new project on houzz.com
new project on houzz.com
Understanding what lies beneath what we see in our gardens is the critical step to successful planting. Not only do we want to plant more plants to cover and protect the soil to keep it from eroding and washing into streams, we want to boost the soils to help plants flourish.
are the ideal companions to streams and the Bay, protecting waters better than anything else. Your mission in the garden, should you choose to accept it, is to help make your garden soil function as well as the forest floor.
Problem is, most of us don't live or garden in forests anymore. Since the Dust Bowl era, we've learned to quantify the wisdom of ancient farming practices used before World War I. It took the Dust Bowl for us to get it.
As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Soil Survey, most soil science textbooks identify ideal, living soils as being made of the following:
- 45 percent minerals (rocks broken down over the millennia)
- 25 percent water
- 25 percent air
- 5 percent organic matter/biologically active/living matter (humus, compost, decomposing leaves)
Think of the soil structure in terms of layers. The minerals and organic matter are only half the story, but an important half. They provide and make nutrients plants need to produce their own food.
Organic matter and air are near the surface. Minerals, rocks and bedrock are further down. Plant roots need to be able to tap into minerals and water in the lower layers.
Nothing gets to the roots without water.
The final critical component of healthy soil is air. Yes, air. Soils could be squeezed together into a clay-like ball if bulldozers or heavy equipment have ever been present on your property. That could result in a lack of air needed for healthy root and plant growth.
Soils in our area that have been disturbed by construction only absorb 75-85 percent of rainfall, according to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Virginia Runoff Reduction Method worksheet. These soils have 15-25 percent stormwater runoff along with sediment, phosphorous and nitrogen that plants could have used on land.
Restored and reforested soils capture and absorb 95-98 percent of rainfall. Only 2-5 percent runs off into the Bay.
Despite the rain, sun and wind, peonies reign. At home here in Barboursville, our farm-based design studio collaborates with hosts Carl and Tori Tremaglio of Stonefire Station to create an afternoon rich in the sweet sights and tastes
of the best the Piedmont of Virginia has to offer.
green design at home here in Barboursville with locally grown peonies and other flowers, composed for Stonefire Station penultimate dessert toward the conclusion of the #OrangeWeddingTour 2011. Thanks to Meghan McSweeney Photography, Ann Reid, and Stonefire Station & Kitchen. Enjoy!
we are proud to be part of the 'Buy Fresh, Buy Local' movement. It's been a part of our philosophy since day one......for a Garden as Pleasing to Nature as to the Eye..........
for Weddings and Events as Pleasing to Nature as to the Eye.
Thirty Orange County Virginia hospitality and event professionals host 40 wedding and event planners, photographers and media for two days of ‘speed weddings’: showering food, flowers, wine, music, and gifts upon our guests. Mother Nature showered 4.5 inches of rain on us in 36 hours, helping answer the perennial question from nervous brides to be: “What if it RAINS?!”
All flowers and plants composed by Gentle Gardener Green Design are locally and sustainably grown. Thanks to my very able and generous growers for helping us showcase their talents and Nature's bounty for our guests at the Inn at Mayhurst, 22960. Next post: flowers and food at Stonefire Station 22923.
Each February the Piedmont Landscape Association in central Virginia creates a Valentine to the plant world and its workers: the growers, designers, plantsmen and plantswomen who paint in plants.
This year's PLA winter symposium featured Dr. Doug Tallamy of the University of Delaware, author of Bringing Nature Home, a Timber Press release, and now, a re-release. Dr. Tallamy and other stars of the horticultural world enthralled over 600 gardeners in the packed Paramount Theatre on the downtown mall in Charlottesville; in Tallamy's case, with pictures of - gasp! - caterpillars.
These action shots of caterpillars consuming native plants - most photographed in Tallamy's yard - were an unlikely inspiration for those who are often asked by clients to pick, smash, burn, poison, explode or just deter those caterpillars from eating any single leaf on 'their' plants. And as a result, many years of accumulated experience go into creating plant 'palettes' for 'low-maintenance' landscapes based on plants that have little appeal for these caterpillars; in other words, we prepare a banquet for our own human visual and sometimes olfactory entertainment that is also made to be un-appealing and dis-tasteful to these creatures.
