Gardening Tips and Tricks for this Spring

Whether you’re starting a new garden or returning to a well-established one, planning is essential for a successful and fun experience. To give your garden the best chance to thrive, take time to get organized at the beginning of your growing season. Here are a few tips for growing a healthy, bountiful garden this spring!

Pay attention to sunlight. What direction does your garden face? In the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing yards and balconies get the most light, while north-facing gardens will almost always be shaded by comparison. Take a look, too, for buildings, trees and other structures that could block light by creating shadows. You may want to locate your vegetable garden in the sunniest spot, even if that’s your front yard.

Choose the right crops for the right place. If you can’t move your garden, work with what you have and choose your crops accordingly. Most salad greens, like spinach and lettuce, will grow happily in partial shade but can really suffer under hot sun. Good soil can help compensate for a less than perfectly located garden.

Take your lifestyle into consideration. If you like to travel, have a busy schedule without much free time or are planning home renovations in the next year, consider adding a smaller, less permanent container garden. An irrigation system with timers is a worthwhile investment if you don’t think you’ll be able to water your garden regularly.

Choose what to plant. Once you have a sense of your goals and capacity, it’s time to choose your plants. Keep your plan simple. Allocate a space for each of your crops, taking into consideration that some plants, like salad greens, need very little room, while others, like pumpkins, can get enormous. If you’re growing in raised beds, consider dividing each bed into tidy sections using string and nails, a method known as square-foot gardening. This technique is especially helpful with salad greens, which do best when planted in small amounts every week or two.

Keep in mind that it’s best to avoid planting the same crop (or a close relative) in the same place year after year. Rotating crops helps prevent soil-borne plant diseases and nutrient deficiencies.

It’s all too easy to get excited about a garden early in the year, only to abandon it weeks later when the work becomes overwhelming. By doing some advance planning, you’ll give your garden the best opportunity to thrive!

WRITTEN IN COLLABORATION WITH REBECCA CUTTLER AND HOUZZ.COM

The HeART of the Home – Cabinets by Trivonna

Cabinets by Trivonna of Olympia pride themselves on a design experience that is uniquely customized to their individual client’s dreams and wishes.

Trivonna Cabinets brings to life an artful design plan built around their customer’s need and budget. We’ve all discovered that the ‘heart of the home’ isn’t just for the cook anymore. “The kitchen has become a gathering place meant for entertaining guests and gathering family alike, states Jody. Our clients enjoy artful and thoughtful design built around our client’s specific and functional needs for their space.”

“The kitchen has become a gathering place meant for entertaining guests and gathering family alike,” states Trivonna. Navigating the myriad of decisions on textiles and design options can be daunting. Trivonna has created a design studio offering a nurturing environment that helps clients realize their best kitchen design.


Many of us have already discovered our kitchens to be the center of the home in more ways than one. Often our kitchen plays host not only to baking and cooking, but to child and adult art, science and sewing projects, and even Dad’s auto repair, fishing and tackle shop.


Whatever your kitchen design dream, creating a work of art and functional space built for you and your family is what Cabinets by Trivonna does beautifully. Be sure to visit their creative space and showroom in Olympia and realize your dream kitchen fulfilled soon. DANA PETHIA


For Additional Information
cabinetsbytrivonna.com

Point Ruston Stylish Condo Virtually Designed

William Flanagan Pash-Uhn Photography

Condo owners at Point Ruston asked Alinda Morris Design to take on the challenge of designing and installing their dream house in time for them to enjoy the sun in their new home.  “This was such an exciting project,” said Morris. “We are all about creating stylish, eclectic yet clean-line spaces for our clients.”

The project began with several conceptual furniture plan options. Once a finalized layout was created, several design boards with furniture selections and lighting options were offered to the client. Alinda Morris Design provided the condo with furnishings, artwork, window treatments, and updated lighting fixtures.​

“When working to personalize new construction, we combine styles and periods through a wide variety of items to achieve a curated look,” Morris explained. The design team added small details to the home as well as larger pieces to create a luxurious yet comfortable feel. “We wanted our clients to feel like they are on vacation all the time but we did not want anything in the space to feel formal or precious,” Morris said.​

The house showcased a simple color palette with accent colors and patterns layered throughout to add interest to various rooms. Morris’s team knew that art, accessories, and interior styling were very important to their clients, so they selected custom artwork focusing on the theme of travel from artists they love. The completed space is cozy, sophisticated, and still great for an energetic family.

