thedes覺gner ASSOCIATION OF
PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS
ASense of Place
PLANTS FOR MULTI-SEASON INTEREST TRAVEL INSPIRATION: MEXICO
hen I was a landscape design student at UC Berkeley, more than one seasoned professional warned me about the perils of working as a solo practitioner. Early in her career, one of my instructors felt that her perspective had become so unreliable after too many hours alone at the drafting table, she actually invited the mailman inside to critique her design. While I’m not suggesting you do the same, there’s no question we need to rely on others if we are going to be successful.
I’ve been fortunate to develop many valuable partnerships over the years, not only with other designers, but with a range of specialty contractors as well. In this issue’s installment of “Design 101,” Dave Peterson reminds us that strong relationships can make us better designers, and shares specific tips on working effectively with pool contractors. Partnerships can extend beyond other professionals, of course, and Rebecca Sweet explains how she uses an online newsletter to maintain relationships with her clients.
Partnership wasn’t the only inspiration for this issue, however. With its short, cold days and rainy, gray landscapes, winter can be a challenging season for a designer. That’s why “Pro Plant Picks” features plants that bring multi-season interest to a garden. And for those of you who appreciate a tropical escape this time of the year, Anne Weinberger shares how a recent trip to Mexico influenced her design perspective in unexpected ways. SUSAN MORRISON
H I G H DESIG N with
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9 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 12 DESIGN ROUNDUP 16 PRO PLANT PICKS Plants for Multi-season Interest 24 TECHNOLOGY Online Newsletters Connect with Clients BY R E B E CC A SWE ET
26 BUSINESS Attract Clients with Houzz BY H E I D I S C HREINER
28 BOOK REVIEW Hellstrip Gardening BY M AU R E E N D E CO M BE
32 DESIGN 101 Working with Pool Professionals BY DAV E P E TERS O N
40 TRAVEL INSPIRATION Mexico BY A N N E W E I NBE RGE R
46 DESIGN MASTER CLASS A Sense of Place BY G A R T H WO O D RUFF & L A N I WO O D R UFF
54 POLLINATOR HEALTH Designing for the Bees BY A N D R E W GAGNE
O N T H E COV E R AND TH IS PAGE: D E SI G N BY T ERRY D ES IGN, INC. P H OTO G R A P HS BY C H RISTIAN TE RRY
W INT ER 2014
thedesıgner EDITOR IN CHIEF Susan Morrison ART DIRECTOR Marti Golon EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Denise Calabrese
Book Review: Hellstrip Gardening
Designing for the Bees
ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Lisa Ruggiers MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR Angela Burkett COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Michelle Keyser DIRECTOR OF CONFERENCES & EVENTS Jen Cramer CERTIFICATION COORDINATOR Kelly Clark COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE Courtney Kuntz BOOKKEEPER Jennifer Swartz MEMBERSHIP, FINANCE & EVENTS COORDINATOR Leona Wagner NEWSLETTER EDITOR Amy Bobb COPY EDITOR Claire Splan
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After gardening and designing for a living for 20 years, Maureen is now an educator and trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area, most recently for the Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening Coalition. Prior to becoming a landscape designer in California, she gardened for gorillas at the National Zoo in Washington DC and tended the Bishop’s Garden at the Washington National Cathedral. Maureen currently serves on the California Horticultural Invasives Prevention (Cal-HIP) Advisory Committee and is a past president of the APLD California Chapter.
Andrew Gagne is a New Hampshire native beekeeper and horticultural consultant. He has served on the APLD Sustainability Committee and is an active member in his local and state beekeeping associations. He currently works in New Hampshire’s public school system as a science educator and behavioral tutor. He maintains four bee colonies at The Mixed Border Nursery and Gardens, a Hollis, New Hampshire nursery founded by his father, Doug Gagne, APLD, and managed with his mother, Kathy.
contributors Dave Peterson
Working with Pool Professionals
Business: Technology: Attract Clients Online with Houzz Newsletters
Travel Inspiration: Mexico
A Sense of Place
David J. Peterson, P.E., SWD, is the Educational Council Chairman for Genesis 3 and a member of the Society of Watershape Designers. He obtained his B.S. Civil Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and is a licensed engineer in several states. Peterson is also President/CEO of Watershape Consulting Inc., an international planning, design, and engineering firm specializing in pools, spas, and water features. He can be reached at dave@watershapeconsulting. com.
Heidi Schreiner is a landscape designer specializing in tailored residential design. Her design/ build company, Artisans of the Earth, moves spirit and earth to create beautiful outdoor spaces. She is a member of APLD and resides in Eau Claire, WI.
Rebecca Sweet is the owner of the design firm, Harmony in the Garden, in Los Altos, California. Her gardens have been featured in Sunset, Fine Gardening, Horticulture and Woman’s Day magazines as well as many regional publications. In addition to designing gardens, she is the author of Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form and is the co-author of Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. She also writes the design column, “Harmony in the Garden,” for Horticulture Magazine.
Anne Weinberger is a garden designer and freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Piedmont. She specializes in water-conserving gardens, has a special place in her heart for succulents, and was ecstatic about making use of her degree in Spanish while exploring Mexico.
Garth Woodruff is an Assistant Professor of Horticulture & Landscape Design at Andrews University. He actively researches “place making” and the human connection to nature where he applies it to the landscape design process.
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president’smessage Moving On
y year-long term as President of APLD is at an end. This year has been about new ideas and looking forward rather than shoring up the status quo. The most visible change is this magazine and I would like to offer thanks and kudos to the dedicated staff who produce it. There have been future plans set in motion during my tenure. They are both large and small and will reveal themselves over the next months and years.