Dr. Tallamy and his students research and publish the links between the food needed, and food provided in the regions where we live, particularly the midAtlantic. Critical to the entire food chain in any ecosystem are the plant genera that support the greatest numbers of lepitoptera and other 'bugs' in each region. Plants, large and small, feed the critters, and they in turn feed the birds, and on and on. Eventually, we too are fed.
At a time when food, and eating local, is tres chic, au courant, de rigeur, the zeitgeist, we often deny the birds in our flyways the same opportunity. We lay a banquet of foreign, strange and sometimes unappetizing material for them, and tease them with 'melting icebergs' of large expanses of foreign, clipped, never-blooming turf grasses, dotted with single 'specimen' trees and shrubs from other places, rather than a knitted-together community of native trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, grasses and forbs. And of course, the berries and other snacks on the foreign shrubs that birds DO find appetizing, end up being propagated by them. In the right conditions, these invasives then roll like a mighty tide right over the native plants. Think berberis (barberry) hosting increased tick populations in the woodlands of New Jersey and southern New England, and privet (ligustrum amurensis) colonizing the piedmont and coastal plains of South Carolina and Georgia. (There is a singular virtue, after all, in clipping privet hedges into rectangles: denying birds the berry/seed to propagate an invasive pest).
So. What? you say. So, many thanks to Dr. Tallamy and his researchers for providing a list of the top 20 woody trees and shrubs and top 20 herbaceous perennials, grasses, forbs for supporting biodiversity in the midAtlantic. This single page handout was worth the price of the day's admission. We now hand out this list at speaking engagements and to each client in our initial landscape design consultation. Gardeners and designers love lists: look at the back of any catalog.
My teacher at Kew, the British landscape designer and writer John Brookes, opened our History of Garden Design lecture with a deceptively simple statement: "Gardens are a product of the culture in the time and place they are made."
Your landscape designer, gardener, landscape contractor and maintenance crew may not tell you they have suddenly converted to stewards of the ecosystem in your yard. In fact they will probably be quite reticent on the topic. But stealthily and steadily they will begin to suggest different plants, native replacements for the Norway maples and other strangers in your midst.
A generational shift that began in the sixties and seventies will shift almost all gardens in the midAtlantic in the next decade. Individual single family homes with individual yet identical turfgrass lawns - the archetypal American expanse - limitless, with no walls or hedges to define each suburbanite's plot, will become right-sized and sized for a purpose.
Grass? Who needs it? Well, children do. Players of sport do. Those of us with Seasonal Affective Disorder do, Rather than the development default, turfgrass lawns will become one design element, but by no means the most important element, of the designed landscape. Our gardens will be designed for people, yes, as Thomas Church so rightly pointed out, but also for a more permanent, sustaining culture, not just human culture. Permaculture speaks of forest gardening, and Bill Mollison's most exciting lectures in our permaculture design course were of 'weaving', 'stacking' or layering productive systems on land and water as Nature does.
Could it be that we are on the verge of unifying our notions of beauty with a reawakened sense of stewardship?
If so, we have a few important teachers to thank, and Dr. Doug Tallamy is among them. A deep, prayerful bow seems the right expression of gratitude.
The twenty woody plants, and the twenty herbaceous perennials, grasses and forbs, will inspire us this spring in this blog and in our design work for some time to come.
Tudor Place, Georgetown, D.C.
Saturday, March 26th, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Join members of the APLD DC-MD-VA Chapter, for a hands on pruning workshop with Peter Deahl co-founder of The Pruning School.
Can this plant be saved? How many times as a designer are you asked by a homeowner whether a particular plant can be drastically reduced in size without killing it? Or, can this green blob be transformed into something more interesting? And of course, can the 'growing out' period be minimized as much as possible so they don't have to look at a disfigured plant? Here's your chance to learn the answers to these questions and improve your pruning skills.
Back by popular demand, we are once again offering a hands-on pruning workshop with Peter Deahl. Peter, an Interpretive Naturalist and ISA Certified Arborist, has spent over twenty years practicing his craft and sharing his knowledge and experience with garden clubs, schools, municipalities, Master Gardeners and Tree Steward groups. He is co-founder of The Pruning School, located in Sterling, Virginia (http://www.thepruningschool.com/main.htm).
