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thedes覺gner ASSOCIATION OF

PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS

Summer 2015

Small-Space Design

KITCHEN GARDENS TRAVEL INSPIRATION: BELGIUM CONTAINER DESIGNS


editor’sletter Small-Space Design

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hen my husband and I first moved into our home in Northern California 17 years ago, we loved everything about it—except the tiny backyard. Only 18 feet deep and little more than 50 feet wide, we had a hard time imagining how we would enjoy the outdoor lifestyle we were accustomed to in a footprint that was only a fraction of the garden we had left behind. Happily, through careful planning, visits to inspirational gardens and good old trial and error (both in my garden and my clients’), we’ve gradually turned our backyard into the most beautiful “room” in our home, and the one we spend the most time in.

Nowadays, I design gardens in all different shapes and sizes, but small spaces hold a special place for me, and make up a large part of my practice. That’s why I’m excited our summer issue is devoted to smallspace design. If the idea of limited square feet leaves you stumped on where to begin, in Design 101, Rebecca Sweet shares some of her strategies for dealing with the challenges unique to small gardens. If container gardening is your thing, you won’t want to miss Kelly Kilpatrick’s interview of noted container-garden designer Helen Weis. And because even big gardens are made up of smaller areas, Leslie Needham shares how she transformed an unused garage yard into a stunning and functional kitchen garden.

I don’t know where you are as you’re reading this, but if it’s early evening, I’m reading on my iPad in my usual spot—relaxing on a lounge chair in my own personal mini-oasis.

SUSAN MORRISON

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EDITOR@APLD.ORG


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11 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 12 DESIGN ROUNDUP 16 PRO PLANT PICKS Plants for Small Spaces 24 BOOK REVIEW Great Garden Design BY LU CY VA N LIE W

28 DESIGN LESSON Kitchen Garden Design BY L E SL I E N EE D H AM

34 DESIGN 101 Small-Space Strategies BY R E B E CC A SWE ET

44 TRAVEL INSPIRATION: BELGIUM Winter Lessons for Summer Gardens BY SUSA N COH AN, AP LD

50 INTERVIEW Container Garden Design BY K E L LY K I LPATRIC K

O N T H E COV ER: 2 01 4 A P L D M ERIT WINNER G R AC E D E S I GN ASS O C IATES ; P H OTO G R A P H BY L E P E R E P H OTO GRAP H Y

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O N T H I S PAG E: P H OTO G R A P H FRO M TH E BO O K , G R E AT G A R DEN D ESIGN

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SU MMER 2015

contents

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thedesıgner EDITOR IN CHIEF Susan Morrison ART DIRECTOR

Marti Golon EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Denise Calabrese ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lisa Ruggiers MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR

Angela Burkett COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Michelle Keyser CERTIFICATION COORDINATOR

Kelly Clark COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE

Courtney Kuntz BOOKKEEPER

Jennifer Swartz MEMBERSHIP, FINANCE & EVENTS COORDINATOR

Leona Wagner NEWSLETTER EDITOR

Amy Bobb COPY EDITOR

Claire Splan

➸ Click name to email us! For information on advertising in The Designer, contact communications@apld.org For submission guidelines click here

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Pyracantha D E S IGN A N D P H OTOGR A PH BY RE BE CCA SWEET


contributors Susan Cohan, APLD Travel Inspiration: Belguim

Kelly Kilpatrick

Leslie Needham

Rebecca Sweet

Interview: Design Lesson: Design 101: Container Kitchen Small-Space Garden Design Garden Design Strategies

p. 44

p. 50

p. 28

p. 34

Susan Cohan, APLD, is the award-winning principal of a boutique residential landscape design studio in New Jersey. Her work ranges from small urban backyards to large residential properties in the New York metropolitan area.  She is also an inspiration junkie who travels the world to fuel her habit and is passionate about all things design related. She shares what she finds on her blog Miss Rumphius’ Rules when the spirit moves her. 

Kelly Kilpatrick has been creating plantalicious gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2000. She is the owner of Floradora Garden Design and keeps a garden journal at the blog Floradora.

Leslie Needham Design, LLC, is a residential landscape design firm based in Bedford, NY.  With her team of talented plantsmen, masons, architects, and artisans, Leslie strives to integrate a client’s goals and sensibilities with the “spirit of place” to create timeless, yet energetic, landscapes that will mature and evolve over the years.

Rebecca Sweet is the owner of the design firm, Harmony in the Garden, in Los Altos, California. Her gardens have been featured in Sunset, Fine Gardening, Horticulture and Woman’s Day magazines as well as many regional publications. In addition to designing gardens, she is the author of Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form and is the co-author of Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. She also writes the design column, “Harmony in the Garden,” for Horticulture magazine.

Lucy Van Liew Book Review: Great Garden Design

p. 24

Lucy Van Liew divides her time and practice between the shoreline in Connecticut and her native UK, where she received a Diploma in Garden Design and draws much inspiration, which she adapts to the harsher climate of Connecticut. She is an active member of APLD CT chapter and also a member of the UK Society of Garden Designers.

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president’smessage Why Go To The APLD Conference?

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ow is the time to plan to attend the October 2015 APLD conference in Washington, DC. Put the date— October 8 through 11—on your calendar and start saving to attend because it is an important part of growing your business.