I made a commitment when I joined APLD to be a positive force for my profession and the mission of the association. I keep going back to that core idea, to “advance the profession of landscape design and to promote the recognition of landscape designers as qualified and dedicated professionals,” and will continue down that road, just in a different role. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to work for all landscape designers, members or not, as part of APLD. SUSAN COHAN APLD
The Designer is an official publication and member service of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), 2207 Forest Hills Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112. Ph: 717-238-9780 Fax: 717-238-9985. Disclaimer: Mention of commercial products in this publication is solely for information purposes; endorsement is not intended by APLD. Material does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of APLD. APLD is not responsible for unsolicited freelance manuscripts and photographs. All printed articles become the copyright of APLD.
‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia For year-round textural contrast in a dry-shade garden, we love evergreen Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’. Slow growing to approximately 3 feet tall and wide, ‘Soft Caress’ is a more delicate version of standard mahonia. Its small size and lack of thorns make it ideal for a range of garden situations, from containers and foundation plantings, to an airy border for a woodland garden pathway. Yellow flowers followed by blue berries provide a cheerful splash of color in winter gardens. Drought tolerant and cold hardy to 0°. PH OTO C R E D IT: SAXO N H O LT, COURTESY O F T H E S U NS ET G A RDE N CO L L E C T IO N .
Garden Newspaper Launches Launched in October 2014, Pith + Vigor is a subscription journal geared towards contemporary gardeners. In addition to receiving a quarterly newspaper, subscribers have online access to all printed content. Designers will appreciate articles celebrating local garden artisans and designers, as well as realistic discussions of trends. The brainchild of Rochelle Greayer, creator of the award-winning blog Studio G and co-creator of Leaf magazine, the journal will increasingly localize over time, with multiple versions that represent gardening, garden design and local growers, businesses and artisans across the country. Why a newspaper instead of a magazine? “Because,” as Greayer explains, “every gardener has a million re-uses for newspaper.” ➸ apld.org
New Hardscape Spotted at the IGC show in Chicago, we’re intrigued by Barn Plank pavers, the newest landscape tile offered by Silver Creek Stoneworks. Designed to mimic the look of aged barn wood, this new tile has the look of weathered white pine, complete with soft edges, deep splits and detailed grain on five surfaces. Cast in wet concrete, tiles won’t rot, warp or fade over time, and don’t require sealing or staining. Manufactured in Minnesota, Barn Plank is available in most states.
Vectorworks Introduces Remote Sharing App Vectorworks software is a line of industry-specific 2D/3D CAD and BIM solutions that allow designers to advance their ideas from concept through completion. With the new Vectorworks Remote App, customers can connect their iOS mobile devices to Vectorworks through a remote connection plugin. This allows them to use the mobile device to control Vectorworks remotely through viewing, navigation, and organization remotes. The app can be used as a presentation tool or as a productivity enhancer during drafting and modeling. It’s also free for all Vectorworks 2015 customers. Visit the Vectorworks website to learn more.
Wickie Rowland, owner of Drawing Room Ink, LLC, and blogger at Garden Room Inked, designs mainly in the seacoast New England area. She enjoys the variety of designs that she is asked to do, and loves finding creative solutions to design “problems.” USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 4-8 SIZE: 10–12’ H x 10–12’ W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to light shade. Will thrive in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils, and once established will tolerate dry conditions. 16
PLANTS FOR MULTI-SEASON INTEREST NORTHEAST
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
BY WICKIE ROWLAND
ere in Northern New England, they say that there are four seasons: nearly winter, winter, still winter, and road construction. Although this is tongue-in-cheek, there is no getting away from the fact that the gray season around here lasts for a third of the year. That’s why it is important to have structural plants that will add interest to the winter garden.
Evergreens are great go-to plants for winter interest, of course, but if you are in search of an unusual specimen plant, there are deciduous plants that can amuse, delight, and add a little fun to the winter landscape. Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’, also known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick after the Scottish singer famous for his crooked cane, is a large shrub/small tree that I believe is underused in the landscape.
Densely covered in green leaves, it is at its least interesting in summer, but come fall the leaves are joined by pale green catkins that will put on a show later in spring. Once those leaves have fallen, “Harry” is in its splendor. Contorted, curly branches and twigs create a fantastically untidy specimen that looks as though it has just gotten out of bed. Even the trunk is crooked. In the spring, the catkins elongate and turn yellow, making the branches look as though they have been decorated for a party. If that is not enough, the catkins are soon joined by new leaves, which look like miniature versions of their adult selves.
Try planting spring-blooming glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa) as an understory, followed by ‘Diana Clare’ lungwort (Pulmonaria ‘Diane Clare’) and yellow corydalis (Corydalis lutea). By the time road construction season arrives, your garden will be well underway!
PH OTO G R A P H S BY W ICK I ROW LAND
P L A N T S F O R M U L T I - S E A S O N I N T E R E S T MIDWEST
Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’
BY ANNA W. BROOKS
othergilla ‘Mount Airy’ is a hybrid cross between Fothergilla gardeniia and Fothergilla major, pulling the best features of both into a heavy blooming, shade-tolerant, sandy soil–loving plant. It is a perfect choice for that north side of the house or as a mid-level shrub in the woodland garden. While ‘Mount Airy’ easily stands alone in a mixed border, its true visual impact shines when planted en masse or paired with broad-leafed evergreens like rhododendrons that serve to accent its wiry gray winter framework and dormant button buds.
The advent of spring brings an explosion of crisp white, sweetly scented, bottle brush blooms. Paired with late spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths, it creates a classic vignette to brighten the garden after a long winter. Longlasting and self-cleaning, the blooms drop off without leaving a mess behind.
