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Archive for the ‘Garden Design’ Category

Does the word “bold” bring negative connotations to mind — aggression or bravado, insolence or cheek?  In the world of garden design, where materials can be boringly homogeneous, “bold” is a good thing.  Think about the impact that the use of a daring color scheme creates and the fun surprise of an audacious sculpture or topiary.  Think about the visual richness that develops when brazenly contrasting textures are introduced into the landscape.  Think about the bravery of those willing to buck the system to bring backyard gardening out front — lawn-free landscapes, vegetable gardens, xeriscapes and meadows, not to mention new plant species or hybrids.

Coreopsis x 'Mercury Rising' is a bold color choice for any garden!

Coreopsis x ‘Mercury Rising’ is a bold color choice for any garden!

Today, our team of Roundtable designers take on “bold” as our topic with hopes to inform and inspire you to (wait for it)… “To boldly go where no man (or gardener) has gone before.”

Click on the links below to follow the discussion.

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Jenny Peterson : J Petersen Garden Design : Austin, TX

David Cristiani : It’s A Dry Heat : Albuquerque, NM 

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Cheap & Chic

A re-purposed weather vane This month on Garden Designers Roundtable, we explore the topic Cheap & Chic.

Your landscape is an investment in your home’s long-term value, but let’s face it, gardening can be an expensive obsession.

Our designers share tried and true ways to update your garden and put your personal stamp on it. Ways to have the garden of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Perhaps it’s growing your own food with style, reducing maintenance costs, creating your own garden accessories, or growing your own bouquets. From upcycling to recycling and repurposing, there are lots of creative and imaginative ways to get inspired and have a dream garden that is also Cheap & Chic.

Follow the links below to discover how to create a garden that fits your lifestyle, looks great, doesn’t cost a fortune and is Cheap & Chic:

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA

Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI

Rochelle Greayer : Studio ‘g’ : Boston, MA

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‘Plants and Memory’? What kind of topic is that, I hear you wondering? Ah, but it’s a good one—just you wait.

Plants and Memory

At some point in the GDRT, you’ve probably heard us discuss the concept of terroir, which Wikipedia defines as “the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with the plant’s genetics, expressed in agricultural products such as wine, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, heritage wheat and tea.”

I’ve always thought terroir extends to places themselves, and people. All the tiny details that make up a place—many imperceptible, many taken for granted—those details are what make a place what it is, and through the meaningful places in our lives, they’re part of what make us who we are.

Plants, for a lot of people, get lost in those details. Maybe that’s why you find yourself so sentimental over those lilacs and peonies that grew where you grew up, even though you hadn’t really thought about it for years and now you live in Florida. Personally, I find people’s sentimental connection to plants so fascinating, I went so far as to write a book about that connection, and how to choose plants that scratch that same sentimental itch that work where you live. It’s called Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?: 255 Extraordinary Alternatives to Everyday Problem Plants. See what else I and my comrades have to say about “Plants and Memory” today’s Garden Designers Roundtable:

Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA

Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI

Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA

Thomas Rainer : Grounded Design : Washington, D.C.

Rochelle Greayer : Studio ‘g’ : Boston, MA

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"Scott Hokunson" "Garden Designers Roundtable"

A simple detail, an object left in a doorway, creates this garden vignette!

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

… John Wooden

 

God is in the details.

… Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

 

Details create the big picture.
… Sanford I. Weill

 

Success is the sum of details.

… Harvey S. Firestone

 

Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.

                … Steve Jobs

 

There’s no escaping the notion that, to get something right you have to pay attention to the simplest of details. As witnessed above, by some very successful people, the worth of the final product rests in the effort to successfully master each part of the whole, to focus on the details.

