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n both highbrow and lowbrow culture, clean design lines and tiny houses are fighting for space with wild, overflowing gardens and flashbacks to Stevie Nicks’ wardrobe floating down the runways. Between these two impulses—“EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE AT ONE TIME” and “I-pared-my-lifedown-to-50-objects-let-me-show-them-toyou”—it would seem that one would win. Right now, I think we’re in that in-between where two Zeitgeists are rubbing against each other.
This issue of The Designer is all about this cultural tension and the ways landscape design interfaces with, is influenced by, and, in turn, impacts other aspects of culture.
Christopher Friemuth opens with a plantfocused tour of the concrete jungle —New York City. Benjamin Vogt examines native plants in the context of formal garden design in “Plant App(lication)s.” Joe Salemi describes how to use digital design software to communicate natural seasonal progressions and plant palettes to clients. Susan Morrison, former editor of The Designer, reviews Foliage First, a new book that shows how you really can have one of everything and maintain an orderly aesthetic. Nann White takes us in the field for a primer on pool renovation, demonstrating ways to give that ’80s aesthetic a facelift. Joanne Kostecky Petito pens an essay on how the connections between the landscapes of her childhood, new research on ecology, and one of today’s major design aesthetics converge. Finally, I talk with Carrie Preston, APLD’s 2016 Designer of the Year, about bringing Dutch design influences to the Mid-Atlantic at the year’s biggest flower show. Does it all hit the mark, or is it a mess of scatter pins on a high schooler’s backpack? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. KATIE ELZER-PETERS
PHOTOGR A PH BY KI R STEN B OEHMER PHOTOG RA PHY
Sapphire Blue sea holly (Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’) For more on Foliage FIrst designs see our book review on page 48. apld.org
contents S U M M E R 201 7 11 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 12 DESIGN ROUNDUP Spec, Grow, Read BY KATI E ELZER -PETER S
22 WANDER.LUST. New York City BY CHR I S FR EI MU TH
38 PLA NT A PP(LI CA TI ON)S Native Plants in Formal Design BY B EN JA MI N VOGT
44 BUSINESS Landscape Design Software as a Communication Tool BY J OE SA LEMI
50 BOOK REV I EW Foliage First BY SU SA N MOR R I SON , A PLD
54 CASE STUDY Pool Renovation BY N A N N W HI TE
64 ESSAY Home is Second Nature BY J OA N N E KOSTECKY PET I TO
68 CROSS-POLLINATION A Dutch Garden in Philadelphia BY KATI E ELZER -PETER S A ND CA R R I E PR ESTON
ON THE COVER : CA R R I E PR ESTON’S “ I N CLU SI VE GA R DEN ” PHOTOGR A PH BY J OLA N THE LA LKEN S THI S SPR EA D: PHOTOGR A PH BY KA R EN CHA PMA N
thedesÄ±gner EDITOR IN CHIEF Katie Elzer-Peters ART DIRECTOR
Marti Golon COPY EDITOR
Joanne Kostecky Petito
WANDER.LUST: New York City
ESSAY: Home is Second Nature
Christopher Freimuth is the founder and director of CF Gardens, a landscape design firm based in New York City. He collaborates with a dedicated team of gardeners to design, install, and maintain rooftop and backyard gardens throughout NYC and the metro region. Trained at the New York Botanical Garden's School of Professional Horticulture, Christopher's aesthetic brings horticultural sophistication into the urban environment. By prioritizing ecological planting design, he creates gardens that support the people, plants, and pollinators of his beloved city and its surroundings.
Joanne Kostecky Petito and her company, Joanne Kostecky Garden Design, Inc. of Allentown, Pennsylvania, have won over 100 local, state, national, and international awards including APLD. Joanne is the recipient of a state and national Hall of Fame Award for her contributions to the industry. She was the first woman president of the American Nursery and Landscape Association in 130 years. Joanne now has a design coaching company to help do-it-yourself homeowners with their landscape needs.
Denise Calabrese, CAE ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Lisa Ruggiers MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR
Angela Burkett COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Michelle Keyser EVENTS DIRECTOR
Lori Zelesko ASSISTANT COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Courtney Kuntz MEMBERSHIP, CERTIFICATION & CHAPTER ASSOCIATE
Kelly Clark COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE
Tim Minnick FINANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Jennifer Swartz DATABASE MANAGEMENT ADMINISTRATOR
Leona Wagner EVENT SPECIALIST
Jamie Hoffman FINANCE SPECIALIST
Krista Olewine OFFICE SPECIALIST
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contributors Susan Morrison
BOOK REVIEW: Foliage First
BUSINESS: PLANT APPS: Landscape Design Native Plants in Software Tool Formal Design
Author of The Less Is More Garden—Big Ideas for Your Small Yard (Timber Press, 2017) and co-author of the best-selling Garden Up!: Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces, California landscape designer Susan Morrison is a nationally recognized authority on small-sized outdoor spaces. She gives her popular talk, “Small Gardens, Big Impact,” to garden enthusiasts all over the country and has shared small-garden strategies on the PBS series Growing a Greener World. Susan’s designs have been featured in Fine Gardening magazine, where she also contributes articles on design and plant selection.
Joe Salemi is responsible for DynaSCAPE’s branding, market position, sales, and product management and strategic relations with associations and key industry influencers. Joe brought 10 years of experience in the Canadian landscape industry to DynaSCAPE, and since joining the company has studied landscape designers and design/ build contractors all over North America, learning about their needs, frustrations, and gaps in sales and productivity. Joe is a Certified Association Executive through the Canadian Society of Association Executives and is currently working on his Landscape Industry Certified Manager designation.
Benjamin Vogt owns Monarch Gardens, a prairie garden consulting and design firm in Lincoln, Nebraska. His personal garden has been featured online at ApartmentTherapy. com, FineGardening. com, and GardenDesign.com. Benjamin’s weekly column at Houzz. com has been read nearly two million times, and he speaks nationally on native plants, climate change, and garden philosophy. You can link to his social media pages at www. monarchgard.com.
Nann White CASE STUDY: Pool Renovation
Nann White has extensive experience in the field of landscaping, including irrigation installation, plant maintenance, construction bidding, construction management, and design. She has a degree in Landscape Architecture and has worked in many types of offices including commercial landscaping, public works, and residential design and design/build. In the late 1990s she hung out her own sign— Redbud Design—and worked for many years throughout Sonoma County, California. In 2000 Nann moved to San Francisco and now practices in both Marin and San Francisco counties.
>>Click bold names for link to website apld.org
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president’smessage A Day in the Life
oday I drove to a job site that is recently under construction where the front yard is full of paint lines, boulders, and a myriad of tools. There is a detailed, dimensioned plan with notes and specifications, but, as is typical, I’m meeting with the contractor to refine the layout of these elements. It’s a good start.
