Home and Gardens – Five Questions for J . Mark White


Mark was featured as a March profile in the popular Homes and Gardens publication — below is an excerpt from the profile in which Mark is described as a “Gifted ” landscape designer: 

“When Southern Living last year described the work of J. Mark White, ASLA, president of GardenWise, Inc., as ”stellar”, we knew we had to learn more about this omnipresent landscape architect and his design work that shows the essential role architecture can play in organizing the garden landscape.   White’s gardens are rich in color and texture, and flow into the surrounding landscape, which makes him a gifted landscape designer, and our March 2010 profile. ”  

Phot Credit: Lydia Cutter

DC Landscape Architecture Firm GardenWise on Going Green

Simple Ways to GO GREEN!

There are some very easy tasks we can all do to invite green living into our lives and gardens.  My favorite starting points?  Plants and shrubs for shade, and recycling kitchen water to areas of the garden, container and potted plants.     

Look at your home and determine where you can place plants,  shrubs and trees to block the sun from hitting your house.  Doing this alone can save you hundreds of dollars a year in cooling costs. 

Do you boil an egg each morning? If so, let  the water cool, and when  you come home from work, use it to water parts of your garden or containers.  The single act of recycling 2-4 cups of water a day, a few days a week, can lead to recycling DOZENS of gallons of water each year.    


GardenWise, DC Landscape Design Firm, on Plant Stress

Plant Stress Symptoms and Solutions

Here at GardenWise we read a lot about  landscape architecture, going green, garden recycling, garden design, and  the latest news and updates on new plants and flowers.  We also write a lot – but we found this wonderful article  about stress and your plants by Suzanne DeJohn of National Gardening Association  that we want to share with you today. 

“Sometimes when plants look sick or appear to be under attack by insects, the symptoms are actually a sign that the plant is being stressed by environmental factors,” DeJohn writes in her first paragraph, which made us sit up and want to read more.  Below are some common symptoms of stress and the conditions that cause them from DeJohn’s story, which can be read in its entirety at gardeners.com

Wilting can indicate insect or disease problems, but is most commonly due to a lack of soil moisture. Don’t assume plants have enough water if the soil surface is moist. . . “

Off-color foliage can be caused by a nutrient deficiency. If the color is paler than normal, it may indicate a nitrogen deficiency. If the leaf veins are green but the area between them is yellow, suspect an iron deficiency . . .”

Bleached areas on the foliage of new transplants or plants that have been moved from indoors to outdoors, can indicate sunburn. Discoloration will be most pronounced on the leaves most exposed to the sun . . .”

Black areas on leaves can indicate frost damage. The most exposed leaves will show more damage if the plants have been nipped by a light frost. Foliage that has been damaged by a late-spring frost will not recover, but the plants will usually outgrow the damage . . .”



DC’s GardenWise and J. Mark White on HGTV’s Curb Appeal May 30

Curb Appeal Tips From an HGTV’s Curb Appeal Home

Here’s a home we did for HGTV’s Curb Appeal which will air again on May 30.  The front was neglected and dilapidated, and just kind of sad, with not a single foot of garden spaces for the homeowner to enjoy.  I added hardscape and iron elements that included the lower front brick wall, a new front walkway from the curb, higher brick walls, additional lighting for safety & new front steps, which separates and protects the home from the street.  However, the most important part of this home’s new “curb appeal” can be completed by any homeowner as a weekend project.    

The multi-level planting and use of urns and topiaries which drive the eye to the front of the home is a significant feature of this home’s new appeal.  Focus is granted through the use of symmetry and you can draw attention to home entries by using taller shrubs and garden accents to flank the entry, which will inject variation where you want it most.  This was the least expensive part of the project, and the difference between before and after is significant.