thedes覺gner ASSOCIATION OF
PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS
DESIGN INSPIRATION: MOROCCO PLANTS THAT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS
re you one of those incredibly organized designers that send out a questionnaire in advance of a new client meeting? I confess that I’m not, but I do have a few questions I always ask, starting with the most important one: how do you plan on using your garden? While responses are all over the map—at one memorable meeting, I was asked for a plan to turn the entire back yard into a motocross racetrack—spending time outside having fun is always part of the mix. Whether it’s room for kids to explore and create, a shady spot to barbecue and entertain, or a patch of lawn to throw a Frisbee for the dog, everyone wants some space to play. What better way to kick off the season than taking a moment before diving into summer’s demands to indulge in a garden play break? Landscape design is a serious business, but a little playfulness is never a bad thing. Whether it’s the nuts and bolts of “Designing a Petanque Court” (page 56) or learning about “A Grown-Up Playground of Plants” from Monrovia (page 50), this issue will get you in the mindset of summer. And to shift the focus from the backyard to a global perspective, we have inspirational articles on “Garden Design in Tune with the Four Directions” (page 30) and “Travel Inspiration: Morocco” (page 38). Designers, what do you do to make a garden playful? Check out how this edition’s contributors tackled the question (page 11), email your own answers to me, and I will share your responses in an upcoming issue. SUSAN MORRISON
Enchantress Hydrangea 速
Stunning re-bloomers An exquisite new re-blooming hydrangea with unique ruby-black stems displaying a nearly non-stop show of big, beautiful, mophead flowers. Blooms are blue in acid soils and pink in more alkaline soils. Tall, dark stems provide stunning contrast as the flowers age to delicate tones of cream-splashed green. A superb choice for accent, specimen, or border. Simply enchanting in cut or dried flower arrangements!
Monrovia... High-bred. Well-fed. Loving care.
w w w. m o n rov i a . c o m
SUMMER 2014 10 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 1 1 LETTERS 12 DESIGN ROUNDUP 16 PRO PLANT PICKS: Plants that Play Well with Others 24 TECHNOLOGY: Apps for Productivity BY DAVI D MA R CI N I A K
26 BOOK REVIEW: The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden BY A DA M WOODR U FF
30 DESIGN 101: Garden Design in Tune with the Four Directions BY JA N J OHN SEN
38 TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Morocco BY SU SA N COHA N , A PLD
44 DESIGN MASTER CLASS: Linking Furnishings to Architecture BY VA N ESSA GA R DN ER N AGEL, A PLD, N CI DQ
50 PUBLIC SPACE DESIGN: A Grown-Up Playground of Plants BY KATHA R IN E R U DN YK
56 DESIGN LESSON: Designing a Petanque Court BY JOY A LB R IGHT-SOU ZA ON THE COVER : PHOTOGR A PH A N D DESI GN BY GLEN N SW I TZER THI S SPR EA D: DESI GN BY B ETH A N N B LOCK PHOTOGR A PH BY R ON PA PAGEOR G E
thedesıgner EDITOR IN CHIEF Susan Morrison ART DIRECTOR Marti Golon
Joy AlbrightSouza Designing a Petanque Court
Jan Johnsen Garden Design In Tune with the Four Directions
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Denise Calabrese ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Lisa Frye MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR Angela Burkett COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Alison Evans DIRECTOR OF CONFERENCES & EVENTS Jen Cramer CERTIFICATION COORDINATOR Kelly Clark DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Courtney Kuntz BOOKKEEPER Jennifer Swartz OFFICE MANAGER Elizabeth Spaeder 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 ads@apld. For The Designer Submissions Guidelines click here 6
Joy Albright-Souza is a fourth-generation California gardener and has been designing landscapes professionally since 2005. Joy recently returned from Western Australia where she and her long-suffering husband took a 2600-mile road-trip to see some of her favorite plants in their native environment. Australia completes her personal goal of visiting each of the world’s major Mediterranean/ summer-dry climate areas. She blogs about creating and enjoying gardens at Per-Joy. What makes a garden playful is flexible use of space and something unexpected…a playful garden doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Jan Johnsen has been a professional landscape designer for 40 years. She is co-principal of the design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, in New York. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and an award-winning instructor at the New York Botanical Garden. Jan is the author of Heaven is a Garden - Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection and is a contributing editor for the new Garden Design magazine. To make a garden playful I add interactive items that engage people. I have rocks with different words on them like love, frogs, joy, blue, and believe sitting atop a wall and I ask visitors to arrange them into sayings.
contributors David Marciniak Technology: Apps for Productivity
Dave Marciniak is a landscape designer and the owner of Revolutionary Gardens, a landscape design and consulting firm serving the DC metro area to western Virginia. Dave’s approach to landscape design is based around his love of storytelling, helping his clients create a story for which they’re the star. What makes a garden playful is movement and surprise. Movement, in the layouts and lines and patterns, energizes a space, and surprise comes from letting elements reveal themselves as one moves through the garden. The key is using elements that reflect the client’s personality, whether that’s a classical sculpture or a zombie garden gnome.
Vanessa Gardner Nagel APLD, NCIDQ
Katharine Rudnyk Adam Woodruff
Linking Furnishings to Architecture p.42
Vanessa is the owner of Seasons Garden Design LLC in Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Understanding Garden Design and The Designer’s Guide to Garden Furnishings. She blogs at GardenChirps, is a director on APLD’s international board, and has won numerous awards for her designs, including an APLD Merit Award and an Award of Excellence from Sunset magazine’s Landscape Design Competition. To make a garden playful I add giggles to a garden in the form of humorous surprises…sort of a ‘ha-ha’ with humor. Whatever it is has to be appropriate to the clients, their style, and the theme of their garden.
