thedesÄ±gner ASSOCIATION OF
PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS
SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH DURABILITY
DESIGN 101: DIGITAL MARKETING FASCINES FOR DESIGNERS
editor’sletter The Many Sides of Sustainability
f you ask ten designers about sustainability you’ll get ten different responses. Some will talk about plant selection, others, about soil. Some will discuss sourcing materials, while business sustainability will be on the minds of a few. Sustainability encompasses a huge amount of territory, and over the next year, The Designer will tackle various aspects. This issue is, in part, an introduction to the topic and covers a wide range of subjects. I expect some people will be thrilled we talk about marketing and Mexico, and others will want more nitty-gritty details about the earth.
The next full-scale look at sustainability issues will be the Spring 2019 issue about ecological design. We can use some meaty submissions for these topics, so please write to editor@ apld.org to pitch an article you’d like to write or a topic you’d love to see covered. We’ll do our best to find someone to work on it.
Susan Cohan, APLD, offers suggestions for specifying sustainable and durable materials while designing; Becky Heath gives tips for working bulbs into existing plantings for four-season color; and Vanessa Nagel, APLD, penned a primer on fascines, a sustainable landscape technique that dates back centuries. Member Tina Krug fills us in on her digital marketing strategy to drive a sustainable business; Eva Leonard looks at the renovation of the Sagamore Pendry in Baltimore, detailing the sustainable practices incorporated into the commercial property. Finally, Jeff Minnich invites us to find design inspiration in the history and ecology of Mexico. It’s all sure to get your juices flowing! KATIE ELZER-PETERS
PHOTOG RA PH BY K IRST EN B OE HMER PHOTOGR AP HY
This summer, though, we have a smorgasbord of sustainability-related things to consider, so let’s dig in. Christopher Freimuth gives us his take on his favorite sustainable soil amendment; Cathy Carr, APLD, takes us to the Bahamas, where one couple is creating a gorgeous sustainable landscape; and members give us their “must read” links for newsletters, books, and websites covering sustainability.
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A sneak preview of our 2018 APLD gold award winner Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC's designs. On the cover: Camp Brown. This spread: A Writerâ€™s Retreat. Full details will be in our Fall 2018 issue, coming September 15.
contents SUMM ER 2018 6 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 14 DESIGN ROUNDUP Go: Bahamas BY CATHY CA R R , A PLD
Grow: Sedges BY KATI E ELZER -PETERS
Read: Book, Newsletters BY KATI E ELZER -PETERS
Spec: Mulch BY CHR I STOPHER FR E I MUT H
26 BUSINESS Digital Marketing: Know, Like, Trust BY KATI E ELZER -PETERS
32 PLA NT A PP(LI CA TI O N) S Bring on the Bulbs! BY B ECKY HEATH
44 IN THE FIELD Low Impact, High Style Materials BY SU SA N COHA N , A P L D
50 DESIGN 101 Taming the Slippery Slope: The Art of Fascine BY VA N ESSA GA R DN ER N AG EL , A PLD
60 CASE STUDY Water Ways BY EVA LEON A R D
70 TRAVEL INSPIRATION The Nature of Mexico BY J EFF MI N N I CH
ike many other preteens, I wanted to be a rock star. My first step in achieving this goal was petitioning my parents for a guitar, which I received. After abusing that poor instrument for several weeks I also requested professional lessons, which I also received. My instructor, a scholarly gent who, to my dismay, looked nothing like Billy Gibbons, spent most of the first three sessions schooling me on musical theory. Scales, rhythm, dynamics, reverb, sustain. Sustain? In music, “sustain” is the capacity for an instrument to maintain a tone or note over a period of time before it becomes inaudible. Depending on which instrument we are playing, be it guitar, piano, drums, et cetera, there are different and sometimes unorthodox methods, techniques, and equipment to achieve sustain, all for the expression and enjoyment of the music. Accomplished musicians will go to great lengths to achieve these effects. To what lengths will you go to achieve the continued resonance of the designed and natural landscapes? Achieving sustainability in our gardens is not that much different than the musical concept. If we are to be successful then we cannot rely on “business as usual” to get us there. We must be innovative and flexible, testing new methods and techniques that are appropriate and affordable for our own particular region and garden style. Also, similar to how my instructor enlightened me on theory when all I wanted to do was bang out power chords, we must educate practitioners and decision-makers alike on why the methods and techniques of sustainable design are not only relevant, but necessary if we are to enjoy their effects for years to come. Cheers,
DANILO MAFFEI APLD
Native alternative to Buxus This cool new dwarf, broadleaf evergreen looks more like a boxwood than an inkberry. This dense, ball-shaped plant has small, dainty, dark green leaves. Its tidy habit makes it a great alternative to boxwood and looks sharp in small hedges and containers. • 2-3' tall and wide • USDA Zone 5 • Full to part sun www.provenwinners-shrubs.com
Available from Proven Winners® ColorChoice® growers.
My favorite thing about trees? How much time have you got? Steve Miller champions the trees, landscapes and property investments of the customers in his care. And he’s one of the many reasons we’ve become the premier scientific tree and shrub care company in the world.
877-BARTLETT | bartlett.com STEVE MILLER Arborist and Bartlett Champion
EVERY TREE NEEDS A CHAMPION.
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 Spring 2019 issue about ecological design. We're always 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? As Editor in Chief for 2018 Katie Elzer-Peters is happy to discuss your idea with you. Reach her at email@example.com.
thank you to our
>>Click logos for link to their website
thedesÄ±gner EDITOR IN CHIEF Katie Elzer-Peters ART DIRECTOR
Marti Golon COPY EDITOR
Billie Brownell EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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
For information on advertising in The Designer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. >>Click here for our submission guidelines. 10
Another 2018 APLD gold award winner Margie Grace/Grace Design Associates Inc., The River at Tanayan. Details will be in our Fall 2018 issue, out September 15, 2018.
contributors Cathy Carr
Design Roundup: Go: Bahamas
In the Field: Sustainable Materials p. 44
Cathy believes strongly that beauty adds to people’s well-being. She understands the importance of wellconstructed elements to good garden design, loves plants from all parts of the globe, and specializes in creating distinctive, four-season outdoor living spaces that relate to the home and delight the family who lives there. Cathy was a founding member of the DC.MD.VA. Chapter of APLD and is currently the chapter’s marketing/ PR committee chair. She is the principal designer for her firm, GreenHeartGarden Designs.com.