In summer, leathery, puckered green leaves in the classic witch hazel shape give away Fothergilla’s Hamamelidaceae family roots. Rarely bothered by insects, deer, or rodents, the steely blue-green foliage provides a strong backdrop for the bright golden fringe of Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’, white variegation of Hosta ‘Patriot’, or ruffled peach skirts of Heuchera ‘Caramel’. Autumn, however, is when ‘Mount Airy’ truly shines in the landscape. As its bedding partners slowly fade away in tawny golds and tans, Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’ begins a slow burn, with leaves like glowing embers that erupt into a blazing inferno in late fall. Set against the deep, dark green of Taxus x media, ‘Mount Airy’s fall display is brilliant and reason enough to include at least one in the landscape any chance I get.
USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 5–8 SIZE: 3–5’ H x 3–5’ W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to part shade. Grows well in acidic, well-drained soil. P H OTO GR A PHS BY A N N A W. B R OOKS
Anna W. Brooks is the Designer/Co-owner of Arcadia Gardens, LLC, in Stevensville, MI, a custom design/build landscape company celebrating 25 years of creating beautiful, lasting gardensÂ in Southwestern Michigan.Â Her designs emphasize hardy plants, long bloom time, lowmaintenance, and functionality.
PLANTS FOR MULTI-SEASON INTEREST INTERMOUNTAIN REGION
BY CHERI STRINGER
ne of the most challenging elements of creating a planting theme with multi-season interest is creating planting combinations that allow for color, texture, and form late in the season. This is especially difficult in the neverland of September to November, when scarecrows and spider webs start spontaneously appearing in neighborhoods overnight. Over the years I have incorporated many stars into the fall garden, but one of my favorite performers is plume grass (Saccharum ravennae). Towering as high as 14 feet at maturity in early October, plume grass begins the season quietly growing behind spring-blooming plants, where it serves as a contrasting backdrop of color and texture with its wide-bladed leaves. During the fall months this garden gem creates striking landscape profiles, frames entrances, draws attention to corners, and provides a commanding vertical element that pairs nicely with horizontal lines. In winter, its strong stalks stand towering over mounds of snow while its seed heads remain intact like a sculpture.
I often find myself pairing plume grass with Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’. Artemisia is an unsung hero of the garden, acting as the foil that allows the color and texture of blooming perennials, shrubs, and grasses to shine. Its lacy silver-green foliage invites you to feel its soft, cotton-like texture while its attractive mounding form works as filler in between groundcovers and taller perennials and shrubs. From its emergence in spring until its fluffy fullness in late autumn, Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ pulls a mixed border together.
Cheri Stringer, owner/principal behind TLC Gardens has been designing and building landscapes since 1999. TLC gardens works with architects, engineers, city planners and professional builders on landscape renovation for both residential and commercial projects throughout Colorado. Their goal is to reconnect clients with nature, either by integrating elegant outdoor spaces or by upscaling commercial properties with areas for people to reflect and engage with the natural world. PHOTOGR A PH BY CHER I STR I NG ER
USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 5–10 SIZE: 8–10’ H x 4’ W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to partial shade (needs a full half-day of sun). Low water, performs best in average, well-drained soil.
P H OTO G R A P H BY PATRICIA ST. JO H N
Patricia St. John, APLD, has been designing award-winning gardens in the San Francisco Bay Areaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in San Francisco, the Berkeley-Oakland area and into Lafayette and Walnut Creekâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for 17 years. In addition to designing, she teaches in the Landscape Horticulture department at Merritt College, Oakland, California.
PLANTS FOR MULTI-SEASON INTEREST WEST
Design-a-Line Cordyline Cordyline ‘Design-a-Line’ BY PATRICIA ST. JOHN, APLD
ith more homeowners asking for low maintenance, lower-water use gardens, I turn to foliage to provide most of the color, texture and movement in the garden. Non-trunking, burgundyred Cordyline ‘Design-a-Line’ and its twin, ‘Festival Grass’, contribute all three elements.
USDA HARDINESS ZONES: 8–11 SIZE: 3–6’ H x 3–6’ W CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to part shade. Most soils with good drainage. Plant high and once established, requires only occasional watering.
Its long-arching, brilliant burgundy-red foliage adds lively texture and a pop of color in almost every garden I design. I’ve used it in borders, mixed with the Australian grass Lomandra, in containers, as accents (at least three in a garden!), and in low-water use tropical gardens. In situations where I once would have selected a phormium, cordyline is now my go-to plant. Although it has been known to reach 6 feet in ideal conditions, I’ve never had to remove it because it outgrew its welcome. As a bonus, it tolerates a fair amount of shade, making it a versatile addition to any palette.
I like combining the deep red foliage with the greys of lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’) or rockrose (Cistus salviifolius), as well as the chartreuses of breath of heaven (Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’), ‘Gold Prize’ rockrose (Cistus ‘Gold Prize’), and various euphorbias. I often echo its burgundy color with the contrasting texture and form of Loropetalum chinense var. Rubrum ‘Burgundy’. Whenever I don’t include cordyline in a design, thinking I’ve used it too often, the client will invariably ask me to add it!
technology Connect with Clients with an
Online Newsletter BY REBECCA SWEET
t’s easy to lose touch with a client after a garden installation is complete. We all recognize the importance of nurturing these valuable relationships, but who has the time? Welcome to the benefits of an online newsletter!
A newsletter allows me to maintain a presence with my clients long after the project is over. Since my business is 100 percent word-of-mouth referrals, my newsletter has become a critical marketing tool. Beyond that, by including information my clients will find both helpful and entertaining, it becomes one more level of service that I provide.
