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Limitations JUST ADD WATER
editor’sletter The Sky’s the Limit!
he theme of this issue is limitations, chosen because every design APLD members produce is created within constraints, whether it’s budget, time, space, or climate. Our contributors have taken this theme and interpreted it in a variety of ways, but there’s something to be gleaned from everyone’s unique perspective. Perhaps you’ll find a new plant to use or a new technique to incorporate into your designs. Maybe you’ll rethink adding water features to your dry garden. Here’s a peek at what you’ll find.
Eva Leonard returns with a fascinating case study about the restoration of Victor Hugo’s gardens. Jenny Peterson takes a look at water features for gardens where they might not seem like a natural fit, while Judy Nauseef, FAPLD, and Marti Neely, FAPLD, both bring us along on their travels, where design inspiration abounds. For those of you searching for client gifts this winter, the excerpt from Jan Johnsen’s book Gardentopia will show you what your recipients can expect if they find it under their tree. I hope you finish reading this issue with new perspectives about how you can embrace the limitations you’re facing in your work and turn obstacles into opportunities.
PHOTOGR A PH BY KI R ST EN B OEHM ER PHOTO GRA PHY
In “Design 101,” Bruce Dennis shares tips from his experience judging a lighting competition. There are definite takeaways for everyday design. Designer Susan Morrison profiles a plant that will take the place of ornamental grasses for clients looking for low-maintenance landscapes for “Design Roundup: Spec.” Caleb Melchior finished up the roundup with a virtual trip to the gardens of northwest Louisiana, a place new to The Designer. (Way to expand our limitations, Caleb!)
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contents WINTER 2019 6 PRESIDENTâ€™S MESSAGE 12 DESIGN ROUNDUP Spec: Lomandra BY SU SA N MOR R I SON
Go: Gardens of Northern Louisiana BY CA LEB MELCHI OR
26 BOOK EXCERPT Gardentopia BY JA N J OHN SEN
32 DESIGN 101 Great Lighting Jobs BY B R U CE DEN N I S
40 DESIGN BUILD Ideal Water Features BY J EN N Y PETER SON
46 CASE STUDY Seeds of Freedom BY EVA LEON A R D
58 TRAVEL INSPIRATION Provence Gardens BY J U DY N AU SEEF, FA PLD
66 PERSPECTIVE Limitations Bring Out Beauty in Dutch Gardens BY MA R TI N EELY, FA PLD
ON THI S SPR EA D A N D THE COVER: 2019 A PLD SI LVER AWA R D WI N N ER KATHRYN PR I DEAUX OF PR I DEAUX DESI G N ' S SA DDLEB R OOKE R A N CH I N TU CSO N , A Z. PHOTOGR PA HS BY MATT VACCA
or some, a first glance at this issue’s theme may bring about thoughts of restrictions, injunctions, drawbacks, or constraints. Who wants to be limited? Certainly no self-respecting designer wants to have limits placed upon them. No, sir! Remove the shackles, cut the ropes, and allow the creative processes to run wild. The world is your oyster, and anything goes. Without limitations to cramp your style the fruits of your imagination and creativity can be realized, unimpeded by condition or injunction. How liberating! How thrilling! How unrealistic! The reality of our practices is that there are always some limitations, those that we designers commonly lament as we commiserate with our colleagues. There is never enough time, never enough budget, never enough space to create the garden of our clients’ dreams. But is that honestly the case? If we search through our body of completed work, I would wager that our most satisfying projects are those that came with seemingly onerous limits on time, space, money, or even content. These very limitations are the things that challenge us to find new and creative ways to circumvent the impediments, transcend the obstructions, and loosen the snags that would otherwise doom a project in dormancy. The savvy designer welcomes and embraces these challenges as opportunities to deliver unique and valuable solutions to our clients, solutions that set us apart. Challenge accepted! Cheers, DANILO MAFFEI, FAPLD
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contributors Bruce Dennis
Design 101: Great Lighting Jobs
Bruce Dennis is the president and CEO of Lightcraft Companies. He is celebrating his 31st year in the industry after having grown up in the family business. In 2004, Bruce founded Lightcraft Outdoor Environments, which is a direct manufacturer and importer of highquality lighting components. The company sells to the wholesale distribution market as well as OEM to other manufacturers. Bruce is known as an innovator who has designed many of the landscape lighting products that remain in the marketplace today. The Dennis family values include high quality, extreme value, and energyefficient lighting systems.
Judy Nauseef FAPLD Marti Neeley FAPLD
Case Study: Seeds of Freedom
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.
Travel Inspiration: Provence Gardens
Perspective: Limitations Bring Out Beauty in Dutch Gardens p. 66
Judy Nauseef, FAPLD, is a landscape designer and writer living in Iowa. Her emphasis is on residential design and native landscaping to create biodiverse, sustainable gardens with resiliency to grow under the conditions of climate change. Her book Gardening with Native Plants in the Upper Midwest was published in 2016. She has been a certified member of APLD since 1996 and served on the board of directors as certification chair and president.
Marti Neely, FAPLD, has been in practice as a landscape designer since 1988. She has built a successful career by combining her education in fine arts, sociology, and horticulture to create outdoor spaces uniquely suited for her clients. A keen understanding of how people, places, plants, and patterns interact enables Ms. Neely to develop designs that are not only functional but, fresh and dynamic. Understanding the importance of being involved in the industry led her to serve as president of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers in 2013. She is the current past president of the Nebraska Nursery and Landscape Association.
