Amazon's Seattle Spheres

Think about the typical office, and in your opinion, what seems to be missing? Most offices feel sterile, tense, perhaps a little cold, and definitely stifling. If you’re like a lot of people, you might even dread going to the office each day. In fact, many of us notice that our creativity plummets in the…

backyard retreat

At this time of year, as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, many of us focus on ways to bring a bit more romance into our lives. Maybe you’re planning a special date, or just wish you had a private space in which to relax on a regular basis. A soothing backyard retreat would even make a…

Focal points in a garden

You might already be familiar with the concept of focal points in visual arts, like painting, or as they are used in interior design. But you can (and should) also create focal points in your landscape design as well. Why focal points? A focal point serves two main purposes: First, to draw the eye toward…

Cloud Forest

In tropical, mountainous regions, a phenomenon called a “cloud forest” often occurs. The combination of persistent rainfall and cooling air currents deflected upward by the slopes, create a unique environment for plants. Clouds quite literally brush the mountainsides throughout the day! Cloud forests are distinguished from rainforests by their typically mountainous terrain and the fact…

glass globe in nature

In 1984, TED talks began as a way to spread innovative ideas through short, powerful lectures. Short for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, TED talks now cover every conceivable topic, and have grown in popularity and exposure thanks to online channels like YouTube. The following are some of our favorite TED talks on outdoor topics. How…

Outdoor furniture

Last week, we began this two-part blog series to discuss outdoor design trends for 2019. If you’re renovating your backyard space between now and spring, read on to continue learning about this year’s hottest ideas and looks. Modular sofas. In the past, selecting outdoor furniture always seemed to present one particular challenge: What type of…

Outdoor furniture

Yes, the new year has just begun, but barbecues and backyard hangouts with friends are just around the corner. Now is the time to renovate your outdoor space and get it ready for spring and summer. So, in this two-part blog series, let’s review some of the hottest trends that we’re expecting to see in…

sand area with fire pit

Travel is fun and rewarding, but it’s also expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy, time off of work, or budget to accommodate a trip to a far-flung location. But as the rising popularity of taking a “staycation” has taught us, taking a time-out at home can be quite restful and…

2019 color trend

For outdoor gardeners, December can be a bit of a slow time. But that also means you get a chance to plan next year’s garden more thoroughly. If you’re the type of person who likes to keep up with trends, you might be interested to know the 2019 color forecast. You will be seeing these…

Fresh lettuce growing in Raised Beds

You have probably heard about the recent alarm over e coli found in Romaine lettuce. While relatively few people got sick, in comparison to how much Romaine is sold in grocery stores, the problem is still concerning. This isn’t the first time lettuce has been contaminated with a dangerous pathogen, and it probably won’t be…

Plants in your office

Business managers often research ways to make the office more productive, and are interested in methods of improving employee health and attendance. As we have learned from experience, sometimes the most effective solutions are also the simplest ones! You might be surprised to learn that the addition of a handful of plants in your office…

winter greenhouse

The Perfect Crops for a Winter Greenhouse Fall has arrived, and winter is on the way. That means no more delicious homegrown, organic veggies, right? Not so fast! Even if you’ve cleaned and covered your garden beds for the cool months, plenty of delicious food crops can be still grown in a winter greenhouse. The…

barks and berries

Even though our winters in Southern California are not exactly bleak and barren, they can seem a little boring when compared to our colorful spring and summer seasons. Living in a mild climate might cause you to wish for a bit more of a true “winter feel” in the great outdoors. Luckily, we have plenty…

lenten roses

If you’ve ever observed lenten roses – or hellebores, as they are also called – you might have reached the conclusion that these lovely flowers are a delicate and fussy species. After all, their exotic appearance certainly gives off that impression! In reality, lenten roses are hardy (even in colder climates), easy to grow, almost…

Gardener's November checklist

Here in Southern California, we don’t experience a harsh winter, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to transition your garden into the cooler months. In fact, because our winters are so mild, now is the perfect time to try some new cooler-season plantings and to continue enjoying your garden. A gardener’s November checklist is…