Susan Cohan, APLD, is the award-winning principal of a boutique residential landscape design studio in New Jersey. Her work ranges from small urban backyards to large residential properties in the New York metropolitan area. She is also an inspiration junkie who travels the world to fuel her habit and is passionate about all things design related. She shares what she finds on her blog Miss Rumphius’ Rules when the spirit moves her.
>>Click bold names for link to website 12
Christopher Freimuth Design
Vanessa Gardner Nagel APLD, NCIDQ
The Art of Fascine Roundup: Spec: Organic Mechanics p. 50
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.
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 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.
Plant Applications: Bulbs
Case Study: Water Ways
Travel Inspiration: The Nature of Mexico
Becky Heath is co-owner and president of Heath Enterprises, Ltd., the home of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, a wholesale/retail mail-order flower bulb business located in Gloucester, Virginia. Becky’s training and college degrees are in music and teaching but for the last 39 years she has utilized her training as a teacher to help develop their company’s website, write their catalogues (as well as articles for magazines), and co-author their award-winning books, Daffodils for North American Gardens and Tulips for North American Gardens. Becky and Brent are the recipients of the 2001 Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal of Honor and the 2001 Gold Medal for Individual Commercial Excellence from the American Horticultural Society. They had the honor of being inducted into the Garden Writer’s Hall of Fame in August 2002. They were inducted as “lifetime members” in the Garden Club of America and won the highest honor presented by the Perennial Plant Association. Becky is the current president of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators.
Eva Leonard is a New York City–based freelancer who writes about architecture, travel, interior design, and landscaping. In addition to The Designer, her outlets include Landscape Architecture Magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida, Time Out New York, and Singapore Airlines’ silverkris.com travel guide. Her website and blog, www. retroquesting.com, is devoted to adaptive reuse, design, and travel. She loves Manhattan’s community gardens and finding willow trees in the city.
Jeff Minnich received his horticulture degree with an emphasis on landscape design and nursery management from Virginia Tech. His garden design firm, Jeff Minnich Garden Design, Inc., takes a client from initial design concept through the completed garden design. The firm subcontracts the landscape installation through reputable, talented craftsmen. Jeff serves on the Horticulture Department Advisory Board of Northern Virginia Community College. He is a former president and board member of the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers and is a member of the Landscape Designers Group and GWA. He served on the board of the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association and developed the original Virginia Growers Guide for that organization.
designroundup A mixture of native and nonnative waterwise plants create buffer zones in the landscape.
Cat Island Bahamas BY CATHY CARR, APLD
y partner, Charlie, and I recently visited friends who own a home on Cat Island in the Bahamas. Cat Island is a quiet, lowpopulation island of turquoise waters, fine, coral sand beaches, stands of palm and mangrove, and delicious islandgrown vegetables as well as local conch and lobster. Jennifer Johnson-Calari and Cesare Calari, neighbors of our friends who live on Pigeon Cay, are developing a distinctive and beautiful garden with plants that do well in that climate. Although they are not purists about âž¸
A LL PHOTOGR A PHS BY J EN N I FER J OHN SON - CA L A RI A N D CESA R E CA LA R I
designroundup The collected seaweed is spread out to dry in the path and eventually incorporated into plant beds. Note the dark mass in the bottom right corner of the photograph.
only using native plants, the Calarisâ€™ garden holds many local fruit-bearing trees for sustenance and Bahamian bush medicine plants for teas and health. Their garden is full of plants that are found throughout the islands including bougainvillea, bromeliads, aloes, cordyline, and agaves. All of 16
these plants are easy to divide and grow well in the sandy soil and hot, dry climate. Many sustainable practices are used on the property; for example, water is collected in large cisterns and solar panels help provide electricity. Everything is composted to improve
The solar panel helps runs the irrigation system, while the round compost ball is “the most productive,” according to Jennifer Johnson-Calari.
LODGING ◗ Fernandez Bay Village: full service resort close to New Bight Airport ◗ Greenwood Beach Resort: southern [Atlantic] side of the island; offers diving lessons ◗ Pigeon Cay Beach Club: casual living on Exuma Sound; perfect white sand beach ◗ Shanna’s Cove Resort: northern tip of the island; the second-highest elevation
the soil, including a certain type of seaweed. The Calaris are longtime residents of the island who helped found a group called Cat Island United. The group’s sixth annual Earth Day Festival occurred April 21. Among other goals, it works to educate the population
FOOD ◗ Offered at all lodging spots; call first to reserve ◗ Da Pink Chicken: terrific conch salad, pulled fresh from the water and prepared as you watch ◗ Tito’s near Pigeon Cay: great local lobster and red snapper; other fresh seafood ◗ Danny King, Kingridge Farm (242-474-8615): Island-grown veggies and herbs; taxi service
NOT TO MISS ◗ The Hermitage: a miniature monastery and the highest spot on the island, 206 feet above sea level ◗ Rake and Scrape Music Festival: June 1–4 ◗ Cat Island Regatta: August 3–6 ◗ Fishing tournaments and famously difficult-to-catch bonefish
about conservation, recycling, and eradication of the highly invasive Causarina equisetifolia. Cat Island United works with local government, the Bahamas National Trust, and The Nature Conservancy to protect the fragile creek systems and reefs on Cat Island.