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Design Roundup: Design Roundup: Go: Gardens of Spec: Lomandra Northern Louisiana p. 12
Caleb Melchior is a landscape architect, writer, and plant geek currently based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His work focuses on plant communities, fine garden design, and landscape representation. You’ll probably find him on site staring up at a tree’s amazing structure—or discussing design details with a contractor. Find out Caleb’s latest enthusiasms on Instagram or his blog.
Author of The Less Is More Garden—Big Ideas for Your Small Yard (Timber Press, 2017) and co-author of the bestselling Garden Up!: Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces (Cool Springs Press), California landscape designer Susan Morrison is a nationally recognized authority on smallsized outdoor spaces. She gives her popular talk, “Small Gardens, Big Impact,” to garden enthusiasts all over the country and has shared small-garden strategies on the PBS series Growing a Greener World. Susan’s designs have been featured in Fine Gardening magazine, where she also contributes articles on design and plant selection.
Jenny Peterson Design Build: Ideal Water Features
Jenny Peterson is an Austin, TX-based garden designer with her firm, J. Peterson Garden Design, as well as a writer, author, and speaker. She specializes in designing, writing, and speaking about gardens that enhance the quality of life, heal from the inside out, and help to create balance and wellness. She is author of the award-winning book, The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing & Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet (St. Lynn’s Press 2016).
Lomandra ‘Platinum Beauty’ BY SUSAN MORRISON
t is amazing how many of my clients request ornamental grasses for their garden designs, only to change their minds when they discover most varieties must be cut to the ground in the winter. Enter Lomandra ‘Platinum Beauty’, an exceptional choice for year-round interest in hot, dry gardens. Although it looks like an ornamental grass, because it is actually a perennial herb, it does not require cutting back and, in fact, is virtually maintenancefree. Lomandra's fine texture is a welcome When young, the narrow, creamaddition to the garden. colored leaves of this grasslike plant take on an upright form. As the plant matures, the blades begin to arch toward the ground, resulting in a particularly graceful appearance. While the plant itself reaches its ultimate size of 3 feet by 3 feet, the spread of the leaves can add another foot or two to its width.
‘Platinum Beauty’ is hardy in USDA Zones 8–10. I’ve included this versatile plant in numerous clients’ gardens and find that it thrives 12
PHOTO CR EDI TS BY ???? ??
Lomandra has proven to be a versatile plant, useful in borders, as edging, and in container gardens.
in a range of conditions, from part shade, to cooler coastal conditions, to the punishing heat found in inland gardens like my own. In fact, despite being planted in full sun during a week of 100-degree weather, it continues to flourish in my own garden, easily weathering cold and rainy winters followed by hot, dry summers. With its willowy shape and elegant, variegated foliage â€˜Platinum Beautyâ€™ Lomandra is a stand-out choice for low-water gardeners who crave a structured yet soft look. Try using it to line a front walkway or garden path, or plant in clusters of three to add both color and textural contrast to woody shrubs and herbaceous perennials.
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Gardens of Northwest Louisiana BY CALEB MELCHIOR
o outsiders, New Orleans is Louisiana. Live Oaks, walks lined with Palms, potted Camellias on wrought iron balconies—it’s a city of iconic images shaped by the confluence of the Mississippi Delta and the Gulf. But drive a little north and west, almost to Texas, almost to Arkansas, and you’ll discover a Louisiana that doesn’t feel like New Orleans at all. ➸
The Iris Garden at Briarwood is watered by a natural stream, which keeps these wetland plants happy throughout the year. ALL P H OTOS BY CA LEB MELCHI OR
Briarwood was the family estate of Caroline Dormon, an early 20th century naturalist.
Caroline “Miss Carrie” Dormon
Instead of low-lying city gardens and vast stretches of marsh, you’ll find a pastoral landscape of rocky ridges, forested ravines, and open pine savannahs. Briarwood, located in Saline, is a good starting point for exploring this region. You might not even realize that you’ve entered the place until you’re deep in the forest and notice that the flowers around you seem bigger and brighter than normal. Briarwood was the family estate of Caroline Dormon, an early 20th century naturalist. Ms. Dormon (known as “Miss Carrie” to locals) would drive around Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, stopping to take cuttings when she saw something interesting growing by the roadside. 18
Briarwood is composed of a series of openings within the forest that feel like bowls of light; this one is populated by spring ephemerals and chimney swifts.
Louisiana Bluestar (Amsonia ludoviciana) is one of the rare native treasures growing in the Meadow at Briarwood.
The garden itself is a series of openings in the forest connected by footpaths. First, you’ll find a meadow full of spring ephemerals, both heritage varieties and native treasures like the almost-turquoise Louisiana Bluestar (Amsonia ludoviciana). At the next clearing, you’ll find Miss Carrie’s cottage surrounded by Silverbells (Halesia diptera), Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia), and Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia). Deeper into the woods, you’ll find a vast display garden of Louisiana Iris with a complement of Spider Lilies (Hymenocallis caroliniana) and Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia sp.) in case you were afraid of missing any ➸ favorite Louisiana wildflowers. apld.org
The annual spring picnic at Briarwood is timed to coincide as much as possible with the peak bloom of Louisiana Iris.