I spoke with a potential new client about my design services and how I can help them with a steeply sloping backyard. It will likely require a permit and team work with structural and geotechnical engineers to bring it all together. They have scheduled a paid consultation in a couple of weeks.
Back at the office I caught up on emails, committee and task force work with APLD, more marketing, business planning with my financial planner, more marketing.
I took a call from a client who told me she was thrilled to receive the best offer ever for her recently listed home. “It was the garden that sold it,” she said. Swoon. In the pouring rain, I ventured to the nursery to select tropicals and other nonhardy bling for an Italian-inspired Pacific Northwest garden. The purchases support the stumbling nursery trade that is still recovering from the recession.
In between picking up kids and making dinner, I am writing up this letter. My day is a varied, mixed-up mismatch of people, plants, rocks, computers, phones calls, shovels, and rain. I do have one of the very best jobs in the world because, when it all comes together, it makes up a thriving landscape design business run by a professional landscape designer that brings pleasure to my clients, work for tradesmen and women, and supports my family. What could possibly be better than that? Find your designer at www.apld.org #hireaprofessional #iamapld @landscapedesigners
LISA PORT APLD
designroundup BY KATIE ELZER-PETERS
Product of the Year FX LUMINAIRE’S DOWN LIGHT
APLD’s Product of the Year awards showcase design-worthy products that add to outdoor living. Members of APLD are invited to nominate their favorite products to be considered for the award, finalists are chosen, and the membership votes on the winning product. This year’s winner is FX Luminaire’s Down Light, a go-to outdoor lighting fixture that features small size and versatile uses. The VE LED softly illuminates areas from above when hung from trees or architectural elements and is perfect for producing a moonlighting effect for seating areas, focal points, or landscaping features with one or three LEDs. Visit www.fxl.com to learn more. ➸
Down lights softly illuminate areas from above when hung from trees.
A LL PHOTOS COURTESY THE COMPA NIES
METAL WALL CALLIGRAPHY
HARTSTONE TILES AND PAVERS
SIFAS-POUR STACKABLE DINING CHAIRS
APLD Product of the Year runners-up include two fun and funky modern seating options; non-slip, weather-resistant tiles; and wire calligraphy wall art. See all the winners and get more information here. â?§ >>Click product name for website apld.org
Looking for something spectacular to spec this summer? Pep up your pots and add color to sunny and shady landscape designs with caladiums. In the interest of putting “foliage first” in the garden, I’m lighting the torch for these old-fashioned plants and declaring that everything old is new again. That is certainly the case with selections like ‘Blushing Bride’, ‘Desert Sunset’, and ‘Summer Breeze’, all new varieties from Classic Caladiums, a division of Abbott-Ipco. These aren’t your grandma’s anemic, disease-prone caladiums that either a) fade, b) turn green, or c) scorch in the sun. Whether you’re designing a tropical oasis, picking a plant apld.org
palette for a garden outside of a renovated 19th century brownstone, or a spicing up a porch attached to a Charleston shotgun house, there’s a caladium for that.
Dr. Robert Hartman, the breeder of these new varieties, has been working exclusively with caladiums since 2000, focusing on disease resistance, sun tolerance, and, most importantly, color. “We have plants in shades of yellow, lavender, black, orange—all in various stages of production,” he says.
‘Lemon Blush’ is a big standout, producing large red leaves with chartreuse margins. Really, though, it would be hard to pick just one to grow. They’re all gorgeous, and all guaranteed to get the reaction, “That’s a caladium?” Forget flowers! This summer, lead with leaves!
THE SPIRIT OF STONE ST. LYNN’S PRESS, 2017 by Jan Johnsen Landscape designer Jan Johnsen has written a definitive primer on using stone in the garden and landscape. From creating and integrating stone sculptures to working with native stone, installing dry streams, and constructing stone steps, almost every application of stone is covered. She also dispenses practical advice for moving and working with stone, shows and describes different types of stone and their best uses, and teaches about related materials such as mortar, sand, and gravel.
After you d some filter The rocks o to the prop
The large split rock shares the s the New York Botanical Garden In advance praise for the book, APLD member Carolyn Mullet says, Coreopsis, fall asters.
building a drywith stream byhoned determining thedesign layout “Jan Johnsen’s Begin intimate relationship stone, over a long and width of the Remember rocks along career, shines through every pagechannel. of this practical guide that to using stone in residential gardens. Perhaps more importantly, shewidth. explains whysure this to most the side will take up some of the Make elemental of materials creates allow for wider “pool” areas. I use orange marking paint a timeless sensuality that no (not spray paint!) to denote where to dig. other garden material can.”
The Spirit of Stone
author of Heaven is a Garden
The language of the book is accessible for intrepid DIYers, but the sheer depth and breadth of information makes it a must-have for any designer (particularly one who is just starting out) who foresees frequent work with stone in their future. ➸ >>Click here to buy book
You can place a PVC perforated pipe (holes facing
PH OTOS COU RT ESY T HE PU B LI SH ER
101 Practical & Creative Stonescaping Ideas for Your Garden
The finishe stands out
dig the channel about one foot deep, lay fabric inside and place rocks along the sides. on the far side are higher than the ones next posed lawn.
The large split rock shares the spotlight with the summer grasses and blooming spotlight with the summer grasses and blooming perennials at the Native perennials Garden at at the n: native plants such as prairie dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepsis), yellowNative flowering Garden at the New York Botanical Garden: native plants such as prairie dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepsis), yellow 30 flowering Coreopsis, fall asters.
ed dry stream. The channel is narrow but t with the dark gray Mexican beach pebbles
A DRY STREAM The channel is narrow but stands out with the dark gray Mexican beach pebbles contrasting against the lighter stones. Thin blades of iris and sedges, fitting plants for a streamside planting, enhance the look.
before they look for a landing to stop at. This is a
generalization, but it is a handy guide. I angled the top set of steps to vary the look
– the two lower sets of steps are in alignment, LEFT: Here, slightly bowed grass steps
creating themade effectfrom of a split grandBelgian outdoor staircase. with risers blocks end effect at a curved wall. It In is important The is verystone ceremonial. fact, there was an to pitch each step up so rain drains off. Grass steps wellgrass suited for took steepthe slopes, outdoor wedding, andare these steps Mow the steps with a string trimmer.
as shown in figure xx. In all,is18 step risers were Lady’s (Alchemilla mollis) place ofmantle the aisle! plantednecessary atop the to wall. scale the hill. I divided them into 3 sets of 6 steps interspersed with 2 wide grass
STEPS landings. I have foundGRASS that 6 steps are about
ly bowed grass steps with risers made from n blocks end at a curved stone wall. It is to pitch each step up so rain drains off. Mow with a string trimmer. I planted lady’s mantle a mollis) atop the wall.
the most steps people will ascend outdoors
before they look for a landing to stop at. This is generalization, but it is a handy guide. I angled the top set of steps to vary the look
be straight lines that fan out as they
– the two lower sets of steps are in alignment,
ope. They can be made to be long treads
creating the effect of a grand outdoor staircase
cross a hill, creating a ceremonial feel.
