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Friday
May062016

An Award Winning, Peaceful, Passive Garden

The soothing sound of water trickling over the rocks creates a calming backdropIntroducing our 2016 NALP Grand Award Winner, 2015 LINLA Gold Award Winner for Passive Use and 2016 NYSNLA Environmental Beautification Award Winner. We designed a soothing space in East Northport with a waterfall and pond to create a relaxing environment with a harmonic balance using natural rock formations and the sound of flowing water. The interplay of light and shadow add to the relaxing garden scene. Plant textures and vibrant color surround the irregular bluestone seating area.

A cast iron urn elevates colorful annuals plantings in the landscape, offering a unique focal pointThe homeowners are very adamant about their privacy and don’t want to see any visual signs of neighbors while they are in the backyard. The new border planting throughout the site was woven into existing vegetation. Large hemlocks surrounding the property are routinely treated for woolly adelgid and were pruned to allow for light and air to reach the understory. Our client did not want a typical row of screen planting, so our solution was to utilize a woodland aesthetic with thick, layered planting and a charismatic border.

Carefully crafted views through the landscape highlight different focal points at every turnThe homeowners love to entertain and have large parties for up to 100 people, making a large lawn area a necessity. Our clients also adore their children. They have had dedicated annual planting themes based on their kid’s favorite colors, showcased at their graduation parties. Each year, a new annual theme is designed for the site. The homeowners are very involved with their landscape and annual color displays for spring, summer and fall. They are consistently involved with providing inspiration and suggestions for planting. We have added large cast iron urns and cast stone planters that provide an elevated explosion of color throughout the landscape and have increased the impact of the changing seasons.

This multi seasonal display is enjoyed by both friends and family throughout the year and is a tranquil getaway from the bustling commotion of day to day life.

Tuesday
Dec152015

Tom Rodler - LINLA 51st Man of the Year Award

LINLA is Proud to Announce the Man of Year…Mr Tom Rodler.
Click on photo to learn more.
Each year, since 1965, the Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association, LINLA, gathers to celebrate the accomplishments of its fellow industry leaders. For many years, LINLA has had the pleasure to distinguish individuals for their notable contributions to our industry, highlight their hard work, and recognize their dedication. For the 51st Annual Man of the Year, Tom Rodler was awarded this honor.

As President of the award winning landscape and design firm of Goldberg and Rodler, he has followed in the footsteps of his father, Robert Rodler, by overseeing each and every aspect of the business. Tom has been a staunch supporter and believer in educating both consumers and members of the industry. Tom has taught classes in landscape design, drafting, and landscape construction at the State University of New York at Farmingdale for the past seventeen years. All of his classes were very hands on and student centered. He has also been a guest professor at SUNY Cobleskill and The State University of Morrisville. Tom has been a valued instructor for the review programs of the New York State Nursery Landscape Association Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional exam. Tom lectures at various garden clubs and school educational programs to help promote the landscape industry to the public here on Long Island. He has also been involved with career day at different high schools throughout Long Island and taught various educational programs to students to stimulateThe National Association of Landscape Professionals Grand Award
Goldberg & Rodler's Seaside Sustainability Project.
Click on photo to learn more.
 interest in the industry.

Early in his career, Tom starred in an extra help landscape education program on cable television. The show involved interviewing guests, making interactive presentations relating to different subjects, and answering live calls and questions on the air. Ask him to tell you some stories about this experience!

President Tom Rodler plants a new tree, with the help of Cohen Children's Medical Center patients.
Click on photo to learn more.
Tom has also volunteered much of his free time to supporting the industry. He has served as Past President of both the Long Island Nursery Landscape Association and the New York State Nursery Landscape Association. He is responsible for the design and development of the Garden of Awareness at SUNY Farmingdale and the Garden of Hope at Eisenhower Park for the Long Island Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Harry Chapin Butterfly Garden in Huntington's Heckscher Park, and contributing to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Farmingville.

In his personal life, Tom enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, walks in the woods, and time at the beach.