Briarwood is now operated as a nature preserve and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Itâ€™s stewarded carefully by the Johnson family who happily provide tours enlivened with stories of Miss Carrie and her adventures with locals. Briarwood is open weekends in spring and fall or by appointment; check the website for opening dates. After this highly naturalistic Miss Dormonâ€™s roadside finds included this garden, make your way towards phenomenal white selection of Piedmont Natchitoches and visit some Azalea (Rhododendron canescens). landscapes where the effort of human hands is more readily apparent. Melrose, also known as Yucca Plantation, was built and owned by the Metoyer family, free people of color, in the early 1800s and has since witnessed sweeping changes to the culture 20
The facade of the Big House at Melrose is embraced by the spreading arms of giant, old Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana).
and economies of the region. The buildings are physical evidence of many eras of ownership and use. The Big House is vast, traditional, and cobbled together. You The African House has a remarkable shape with a canâ€™t get a full view of mushroom-like upper story protruding out over a the facade from any one solid base of bricks made on-site. vantage point due to the giant Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana), which sprawl out across the front lawn. Its double-story porches are flanked by octogonal garconnier, outbuildings where the teenaged boys of the household would be sent to spend the summer. âž¸ apld.org apld.org |
The greenhouse is a fantasy built from salvaged windows and architectural mouldings cast on-site.
In addition to the Big House, take time to explore the African House. The bottom story is brick-walled, with bricks made by enslaved workers on-site. The second story is a giant wood structure that extends ten feet out from the lower story. Nailless, the wood is expertly joined to create a hipped roof that gives the house the appearance of a giant mushroom. The upstairs interior is completely covered with oil-on-plywood murals by folk artist (and former Melrose cook) Clementine Hunter. The murals depict daily life and labor on the plantation, interspersed with populations of angels and other spiritual beings. Vegetation on-site is typical of plantations and working farms in the Southeast such as agricultural-scale fields of pecans and fruit trees, long ago sold off and now falling into disrepair. Around the outbuildings and throughout the yards, various ornamentals occur as specimen and foundation plantings. Dotted around, you’ll find along Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia sp.), King Sago (Cycas 22
revoluta), Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens), and giant groundcover swathes of Monkey Grass (Liriope muscari) and Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra sp.)
The Greenhouse is both beautiful and functional, providing winter shelter for subtropical and tropical plants that can’t quite survive the winter outside.
If you’re interested in the future of Louisiana gardens as well as memories of the past, make time for a contemporary plant collector’s garden. At Plantation Point on Caddo Lake, right on the Texas-Louisiana border, Bobbie and Stan Hutchins have transformed an old Boy Scout camp into a phenomenal personal garden. An allée of Southern Magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) frames a French Colonial revival house against the backdrop of cypress-fringed Caddo Lake. Open your car door, and fields of Louisiana Iris greet you in every direction. You’ll be entranced by the markings and forms of each flower. ➸
designroundup Besides the Iris, the Hutchins have transformed each of the cabins into a workshop or studio dedicated to different crafts. One is dedicated to architectural castings. You’ll see the results throughout the house, on the exterior balustrades, and in the greenhouse—a fantasy built from salvaged windows and architectural mouldings cast on-site. Another cabin is now outfitted as a tissue culture lab, where Stan experiments with mass producing Louisiana Iris. You can even visit the onsite coffee roastery or buy beans online through the label Plantation Gourmet Coffee. Plantation Point is open by appointment or during The pergola at Louisiana Iris Society tours. Plantation Point Northwest Louisiana may be the forgotten portion of the state, but it’s well worth a visit. These three gardens are just an introduction to the region’s diverse landscapes. Pack your camera and your walking shoes—it’s time to go!
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bookexcerpt Gardentopia Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces BY JAN JOHNSEN EXCERPT FROM GARDENTOPIA: DESIGN BASICS FOR CREATING BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR SPACES BY JAN JOHNSEN (COUNTRYMAN PRESS, 2019)
he book contains 135 different techniques that I have used in the field. I offer some paragraphs from my introduction and 3 individual tips from the book: Geoffrey Jellicoe, the great English garden writer, designer and historian, sagely noted that landscape design is “the most comprehensive of the arts.” How true that is. We must consider the site, the weather, the layout, the plants, and, of course, maintenance. It is a quite >>Get the book! Click here a complex undertaking if you stop and think about it. But the design of your garden is what comes first, and so, I start this book of suggestions with pointers on garden design and decorative accents. The design ideas I share are a blend of large concepts and small details. Some address the big picture, such as formulating your goal, while others talk about what to do with the corners of an outdoor space. They can be used individually, or you can implement several tips together … ➸ 26
Before (left) and After (above): Imagine how a wall and border can change it all. A new low wall between parking area and terrace creates a safer and more defined layout. The curved steps and Belgian block curbing highlight the transition between drive and the landscaped areas.
bookexcerpt VISUALIZATION 101
Before you begin, step back and try to visualize how something in your garden might look. The ability to see what is possible in your mind’s eye is a valuable skill that takes concerted practice. There are handy computer programs that help you conjure up images, but nothing replaces the speed and ease of visualization. It does take repeated practice to master this skill—I used to give myself headaches trying to ‘see’ something on a site but now I can do it easily. The secret to imagining how a plant bed, walk or wall might look on an open lot or wooded slope is to remember that nothing is impossible. As Thomas Church, the great 20th century American landscape architect said, “The only limit to your garden is at the boundaries of your imagination.” So, if you think a low sitting wall might look good in the backyard then try to imagine it in place. This requires staring at the spot where you are contemplating a wall. Try to see the height and length of the wall in that place. Also imagine the materials it is made from such as, stone, concrete, or blocks. Try this once a day for several days. Believe it or not, the images will eventually form in your mind. After repeated visualizations, it gets much easier. Soon, you will be ‘seeing’ the changes you imagine making.