Public Space Design
Book Review: Know Maintenance Perenial Gardens
Katharine has been with Monrovia for 24 years in various marketing and sales positions. Currently, she heads up Monrovia’s efforts for the landscape community. Katharine is a member of APLD, ASLA, USGBC, PLANET and CLCA and recently appointed to LADAC at Cal Poly-SLO. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Tulane University and a degree in Horticulture from Mt. San Antonio College. She is active in landscape preservation through TCLF and is an overseer at RSABG in Claremont, California. What makes a garden playful for a horticulturist are the elements of discovery and surprise!
Adam Woodruff is an award-winning garden designer and APLD professional member. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri, and practices throughout the Midwest. Adam is classically trained as a botanist and travels extensively for inspiration. His contemporary designs define space and artfully blend plants in new ways. What makes a garden playful is movement, be it grasses and natives swaying in the wind, water flowing from a fountain along a rill, or sculptural elements that move or evoke movement by artists like Lyman Whitaker and Thomas Yano.
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president’smessage Stepping Up
his past spring, during our busiest season, my chapter created a designer show house garden as a volunteer effort. Other chapters, as well as individual designers, design and create display gardens for events that help promote all APLD landscape designers. APLD depends on us to showcase our creativity and knowledge of landscape design.
All volunteer organizations depend on members’ support and time to create events at the local level. It’s always the same members volunteering repeatedly while others benefit but don’t step up to donate their time. Only eight members of more than 60 chapter members participated in our show house garden. Whether you realize it or not, you are benefiting directly from the largess of others. In what other situation would you accept a handout? Those who step up and volunteer, even if it’s just for an hour, make a big, big difference in the success of APLD. To those who volunteer, thank you! SUSAN COHAN APLD
IN MEMORIAM MARGARET CONNORS
Landscape Designer and APLD Co-founder It is with great sadness that we bid good-bye to landscape designer Margaret (Peggy) Connors. In 1987 Peggy co-founded APLD, where she influenced the lives of many members. “She touched a lot of young designers’ lives and always worked to elevate landscape design beyond a truck and a shovel,” recalls APLD member Rhonda Smith. “She was an example of what a woman could do, even with four kids, which gave me the confidence I needed, with my five kids, to become a leader within APLD.”
letters We Asked, You Answered Last issue we asked how you balance the benefits of expanding your plant palette with the risks of working with the unknown. Here are some of your responses: connecting with other designers opens my awareness to plants that I may not have encountered. It gives me a level of safety when planning to use new plants. I can get that feedback at our local APLD chapter or by checking out online search engines that use feedback from professionals such as MOBOT, the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder. I [also] rotate plants. Some I use every season, some I haven’t used in several seasons but I know that they work well. Rediscovering old favorites is a lot of fun. Heidi Schreiner, Get Creative, LLC Eau Claire, Wisconsin new to the business a few years ago, it took me a while to realize just as in healthcare (previous field), what horticulturalists do is experiment on us. If a client is agreeable, that is great. Otherwise, I am constantly planting and then ripping out plants in my own test garden, to the point I am sure my neighbors think I am certifiable. More to your point, however, I am focusing on drought-adapted native plants
Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’. PHOTO: R EB ECCA SWEET
that are also garden worthy. Many of our native plants are not fussy, but are very beautiful. By definition, they have stood the test of time. Not a purist, I also use fastgrowing, sturdy standbys, such as Pittosporum ‘Silver Sheen’ along the coast or Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’ in hotter, inland gardens, especially to anchor a composition while…slower natives grow in. I [also] use Mediterranean herbs along with pollinator-attracting natives, especially near vegetable gardens. Finally, perhaps the obvious is to experiment with smaller, more easily replaced, rather than larger plants. Janis Hatlestad, Better Earth Garden Design Woodland Hills, California apld.org
Sweet Summer Love Clematis New this year from Proven Winners, ‘Sweet Summer Love’ clematis adds a shot of brilliant color to the landscape. A fragrant choice for summer gardens, this clematis boasts cranberryviolet blooms that appear more than a month earlier than traditional ‘Sweet Autumn’ varieties. Starting in July in the Midwest and northeast, and lasting until mid-September, this easycare vine adds plenty of drama trained on a trellis or other support. USDA zones 4a to 9b. >>Available here 12
designroundup Bee Preservers Created by Glass Gardens Northwest, bee preservers take traditional pond floats to a new level. Round orbs studded with partially melted glass pieces create a platform for bees and other insects to hang onto while drinking from larger water sources. Available in a range of sizes and colors, bee preservers are a colorful addition to the garden and make great client gifts. Best of all, for each one purchased, the company donates $3.00 to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees.
B EE PH OTO ISTO CK
Garden Design Magazine Is Back! Beloved and often collected by avid readers for 32 years, Garden Design magazine has been re-imagined in a dynamic and contemporary way. Publishing four times per year for design-conscious readers, subscriptions for the newly launched version are available now. This incarnation contains no advertising and is more akin to a “book-azine.” Publisher Jim Patterson promises the updated version “will use its quintessential, stylized photos and language to celebrate innovative landscapes, beautiful plants, and stylish solutions for designing, planting and furnishing outdoor living areas.” >>Available by subscription here apld.org
APLD Member Creates Template for Sustainable Landscapes In an easy-to-follow format, Beautifully Sustainable offers ideas on shifting your landscape to a more sustainable one. Author Douglas Owen-Pike includes case studies on how to save time and money as you stop watering, fertilizing, and applying chemicals, and educates on how to create healthy soil, harvest runoff, and nurture stable plant communities. Reviewer Judy Nauseef, FAPLD, believes it offers designers who want to design sustainably a method to start creating diverse landscapes that restore biological integrity.Â She suggests giving a copy to your contractor. >>More information here
designroundup The 2014 APLD International Design Conference
APLD Conference NOV. 4-7 2014
This year’s conference will be held in Orlando, FL, November 4th–7th in conjunction with the International Pool Spa Patio Expo (IPSPE), a venue that typically attracts 10,000–15,000 attendees. The APLD conference is known for exceptional educational programming and visits to incredible gardens, and this year’s partnership with IPSPE offers attendees a unique opportunity to learn about the latest in this related industry. Back by popular demand are the much requested “Design Charette,” the issue-related “Dine Around,” as well as behind-the-scenes tours of famous Orlando attractions. >> Visit APLD.ORG for additional conference and registration information.
