Top 10 Gardening Bloggers

Steel Life Founder and Designer, Shannon Lester, has been recognized as one of the TOP 10 Gardening Bloggers of 2016 by Toolversed.  Shannon’s garden blog, Blooming Desert’s Daily Dirt, reflects her personal experiences as a product and landscape designer in Central Oregon.



DIY Wreath Making with Baylor Chapman

We kicked off the holiday season with Baylor Chapman of Lila B. Design last weekend at Celebrate the Season Boutique Garden Center in Bend, Oregon.  Baylor brought her D.I.Y. Wreath Making Kits up from San Francisco for attendees to create their own unique wreath.

We had music playing, a wood fire burning and the smell of fresh greens in the air!  To see if Lila B. Design has a workshop in your area, go to her Classes & Events page.  Baylor Chapman’s The Plant Recipe Book makes a great gift for the flower and plant lover on your list!

Thank you, Lila B. for helping us get into the Holiday Spirit!

Sunset Magazine’s Backyard Style

unspecified-2.jpegI was beyond thrilling to see Steel Life’s Mod Dish featured in Sunset Magazine‘s special ‘Backyard Style’ Issue! Sunset has always been a part of life in the Pacific Northwest.  The publication offers such great inspiration, travel tips and gardening ideas for the West Coast.  This Mod Dish is currently homed in Sunset Magazine’s Test Garden in Menlo Park, California and from the looks of it, they did a fantastic job planting it up with beautiful succulents!

A Pitcher of Pear Martinis

We threw a little post-holiday cocktail party for some of our girlfriends last night. Since we’re tired of apple cider, hot chocolate and holiday eggnog, but still wanted a cold weather cocktail…a pitcher of Fresh Pear + Rosemary Martinis seemed like just the ticket!


We like to keep cocktail recipes simple, with only three of four ingredients max, and in a pitcher if guests are coming over. Who wants to be a slave to the shaker all night long? Most recipes don’t offer a pitcher recipe, but we encourage you to research and improvise.

Using our favorite Corona herb shears (from the #GardenChat event at the IGC in Chicago last Summer), we clipped off five four-inch sections of rosemary from Little Prince of Oregon Nursery for Rosemary Syrup. It couldn’t be easier to make herb-infused simple syrup, with equal parts water and sugar (about one cup each) and five springs of rosemary. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Constantly stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved (about thirty  seconds). Remove the saucepan from heat, add rosemary and let in steep for at least thirty minutes. Discard rosemary.

For the Pear Purée, we used some leftover Royal Riviera pears from a Harry & David’s gift box. Remove the skin and core of three pears, cut them into one-inch pieces and blend with one T. fresh lemon juice, three tablespoons water and three tablespoons sugar. You can with strain the purée through a fine sieve or just skim the top with a spoon, like we did.

To make a pitcher of Fresh Pear + Rosemary Martinis, which serves about four people: Mix the Pear Purée with a half cup Rosemary Syrup and one cup Vodka. We used Grey Goose, and added ice cubes to the pitcher just before serving. We also served a bottle of sparkling water alongside, just in case anyone wanted to add a little fizz to their cocktail. It’s easy to double this recipe for a larger crowd, if necessary, and makes for a perfectly light and refreshing Winter drink to share with friends.