What does this mean for the garden design process, or a new landscape? A focus on the details in the design process might show in many forms; as a unified color scheme, or the perfect accoutrements in an outdoor dining area, as an abstract piece of art that anchors the design, or in the perfect groundcover choice to complement stones in a garden pathway. A focus on the details might also show in how a designer has thoughtfully tended to each of her clients needs, or how a designer has addressed every one of his client’s concerns. Orchestrating the symphony of contractors needed to complete a project on time and under budget, are details that should always capture the designers focus, thereby leaving the client simply to enjoy the newly created space.

When you pause to enjoy a beautiful garden and find yourself lost within its balance and complexity, and you feel, without at first knowing why, that everything just seems to work, look a little closer.  You’ll find that someone brought all the elements of the garden together, by focusing on the details.

Our designers are focusing on the details this month; follow the links below to see how!

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI

Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT

Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

 

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"Garden Designers Roundtable" "Robert Webber" Lesley Hegarty"

Art outside – who needs it? Surely gardens are beautiful anyway if the gardener is at all skilful? Is that not art enough? Why would you need to add sculpture to your garden?

Perhaps it is about your perception of beautiful objects, a need to have what you conceive of as sculpturally beautiful around you, the extension of a ‘household ornament’ idea out into the garden? And, why not?

Maybe you are a collector and have amassed a hoard of objets trouves which your partner has had enough of indoors!

Or perhaps, and we are hopeful here, you are beginning to perceive its strategic potential in garden design terms.

There are however, millions of choices out there into which it is possible to sink even more millions, truly! And, having bought the wretched thing, where do you put it anyway? Or shouldn’t the thought process have been the other way around?!

Often clients see the addition of art and sculpture as their way of personalising a garden design. But while it can certainly be a matter of personal choice just how sure are you about your own taste? Do you like it enough? Will you outgrow it? What will it say about you?

You’d not buy a Van Gogh without taking a little advice. And we think that here as much as anywhere else in their garden the client most definitely needs the guiding hand of the garden designer.

So why not reach out your hand and tap into the ideas of our designers!

Enjoy,

Lesley and Robert

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Jenny Peterson : J Petersen Garden Design : Austin, TX

Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX

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In this multitasking era, when few places exist without Internet access and we obsessively check our email and thumb Facebook updates on our phones, we need, more than ever, a refuge from the hive mind – a place of retreat, solitude, and reflection. Nature has always offered this; mystics and other seekers have historically retreated from society into the wilderness to contemplate the universe. Today, however, more of us than ever live in cities, and we must create our own contemplative public spaces and private gardens. We may look to those cultures with a rich history of creating meditative gardens, like the Japanese, or branch out in entirely new directions.

This month the members of Garden Designers Roundtable explore the idea of Contemplative Spaces/Zen. Whether it’s a hidden bench tucked away in a corner of the garden, a labyrinth for strolling meditation, a deck for a morning yoga routine, or a garden of remembrance, a contemplative garden is a place set apart from the bustle of everyday life, a place where you feel closer to nature, your inner self, or a higher power.

Follow the links below, and start your contemplative journey!

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN

Jenny Peterson : J Petersen Garden Design : Austin, TX

Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA


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This month on the Roundtable, we take a break from perusing seed catalogs and planning for spring planting for a garden design reality check. Our topic, Reality Check/Don’t Do This… is sure to illicit a wide range of thoughts from our group of Roundtablers..

Joining us this month is our guest, noted landscape architect David Cristiani, author of the blog The Desert Edge.

Here is a little more about David –

David has over 20 years of experience designing outdoor environments in the Southwest. His projects include a variety of resource-conservative commercial, institutional, and residential designs.
David has merged the practice of landscape design with his knowledge of climate and the study of arid-region plant geography and species composition. This unique insight has proved valuable for both site-specific design work and for assisting regional growers, by collecting seed and cuttings for large-scale production of promising high desert plant introductions.

And now, for a look at Reality Check / Don’t Do This…

Simply follow the links below to each of the blogs. Enjoy!

David Cristiani : The Desert Edge : Albuquerque, NM

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : Easy Bay, CA

Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA

Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA

Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA

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