EverColor 'Everillo' Carex
Sedges BY KATIE ELZER-PETERS
CR EDI T: WI KI MEDI A COMMON S
SO UT H ERN L IV IN G ® PL A NT CO LL ECT IO N A ND T HE SUN SET WESTER N GA R DEN
ulletproof plants that require little supplemental water or fertilizer are key to designing landscapes that last. Carex (sedge) species fit the bill in many locations. They have worldwide native distribution, with the exception of the African continent, but there has been an explosion of sedges available in the horticultural trade, making it easier than ever to find them for projects. I have been growing a few selections from the Evercolor® line in my garden for a couple of years, the first year of which they were still in the containers in which they arrived, waiting to be planted. With barely any water and zero care, they looked as pretty as the day they were born. (And look great in the garden now!) Laurin Lindsey, APLD, designs in Houston, TX, through her business Ravenscourt Landscaping & Design LLC. She says, “Carex is fairly new to our market, but it is a great addition. I love to mix textures in our designs, and Carex adds a new dimension.”
She says, “I’ve had great success with two, in particular. Berkeley sedge, Carex tumulicola, which is native to western North America, does well here on the Gulf Coast. We like it as a lawn substitute in smaller areas where turfgrass would require too much maintenance. My favorite is Everillo sedge, Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’ (trade name Evercolor® ‘Everillo’ Carex). If you are looking for a little pop of color, you will love the bright yellow-green of this small clumping sedge. Both are perfect for borders, and woodland, rain, and rock gardens.”
Book, Newsletters BY KATIE ELZER-PETERS
NATURE BY DESIGN: THE PRACTICE OF BIOPHILIC DESIGN PUBLISHED BY YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, APRIL 2018
By Stephen R. Kellert
>>Click on book or title to view online and buy. 20
ontributor Natasha Petroff mentioned “biophilia” in her Winter 2017 APLD article about therapeutic design. Stephen Kellert’s book is both an academic study of the idea, a coffee table book illustrating it in action, and a handbook for incorporating the principles into design work of all kinds. He describes biophilia as “the inherent affinity people have for the natural world,” and then lays out his argument for why biophilic design is so important. “Assuming this biological inclination continues to be vital to human health and well-being, one of the greatest challenges of our time is to foster beneficial contact with nature in our built environments, where we now on average spend 90 percent of our time.” This isn’t a wholly landscape designfocused book. It is an investigation of all built environments, indoors and out, that offer plenty to think about for any designer.
Green roof designed by Burdick & Associates in their 2018 APLD gold award winning design.
TERRAIN NEWSLETTER FROM BALL PUBLISHING Ball Publishing’s magazines, Green Profit and Grower Talks, are industry standards for information about growing and retailing plants. They have a wide range of industry newsletters as well, which are weekly doses of news and hot topics in the field. The Terrain newsletter, written and curated by Debbie Hamrick, is a weekly smörgasbord of articles, links, and insights. The description is, “News and commentary for emerging green infrastructure markets.” While it is not 100 percent design focused, it does give a broad overview of what is happening with sustainability around the US from week to week. Click here. ➸ apld.org
North Creek Nurseries plant selection matrix chart
NORTH CREEK NURSERIES RESOURCES With a focus on East Coast native plants, North Creek Nurseries, a wholesale nursery in Oxford, Pennsylvania, (whose tagline is “Where Horticulture Meets Ecology”) can’t supply everyone, but nor should it. Part of sustainability is sourcing materials close to home. For those designing where North Creek Nurseries’ plant materials are applicable, they have fantastic guides to aid plant selection and specification for a variety of conditions. For Planting Guides click here. For Plug Manual click here.
ECOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE ALLIANCE NEWSLETTER APLD Sustainability Committee member Shawn Mayers says, “I find that the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) is a huge resource for me. They have great tours, webinars, conferences and website. Their monthly newsletter is chockfull of in-depth articles that pertain to sustainable landscape design. Click here.
APLD SUSTAINABILITY WEB PAGE
A mixture of guidelines, standards, and how-to documents on sustainability produced by APLD members and the Sustainability Committee. Click here.
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Organic Mechanics BY CHRISTOPHER FREIMUTH
ere’s the thing about mulch: it’s ugly. And if you’re in Roy Diblik’s church like I am, you may go so far as to say it’s overhyped. By and large, it does little that good old-fashioned groundcovers and succession planting can’t take care of.
And yet, we all use it. Sometimes a spoonful of mulch is just what we need to insulate our little baby plantlets from mean ole seasonality, help retain soil moisture, suffocate predatory weeds, or distract the gaze from an ugly patch of muddy covfefe.
I have clients all over Manhattan who have a range of garden aesthetics—modern, woodland, cottage, you name it. In a crunch to make a bed look halfway decent between seasons, I’ve often resorted to mulch. I head to the hardware store or garden center looking for a quick fix, and what do I find? Shaved cedar that looks
designroundup like pulled pork. Dyed chips that seem to be sourced from an underpriced 24hour buffet. Pine nuggets big enough to demolish any seedling before it has a chance to dance in the light.
And then, there’s the Organic Mechanics Planting Mix Compost Blend. Though I’m not the religious type (unless Roy Diblik is at the pulpit), I have to say, I’m a total convert for this stuff. Though it’s marketed as a compost, I have been using this blend as a mulch in my gardens for the last two years, and I can’t speak about it highly enough. For the horticulturists out there, you might say I’m topdressing my gardens with compost. For the designers in the front row, you might say I’m defining my borders with a natural, “inevitablelooking” device. Either way, this blend solves the problems of ugliness and irrelevance. Not only is it attractive, it contributes to the soil ecology. Elegant for the modernists, cozy for the traditionalists, and healthy all around with its mix of compost, coir, worm castings, and pine bark.
BIOCHAR In addition to compost blends, worm castings, and other bagged goods, Organic Mechanics has introduced a line of biochar products that, as company founder Mark Highland says, “Supercharge the soil.” He says, “Biochar is an ancient technology with its roots in the Amazon over 2,000 years ago, and a growth and yield booster since its pure carbon structure retains nutrients and acts as a high rise apartment for soil microbes.” When added to the soil, biochar also boosts nutrientholding capacity. Biochar is a one-and-done amendment that creates long-lasting conditions for beneficial soil development, which, if you’re thinking about sustainability, matters. Read more about biochar here.
On the left, pepper plants grown with biochar packs. On the right, peppers grown without.
business Know, Like, Trust Digital Marketing to Grow Your Design Business BY KATIE ELZER-PETERS
■ KNOW who you are and what you do. (How can you solve their problems and thus enhance their lives?)