“Not only is our home stunning,” the owners said, “the whole process was also completely painless and was done 100% virtually. I could have as much or as little input as I wanted. When we arrived at our home everything was complete and perfect.”

It’s noteworthy how seamless this project was as all the work on this project “was done 100% remotely,” said Morris.  The homeowners actually live in Chicago and desired a second home in the Pacific Northwest. During these times, it is a relief that clients are still able to partner long distance and enjoy design services and virtual consultations. 

alindamorrisinteriordesign.com

Getting Settled into a New Home

After the last box is moved into your new home, you might think the hardest part of moving is over. And you’re right, but there are still things to take care of before you can relax completely.

Get Your Utilities Set Up

You don’t want to arrive at your new place, late at night, and find that the lights don’t work. Before you move, arrange for the utilities to be set up there. Make sure all of your services are up and running so you can check your electronics and appliances.

Check Major Appliances

If you moved major appliances, such as a range, dishwasher, washer or dryer, check to make sure nothing was damaged during the move. This is particularly important if the mover prepared your appliances for the move. Your insurance policy may have a limited time in which to make a claim. Since these are big-ticket items, you want to make sure they’re all working.

Check all Boxes and Furniture

Make sure all boxes and furniture arrived and that nothing is damaged. If you’re missing something or you find damage, contact the mover and your insurance company to submit a claim. It’s important to do this immediately after moving in or the insurance company may not reimburse you.

Save Receipts

Keep all receipts and documentation related to your move in one file and store the file in a safe, secure place. Make sure you have your bill of lading and payment receipt. You may be able to claim your move on your next tax return, and you’ll need all the necessary receipts to make your claim.

Make Sure You’re Getting Your Mail

Check with the post office about mail forwarding. Update all important files and documents with your new address and notify everyone who needs to know about your move.

BY KELLY LENIHAN

Going For The Gold

A hot new trend is adding gold or brass accents to a room to add warmth. After living in their home for a little over a year, Gig Harbor residents turned to Signature Design& Cabinetry to do a redesign and makeover of their bathroom. Their vision was to go from small and dark to a dramatic and bold mid-century modern bathroom with lots of storage space.

“The project was completed in a few months and the cabinetry was on-time, within budget, and so very beautiful,” say the homeowners. “Our new enhanced storage space is so incredible. The result is a warm and welcoming new space.”

“Crystal Delgado of Signature Design & Cabinetry has amazing vision; she really listened and exceeded my design expectations.”

For Additional Information

signaturedesignandcabinetry.com

Exercise Your Green Thumb all year long

Drizzly days that accompany the Pacific Northwest seasonality can take a toll on us. It is important to find ways to stay active and keep your spirits high. Gardening creates a sense of purpose and is a very rewarding activity because it allows people to experience success, build confidence, and connect with their physical environment. It’s very satisfying for seniors with dementia to nurture plants and it’s an activity that people feel naturally connected to.

Transitioning your gardens and raised beds from summer to fall is a great way to keep enjoying the outdoors and keep up your gardening all year long.

Many vegetables thrive in colder months and are also a great way to spruce up your cooking! A few greens that you can enjoy in the fall are spinach, lettuce, and kale.  Don’t forget your favorite root crops such as carrots, beets, onions and radishes.

The beginning of autumn is also an optimal time to begin harvesting herbs like rosemary, basil and sage, which actually develop their strongest flavor before blooming. You can snip them early in the morning and store them somewhere dry. What could be better on a cold afternoon than a warm bowl of soup garnished with fresh herbs from your garden?

If your passion for gardening is fueled by flowers, there are some beautiful annuals that can make your garden come alive with fall color as well. Some good fall annuals include pansies, verbena, and mums, which are great for borders, mass plantings, and containers.

