the fence part is done, next up is the gate. This is not your average fence.
There is no under.

OMG, Dont' Move!

There is a giant frog above you!
This little guy (and many of his friends) like to frequent our courtyard. They have never attached themselves to our screen to watch So You Think You Can Dance before though.

Fall color in a maturing garden install.

More in the life of a landscaper. It's been very wet these days as fall is coming on strong in the Northwest.

We are back at a clients garden we installed a few years ago to add a short doggie/baby fence. All of the gardens are carefully thought out to give great color year round and plenty of interest. This garden is one of my favorites. Someday hopefully, I want as much color in my own as yet unfinished garden.
Red door, yes please!

Another great thing about this one is the sweet smell it has. There are some great Daphne bushes in full blossom that smell wonderfully sweet, as well as a Katsura tree that smells like carmelizing sugar as the leaves turn and drop for the season. This garden has year round color that just brightens up the whole area!
I would sit out on the porch with the morning paper (laptop version) and a latte. As a bonus, they have a great local coffee shop just a few blocks away. What a lovely view to enjoy.
And for the full effect, above shows the after, and below is where we started...

Completion of a Landscape Design Installation by Ginkgo Landscape Design

Thanks to all who have been following the landscape design installation. I'll update the photos of the growth progress next year when we do our spring maintenance. For the time being, here are photos of where we started, and where we ended up.

Above: This photo shows the before of the garden when it was an unused circular driveway (the following photo reveals the after shot from the same location). The garage door was on the outside of the fence line. What could be much more usable space has been reclaimed for the homeowners as a deck, pathway, several trellises and irrigated garden space. In addition they have a circular patio and raised planter and a vegetable trellis behind the garage.

A little perspective before completion:

Afters: below

for more progress photos and other landscape installation photos click here
For the time being, this garden is to be continued as this was the first stage (25% completed) in a full garden renovation. More next year ;)

Irrigation testing

Tomorrow is likely the last day for the landscape we have been installing. (We are landscape designers and installers for a living.) Today was the irrigation test. It works. We flushed out the system which results in several "fountains" about the garden before the hoses are plugged and the water is routed to the drippers (or sprayers in the veg/herb planters).It's fun to watch the water after sooo much dusty dry dirt. Of course tomorrow there will be another pile for us in the staging area. This time the final mulch application and then it's all for the clients to enjoy. And, we get a rest.

The Etsy Jewelry Sampler Team Giveaway!

I'm here to bring good news and shiny thing links. The Etsy Jewelry Sampler Team has been having monthly giveaways and you should go enter their newest one.

Happy Cloud Moments (my Etsy pal Joyce) is offering a $45 gift certificate to her store to the winner. So, you like Swarovski Crystals, sterling silver, cute little stars and beachy fresh themes and sparkling bridal jewelry right? I love the stars!!!

Here is here shop, I know I could spend $45 dollars there.... for free.

And if you are impatient like me, just buy something cause soon the holidays will be here. I have one of those star necklaces and they are adorable for a great price too!

Grading, and a before and after shot

It's coming on the fun part. The part when all the structures come together and start looking like a well thought out plan. The ginormous (not really as big as we can get) dirt pile is slowly being placed in specific locations to get the grade just right for plants. Ultimately, the semicircle that you see in the far left center of the following photo will be a large circular patio for entertaining with a pathway up to the herb planters.
Another view with the pear tree on the left. Facing the new entertaining deck from the raised garden planters and circular patio.

This is where we began....

This is where we are as of today. Way better than the asphalt that it was not too long ago. The birds and squirrels adore the chestnut tree, and the pear tree.

Another before....
After below : We didn't remove the tree, no worries. That is an ancient stump that will remain in the garden, surrounded by awesome plants :)

There is still more dirt to move and grading to be done, but next week should become quite colorful. Keep watching!

Welcome home clients...

As the landscape installs go along plenty of things get unloaded into the "staging area". The most impressive of them is always the soil pile. If only I had RC toy trucks!

Garden walk by Ginkgo

(We have a landscape design/build, the following are photos from the current client design in progress. It's not at our house... yet :)

And there you have it! Actually, the real garden walk will be a planned serpentine path on the west side of the house that meanders thru the plantings. Consider this a preview. The grade was set and edged and thick paver bricks were placed on top. (Not as easy as it sounds).