■ LIKE you or at least feel some camaraderie with you.
■ TRUST that you will deliver what you promise and give them what they need.
These days instead of spending a bunch of money on Yellow Pages ads, you can accomplish all of this digitally. Cash outflow might be lower, but time input is higher, and if there’s something no small business owner has, it’s a surplus of time. Here’s how to do it and get results.
Tina Krug, APLD member, and principal designer and owner of Red Fern Landscape Design (right), relocated from New Hampshire to Des Moines, apld.org
he last thing on a designer’s list of “Things I Do for Fun” is marketing. However, to design, to have a sustainable business, you have to sell, and to sell, potential customers have to know, like, and trust you.
Iowa, two years ago. After the move, she had to start from scratch in terms of contacts, leads, and clients. “In New Hampshire I felt like a designer. In Iowa I feel like a businessperson. I knew all of the parents at my kids’ schools, I was involved with the landscape contractor association, and I left all of that behind.” She said, “In Des Moines, I’m a tiny fish in a huge pond, and I needed a way for people to recognize what I do and to know I exist.”
She started with Instagram. Her Instagram auto-posts to Facebook. She monitors both for comments and questions, but Instagram is the key platform. Now, you might go to her Instagram page and say, “Huh, she doesn’t have 10,000 follow- ➸ apld.org
business ers. How is this helping?” That’s the great thing about digital marketing. You don’t need a few thousand followers when you’re a service provider. You need a few hundred of the right followers who know, like, and trust you, and who are your ideal customers. Tina doesn’t have 10,000 followers, but she gets clients from her Instagram, which means her strategy and implementation are working. I like to talk with small business owners who don’t have a million social media followers but are getting results because that’s a much more realistic and situation for most people.
Instagram Game Plan
· Write every post as if you’re talking to one person. Tina says, “I write to
someone who is my ideal client. She will care about the things I care about and be interested in things that interest me. I post a mixture of business and personal so people can get to know me and what I do.” By doing this, she says she feels less sales-y and more authentic.
· Follow and interact with people in different industries to see what’s resonating with their followers. You’ll get ideas by doing this too. Tina has partici-
pated in #FridayIntroductions, which is a hashtag group used by all types of creatives. She started #AskTinaTuesday to encourage more interactions from her followers.
· Get help. Tina did two things to get more out of her Instagram account. She took Jenna Kutcher’s Instagram Lab course and she hired someone to help
her map out an editorial strategy (and required that person take the course). Tina still writes the individual posts but her assistant creates the calendar, researches hashtags, and helps alleviate the pressure of what to say, freeing Tina to simply tell her story.
· Tell a story. “I don’t go on Instagram and say, ‘I’m awesome. Hire me.’ I tell a
story. ‘This gentleman came to me and wanted to plant a tree in honor of his late wife, so we talked and...’ That is what will capture people’s attention.”
· Focus on local if your business is local. “Most of us work within a 100-mile
radius of our homes. I post about what’s happening in Iowa, share local knowledge, and think about what my local client is looking at and what will comfort and inspire her,” Tina says. Use local hashtags.
· Batch content. “I feel feisty in the afternoons when I’m waiting at carpool
pickup, so that’s when I write out my posts.”
· Share knowledge. “I give freely via Instagram and my e-newsletter.” That helps with the know, like, and trust factor. apld.org
Two of Tina's instagram posts. Her caption for the left one was " Wow! This driveway by @wigglestemgardens is like its own little garden - I love it!" For the right one she wrote, "Getting my hands dirty this lovely week, potting up containers. It’s been so fun to dig and design!"
Email Marketing It’s too risky to build all of your business lead generation on social media platforms that you don’t control. “I have to have something I own,” Tina says. “I can’t keep up with the algorithms of social media.” She says, “I do love to teach, so the newsletter is very easy for me to put together.” She uses social media to build her email list, and, even with a small list, is already getting referrals and inquiries from her ideal client.
In all of her marketing, Tina keeps her ideal customer in mind and speaks only to her. “I think of attracting and repelling. I want to work with people who want to work with me, based on what they see from what I give. There’s nothing worse than getting started and finding out your personalities are not a good fit for each other.” You don’t have to be everything to everyone or become a world-famous Instagrammer to get results. You just need to be generous, focused, and consistent.
Tina and I both like to read books and listen to podcasts for business info and advice. Most of the best podcasts are produced by online marketing experts, but there’s lots to be extrapolated and gained about talking to your audience from these people. That’s because, fundamentally, all marketing relates to the “know, like, and trust” factor. ➸ apld.org
■ Seth Godin’s Podcasts Marketing theory, questions, and ideas for practice. He doesn’t tell you how to do everything, but rather, the questions to ask yourself so you can figure out how to do what you do, better. Akimbo Startup School His blog is fantastic.
■ Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy
Online marketing with tons of nutsand-bolts practical advice about managing digital marketing tasks.
How I Built This with Guy Raz
“He interviews successful business owners from companies such as Crate & Barrel, Patagonia, and Toms Shoes, and they share what it was like to start their businesses.” Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher Creative Empire
“These are both hosted by millennials giving advice on business strategy and marketing. I love that it’s younger people working in a variety of industries.”
Traction, by Gino Wickman Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert Real Artists Don’t Starve, by Jeff Goins
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September 17-19, 2018
Bring Bulbs BY BECKY HEATH
Add another layer to landscape design with bulbs. Here’s how to combine them with other plants for four seasons of interest. A L L P HOTOG R A P H S BY B R E N T & B E C KY ’ S B U L B S
Zantedeschia ‘Black Star’ : Notice that even the outline of its leaves is dark. (Opposite) Lilium ‘Forever Susan’ creates some color contrast with its bed partner, Rudbeckia, while also showing a color echo. This is one of my favorite garden combos!
Bulbs Flowering Trees
Many small spring-flowering bulbs lend themselves to being planted in the pockets of soil around the roots of early-flowering trees and shrubs. Then, when they are in bloom together, it creates a double “wow” affect. Just make sure to combine “like with like” in terms of growth requirements. (Top) Combine similar colors to create an echo effect like that of Narcissus ‘Monal’ blooming with Forsythia.