After I attended my first conference in Pasadena almost 10 years ago, I decided to be at the conference every year. I become inspired, and therefore a better designer, from the knowledge and ideas I take home from the training sessions, garden tours, and chats with fellow designers!

Some will say it is too expensive or they don’t use the plant palette from an area where the conference is held. I believe even if you don’t use the plants from a particular area, you do need design and hardscape ideas, and there is nothing better than a portfolio of fresh new concepts on a yearly basis. My clients love it when I show them my portfolio of ideas from conferences in Dallas, Cleveland, Orlando, Pasadena, or Portland. They like to see what others are doing and we can build on a specific idea with something similar that works for them. Some think they can get all this information online. Maybe some of it can be obtained this way, but you will never meet designers who are so willing to share their expertise and experiences from visiting the Internet. The knowledge you glean and the confidence you gain from attending this conference is second to none. I look forward to seeing you in October! COLLEEN HAMILTON APLD

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designroundup Small-Garden Superstar: Lomandra fluviatilis ‘Shara’ Lomandra (below and left) has long been popular with designers in dry, mild climates for its year-round good looks, low water needs, and adaptability to both full sun and moderate shade. ‘Shara’ is a fine-leafed, evergreen cultivar with blue-gray coloring sporting profuse flowers that sit well above the foliage. Growing 18” to 24” high and wide, its compact habit makes it an ideal choice for smaller gardens and in containers. Drought tolerant, it also works well for erosion control, as well as for mass plantings in wet-dry areas as it is tolerant of periodic wet feet. Suitable for USDA Zones 8–11.

Vertical Inspiration In her latest book, Grow a Living Wall: Create Vertical Gardens with Purpose, author Shawna Coronado makes the case that vertical gardening is a beautiful, practical, and environmentally sound choice for small gardens. In addition to explaining the basics of living walls, the book contains ideas for over 20 themed gardens such as attracting pollinators, herbs for cocktails, or therapeutic plants. Accompanied by photos, plant lists, and step-by-step instructions, the book will appeal to those looking for specific small-space solutions. >>Get the book! Click here apld.org

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Washington Chapter Show Garden Honored “Over the Moon,” the display garden created by the APLD Washington Chapter for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, was the winner of the prestigious Founder’s Cup in February. Led by designers Susie Thompson, APLD, Lisa Bauer and Katie Weber, the creators were inspired by the show’s theme of “Romance Blossoms.” A highlight of the garden was the 7-foot diameter full moon lit from behind and a Scandinavian lusthus surrounded by lush plantings. “‘Over The Moon’ won,” shares show judge, garden designer, and T.V. personality Troy Marden, “because it brought every element of a great show garden together: great design, superb plantsmanship, artistry, and exceptional attention to detail. Every garden in this year’s show had moments of brilliance and every team pulled out all the stops, but for this year’s judges, it was ‘Over The Moon’ that exemplified the very best of what a show garden truly is.” PH OTO BY PAU L G IB B O NS

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designroundup APLD Unveils Product of the Year The Product of the Year program is an opportunity to showcase design-worthy outdoor products. Nominations come from APLD members across the country, and are then voted on by certified members. This year’s winner is Barn Plank Landscape Tiles from Silver Creek Stoneworks. Barn Plank has the look of weathered pine, but is made from wet-cast concrete so it will never rot, warp, splinter, or crack, and requires no staining or sealing.

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proplantpicks

USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 5–9 SIZE: 4–6” H x 12–24” W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Sun to part shade, low water, well-draining soil.

Tina Henricksen is a garden designer based in the Sacramento region. She enjoys working with her clients to create high impact, low-water landscapes that are sustainable for the area and ecologically responsible. PHOTOGR A PHS A N D DESI GN BY TI N A HEN R I CKSEN

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PLANTS FOR SMALL SPACES WEST

Thyme

Thymus spp.

BY TINA HENRICKSEN

I

garden in sunny, dry California where water (or the lack of it) is on everyone’s mind and water-wise planting design is a must. I specialize in small spaces, including borders, entryways, rock gardens, and containers—spots that need small plants that stay within their boundaries, behave well Thymus vulgaris 'Silver Posie' with others, and possess multiple seasonal attributes. Every inch of space counts. Low-growing thyme cultivars fill the need and bring a luminous quality to each of my planting schemes.

Thymus praecox 'Highland Cream'

Native to the Mediterranean region, these compact evergreen groundcovers have small, aromatic leaves in an array of colors, from variegated to blue-green/gray. They provide a soft texture in the garden, and are easily maintained by occasional trimming. Thyme performs best in full sun and is happy with low-water once established. In late spring and early summer, it is adorned with tiny pink flowers that attract bees and butterflies. In cooler weather, the foliage takes on a burgundy cast.

There are many ornamental cultivars to choose from. A few of my favorites include Thymus vulgaris ‘Silver Posie’, growing to 6” tall and up to 24” wide, and sporting pure white margins around each tiny leaf, and Thymus praecox ‘Highland Cream’, which grows to 4” tall and 12” wide and has lovely creamy-variegated foliage. Another choice is wooly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus), which forms a low, lush mat of soft foliage that creeps between stepping-stones and will tolerate occasional foot traffic. Thymus spp. is wonderfully adaptable to various landscape situations, and is just as much at-home in a billowy cottage garden as in a clipped formal landscape. It mixes well with medium-sized perennials such as ‘Silver Carpet’ lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’), ‘Helena’s Blush’ spurge (Euphorbia ‘Helena’s Blush’), and ‘May Night’ salvia (Salvia x sylvestris ‘May Night’). Its delicate texture is also a nice complement to many succulents and ornamental grasses.