For this workshop, we will gather at historic Tudor Place in Georgetown where Peter will start us off with a brief introduction to pruning biology before taking us outside to spend the remainder of the time getting hands-on pruning instruction. Tudor Place, a 5 1/2 acre late 19th century garden in the heart of Georgetown (www.tudorplace.org/about.html), has a large variety of mature evergreen and deciduous shrubs and small trees. Peter will instruct us in how to prune ornamentals in a biologically correct and aesthetically pleasing manner. There will be plenty of time for you to practice exactly where to make the cut and to ask all your pruning questions.
Bring your sharpened hand pruners, pruning saws and gloves. Wear your work clothes and dress for the weather. APLD will provide mid-morning refreshments, but please eat breakfast before you arrive. NOTE: It is not possible to prune in the rain. If weather forces us to reschedule, the rain date will be April 9th, 2011 and if needed the reschedule will be posted on the APLD DC.MD.VA Chapter website (dcmdva-apld.org/events.php) by 9:00 pm the night before. So if you have any doubts, check the website on Friday night March 25th.
The cost for this workshop is $55 for APLD DC.MD-VA Chapter members and $65 for non-APLD members. This is a hands-on workshop so space is limited.
If you're interested in joining us please fill out the registration form and return it with your check made out to APLD DC.MD.VA Chapter as soon as possible. If you have any questions please email Derek Thomas at Derek@thomaslandscapes.com.
For this and many other educational and networking opportunities check out the chapter website Events page at dcmdva-apld.org/events.php
Pruning Workshop with Peter Deahl
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Sponsored by the APLD DC-MD-VA Chapter
Please enroll me in the March 26th Pruning Workshop:
The above information will be used only if we need to contact you with regards to this event, and will not be given to any other organizations or used for any other purposes.
Please check the appropriate category below:
___ APLD DC.MD.VA Chapter members - discount rate $55.00
___ APLD members $60.00
___ Non-APLD Members $65.00
No refunds will be given after March 14, 2011
Please make your check payable to APLD DC-MD-VA Chapter and mail it to:
APLD DC-MD-VA Chapter
8817 Burbank Road
Annandale, Virginia 22003
|Residential Design Survey Respondents Look Ahead|
The most popular outdoor living features this year include lighting, with 96.2 percent indicating the feature as somewhat or very popular for 2011. Rounding out the top five are fire pits (94.2 percent), seating/dining areas (94.1 percent), grills (93.8 percent) and installed seating (89.5 percent). At the other end, only one in ten (10.4 percent) rated outdoor bedrooms and sleeping areas as a popular amenity for 2011.
Here are the results in graph form:
Sarah McKay, Orange 4-H teen and Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School Senior, invites the public to attend a Sustainable Agriculture seminar on Saturday, February 26th, at the Orange Train Depot in downtown Orange. The event will be held from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and is free of charge. Participants will hear from featured speakers of Retreat Farm and Virginia Cooperative Extension about local food production methods now and in the future, as well as tips for your home garden and a demonstration of nutritional smoothies you can make at home from your own garden. The seminar is part of McKay's year-long Senior project for BRVGS. For more information, please call 540-212-3663.
Sustainable Agriculture seminar
Saturday, February 26th
Orange Train Depot, Main Street, Orange, VA 22960
free of charge
Plants require 12 mineral nutrients that are essential for their growth and development. A shortage of any one element will result at best in stunted and poor growth. The plant however needs the various minerals in differing amounts. Phosphorus, together with Nitrogen and Potassium, being consumed in relatively large amounts, is considered one of the macro elements.
#phosphorus occurs in nature and is crucial for growth. As Walter Reeves,#MG Cooperative Extension master gardener teacher at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, taught us, here's how to read a fertilizer bag:
N P K "UP, Down, AllAround":
N=Nitrogen which greens plants UP, gives them top leaf/stem growth for more photosynthesis so they can feed themselves...
P=phosphorus, which plants need to go DOWN with root development to survive drought, provide a strong foundation for top growth and for bloom development...
and K=potassium, which is crucial to ALLAROUND vascular growth.