THE PRINCIPLE OF THREE DEPTHS
You may know the meaning of the words ‘foreground’ and ‘background’ but have you heard of ‘middle ground’? It separates the front from the rear and creates a more interesting layered view. This is called the ‘The Principle of Three Depths’ and is used in Asian landscape painting. George Rowley, describes it in his book, Principles of Chinese Painting: “The Chinese perfected the principle of three depths according to which spatial depth was marked by a foreground, a middle distance, and far distance, each parallel to the picture plane, so that the eyes leapt from one distance to the next through a void of space…” In other words, a long view is more intriguing with something placed in a central zone where the eye can rest before going on to the background. A plant bed, planter or hedge set within the middle area of a view increases the perceived depth of a space by providing a central reference point. This is a great tip—try placing something in the front of a valued view and see if it adds some depth and ‘magic’ to the garden. ➸
The grasses in the lower right corner are the foreground, the Japanese lantern atop the rock is the middle ground, and the waterfall in the background is the third depth. This is in Portlandâ€™s Japanese Garden in Oregon.
Here a corner of a wall is softened by a round, stone finial placed atop it and by English Ivy that clings to the walls. These two together minimize an angular corner very effectively.
bookexcerpt SOFTEN A CORNER
Sharp corners of walls, especially those constructed of stone or concrete, may appear harsh in a garden. A 90-degree corner casts what Chinese Feng Shui calls ‘cutting chi’ or what some call a ‘poison arrow.’ If you stand in the aim of this energetic arrow you may not feel as serene and relaxed as you might otherwise feel. To counteract this unwelcome effect, I soften sharp corners of protruding walls by planting a clinging vine that adheres by discs or rootlets. Examples of this are Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata), Persian Ivy (Hedera colchica), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). I also like to plant climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris) for its white summer flowers. Or try another favorite, Rose Sensation™ False Hydrangea Vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Rose Sensation’). In addition to a vine, I like to place a round sphere on top of the corner to soften its sharp edge, as shown. The look of a rounded form counteracts the 90-degree angle. I often use concrete or stone finials, but any spherical element is fine, even a painted bowling ball can work just as well.
Restoring the native landscape
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MAKE A GOOD LIGH
HTING JOB INTO A
GREAT LIGHTING JOB BY BRUCE DENNIS
ecently I had the pleasure of being a residential landscape lighting judge for the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) 61st annual Beautification Awards. There were twelve competing landscape contractors from the Orange County Chapter who submitted their jobs for various awards. The locations ranged from upper end Newport Beach to medium level Cypress, California. The lighting awards were graded on several factors and separated by the number of fixtures used on the project (under 35, 36â€“80, and 81 or more fixtures). The awards ranged from Overall Brilliance, first, and second place. The criteria were ranked on the following:
Dramatic, Combined, and Special
Fixture Selection, Proper Use of Beam Spread, Voltage Drop, Mountings, Color Rendition, Controllers, and Safety The reviews lasted two full nights from 6:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. The CLCA provided a van, driver, navigator, and photographer for two lighting judges. The judges were me, Lightcraft Outdoor, and David Oborn from FX Luminaire. We reviewed six projects per night. It was a challenge as the homeowners not only needed to give their permission, but they needed to be home to allow access to the outdoor space. The additional challenge was that many of the homes were in gated and private communities so the gate guards had to be aware of our intention, especially toward the end of 34
Example of glare distraction. Solution: Use a shielded fixture.
the night. Luckily, there were no dogs or other pets to worry about. At the end of the night the votes were tallied based upon the factors listed here. Interestingly, both David and I had very similar comments per project and were mostly in sync on what was good, what could have been better, and what could have been considered poor lighting choices. âž¸ apld.org
design101 POSITIVE NOTES ✸ Most of the jobs had good “balance” where the property had good lighting throughout the yard. ✸ Most of the jobs had appropriate light levels, were not overly lit, and primarily used warm kelvin colors (2700k and 3000k). ✸ Most of the jobs hid the cable and the transformers were out of sight. ✸ Most of the jobs used brass and high-quality materials. ✸ Most of the jobs used high-quality replaceable/serviceable drop in LED lamps. ✸ Some of the contractors had wellthought-out wiring systems (pre-wired) where individual, large decorative pots that were nicely lit were sitting on exquisite flooring.
IMPROVEMENT NOTES ✸ Glare was an issue on most of the projects. This could have easily been resolved with a night review with simple adjustments and location placement. ✸ Most of the stairs were underlit. This is a potential hazard. ✸ Many of the properties had “voids” of light. This is unpleasant to the eye when viewing at certain perspectives. ✸ Many of the “voids” were due to unlit trees that fell on the other side of the property or fence line. It would have looked much better to incorporate the trees 36
Example of glare distraction. Solution: Use shielded fixtures and reposition the lights.
and specimens that can be seen as part of a balanced lighting plan, even though they were not directly on the property. Other “voids” were simply due to not enough fixtures. Blue and red
✸ Most of the jobs used uplights, but many did not incorporate enough wavelengths play “small wash lights” for the shrubs and bushes. Wash lights providetogether soft and for visual great low-level light and are ideal for small specimens and short pony walls. excitement. Wash lights are also great “fillers” to balance the lighting palette. ➸ apld.org
design101 Example of glare distraction. Solution: Use lower wattage, use a shielded fixture, and reposition the inground lights for better coverage on the trees.
✸ The light levels could have been more creative with less wattage (lumens) in front, medium light levels in the middle, and more wattage (lumens) in the back of the property. I was excited to see how lighting has become such an integral part of professional landscape projects. Landscape lighting provides beauty and enhances the overall landscape plan. Lighting also provides safety and security, which are incredibly important. The projects that we reviewed all had high levels of owner satisfaction, which in itself is a great success. We all know that “landscape lighting” can be more of an “art than a science.” It is critical for the contractor to review the lighting at all stages of the installation, especially at night. Finally, the difference between a good lighting job and a great lighting job can be just a matter of inches (placement, direction, and shielding).