PH OTO G R A P H S A ND D E S IGN BY S U E GO E TZ
Sue Goetz is an award-winning garden designer, writer, and speaker. Through her design business, Creative Gardener, she assists clients in personalizing their garden spaces, from garden coaching to the design of full landscapes. Sue is a professional member of APLD and resides in Tacoma, Washington.
PLANTS THAT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Hardy Geraniums Geranium spp
BY SUE GOETZ
well-designed mixed border is not about one particular plant, but how the plants grow and mature together with texture, shape, and color. The challenge is finding combinations that have longevity. A good perennial that mingles well is hardy geranium, also known as cranesbill. Hardy geraniums have unique leaf and flower versatility that makes them better when blended with other perennials than as a stand-alone plant. Most varieties stay low and weave their way into other plants without becoming a nuisance. An effective use in garden design is to allow their leafy textures to fill around the ankles of taller perennials and cover ground along border edges and pathways.
USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 4–8 SIZE: 1–2 1/2 ’ H x 1–2 1/2 ’ CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to light shade. Prefers average, welldrained soils.
Hardy geraniums are easy to grow and adaptable to many cultural conditions from part shade to full sun. They have an extended bloom season from late spring to late summer, and some varieties have leaves that are as interesting as the blooms. There are many excellent cultivars to choose from, but here are a few favorites: ‘Ann Folkhard’ sports gold/chartreuse leaves and intense magenta flowers. ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Jolly Bee’ have rich, blue flowers. Geranium himalayense ‘Plenum’ features double, deep pink blooms on tall stems, while G. macrorrhizum ‘Variegatum’ has color-splashed leaves on a tidy plant that billows appealingly along pathways. More compact growers include ‘Ballerina’, ‘Purple Pillow’, ‘Tiny Monster’, and ‘Midnight Reiter’.
proplantpicks PLANTS THAT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS WEST
BY KELLY KILPATRICK
ike many designers, I like to include plants with strappy or grassy-leaved textures in my gardens to create visual interest. But popular choices in the west such as Phormium often prove to be too big, while grasses are too short-lived or problematic due to winter dormancy. That’s why I was happy to come across the evergreen blue-leaved Dianella cultivars.
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.
Dianella flowers are insignificant; loose clusters of tiny blue flowers that open mostly at dusk rise above tall stems. They provide a soft, airy texture in the garden, but can be easily pruned in spring if a cleaner look is desired. Easy to care for, Dianella performs well in full sun or partial shade and can get by with low water once established. It provides maximum garden interest with minimal maintenance requirements, but will look best with a yearly cleaning of old foliage.
There are many cultivars to choose from. ‘Cassa Blue’ grows to 18” tall with icy-blue foliage and blades about ¾” wide. It resembles a tiny blue Phormium, and who couldn’t use that? With a much more slender leaf, ‘Baby Bliss’ appears the most grass-like. Brighter blue, it makes a beautiful accent or massed in a sweeping planting. Two-foot tall ‘Utopia’ sports broad, silvery-gray leaves blushed with purple. Flower stems are nearly black and add a subtle note of drama. I’m currently enjoying ‘Utopia’ in my own garden combined with Stachys ‘Helen Von Stein’, Euphorbia ‘Dean’s Hybrid’, and Anthryscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’.
Appropriate in a range of designs, Dianella cultivars provide textural contrast to succulent gardens, add a soft blue tone to formal plantings, and play a solid supporting role in flowery cottage-style borders. Dianellas definitely play well with others.
USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 8b–11 SIZE: 18–24” H x 18–24” W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to bright shade. Most soils okay with good drainage, low to average water. 18
PHOTOGR A PHS A N D DESI GN BY KELLY KI LPATR I CK
PH OTO G R A P H S A ND D E S IGN BY JU DY NAU S E EF
Judy Nauseef, FAPLD, is an award-winning landscape designer and a garden writer. She is the owner of Judy Nauseef Landscape Design in Iowa City, Iowa where she designs and manages installations of primarily residential landscapes. She has a great interest in native plants, and uses them in gardens as well as in planted prairies.
PLANTS THAT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS MIDWEST
Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis
BY JUDY NAUSEEF FAPLD
his small ornamental tree, native to parts of the Midwest, produces purplish-pink flowers along its branches before dark, heart-shaped leaves appear. As spring approaches, the tree appears almost dead, but magically returns to life as the first magenta blooms appear. Flattened fruit pods hang perpendicular to the ground from summer into winter and leaves turn yellow in the fall to provide multi-season interest.
Eastern redbud is not the tree for planting in the middle of a sunny, small front yard in zones 4 and 5, as they often will not thrive. Planted at the edge of woods, however, or under high-branching trees, they create an inviting transition from lawn to woods. Redbuds blend well with established native trees and groundcovers, but look just as attractive in a traditional perennial garden. Although it is deer resistant, I recommend protecting the tree with a wrap and/or a cage when young—a smart practice for all young trees in areas with high deer populations. In the landscape pictured, the edge of the woods meets the lawn with an area planted with redbuds, vernal witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), native groundcovers, and the homeowners’ existing hosta. Native outcropping stone defines the edge and creates an entry into the woods. Even in summer when it is long past its flowering, Eastern redbud is a lovely addition to the landscape.