The effect is very ceremonial. In fact, there was
l, they are relatively inexpensive to build!
outdoor wedding, and these grass steps took th
pth of the grass treads can vary from
ABOVE: Grass steps need good, wellplace of the aisle! draining topsoil and a slight pitch forward for continued health of the turf. Make sure Grass steps need good, well-draining topsoil and a not to add too much mortar behind the riser. slight pitch forward for continued health of the turf.
more. Just make sure to maintain a pitch
he front of the treads. And remember,
ere, slightly bowed grass steps with risers made from Make sure not to add too much mortar behind the riser. er the tread, the lower the riser. I like to
plit Belgian blocks end at a curved stone wall. It is mportant to pitchifeach up so rain treads deeper I canstep because the drains grass off. Mow he steps with a string trimmer. I planted lady’s mantle th more space between the risers. Alchemilla mollis) atop the wall.
hey can be straight lines that fan out as they
limb a slope. They can be made to be long treads
hat cut across a hill, creating a ceremonial feel.
est of all, they are relatively inexpensive to build! The depth of the grass treads can vary from
8–36" or more. Just make sure to maintain a pitch
own to the front of the treads. And remember,
he deeper the tread, the lower the riser. I like to
STONE SLAB STEPS
Chiseled stone slabs are set on top of each other to climb a rise to a large level area above. Tall ornamental grass were planted such as maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis gracillimus) aswell-draining a tall divider Grass steps need good, topsoil and a between the upper slight pitch forward for continued health of the turf. lowermortar areas.behind the r Make sure not to add and too much
make the treads deeper if I can because the grass
hrives with more space between the risers.
tone slabs are set on top of each other to climb a rise to a large level play area. I planted tall ornamental as maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis gracillimus) as a tall divider between the upper and lower areas.
POWER DUO SESSIONS 6.5
2017 APLD INTERNATIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN CONFERENCE THURSDAY, JULY 13 | BOSTON, MA
8:30 – 11:30 AM | PART 1: 2D/3D PLANTS AND PLANT MASSES Learn how Vectorworks’ plant objects and landscape areas can be customized with data, 2D graphics and 3D representations.
1:00 – 4:00 PM | PART 2: 2D/3D TERRAIN MODELING Learn how site models are created, modified and analyzed.
Experience what’s possible with Vectorworks software before the show by downloading your free, 30-day trial.
A summer movie screening at Brooklyn Bridge Park. PH OTO C R E D I T: DU MBO N YC
New York More to the City Jungle than Concrete BY CHRISTOPHER FREIMUTH So you think New York City only grows skyscrapers? All five boroughs of this insane city are saturated with green space. To get a taste, letâ€™s take a brief tour through Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.
The Brooklyn Grange grows vegetables for local restaurants on a rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
First on the list is Brooklyn: America’s sweetheart. National champion of skinny jeans and oversized, nonprescription spectacles, Brooklyn hardly needs an introduction. It’s where the famous literary tree grows (an invasive Ailanthus, unfortunately) and where some neighborhoods—I’m looking at you, Park Slope—even have municipal composting. In terms of gardens, we begin with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG). As far as botanical gardens go, I personally think this is one of the best. It’s just so beautiful. The impeccably kempt Japanese garden is replete with a crimson torii gate and schools of enormous koi (#sharks). In spring, the cherry allees
ALL PHOTOGR A PHS BY CHR I STOPHER FR EI MUTH EXCEPT WHER E N OT ED
wander.lust. LEFT: The beds of the Brooklyn Grange’s 12-story rooftop farm blend into Brooklyn’s urban forest. BELOW: The twin lines of the Cherry Esplanade at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
PHOTOGR A PH BY B LA N CA B EG ERT
are breathtaking, and throughout the changing seasons the wild-ish native plant garden gives visitors a bit of respite in the middle of the bustling borough. A big bonus to BBG is its location, directly behind the world-famous Brooklyn Museum and adjacent to trendy Park Slope. The museum and garden are at the northern tip of Prospect Park—Brooklyn’s cherished, smaller sibling to Manhattan’s Central Park. As in most parks, the best place to dine here is on a red-checkered blanket under a maple tree. Candles? Why not.
A couple of neighborhoods away, stop in for a workshop or dinner at the Brooklyn Grange. Located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Grange is a gorgeous 1.5-acre rooftop farm that grows vegetables for restaurants, farmers’ markets, charities, and more. Their sister non-profit, City Growers, uses the farm as a classroom and food lab for school kids from throughout NYC. ➸ apld.org
wander.lust. RIGHT: St.
Ann’s Warehouse is known for its cuttingedge theater productions. BELOW: It’s worth waiting on the long line for Grimaldi’s New York style pizza.
PHOTO C R E D IT: DY L A N J. HACH E Y
The Brooklyn Grange hosts workshops for adults on topics as varied as beekeeping, green roof design, cooking, and more. At the nearby Queens location, you can reserve a seat at one of their butcher paper dinners throughout the season. These dinners feature local food prepared by well-known NYC chefs, served at an enormously long, handmade, family-style table that boasts sunset views of Manhattan. Over where the East River spills into the Hudson Bay, Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) is a developing masterpiece designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. This park is equal parts green infrastructure and public space, serving to buffer water from the bay while providing a truly cutting-edge park experience for visitors. And the views are bananas.
>>Click bold names for link to website 26
PHOTO CR EDI T: ST. A N N’S WA REHOU SE
While in the BBP neighborhood—on the edge of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO—consider staying for dinner and a show. Grimaldi’s is a famous pizza joint with a line around the block, and down the road St. Ann’s Warehouse guarantees excellent theater. If you’ve still got energy, grab a coffee at Brooklyn Roasting Company and take a stroll across the pedestrian-and-camera-friendly Brooklyn Bridge.
And of course if you’re up in Williamsburg, there are just about a million adorable garden shops to check out in between your poetry readings and house shows. Spend some time at the geographically confused Chelsea Garden Center; the glorified True Value store and garden center, Crest Hardware; and the quintessentially Brooklyn flower and garden design shop, Sprout Home. ➸ apld.org
Sprout Home is a hip garden shop in Brooklyn that is sure to inspire your next garden idea.
PHOTO BY R A MSEY DE GI VE/SPR OU T HOME COMPA N Y
Upon crossing Brooklyn Bridge, we’re now in Manhattan: land of hilariously expensive purses and chance sightings of Alec Baldwin. Also, land of a gazillion public parks. Let’s start at the south end and work our way up.