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designbuild Ideal Water Features for LessThan-Ideal Situations BY JENNY PETERSON
ack in 2000 when Kip Northrup was a contractor installing high-end water features, he butted heads with his own limitations. “I felt as though I lacked the artistic sense necessary to install these gorgeous water features,” he says, “so although the project was completed in a structurally and functionally sound way, it didn’t look as beautiful as I knew it could.” Where other installers might double down, Northrup used this realization to jump-start a new business adventure— shifting to the wholesale side of the industry rather than the installation side, culminating in becoming president of Blue Thumb Ponds. This Saginaw, Michigan, company provides pond supplies, pond kits, waterfall kits, and fountains directly to landscape professionals. In the process of building this company, Northrup fine-tuned his sense of the wide range of water features available for discerning clients. A LL PHOTOS FR OM B LUE THUMB PON DS
BY THE NUMBERS Average Pond 10 feet x 15 feet $7,000 to $10,000 Luxury Pond $20,000 to $30,000 for materials $100,000 installed
Being in the industry for as long as he has, Northrup is quick to describe his dream water feature when asked what he would install if there were no limitations of budget or space. “Oh, that’s easy,” he laughs, “I’d have several waterfalls that cascade down into a large koi pond surrounded with coping stone. I’d add some face fountains around the edge, and a few bubbling urns next to my patio so I could enjoy all the sounds and sights up close.” (above) ➸ apld.org
Starting at $1,000 to $2,000 installed, bubbling rocks are budget-friendly.
Realizing that few homeowners live in a world and on a property with no restrictions, Northrup offered his recommendations for the type of water feature that could be the best fit for a variety of situations â€Ś and limitations.
For those who want the soothing ambience of a water feature without breaking the bank, glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) bubbling rocks are the way to go. These features are handcrafted with dappled, natural-colored surfaces and with a water collection system underneath. Nestle them into planting beds with polished river rock disguising the surface grate for a lovely focal pointâ€”starting at approximately $1,000 to $2,000 installed.
While also easy on the checkbook, vase fountains are an ideal choice for clients with space limitations. Vase fountains are modified planters in an incredible
Vase fountains are an ideal choice if you have space limitations.
range of colors and features—some taking up a tiny 16-inch x 16-inch footprint! And because they are relatively inexpensive ($1,500 to $2,500 installed for basic features), landscape professionals can swap out the vase each season for a different look, keeping the off-season vase in their client inventory. But keep in mind, not all small water features are inexpensive—the final installed cost largely depends upon the vase selection as well as the ease of installation, considerations with which all landscape professionals are well-acquainted.
Homeowners who live in close proximity to noisy highways or nerve-jangling airports often look for outdoor solutions to disguise that noise pollution. While you can’t eliminate the sound of cars or overhead planes, you can direct the attention to something more pleasant—like running or splashing water. If the need for ambient sound is great, go for a full-on waterfall with an adjoining pond, and use taller plantings to bounce soundwaves away from the relaxing oasis. ➸
Running or splashing water can disguise noise pollution.
If you have a client who longs for a water feature that is easy on the ears—they like water sounds but not too much of it—steer them toward the features with bubbling or still water (vases, boulders, or ponds). And keep in mind that most fountain pumps include a ball valve to dial back to a less aggressive sound, customizing it to the client’s unique needs.
For every client who longs for a large water feature and doesn’t mind the additional maintenance involved, there are several more who request a beautiful yet lower-maintenance feature. For these clients, you’ll want to choose a pondless waterfall—it has all the beauty and drama of a traditional waterfall without the time-consuming pond below. And for the love-it-and-leave-it 44
A copper Japanese maple tree fountain is a one-of-a-kind art piece.
types, the boulder or vase features previously mentioned are ideal—easy installation, relatively inexpensive, and lower time commitment to maintain. And what about those clients who want something so stunning and unique they’re willing to wait a while and increase their budgets? “Oh, they’ll want a Japanese maple copper tree fountain,” says Kip Northrup. “They’re handmade by an artist in England, requiring a long lead time and increased transit costs. If I order 20 of them, that’s a huge order for this artist. But they’re amazing water features—and one-of-a-kind art pieces.”
Pondless waterfalls are lower maintenance.
SEEDS OF 46
THE AWARDWINNING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AND GARDENER LOUIS BENECH TAKES ON THE RESTORATION OF WRITER VICTOR HUGOâ€™S GARDENS IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS.
View of the garden after restoration. PHOTO COU RTESY OF AGEN CE LOU IS BEN ECH
casestudy BY EVA LEONARD
or nearly 15 years during his 19-year exile from France, French writer Victor Hugo found refuge in the town of Saint Peter Port on the isle of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Here Hugo used his prodigious creative talents to steer and shape the design, décor, and landscaping of Hauteville House, the five-story hilltop home where he lived with his family. It was at Hauteville House that Hugo completed some of his best-known works, including Les Misérables, The Legend of the Ages, and Toilers of the Sea. He did View of the garden pathway and greenhouse after much of his contemplation restoration. PHOTO COURTESY OF AGEN CE LOUI S B EN ECH and writing in Hauteville House’s gardens, which comprise a Hugo’s gardens at Hauteville House, shady, sloping, walled expanse behind which is now owned by the city of the house with sweeping views of the Paris. Benech has worked his awardEnglish Channel. Now, following a winning magic on more than 300 garyearlong restoration of the home and dens around the world and joined the grounds, and a decade-long closure, the Hauteville House project at the request gardens of Hauteville House once again of French billionaire François Pinault, welcome visitors. who sponsored the restoration with a contribution of €3 million. The Paris-based award-wining landscape architect and gardener Louis Benech’s previous projects comprise a Benech took on the restoration of Who’s Who of some of the world’s ➸
This is where Victor Hugo completed some of his best-known works, including Les Misérable.