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PLANTS FOR SMALL SPACES

MIDWEST

Blue Angel White Pine Pinus parviflora ‘Blue Angel’

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BY JUDY NAUSEEF, FAPLD, ICNP n small spaces, shrubs often grow too large and require too much maintenance over time. I have found that dwarf conifers serve the role of providing structure, year-round interest, and color to the garden here in the Midwest, where they successfully stand up to low winter temperatures and strong winter and summer winds.

Their slow growth, richly colored needles, and subtle shape changes as they mature give a garden a sense of both the past and future. They allow the designer to add garden art and exotic and native plants for a garden of many shades, from bright to dark. Although often used as specimen plants, they enhance a garden when planted as a group. Dwarf conifers add clear shapes in wonderful greens and blues to support more unrestrained perennials. Dwarf conifers from different nurseries have varying form and needle color. My ‘Blue Angel’ white pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Blue Angel’) is a Monrovia plant and shows a more green than blue needle. It will be upright, but has a nice soft, rounding shape. I will do some thoughtful pruning in the future to reduce the height and keep the shape. Here, in the early summer garden, tones are understated and the dwarf pine sets the mood. It shares the scene with ‘Tompa’ Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Tompa’), a dwarf upright Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Green Mountain boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Green Mountain’). The succulent leaves of the groundcover plants, Angelina stonecrop (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’), echo the arrangement of the spruce needles.

USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 4–9 SIZE: 7–8’ H x 3–4’ W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun. Once established, needs only occasional watering.

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PHOTOGR A PH A N D DESIGN BY J UDY N AUSEEF


proplantpicks

Judy Nauseef, FAPLD, is an award-winning landscape designer and a garden writer. She owns her own business, Judy Nauseef Landscape Design, in Iowa City, Iowa, where she designs and manages installations of primarily residential landscapes. She writes for Iowa Gardener magazine and will have a book, Using Native Plants in Gardens in the Upper Midwest, published by the University of Iowa Press in spring 2016. apld.org

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proplantpicks PLANTS FOR SMALL SPACES NORTHEAST

Bear’s Foot Hellebore

Helleborus foetidus

BY JANE BERGER, FAPLD

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e designers all have favorite plants that we use again and again, and the one plant that goes in all of my clients’ gardens is Helleborus foetidus, commonly known as stinking hellebore or bear’s foot hellebore. I particularly like it because it’s a four-season plant that slowly seeds around and beautifully inhabits bare areas where few other plants will grow. It heralds spring with clusters of nodding pale green flowers that are among the first to appear after winter’s cold frosts and bitter winds, and the long-lasting blooms hang on for a few more months. Its narrow, dark green, deeply lobed foliage is attractive year round, and it makes a truly gorgeous groundcover. If the leaves are bruised, the plant is said to release a pungent odor, but I’ve had it in my own garden for years and have never noticed an unpleasant aroma.

The straight species combines well with large-leaved hostas of a different color (gold or blue), and there are several attractive cultivars. ‘Gold Bullion’ has dramatic, golden-yellow young foliage. ‘Piccadilly’ and ‘Sienna’ have very dark green, blackish leaves, and ‘Red Silver Strain’ has foliage with a silvery cast and chartreuse flowers with a reddish-purple rim. If you leave on the seedheads until early summer, you’ll assure seed dispersal and many more plants. In harsh winters, cover bear’s foot hellebore with evergreen boughs to make sure it survives. Another great plus—deer won’t touch it!

USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 5–9 SIZE: 12–14” H x 12–18” W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Part to full shade. Prefers organic-rich, moist, well-drained soil. Tolerant of drought and heavy clay soils. Jane Berger, FAPLD, has been designing gardens for the past 20 years and writing about them even longer, for Landscape Architecture Magazine, The American Gardener, The Associated Press, and others. After a career as a radio news correspondent in Washington DC, Jane graduated from the Landscape Design Program at George Washington University. She served on the Board of Directors at APLD as Communications Chair and was editor of The Designer from 2009 to 2013. PH OTO G R A P H A N D D ES IGN BY JANE BE RGE R

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PLANTS FOR SMALL SPACES

NORTHWEST

Sunshine Blue Blueberry

Vaccinium ‘Sunshine Blue’ BY KATIE WEBER

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n urban homes of the Pacific Northwest, there is often very little space to garden. And just as often, we have a long list of programs that we hope to accomplish in these tiny areas. Small-space garden design requires that plants do double duty, filling two (or more!) needs with one plant choice. Vaccinium ‘Sunshine Blue’ does just that. This semi-evergreen blueberry mixes beautifully into full-sun zones as an ornamental and also provides a deliciously edible harvest come mid-July. April’s flush of pink bell-shaped flowers and the blue-green leaves that remain on the shrub throughout the winter solidify this blueberry’s status as a year-round workhorse worthy of a spot in your next planting plan.

‘Sunshine Blue’ blueberry is self-pollinating and loves full-sun sites with moist, well-drained soil. Watering regularly as rain slows keeps fruit development healthy and growth vigorous. It will tolerate less sun and water, but fruiting will not be as plentiful. Its small stature works well mixed with the broad, strappy leaves of iris and the fine textures of ornamental grasses. For a stunning combination, set it in front of a dark backdrop and add purple-leaved Heuchera and hardy geraniums around the base.