Content and Frequency
When it comes to the newsletter’s content, think about what your own clients will find meaningful. For example, you might use it to communicate local changes that affect landscaping, such as local lawn-removal rebate programs. A favorite among my own readers are my seasonal gardening tips and the latest, greatest plant introductions. A newsletter can also be a tool to generate more business. Consider offering a customized referral discount program or a consultation discount. The frequency with which you send your newsletter is really a personal choice. I send mine out quarterly for two main reasons: I don’t want to annoy my clients by cluttering up their inbox, and less frequent mailings allow me to include more detailed information within each newsletter. 24
Mailing List I have several ways to generate readers. Included with my new client packet is an option of signing up for my newsletter. I also have a sign-up link both on my website and my blog, and during speaking presentations I pass around signup sheets.
Three easy and popular providers are Mail Chimp, Mad Mimi and Constant Contact. I’ve personally used the first two, preferring Mail Chimp for its ease of use and excellent analytic tools. The first two are also free up to 2,000 users, with various pricing structures after that. I don’t recommend sending a newsletter out through your computer as you may inadvertently end up on spam lists. This is a potential nightmare that could prevent your regular email correspondence from being received. Whether sent weekly, quarterly, or somewhere in between, an online newsletter can be one of your most effective marketing tools.
Harmony in the Garden's fall newsletter
A contemporary landscape by North Carolina designer Jay Sifford of Sifford Garden Design.
Build Your Business with Houzz BY HEIDI SCHREINER
o your client presentations still involve a printed portfolio? Does your online presence stop at your website? If so, consider expanding your reach and visibility via a design platform like Houzz.
Houzz is an online directory for home design ideas that emphasizes professionallevel photography. There are multiple ways a designer can participate, most commonly by sharing completed projects, creating “idea books,” answering questions posed by visitors, and soliciting client reviews.
There are both free and paid accounts for professionals. A free account limits you to one category (such as Landscape Designer). In a paid account, you have the option of being listed in multiple categories and additional cities and earning a higher search ranking. You will also have an account manager who checks in with you. Both versions can generate potential clients.
I’ve been on Houzz for a couple of years now, and several clients have discovered me this way. Other designers have also found success. Susan Cohan, APLD, of Susan Cohan Gardens calls Houzz “a referral machine!” noting that she has seen more contacts from Houzz than from any other source.
PHOTO CR EDI T: JAY SI FFORD
A Polished Presence
High-quality photography is critical to a strong presence on Houzz. Your photographs will be alongside those of interior designers, architects, and other landscape designers. “Don’t invest in Houzz unless you’re willing to invest in professional photography,” recommends Robert Welsch of Westover Landscape Design. His quality photos have garnered him multiple opportunities with This Old House and other publications.
Many designers that I spoke with use their Houzz accounts to collaborate with clients by creating idea boards. This is a place where you and your client can put a collection of photos and share ideas for their gardens. Idea boards are generally public, but can be made private. This also creates an opportunity to suggest design elements they may not have considered, such as furniture or other garden accessories.
Beyond a Portfolio?
Although anyone with the right credentials can create a design page, Houzz also offers some designers the opportunity to write articles for compensation. Jay Sifford of Sifford Garden Design discovered Houzz three years ago, and considers writing for them to be a personal calling. In addition to the exposure, he is able to engage with others about landscape design. For more information on creating a professional account with Houzz, visit their proCenter.
A gentleman's farm designed by New Jerseybased designer Susan Cohan, APLD, of Susan Cohan Gardens.
PHOTO C R E D IT: S U SAN CO H AN
Hellstrip Gardening BY MAUREEN DECOMBE
scrawled graffito cover ignites a subversive fantasy for me: HELLstrip. What first seems a gardening book may just be a revolution, and that is a dangerous thing. Might this manifesto someday be banned for its audacious title alone?
Provocative title aside, there is no lobbing of seedbombs in Hellstrip Gardening: Create a Paradise Between the Sidewalk and the Curb. Instead, author Evelyn Hadden envisions a radically lovely approach to gardening on the street-side. Building upon her 2012 book, Beautiful No-Mow Yards, Hadden expands on that funny, neighborly advice to mobilize us toward a gentle occupation of gardens from the threshold all the way to curb. Create a paradise between the sidewalk and the curb Evelyn J. Hadden
Author of Beautiful No-Mow Yards
With photographs by Joshua McCullough Foreword by Lauren Springer Ogden
In Hellstrip Gardening, Hadden demonstrates how these oft-neglected spaces shine and support when woven into the rest of the garden. Section one, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Inspirations,â&#x20AC;? >>Get the book! Click here to view on Amazon
depicts refreshing street-side spaces from coast to coast. As a model for finessing the process of designing these quasi-public spaces, Hadden profiles a couple in Florida who devised a strategy to work with their HOA and inspired others in their subdivision to follow suit. Each regional narrative features a sidebar of problem-solving plants. These practical tips are further expanded in the “Situations” segment, which casts an experienced eye on the challenges of these spaces. Graceful collaboration—working with rather than against—is the theme embodied in the chapters that address laws and covenants, trees, water, and all manner of horticultural (and societal) challenges.