Friday
Oct162015

Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition: 50 Shades of Landscape

This is the third in a series of articles on Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition (click here for the first entry on Color and here for the second entry on Texture). Today we want to talk about light and shadow in the landscape. Light and shadow could be simplified into sun and shade but light and shadow are about so much more than that. Light and shadow are about depth and dimension.

Dappled shade on Irregular Bluestone patio surrounded by a vibrant perennial border.There are different types of shade. When talking about plants in particular, there is light, partial, full and deep shade. There can be a total blocking of light, like from a solid roof or dense shade tree, or dappled or intermittent shade, like from a lace canopied shade tree or pergola. Shade is great for sitting and dining areas where you’d like prolonged shade and cooler temperatures. Mature shade trees are worth their weight in gold. Think twice when locating a new pool. You can easily cut down a tree, but it can take decades for a newly planted tree to offer enough shade for a large area.  Most people want their pool and pool patio to be in a sunny area. The sun offers natural warming of the water, but even with warm water, swimming in the shade can be chilly. A pool patio with some umbrellas for sun protection is perfect for keeping the area nice and warm while cooling off in the pool.

There are different types of plants for sun or shade and they run the gamut from full sun all day long to full shade and anywhere in between. Pay attention to flower colors for different lighting scenarios. In deep shade, white, apricot, pale yellow, pastels of pink and lavender, and other light colors really pop and brighten up a shadowy area. In bright sun, vibrant and saturated colors stand out more than their paler counterparts. Deep reds, corals, purples, yellows, oranges and blues stand up to the sun’s dramatic rays.

Pergola casting striped shade over a sophisticated seating area, emphasizing the architectural detail of the overhead structure.Outdoor lighting not only extends the use of a space from day to night, it can be used to highlight architectural features such as this Westchester granite fireplace.Just as shadows can be functional in the day, they are also useful at night. Use shadows for dramatic effect when it is dark out. Pergolas that cast filtered shade during the day can also act as a dramatic filter for light at night. Lighting angled up or down through a pergola sets the scene for an intimate gathering. Using lights in the garden can highlight more than the architectural elements like pergolas and stone walls. Utilize spotlights to display specimen trees. Moonlighting in a mature shade tree is more than functional; it creates a fun nighttime atmosphere. Moonlighting involves placing downward facing light fixtures 30 feet up inside of a tree’s canopy. With the right lighting scheme, not only can a property be used day or night, it can also enhance the beauty of both man and Mother Nature’s architecture.

Aesthetically, light and shadow play a huge part in the drama of our gardens. Functionally, you need a varying palette of height, spread and depth from your plantings to create a harmonized space. Hierarchy is king in our next piece on scale in the garden!

 

Written by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

Wednesday
Sep232015

Farewell to Summer, Autumn is Here

Records indicate that this summer and, in fact, this year is looking to be the hottest on record.  This extreme heat coupled with very little rainfall has placed our trees, shrubs and lawns, under considerable stress. Irrigation systems, which we tend to over rely on, are not designed to replace Mother Nature, but to supplement her.  Have you ever noticed how much greener and lusher the garden appears after a rainfall?A lush expanse of lawn thrives after recent renovations and some TLC.

 To help counter this stressful condition and give our lawn and gardens a helping hand, Goldberg and Rodler has several ala carte services to offer you. These methods have been proven to be very effective in improving the health and beauty of your landscape. The cooler temperature of fall and our special services are a perfect combination.

 Right now your lawn will benefit from core aeration and over-seeding. Core aeration is the systematic removal of small plugs of lawn, including thatch and some soil, which are tossed out of the ground by a machine called a core aerator. The small plugs sit on the top of the lawn, distributing the soil and other elements to help promote the growth of the new seedlings which are then over seeded onto the lawn. The cores also bring valuable air circulation to the lawn’s root system.Core aeration follows behind fertilization to reinvigorate existing lawn

 You have now relieved the soil of harmful compaction and made an excellent medium for your new grass seeds. The grass seed will be evenly spread over the entire lawn area to make an even, new addition of young, healthy grass.  You have now helped the lawn become healthy, more resistant to drought and also better protected from insects, pests and diseases.