Consider planting multiple bushes and siting them in front gardens along a public sidewalk as a wonderful way to help create community with the neighbors. In spite of being self-pollinating, blueberry bushes are more productive when grown in multiples and you’re sure to find you’ll never have too many blueberries.

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USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 5–10 SIZE: 3–4’ H x 3–4’ W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Best fruiting happens with full sun and moist, well-drained soil.


proplantpicks

PHOTOGR A PHS BY KATI E WEB ER

Katie Weber is owner/designer/wearer-ofall-hats at Katie Weber Landscape Design of Seattle, WA. Practicing since 2004, Katie strives to create beautiful, unique, and enjoyable four-season garden spaces for Seattle and the Puget Sound’s urban residents. Sometimes she remembers to tell you about it here.

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bookreview Great Garden Design BY LUCY VAN LIEW

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n Great Garden Design: Contemporary Inspiration for Outdoor Space (Frances Lincoln, 2015), author Ian Hodgson breaks down the key elements of contemporary garden design, using examples from members of the UK Society of Garden Designers to illustrate important ideas and themes.

The book’s first section outlines and describes major contemporary garden styles, from formal, urban chic, and cottage, to naturalistic and exotic. Within the descriptions of each is a brief history of how the style evolved, such as the roots of formal garden design lying in 17th century French and Italian gardens. It goes on to break down the important elements of each style, using case studies for illustration.

The second portion of the book is a gallery of garden features such as paths, walls, terraces, water, gates and entrances, architectural and ornamental ideas, and lighting. This is followed by a more detailed analysis of plant>>Get the book! Click here to view on Amazon

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ings that complement the garden styles, focusing on what plants to use to achieve the look. Outdoor experiences such as relaxing, dining, playing, and bathing are then addressed with imaginative and varied examples. Following this is a timely section on gardening with a conscience, which touches on such issues as sustainability, green technologies, water management, and wildlife, and school, hospice, and community gardens. Great Garden Design is primarily aimed at helping the garden owner find their style and make the many

The centerpiece of a period formal garden, this sunken water feature acts as a focal point, its mirrored surface reflecting the everchanging sky. DESI GN BY A MA NDA PAT TON

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bookreview

decisions needed to create a lovely and functional garden, with or without the help of a designer. It is illustrated with beautiful and annotated pictures pointing out the key features of the gardens in question, but does not get too detailed about the mechanics of how to achieve these. I can see using this book with clients to both inspire and clarify their preferences. Even though most of the designers and gardens credited are UK based, the wide variety of planting and styles shown make this equally applicable to the USA.

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A L L PH OTO G R A P H S A RE FRO M GREAT GARDEN DESI GN A N D R EPR ODUCED WI TH PE R MISS IO N O F T H E P U BLIS H E R, FRANCIS LINCO LN LI MI TED, 201 5.

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A gallery of rusted Corten steel panels, softened by foliage spilling through them, forms screens to divide up the garden space. DESI GN BY SA R A JA N E R OTHWEL L


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designlesson

Kitchen Garden Design |

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apld.org PHOTOGR A PH BY N A N CY ST EI N ER


designlesson RE

O F E

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BY LESLIE NEEDHAM

ometimes a garden can pop up in the most unusual spot. Such is the case of this vegetable garden, which literally grows out of a gravel driveway.

It helps a client to imagine a garden space when a few props are laid out prior to installation. Tuteurs and pots demonstrate how a garden would fill the former driveway.

I was invited to walk a property with a client who wanted a vegetable garden. The charge was to build a country garden enclosed from the deer and large enough to provide veggies and greens for her family of seven.

In wrapping up the walk, we ended up chatting on the driveway. Bingo! The car park next to the garage offered all that we needed: eight hours of sun, easy access to the kitchen, an accessible water source, plus a place to stash the garden tools and the wheelbarrow.

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The compact space combined with the demands of growing produce for a large family required that the design be extremely efficient and well organized. In addition, the location directly across from the primary house apld.org


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entrance meant that it must look great all year round. While efficient “form and function” are key to a garden of any size, it is crucial in a small space.

Repetition of Shape and Size Adds Impact

The front raised beds are all 5’ x 7’ in size and are sited as three pairs of two evenly spaced, raised beds. Behind the garage is another set of three raised beds, each 7’ square and again evenly spaced. This consistency in size, repetition, and rhythm keeps things looking orderly in the height of the season, plus provides form and structure when the garden is empty in the off-season. A simple and edited underlying design creates order in a small space. Repetition gives it punch.

Thoughtful Building Materials and Details Relate a Small Garden to the Larger Setting While small in size, this garden is very visible from the house (and most of the property), so it must integrate with the immediate site and the

P H OTO G R A P H S BY LE S LIE NE ED H AM

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larger landscape. This was accomplished by using the A bench offers an opportunity same construction materials as the driveway: gravel, to sit and savor stone, and bluestone edging to form the raised beds. the beauty of the The low stonewall, which we built to create an envegetable garden. trance from the driveway, ties into the many stonewalls throughout the property. This use of stone offers a real bonus for a vegetable garden: gravel serves as a deterrent to pesky rabbits and deer; bluestone on edge provides good soil depth and drainage for the raised beds (all impervious driveway material below the beds was removed and a gravel base of 2� was added); heat-absorbing stone and siting between the garage and the existing tall retaining wall creates a microclimate that extends the vegetable growing season.