I'm no soil scientist. "UP-DOWN-ALLAROUND" is single most important thing I learned in MG training.
The finer points of how addding highly concentrated phosphorus fertilizer to alkaline soil creates a concrete-like farming disaster in developing countries and elsewhere, I learned from Bill Mollison in training to be a certified #permaculture designer.
Most important sentence of the article is last, of course (Peek at the happy ending first!)
"It may be well worth your while conducting a soil test before amending your soil. If you are in doubt, it would be best to rely on organic matter only, excluding chemical fertilizer altogether."
Compile all the managed lawn surface in New York and New Jersey and, conservatively speaking, you’d probably be talking about 15 percent of the total lawn care industry in the United States. That puts billions of dollars and high emotion into play when the two states’ legislatures start passing lawn laws.via www.safelawns.orgmore on bad science > bad policy > bad legislation > unintended consequence: putting organics and small businesses out of business
Will VA follow other states in banning phosphorus-containing fertilizers, even #organic fertilizers?
Woohoo! a translation of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, from landscape architectureSpeak to down-to-Earth gardener talk ....I am a fan!
Landscape design came a little late to the LEED party...After all, if you could build a 'green' building, but trash the site while doing it, what was so green about that?
But after a long subterranean growth period, green shoots are appearing! The ASLA, US Botanic Garden and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center have worked together on this for YEARS...and while 99% of the pilot projects for the Sustainable Sites Initiative aka SITES(TM)are public, so that people can experience these demonstration projects, it's great to see a quick translation.
In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, this is the RxH20 for our soils getting healthy, our waters getting cleaner, and our people being more conscious and healthy.
Congratulations to the writers/translators at Blue Crocus Consulting for doing the necessary work of bringing this good work down to Earth.
Gentle Gardener Green Design creates gardens and landscapes in accordance with the Sustainable Sites Initiative. Virginia is now a LEED Green Associate (one of only 92 LEED credentialed landscape architecture/design people in Virginia), credentialed by the U.S. Green Building Council as a person schooled in sustainability.
Sustainable garden revamp of this 75 year old Charles Gillette design showcases green practices: sustainable container gardens featuring native and drought-tolerant plants, bench fragment re-upholstered with LiveRoof panels, living wall demonstration panels on locally made wrought iron arch, careful organic care to revive boxwoods and crape myrtles. Garden and house open through 11 October 2010 to benefit Richmond Symphony Orchestra League. All container gardens and garden ornament for sale through Boutique on site.
enjoy pictures before, after, during revamp of 75 year old Gillette garden!
GREEN MATTERS: PANEL DISCUSSION IN CHARLOTTESVILLE ON
SUSTAINABLE LIVING OUTDOORS
AT CHARLOTTESVILLE COMMUNITY DESIGN CENTER
Tuesday 12 October 5-7PM
Want to know why green matters? Join us October 12th for "Sustainable Living Outdoors" at the CCDC, from 5pm - 7pm for the return of the Green Matters lecture series. A special thanks to our sponsors: Blue Ridge Home Builders Association, Airflow Systems, Inc. Dominion Power, and Latitude 38.
Sustainable Living Outdoors
Expand your living space into the outdoors, create healthy habitats for butterflies and birds, grow your own food, and protect the environment. Join us for a discussion of how to design your yard and landscaping to require less water, lawn maintenance, while incorporating edible landscaping and native plantings.
Charles Hendricks, AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED AP
The Gaines Group, Architecture and Design
Karl Shank, The Natural Garden
Virginia Rockwell, VSLD, VCH,
LEED Green Associate, Gentle Gardener
This event is free and open to the public.
For more information:
join us to talk about establishing sustainable gardens/landscapes this autumn, the BEST time of the year to plan and establish your garden.
Rothesay, as the 10,000-square-foot house is called, is this year's Richmond Symphony Orchestra League Designer House. The property has been redecorated by 46 designers and artisans including Washington's Mary Douglas Drysdale, who did the living room.
Even more impressive are the over 7 acres of gardens surrounding Rothesay, including several rooms designed by Charles Gillette and renovated by landscape designers certified by the #VSLD, the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, the oldest professional landscape design certifying body in the Commonwealth. Check out the Allee renovated using sustainable garden methods by #Gentle Gardener Green Design.