(Left) You can also combine complementary colors such as Narcissus ‘Katie Heath’ and Narcissus ’Pink Charm’ with a flowering cherry.
(Right) Another strategy is to combine contrasting colors like Tulipa ’Lady Jane’ with Wisteria. ➸ apld.org
EARLY SPRING apld.org
Combining all types of spring-blooming perennials with bulbs can create an amazing show. Most bulbs are planted 6 inches deep in well-drained soil, which gives many of the perennials enough soil space to be planted right in the same location either beside the bulbs or even right on top of the bulbs. When you have bulbs, perennials, and groundcovers growing together, they shield so much of the ground that weed seeds have a more difficult time finding a place to start growing. (Above) Usually bulbs have no problem coming up right through the herbaceous perennials the way Narcissus ’Hawera’ grows right through this Phlox subulata.
(Above right) Tulipa ‘China Town’ creates a color echo with Japanese painted fern. (Left) Tulipa ‘Spring Green’ continues the “green and white” theme with Dicentra ‘Alba’.
In areas where it heats up, even in the spring, you can use dark-colored plants or flowers that suggest shade to create shadows and an illusion of cooler temperatures. Just looking at these colors can help us feel cooler even if we aren’t actually any cooler.
(Above) Tulipa ’Black Hero’ plays a different role as it picks up the dark burgundy colors as it comes up and peeks out through Persicaria, creating a lovely color echo. These and other dark-flowered spring-flowering bulbs “pop” when combined with white or lighter-colored flowers and plants.
(Right) Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’, Eucomis comosa in bud, and Hemerocallis ‘Pardon Me’ with Lilium ‘Touching’. The dark flowers suggest cool shade while the lighter color of the lily draws the eyes of a visitor. ➸ apld.org
EARLY SUMMER apld.org
LATE SUMMER & apld.org
Sturdy Stems Color Combos
Everything heats up in the summer. To make a splash, bulbs have to be able to work their way up through perennials growing full-tilt and put on a show while doing it. Here are some of my favorites.
(Left) Composites (such as black-eyed Susan and coreopsis) make great background plants. Many bulbs will grow right up through them. Here Liatris spicata, a U.S. native bulbous plant, puts on a great show and contrasts beautifully with Rudbeckia. It is a wonderful cut flower with blooms opening first at the top instead of at the bottom like many other linear flowers. It is a reliable perennial as long as its leaves are allowed to mature to help store energy for the following year’s blooms. It is also available in a white form. (Right) Dahlias are one of the easiest “cut and come again” summertime flowers available. There are endless colors, heights, and sizes of flowers available. They are happy in full sun with other sun-loving perennials like roses, Crocosmia, Gladiolus, sweet potato vine, and chrysanthemums. I am also so fortunate because I can leave my dahlias in the ground during the winter as long as the soil drainage is good (they like to sleep in a dry bed like we do!). They’re worth the effort when you see them growing up through a rose like this Dahlia ‘Sandra’. What an unexpected pop of color! ➸ apld.org
WINTER There’s a Bulb for That Too!
Arum italicum is a versatile plant that is happiest in shade or, at least in shade during the hottest part of the day in hot locations. Its beautiful variegated leaves emerge in the fall and are visible all winter, giving that assurance that not everything is asleep during the winter. When the spring-flowering bulbs are in full swing, the Arum humbly produces an unpretentious Jack-in-the-Pulpit type flower that is easily missed because there are so many other colorful flowers to see during that time of year. During the summer, though, their red berries emerge to decorate the garden. I like to see them surrounded by other plants such as Oxalis ‘Iron Cross’ to complement the berries at the same time it helps prevent weed seed germination. In some areas, Arum can naturalize. If you want to prevent that from happening, just cut off the berries before the birds eat them.
Low Impact, High Style Materials Plants and furnishings might draw the eye, but locally sourced stone makes this landscape design sustainable. PHOTOGR A PH BY ELI ZA B ET H PRYZGODA-MON TGMERY, APL D
BY SUSAN COHAN, APLD
uch of the discussion about sustainability in the landscape revolves around water usage and planting design. But what about the rest? Innovative and creative design solutions that include low-impact materials can support local economies and reduce the use of fossil fuels, can employ permeable paving techniques, and can use certified and sustainably harvested woods, as well as initiate opportunities for reuse and recycling. The three easy-to-use and easy-onthe-planet groups of materials featured are simple to incorporate into projects of all sizes.
Local and Reclaimed Stone
Landscape designers can add to a project’s sense of place and greatly reduce its carbon footprint by specifying local stone instead of stone that has to travel across land and sea. Every region in the United State has stone that is specific to it. The Northeast, for example, has plentiful bluestone, sandstone, and granite; the Pacific Northwest is known for its large basalt deposits; the Midwest is famous for its limestone; and Arizona’s Coconino sandstone is quarried in the state. The Natural Stone Council (NSC) and the American National Recycled bricks add Standards Institute (ANSI) have established guidecharacter to a design. lines for reducing the impact stone quarrying and transportation have on the environment. Even if the stone you use isn’t local, chances are there is somewhere to purchase previously used building and paving stone. There are ample opportunities to use recycled stone in the landscape, particularly for flatwork. Not everything has to be new. Recycled vintage stone and brick tell a story and can add instant patina to a new project.
B R I CK PHOTOGR A PHS BY A N DR EA WI LSON MU EL L ER, A PL D
Reusing paving materials and specifying materials that can be sourced locally lower the environmental impact of an installation.