USDA HARDINESS ZONE: 5–9 and protected parts of 4 SIZE: 20–30’ H x 25–35’ W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to part shade. Does well in dry, alkaline soil when mature.
PLANTS THAT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS NORTHEAST
Caramel Coral Bells Heuchera ‘Caramel’
BY SCOTT HOKUNSON
o you remember the days of youth spent on the playground? There was always one friend who was picked first for games, got along well with everyone, and never failed to make you smile. Today that playground is your garden, and that popular friend just might be Heuchera ‘Caramel’.
‘Caramel’ Coral Bells produces a full, yet compact mound of leaves, which are similar in shape to that of a maple. Its fuzzy foliage ranges in color from apricot to yellow, with light purple undersides. It’s a color combination that pairs well with many colors in the garden, from the dark green of a rhododendron to the deep maroon leaves of Physocarpus. Its cream colored flowers are tiny but abundant, making for a beautiful show in midsummer. As a bonus, the flowers are a magnet for hummingbirds. ‘Caramel’ is best suited for the front of the border, planted en masse or as a single splash of color. It also works well beneath larger shrubs or small trees. Its compact habit makes it a great choice for container gardening, where it plays well with foliage and bloom alike. Introduced by Thierry Delabroye of France, ‘Caramel’ is a Heuchera villosa hybrid, which means it will stand up well to the heat and humidity of summer. It doesn’t like clay soils, but give it a well-drained spot in the garden with filtered light and you’ll enjoy a season-long display of carefree color.
USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 4–9 SIZE: 12–15” H x 12–15” W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to light shade. Prefers well-drained average soil and does not perform well in heavy soils.
PHOTOGR A PHS A N D DESI GN BY SCOT T HU KU N SON
Scott Hokunson, principal behind Blue Heron Landscape Design, has been creating landscapes since 1981, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to each project. A proponent of natural and sustainable principles, Scott works closely with his clients to create elegant outdoor living spaces, minimizing the impact on the environment through all phases of the project, including ongoing stewardship. >>Visit his blog here.
technology Apps for Productivity Tools to Help Designers Save Time BY DAVID MARCINIAK
f you’ve researched productivity apps online, you know how easy it is to get overwhelmed—who has time to trial them all? Based on a friend’s recommendation, I decided to give Trello a try, and was pleased to discover it is a very robust—not to mention free—little app. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows 8, Trello keeps track of tasks, allowing you to create to-do items and move them around between different columns (known as lists in Trello). I break my lists down by timeframe: today, tomorrow, tomorrow +1, this week, pending, important, and soon. Each morning I take a few minutes to determine what I can reasonably accomplish for the day, and then drag the tasks I’ve selected over to the “today” column. Each task allows you to set a due date, which will also show up on your Google Calendar if you’ve chosen to sync with Trello. You can embed multiple checklists of subtasks, and attach files to them. Initially, I didn’t see the value of attaching files to tasks, but I’ve found two good uses: First, I attach a photo of each client site to their task card, so I can see at a glance what’s in the queue. Second, it’s an easy way to share files on shared projects.
This ability to create shared boards is one of the things that sets Trello apart from other productivity apps and makes it a worthwhile tool for designers. Boards can be set up in a variety of ways. On larger 24
This is an example of a shared board in Trello. It allows both you and your client to keep track of the job. Your client can also ask you questions via the app.
projects, I create shared boards for my clients. It’s almost like giving them a notebook that sits on their kitchen counter, and anytime they have a question or issue, they can jot down a note. To keep things organized, I set my list categories as designer responsibilities, homeowner responsibilities, and questions for designer. The client can tell at a glance what I still owe them, what info they owe me, and we can track our discussions about the project. Everyone knows what they are accountable for, helping the project flow smoothly.
There are plenty of other productivity apps on the market, but I’m a fan of the way Trello combines to-do lists with bigger-picture project management. Others worth checking out include Evernote and Asana, which my 3D modeler swears by as his alternative to Trello. A little research and some time spent with the demo can help you find the perfect solution to streamline your business on the go.
bookreview Roy Diblik will be presenting his work at the 2014 APLD International Design Conference in Orlando, Florida, November 4â€“7.
The Know Maintenance Perennial The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden
Garden BY ADAM WOODRUFF
n The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden (timber press , 2014), well-known Midwest plantsman, designer, and nurseryman Roy Diblik introduces an exciting new way to garden. His method centers on how plants are found in natureâ€”growing together in communities that share similar habitat and cultural requirements. This common-sense approach is a fresh alternative to traditional gardening practices and yields aesthetically pleasing naturalistic plantings that are models of sustainability, diversity, and low maintenance.
The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden is a straightforward, easy-to-follow guidebook for planting design success, suitable for the homeowner and professional alike. The approach is based on the premise that we must have the capability to maintain what we plant. This requires an intimate knowledge of plants. Diblik >>Get the book! shares his 30+ years of experiClick here to view on ence and profiles some of the âž¸ Amazon apld.org
A low-maintenance plant community at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva, IL. Plants include: Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerester’, Sporobolus heterolepis, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Golden Showers’, Kalimeris incisa ‘Blue Star’, Salvia ‘Wesuwe’ and ‘East Friesland’, Achillea x hybrida.
An artful weaving of sustainable perennials creates a soft tapestry of color and texture in the Sullivan Arch Garden at theÂ Art Institute of Chicago.Â apld.org
most dependable plants that are well suited for the soils and climate of the northern half of the U.S. The profiles are thoughtfully written and include general information as well as seasonal growth rate, growing conditions and percentage-based plant pairings—for example, a plan might include 40 percent Asarum canadense and 60 percent Carex flacca or 60 percent Hemerocallis ‘Chicago Aphache’ and 40 percent Rudbeckia subtomentosa.
