Don’t let the January thaw fool you. Winter is far from over even here in the Mid-Atlantic, but winter shouldn’t keep you from thinking about your garden. These warmer days that will soon become cold unpredictable days are great for planning; mulling over plant catalogs and books looking for new and unusual plants to add to your garden or even starting all over with a new Landscape Master Plan for your entire yard. A strong, well thought out design is critical to building a cohesive space that is a joy to use. Developing a Master Plan with the help of a skilled landscape design professional will make the project implementation easier, more comprehensive and enjoyable in the long run.
I often think of things like drainage, plant texture, succession of flower color, seasonal interest, hardscaping and water features.
Remember those bulbs you planted last fall? They may try to push through the surface during these warmer winter months. But don’t fret, as it gets cold again they will just go back into dormancy; awaiting the warmer days of spring. And since we are speaking of bulbs, now is a good time to order summer blooming bulbs. These are the ones that aren’t hardy to plant in the fall like Calla lilies, Canna lillies and Caladium. They should go in the ground when you can work the soil in Spring. However keep in mind, unfortunately in our zone 7, these bulbs need to be lifted in the fall and replanted every spring. The extra work is worth the effort as these types of bulbs can bring a flush of color after the spring blooming narcissus and tulips are done for the season.
As the weather warms this spring in late February or March consider freshening up your garden by cutting back last years dead perennials, adding fresh mulch and maybe some early color with hardy pansies.
Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Living is GardenWise!
Ease of movement and flow are essential when connecting your indoor and outdoor spaces. This can easily be achieved, especially in an older home, with a few inexpensive additions. Changing a door style from solid to french, and adding a few wooden stairs, will create the connection between the two spaces. Create areas in your outdoor space for entertaining, as well quiet conversation.
Here are before and after pics of a project we designed and installed in Georgetown, featured in Home & Design, that shows how a bare space can be transformed into a zen and beautiful outdoor getaway. The transformation of the interior is amazing.
By adding an arbor and a table and chairs, you’ll create an intimate sitting area and a gathering spot for friends & family. A water feature as a focal point by using an urn in a bed of decorative stones will add a couple of visuals while lending the wonderful soothing sounds of water. Strategically placed potted plants with bursts of color and texture will soften the space while lending to an oasis quality. A garden space with plantings and trees can nicely frame and enclose a space while blocking views to a neighbors yard or an alley.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Cozy cocoons, rooftop gardens, organic treatments and other trends
By: Dennis McCafferty
In this economy, any edge will help a landscaping business. The best way to maintain an edge is to stay on top of developing trends that could expand your customer offerings, thus increasing sales opportunities. Here are five trends to watch in 2012:
Photo Credit: Lydia Cutter
Pictured: A GardenWise, Inc. Designed and Installed Landscape Project in Washington, DC.
Private, secure and even cozy spaces are now growing in demand among families seeking quality time with friends and loved ones at home. This is leading to a number of landscapers establishing “cocoon” design niches, with raised planter/seat walls, built-in water features and privacy arbors/fencing, says J. Mark White, owner of Arlington, Va.-based GardenWise Inc. Colorful plantings are also often part of the package, as well as elegant stone terraces. “With the current economic situation, these intimate spaces give homeowners a private, verdant sanctuary in their own backyard,” says White, who regularly appears on HGTV’s Curb Appeal.
To read the story in its entirety, please visit LOWE’S
There are so many advantages to using recycled materials when creating a hardscape garden project — for the environment and your wallet! We use recycled concrete for paving systems, recycled glass in stepping stones (see picture,) and crushed recycled stone and granite for patio surfaces whenever possible.
An added benefit to using recycled materials? It cuts down on the cost of the installation of a landscape design. If I can incorporate larger pieces of old concrete into a design, the purchase and delivery of new materials is eliminated. Also eliminated -the cost of removing and disposing of old materials.
If you think that you can’t afford to install your next hardscape project, be sure to ask your landscape architect/designer about using recycled materials. The savings just may bring the project down in cost enough to fit into your budget.
GardenWise Garden an SL Style Solution
Just what we all need, a better view of our gardens from our porch — or at least MORE of a garden view. Southern Living editor Todd Childs uses a GardenWise garden in a video feature on how to create an ideal indoor / outdoor living space while adding better garden views. This porch space shows off a relaxing and intimate area with white louvre shutters and chartreuse seat cushions and pillows. To make the most of the home’s garden spaces, we designed and installed a wrought iron and glass panel railing to allow for sweeping views of the rear gardens from the porch. The homeowners make this porch with its new garden views a daily retreat from their very busy lives.
Spring 2011 is Coming
While we enjoy the cooler Fall weather, it’s time to think about planting early Spring blooming bulbs to ensure your beautiful early Spring garden.
Red Impression Tulips, Scilla, and Narcissus are just a few of the bulbs we’re planting this Fall for our clients. When you know a river of red tulips, a burst of cool Scilla blue, and striking yellow Narcissus that will rival the sun’s brightness is waiting for you in very early Spring, winter becomes much more tolerable!
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