The southernmost public park in Manhattan is actually an island off of Manhattan. Dubbed “The Park at the Center of the World” (because Manhattan actually is the center of the world), Governor’s Island is 100 percent public park, accessible by ferry. Like BBP, it’s a place still in the making—to my taste, watching its
PHOTO CR EDI T: TOD SEELI E/GOTH A MIST
wander.lust. There are terrific views of the Statue of Liberty across the harbor from Governor's Island.
development is as fascinating as enjoying the parts that are complete. The island seems to have everything, from perennial borders to open lawns, a monumental rock scramble, and an orchard with hammocks. You can literally come to New York City, lie in a hammock on an island, and doze off while gazing at the Freedom Tower. I mean, come on!
Back on Manhattan itself, The Battery rests under the towering skyscrapers of the Financial District. Here you can see some of the perennial and woody plant design of Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf. For a fancy lunch, grab a cab headed to Washington Square Park and get out at Blue Hill, a pioneering restaurant in the local food movement. For a more affordable option, try Rosemary’s—a revered local pizza place with a rooftop farm.
Over in the 30s on Lexington Avenue, the New York Design Center is a nice place to get lost if you feel like window shopping for garden accessories. Among the constellation of showrooms are those of Pennoyer Newman, a NYC company that makes elegant planters from historic molds, and Hudson Valley-based John Danzer, whose hand-crafted garden furniture is on full display. And then there are the other zillion designers showing their diverse and exciting collections of indoor and outdoor furniture, antiques, accessories, and more. Back on the west side of Manhattan, the next stop is the one, the only,
>>Click bold names for link to website
wander.lust. drumroll please … the High Line! Another of Piet Oudolf’s planting designs— and the one that skyrocketed him from rock star to mega rock superstar extraordinaire—the High Line is one of the most popular tourist attractions in NYC. A former railroad line that snakes up over 20 city blocks from Chelsea to Hell’s Kitchen, the High Line is a display of modern architecture and planting design that will definitely inspire conversation. Sometimes really popular things are underwhelming when you go see them in real life. This is not one of them.
You can get on the High Line from many locations, but I recommend starting at Chelsea Market, a prime people-watching mecca at 9th Avenue and 15th Street. At the northern end of the High Line, hop on a Citi Sit with a cup of coffee and people-watch all day Bike and make your in the midst of aged architecture and trendy shops. way up to Central Park. The park of all parks, Central Park makes up about 6 percent of Manhattan’s land. There are too many sections to enjoy, from the Ramble in the lower-eastern quadrant to Strawberry Fields, a tribute to John Lennon over by his old digs on the west side of the park near 72nd Street. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see Yoko.
Further up in the park, the Conservatory Garden is a 6-acre formal garden with a massive wisteria arbor, flowering crabapple allees, and seasonal displays—check out the spring tulips in particular. Opened in 1937 and restored in the 1980s by one of New York’s most beloved public garden designers, Lynden Miller, it is a hidden gem of formality in the midst of an otherwise more casual park aesthetic. ➸
>>Click bold names for link to website
An evening stroll along the High Line, beneath the Standard Hotel.
Spanning 20 city blocks, the High Line is one of the most popular tourist attractions in NYC.
wander.lust. RIGHT: Manhattan’s
impressive skyline contrasts with the bucolic Central Park. BELOW: The Conservatory Garden offers a taste of formality in Central Park’s leisurely spread.
While in Central Park, take a break from all that pollen with a visit to one of the many museums hugging the perimeter. Among others are the Guggenheim and The MET on the Upper East Side (near the Conservatory Garden), the Frick Collection (also on the East Side, just south of the Ramble), and the Museum of Natural History (just north of Strawberry Fields on the West Side).
A bit of advice: if you’re around on a Sunday, make sure to hit up the Farmers’ Market and Fair outside the Museum of Natural History. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Way up north, toward the uppermost tip of Manhattan, are Fort Tryon and the Cloisters. Managed by the MET, the Cloisters are actual former cloisters whose architecture has been preserved and transformed into a museum. PHOTO CR EDI T: CEN TR A L PA R K CON SERVA N CY
Central Park makes up six percent of the land in Manhattan. You could explore for weeks and never see it all.
The structures are stunning, the gardens sweet, and the exhibits very much worth seeing. To boot, the sunset view over the Hudson River is the definition of romance. Bring a baguette and stay until dusk. ➸ >>Click bold names for link to website
wander.lust. The Bronx
Baseball fans may know the Bronx as home to the Yankees, but to be frank, I think baseball’s boring. So when I’m in the area I drop my buddies off at the stadium and head over to the gardens.
First off, there’s the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Having just celebrated its 125th birthday, this 250-acre empire lives up to its stated mission of protecting, researching, and teaching about plants. If you’re going in the spring, make sure to spend time in the Azalea Garden, as well as the Lilac and Cherry Collections. Summer is for roses, and the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is where it’s at. But really, if I were you, I’d visit NYBG in the fall. The entire garden is bonkers with color. Especially attractive are the Native Plant Garden, the 50-acre, old-growth Thain Family Forest, and the newly established Steinhardt Maple Collection. Winter has its own delights, especially the Holiday Train Show and the Orchid Show in the tropical climes of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
An arbor adorned with vines and seasonal plantings frames the Hudson River Palisades at Wave Hill.
Across the Bronx from NYBG is another historic institution, a former estate that has for decades built a reputation as one of the premier public gardens in the country. Wave Hill is sited on a cliff above the Hudson River, with the backdrop of the Hudson Palisades adding drama and grandeur to its spectacular plantings. I have compared Wave Hill to its cultural siblings, Chanticleer in Pennsylvania and Hollister House in Connecticut, gardens that have adapted and boldly enhanced the English garden style. I love everything about Wave Hill, and that’s about as specific as I can be.
>>Click bold names for link to website
PHOTOGR A PH BY MI CK HA L ES
To best enjoy New York, my recommendation is to throw all your preconceived notions about the concrete jungle out the window, grab yourself a tofu hotdog and a gluten-free pretzel, and get outside. Spend the day appreciating those million trees that Bette Midler just planted for you, and then go give her a standing ovation at that show she’s rocking on Broadway. Trust me—there’s a reason we all love New York.
plantapps Native Plants in Formal Design
BY BENJAMIN VOGT
oes using native plants in a formal design sound like an impossible reality? I hope not. There are a plethora of ways to use native plants in a more formal garden, with some strategies focused on the plants themselves, and others on the hardscape choices we make. Although â€œformalâ€? design can mean different things to different people, basic principles and elements include using masses or lines of one plant, repetition, reflection, framing the view, and tiered levels in borders and beds.
Here are some beginning strategies to build upon to incorporate natives in formal design.
Honor the Place
The bold upright form of This means working with the environment and cliLiatris lends itself to mate while not imposing an incompatible ideal on formal garden design. a site. A garden in the southwest will look and grow markedly different than one in New England or the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes, when trying to mediate human art and regional ecology, the constraints of a region open up new creative possibilities. For example, you might ask yourPHOTO CR EDI T: B EN JA MI N VOGT
self, in what ways can the aesthetic and function of a desert landscape inform and push the boundaries of a formal baseline?