This garden uses sculptural landscaping: plants are grouped to create bold, evocative forms and patterns. (Seattle, Washington) PHOTO CR EDI T: J OSH MCCOLLO U GH
Drifts of black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrical) enliven a restaurant parking lot. (Boise, Idaho) PH OTO C R E D IT: E V E LY N J. H A D D E N
The meaty and practical “Creation” section demystifies earth shaping, and considers various simple and low-impact ways to slow and spread storm water moving through these spaces. “Curbside-Worthy Plants” includes palettes for showy flowers and foliage, culinary or medicinal plants, and of particular interest to designers, plants with four-season structure. Hellstrip Gardening joins a chorus of voices drawing us toward salvation from the banal, wasteful, and neglectful treatment of our shared spaces. Perhaps a bell rings each time we reshape a patch of land from a “hellstrip” into an appreciating asset for the community. Either way, we get more garden, and that is good indeed.
bookreview TREES FOR HELLSTRIPS Author Evelyn Hadden explains why small trees and climbing vines belong in a hellstrip, and shares a few of her favorite choices: Trees (and climbing vines) are valuable additions to a cityscape because they convert so much of the view from human-made structures and vehicles to foliage, natural textures, and diffuse patterns of light that please our eyes and calm our nerves. Even small trees can play a large role in making our cities more eco-friendly via urban cooling, runoff remediation, and wildlife habitat.
MOUNTAIN ASH (Sorbus aucuparia) boasts bright orange berries that migrating birds devour, if you don’t gather them first to make rowanberry schnapps. Zones 3–6. P H OTO CR EDI T: J OSH MCCOLLOUGH
Many varieties of CRABAPPLE (Malus) make excellent street trees for urban areas with restricted root zones. Zones vary. PHOTO CR EDI T: J OSH MCCOLLOUGH
Tree forms of SERVICEBERRY (Amelanchier) are tough and early flowering, with showy red-orange autumn foliage and small, delicious, pitless fruits you can eat or share with the birds. Zones 3–9. PHOTO CR EDI T: EVELYN J. HA DDEN
Pool Prof WORKING WITH
P H OTO G R A P H S BY CH RISTIAN TE RRY
fessionals BY DAVE PETERSON
An edge detail calms the surface and increases nighttime reflections.
ave you ever designed a project and noted “pool by others” only to be disappointed that the pool was so different from your original vision that it seemed the whole project was ruined? The difference may be subtle or even noticeable only to you, but quality, material selection, and small details can quickly tune the pool out of harmony with the surrounding environment. This isn’t limited to pools. Any part of a project handled “by others” invites potential visual noise when its design is not carefully orchestrated.
It is easy to understand why certain things are specifically excluded from our work. Some elements require specialty trades like aquatics, retaining walls, or that large freestanding arbor founded in poor soil. Even if you are capable of engineering the arbor it may be the case that it was not considered in the original scope and the owner does not want to pay for the additional services, even though they are prepared to pay for the structure. 34
design101 This is a very common problem with the pool industry. I’ve seen projects where the designer wanted a rectangular pool to coordinate with a traditional garden setting but ended up with a freeform tropical-looking vessel. The root of the problem is that most landscape designers know little about pool construction and most pool builders know even less about architecture and landscape design. If there is a disconnect in the communication process, neither trade does well coordinating the myriad details for a cohesive project. Fortunately, there are good pool builders that find more success working in partnerships with designers than knocking on doors trying to find a hole to dig. This opens up some great opportunities for the landscape designers because the right relationships will result in better projects without costing them any more money—they can continue to designate the blob as “by others,” except that those others might be very specific, like “Joe’s Pools.” Instead of handing off the pool design to the lowest bidder, it makes sense to bring in a watershape designer to work out those details in parallel with the rest of the project design.
Alison Terry’s design ensured the spa would not dominate the warm and inviting space.
Forming an Aquatic Partnership
Amazingly, many pool designers will provide their design for free if they think they have a good shot at getting the work. Personally, I hate the idea of someone giving away intellectual property without compensation. If the pool designer doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t place a value on their ideas then they may not be investing many into your project. Keep in mind that if you introduce a pool designer or design-build firm to your client, their attitude and quality will reflect onto you, so choose wisely. You charge the client for your work and the watershape designer should as well, even if they will eventually bid it as a design-build process. Once you partner with a watershape designer you will need to divide the responsibilities. The landscape designer should probably handle some elements of design, including line, shape, and scale. Other elements of design as they relate to the pool, such as texture, color, and value, may be better handled by the watershape designer, who typically has more experience with the finish materials that are suitable for use around the pool. Most of the principles of design, like balance and emphasis, should be the landscape designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s responsibility.
A Team in Action
Last year we were included on a project with a landscape architect and a pool contractor for a major remodel of a pool in Southern California. Alison Terry of Terry Design in Fullerton, California, developed the master plan for an overhaul of this residential project. The renovation of the pool included a new spa and wet-wall feature that would require some custom structural engineering, soils analysis, and details for waterproofing, glass tile installation, and physical handling 36
SOCIETY OF WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS If you are looking for qualified designers of pools, spas, water features, ponds, and other aquatics, Genesis 3 includes a membership list of the Society of Watershape Designers on their website. Society members are professionals with a formal education in the aquatic arts. You can even search by zip code for someone near you or the project.
The success of this major renovation depended on a team approach. apld.org
The base of this sculpture now reflects its unique shape.
of water as it spills over the spa and collects in a slot that travels down stairs and into the pool. Collaboration was key to the ultimate success of the project. Alison included David Penton of Fluid Dynamics Pools and Spas to coordinate the pool
details and Jimmy Reed of Rock Solid Tile to handle the all-glass tile finish. My firm handled the structural engineering, which included reinforced concrete caissons under the new spa that was attached to the original pool shell as well as details for the water feature.
The result was a unified design and construction approach that allowed each member of the team to contribute their specific expertise. The whole project became better than the sum of its parts because everything worked together. Since this installation, this partnership has joined together for success on other projects. For those of you that have been disappointed in those items left as design-build by others, I strongly urge you to develop collaborative partnerships with the right people. Bring in a pool designer and contractor early in your project development to provide design assistance and value engineering. With the right team your vision is more likely to be realized and everyone— particularly the client—will be happier for it.