Large-Scale Accessories Work in a Small Garden

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A small space does not mean that everything has to be diminutive. In this garden we used a series of larger wire spheres and tuteurs to create structure and architecture. These architectural forms are great for climbing bean vines and rambling cherry tomatoes—taking advantage of vertical growth is key in a small vegetable garden—plus they bring structure and visual inapld.org


PHOTOGR A PH BY LESL IE N EEDHA M

designlesson terest to the dormant winter garden. While playing with scale in this way, it is crucial to make sure that things don’t get too heavy handed. We used wire and light twig structures rather than heavy timber or stone so that there is air and movement in the garden. A collection of hand-thrown Ben Wolff terracotta pots are also moved around to create little vignettes of flowers and herbs in bloom.

A Place to Sit Makes a Small Garden Feel Like a Destination

A wooden bench is sited inside the garden and faces the house, making a welcome invitation to linger. The early morning and dusk hours are a great time in a garden and it is nice to have a perch on which to savor it; after all, you don’t always have to be working in the garden! Furniture in a small garden makes it feel like a room and not just a tight spot to pass through.

LESLIE’S PICKS FOR ACCESSORIES Battle Hill Forge One of my favorite “tricks” is to give architecture and structure to my gardens with built pieces (as well as plants!). Ben Wolff Pottery I love working with artisans who still make things by hand. These handmade pots are a special touch for any garden.

Pea blossoms are bountiful in the garden PHOTOGR A PH BY N A N CY STEI N ER

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design101

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This light and airy structure is enough to give the illusion of privacy.

Small-Space Strategies

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BY REBECCA SWEET

hile I have nothing against large, meandering gardens, there’s something magical about creating a jewel box effect in a small space. You might assume designing a small garden is inherently easier—after all, there’s less to think about—but the reality is that every element needs to count: the flow, the plant choices, the artwork, and more. Whether it’s a courtyard, side yard, or a skinny, awkward space, here are some of my most frequently used design strategies.

DESI GN A N D PHOTOGR A PHS BY R EB ECCA SWEET

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In addition to providing evergreen screening, Pyracantha anchored on a trellis adds multi-season interest in the form of flowers and berries.

design101

The Plea for Privacy If the owner of a small garden contacts you for a design, I can almost guarantee that creating privacy will be the number one priority. Since the dimensions of many trees are simply too large to fit, homeowners feel they’ll forever have to stare at their neighbor’s roofline or the side of an outdoor wall. And heaven forbid when a two-story home is built next to a single-story!

Identifying appropriate trees can be challenging as typically narrow dimensions—not to mention homeowners association rules—often restrict how close to the property line trees may be planted. In addition to choosing evergreen varieties for year-round screening, desirable characteristics I look for include tight branching structure and a narrow profile. My favorites include the stanThe fountain is dard forms of Carolina laurel cherry (Prunus appreciated by caroliniana ‘Compakta’), “Little Gem’ magnolia homeowners and (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’) and hopseed hummingbirds alike. bush (Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’).

Trees, however, aren’t the only screening solution for these skinny spaces; one of my go-to strategies is to build a narrow trellis, either along the fence line or attached directly to the fence. But privacy screening shouldn’t be just about what you block; it should also be about what you create to be enjoyed inside the garden. I like to use a combination of evergreen vines and espaliered shrubs with different flowering times to ➸

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Pink jasmine beginning its spring show in this garden’s side yard.

create several weeks of interest. One of my favorite combinations is an espaliered firethorn (Pyrancantha coccinea) planted near an evergreen bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides ‘Lady Di’). The seasonal interest Pyracantha provides—with spring’s cascading white flowers and red, ripe berries in the fall—is breathtaking next to the dark green, shiny leaves and crisp, white summer flowers of the bower vine. And last but not least, privacy screening around a garden’s entire perimeter isn’t always practical or even necessary. Sometimes all that’s needed is to redirect the line of sight. A vertical element like a simple, airy structure won’t overwhelm a small space, and will help keep attention focused on the garden, instead of on the landscape beyond. 38

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design101 Getting More from Less To maximize a small space, every element needs to be thoroughly considered. Plants, trellises, seating, and structures all need to serve double (sometimes triple) duty.

Seating areas, for example, are more challenging to create in small spaces than they are in larger gardens. One of my strategies to overcome this is to create a seating wall. A low wall will not only help to add year-round visual interest to an often lack-luster area, but will take up less space than a traditional table with chairs. Even if there’s room for a table, the wall is a welcome addition when extra seating is required. And when not in use, it becomes an ideal place to showcase meaningful art. I view vertical spaces such as fences, walls, and chimneys as blank canvases waiting for the op portunity to add pizzazz to a garden. By using a combination of vines, skinny plants, and decorative art, I can transform these often-ignored spaces into focal points in the garden. For the biggest bang for the buck, I look for vines with staggered bloom times. One of my favorite three-plant combinations is pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) planted near a star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and chocolate vine (Akebia quinata). The pink jasmine and chocolate vine bloom first, followed by a spectacular show from the nearby star jasmine, providing six to eight weeks of delightful fragrance.

With just six inches of planting space at its base, this fence supports tall, narrow plants, vines and the occasional piece of art, creating a focal point for this skinny side-yard.