PHOTOGR A PH BY SA B R EN A SCHWEYER, FA L PD
Sustainable Wood Certified sustainable wood for fencing, garden structures, cladding, decks, and furniture? The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sets international forestry management standards and certifies sustainable wood. There are FSC-certified lumber suppliers throughout the United States and all it takes is a question to find out if lumber is local and FSC certified. Reclaimed wood products are experiencing a design moment and these can include barn beams, large, previously harvested and dried slabs with “live” or natural edges, and stumps for seating and table bases. A simple web search for “reclaimed lumber” will likely yield several regionally appropriate and local results. Shingles can also be rustic and a stylish option for sheds and outbuildings. Cradle to Cradle author William McDonough gives high praise to Bark House for its sustainable forestry, and safe and healthy bark shingles made in North Carolina. ➸
PHOTOGRAPH BY SUSAN COHAN, APLD
The original Chicago Stock Exhange entrance arch designed by Louis Sullivan now stands at the East Entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago
Antique, Vintage, and Architectural Salvage Vintage and salvaged architectural remnants and garden antiques are also part of the sustainable landscape design mix. Salvage yards and dealers of garden antiques can be fantastic resources for designers. Adaptive reuse is a hallmark of sustainable practice, and many reclaimed building elements can be incorporated into a garden. Garden antiques are great for a collector or client with deep appreciation of them as well as the budget to match, but salvage is also a good resource. Gates and fences can be adapted, although depending on use, they may have to be modified to meet current codes. Carved stone and details from demolished buildings can become sculptural focal points. With some simple research and adaptation of contracting practices, the use of sustainable materials—not just plants and water—at all levels of landscape design is only limited by a designer’s creativity and imagination.
TO P : P H OTO GRA PH BY R OY DI B LI K. R I GHT: PHOTOGR A PH BY SUSA N COHA N , A PL D
Vintage finds at a salvage yard.
An installed tree stake and branches fascine unit with a newly acquired Pinus â€˜Chief Josephâ€™ in front. With a bright winter tree against the branches, this will make a good focal point at the end of a path.
TAMING THE SLIPPERY SLOPE
of Fascine PHOTOGR A PHY BY VA N ESSA GA R DN ER N AGEL, A PL D
My original inspiration from the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy.
BY VANESSA GARDNER NAGEL, APLD
s a designer and traveler I seek out fascinating ideas for garden design while visiting other countries. During a spring trip to Rome a few years ago, a landscape construction on the Palatine slope stopped me dead in my tracks. It was a soil retention method using 5-inch-diameter wood logs. To prevent soil erosion two logs were driven vertically into a 1:6 slope 4 feet apart while similar logs were used horizontally across the back of the two posts.
On that same trip, at the amazing garden of Villa d’Este in Tivoli, I discovered the gardeners were using wood branches (perhaps 2 to 3 inches thick) as the vertical stakes with pruned branches laid across the slope and the back, stabilizing the soil. Rather than segmenting the construction, they ran it in a more linear fashion close to the bottom of a shorter slope. Vines and shrubs grew over the stakes so the structures were only partially visible. Their method included the use of dense plantings, unlike what I’d seen in Rome.
Not looking like much in midwinter, these three plants—grassy Ophiopogon ‘Sparkler’, fern Arachniodes simplicior ‘Variegata’, and the emerging leaves of Camassia bulbs—comprise a good selection for wet areas and in front of a fascine unit. Both ferns and grasses have excellent fibrous root systems important for soil retention, and are especially important for wet clay, which has the lowest “angle of repose.”
A light bulb went off in my brain. On our property back home, I had begun to renovate a steep ravine next to my house, which was covered by ivy, blackberry, and nettles. Here was an inexpensive method I could use with materials readily available on the site. As I dug and pulled out invasive plants, I would be able to install replacement plantings to retain the bank.
Soon after I returned home, a friend informed me that this type of structure is called “fascine.” Armed with a proper search term, I was able to contin- ➸ PH OTO G R A P H Y BY VANE SSA GARD NER NAGEL, A PLD
design101 ue my fascine education. It turns out that fascine is an ancient type of construction, most commonly used by armies to make difficult terrain easily traversable. The use of fascine began with the Romans and was used during both world wars. Today fascine is being used more extensively as a way to stabilize wetland slopes, which is precisely what I have. At the bottom of our ravine is a wetland spring and creek. The winter following our trip we hired a tree crew to cut down three deteriorating 25-year-old cherry trees and one of our awkwardly situated, though more youthful, big-leaf maples within the ravine. I left the largest trunk at 42 inches high to construct a “fern table,” but that is another story. These four trees provided ample material in precisely the right area to build structures to stabilize our slopes. The tree crew cut any branches that were between Of course, with 4 to 10 inches in diameter into 4-foot extreme situations lengths. I used those as step nosings or as horizontals to retain 1- to 2-foot and more immediate grade changes in combination with 2concerns, like visible 3-feet-long rebar stakes and wood soil cracking or exposed to chips as a filler for each step. While roots, always consult these will deteriorate over several years, it will give me time to the stawith a geotechnical bilize the entire slope, improve access engineer for additional into the ravine, and save money for a advice. more permanent solution.
As luck would have it, the opening of the new addition to the Portland Japanese Garden followed a couple of months later. Walking up from the ticket office to the garden above, I noticed the garden workers had not only removed all of the ivy that had been there since forever, but I also got to see their sophisticated examples of fascines.
They have used bamboo (whole stems for the verticals and split for the horizontals), Japanese black hemp twine used in bonsai gardening, and 6-inch diameter burlap-wrapped tubes of small twigs.
The cross-tied twine attaches the horizontals to the verticals in typical elegant Japanese fashion. The tubes of small twigs are placed across the back of the fascine on top of the soil to slow stormwater runoff by capturing soil particles, which combines with the construction. In addition to the fascine on this very steep ➸
Portland Japanese Garden bamboo fascine units interplanted with Pacific Northwest native plants. An overhead view of the Portland Japanese Garden fascine units. Inside the burlap rolls are collected twigs and branches. Burlap rolls are tied at each end.
slope, they planted a variety of plants very densely. For example, Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum), which typically grows to a dimension of nearly 4 feet wide and high, is planted approximately 30 inches on center. It is interwoven with other natives including inside-out flower (Vancouveria hexandra), salal (Gaultheria shallon), evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), and more. In a few yearsâ€™ time, when the bamboo fascines are deteriorating, these plants will take over the job of holding the soil in place. Above: Quick to cover ground in spring is this densely planted, attractive groundcover, Romanzoffia californica, mingled with spring violas from the grocery store.
