September Gardening List Day THREE


This weekend it’s all about September Gardening.  There are so many things to do this month that we’ve decided to make it a three day event.  Today, it’s all about water and your garden spaces. 


· Maintain the water level in your water garden. Keep fountains and water features properly maintained.  As we approach winter, be sure your water features and are in good working order before you drain them and turn them off as the colder weather approaches.   

· Replenish mulches around trees and shrubs, and water every two to four days, three times a week if possible. 

· Late summer. Mature trees can lose hundreds of gallons of water daily through transpiration; unless this lost moisture is replaced, the trees will lose fruit and leaves.  Be sure to water the trunk of your trees and the upper canopies as well.  Water generously this month, especially after the hot summer we had this year.  Mow around the trees to remove vegetation that can use the trees’ moisture.  Mowing also creates a smooth surface for harvesting.     

·A dry month.   September can be very dry, so keep a close eye on the moisture in your container plants. It doesn’t take but one severe wilting of the plants to ruin the quality of the container display. 



Lovely Bones are GardenWise

Late spring is a great time to take a close look at your garden to decide where you need to make some changes.  Truly memorable gardens get their character from lovely bones — benches, water features, garden accents,  sculptures, containers and planters,  stone work, arbors/pergolas, custom fences and gates, terraces, patios,  garden  lighting, and edging around  your plant beds.
Many first time gardeners are often surprised and discouraged when they find their  lovely  and very expensive collection of plants are nothing more than too many random plants piled together in a forgetable outdoor space.  Take the time out now to think about your garden’s bone structure.  
When you add architectural elements to your garden spaces that can include a bench, stone accents, an arbor, landscape lighting, a patio of flagstone, and a curving stone path to lead to your large grouping of beautiful plants, your  garden will come to life, and you’ll forever change your home life.

GardenWise project in McLean, VA

Intimate Indoor/Outdoor Garden Living

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.  


Landscape Architecture and Small Spaces in DC

Landscape Architecture Month

To continue celebrating Landscape Architecure month, we’re posting some  excerpts  from  an  interview  Mark  did  with  reporter  Jay  Bildstein about  Landscape Architecture trends, designing roof top spaces, and how landscpae architecture can increase a home’s value, 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 mile from 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 the pots, or planters, to have a one of a kind look. It’s also has two very different water features which are elements that make the space so distinct and unforgettable.   It’s 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 livig space; it’s particularly important in urban or city gardens to have these little oasises that serve as an extension of the house.  An escape into a quiet and relaxing intimate garden area .  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.