PHOTOGR A PH BY R OY DI B LI K
The book also includes 62 proven planting plans for sun and shade, inspired by Impressionist paintings; successful public plantings; or shifts in tone, color, and pattern. Divided into 1-foot grids and featuring a limited palette of perennials and early bulbs, the 10’ × 14’ plans are easy to understand. The author includes remarks on each plan and offers valuable maintenance tips such as whether division is necessary and what to cut back and when. Spring cut-back can be performed with a string trimmer or several passes of a mulching mower. Debris can be left in place, allowing plants to emerge through it, a sustainable approach that simplifies maintenance. As Diblik says, “it’s not messy, it’s healthy!” Once you are familiar with the approach, The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden system is easily adapted to a wider range of plants. Plans can be customized to include annuals, shrubs, and trees, so that you too can create evocative, naturalistic gardens that are as durable as they are beautiful.
Diblik (right) worked with Dutch planting designer Piet Oudolf on the Lurie Garden at Millenium Park in Chicago.
EXCEPT WHERE NOTED ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE FROM THE KNOW MAINTENANCE PERENNIAL GARDEN © COPYRIGHT 2014 BY ROY DIBLIK. PUBLISHED BY TIMBER P R E S S , P O RT L A N D , U S E D B Y PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER. A L L R I G H T S R E S E RV E D .
A stone-bordered dry stream and shade loving plants look great in a north location.
Four Directions GARDEN DESIGN IN TUNE WITH THE
BY JAN JOHNSEN
n this age of GPS navigation, the cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West may seem nothing more than useful aspects of highway signs. But in ages past, the “Four Winds,” as the directions were called, were an important consideration when laying out buildings, towns, and gardens. For example, the main shopping road of ancient Roman towns was called the cardo, or heart, and always ran in a north/south direction. This tenet of town planning can still be seen in New York’s Fifth Avenue and other prominent avenues of older cities. ➸
T H I S A RT I C L E I S B A S E D O N I N F O R M AT I O N F R O M H E AV E N I S A G A R D E N : D E S I G N I N G S E R E N E O U T D O O R S PA C E S F O R I N S P I R AT I O N A N D R E F L E C T I O N B Y J A N J O H N S E N ( S T. LY N N ’ S P R E S S , 2 0 1 4 ) .
PH OTO G R A P H S A ND D ES IGNS BY JAN JO H NS EN
design101 Using the Qualities of North, South, East and West
Each of the cardinal directions can be thought of as having its own distinct qualities, based on solar and geomagnetic characteristics. In fact, many cultures saw them as having particular personalities. Knowing the different characteristics of each of the cardinal directions can help you, as a garden designer, make informed decisions about how to orient an entrance, place a structure, or align a walk.
The Four Directions in Brief
NORTH is the direction of wisdom and con-
templation. A site on the north side is the best location for an artful viewing garden or a meditative garden. EAST is the direction of growth and rejuvenation. Vegetable gardens prosper here. Morning reveries are best done facing east. SOUTH is celebratory and vibrant. The south side of a home is the natural place for an open lawn and flower gardens. It is perfect for large outdoor gatherings. WEST is the direction of expression, sharing, and endings. A west-facing patio shaded by trees is best for gatherings with others at the end of a day.
North—The Direction of Earthy Contemplation
North is the direction of all things that relate to the earth. Because of this association with quiet contemplation and sculpture gardens, the north side of a house is where solid and stabilizing natural elements are most appropriate. It is the natural place for large stones, specimen trees, and any artful item that is to ➸ be admired quietly. apld.org
ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LIGHT There is nothing quite as pleasing as morning light shining through an east-facing garden gate. As we enter, the brightness beyond the portal beckons. The idea of the sun being in front of us, drawing us in, is similar to the Moth Theory of the 20th-century Miami Beach hotel architect Morris Lapidus. He noted that people are attracted to light just as moths are. This reasoning may be the basis of the Law of Orientation in Indian Vastu, which recommends that front doors, town entrances, and garden gates all face east. In fact, the word “orientation” means “toward the Orient,” or in other words “toward the east!” The sunlight streams though this gate to highlight the plants beyond.
This bench captures the morning sun from the east. A lovely spot for a morning reverie.
An important pointer is to remember that shadows fall on the north side of a building. In winter, long shadows may cast an unappealing gloom on a scene. When possible, locate a garden beyond their reach. The resulting long view will add depth to the scene. A wonderful bonus for north-facing gardens is that at midday the sun is always behind you, which ensures that “nature’s spotlight” shines on the object but never gets in your eyes.
East—The Auspicious Direction
East, the home of the early-morning sun, is considered by many cultures to be the auspicious cardinal direction. Gothic cathedrals are sited so congregants face east for prayers, while yoga practitioners face east when performing morning Salute to the Sun exercises. Many libraries of old were designed so that the majority of their windows faced east, and plants grow best facing east because as they “wake up” they are basked
design101 in the gentle rays of the morning sun. Wise gardeners always look for sites facing east because of the optimal plant growth it promotes.
Why do historic traditions also connect the east with intellectual and spiritual pursuits? It may have to do with the effect of direction on our brain. Neuroscientist Dr. Tony Nader asserts that when we face east, the firing patterns of the neurons in our brainâ€™s thalamus are more coherent than when we face south or west. Could it be that we think more clearly facing east? Knowledgeable garden designers, aware that an eastern outlook may enhance mental acuity, can locate benches or hammocks so that they face that direction.
Southâ€”The Direction of Celebration and Flowers
South is the home of the midday sun and, according to Feng Shui principles, is the direction that resonates with radiance and light. The south part of a property is the natural place for an open field, a large lawn or a flower garden. It is a good spot for celebrations and an appropriate space for strong colors such as red and purple in brightly colored banners or foliage.