The two most important steps you can take to help make sure your garden and planters are ready for the colder months ahead are:

  1. Add some mulch

Mulching late in the season can block weeds, keep in moisture, and insulate the soil. Mulch also prolongs the growing season, which will allow your garden to prosper. Another tip to remember is that leaves are a great substitute for mulch and can offer the same benefits. They add nutrients and soil as they breakdown. 

  1. Clean up and prune

It is important to trim and check spent plants for pests and diseases. If you do not see any sign of mildew or fungus on existing plants, you can even bury them and let them continue to act as mulch. by Angela Byrge

Timeless Kitchen Design

Sixty-nine percent of homes for sale list the kitchen as a major selling point, compared with forty-nine percent for the bedroom and twenty one percent for the living room. The kitchen is a communal space, where guests and family members meet first thing in the morning for breakfast and late into the night with a few drinks. By including a luxury kitchen in your home, you will sell your property an average 8% faster than other homes in the same zip code. If you only have limited resources, then start by designing a timeless and beautiful kitchen.

 

Striking, Subtle and Sophisticated Lighting

A good kitchen allows for decent cooking; a great one encourages so much more. Increase the versatility of your space by installing different lighting options. The simplest solution is dimmer switches. They can be on full brightness to wake the kids up before school, and then lowered for a relaxing evening. Go for something bold and modern to give the kitchen a personality, but also have the option to illuminate just around key cupboards and appliances. Lights are often an afterthought, but thinking about them upfront can help you to create a truly mesmerizing space.

 

Opening Up Your Space

The kitchen is a center for parties and events, so think about how you can open up the space to more people. In winter, large windows, glass doors and mirrors can give the illusion of a much wider environment. In summer, these windows and doors can be opened to extend the area outside. Bringing a few plants and fresh herbs into the kitchen can help to create a seamless transition between indoors and out.

What About Tech?

The global smart home market is expected to exceed $50 billion by 2022, so incorporating WiFi into your refrigerator could help to future-proof your property. However, don’t act prematurely. Some house hunters will be put off by excessive tech and it can be difficult to take with you when you move out. Play it safe by sticking to classic kitchen tech such as dishwashers and modern fridges.

 

For many home buyers, the kitchen is the most valuable room in the house. Get this right and you could add thousands of dollars to your property’s selling price. Consider versatility and timelessness, sticking to classic, but luxury designs.

Karoline Grimes

 

New Owner of Olympic Landscape

Olympic Landscape has been designing, building and servicing outdoor residential and commercial spaces in the South Sound for more than 40 years. As an expert landscape contractor, the company creates beautiful outdoor living spaces, unique gathering spaces and specially-themed gardens for homes and businesses. Now the new owner and CEO, Joe Areyano, plans to continue that legacy. He is also adding new services and products that will carry Olympic forward for at least another 40 years.

“My family started a landscape company in 1980, so I’ve been around the industry for the majority of my life,” says Areyano. “At age 16, I started learning every division of the company, from landscape retaining walls to irrigation.” After about five years, he was promoted to field manager and continued to work his way into greater responsibilities. He’s now a certified landscape professional. This hands-on experience, he says, helps him ensure that customers receive the highest-quality service.

Areyano purchased Olympic Landscape from founder Neil Hedman last fall and has already started expanding. The new owner intends to grow the company into a regional leader expanding service area and the services and products offered. Olympic has added divisions
for synthetic turf, landscape maintenance, snow and ice removal, and small works. It is also planning to take on more projects throughout Western Washington.

