J. Mark White of GardenWise on Designing DC Garden Spaces

Here’s an excerpt from an in-depth interview with reporter Jay Bildstein who talked with Mark about Garden Design and Landscape Architecture trends, among other topics.  

Jay: If somebody from New York City, seeing you on television, seeing your work on HGTV on “Curb Appeal,”  if they said, “Mark you’re the genius, you know, you’re the guru. I want to fly you up to New York to design my very small 300 square foot terrace outside of my two bedroom apartment in Manhattan,” could you then with your experience dealing with these more confined spaces, get up there and say this is what we’re going to do, this is how we’re going to blend the look in, as well as the view from your building.

Mark: Oh most definitely. I worked on a similar type of space in Arlington, VA, which is a suburb of Washington, DC. The space has incredible views to the National Mall, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial from the balcony. It’s a very tight linear space, but in this case it was important to have every detail count. A lot of the plantings had to be put in large planters, so it was important for these pots, or planters, to have a one of a kind look. It’s also very important in a small space to have everything be cohesive so there aren’t too many elements going on.

Jay: So let me ask you,  by having in an expert like yourself  involved, can homeowners beautify their home, and in beautifying their home, especially in a downturn real estate market, maybe increase the value of their home for a relatively modest investment and bring up the value of their home compared to let’s say homes in their neighborhood that haven’t been professionally landscaped? 

Mark: Oh, yes.  I’ve designed numerous gardens that have been featured in real estate brochures, showing that they’re considered part of the space; it’s particularly important in urban or city gardens to have these little oasises that serve as an extension of the house.   It’s been proven a minimum of 10% and as much 15% of the house’s worth could be put into landscaping and you’ll definitely see the return on your investment.

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