The south side of a building or property is also well suited for anything to do with light or fire. It is the direction of the fire element in Feng Shui; therefore, a garden torch, light fixture, fire pit, or barbeque is at home here. Interestingly, Vastu, the ancient Indian system concerned with the design of the physical environment, considers land that is elevated in the south and southwest to be the kind of terrain that bestows prosperity. âž¸
Sun-loving flowers are at home in a south-facing garden bed. apld.org
design101 West—The Direction of Name and Fame
West is the direction of the setting sun and is associated with the end of the day and fellowship. High-canopied trees that lightly shade the west side of a house create the sweetest place to linger at the end of the day. In Vastu, the west is where “name and fame are made”—in other words, where we share time with friends. A terrace basking in the long orangered rays of the setting sun is the best place for socializing.
Water is also associated with west. The trickling water from a fountain cools the atmosphere on a sunny west-facing patio. The colors that look especially vibrant in the west are rich reds and dark orange.
A fountain on a west-facing terrace is captivating.
WORKING WITH THE POWER OF NORTH Knowing that stone of any sort befits the north side of a house, I designed a quiet garden of stone and grasses for a contemporary home with a large, north-facing window. The floor to ceiling window offered a long, narrow view and reminded me of a Japanese alcove, where a flower arrangement or art piece is displayed.
The stone steles contrast well with soft grasses…an artful garden for the north side of a house
I placed five rough steles, or upright stones, amidst soft, ornamental grasses in a plant bed The stone steles contrast well with at the far end of a long soft grasses in this artful garden. view. The bed is edged by thin bluestone pavers and sits beyond a field of smooth, tawny colored concrete slabs and gray crushed stone. The contrast between the stone, concrete, and feathery grasses provides an interesting textural counterpoint. The stones are particularly stunning at night when in-ground well lights dramatically highlight each one. The diffuse light spills over onto the surrounding grasses, forming an ethereal sight. In this landscape, tall maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’) and feathery dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’) make wonderful companions to the short but vibrant ‘Elijah Blue’ fescue (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’).
rocco LESSONS IN PATTERN, COLOR,AND REPETITION
BY SUSAN COHAN APLD
any times, designers think that travel to a specific place where plants and planting ideas won’t be directly transferable is less than desirable, as they can’t instantly borrow the idea and apply it. But landscape design inspiration can come from a wide range of experiences. Travel to places that are culturally or regionally different can spark new waves of creativity and make a designer look at things with “new” eyes. That’s why, although I practice in the northeastern U.S., I went to Morocco last winter in search of a creative recharge.
The use of pattern and color, both intense and intricate, is paramount to the visual experience in Morocco. Cities are often referred to by color, as in “the red city” (Marrakesh), the “white city” (Casablanca), or “the blue city” (Chefchaouen). Although each city also has its own style and artisanal specialty, what they all have in common is intricate patterns created from tiles, painted on wood, cast in plaster, or inlayed or cast in metal. Placed against flat colored surfaces, these mostly geometric patterns and colors have inspired me and are now informing my work—but not in the way you might expect. I probably won’t ever have the opportunity to create a Moroccaninspired courtyard here, as the northeastern regional style where I practice is much more Anglo-centric than Spanish, Moorish, or North African, but I can draw on their intensity stylistically.
Colors are limited to just a few in Moroccan Zellij tilework and they repeat throughout each pattern. Patterns are thoughtfully laid next to one another to create a deceptively simple design scheme that in reality is visually complex and intricate. I have been working to edit my planting plans, simplifying both color and placement. This tile work taught me valuable lessons about repetition and the need to be a ruthless editor. Well edited, with an eye to juxtaposition of different scaled tiles, the mathematically derived and repeated visual thought carried out throughout the tiling process can be applied to both a planting design or a simple brick or bluestone patio of a single color.
Used either monochromatically or as two colors combined, the interest comes from the repetition of shapes and the application of scale, âž¸ P H OTO G R A P HS BY S U SAN CO H AN
rather than from the overall complexity. In plantings, these ideas can be further interpreted through texture and height. The same opportunities exist on a patio floor or a wall, where even the smallest monochromatic design takes on a visual richness through layers of repeated pattern in different scales and materials. Using off-the-shelf materials in standardized sizes and combining them in non-standard ways can keep installation cost down. A few more cuts and a little bit of attention to detail won’t push a project’s cost over the top, but will work towards making the design something that will visually delight and surprise for a long, long time to come.
GREAT BOOKS ON MOROCCAN STYLE 42
■ Marrakesh by Design, Maryam Montague ■ Morocco Style, Christiane Reiter ■ Islamic Geometric Patterns, Eric Broug ■ Living in Morocco: Design from Casablanca to Marrakesh, Lisl Dennis and Landt Dennis ■ Morocco Modern, Herbert Ypma
Translated into a traditional garden design for a small backyard, the planting design's repeated and simplified geometric shapes on a central axis, juxtaposed with a narrow color palette of green and white, were inspired by tile patterns seen in Morocco.
Classic Bertoia chairs and a modern table complement a contemporary home.
BY VANESSA GARDNER NAGEL APLD,NCIDQ
t is no accident that architects have so frequently designed furnishings inspired by the elegance of their architecture. Architects and designers know that the most beautiful, psychologically comfortable environments are those with a high degree of design consistency. This is why it is so important to pay attention to adjacent buildings when selecting furnishings for a garden. ➸
– Select the best material for the project – Match furniture to garden and home styles – Learn how to work with suppliers
Vanessa Gardner Nagel, APLD, NCIDQ
>>Get the book! Click here to view on Amazon apld.org
Every beautifully designed building has a distinctive architectural language. If you can identify the buildingâ€™s broad vernacular, you can more easily identify the most appropriate style of furnishings for the garden. When reviewing architectural character, consider the following categories:
GEOMETRY: Identify squares, half-circles, triangles, and other shapes, particularly on the roofline but also on walls, doors, windows, and elsewhere. 46
Coordinating colors and style with their Victorian house, the homeowners constructed this ornate arbor accompanied by colorful wicker furniture (a popular style during the Victorian period).
designmasterclass SYMMETRY: Is the design generally asymmetrical or symmetrical?
