Thanks to the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers - the certifying body for landscape professionals in Virginia with the longest track record - for hosting Cville photog Ben Greenberg yesterday at Maymont for a truly educational winter meeting. Ben gave the designers in the room a quick class on basics of landscape photography for those of us who shoot most of our own portfolio pics while dodging heavy equipment and trip hazards like tools, cords and rubble. http://vsld.org/photogallery.php?reg=ch#
Then the professional photographer, whose book was recently published by UVA Press, http://www.naturalvirginiabook.com, gently and kindly coached us in improving our own photos. Reminding us early on in the talk, and often, that he had never seen a photograph that could not be improved, he led us through our own designers' photo gallery that we publish to you, our prospective clients, hoping that they will elicit a phone call, text or email for landscape design services.
A fun discussion of many images ensued, including on one of my photos, which is on houzz.com. It was even more fun when I compared the pro's recommendations with what I notice using all those houzz and google analytics tools: what people click on, and spend more time on, is an image that does NOT tell them exactly everything, does NOT tell them what to think and where to look. Here's a snippet of what I heard :
"Why are we looking at the back of the chairs?"
"What would you see if you sat in the chairs? Why is the photo not of THAT?"
"What are the chairs facing out of frame? I'd like to see that too."
"I can see myself in one of those chairs."
"The tree is in the way."
"No it makes it more interesting. I like the mystery."
"We want our clients to see themselves in our landscapes."
"I like that there is no house dominating the landscape."
by the Narragansett and/or Pequot tribes in what is today Rhode Island.
So here are a few more views of the same space, less mystery, more directed, more informational. But when I am shooting - well, snapping - photos early in the morning or late in the evening 'golden hour', what I am really sharing is my favorite landscape experience:
I am alone, early or late in the day, in the quiet, when the birds and the sound of the waves breaking on the barrier beach are the only thing I hear. What I want to create for you in the photo, and for #landscapedesign clients, is that incredibly joyful and peaceful mix of serenity and excitement, of gratitude and humility, for being alive in this moment in this beautiful place.
On some level, all professional landscape designers are in the business of soul conservation.
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.
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
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!
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
Rothesay..., the 2010 Richmond Symphony Orchestra League Designer House, is situated on a spectacular site overlooking the James River. This year, for the first time, the Designer House will not only feature the work of interior designers but also the work of 10 landscape designers, a few of whom are featured in the videos below.
check out the video of Scotty Guinn Dilworth, Project Manager for Gentle Gardener Green Design, at http://vimeo.com/12752764...on our green approach to this Charles Gillette garden design..and visit the house and garden, open NOW through midOctober. tickets at www.rsol.org