Archive for the ‘Guests’ Category


Water; water everywhere…or not enough at all!  Water is the lifeblood of every living thing, and yet it can be destructive in its extremes.  It’s a resource that is ephemeral and unpredictable – be it by natures’ vagaries or politicians’ whims.  The partnering of thoughtful water management with appropriate plant selection is crucial to any garden design. Today the Garden Designers Roundtable presents the topic of water.

We are delighted to introduce Debra Lee Baldwin as our guest blogger this month.  Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin lives in the drought-parched Southwest, near San Diego. “Water?” she asks. “Ha! I wish.” Debra authored the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents and Succulent Container Gardens.   As a renowned authority on these elegant, easy-care and waterwise plants, Debra shares her expertise in print and online, via radio and TV, and at horticultural venues nationwide. She is one of several acclaimed authors and photographers who share the blog www.gardeninggonewild.com. More info: www.debraleebaldwin.com.

Now, please follow the links below, joining our special guest and members of the Roundtable, as we write about water.

Debra Lee Baldwin : Gardening Gone Wild : Escondido, CA

Tara Dillard : Vanishing Threshold : Atlanta, GA

Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA

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

Jenny Peterson : J Peterson Garden Design : Austin TX

Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN

Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA


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The dog days of summer are upon us and with them the searing heat that wilts our bodies, our minds and…our gardens. Water, the magical elixir that can revive, calm, and cool, can also be an agent of destruction and a flashpoint for divisive policies and politics. As garden designers – and gardeners – we must keep the use of water and its powerful affects at the forefront of our planning.

This month the Roundtable topic is Water.   We are delighted that our guest blogger will be Debra Lee Baldwin, garden photojournalist and the author of Designing with Succulents and Succulent Container Gardens, and part of the talented blogging team at Gardening Gone Wild.  Tune in Tuesday, July 26th for this powerful edition of The Garden Designers Roundtable!

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Whether you’re coping with an abundance of shade as your trees grow larger, or you’re constructing shade structures because of an abundance of sun, the Roundtable has you covered this month as we write about Shade. We are also delighted to welcome Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden http://awaytogarden.com/ as a guest blogger. Please join us next Tuesday, June 28th, as we all get a little shady.

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Perhaps nothing helps the designer establish a sense of place more than stone. Ancient and timeless, it marks the passing of time as it offers a promise of the future. It serves as support, defines borders, acts as decoration, and honors through memorial. Millenia to form and longer still to return to mineral form, stone simply is… place!

The Roundtable, is pleased to announce two special guests, Deborah Silver and Sunny Wieler join in our discsussion on stone.

Deborah Silver

Deborah Silver, owner and design principal for Deborah Silver and Co Inc, has been a professional landscape and garden designer in the Midwest for the past 25 years. Her shop, Detroit Garden Works, is devoted to fine containers, ornament, furniture and unusual plants for the garden.  Opened in 1996, it was ranked as one of the top 25 garden stores in the US by Garden Design magazine, Martha Stewart magazine listed the shop in their top 50 products and places in March of 2011.  The Branch Studio manufactures garden ornament from her design in steel, wood and concrete. She writes regularly on topics relating to landscape and garden design via her blog, Dirt Simple.

Sunny Wieler

When Sunny Wieler is not on his blog ‘Stone Art Blog’ sharing his interests in stonework and all things creative in the landscape and garden, you will find him working at his day job creating unique and artistic stonework and gardens for the people of Ireland.

Sunny’s passion for landscaping spans back to his teen years where he would spend his weekends working in his neighbours gardens, which he continued to do up into until his college years. While obtaining his degree in Fine Art & Sculpture in the Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork, he would spend many of his free weekends building garden projects for his friends and family. After graduating from college he worked for several different landscaping companies, where he continued to develop his skills. In 2005 he set up his company, Stone Art. Initially Stone Art provided artistic stonework and garden features, but with increasing demand this quickly developed into full landscaping services.

