Category: garden

Leaves are falling everywhere! That means it’s fall!

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In addition to the excitement around opening the first Burke Decor boutique in Ohio, I got to take my son with me, and being a born and bred Angelino, that meant he got to see fall for the very first time.  I honestly did not know how really beautiful fall is. It never looks like this in LA.




AND THIS is the song we’d been singing to get ready for our trip.


wall planting

I love wall plants. You can say they are a little too “done”. But I don’t care. I love them, always have, always will. The picture above is of my newest staghorn fern and i think it is AWESOME,

I used them as a project in my first HGTV Room Crashers episode. I had to compromise a little due to time and budget – I wanted to do a “trophy wall” of staghorn ferns but had to settle for two large panels:

Julianne Moore’s garden was featured in Architectural Digest and had exactly the look I was dreaming about:

via Architectural Digest


via Architectural Digest


Stag Horn Fern’s aren’t the only option for wall mounting plants. We have quite a few wall mounted plants around our place – here are some highlights:

There is of course  the classic Woolly Pocket:

I just trimmed a bunch of our plants back and am going to add a few more pockets, but I think I am going to paint the walls  first.

This is a White Fan Orchid Cactus – not technically wall mounted – I just stuffed the potted plant into the top of a brutalist style metal candle holder I got for 50 cents at a yard sale

(and ya, I’m bragging about my super cool score)

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A visit to Organic Hammer.

Got to spend some time with our friends from Organic Hammer this last weekend. Organic Hammer is an awesome sustainlble landscape design firm located in Encinitas CA. A totally inspiring visit with the Amy and Steve, their kids (pretty much the two cutest little girls on planet earth)  and a sneak peek at Amy’s new permaculture farm in Leucadia. She just got access to the land and is in the very beginning stages of a HUGE permaculture project. “Organic Hammer is starting a new project: a permaculture farm on a ½ acre site in Encinitas that will supply organic produce to local restaurants, serve as a permaculture showcase, and small permaculture plant nursery.”

It is really amazing and an inspiring place to visit. We are considering getting some backyard chickens so it is great to see how a suburban family is really making a sustainable landscape work.  You can also check out Amy’s blog with tons of tips and info on creating a sustainable life for yourself at

And the perfect place to let little ones run wild.

They’ve got one handsome rooster:

And some adorable hens:

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A childhood friend of my good friend Rebecca has started an amazing company here in the bay. She has named it Dirty Boots and her purpose is to design, install, and maintain productive vegetable and fruit gardens in urban spaces.  Whether you live in a home with little outdoor space or a condo with a deck, Courtney and her dirty boots crew can assist your urban gardening needs.  That is if you live in the bay area.

Here is Courtney of Dirty Boots photographed at an Oakland Farmers Market this month representing.  Just dreaming about my lettuce, tomato & basil garden bed on our outdoor deck.  I’ll let you know if my dream comes to fruition.


I have a chair problem.

My name is elise, and I have a chair problem.  I buy chairs I don’t need. I have chairs in storage, chairs in every room, chairs in the garage, chairs in the backyard. it’s a problem. Part of the problem is that they all need work. Primarily reupholstery, and some finishing. sigh.

anyway – I had sworn off chairs (see my recent end table find) and was really trying to just focus on clients (oh I can’t wait to show you the fabulous set of chairs I am re-doing for a client, – craigslist find turned fabulous). But then, we went to the flea market and I fell off the wagon.

My recent fall:

(my new *sigh* chair with the Ganesh Pillow in Lime Green)

It all happened so fast, I saw it, asked the price, offered well below what they were asking and then I just found myself handing the lady cash. oops.

Anyway,  it’s in the bedroom right now ( the previous chair is stuffed into a corner in my sons room – where there are already three chairs. again, oops)

I think what i need to do is paint it red, make a new cushion with some bright sunbrella fabric and put it outside. In the garden.

The garden I have not tilled or planted yet.