 Another option to strengthen your living landscape investment and irreplaceable specimen shade trees are precise soil injections of the proper nutrients delivered by deep root injection and soil drenching.

 Providing the proper nutrients into soil is our specialty. We do this when the weather is cooling down in the fall. These treatments will also provide the proper nutrients where they are needed most at the root system and reduce the stress that this past summer has caused.

 G&R certified professionals spray anti-desiccant to protect Hollies, Rhododendron and LaurelsLast of all, adding winter protection with an application of Vapor Guard, an anti-dessicant,  on your broadleaf evergreens will help protect your rhododendron, azalea, hollies and laurels by coating the leaves with a beneficial clear wax like substance. This slows down transpiration and therefore helps the plant retain moisture through the drying winds of the winter months.

 After a hot, dry season like this one, now is the time to protect, preserve and invest in the future health of your landscape. Call today to arrange a complimentary consultation and reserve a spot for these services in our upcoming calendar.

 

Written by Gary S. Carbocci

Thursday
Jul302015

Adapting the English Cottage Garden 

The English Cottage Garden has become one of the most beloved garden styles, provoking images and visualizations of the idyllic garden.  The mystique and romance of the English Cottage Garden captivates every gardener’s imagination.  Interestingly, the earliest history of cottage gardens teach us that they were for the most part, strictly utilitarian, planted mostly with fruit trees, vegetables and herbs with a pen for chickens.  It wasn’t until the 18th century, when beautiful cottages were built for the ‘well to do,’ that the small working gardens developed into the beautiful flower gardens we admire today. This well placed bird house adds charm to an otherwise simple flower border.

It is a quandary, how we can love and want our gardens to emulate the cottage garden, but we abhor the idea of informal, messy looking flower beds, the very essence of the cottage garden.  Having had the pleasure of visiting Sissinghurst Castle in England, one of the great examples of romantic gardens, and Monet’s garden in Giverny, France,  I remember thinking that I would be tarred and feathered by my clients had I designed these gardens.  However, the overall effect was complete and total awe.  They have a wonderful random and haphazard quality about them that appeals to today’s most avid gardener. 

So how do we meld the nostalgia of the English garden with our busy lifestyles and need for minimal maintenance?   Let us begin with garden accessories. Maybe we can add a comfortable, well-placed bench where one can relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the garden, or an arbor covered with roses or clematis inviting one to enter.  A picket or antique wrought iron gate at the end of the front walk, or groupings of terra cotta pots filled with a riot of colorful annuals and situated in sunny spaces around the yard can mirror the charm of the English Cottage Garden. Jasmine, gardenias, rosemary, and other fragrant annuals or culinary herbs assimilated into the pots offer the visitor the lingering fragrance so important if one wants to achieve the true essence of the cottage garden. 

Meandering moss, stepping stone or gravel paths, cottage style bird accessories such as feeders, baths and houses are details that can also add charm to the cottage garden.   Raised beds planted with vegetables and herbs, a berry patch, dwarf fruit trees or a few pots of tomatoes are details so characteristic of these garden spaces that at least one should be included. A perennial border at Sissinghurst Castle in England.

To emulate the flower gardens of England, consider inter-planting your existing perennial gardens or annual borders with taller perennials and annuals.   Cleome, although it can’t possibly replace the allure of hollyhocks, is a great old fashioned annual that can represent the charm and informality of the cottage garden.  Other favorites include Salvia ‘Black and Blue,’ Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’ and Nicotiana.  Although perennials such as Filipendula ‘Venusta’ and Campanula persicifolia would certainly be more appropriate to the character of the garden, they cannot compete with the long blooming season annuals offer. Although located in Giverny, for me this bench in Monet's garden is a classic representation of English Cottage charm.

Whether you add a bench or plant the terra cotta pots you have hidden in the garage with a potpourri of color, or you add all of the above, you will be lured into the charm and nostalgia of yesteryear and simpler times.

If you would like advice or guidance creating your cottage garden, please call or e mail me to schedule a consultation.

Written by Maria Morrison – Ferrero

Photos by Maria Morrison – Ferrero