After a long week of commercial landscape design (which pays the bills and buys the espresso), one of my favorite, FAVORITE cheap and magical pastimes is to go nursery exploring! From my previous review of Pistils, you can probably tell that I FREAK on the whole green design thing - nature, design, mood, environment, botany, travel, decor.
Cistus on Sauvie Island was the destination of choice. Steering clear of the island's nude beach (at least for today! ;D ), we nearly missed the thickly vegetated driveway down to the curated garden center that is the retreat of Sean Hogan - a veritable horticultural Indian Jones who frequents New Zealand in search of crazy cool varieties that will transition well to our NW climate.
Having some retail garden center experience myself, I'm also so attune to presentation, signage, plant staging, and foot traffic flow. It may be because I was hot and a bit punchy, but the nursery wasn't laid out as crisply and "shoppable" as I like to shop when I go hunting for specific varieties - it has more of a vintage rummage sale feel. Perfect for the ruminating plant collector to browse and breathe in the steamy goodness of plants transpiring. None-the-less, I LOVED the selection.
No boring laurel.
No lackluster rhododendrons.
All have their place.....but this collection is such a treat for the experienced plant nut!
|One of two, patio arrangements showcasing Sean's design services. Sweet sedum chandelier!|
So....what's one of the WORST things to befall a girl?
Discovering she has a mild but irritating allergic reaction to CHOCOLATE!
For several years starting at puberty, I had to completely swear off chocolate or end up with uncomfortable red bumps on my skin - ouchy! (Not to mention unsightly). However, a few months ago, my genius nutritionist suggested that perhaps it wasn't the chocolate but the soy and soy lecithin that is frequently included in chocolate bars that was the nasty culprit.
After tentatively sampling several raw chocolate bars with various flavors like cherry, orange, and salty nut, I've found some soy-free kinds in health food sections and Chocolate is now permanently BACK ON THE MENU! :):):):)
To celebrate my new found liberty, I headed down to Cacao to expand my options further.
Cacao is a DELIGHT.
Cacao is a DELIGHT.
Imagine a shop themed after an old East India Trading Co British import office - decadent, exotic, rare. The experience is phenomenal. Select four boutique bars of chocolate and the staff will provide you with a little sampling tray with recommendations on which bar to sample first, second, and so on. Luscious.....
Didn't get a chance to try their drinking chocolate, but holy MOTHER it looked like creamy, brown silk in the little shot glasses held luxuriously by the other patrons I saw clustered casually at intimate bistro tables.
Oh Cacao, I'll be back to experience you again soon!
|Interior of Cacoa|
So I really DID get some design work done this weekend! :) I purposefully went down to Lizard Lounge and hunt & Gather for inspiration for my new sandals and to get ideas of the type of products my target demographic is into. Here's what I FOUND - a wired chalcedony bracelet and some soft leather sandals.
Pretty fun, am-I-right?! I'm going to remake these sandals with more natural stone detailing. Trinkets and treasures BELONG on artisan footwear, don't you think?
Time for show and tell! Do you have a family treasure, cool pebble, lucky coin, or just some favorite beads? Wouldn't they be better displayed or worn than shoved in a drawer???? Comment below with what your little "talisman" is and if you'd show it off if you knew the right wear to wear it, pin it, or fashion it into your daily apparel.