Trees and Shrubs as Privacy Screens

 AOL’s DIY Life Network is GardenWise

I worked Francesca Clarke at AOL’s  DIY Life Network on a feature story about creating green structures with trees and shrubs for privacy in your garden and outdoor spaces.  There are many options available for all budgets and timelines, depending on how soon do you need a privacy screen from a neighboring home or structure and how quickly you want to block  unwanted  views.  Pictured is a GardenWise garden in DC which includes Black Bamboo which serves as a screen.  

You can read the story in its entirety here – http://www.diylife.com/2011/04/25/privacy-fence/

I recommend to my clients if they have the space is to off-set the shrubs you use for a privacy screen and consider using different heights for a more natural affect.  Also, if a plant dies with staggered plant scheme along with the varying heights, the gap created by the dead plant is not so obvious.  The back row should have the tallest plants that will create the screen.  The middle row should have medium height plants, such as a smaller deciduous shrub such as an Annabelle Hydrangea, which will offer texture contrast and offer summer color.  The front row should be composed of your shortest plants and evergreen ground cover, such as variegated Liriope, which is grass like and has the added bonus feature of a late summer spiky lavender colored flower. Another striking affect I like is to use the purple coneflower and the Russian sage against the pendulous white blossoms of the hydrangea will be smashing.  Unity in an outside space is the best way to quickly provide a stimulating visual. 

AOL and GardenWise on Winter Curb Appeal

 

AOL’s DIY Life and GardenWise offer up tips and ideas on how to improve Curb Appeal during winter in a January 20, 2011 feature story.  We were pleased to have the opportunity to work with  DIY Life writer Francesca Clark,  and below are our tips and ideas from AOL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can read the story in its entirety at AOL – http://aol.it/dQMuPi 
“Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean it’s time to stop maintaining the front of your house. Winter curb appeal can take on its own delightful characteristics; you just need to know what you’re doing and be deliberate about it.  
 
Who better to guide us on landscape design and curb appeal than J. Mark White, Landscape Architect and President of DC-based GardenWise, Inc. who appears on HGTV’s Curb Appeal.       
 
Frame your garden. Use clean and attractive borders. According to Mark, “landscape borders play an important role in a home’s curb appeal — whether we’re talking about the whole yard or just a planting bed; a defined area catches the eye more readily than one that is indistinguishable.” Various curbing materials such as concrete, brick, stone and slate add definition to your garden area and help it look tidy even in the winter months. 

Utilize Outdoor Lighting – Lighting is always important, but it is even more crucial on dark winter nights. Landscape lighting is practical, as it extends the use of your front yard into into the evening hours, and allows for safe passage for you and your guests. It is also a very purposeful design choice.  Mark suggests that new LED lighting focused on some of your front garden accents can significantly change your home’s evening appeal. The right lighting will make your house a warm gem that stands apart from the others on chilly winter evenings. ”                                                                      
                                                                                                                  .  Tip: Mark says, “Repeated use of rock salt to melt ice will damage and kill plants, and ruin an important part of your curb appeal. Salt will also change soil structure. If you (or your city) uses a lot of salt, be sure to thoroughly water your lawn, front flower beds, and landscape in the very early spring.” Click here for eco-friendly alternatives to rock salt.”