There is a graceful curve in the slope that leads the eye, and feet from the garage, to the entry arbor along the fence and down to the deck. Just to the right of the garage door is the can storage for recycle and trash. All designed in with the plan because no one really want's to see those pretty cans. They are accessible from the driveway side, but the "screening" is low enough that the clients can toss things in the bins from the inside of the fence. The edge of the walkway is defined with a paver border and several bricks were painstakingly (it's loud too) cut to fit the pathway. Then we smashed them down (compacted, again with the loud) filled in all the gaps with a special bonding sand, compacted again, filled again, compacted again and filled for a final time. Then we got everything cleaned up before setting the sand with water and proceded to jump over the path to let the glues set.I have one of these paths on order for my house. :)
Next up are prep for irrigation, and a whole lotta dirt... soil, we say. Then PLANTS, the real stars of the show.

And the Winner is:

Congratulations! She sells jewelry on Etsy (as I suspect many of the entrants do, just a hunch) and has included "a big note of THANK YOU to LiciaBeads Vault! I can't wait to create jewelry with your wonderful beads!"

Thanks to everyone who entered! There are a lot of new newsletter subscribers and that makes me very happy and I will make it worth your while with great things to come! I'm working on thinking up a special event for my subscribers before the holiday season gets into full swing.

Expect more giveaways too!

In the meantime, feel free to continue to let me know what you would like to see and what kind of "events" you would like as gemstone supply buyers. I am working on selling enough to enable me to get plenty of great things at the November show. I will be needing more Pearls, they are at the top of my list. Feel free to let me know what colors you want! We can go mad with pearls :)

Many thanks to everyone for their interest and support! Without it...much less sparkle.
Keep sparkling!

292 entries!

There were 292 entries in the $50 gift certificate drawing. The entries with their time stamps were placed in a basked and I had a family member draw the winner.

The winner is being notified.

Thank you to everyone who participated! I appreciate your input and information and we will do this again! In the mean time, feel free to follow, subscribe (linked at right), or buy stuff.

The entries for the LiciaBeads drawing on the Jewelry Sampler team blog is still going on.

Do not step, walkway in progress

More progress photos from the current installation for our clients. Even more photos and info at the Ginkgo Landscape Design website here.

Someone has been walking on my sand! It's okay, friends come along as they are interested as well. In fact, it's kind of fun to check out who it may have been. We know there is a local black kitty who likes to check in from time to time. I appreciate the kitty breaks too.

This evidence was left by raccoons. They stepped in several of our other sand piles too. I think it's cute.
So we have gotten the actual path done, but are working on the landing and small area that steps down to the basement. Now, this is unfinished, so keep that in mind. It still needs a final machine compaction and some polymer sand to fill the gaps and set everything in place. In the mean time no one is allowed to walk on it. Okay, we walk on it with flat feet a special way (which kinda looks odd). High heels would make a mess of it though, tapdancing would not be good.In the mean time, here is another bit of the puzzle that has been completed. It's a little vine arbor for the veggie garden. Again, post on pipe set with a notched trellis that matches the rest of the garden. This one has stainless tension wires running thru the posts for whatever climbing goodies want to ramble up. We expect to complete the pathway on Monday (weather permitting). Then it's on to more dirt! Then plants, irrigation and top dressing... :)

A stroll along the garden path

It's important when building a garden path that it is done well, and built to last. Monday was spent digging (again) and getting the grade and slope of the land just right to apply lotsarock. Layers of rock were compacted over several hours with a machine compacter while adding a little here, taking away a little there, till it was just right.
Just right is not something that is easily acquired with just the rock alone. It basically takes all day to get the levels just right so that when you step onto the path from any transition surface, it is the right height, level, slope etc. Doing this under the worlds messiest tree is not recommended. The grand Chestnut tree is beginning to feel the effects of Autumn. I feel the effects of the tree in the form of large prickly balls of nuts (nutsacks?) occasionally hurtled toward my back at high rates of speed while hunched over the pathway perfecting the details. So once everything is in the proper location according to the plan we lay in the manufacturer recommended edging and got a load of sand. That is what we will be doing today. We are laying thick patio paver bricks over precicely placed and leveled sand (using our secret method).

Anyway, thanks for following along, it's looking great! There will be more photos later :)