STRUCTURAL ORNAMENTATION: Note columns, balustrades, and beams. Is there an obvious rhythm? Are there details in a support to the roof?
ATTACHED ORNAMENTATION: This includes molding, framework, finials, and the like. Look at the doors, windows, and trim. Is there a pattern worth repeating or complementing? Are the details curvaceous or straight? Where are they located? What frames a window or door? Are there details in a frieze such as dentil or egg-and-dart molding? Is the style minimalist, without much ornamental detail at all? SCALE: Examine the scale of the home and its components. Are there significant ratios or noteworthy proportions to consider? For example, what is the ratio of the square footage of the windows compared to the size of the house?
MATERIALS: What material predominates—wood, stone, brick, concrete, glass? Is the texture smooth or rough? Consider whether you want a material to blend in or be conspicuous through contrast.
PATTERN: Consider light and shadow. Note the placement of elements on horizontal and vertical planes. FUNCTION: What is the building’s purpose? Is it a dwelling, office, garage?
COLOR: What color is the body of the house? What is the trim color? What are the accent colors? How much is one color used in relationship to another?
Each new furnishing for a garden deserves this appraisal against existing conditions (or a proposed remodel) to determine whether it will work. Would you really want to hang Tibetan prayer flags in the middle of a formal Italian garden? A pebble dropped into a pond creates a small ripple, while a boulder makes a big splash. ➸ apld.org
designmasterclass Keep this in mind when determining how much a new furnishing will affect the look of your client’s space.
The first architectural details I notice about this home are its symmetry, colors, and materials. Other details of note are the halfround vent, formal columns at the entry, pilasters at each corner (including the entry corners), formal door with half round glass transom above and sidelights at either side, window shutters, divided windows, clapboard siding, and the home’s colors. Many of these features could influence the selection of garden furnishings.
When trying to help outdoor furniture fit with the architecture of a space, your most crucial tasks are to find those little details that the furniture and architecture have in common, consider the scale of each, and evaluYou wouldn’t normally see ate the proportion of the furniture in these contemporary chairs relationship to the architecture. Since lining an Italian street. Even furniture can have considerable presso, their simple curves work ence in a garden, make sure the style, well with the curves of the quantity, mass, texture, and color work more ornate buildings. with the architecture and scale of the space. It may or may not be possible and desirable to choose furniture in a style that matches the surrounding architecture.
Vivid, bright colors give objects more weight and visibility, which may or may not work in your favor depending on the situation. If a seating area is fairly substantial, it will occupy more actual and visual space. Two lightweight café chairs with a small table will apld.org
PHOTO COURTESY OF DESI GN KOL L ECT ION
have much less impact in a large space unless they are a bold color. If your large seating area is a subdued color that matches its surroundings, its style will be less noticeable.
EXCERPT FROM THE PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER’S GUIDE TO GARDEN FURNISHINGS© C O P Y R I G H T 2 0 1 3 . P U B L I S H E D B Y T I M B E R P R E S S , P O RT L A N D , U S E D B Y P E R M I S S I O N O F T H E P U B L I S H E R . A L L R I G H T S R E S E RV E D .
publicspacedesign A Grown-Up
Playground of Plants
BY KATHARINE RUDNYK
ecess is once again gaining in popularity and, happily, is moving past asphalt surrounded by a chainlink fence to enter the adult world. Design professionals are sharing with property managers and city officials the benefits of playful plants that promote outdoor science experiments and encourage fun with foliage, fruit, and flowers. Here are a few planting design possibilities from Monrovia that fit this trend nicely.
Recently, I have been working with Architect and Landscape Architect Mario Violich at Moore, Ruble, and Yudell on the Claremont McKenna College campus near Los Angeles. Together we identified plants that save water yet have elements of surprise. You can’t miss the zesty hot pink flowers of ‘ShiningPink’™ rock purslane (Calandrinia ‘Shining Pink’™) ➸
KNIPHOFIA UVARIA ‘FLAMENCO 50
Katharine Rudnyk leads Monrovia’s outreach program to the landscape community.
PAEONIA X ‘SMITH OPUS 1’ P.P. #22,192
LAVENDULA ‘REGAL SPLENDOUR’ 52
publicspacedesign waving happily as you rush through a shadowy, dark corner headed for your next class. Equally eye-catching are the rare-for-Southern-California Misaka™ Itoh peonies (Paeonia x ‘Smith Opus 1’) tucked in a field of Berkeley sedge. Just as a painter might, we chose ‘Flamenco’ red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria ‘Flamenco’) to add splatters of brilliant color. To keep the seasonal drama unfolding, the red twigs of ‘Kelsey’ dwarf red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Kelseyi’) keep the space lively while the peonies and pokers sleep through the Southern California winter.
CORNUS SERICEA ‘KELSEYI’
For sensory stimulation, we chose ‘Regal Splendour’ lavender (Lavendula ‘Regal Splendour’) to encourage students to slow down and enjoy the relaxing fragrance, touch the lightly fuzzy foliage, and listen to the bees work their magic. One or two plants are quaint in decorative containers on a patio or balcony, but when massed in a border, their fragrant, dark purple flowers become a magic carpet ride! ➸
Just as a painter might, we chose 'Flamenco' red hot poker to add splatters of brilliant color. apld.org
publicspacedesign Before the recent renovation of a different project, Pasadena Community College in California, I was drawn toward a water feature that on closer inspection turned out to be a mere folly. There was no moving water, just a dry fountain in a tiny pool of water, enclosed by drought-tolerant ornamental grasses. The sounds I initially mistook for water were in reality coming from the surrounding ‘Morning Light’ maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’) as its white-margined green blades and plumes swayed gracefully in the breeze.