View of the fountain with vase with serpents, greenhouse, and the English Channel. PHOTO COU RT ESY OF AGEN CE LOU IS B EN ECH
View of the garden before restoration. P HOTO CO U RT E SY O F HAU TE V I L L E H O U SE
casestudy most famous gardens—they include the restoration of a portion of the Tuileries Gardens and a modern garden for the Palace of Versailles.
Hugo spent a great deal of time in the garden, reading, sketching, thinking, and writing.
According to Odile Blanchette, chief administrator for Hauteville House, Hugo spent a great deal of time in the garden, reading, sketching, thinking, and writing. He employed a gardener, Tourtel, to care for this verdant sanctuary that meant so much to him. Based on archival images and historical writings depicting the original garden, Blanchette describes it as having been “very natural.” Hugo believed that plants should grow freely in the garden, even insisting that a branch that had grown across a pathway remain uncut although it required ducking under it to pass through. The view of the English Channel from the garden was of deep importance to Hugo as it helped him preserve a connection to his native country. A stone bench facing northeast allows views of France’s Cotentin Peninsula so that Hugo could gaze at his homeland while seated on the bench, which he called “the bench of contemplations.” However, when Benech began work on the garden restoration, he found that a Camellia hedge blocked ➸ apld.org
View along the garden wall. PH OTO CO URT E SY O F AG E NC E LO UI S B E N E CH
the view of France from the stone bench. Regularly pruning back the hedge kept it under the horizon line just above the wall at the garden’s border. Benech decided to let the hedge grow and bloom and reestablished a view by reopening transparencies within it. He notes that the Camellia hedges are probably some of the very few remaining plants originally planted by Hugo (to hide the greenhouse). Other elements of the garden that were important to Hugo include the terracotta fountain, featuring the vase View of the garden with serpents—a vase with after restoration. PHOTO COU RTESY OF snake-shaped handles that HAU TEVILLE HOU SE he brought from his house in Paris. Hugo planted the large English Oak growing in the and Araucaria araucana. Studying middle of the garden as an acorn photos of the original garden, in 1870 during the last years of his Benech discovered that what Hugo exile. He named it “le chêne des called Aloe was actually Agave Etats Unis d’Europe,” the oak of the americana. However, Benech opted United States of Europe, a reflection to replace it with Agave attenuata, of his accurate prediction that in instead, since it is smoother and less the future Europe would become dangerous for children and others united, with one unit of currency. with curious hands than the spikey Agave americana. To restore and rejuvenate the garden, Benech replanted a number He also replanted plants found in of trees Hugo mentioned in his photos of the original gardens that writings that had disappeared over now belong to the typical landscape the centuries, including Fig trees of the island, including Phormium ➸ apld.org
View of kitchen garden, Oak, and greenhouse. PH OTO BY E VA L E O N A RD
View of garden and stone wall with the English Channel in the distance.
PH OTO BY E VA L E O N A RD
casestudy tenax and Cordyline australis. The towering Palm tree that stands like a living column was also original to Hugo’s garden, as are the Hydrangea plants, which are more abundant now than they were during Hugo’s time. Benech explains that he took direction from Hauteville House’s visitor’s season, the weather, and the garden’s history in the restoration. He kept the garden’s self-sown evergreen Luma apiculata and added summer-flowering trees including Gordonia, Eucryphia, and Vitex agnus-castus to make the garden cheerful for visitors during warm weather. He also planted winterblooming Camellia, with its visual appeal during colder months in mind. To restore Hugo’s kitchen garden, which occupies an area toward the end of the garden, Benech replanted Sea Kale and Asparagus, both of which were mentioned in Hugo’s writings. Benech also included Leek, Tomatoes, herbs, red berries, Tagetes, Nasturtium, and a few cutting flowers—Cosmos and Dahlia. Benech first visited the gardens in summer 2018 and immediately began work on the project, completing most of it two months before the 2019 reopening. (Half of the garden was occupied by temporary workshops for wood restoration of the house.) He returned in July 2019 to put the final touches in place and will visit on an ongoing basis to oversee the garden’s progression.
The Hauteville House peeks through the trees behind the kitchen garden. PHOTO COU RTESY OF AGEN CE LOU IS B EN ECH
Benech planted Sea Kale and Asparagus, which were mentioned in Hugo’s writings.
This view from the steps into the Les Terrasses du Chateau de Lauris shows the Dorance River Valley and mountains to the north.