Choose Well-Behaved Natives
Angular hardscape combined with blowsy plantings creates a delightful tension in Studio Toop’s (APLD’s 2016 Designer of the Year) inclusive garden.
Plants that lend themselves well to formal design tend to be clumpers rather than spreaders. One of my favorite perennials to use for a low shrub-like look with blooms into late autumn, when the last migrating insects are desperate for nectar, is aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies’). This selection differs from the species in that it forms a nice rounded form, making it a solid specimen for lining a walkway or accenting a sidewalk corner—think of it as a balled boxwood but with more pollinator value. ➸ P H OTO C R E D IT: JO LANTH E LALK E NS
Strong linear hardscape paired with uniform clumping native grasses creates a formal look with a native touch.
I also find grasses like prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) fairly well behaved, and able to hold their forms through winter. Our many springblooming Baptisia are another choice, with the more humble Baptisia minor being roughly 2 Ă— 2 feet with clean, smooth foliage that some sulphur butterfly species lay eggs on. Iâ€™ve always imagined that a line of blazing star (Liatris aspera or Liatris ligulistylis) would make a fine element in a more formal planting. The latter blooms earlier, in mid-summer, and the former in late summer to early fall. Both are highly attractive to all manner of long-tongued insects like larger bees, as well as a plethora of butterflies and moths, and provide verticality in winter. 40
PHOTO CR EDI TS: R I CHA R D MA N DEL KORN
Design Underground Sometimes we don’t give enough credit or thought to what’s going on in the soil, and how roots competing for resources determine what happens above ground. Placing competitive plants among other competitive plants will result in them fighting it out a bit, keeping each other in check. Plants with fibrous root zones can be placed among one another, to compete for soil nutrients at the same levels, thus reducing top growth and vigor. On the other hand, a taprooted plant like coneflower (Echinacea spp.) or butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) placed among sedges (Carex spp.) will not compete at the same underground layer, which benefits all involved. This mixing of root masses will minimize weed establishment and conserve soil moisture. Many of our native ➸
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perennial forbs and grasses tend to over-perform in rich, amended soils if they have evolved to thrive in clay, sand, or rocky silt. In a pampered bed, with ample water and compost, they may grow too tall, flop, or have shortened lives. Ask yourself if you need as much garden “prep” for some native species.
Native grasses soften the hardscape edges in this award-winning design by Katherine Field.
Frame the Garden
Incorporating hardscape in the landscape might be the easiest way to establish formal design intentions, and material selection certainly plays a part. A brick or concrete wall, rectilinear sidewalks, and using lawn as a transition/ resting space for the eye are all key strategies. Pergolas and planters—not only their design, but also their placement—can add formality, while echoing 42
PHOTO CR EDI TS: R I CHA R D MA N DELKORN
older European landscape traditions. How hardscape features frame the view and guide the eye also trains us in how to experience and read the space. Is the reveal long and distant, or is it short and intimate? Which one plays more to the intention of formality? How can we time bloom sequence to lead viewers through the garden and highlight the formal intentions, if even subtly?
Using native plants does not have to mean meadow, new perennial, or “wild.” In fact, wildness can exist in any design, especially when incorporating native plants. Pollinators evolved to use natives as hosts for their young, as well as timing their life cycles to use pollen from specific species (as is the case with oligolectic native bees). Pushing the boundary of employing native plants in landscape design will invigorate our profession, and invite more wildlife to the garden, exciting both client and designer.
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business Landscape Design Software as a Communication Tool BY JOE SALEMI
igital software allows Jay Vanderkruk to complete more drawings, faster and more accurately, which allows for higher margins while opening up additional time for client communication.
As the product marketing manager for DYNAScape, I talk to landscape designers all the time about making the shift from hand-drawing to using software to best convey their design message. While it can sometimes be a difficult conversation, I find that in addition to disDigital software cussing the technology and allows Jay Vanderwhat it entails, we talk a lot kruk to complete about just how much explamore drawings, nation is required by defaster and more signers to help their clients accurately, which allows for higher understand the plan that is margins while being presented. Our conopening up addiversation usually progresses tional time for client from the time it takes to communication. hand-draw and then render 44
your plan in color to how long it takes to do even the simplest of revisions to providing a plant and material list with accurate takeoffs. More than that, the increasing importance of sharing drawings with others in a meaningful way always comes up, and that is difficult to do with hand-drawn plans.
Digital software can make client communication much easier, but donâ€™t take my word for it. I spoke with APLD members to get the scoop on how they use digital software not just for practical renderings, but also as a communication tool âž¸ to improve their businesses.
DESI GN S BY J VK LA N DSCA PE DESIG N A N D CON SULTATI O N IN C.
business Inspiring Client Confidence Lisa Mierop, APLD, of Mierop Design in Montclair, New Jersey, considers herself a later adopter of design software, saying, “I was in love with hand drawing and so were my clients. The process of drawing—the tactile feel of pencil to paper—was in the DNA of my entire design process for all the years I had been working professionally.” As she got the hang of the software, however, she says, “I felt like an ice skater, able to do triple jumps without sweating. Complex drawings with many sets of changes were no longer an anxious task. Being able to share files made communications faster and easier with clients and I could impress them with my rapid-fire response. This, in turn, inspired client confidence in my entire business as they saw a seamless operation that handled change and detailing with ease.”
Higher Margins with More Time for Client Questions
For Jay Vanderkruk of JVK Landscape Design and Consultation Inc, it was about the speed and efficiency that landscape CAD software provided for him. He says, “The biggest thing is the ability to complete more drawings and projects faster and with less invested time so that the business margins can be higher, while offering more time for communication with clients along the way.”
Quick Concepts, Collaboration, and Color Palates
“For me, Dynascape is a digital pencil,” says Susan Cohan, APLD of Susan Cohan Gardens in Chatham, New Jersey. “It is the same as hand-drafting with the bonus of being able to easily share and transfer files. When several collaborators are working on a project, there is the ability to seamlessly ‘talk’ to one another via these files. When we were working on paper the process took longer and was much more cumbersome. Similarly, I communicate intent with my clients early in the design process. I color up a concept using Dynascape color and email it to them to start off the discussion about final design details. I don’t detail plants or materials on this, it’s purely conceptual.” In addition, Susan also 46
DESI GN S BY SUSA N COHA N
Digital software makes it easy for Susan Cohan to show her clients seasonal color changes of a design.
uses DynaSCAPE Color to figure out the palette of a planting plan before even deciding on the plants. “It’s fast and helps me to visualize things.”