MISCANTHUS SINENSIS ‘MORNING LIGHT’
In Northern California’s Silicon Valley, software company Intuit took a risk and installed nearly 1,000 ‘Bountiful Blue’® blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum ‘FLX-2’) near the windows and café at its Mountain View corporate campus. Now, employees working long hours indoors get to enjoy the amazing food production and the activity of bees and butterflies surrounding the blueberries as well as argue over who will get to enjoy the last berry. Who says recess is just for students?
The sounds I initially mistook for water were in reality coming from the surrounding 'Morning Light' maiden grass.
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Petanqu Petanque is a variation of the game of bocce.
I STO C K
BY JOY ALBRIGHT-SOUZA
The concept sketch few years ago I had a particularly shows the designer’s specific client, who I also happen to intent to modify the be married to. He insisted that if our traditional petanque garden were to include a spot for an outdoor game, court dimensions any game was fine, as long as the space met official while adding greenery, specifications. (He didn’t want a smaller version of a and pattern into the hardscape area for a competition size, presumably, so he wouldn’t be at a contemporary feel. disadvantage if he wanted to go pro in the future.) My preferences were to have a game that needed no set-up or storage of cumbersome equipment and be playable by young and old alike. In our case, the available space precluded the official length needed for horseshoes or bocce, so the winner was bocce’s smaller cousin, usually called petanque or boules.
What Is Petanque? Petanque is a variation on the age-old game of tossing things at a target. It is said that the current version originated in southern France around the turn of the 20th century by a bocce enthusiast who could no longer take the run-up steps required to properly bowl the ball down the court. The word petanque is colloquial French for “anchored feet,” because the balls are tossed from a standing position and 58
designlesson pitched, rather than rolled, into the playing area. Instead of the grapefruit-sized wooden or resin balls of bocce, petanque uses smaller, hollow metal balls about the size of an orange. Petanque’s variations from bocce mean there is less playing space required, so the official dimensions can fit more easily into backyards. The playing surface can be more irregular as well, as opposed to the highly groomed, perfectly level surface required for a bowling game. The official minimum dimensions are 4 meters wide and 12 meters long. Unlike my husband-client, many people are perfectly happy with variations on the competition court size, which allows for even more design flexibility.
Court Specifics The most important aspect of the playing surface is that it be not-too-hard and not-too-soft. The desired effect is for the ball to roll a little when it lands, depending on the way the ball was tossed. Surfaces like concrete or asphalt are considered too hard, while loose sand is considered too soft, because the ball will just “die” when it lands. The ideal surface is usually firm gravel. In my case, I used two inches of 3/8” granite over a compacted base. There is certainly no need to import special materials to make an “authentic” surface. In other words, don’t go crazy buying crushed oyster shells if they aren’t naturally available in your area. For casual games, hard-packed soil is just fine, as is short-cut lawn in areas where this is a sustainable option. Drainage must be considered, depending on the specifics of the game area and the surrounding terrain. ➸
A boulder softens the corner of a petanque court, which helps settle the space into the surrounding landscape and provides casual seating. I LLUSTR ATI ON , PHOTOGR A PHS A N D DESI GN BY J OY A LB R I GHT- SOU Z A
< Wood is a classic method of edging a bocce court and will work for petanque as well. Casual courts donâ€™t require an edge at all.
> Incorporating attractive seating options near the playing area is an important design element.
A proper edge that retains the playing area is not required by the official rules, although one is generally used in tournament play. However, an edge can be useful to keep balls in bounds and out of surrounding flower beds. A small lip is enough to keep most shots contained, but be careful not to inadvertently create a tripping hazard. Utilize the same design parameters that you would for any change of elevation, such as a change of materials or other visual clues.
Design Considerations Because petanque is an easy, social game that can be played by all ages, itâ€™s a good idea to design seating or gathering spaces nearby. A patio of complementary materials adjacent to the pitching area is ideal. This can be at one or both ends of the playing area or even along the side, depending on the space. My own court utilizes seating walls at the pitching end of the playing area, which provide an easy place to perch and set a drink for a few players. As with any game area, sun and shade considerations are important. What time of day do you expect to play and where will the sun be at that time? If games will be played in the late afternoon, be cautious of a west-facing court, which can lead to distracting sun in the eyes of the players. Shade for spectators can be created with arbors, large umbrellas, or shade sails. Trees are an option as well; just consider whether the garden owner is a neatnik who might be frustrated cleaning leaves out of the playing area. Even though my personal court was built mostly to tournament specifications, I took advantage of the fact that the balls are pitched, not bowled, and generally donâ€™t hit the playing surface for several yards after the release point. I incorporat60
ed planted inserts into the playing area and sometimes add sturdy pots or garden dĂŠcor as well. In fact, in casual versions of the game, it is almost considered an asset to have obstacles and terrain variations. Much like the individual idiosyncrasies of baseball parks or golf courses, variation within basic limits can provide a home-field advantage and an extra element of fun for friendly competition. A petanque court lends itself to many style options. A gravel playing area is a terrific choice for any water-wise landscape. Incorporating a court into a contemporary setting takes advantage of the geometry of the space. By softening edges and corners, a garden with a naturalistic style might have a game area that is more hidden within. My own court started out with crisp edges but over the course of several years I have allowed the plants to meander and blur the early design. âž¸ apld.org
ADDITIONAL USES Depending on the final details, dimensions, and material choices, a petanque court can be used for plenty of other activities as well. I designed my own gravel court with the ability to convert it to bistro seating for large gatherings but have been surprised at how often it is used as an impromptu play space by visiting kids and dogs. In the case of my favorite re-purposing so far, a family converted a court I designed into a dance floor for their daughterâ€™s wedding. I love it when our gardens surprise us by showing what else they can do.
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