PARTNERING WITH OTHERS Your partnerships may include trades other than watershapes. Surveyors, geologists, civil engineers that specialize in grading and drainage, and A fountain on lighting designers are always included on the team for large projects. a west-facing Landscape contractors can contribute at the design phase even if it’s for terrace is value engineering only. A general contractor may be helpful to a landscape captivating. designer dealing with retaining walls, patio covers, utility relocation, etc.
The stone steles contrast well with soft grasses…an artful garden for the north side of a house
LED luminaires highlight the beautiful glass tile finish within the pool.
Wildflowers pick up the blue in the Chiapas cemeteryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s painted crosses.
Mexico T BY ANNE WEINBERGER
raveling along a deserted road between mountain villages in the far south of Mexico, I caught sight of a distant row of tall crosses at the crest of a hill. Coming closer, I saw many were painted blue like the patches of sky asserting themselves through the rolling clouds. Gravesites rose up in humps across the grassy slope, each one marked by a smaller blue cross. And scattered across the landscape, the azure blooms of a delicate wildflower echoed that same heavenly hue.
Surprised that these public garden spaces rarely had flowers, I came to realize they had a common theme. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll call it the Mexican Garden Trinity.â&#x20AC;? apld.org
travelinspiration My garden designer’s eye was delighted by the repetition of a single color taking on distinct forms in the landscape. But there was no designer’s hand here, just a serendipitous harmony between nature’s backdrop and a centuries-old tradition of honoring the dead.
hroughout a recent two-week vacation in Mexico, as I inhaled the quietude of Chiapas and ventured through the vibrant sprawl of Mexico City, I came upon scene after scene of these deeply gratifying yet informal relationships of color, texture, and form. After a few days, my initial search for high design and boldly colorful plant palettes gave way to a blissful appreciation of how subtlety and simplicity can set the most enduring mood. My eye became more relaxed, yet at the same time, I saw more keenly. In the brightly painted mountain town of San Cristóbal de las Casas, heavy wooden doors along the narrow cobblestone sidewalks open onto distinctly unique courtyards. Modest homes display random collections of Clustered empty aging clay pots or rusty tin cans expots give weight ploding with greenery in all directions. to a simply planted courtyard Well-tended inns offer more subdued in San Cristóbal vignettes. I was captivated by a large de las Casas. rectangular bed massed with broadleafed lilies and narrow-leafed spider plants, and anchored with a cluster of empty clay pots of all sizes. Set against coffee-colored exposed wood columns and beams, these three basic components came together with a weighty, inviting presence.
I spent a week in a historic inn with a maze of courtyards. My favorite scene was a medley of contrasting greens— agave, palm, yucca, creeping fig, mysterious climbing vines and diminutive pots sprouting with whimsical stiff foliage—all nestled within walls and columns of alabaster white. PHOTOGR A PHS BY A N N E WEI N B ER GER
A lush, all-green courtyard at Casa Felipe Flores in San Cristรณbal de las Casas.
โ ธ apld.org
In Mexico City, the famous cobalt blue of Frida Kahloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house wraps around her courtyard garden, its nearly electric color a canvas for an all-green staccato of tall tropical specimens underplanted in layered green groundcovers.
ehind the imposing National Palace, a striking all-succulent garden is a silent sanctuary just steps from the vast zócalo (plaza) and the largest cathedral in the Americas, where the cacophony of sirens, church bells, indigenous dancers stomping to drumbeats, and hawkers of tamales can be deafening. The garden of strappy leaves, spikes, spines, and the occasional variegated leaf is silhouetted against the deep coral wall of an adjacent building. Nearby, emerging from a gentle mound of echeverias, a single monumental prickly pear cactus stands alone, its oval pads suspended in an elegant zigzag thrown into relief by that same splash of coral. Across the square, with the heavy cathedral wall in the background, a massive planting of widely spaced agaves and upright cactus punctuate a field of gray gravel.
Surprised that these public garden spaces rarely had flowers, I came to realize they had a common theme. I’ll call it the Mexican Garden Trinity: 1) the tropical and desert plants native to Mexico make impressive, often strongly vertical, focal points, 2) the focal points gain prominence when viewed against a background of saturated, contrasting color, and 3) the first two are set off by a quiet foil of all-green plantings.
A prickly pear cactus needs minimal underplanting to make a statement, especially with saturated color in the background.
I was beginning to understand why so much monochromatic green make me feel so good. As I entered a garden, part of my psyche delighted at the exuberant focal points and the dramatic backgrounds, but the other part needed that uniform counterbalance of constant green to remain grounded. This realization has stayed with me as I work toward designing gardens that strike a balance between thrill and chill. I look at walls and other vertical surfaces as opportunities to set off my plant palette. My love of form—both in plant structure and foliage—has been magnified.
BY GARTH WOODRUFF & LANI WOODRUFF
The Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset said, “Tell me the landscape in which you live, and I will tell you who you are.” These tacit connections to nature, and specifically sense of place (SOP), have been the basis of my research now for a few years. SOP is recognized as the measure of human connections to a specific space and time. The intimate interaction between a landscape designer, a client, and “place” has a rich history that developed over time into an active profession. We speak P H OTO GRAP H Y BY GARTH WOODR UFF
Fire speaks to the senses
designmasterclass Fire speaks to the senses
to the phenomenon in books, classes, and at professional gatherings, but more often than not these conversations only scratch the surface.
On the other hand, over the last 20 years, environmental psychologists have begun to recognize not only the importance of this phenomenon, but to build models of measure. For instance, they find that moving a refugee population to a new development can have two outcomes. If folk feel connected to the new environment or place, they contribute to society and build positive community. If they don’t feel connected, they tend to incite disturbances and upheaval. Building personal connections for individuals and societies and understanding a human’s connection to space is now recognized as significantly important in place attachments. Many industries are incorporating this broader understanding into product development, ranging from office space design to furniture fabrication.