For my own fascine, I have plenty of short twigs. I also (serendipitously) have yards of burlap that I can recycle for soil retention. For visual consistency, I purchased tree stakes for my vertical staking. A contractor with whom I work also offered me broken tree stakes collected from her projects. Free recyclable materials! How perfect is that? My sustainable project just became even more eco-friendly. Because fascine materials decompose, their construction must include dense plantings that will grow into the hillside to eventually hold the soil on their own, just as the Japanese Garden has done. Ideal plants are ferns and grasses because they have finely textured fibrous roots.
Rhizomatous-rooting plants, such as the Pacific Northwest native salal and snowberry, are also good candidates. Their roots will grow thickly into the soil and both take drier soils while tolerating an exposure from sun to shade. Ornamental, exotic, but noninvasive, plants such as box honeysuckle are also good slope-holding plants. The tips of their drooping branches root into the hillside to create a dense thicket of evergreen leaves, which helps minimize any splash of rain directly onto soil. âž¸ apld.org
Above, middle: Dug “in the green” from a site where we were invited to collect them, these snowdrops should self-seed and become very ornamental in late winter. Just emerging to cover their dying leaves is Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, an excellent grass to spread and hold soil in place. Above: Nativar Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ will eventually overtake the area occupied by the fascine unit behind it. It grows via underground rhizomes, and it is another excellent type of plant to minimize soil erosion. Left: Planted near our spring, x Gordlinia grandiflora is a very young, small evergreen tree located just in front of a fascine unit using cedar boughs from a tree we had to remove because it was badly damaged by snow. The benefit of conifer boughs is that their needles provide more surface area to capture soil and water. This technique has a different look to it, but in soggy clay, this holds soil in place better.
Staggered fascine units on one of our slopes display how important it is to determine how closely they need to be located to one another depending on the severity of the slope. Currently planted are Helleborus Winter Jewels® ‘White Pearl’ in the foreground. I will plant Omphalodes verna ‘Alba’, Lamium, and small ferns among these. The tree stakes have not yet been driven as far into the ground as they need to be. They are pounded in a little at a time depending on soil moisture. Once they have been driven in as far as possible, they will be trimmed to the height of the horizontal branches. Those branches will also be trimmed to look a bit tidier.
Trees with deep roots are also welcome, but plant these when they’re very young to minimize soil surface disruption. Use one-gallon or smaller plants on the steepest slopes and only plant larger plants in areas that are closer to being level and which have less of a slope.
Besides stabilizing soil, a coincidental benefit of fascine is slowing stormwater runoff. This allows water more time to percolate into the soil rather than carrying off your topsoil into the nearest creek (or heaven forbid, to the curb and a sewer treatment plant!). If you have hillsides that you want to stabilize but don’t want to spend vast sums of money on expensive retaining walls and have readily available materials similar to mine, fascine may be a viable way for you to prevent erosion and in a more sustainable way.
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S U S TA I N A B L E E D G I N G S O L U T I O N S
A century-old building and pier morph into a high-end harborfront hotel and pool, with landscaping designed to dazzle. P H OTO GRAPHY BY CHA R LES MAYER
BY EVA LEONARD
hen the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel opened last year in a historic 1914 building on Baltimore Harbor’s once abandoned Recreation Pier, the transformation of the project’s 10,000 square feet of outdoor space into a luxury landscape was also unveiled.
Baltimore-based firm Mahan Rykiel directed the landscape architecture of the hotel’s dramatic entryway, plaza, porte cochère, and its sprawling pier-top pool deck that offers stunning views of Baltimore and the harbor. New York-based Edmund
The entire project is an adaptive reuse of the historic pier, so much of the components existing there were repurposed and reused.
Hollander Design created the landscape for the hotel’s open-air interior courtyard and for the guest room terraces, bringing greenery and color into the courtyard, softening the visual impact of the century-old steel girders overhead and of the hotel’s hard surfaces.
“The entire project is an adaptive reuse of the historic pier, so much of the components existing there were repurposed and reused,” notes Stephen Eich, director of urban Studio for Edmund Hollander Design. “In addition, we worked ➸ P H OTO G R A P H Y BY CH ARLES M AYER
The biggest challenge was the fact that this is a historically landmarked structure—a lot of the elements had to remain.
for a low-flow water-efficient irrigation system throughout the entire project and choose plants that acclimate well to the conditions, further eliminating the irrigation requirements for the project.”
For the interior courtyard and the guestroom terraces, bluestone sourced from the Northeast was used to minimize travel distances required to bring the materials to the site. Sustainable ipe, a farmed tropical hardwood, was used for terraces and rooftop guest suites. Hollander Design also selected freestanding aluminum planters with NoVOC finishes from Utah-based Ore, Inc. apld.org
Challenges “I think the biggest challenge was the fact that this was a historically landmarked structure—a lot of the elements had to remain,” says Eich. “Certain things, like the massive steel beams overhead and the historic pier deck below, cannot be touched. The entire thing is over water, so we essentially were designing one large rooftop garden over this existing structure.” Baltimore’s climate and the hotel’s location on the pier presented their own challenges, says Eich. Shifts in weather and exposure to the water required
PH OTO G R A P H Y BY CH ARLES M AYER
casestudy choosing robust, hardy plants that could perform well in a difficult environment.
As an exterior space, enclosed on all four sides and open to the air above, the courtyard created unique challenges by limiting light and exposure and minimizing the amount of natural moisture reaching the soil.
Richard Jones, president and design director of Mahan Rykiel, explains that including the zero-edge pool on the pier was challenging, as was figuring out how to situate the deck and its component parts—the cabanas, the pool, and the pool bar— in a way that maximized views out to the water without sacrificing the functionality of the space. Challenging, too, from a structural perspective, says Jones, was the inclusion of the trees, “…but also because we didn’t want to provide too much overstory to the degree that it began to create visual clutter. Striking a fine balance between the structural and spatial order and the thermal comfort in this building were the prime considerations.”
The primary trees within the courtyard are multistemmed, drought-tolerant river birch trees.