Communicating with Contractors
Lisa sees tremendous benefits from using landscape design software when working with contractors, saying, “Having more carefully rendered and dimensioned documents made handing projects off to sub-contractors easier too. Takeoffs are so much less time-consuming and being able to bring up a plant list, and then turn that into an Excel document with pricing all with a few ➸ apld.org
business simple button pushes still gives me a thrill every time I think about how much time I am saving. Then there is the beauty of digitally sending files to the printer instead of having to drive over with a real drawing, or the fear of actually losing a physical drawing.â€? DESI GN BY MI ER OP DES IGN
Project takeoffs are easy to extract from drawings and to change if the project changes.
Convenience is King She also likes the convenience digital plans offer. “I don’t have to carry drafting tools and paper around between home and office or when I travel. I love the ease of leaving my office empty-handed and picking up a drawing on another computer. No more unsharpened pencils or missing scale.” Lisa continues, “My PDFs are available on my iPhone so I’m always prepared. I can make an unexpected stop at any job and be ready with drawing in hand (or rather in phone) without scrambling through office files. I can get a call from the field and wherever I am I can see my drawing and discuss it in detail without having to go back to the office to find a copy. This is huge.”
Whether it’s sharing digital files with other landscape designers or landscape architects, making presentations to your client to help them understand your design intent, or communicating with the people who will build from your plan, there are true and significant benefits of migrating to landscape design software.
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Foliage First GA R D E N I N G WIT H FOL IAG E FIR ST: 1 27 DAZZLING CO M B I N AT ION S T HAT PAIR THE BEAUTY OF LEAVES W ITH F LOW E R S, B ARK , B ERRIES AND MOR E TIMBER PRESS, 2016 BY KA R E N C HA P M A N A N D CHRI STI NA SALWI TZ REVIEW BY SUSAN MORRISON
ike most landscape designers, I rely on shrubs and trees in a range of colors and textures to form the backbone of my planting plans. So while I’m no stranger to the classic design strategy of building a garden around foliage rather than flowers, I confess to sometimes finding myself falling back on tried and true combinations. (Red New Zealand flax and lamb’s ears, anyone?) To the rescue is landscape designers and authors Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz’s newest collaboration, Gardening with Foliage First: 127 Dazzling Combinations that Pair the Beauty of Leaves with Flowers, Bark, Berries and More (Timber Press, 2016), the perfect antidote to predictable pairings.
>>Get the book! Click here 50
After a short introduction that outlines the authors’ philosophy of leading with color, texture, and form, the book is divided into two sections: combinations for spring and summer, and combinations for fall and winter. Within each seasonal category are pairings for both sun and shade. The number of plants in a vignette varies from two to ten, and each combination leads with a description of how the plants will perform over time, including identifying anchor plants ➸ A LL PHOTOS BY KA R EN CHA PMA N
DRAMA WITHOUT THE DRAMATICS. Thriving in poor, dry soil and a sundrenched site, this trio of yellow mullein (Verbascum epixanthinum), Color Guard yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’), and Sapphire Blue sea holly (Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’) will reward you with color, fragrance, foliage, and flowers. apld.org
Introduce flower-forward clients to the beauty of a garden built around foliage.
and describing seasonal changes. Foliage combinations are treated as a starting point, and each foliage pairing is complemented by what the authors refer to as “the finishing touch, which may be anything from flowers, thorns, berries, or twigs to a specially selected piece of garden art that completes the scene.”
While there are many examples of classic combinations, like chartreuse and burgundy, I found myself drawn to some of the subtler pairings, such as a softly-colored grouping of golden locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’) and dwarf Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans Nana’, which is elevated above the ordinary with the inclusion of peachcolored lilies (Longiflorum-Asiatic [LA] Lilium hybrid). Designing while sitting in front of a computer screen means I sometimes lose track of how complex plants can be, and having the authors call out how berries and bark can echo the leaves of surrounding plants and provide an extra season of interest is a pertinent reminder. For designers who bring books along to client meetings, Gardening with Foliage First can not only serve as a good resource for narrowing down a color palette, but may also help introduce flower-forward clients to the beauty of a garden built around foliage. The authors have made a concerted effort to include plants from a range of climates, but their combinations can also serve as an inspirational jumping-off point for regionally appropriate plant substitutes.
BEAUTY WITHOUT THE BEAST COMBO Deer are notorious for having fickle tastes, but in most gardens they would leave this combo alone. Layers of evergreen and deciduous foliage provide the perfect picture frame for the lilies.
WHAT TO DO WIT BEFORE
A pool with a view. For more details, see on pages 62-63 54
TH AN OLD POOL BY NANN WHITE
ack in the ’50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, having a swimming pool was a real sign of status. Jump forward 20 to 30 years, with a myriad of water use restrictions coming down from government regulators, and an ongoing state of drought in many places, and having a swimming pool is not so cool. For homeowners with an existing, aging pool, there are only two choices—take it out or remodel the old one. My design firm has dealt with both of these scenarios but my preference is to remodel an old pool rather than suggest taking it out. Pool remodels are a challenge, but it is satisfying to give new life to this particular space in the garden.
Removing Old Pools
Taking out a pool means one of two things: jack-hammering the upper part of the pool, drilling holes through the bottom so that it drains, and then burying it in place, or jack-hammering the pool and completely removing all of the concrete. Requirements, permits, and practices differ from place to place, depending on municipal regulations. Pool removal is not cheap. It can cost anywhere from $5,000 to as much as $20,000 to remove a pool, depending on the regulations, the size of the pool, and the access to the pool. It is possible to renovate aspects of the pool and landscape for the cost of removal. There are companies that specialize in this service if your client chooses to go this route. ➸ ALL PHOTOGR A PHY BY N A N N WHI TE
Going Mod. For more details, see case study on page 61-62
Remodeling Offers Opportunities For the same cost as removal, it may be possible to renovate aspects of the pool and landscape. When I arrive at a potential clientâ€™s property and see a green, algae-filled pool with coping all askew, abutting a cracked concrete patio, I grin from ear to ear because this is my favorite type of project. Why? Two reasons: first, the pool is often an area of many happy memories, and
Hand seeding Mexican pebbles for a high-end finish.
casestudy I get to help the clients set the scene for new memories. Second, a pool is a fixed area with a concrete set of parameters. Most of the time when looking at an old pool landscape, I will find mature trees and shrubs that instantly fulfill the client’s wish for privacy or allow for some creative design not afforded by completely new installations. Now that I have completed more than a dozen pool remodels, I also know about how much the project will cost, including various options for finishes and materials. ➸
SPEC THIS: Pool Finishes As with many of my other projects, when remodeling a pool, I look to the existing architectural style of the house, the clients’ taste, and the budget to inform my choice of materials for the pool and pool patio. Here are some sample budget choices: LIMITED BUDGET • Basic plaster finish • National Pool Tile coping (6” x 6”) • Precast concrete coping MEDIUM BUDGET • Pebble Tec tiles in 3” x 3” or 2” x 2” • Irregular flagstone coping • Flagstone decking HIGH BUDGET • Pebble Fina finish • Accent tiles on the stairs and an inlaid design • Bullnose cut travertine coping • Travertine patio • Additional features including spa or water feature at the pool’s edge, beach entrance, dive rocks, and fire features
casestudy Case Studies From Rundown to Rustic Charm My first remodel had a budget of $60,000 to $80,000. It was a small, curvilinear pool in a suburban neighborhood with a unique setting where the pool was located in the front yard of a corner lot. It was also on a slope where the pool was held in place by an old, unstable 12-foot-high wood retaining wall. The pool patio was listing away from the pool, so first we had to bring in a structural engineer to help with the wall.