The growth of Olympic Landscape is good news for the community as well. The company is on target to increase the number of employees to about 50 by the end of June. Additionally, Olympic donates 10 percent of net profits to local charities and events. St. Francis House, which eases the hardships of those in need in east Pierce County, and Homeless Backpacks, which provides food to children in need for weekends and school breaks, are two that Areyano says the company is particularly proud to support.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

Olympic Landscape
5620 112thSt E, Puyallup
253.922.7075
olympiclandscape.com

8 Tips For Choosing A Kitchen Designer

Very few homeowners have the knowledge to design, build and install a new kitchen. That’s why many of us employ an expert kitchen designer. But how do you know if you are choosing the right kitchen designer to work with? It comes down to a bit of research and gut feelings. Design mistakes are costly, so it’s worth connecting with more than one kitchen designer to get a feel for the designer who is right for you. Consider the following eight tips when choosing a kitchen designer:

  1. Design ability and creativity
    How do you know just how good a given designer’s ability is? Check how long they have been designing kitchens. Ask to see some examples of their work. Will they be able to show you 3-D visuals of designs they create for you before going ahead with any work? Conceptual design can look amazing, but you want a designer with an eye for the practical realities of kitchen life too.
  2. Technical knowledge
    Your kitchen designer should have architectural drafting and construction experience. He or she needs to have a good knowledge of buildings and industry trends to bring you a state-ofthe-art kitchen design.
  3. Product knowledge
    Providing the right products and appliances for your kitchen also requires knowledge and skill. Good kitchen designers will know trusted cabinet makers and appliance firms to work with.
  4. Experience
    Everyone has to start somewhere, but for making such a big financial investment in your home, you want to choose a designer with experience. Ask to see examples of your kitchen designer’s work.
  5. The ability to understand client needs
    Be clear about all the aspects of kitchen design you want. The best kitchen designers will offer advice and support and guide you to achieve a kitchen design you are completely happy with. They will want to listen to all of your ideas and concerns. Your designer should be asking questions about your living space, your lifestyle, your cooking style and your kitchen needs. Always remember that you are the client, so you can set the terms.
  6. Communication skills
    Kitchen designers will need to communicate clearly with building contractors, electricians, plumbers and other professionals to get your job done on time and on budget.
  7. Testimonials
    A recommendation by friends or family is a good place to start, but don’t let that be the only factor informing your decision. Ask your preferred kitchen designer if you can speak with one of their previous clients. Check whether your designer kept to deadlines and responded promptly to any concerns.
  8. Qualifications and credentials
    Make sure your kitchen designer has the qualifications and credentials claimed. You want to know that your designer not only has an eye for great design, but that they’ve studied and understand construction, plumbing and electrical technologies. They should adhere to a professional code of conduct as well.

LEAH GROUT

Top Tips For Garden Shopping

Visiting garden centers and nurseries is one of the most popular spring/summer pastimes. Fortunately, our region is home to dozens of nurseries offering a wide variety of plants and other gardening items. But browsing a nursery can quickly become overwhelming or confusing. The following tips will help you get the most out of your next nursery visit.

  • Do your homework. Test your soil; observe where it’s sunny/shady throughout the day; note which parts of your garden need filling; look at websites and magazines for inspiration. Take notes!
  • Start small and simple. Break down your garden into a series of small-scale projects you can add to over time.
  • Make a first pass. Wander the nursery, getting a general idea of what’s available and what you want.
  • Ask for help. Employees can point you toward plants that suit your requirements, plus any supplies you’ll need.
  • Read the plant tags. They hold key information about a plant’s sun/shade needs, space required, and size at maturity.
  • Think about longevity. For plants that will be with you more than one season, consider perennials. You can overwinter perennials right in the containers.
  • Choose buds over blooms. A plant in bud will give you more color. Plus, plants in bud suffer less transplant shock than plants in full bloom.
  • Take a close look. You want a bushy, well-branched shape, sturdy stems and healthy-looking leaf color. Avoid sick, diseased or pest-ridden plants.
  • Check the roots. Take a plant out of its pot to ensure it’s not root-bound. If you do end up with a thick mass of roots, cut through them to loosen before planting. Give the plant extra water until it is well established.
  • Stretch your budget. Check the sale and clearance sections for bargains, while avoiding plants with disease or pest problems.
  • Shop often. For the widest selection of healthy, well-maintained flowers, choose businesses that get regular deliveries of new plants and shop throughout the growing season.

Plants are an investment in your landscape. Take your time, use all the available information and enjoy yourself when plant shopping. Happy growing!

KELLY LENIHAN