Trees and plants selected allowed the creation of breaks and soft separation between spaces, Jones explains, but also maximized the views both within the pool deck and across the harbor. Plantings included Equisetum, which was used to function as a hedge but still allow connection between spaces. apld.org
“The primary trees within the courtyard were multistemmed river birch trees,” says Eich. “River birch is drought-tolerant, but also can handle a fair amount of moisture, so it’s really adaptable for spaces like this.”
The underplantings included American boxwood—an undulating hedge that serves as a privacy screen between the adjacent guest room terraces in the main courtyard. For the matrix of underplantings, Eich says, various understory ferns, hellebore, ➸ PH OTO G R A P H Y BY CH ARLES M AYER
flowering hydrangea, astilbe, and a groundcover of English ivy were used.
Eich adds, “We also used a matrix of grasses for the rooftop terraces, including feather reed grass, switchgrass, and then, also in the courtyard, Japanese forest grass—a shade-tolerant grass.
“We wanted plants that provide interest in all four seasons, so the grasses remain through the winter and then get cut down in the early spring. The dried structure of the grass moves in the wind over the course of the winter, so there’s always the idea of planting outside of each guest room.”
There’s a very clean and masculine aesthetic to the entire job ... with very simple materials and statements in the plantings.
Art and Aesthetics Says Jones, “There’s a very clean and masculine aesthetic to the entire job and that was something we were certainly playing to as well, with very simple materials and statements in the plantings and the structure and design—a very fine level of detailing.
“From a landscape architect’s perspective, we don’t often get the opportunity to design art, or to create art. On this occasion, we had the opportunity to conceptualize the waveform sculpture that flank the entry to the project and to collaborate with a really talented sculptor, Adam Cook. He was able to take concept sketches and turn it into a really beautiful piece, so that was something that was really special.”
PH OTO G R A P H Y BY CH ARLES M AYER
VIEW FROM A HIKE NEAR ACAPULCO I took this picture to capture the blue of the water with the textures of the rocks and trees, but upon a second look, I see that it speaks to my interest in mystery and intrigue. Sometimes an indirect view can be just as beautiful as a direct view and looking through something can be more pleasing than just looking at something. In design, we often use layers to break up a long space, to tease a little bit, to lead the eye in a desired direction, or to add depth to a shallow space. At home, I use this concept in my front yard. The pathway is curving so it leads you to the front doorâ€”but you canâ€™t see the front door right off the bat. You get a hint of a view here and there, drawing you around every curve until you get to the entrance.
N AT U R E
PHOTOGR A PHY BY J EF F MI N N I CH
BY JEFF MINNICH
hether we’re designing for awe, inspiration, attention, or function, in order for a landscape to be sustainable, for people to want to visit it, work in it, and maintain it, people have to feel comfortable in it or drawn to it. We’re all naturally drawn to the outdoors—a beautiful sunset, a waterfall, the view from a cliff, a gorgeous tree, a carpet of wildflowers. During my trip to Mexico last fall I snapped pictures that I’ll come back to again and again as I design, and most (but not all) of them relate to the concept that “you can never go wrong with design when looking to nature.” Here’s what caught my eye.
NATURAL COLOR PALETTE A sunset always looks gorgeous, and this container planting looks like it’s directly pulled from the sunset over the water, visible across the street every night. The color of the pots and the crotons growing in them echo the sky while the tile and blue wrought iron pull in the water. The material selections match the place—whether consciously or unconsciously. 72
INTRICATE ENTRANCE DESIGNS My number one philosophy for the front of a house is that the design should lead one’s eye to the front door. While my partner and I were hiking in the remote hills near Puerto Vallarta we came upon these incredibly intricate gates outside villas that were perched in the jungle-like terrain. I found the detail to which the craftsmen went creating these gates—out in the middle of nowhere—to be amazing. With the gates, your eye is immediately drawn to the home’s entrance.
The chapel has windows that bring external views into the foreground. The palm tree bridges the gap between near and far. BORROWING VIEWS, LAYERING LANDSCAPES Mexico is mountainous so properties from commercial to residential engage in “borrowed landscaping,” by incorporating the views from beyond the property and incorporating those views into the design. Capilla de la Paz (Chapel of Peace), located high above Acapulco, has astounding views. The landscaping immediately surrounding the chapel is fairly simple, with natural textures and neutral colors. It isn’t overwhelming and intricate because that would overpower its borrowed views. The entire space is one that facilitates contemplation. I sat on a big rock and just took it all in. 74
Templo Mayor, Mexico City: An old aqueduct winds through ancient stone construction.
OLD INFLUENCING THE NEW The Mexican branch of my partner’s family lives in Mexico City, and we spent days strolling around taking in the sights with them. Everywhere in Mexico, the old mingles with the new; everyone who lives there knows a wide variety of historical details. It’s a huge part of Mexican culture: celebrate the new but never forget the old, and use the old while building the new. This is evident in fine details everywhere.
Capilla de la Paz is a stylized interpretation of nature. The buildings, stone, staircases, and steel are structure that provide boundaries. Plants soften the design, making it more comfortable to explore and enjoy. BUILT LANDSCAPE REFLECTING OR INTERPRETING NATURAL LANDSCAPES One of the things I love about countries like Mexico and Italy is that they’ll have ancient architecture, but you’ll see modern steel support beams added for stability during earthquakes. They blend the old with the new, the natural with the manmade. We, as a society, are told that we have dominion over nature, but really, we designers revere nature while making the new. I come back to the Capilla de la Paz for this bit of design inspiration. The whole reason you go up there is to experience the glory of the place, and they have created a landscape that is completely modern and obviously manmade but is still reflective of the natural terrain outside of the city. Varying sizes and textures of stones, neutral colors (blue sky, sandy stone, green plants), and running water captivate the senses and bring the outside in. It’s an open-air chapel, completely in dialogue with the surrounding countryside. It looks like it belongs where it was built, the ultimate connection of man to nature. 76
I love everything about this staircase in Puerto Vallartaâ€”from the gold colors, to the brickwork molding to the hillside, to the way the designers have created a garden in such a narrow space. It looks spectacular but itâ€™s just a normal, everyday staircase for the people who live there.
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