Window boxes are another opportunity to spruce up a blank and un-used wall, as well as a chance to bring the garden “indoors.” ➸

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design101

Window boxes provides yet another place to garden, enlivening a blank (and hot) wall.

To take advantage of the water that drains from the bottom, I’ll plant smaller shrubs directly under the window box or place a grouping of containers to catch any run-off.

Movement, Sound, and Life

Designing a small space doesn’t mean sacrificing the complex layers that a larger garden might contain. In my book, Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form, one of the things I discuss are texture’s various roles in the garden. In small spaces I find it is more about choosing plants to be admired up close versus using plants to create a tapestry when viewed from afar. Fine and delicate textures that can easily become lost in larger landscapes often become the stars of a small garden. The allure ‘Sea Foam’ artemisia (Artemisia versicolor ‘Sea Foam’), for example, would have in a courtyard setting would be lost placed farther back in a larger garden. Other good textural plants that ➸ 40

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Great ideas should see the light of day.

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design101 benefit from up-close scrutiny include trembling brake fern (Pteris tremula), Carex ‘Everillo’ (Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’) and Western columbine (Aquilegia formosa).

Include motion in a small garden, and you’ll often experience sound at the same time—another subtle element better appreciated in intimate spaces. The sound of an ornamental grass’s fine and wispy textures gently swaying on a breezy day, for example, or the trickle of water from a fountain or the gentle tones of a wind-chime all introduce welcome sound and movement. When a garden overflows with layers such as these you can be sure the final layer will arrive—life. Tall and airy abutilons and running water in a fountain bring hummingbirds by the dozen. Butterflies, bees, and native pollinators will show up when your vines are in bloom. I’m sure you see why I get excited when a client wants design help for a courtyard or other small space. When done right, it’s magical to see a ho-hum space transformed into a jewel-box retreat.

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Fountains

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travelinspiration

Belgium WINTER LESSONS FOR SUMMER GARDENS

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(Left) Salvaged limestone steps in front of a beech hedge sit on permeable pavers, allowing heavy deliveries to occur when necessary in a contemporary warehouse district. (Above) Pollarded street trees in Brugges. PHOTOGR A PHS BY SU SA N COHA N


travelinspiration BY SUSAN COHAN, APLD

W

hen I first became a landscape designer, I didn’t realize that the prime travel months of late spring and summer would become impossible for me. In my four-season region, those months are ones of intensive and demanding work that can’t be left for several weeks of vacation. So I go in January and February, and not necessarily to someplace warm. In fact, for the past two years I’ve gone to France and Belgium in what is arguably their coldest winter weather—hovering around freezing, very grey, and likely to rain. It isn’t what most would consider prime garden visiting weather, but as a landscape designer, seeing gardens in winter without bloom and foliage is all about understanding the underlying structure of a space.

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This past winter I hosted ten designers in search of antiques and vintage garden items on a trip to France and Belgium. The lessons learned on the much too-quick trip through rainy Flemish Belgium are still, months later, informing my thoughts on using plants as a way to create spatial relationships and winter color. With land at a premium, artful and considered use of the vertical plane can be seen everywhere, from public plazas to intimate suburban yards. Espaliered and pollarded trees, layered evergreen and deciduous hedging combine to create architectural interest in these gardens. Long after the flowers have faded and the leaves have fallen, they are still compelling and interesting—even in the flat, grey winter light and drizzle. On the rare sunny day, these gardens extend to the ground plane through the long, dramatic shadows typical of the season. ➸ apld.org


(Left) A double row of boxwood spheres adjacent to a salvaged colonnade. (Above) Espaliered trees and geometric hedges define a small public plaza in Brugges, the oldest city in Belgium.

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travelinspiration Using just a few plants in limited spaces such as courtyards or along perimeter fencing, the planting design is expert and highly considered. The skeletal structures of espaliered and pollarded trees allude to the privacy and enclosure they create when fully leafed out. In these semi-enclosed or perimeter spaces the use of espalier, both tall and short, is common. They Tall espalier with a low beech hedge hides a truck are skillfully maintained entrance in a contemporary warehouse district. in a way that signals patience and the long view of a garden—not just a quick unskilled trim that is so typical in the U.S. Yews, boxwood varieties, and laurels form dense evergreen backdrops of varying heights and differentiating layers. Beech hedging with tan winter leaves (which could be red or green in summer) that are held throughout winter is not only used for mass and volume, but also as a buff-colored counterpoint to more evergreen cousins. ➸

READ MORE ■ The Art of Creative Pruning By Jake Hobson ■ The Wirtz Private Garden By Tania Compton ■ American Horticultural Society Pruning and Training By Christopher Brickell

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M

any look at pollarded trees and see a tortured plant and lack of habitat, when in fact they create habitat. Pollarded trees live longer than those that remain unpruned. The practice can multiply the range of niches that increase value to wildlife for both feeding and nesting. Any woody plant can be coppiced or stooped or pollarded to create these dense habitats of new growth. Studies have shown that places with high concentrations of old pollards have been found to have the highest levels of biodiversity in Europe. There are also those who consider these types of plants as old fashioned, yet in context they look contemporary and clean. They are not low maintenance, but with knowledgeable pruning, the hedges require trimming only twice each year, making them much less time consuming than most herbaceous plantings. It is difficult to create ‘instant’ landscapes using these concepts. Unfortunately, in the U.S. the lack of available plants in trainable sizes and the need for annual and ongoing skilled maintenance makes this design idea difficult to accomplish in our mow-and-blow environment.