As landscape designers, we take on the role of artists, devoting time and resources to creating “places” for our customers. Understanding the history and tools used by other professions is a valuable addition to any design professional’s arsenal. apld.org
Time is a key component of sense of place.
A Model of Measure
Knowing areas and characteristics that measure a strong sense of place in a people informs a more educated approach to these specific needs in our own design process and client interactions. Using my model on the measure of sense of place, a designer should walk away with an understanding of the four quadrants (attachment, aesthetics, ethics, and spirituality), and how they are strengthened inside of the five senses and time. apld.org
designmasterclass The Four Quadrants
The four quadrants illustrate how people identify themselves. 1. ATTACHMENT symbolizes home, the people we love at home, and the security we feel in places we call homeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a physical house, a back yard barbeque, a small town or even a city street. 2. AESTHETICS embodies beauty, a concept that is much simpler for us as designers to grasp. For some, beauty might be a woodland garden, while to others it is found in an open desert landscape. We create our identity in that look. Someone who wears a turquoise stone in a silver setting is more likely to identify with a southwest landscape than someone from Maine would. 3. ETHICS is the respect for a place or landscape and is often embodied in mind attachments. Work, jobs, and security will strengthen this quadrant of our attachment to place. 4. SPIRITUALITY is invoked when we take time to reflect over a morning cup of coffee in an eastern garden, or the feeling we get when we walk to the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time. The more connections we face in these four areas, the stronger the place attachment.
The Five Senses
The human body develops these quadrants through the five senses. When we touch someone we love in our home we build our place connection to that home. If we spend an evening by a fire listening to the crackle and smelling the smoke, we become more connected to that place. Designers invoke the senses to help their creative work shine. A landscape can engender deep, effective connections to nature, society, personal identity and security. Senses are a tool designers employ to strengthen a customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s connection to that space. Designers who incorporate all five senses build a stronger connection to the landscape for their clients. apld.org
Time is a key component of sense of place.
Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste connect me uniquely to place. The sight of a closed-in landscape with trees and rocks takes me to my home in the Virginia mountains. The sound of peepers whisks me back to spring drives in the convertible with my folks. The smell of boxwood flashes the memory of my grandparents home in the Luray Valley. The touch of cool grass on my toes transports me to summers in Davidsonville where I sat under the Concord grapes, lapping up the sweet taste of the fall harvest. With these sensations stitched together, I experience place. apld.org
In the model, time informs designers as we look back on a customer’s life through the interview process. More time in a significant place strengthens bonds. A customer who visits the beach once may create a soft bond. That same person who visits the same beach every year from childhood creates a strong sense of that place. The longer the time and the more the senses are engaged, the stronger the bond and deeper the connection with the landscape. Probing for this through poignant questions about a customer’s past builds a better understanding of what makes these clients tick and how we can create their connections to new spaces.
Connecting Place to Design
The terms “insideness” and “outsideness” describe current social dynamics. Our current society lives inside. Technology, like air conditioning and TV, began driving people inside for comfort and entertainment some years ago. Computers and the Internet connect us to people and places without leaving our couches. A quality landscape design—no matter how large and expensive or small and affordable—when given deep consideration can be the connection that many people desperately need. We live in a fastpaced world. Society needs that critical connection to nature that many may only find at home. A home landscape engages a deep, effective connection to nature, friends, family, and identity.
We often see our role as designers as bringing beauty to a customer’s world. Looks, curb appeal, and aesthetics drive a great deal of our scope of work. Going beyond that to design and build more effective and thought-out projects will help connect our clients to their space, their past, and the future of their family to ultimately help shape who they are.
Designing Bees FOR THE
BY ANDREW GAGNE
I STO CK
across the United States are on the decline; that much is certain, though the cause is less so. As the adage says: “Ask four beekeepers a question and you shall receive five answers.” Scientific reports provide a variety of explanations, with most centering on synthetic pesticides, biological pests—such as the mite Varroa destructor and the spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae—and loss of pollinator habitat and forage. As designers and horticulturists, we have the opportunity to alter our culture to help buffer the effects of colony collapse disorder (CCD), the one-size-fits-all label for loss in bee populations over the past two decades. The answer is simple and often touted among environmentalists and ecologists: PLANT NATIVES! ➸
Fire speaks to the senses
Zinnias, snap dragons and verbena are all bee-friendly plants.
The value of planting natives not only resonates in the PHOTO CR EDI T: OPEN SO U RCE beauty of the landscape, but in its health. Exotic, non-native species often do not provide nutritional forage for pollinators, including the European honeybee (Apis mellifera), introduced to North America by European settlers and the one which many of us think of as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;commonâ&#x20AC;? honeybee. That leaves a question to be answered: what do honeybees eat? The name implies honey, right? Honeybees do in fact eat honey, but not only honey. Think of honey as a soda, high in sugars and calories but low in nutrition. Honeybees derive the majority of their food from pollen, which is a protein. Mixed with honey, it forms a beebread. 56
pollinatorhealth During the height of foraging season, honeybees live approximately six weeks: two weeks providing care and food to the queen and larvae; two weeks shuttling nectar from the hive entrance to the comb, where the water is evaporated and fermented into honey; and the final 2 weeks foraging in the wild. They forage until their wings are tattered and they can no longer fly. Provided with an environment that is rich in forage material, they travel less and forage more successfully.