In order to open up the views, we relocated and rebuilt the new pool equipment enclosure away from the interior sight lines. Because the pool was so central to the landscape, and with the fencing would not require a pool cover, the new interior color was our first and most important decision. The owners wanted to upgrade from plaster and preferred a light blue color so we recommended Pebble Tecâ€™s Tahoe Blue finish. The client also wanted a warm, earth-toned patio, so we chose Buckskin Arizona Flagstone in a random form. As an accent, and because the stone is harder, we used Three Rivers flagstone for the coping. Because the clients no longer had kids at home, we used natural cleft edge rather than a smooth finish. apld.org
PHOTO CR EDI T: JA N ET LOUG HREY
Going Mod SEE PHOTOS PAGES 56-57 Another project had a pool situated on a slope with a heavy, dark redwood deck on the downside and surrounded on the other three sides by squares of exposed aggregate bordered in brick. The owner wanted to update the look so we recommended replacing the deck with light grey Trex and adding stainless steel railing.
We selected a light pool finish of White Pearl Pebble Tec and the owner chose a tan-colored, natural El Dorado stone coping. Because the existing exposed aggregate was in excellent shape, I suggested she replace only the brick ac- âž¸ apld.org
A pool with a view
cent using the same stone we had selected for the coping. This saved money on labor and materials, which we used elsewhere on site to upgrade plantings and an aging irrigation system.
Pool with a View
MOR E PHOTOS PAGES 54-55
My favorite project was the complete makeover of an iconic Eichler-designed house with an incredible view of Richardson Bay in Tiburon, California. The view across the small jellybean-shaped pool was inspiring and informed the important decision of the pool interior color. We chose a dark interior called Black Pearl to reflect the perennial color of the bay and surrounded it with a complementary Connecticut Bluestone coping with a natural cleft edge. The owner chose a matte finish 6” × 6” tile for a refined look at the pool’s edge.
Because exposed aggregate was often used during construction of postmodern Eichler houses, we decided to incorporate the style, but upgrade it to something more modern and fitting to a new century. We used hand-seeded Mexican pebbles set in concrete instead of exposed aggregate. At the entry we hand-seeded large Mexican pebbles, in the courtyard and dining area we apld.org
casestudy specified a mix of medium and small Mexican pebbles, and for the pool (because it is easier on bare feet) we specified small Mexican pebbles. Like an expansion joint in a patio, all pools require a maleable product that separates the area between the coping and the pool patio. We usually specify a product called Deco Seal, which is applied like toothpaste. It looks better when a light layer of sand is added at the end of installation so that it blends better with the rougher, more natural materials of the coping and patios.
Pool Plant Selection
There are many list of plants that are appropriate to use around a pool, but my cardinal rule is to keep the pool cleaning system in mind when selecting plants. Stay away from plants with big seeds and plants that are excessively messy.
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A DESIGNER MUSES ON HOW SHE CAME
Home is Seco Piet Oudolf's Vlinderhof garden in the Netherlands 64
TO HONOR THE USE OF NATIVE PLANTS
BY JOANNE KOSTECKY PETITO
started my landscape design/build company in the 1980s. My style was originally influenced by my childhood landscape, as is often the way. My special spot was at my aunt’s house in the country near the edge of the woods next to a small stream. My memory of that space is of lots of May apples and unfolding ferns lushly growing in the dappled sunlight. That translated into a landscape style with strong lines from my appreciation of architecture populated with a lush, textured, and full plant palette. Early on in my design career, I took a trip to Washington, D.C., and saw the first major public installation by Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden with masses of perennials and ornamental grasses at the Federal Reserve Building. I was so inspired by that look that I incorporated it into the larger spaces of my designs as often as possible.
Native plants provide important shelter, nectar, and pollen, as well as a steady supply of ripening seeds for wildlife.
I then attended a Perennial Symposium in Philadelphia where Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, was speaking. Doug is an entomologist and ecologist and he spoke about having beautiful landscapes that are functional from a food web perspective. I had been using native plants in my designs along with exotics and knew the benefits of natives, but it wasn’t until I heard Doug speak that I really understood how crucial it was to include the natives.
Over the years, I have traveled to gardens all over the U.S. and in other countries. Of course, many of those gardens have influenced me—the plants, the various hardscapes, rocks, features, outdoor rooms, and more—but I have to say that no other garden trip has influenced me more than that Federal Reserve Building in Washington all those years ago until I visited the High Line in New York City. That led me to go on a garden tour with fellow APLD member, Carolyn Mullet of Carex Garden Tours, to visit Piet Oudolf’s home and gardens 66
Cassian Schmidt’s Hermannshof in Germany
throughout the Netherlands, Cassian Schmidt’s Hermannshof in Germany, and those of a few other excellent designers.
That “new nature” design style I witnessed while traveling is totally different from what I had done with my landscape company but I could see how this type of garden can be so much more beneficial than more traditional landscapes in terms of cleaning our storm water, saving biodiversity in the food web, producing pollinators, and resulting in reduced maintenance regimes. The many native plants in this type of design provide important shelter, nectar, and pollen, as well as a steady supply of ripening seeds for wildlife. I am not a purist, nor am I an expert in this style. I still grow hydrangeas and other plants that I enjoy on my property, but after hearing Doug speak, together with seeing these beautiful new nature designs, I felt like something clicked with me. Although I sold my design/build company a couple of years ago, I now try to influence people to try this landscape style, as it fits with their geographic location, via my lectures and by helping local clients with their designs and plant choices. The more people in more neighborhoods that plant and design with broader ecological impacts in mind, the better we can positively influence native food web continuity from property to property. That would be a wonderful thing.
A L L P H OTO G R A P H Y BY JOANNE KOSTECKY
A Dutch Garden
S T U D I O TO O P ' S S T I N Z E G A R D E N WA
A S T H E TA L K O F T H E F LOW E R S H OW apld.org
BY KATIE ELZER-PETERS AND CARRIE PRESTON
PLD’s 2016 Designer of the Year, Carrie Preston of Studio Toop, landed stateside this spring with a garden that became the talk of the Philadelphia Flower Show.