A L L PH OTOS BY J U DY N AU S EEF, FAP LD
BY JUDY NAUSEEF, FAPLD
ur trip to the Luberon in Provence, France, has left my husband and me planning a return. We want to revisit the area we experienced and explore further. The area is east of Cavaillon and we stayed in a charming bastide (village) with a view of Mont Sainte-Victoire that was our base for four days. Near the villages of Lauris and Puyvert, the bed-and-breakfast, surrounded by vineyards, olive and cherry trees, and close to a bike trail, met all our needs. We had not searched out gardens prior to the trip but had no difficulty finding villages and gardens to see once we arrived. The best guide we used is the Michelin Green Guide: Provence, and we found many brochures once we arrived. We visited four gardens, all with the designation Jardin Remarquable by the French Ministry of Culture. Two are in Lauris, both on terraces built into a hill. Les Terrasses du Chateau de Lauris, a formal garden on the first terrace, leads to the Conservatoire des plantes tinctorales (Conservatory Botanical Garden of Dye-producing Plants) below. From the formal upper terrace, the view of the Durance valley and mountains to the north wraps around the 18th-century chateau. Known as the White Garden due to its white blooms in spring, the greens of the foliage in the parterres and the pollarded trees impress in the summer. The garden of dye plants holds 300 species of plants from around the world. The garden, divided into beds by the color produced by the plants, includes shade plants and structures as needed to create the conditions for each group of plants. Labels and signs indicate the dye made from the
plants, as flower color is not always the best indicator. Volunteers care for the garden. These two gardens were close to where we stayed.
This view from above shows the design of the Conservatory Botanical Garden of Dye-producing Plants.
Two more gardens required driving farther and getting lost, although GPS helped when we had a connection. We also found local maps at tourist offices helpful. We picked up a small announcement of an artist’s garden in Eguilles, and our guide helped us find the town. We traveled across the Durance River and found our way to this village. When we arrived at the artist’s home/garden/studio, it was closed. Calling the phone numbers did not help, so we explored the village and ate our picnic lunch. Returning to the gallery and after ringing the bell again, an elderly ➸ apld.org
man came to the door, the artist Max Sauze. We paid the entry fee. The front room of his house is a gallery of small works of paper and iron. We then walked through his home to the back yard where he left us to explore a phenomenal garden of plants and sculptures that mimic one another. A genteel older woman came out and offered to put our bags inside. She spoke about the work of the artist. Many of the pieces were constructed of hundreds or thousands of sheets of paper from small books, pierced through with metal stakes. The website is www.max-sauze.com. We drove back east through the town of Pertuis and then far off the road to visit the gardens at Chateau Val Joanis. Situated on the site of an ancient Roman villa, the chateau originally was the property of Jean de Joanis, secretary to King Louis III of Naples. In 1978 designer Tobie Loup de Viane developed a garden similar to those that existed in the 18th âž¸ 62
The backyard is a phenomenal garden of plants and sculptures that mimic one another.
Art imitates plant life in the garden of Max Sauze. Stone, iron, paper, and plants form a tableau in the garden.
travelinspiration century. It is ornamental and practical, producing fruits and vegetables. A vineyard was planted and there are now wine tastings and sales on-site. The day we arrived preparations were underway for a wedding, but we were able to wander as we wished through the gardens. Hedges of Box, Yew, Ilex, and Cedars created strong, dark backgrounds for vegetables, fruit (some espaliered), and ornamentals. Terraces, steps, and ironwork add to the 18th-century theme. The sun was hot and accentuated the contrast between the lush plantings with their arid environment. The diversity of the gardens we visited, their unlikely locations, and the sense of place created by the choice of materials kept us thinking and talking about them long after we had left.
The chateau originally was the property of Jean de Joanis, secretary to King Louis III of Naples.
The rich layering of the garden of the Chateau Val Joanis incorporates ornamental and food- and fruitproducing plants (above). Strong structure from hedges and tall conifers provide a framework for perennials, grasses, fruits, and vegetables (left).
Limitations Bring Out
Dutch Gardens 66
The Cemetery at Allee with its quirky pruning (left). Is this intentional or was the ladder just too short? A L L PH OTOS BY M A RT I N E ELY, FAP LD
perspective BY MARTI NEELY, FAPLD
he creative soul needs to be fed to remain energized. For me, traveling is the food I crave. The distance doesnâ€™t matter; the mere act of leaving home can provide a buffet of experiences to savor and enjoy. Once satisfied, you can begin to relax, look longer, and see more. Traveling to gardens is the best of all. It is rare, indeed, to find the time to do so during their peak season. When those gardens are in their glory, we are in the middle of creating the same for our clients.
Villa Augustus: An espalier showing details of its support structure and tying techniques. 68
A curious designer realizes the value of visiting gardens before they are open to the public. On an early spring Barendrecht trip to the Netherneighborhood lands, with weather public plantings. crisp and damp, Large masses of blooming Forsythia the open season for and Mahonia make most gardens was a strong statement still a week or two about spring and away. The gardens provide year-round were bare of color, texture with foliage or so most would and structure. think. The Forsythia were in bloom as well as Narcissus and ephemerals. One could see a hint of green tips on some trees and shrubs, which was a welcome sight compared to the snow and ice I left at home. These little bits of spring added a softness to the barren nature of the landscape that has its own special beauty, even in random neighborhoods and city parks.
The Dutch are masters of STRUCTURE in the garden. They have spent centuries honing their skills in masonry, design, and the art of manipulating plants into sculptural forms. The beauty of visiting their gardens in March is they are empty of visitors. Many see them as forlorn spaces, rather unpresentable and not worthy of oneâ€™s time. I, on the other hand, saw this as a golden opportunity to discover the bare bones and underpinnings that provide support for later growth. Without others blocking the view, there is time to photograph every wire and tie of espalier supports, pruning techniques, fencing details, and fountain construction. Foliage is not hiding the crisp patterning of formal garden layouts. âž¸ apld.org
Villa Augustus: The entry walk is lined with freeform Boxwood boulders. It’s formal and yet, not so much.