Providing native species for bees to select from is only half the solution; bees also need a consistent source of nectar and pollen, from early spring (willows, for example) to late fall (asters and buckwheat). Bees survive the winter by vibrating their flight muscles to generate heat, much in the way that we shiver. It requires tremendous energy to keep the hive at a consistent 95° Fahrenheit, as at times, outside temperatures may dip below freezing. The nectar and pollen collected in the warmer months are stored to provide food for the winters. If there is a summer dearth of
For more information, reach out to a local beekeeper or beekeeping association—you would be surprised as to how many there are! “Bee schools” are a great, inexpensive way to learn more information on keeping bees. ■ Many beekeepers are more than willing to install a hive on your property. While they get to keep all the products of the hive, they often will leave you with some honey and a great talking point at house parties.
ISTOCK( 2 )
■ Winter is the best time to get in touch with beekeepers as they are not actively attending their hives and can work with you closely to identify spaces in the landscape to site a bee yard. ■ To find a local beekeeper or beekeeping organization, seek out Bee Culture magazine’s directory.
nectar and pollen, the bees are forced to consume their winter stores early.
Willows (Salix spp.) are one of the first trees to flower in New England in early spring, and provide a much needed pollen source for honey bees to feed developing larvae.
So what should you plant? In a bee-friendly garden, include annuals (asters, marigolds, poppies, sunflowers), perennials (clematis, echinacea, geranium, roses, sedums), PHOTO CR EDI T: OPEN SOUR CE shrubs (butterfly bush, honeysuckle, indigo), trees (alder, basswoods, buckeyes, catalpas, maples, poplars, willows), and consumables (squashes, peppers, berries, herbs). Although annuals are often non-natives, they do provide pollinators with adequate nutrition. Seek out your local Extension office for more regional plant choices as most have created a bee-friendly plant list. Keep in mind, nativars (cultivars of native species) often have significantly decreased or nonexistent reproductive capabilities and therefore, have limited nutritional value to pollinators. 58
Residential hives support a healthy bee population. SOUR CE: LOR ETTA JACKSO N ?
CHARTING Time is a keyLOSSES HIVE component of sense This chart shows national of place. historical data for winter hive losses. Winter is when the majority of hives are lost due to malnutrition/starvation, pests, or other unknown agents. The 2013â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2014 winter saw the lowest percentage of hives lost since before 2006, but still above the acceptable threshold. A fountainThe on blue bars indicate acceptable losses, a west-facing the red bars are the actual terrace is loses realized. captivating.
SOUR CE: B EEI N FOR M ED.ORG
Although many consider dandelion to be an encroaching weed, it provides an abundant source of pollen (protein for bees), as seen in the golden yellow cells towards the bottom of the frame. SOUR CE: LOR ETTA JACKSON
Consider incorporating a beehive or two into your next garden design. Contrary to public belief, the majority of the United States and Canada has yet to be invaded by “Africanized” bees. With the exception of the deep south and southwest, non-aggressive European honeybees are still the dominate pollinator species. These honeybees are very docile and won’t even be noticed if properly placed in the landscape.
A Boston University student inspects one of her club’s hives in urban Cambridge, MA. Be sure to check your local regulations before installing hives. SOUR CE: CYDN EY SCOTT
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specialmessage thedesıgner ASSOCIATION OF
PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS
INTERNATIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN AWARD
EDITOR’S NOTE: Gregory M. Pierceall, ASLA, was one of the judges for the 2014 APLD International Design Award competition. His biography and comments on judging were mistakenly omitted from The Designer’s fall issue. GREGORY M. PIERCEALL, ASLA Greg Pierceall is a Professor Emeritus of Purdue Landscape Architecture, where he taught for 28 years. He has been involved with APLD for 20plus years and is the recipient of the International Award of Excellence from APLD in 2003.
As a site and landscape designer, Greg’s philosophy is that landscape design should reflect the space, place, case, taste, and time, as well as the individual, personal aspects associated with the design context and program. As an educator, Greg works to take landscape design issues and simplify them to their elemental parts and components. Greg has authored numerous books on landscape design and interiorscapes, including Residential Landscapes, one of the first landscape texts written for the industry. He has been extensively involved with the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, and was the recipient of their Service Award in 2004 and the Man of the Year Award in 2008. He currently is a consulting educator and lectures nationally and internationally on landscape design.
ON JUDGING: Judging the APLD Landscape Design Awards provides the opportunity to see how designers look at space, place, case, taste, and time in the development of site- and client-specific solutions. These aspects of design reflect the core questions that all designers should ask themselves and clients in order to provide individual and personal gardens and landscapes.
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2014 board of directors PRESIDENT Susan Cohan, APLD Susan Cohan Gardens, LLC 69 Hedges Avenue Chatham, NJ 07928 (973) 665-9260 PRESIDENT-ELECT Colleen Hamilton, APLD Bloomin’ Landscape Designs 7122 Willey Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 961-0191 SECRETARY/TREASURER Jock Lewendon, APLD Outdoor Living Spaces, LLC 766 Schoolhouse Lane Bound Brook, NJ 08805 (732) 302-9632 IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Marti Neely, APLD DMS Estate Management 9811 Sprague Street Omaha, NE 68134 (402) 630-0050 ADVOCACY CHAIR Lisa Port, APLD Banyon Tree Design Studio 3630 Northeast 123rd Street Seattle, WA 98125 (206) 383-5572 CERTIFICATION CHAIR Maryanne Quincy, APLD Q Gardens PO Box 2746 Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (408) 739-5493
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PRACTICAL PERMACULTURE GARDEN SCULPTURE AMAZING AGASTACHE DE S IG N BY M A R G I E G R ACE , AP LD PH OTO G RA P H BY L E P E R E P H OTO GRAP H Y