Garden Travel by Design Discover influential designers, explore trends in contemporary design, and enjoy the spirited company of other garden enthusiasts.

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interview

Container

Garden Design BY KELLY KILPATRICK

Helen Weis, owner of Unique by Design, located in Oklahoma City, is known for creating fantastic container plantings, bursting with energy and lushness. Her plantings span the seasons and create fun focal points in the garden throughout the year. I was able to sit down with Helen and ask her how she maintains the seasonality of her containers, tips for plant combinations, and what makes her container plantings looking so unique.

K.K.: How do you incorporate seasonality into your container plantings? H.W.: This is an area where I really strive for uniqueness and have the most fun “playing.” Natural branches and large sugar pine cones with fresh local evergreens can make an impressive winter display. The selections of cabbage and kale alone will send my mind racing with possibilities for the fall. Cabbages are so easy to use in containers and we can leave them in all winter for blooming come spring. Summer, for me, is all about color and composition because it is our longest season. It’s all about incorporating the things that move you or that you admire about the season, whichever season you may be in.  Each container is specifically designed according to its surroundings and placement. Containers around a pool are not necessarily performing a function; their sole ➸

PHOTOGR A PHS A N D DESI GN S BY H EL EN WEIS

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Symmetry of pots keeps exuberant plantings looking appropriately formal.


Repetition of color— in this case, silver— pulls together the variety of plantings in this container.

Summer

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interview purpose is to please the eye. That is the intention I hold on to when designing any kind of backdrop container. Therefore, you will often find me complementing the outdoor furnishings, a great piece of art, or drifts of the landscape. K.K.: I really enjoy the non-plant elements you include in your containers, such as sculpture, lighting, and gourds. Can you explain how you strike a balance between plantings and accents?Â

H.W.: Non-plant elements are a great way to add structure, whimsy, or seasonal gifts to any container design. Topiary forms add structure and height to a container without using a centerpiece. Adding lighting to a topiary form brings interest to the container in the evening hours when it may otherwise disappear into the shadows. Placing specialty pumpkins and/or gourds into a design give it that flare of the autumn season bounty. The same is true with branches and pinecones in winter. It is an opportunity to celebrate the season and welcome it into your space. K.K.: I love how you use cut foliage in some of your containers. Do you have tips for keeping the cut material fresh?

H.W.: We do use many cuttings from the landscape such as natural branches and fresh-cut evergreen. In most cases we will insert these directly into the soil of the container. The branches dry out on their own and can then be repurposed. In years where the winter is very dry or very warm we will put wet foam on top of the soil and insert the fresh cuts of evergreen into this. For the most part, the cool and wet temps that we usually have become a satisfactory environment and they remain looking good until it warms up again. K.K.: You use many different plants to create textural variety in each pot. Do you have guidelines for how many different kinds of plants to use?

H.W.: To me, texture is every bit as important as color. I want people to really get up close to the container and inspect it, to find curiosity and ➸

Designer Helen Weis finds inspiration during a trip to Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco.

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interview create conversation. I try not to use more than two different dominant textures in a container. If I find a great centerpiece that has a showy texture, I will equal the texture on the bottom but use a softer one. And vice versa, if I find a great spiller with showy texture I will feature it below and keep the texture up top much softer.  K.K.: Do you plan out each container beforehand or do you select material and just play with the organization? 

H.W.: I will actually do both depending on the client or space. If I know it will be a semi-permanent installation that only needs surround plantings, I will plan it out ahead of time. Usually, I am going after style so it does not matter if I am doing tropicals around a pool or all pastels in a courtyard. It is more than likely that I will be designing the container mentally while I am at the nursery, selecting from what is available. Many times I will spot something I want to create a container around and I will go ahead and get it, even if I don’t yet have the container—or even the client—for it. Of course it is necessary to have a fundamental knowledge of the plants you are working with in order to do this, but anyone with a basic knowledge of sun vs. shade can be creative with their containers and, as the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” Plant inventory is such a fluid and ever-changing thing that you really have no choice but to create as you go from what is available in that season. It is possible to stick with one style and do it many different ways, year after year. To me, that is the whole joy of container design. K.K.: How do you keep the variety of plants looking cohesive rather than “too much”?

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H.W.: You never want to overwhelm the eye. Too much color or too much texture and one will glance momentarily and immediately love or detest it. My personal design rule is make your centerpiece grand, no matter the plant. Height is a very important part of container design. I have never been a fan of putting something short in a tall pot. It looks off and the perspective is never quite right. If you do this in a large open area it is going to look stunted. To create the harmony you need, one must use a centerpiece that is equally as tall as the container itself. And symmetry is very important and easy to achieve in container plantings. For formal containers, use only three types of plants – the centerpiece, the filler, and the spiller. One filler and one spiller can be planted all the way around the centerpiece. For a less formal container, have fun with it and use several different plants, but keep the texture minimal. If I have a ➸ apld.org


Architectural, evergreen centerpieces create the backdrop for more colorful, seasonal plantings.

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Greenery and branches can be creatively combined in pots during the colder months when tender plantings are not an option.

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Winter


interview client who loves purple, I will grace the pot with four different shades of purple rather than simply sticking a single purple plant in the pot or making the entire pot purple. Container design is very much like art: you want to create that harmony of texture and color that brings the turn of the head—that second look, that moment needed to scan each plant. K.K.: How often do you generally change out your container plantings? And is this driven by seasonal temperature changes or simply to keep things fresh? 