I’ll keep you posted.

woolly pockets party on

Ohio has been trying to stop me… from planting the woolly pockets I lifted out of the stock room. I super wanted the woolly’s for our porch, but frost in the night is still happening here (yes, dear California homies and friends in the deep south, it’s true). Except with a whole weekend on hand, I couldn’t wait any longer. So, here are some quick phone photos of my indoor / outdoor woolly pockets. The selecting, planting and subsequent admiring is too much fun.  I’m limiting myself to 2 per weekend…maybe.

Stay tuned for your chance to win up to $200 of woolly pockets. Starting June 1st BurkeDecor is sponsoring a SHOW US YOUR BEST WOOLLY POCKETS STYLE contest. Kind of like an old school flower arranging contest, only way more modern day & rad. More rules to follow, but basically ~ 1. Snap an iPhone photo of your best Woolly Pocket installation; 2. Post it to our FaceBook page; 3. Wait until the end of June for the ‘judges’ to rank your Woolly Pockets Style.  FIRST PLACE: $200 in woolly pockets + a spot to showcase your talent on the BurkeDecor homepage. SECOND PLACE: $150 in woolly pockets. TRES PLACE: $100 in woolly pockets. Fun, fun!

outdoor living

Summer is coming… and that means it is time for outdoor living. Today’s rug is suited for both indoor and outdoor use, it is 100% Polypropylene and reversible, perfect for a patio or deck and a great way to dress up an outdoor living space. With some lovely teak lounge chairs, comfy outdoor pillows, a few lanterns and some chic garden stools for cocktail tables you are all set. Top off the look with a couple of posh planters and some mossy garden spheres and you have the perfect place to entertain or just enjoy an summer evening cocktail.

Westport Collection Indoor Outdoor Area Rug in Navy White *Royal Steamer Chair * Chippendale Planters in Weathered White * Small Mossy Sphere * Red Ceramic Stool* Botanicals * Gazebo Set of 2 Dome Hanging Lanterns * Seahorses Sunflower Pillow from the Outdoor Collection by Thomas Paul * Sand Dollar Charcoal pillow by Thomas Paul * Ship Stern Hand-Painted Designer Pillow * Hummingbird Citronella Candles in Assorted Styles

how my garden grows…

a little garden update – things are growing!! I was planning on posting some food porn with the amazing zucchini basil soup and zucchini bread we made last night…but, umm we ate everything before i remembered to take pictures. Ooops.
either way these are the recipes we used.

Zucchini Basil Soup

(even the basil was from our garden!)

(This is the epicurious photo – but ours looked just like it – i swear!)


Emeril’s Zucchini Bread Recipe

We also added some beans – and they are growing like crazy!
Next up – the cool new uses I came up with for the bamboo poles. They are so inexpensive and have solved a number of problems around our house…. I’m off to the hardware store for a few extra detail, check back soon!

how does your garden grow?

Planting Day! Today I (re)planted my little mini garden and I am super excited. I’m calling it the “salsa garden.” Behold:

Basil and cilantro – not sure if they are going to be best buddies but I thought the herbs should stay together, partly because I didn’t have enough pots and the soil in the yard is super hard.

These are my heirloom carrots I planted several months ago ( from seeds) they are little french carrots that are small and fat, I think they’ll be ready in a month or two.

Three of the containers (peppers, zucchini, strawberries)…
my strawberries, which I think will be ready fairly soon!

I’m nervous about this guy, it’s a Burpless cucumber and i have 5 more starters to plant, but they are supposed to be on little hills about 4′ apart, this one in in the ground but it took a long time to till the soil enough to plant ( and i am still not confident that it was enough). The other thing is they smell amazing ( like cucumbers ;-) ) and I am afraid the neighborhood raccoon will dig it up. fingers crossed….

Zucchini – I LOVE fried zucchini flowers so i am hoping this one does well…
Two kinds of tomatoes – sweet 100′s and yellow pear plum tomatoes…

And heirloom tomatoes…
and two kinds of peppers, ancho and jalapenos

and a ranunculus cause it’s pretty…
and in the bathtub with my carrots are onions, lettuce, lemon verbena, and hopefully some beets….
I’ll post new pictures in a month or two, hopefully everything will be huge then – and better manicured ;-)