The strength of FORM shows best when visiting gardens early in the year. Evergreen plants, whether they are conifers or broadleaf, are the backbone of the design. Manipulated or tightly pruned plants demand your attention. While often scorned as unsustainable, they are striking sculptural statements this time of year. In Dordrecht, the hedges and topiary Boxwood at Villa Augustus provided beauty and interest throughout the gardens even though much of the space was devoid of plants. As one enters the main building the walk is lined not with the traditional hedge, but with Boxwood “boulders,” singles and pairs. At first glance one may think they are the work of an inexperienced gardener-intraining. Upon further inspection you see they are the product of many years of careful shaping to present exquisite interpretations of smooth stones as plants become art. Oddly pruned Thuja lining a walk in a local parish cemetery appear to be shaggy sentinels guarding the resident souls. It’s a Seussian statement, serious and silly. It sets the tone for a place to garden and enjoy while honoring ➸ those who stay. 70
Villa Augustus: Formal vegetable and flower gardens show details of the design that are more easily seen when barren. Supports for vining plants are clearly visible and spring foliage is appearing. apld.org
Downtown Amsterdam, Ground PATTERNS, which may go unnoticed in May, Circle Garden at ABN were easily seen in March. The importance of every detail AMR: The spiral fountain shines through when color and floral finery are not calling recalls a classic design for your attention. Hardscape design is a large part of my while all beds and walks practice; thus, it is natural that pattern is of great interest. are modern design. I find inspiration in every wall and walk I come across, Hardscape materials are either reclaimed, compiling a large library of images to keep my work fresh repurposed, or and clients engaged. Even functional walks offer ideas for recycled. Proper water not only design but the proverbial â€œWhy didnâ€™t I think of management is a key thatâ€? moment. In Dedemsvaart, the garden of Mein Rhys factor in this design. had a transitional walk of crushed granite underlaid with a support grid, holding the fines in place. Lovely with its underpinnings peeking through, the pattern offers ideas to be tucked away in my mental toolbox. Simple stones in the turf have more prominence when little else is there to notice. Their purpose more evident in drawing one into intimate rooms that may be otherwise 72
perspective passed by. What may seem random is in fact a rhythmic placement of paving stones, related but stronger for not being identical. The city of Amsterdam is often thought of for its harbor and centuries-old buildings. The work of current designers in the urban center is seen in the Circle Garden at ABN AMRO. This design took the historical use of formal pattern and gave it a modern twist. Using easy-to-manage plants and sustainable materials, they created a space that is contemporary, fresh, and appealing in all seasons. SCULPTURE adds an impor-
tant element to any garden, large or small. A flock of stone sheep appeared to be random boulders in the lawn. Upon further inspection their features became clear under the lichen and the whimsical nature of their presence added an element of surprise to the natural spring lawn.
Tuinen Miens Rhys: This granite fines path shows the grid support showing through, reminiscent of a rubber doormat. Below: Hand-carved stone sheep sit on a lawn of grasses, Moss, and Ranunculus.
Itâ€™s an appropriate reference to the sheep seen grazing in the flood zones of the canals running throughout the farmlands as we passed by. Sculptural touches can also be found in colorful bridges or carved arches. When surrounded with beds bursting with plants, they are complements to the scheme. With little else in the vicinity, they are the statement of the moment. Plants can also be become sculpture. When pruned into staggered monoliths and crisp topiary, Fagus âž¸ apld.org
Villa Augustus: A chartreuse-colored bridge over a canal provides visual interest in an otherwise dull landscape on an overcast March day.
and Taxus become a powerful statement on the i mportance of size when creating a sense of scale within a massive space.
Villa Augustus: Monolithic masses of Beech create a bold statement of scale in this garden.
Finding ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS is like discovering the last piece of chocolate in the candy dish. Look in every corner, up, down, under the leaves, and down the path. Without foliage and company, these sweet things are much easier to find. A colorful arbor along a path might go unnoticed when the rose-covered vines are in full leaf. During this early spring day, the fuchsia color defines the space in an entirely different manner. The skeleton of the Wisteria vines softens the metal into a wispy invitation to journey farther. At times the details are purely functional with just enough thoughtfulness in design to make them worthy of note. Stumbling upon a windscreen designed to protect a tall hedge and constructed to be both sturdy and attractive was a find indeed worthy of note. The attention to detail in such an ordinary garden structure made practicality more beautiful and desirable. Information is likely missed when itâ€™s later hidden by the very shrubs it protects.
Villa Augustus: This carved arch frames the long view of the canal. Filled with a delightful mix of fruits and vegetables, it is an appropriate piece of art to be situated outside the cafĂŠ.
The time spent finding these treasures was well worth bundling up and dodging raindrops. There was so much to take in and learn. Discovery is a wonderous thing; there are no limitations to where and when inspiration can be found. The joy of lightbulbs flashing and feet jumping is priceless. Utilize new ideas in your work. Make it unforgettable. Let limitless be your brand.
2019 board of directors EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PRESIDENT Danilo Maffei, FAPLD Maffei Landscape Design LLC 202 N. Garfield Street Kennett Square, PA 19348 (610) 357-9700 PRESIDENT-ELECT Eric Gilbey, PLA Vectorworks, Inc. 7150 Riverwood Drive Columbia, MD 21046 (443) 542-0658 SECRETARY/TREASURER Richard Rosiello Rosiello Designs & Meadowbrook Gardens 159 Grove Street New Milford, CT 06776 (860) 488-6507 IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Lisa Port, FAPLD Banyon Tree Design Studio 11002 35th Ave NE, Suite 206 Seattle, WA 98125 (206) 383-5572
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