H.W.: We change out our containers three times per year. Our spring is very short here so we plant in spring for summer. We update them again in fall and winter. For clients who do not want to replace the entire container we install a semi-permanent centerpiece plant such as a topiary or evergreen and change out the surrounding plantings seasonally. Because we have so many seasons and we maintain all of our plantings, we really never need to change them out to simply keep things fresh. K.K.: Do you have a favorite shape, size, or color of container to work with?

H.W.: I don’t necessarily have a favorite shape: it’s really more about function for me. I will say, I never use a narrow-opened container as they are far too hard to clean out at the end of the season. Due to the heat here I always go for deep or wide. And there is something to be said for girth—not necessarily because you need that much root zone, but you want the container large enough so that it will hold moisture in the soil throughout the day. You never want to use a container that is shallow or excessively breathable in this area because it will dry out quickly. Hanging baskets lined with moss or terracotta pots will not make it when the heat is high. Metal and concrete will get very hot in high temps. This limits selection, but you can get just as creative and stylish with other options. It is also important to avoid containers that are too large or small for the space. It will either come out looking dwarfed or overly ostentatious. We all know 3’s and 5’s are what please the eye, but if putting containers in an entryway, my suggestion is to stick to even numbers. Two or four will give you that unspoken formality that every entrance deserves. Keeping the containers equivalent to the grandness of the entry or home occurs when the containers are structured properly, not when they are planted. If you are planting a container that is beautiful on its own or that screams with color, keep the ➸ apld.org

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interview Earth-toned containers allow plantings to take center stage.

planting minimal and simple so that the container continues to be the focal point. If you want the plantings to stand out, use dark, earth-toned containers and allow them to become the background for the planting. Doing both at once is far too much and becomes overwhelming. K.K.: What kind of maintenance do you recommend for your containers? 

H.W.: For successful annual containers, maintenance is always the key. Let’s be honest, plants can be impertinent, aggressive, and are always trying to steal the stage. We prune our containers back twice a month and use a soluble fertilizer as needed. Keeping the container pruned on a regular basis ensures the cohesive growth of each plant into one dynamic display. Left to their own devices, one or two plants will usually take over and choke out the others. Therefore, we force them to play nicely together and in return they put on a show for the season. K.K.: Are you looking forward to trying any new plants or concepts this spring and summer?

H.W.: I am always, always looking forward to the new season and trying out new things. I both create and gather concepts and ideas throughout the year and utilize them in the coming seasons. As Vita Sackville-West so eloquently put it, “The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.”

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2015 board of directors PRESIDENT Colleen Hamilton, APLD Bloomin' Landscape Designs 7122 Willey Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 961-0191 PRESIDENT-ELECT Lisa Port, APLD Banyon Tree Design Studio 3630 Northeast 123rd Street Seattle, WA 98125 (206) 383-5572 SECRETARY/TREASURER Jock Lewendon, APLD Outdoor Living Spaces, LLC 766 Schoolhouse Lane Bound Brook, NJ 08805 (732) 302-9632 IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Susan Cohan,, APLD Susan Cohan Gardens, LLC 69 Hedges Avenue Chatham, NJ 07928 (973) 665-9260 ADVOCACY DIRECTOR Richard Rosiello Rosiello Designs & Meadowbrook Gardens 159 Grove Street New Milford, CT 06776 (860) 488-6507 CERTIFICATION CHAIR Maryanne Quincy, APLD Q Gardens PO Box 2746 Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (408) 739-5493

COMMUNICATIONS & OUTREACH CHAIR Vanessa Gardner Nagel, APLD, NCIDQ Seasons Garden Design LLC 12517 Northeast 20th Avenue Vancouver, WA 98686 (360) 546-2746 EDUCATION CHAIR Ellen Johnston, APLD ETJ Designs 5543 Wateka Drive Dallas, TX 75209 (469) 628-3321 GOVERNANCE CHAIR Eric Gilbey 7150 Riverwood Drive Columbia, MD 21046 (443) 542-0658

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The Designer is an official publication and member service of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), 2207 Forest Hills Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112. Ph: 717-238-9780 Fax: 717-238-9985. Disclaimer: Mention of commercial products in this publication is solely for information purposes; endorsement is not intended by APLD. Material does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of APLD. APLD is not responsible for unsolicited freelance manuscripts and photographs. All printed articles become the copyright of APLD.

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thedesıgner wants you!

The only magazine written by designers for designers, The Designer is looking for talented members like you to share your stories, teach new techniques, and inspire with your designs.

calling all writers

All submissions from APLD members are considered, but The Designer is particularly interested in articles that fit the issue’s editorial theme or are appropriate for one of the magazine’s recurring features, such as “Pro Plant Picks,” or regular columns spotlighting technology or business strategies. Learn more about the submissions process and view the 2015 editorial calendar here.

Not sure if your story is a good fit? Editor in Chief Susan Morrison is happy to discuss your idea with you. Reach her at editor@apld.org. apld.org

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comingnextissue 2015 APLD INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARD WINNERS

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2014 A PLD DESIGN ER OF THE YEA R AWA R D WIN N IN G DESIGN BY COLIN MIL L ER

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APLD The Designer - Summer 15  
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