In 2008 Sunny also spent a year working for a landscaping company in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he got to experience the fantastic wonders of landscaping on the other side of the planet. When he returned to Ireland he set about achieving his diploma in landscape & garden design from Limpert’s Academy of Design in Dublin.

Almost two years ago, Sunny started writing his blog ‘Stone Art Blog’, one of the greatest joys Sunny gets from his blog is meeting very interesting and talented artisans, stonemasons, landscape designers and garden enthusiasts from all over the world and getting and insight into their lives and work.

Now, please follow the links below and join our two special guests and the members of the Roundtable, as we consider stone.

Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI

Sunny Wieler : Stone Art Blog : West Cork, Ireland

Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT

Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN

Ivette Soler : The Germinatrix : Los Angeles, CA

Jenny Peterson : J Peterson Garden Design : Austin TX

Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Tara Dillard : Vanishing Threshold : Atlanta, GA

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Choosing the right plants for your garden can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. With so many new plant introductions each year, it can be almost impossible to figure out which plants are one-hit wonders and which ones actually deserve space in your garden.

This month the Roundtablers will share their short list of go-to plants that are top performers in their designed landscapes. Whether you’re choosing plants for the first time or just looking to expand your garden’s plant palette, you’re sure to be introduced to some new favorites.

Nan and the boys

Joining the Garden Designers Roundtable this month will be award-winning author and self-professed plant geek Nancy J Ondra. Nancy is a freelance garden writer and editor who owned and operated a small rare-plant nursery for six years. She is the author or co-author of over a dozen gardening books, including The Perennial Care Manual, Foliage: Astonishing Color and Texture Beyond Flowers, and Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design.

Along with her beloved alpacas Duncan and Daniel, Nan currently gardens on four acres in Pennsylvania and blogs about her gardens at Hayefield. We encourage you to check out Nan’s blog and while you’re there don’t miss the page devoted specifically to Nan’s boys – Duncan and Daniel.

Remember to follow us on Twitter (#GDRT) and join us on Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening around the Roundtable.  See you next week.

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A garden is many things to many people but there is one common thread that brings us together, a garden is a place to recharge one’s soul, heal one’s self, and reconnect with one’s environment. Today on the Roundtable, we are very excited to introduce our first guest blogger, as she is someone who is very familiar with, and a passionate advocate of the garden’s healing and restorative powers.

Naomi Sachs ASLA

Naomi Sachs ASLA, is Founder and Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network (healinglandscapes.org) and Principal at Naomi Sachs Design. The Therapeutic Landscapes Network is a knowledge base and gathering space for information, education, and advocacy about gardens and landscapes that promote health and well-being. Naomi received her MLA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. While at Berkeley, she wrote the chapter “Psychiatric Hospitals” for Clare Cooper Marcus and Marni Barnes’ award-winning book Healing Gardens: Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations. Shortly after graduation, she launched the TLN’s precursor website, the Therapeutic Landscapes Database, which won the ASLA Professional Awards Communications Award of Merit in 2004. Naomi has taught and spoken about the restorative benefits of nature throughout the United States, and has written and been interviewed extensively on the subject. She has been an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the ASLA Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network since 1999, and served as HTD PPN Co-Chair and Chair in ’05-‘06 and ’06-‘07, respectively. She has served on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture since 2007. She is also Principal of Naomi Sachs Design, a design and consulting firm with a focus on gardens and other landscapes that facilitate health and well-being.

We are thrilled to have Naomi join us for this month’s posting, and encourage you to visit her website to find out more about her and the work she does.

And now, without further ado, here is Naomi’s contribution, and those of the Roundtable members, to this month’s topic, “Therapy and Healing”.

Naomi Sachs : Therapeutic Landscapes Network : Beacon, NY

Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA

Ivette Soler : The Germinatrix : Los Angeles, CA

Jenny Petersen : J Petersen Garden Design : Austin TX

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

Rochelle Greayer : Studio “G” : Boston, MA

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