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Sacred Spaces Design | Archive for 2010 November

Archive for November, 2010

Dig This

Modern. Child-friendly. Low-maintenance. Food.

This was my last planting project before Seattle’s “Arctic Blast” – come on, REALLY?!  Arctic Blast?

Anyhow, I think the finery of this project belongs to Fresh Digs. Sacred Spaces was originally going install an assortment of HUGE containers to grow mostly edibles for the two adult cooks of the house and 2 very small sous chefs ages 3.5 and almost 5 but as projects go, we began to think outside the box.  That’s when I was referred to Chris, owner/designer of Fresh Digs and boy are we super thrilled with these custom new modern raised planters. The install was done by Terrain.

I always recommend mixing in some evergreen perennials with your veggies so you have some year-round interest. Chris's design concept included the integration of the owner's coveted old Orange Bowl stadium seats which were rescued from the state of Florida. The garden seats at least 8. Doesn't that soil look enticing?

So although we got a late start in planting for fall veggies we did manage to get some of the foundational plantings in: hidcote lavender, native huckleberry, hebe mckeanii, and cornus midwinter fire.  Although one of the smaller shrub varieties, these dogwoods might get a little large but their shocking twigs in winter was a sure appeal. Come spring, these beds will be chomping at the bit to get some long awaited arugula, radishes, and peas (by President’s Day of course) in their nutritious soil.

All wood is ipe. I just learned how to correctly spell it. This here is a bench seat with storage. Huckleberry planted behind to create an appealing evergreen screen.

Shop Local

Can you believe these colors exist in nature? I think I took at least ten photos of just the chard. Pretty to look at and tasty to eat sauteed with a little garlic and olive oil. Nothing fancy.

Does Kent count? Just wanted to give a shout out to my FAVORITE farmer’s market. No, not Ballard. Carpinito Brothers off Central Ave. I was salivating last week over all of the beautiful fall veggies. And even more so over the prices. Dirt cheap and delicious. I had to just say no after grabbing my pile of butternut squash, bundle of beets and one handful of chard. I had already grabbed a heap of daffodil bulbs at a generous discount. I love you collard greens. I love you too kale. But this time its chard’s turn. I couldn’t resist those colors.

How did I happen on such a place you ask? Well once upon a time I found myself doing a little office work for a non-profit in those whereabouts. I realize that for some of you out there Kent is far from a destination (sorry Kenters) but to my surprise, on my occasional walks during lunch I discovered a few gems in the hood: bustling cafes, antique and thrift stores, a fabulous yarn store (gone now unfortunately), a King County Library (hooray!), and this great little nursery-fresh produce-spot called Carpinito Brothers. I visit these brothers every season and sometimes make my trip complete by swinging by Ikea for some Swedish fish on the way home. It makes for a nice day.

Spring and summer Carpinito Bros. never fails to hook me up with a great selection of annuals to choose from for my clients. At the end of summer I also scored a dwarf apple tree for $10. That was for me. Come fall it’s all about squash, spring bulbs, and local veggies. They also source bulk compost, bark and soil mixes. Come December? Christmas trees my friends.

Carpinito’s isn’t your Swanson’s. But it also isn’t your Home Depot. It’s its own: unpretentious, friendly, and resourceful. It also hasn’t changed in years it seems. Which is the source of its charm. I don’t know about you but I like buying my geraniums and butternut squash alongside those who have been buying them at Carpinito Brothers for years. And I mean years. Before email (and blogs). Before shop local. Before eat local. When local was all there was and organic was considered a way of life, not some patented product.

I am thankful for you Carpinitos.

Everyday’s a First

Peanut Butter Bundt Cake before chocolate glaze.


We have been welcomed into the world of “firsts.” As proud new parents it’s all the rave. First coo. First laugh. First grab. It’s like heaven on earth to watch. Everything’s new for this little being. We parents on pins and needles to witness the small as monumental.

At the same time Milo has been “taking it all in” I have been also challenging myself to have some of my own firsts. (Notwithstanding the big fat first of being a parent; no wonder new parents require just as much sleep as their new little ones. Everything is new for us too). I am talking intentional firsts. Perhaps it’s a shame we adults (can I lump you in with me here so I feel less alone?) forget to have them or pursue them for that matter. Our routines and preferences help us structure our life (form – there it is again) yet they can also keep us from learning something new about ourselves and others, the world. It doesn’t even have to be big. I’m talking small, Milo-sized firsts.

This morning I sat in a different chair in our dining nook. That was a first. I didn’t realize how BORED I was sitting in the same seat with the same view of our living room. So me and Milo settled into our new seat accompanied by a pretty magazine and beverage and it actually changed my perspective of things. I now don’t see the need to re-arrange my living room. Nice.

I bet you there are dozens of firsts that happen to us everyday. The only difference being the absence of the uber-enthusiastic parent in our back pockets to cheer us on and simply delight in these small steps of newness we take. We should claim these, no? I am not sure why but part of me thinks it’s important.

Do you remember the thrill or disgust of your first kiss? The first time you grew and devoured your first vegetable? The first time you…

I did make a bundt cake a couple of weeks ago. That was a first too. Not to toot my own horn. (toot)

Bake a pie crust.
Label the perennials I am dividing from our garden with real labels, not mental ones.
Listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving because if I’m feelin’ it, why not? It is Milo’s first Christmas.