Richmond Symphony Designer House & Garden Tour
Design: Virginia R. Rockwell, VSLD, VCH, LEED Green Associate
Green Projects Management: Scotty Guinn Dilworth
The Allee is:
A Charles Gillette-designed garden, serene yet playful, with a bit of mystery, and a surprise: You may just learn something new…just as the children of The Secret Garden (1911) did!
The Allee showcases
sustainability with aesthetics in keeping with the character of the home. As specialists in sustainable landscapes, container gardens, and event/floral design, we showcase the best of 'green' methods in one outdoorroom’.
We discovered this ‘Secret Garden’ under layers of deciduous leaves and vines covering Gillette’s 1930’s design for herringbone brick walk, steps and walls, the leaves slowly composting beneath the boxwoods and thus feeding them.
Your journey ends with a private view of the James framed by Magnolia grandiflora ‘Kay Parris’ and a wrought iron Arch featuring living wall panels and one of Rothesay's own bench fragments 'reupholstered' with living roof panels of drought-tolerant and heat-reducing plants. The existing buxus sempervirens (American Boxwood) in the Allee we believe were used as ‘nursery’ stock to keep the boxwood plantings around the grounds at Rothesay supplied sustainably. The existing lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtles) lift and direct the eye to the views.
Q: What Makes this garden ‘green’?
A: Existing, Native, Repurposed, Local, Reusable, Organic,
• Locally made wrought iron arch by blacksmith Paul McGill, McGill Metalsmithing, Keswick, VA
• Re-purposed fisheye mirror suspended in peak of Arch
• Living wall panels and LiveRoof 'upholstery' on bench fragments by SGDesigns, Richmond, VA
Pairs of brick red pots atop the wall plinths demonstrate 'sustainable container gardens' : how to use native and drought-tolerant shrubs, perennials, grasses in containers for a period, then transplant out into the garden, accented by only small numbers of drought-tolerant annuals.
• Existing charming Rothesay tennis footwear signs
Existing Rothesay benches and wrought iron chairssycamore limbs as pedestals
Only ONE brick had to be replaced at the top step after 75 years!
• Existing crape myrtles were fed and watered and pruned of dead wood and vines, NOT TOPPED
• Existing American boxwood were cared for organically this year: fed with slow release organics and calcitic lime per soil test, watered, and sprayed with horticultural oil spray and insecticidal soap. Dead, diseased and stems with leafminer were removed. Spring pruning took no more than 1/3 of the foliage, opening up light and air circulation.
•NO IRRIGATION was installed.
For More Information, Contact:
Virginia R. Rockwell, VSLD, VCH, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE
For Tickets, go to www.rsol.org
By our Sustainable Projects Manager, Scotty Guinn Dilworth of SGDesigns.
Scotty Designs Green ...roofs, living walls, living fences, rain gardens, and more, in association with Gentle Gardener Green Design and independently from her base in Richmond, Virginia.
..."benefit-cost analysis for Modesto's 90,000 street/park trees found $1.89 returned annually for every $1 invested in stewardship."
Seizing an opportunity to fill a void in the garden rose market resulting from the departure of major national growers, Eastern Shore Nursery of Virginia is broadly expanding its production of roses. The move comes as Conard-Pyle, parent of Star Roses, is withdrawing from finished plant container rose production and Jackson & Perkins has filed chapter 11, reports Scott McCaskey, account director at Goldman & Associates Public Relations.
the effects of the financial meltdown: shortages in new, improved, heirloom, tried & trued varieties of plants. inventories reduced at all levels: grower, rewholesaler, garden center.
Why custom plant buying from a VA Licensed Nursery Stock Reseller (Gentle Gardener Green Design) makes sense: we find what you WON'T find at retail for our landscape design clients only.
I.D. THE ROSE IN THE PIC AND COMMENT TO POST YOUR ANSWER ON OUR BLOG AND FACEBOOK PAGE...#in
moon gardens: to be experienced in evenings from the sanctuary of a master suite balcony.....white gardens to relieve the eye of the busy-ness of colour.....two gardens in central Virginia, Zones 6B and 7A. portfolio update at http://web.me.com/gentlegardener
. for more information, please contact email@example.com.