The theme in 2017 was “Holland: Flowering the World.” There were masses of tulips and constructed canals, windmills and sculptural installations of bicycles. Standing out from the crowd was Preston’s stinze garden, a historical Dutch landscape. The Philly Flower Show was the first time that many attendees got the chance to look at this type of landscape. Stinze is a Frisian word meaning “stone,” which refers to the stone (in Holland that means brick) homes built on estates in the north of the
A LL PHOTOGR A PHS BY J OLA N THE LA LKEN S
The light-colored background ensured that the fence was not the entire focus of the garden design.
cross-pollination Netherlands. These estates or manor houses are called “stinze estates.” Over the past eight centuries, around these estates a unique flora developed, which is also called stinze, or the stinze-flora. The stinze-flora evolved as part of a cultural landscape (as all of the Dutch landscape has), and while biodiverse and rich in nature, it is not, strictly speaking, natural. It is a novel ecosystem composed of naturalized exotics that have found their niche within the organically evolved ecosystem.
A Landscape in Layers
To officially become part of the stinze-flora a plant must be self-sustaining for a minimum of 50 years. The stinze-flora is composed of spring ephemerals that bloom from February to mid-May. Many of the species in the flora are bulbs, but not exclusively so. There are also tubers and early flowering perennials that die back after they bloom. Like most spring ephemeral flora, many of the species are woodland varieties, but you also find stinze-flora in sunnier locations, such as in the lawns around the estates.
“I chose to do [a stinze garden] because it was a different way to showcase Dutch bulbs. If the theme is ‘Holland,’ for a show in March, people want to see bulbs,” said Preston. But the stinze is a far cry from the color blocks of Keukenhof tulip fields.
“I know the Philly show. It’s over the top. It kind of yells at you or sings loudly. I know I couldn’t compete by singing louder, so I decided, ‘Let me whisper.’ It’s like the elementary school teacher’s trick—you don’t yell over the children, you whisper so they’ll hear you.” –
What you might have heard about Preston’s show design is not the collection of bulbs, but the extraordinary “lace fence” that anchored the back of the design. For visitors at the show, the fence was the last in a series of experiences to be had while walking through the installation—a deliberate choice on the part of the designer. 72
Handmade "lace" turned an ordinary chain link fence into a work of art.
“I made the background of the garden light so that the fence would be subtle. It’s a greyish blue, which is like the Dutch sky. Like a cloudy, rainy day. If I had done a dark background, the fence would have demanded all of the attention,” Preston said. “But I wanted to create this fairytale space with an almost ethereal quality, something that would elicit an emotional response.” The simple design of the stinze—a beautiful field of flowers—did that. “It spoke to primal childhood memories that we all have.”
Preston first saw LACE FENCE, a product of the company De Makers Van (The Makers Of), which was started by a couple of design graduates from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, in 2008, but she didn’t have a use for it where she lived. “In Holland, we don’t have chain link fences. They are not part of our vernacular like they are in the U.S. I think this is because they are see-through, offer- ➸
Stinze flora has been developing for 800 years. Spring is the primary bloom time.
ing little privacy for personal outdoor spaces, which is important when space is limited. So while you will occasionally see this fencing used in projects in The Netherlands, it isn’t evocative here. It doesn’t hold the same associations as it does in the States. I have been playing around with the idea of using it in a project in the States for nearly 10 years and when the opportunity presented itself, I seized it.”
The way LACE FENCE describes their product perfectly illustrates the tension that this entire issue of The Designer has been exploring: “How something which was meant to be purely functional can also be decorative. Hostility versus kindness. Industry versus craft.”
Preston’s stinze garden stays true to the classical architecture of the stinze estates. It showcases their brickwork and symmetry but with a twist. That twist
cross-pollination is the arbor with galvanized piping and chain-link rather than the traditional steel. “The chain-link works in the American vernacular, and the lace gives it a Dutch touch,” she said. “We created the pattern with flowers out of the garden, actual stinze-flowers like Tulipa sylvestris, Anemone ranunculoides and A. blanda. LACE FENCE translated this into a system of chains and links modeled after traditional Dutch lace stiches.”
Designing in a Post-Wild World “In Holland we don’t have pure ‘nature’ that’s never been touched,” Preston explained. “We have cultural landscapes, developed over a period of centuries. Even the things that look natural and are rich with biodiversity have been constructed. Our meadows were developed in concert with agriculture.
“Post-wild, we can’t re-create what was,” she said, “but we can learn lessons from plant communities and mimic them.” She cited Thomas Rainer and Claudia West’s book, Planting in a Post-Wild World, to help explain why these wild/natural landscapes resonate. The authors write, “We are deeply connected with nature, and remember a past when nature surrounded us and played a larger role in our lives. We no longer sleep under the stars, break the soil with our hands, or read the plants in the forest to find our way home. But a part of us still longs for that connection.” Because it wasn’t obvious that she was the designer and the show was busy, Preston was able to hear visitors’ unfiltered reactions.
“It was fun to eavesdrop on visitors at the show,” she said, adding that the vast majority loved the garden, many even gasping when they first laid eyes on it. Of course, there were others who walked by and either didn’t get it or simply didn’t like it. She said their reactions ranged from, “That looks like weeds,” to “It reminds me of a dog kennel.” That back and forth, and those types of strong visceral reactions—that’s what art is all about, Preston thinks. That’s where the conversations start and where cross-pollination and reinvention happen.
2017board of directors EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PRESIDENT Lisa Port, APLD Banyon Tree Design Studio 3630 Northeast 123rd Street Seattle, WA 98125 (206) 383-5572 PRESIDENT-ELECT Danilo Maffei, APLD Maffei Landscape Design LLC 202 N. Garfield Street Kennett Square, PA 19348 (610) 357-9700 SECRETARY/TREASURER Jock Lewendon, APLD Outdoor Living Spaces, LLC 766 Schoolhouse Lane Bound Brook, NJ 08805 (732) 302-9632 IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Colleen Hamilton, APLD Bloomin' Landscape Designs 7122 Willey Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 961-0191
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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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2 017 A P L D I N T ER N AT I O N A L D E S I G N C O N F ER EN C E
THE DESIGN C O N T I N U U M: PAST – PRESENT – PROSPECTS
J U L Y 1 3 – 1 7, 2 0 1 7 B O STO N, M ASSACH U SE T T S
H O T O B Y P A U L
W W W. AP L D. O R G
S P E N C E R
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. 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 regular columns spotlighting technology or business strategies.
calling all writers
Seeking pitches for the Winter 2017 issue. The theme is “context” with a sub theme of “space.” We're also looking for writers for regular features including Wander.Lust., Travel Inspiration, Plant App(lication)s, Design 101, and Design Masterclass articles.
Not sure if your story is a good fit? 2017 Editor in Chief Katie Elzer-Peters is happy to discuss your idea with you. Reach her at email@example.com.
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2017 APLD INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARD WINNERS
DESI GN BY 2016 A PLD GOLD AWA R D WI N N ER CHA R LES HESS OF HESS LA N DSCA PE A R CHI TECTS. PHOTOGR A PH BY STEPHEN GOVEL PHOTOGR A PHY