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Wednesday
Mar042015

Charging into the Future: Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations

A Honda Fit recharging at Montauk Manor.Have you noticed the increase in hybrid and electric vehicle ownership? Originally invented in the 1800s (yes, the 1800s!), electric cars were outnumbered quickly by gasoline powered vehicles after Henry Ford debuted his affordable, mass produced Model T. A brief attempt at a revival happened in the 1970s during the gasoline crisis. Only now, with an emphasis on the environment, pollution, reducing our carbon footprint, rising fuel costs, and recognition of the finite nature of fossil fuels, have electric vehicles come back into popularity and are gaining steam.

Electric vehicle (EV) ownership is on the rise. Some benefits of electric cars are no tailpipe emissions, lower fuel and maintenance costs, and tax breaks. Here on Long Island, you can use the HOV lane with a Clean Pass sticker, which  you can get if your vehicle’s “…US EPA fuel economy rating averages at least 45 miles per gallon and meets the California Air Resources Board SULEV emissions standard…”  according to New York's Clean Pass Program. Many electric and hybrid vehicles qualify, but check the website for the full list of approved cars. Electric vehicle’s overall mileage ranges aren’t as high as a gasoline powered car or hybrid (yet!) and you need to be able to charge while on the road. Even in a gasoline powered car, you need to refuel. Gas stations are ubiquitous, but charging stations are more difficult to come by. Most electric vehicle owner’s charge at home or at work, but what do you do when you’re on the road?

We are excited to be participating in creating a sustainable future and helping our clients move to the forefront of energy efficiency by installing state of the art charging stations in various Long Island locations for their customers. Some of our forward thinking clients are energized by the idea of providing electric charging services for their customers. This past fall we had the opportunity to design and install Electric Vehicle Parking/Charging Stations at two locations. One station is at the historic Montauk Manor, a resort in Montauk, NY, and the other is at a popular retailer, Bottle Buys, in Glen Head.

A sustainable addition to an existing parking area.Montauk Manor, at the very eastern end of Long Island, had no nearby charging stations open to the public at the time we installed the charging station. A guest of the resort has complimentary use of the charging station but anyone from the public may come by and purchase charging time to recharge their electric car’s battery.

At Bottle Buys in Glen Head, charge while you shop. Only a few miles from the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway, you can grab a nice bottle of wine for dinner on your way home from work while you charge your car.

Are you interested in reducing your carbon footprint? Have you bought an electric vehicle or know someone who has? Are you the owner of a business that would like to install a charging station? Talk to us about how to move ahead with EV charging stations and other sustainable landscape solutions.

Written by: Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

Pictures by: Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

Thursday
Feb192015

Introducing: Maria Morrison-Ferrero

Maria Morrison-Ferrero

Goldberg and Rodler is proud to introduce Maria Morrison-Ferrero as our newest design team member and a very Happy New Year is in store for all! As an award winning garden designer, Maria has been creating distinctive gardens all across Long Island for over 27 years.  Her passion and enthusiasm are evident in the wonderful gardens that have become her signature design style.  Maria’s philosophy is to work with color, texture and garden accessories that are reflective of her client’s lifestyle. Her work has been exhibited at several Designer Showcases, she has been published in Newsday and is a contributing author of two nationally distributed garden design books.  Maria’s success as a garden designer can truly be measured, not only through the beautiful gardens she has brought to life, but by the many loyal clients she has worked with time and again over the years. 

You may want to check out her two new blogs ‘Designing an Old Fashioned Garden’ and ‘Adding Sense to the Garden’ as well as a upcoming blog ‘The Contemplative Garden’ at www.goldbergandrodler.com

Maria resides in Northport and in her free time enjoys sailing, tending to her garden, reading and interior decorating.

If you would like to get in touch with Maria please contact her via email: maria@goldbergandrodler.net

Friday
Feb132015

Adding Sense to the Garden

Most of our gardens are designed and appreciated for their visual beauty. We love color and for the most part this gives us great pleasure. We do not often consider the notion of appealing to the other senses of smell, sound, touch and taste, but imagine how much richer our appreciation of the garden would be if we did.

SMELL - Have you ever been within sniffing distance of a lilac and not stopped what you’re doing to breathe in the incredible fragrance? In early spring, a well-placed Viburnum carlesii, near a door or window, will intoxicate you with its sweet spicy scent, as will Calycanthus and Clethra alnifolia in the summer months. One of my favorite trees, Magnolia grandiflora, with its gorgeous leathery foliage and large, waxy camellia like flowers, will captivate you with its citrusy scent in early summer. Fragrant vines such as Wisteria, Honeysuckle and Fragrant Clematis will enchant you, as will other plants like Jasmine, Camellia, Peony, Casa Blanca Lilies, Lavender and Lily of the Valley. Many herbs are fragrant with rosemary at the top of the list. The lingering scent from the simple act of rubbing your fingers on its foliage will take with it all the stresses of the day!

Water tumbles over the rocks into the pond below creating a soothing melody.A birdhouse offers shelter for different songbirds in the garden.SOUND - Water in the garden, whether in the form of a small recirculating pond with a bubbler or a formal fountain, is one of the most peaceful sounds in nature. So is the sound of songbirds, and attracting them to the garden is relatively easy. Offer the shade of a tree, a large shrub for cover from prey and a food source of berries, worms and nectar for sustenance. They will delight you with their melodies from dawn to dusk. Bird baths, feeders and houses are delightful garden accessories that will also attract birds year round. Wind chimes offer a less organic, but effective way to add sound to the garden, however, be careful to choose one with a pleasing tone and melody.

Smooth, leathery Croton accents light, feathery Angelonia.TOUCH - The sense of touch is less obvious in the garden than the other senses, so the design elements, whether a stone sculpture, bench or urn, need to be more obviously placed so that one cannot help but touch them. From the exfoliating bark of River Birch to the soft touch of moss, plants offer an endless combination of tactile appeal. How can you stroll past the fountain grass without wanting to feel the softness of the foxtails or the plumes of Miscanthus. The succulent leaves of Sedum, the soft and silky foliage of Lambs Ear’s, and the leathery flower petals of Magnolia grandiflora, all beg to be touched and should be planted within easy reach. When designing your garden consider plant combinations with contrasting textures. Coarse textured plants, whether from foliage or flower, tend to be accents in the garden and should be combined with large groupings of fine textured plants.

TASTE – Today, most gardens are designed for beauty and visual enjoyment, but there appears to be a renewed interest in getting back to the time before supermarkets, when gardens were organic and sustainable. Dwarf fruit trees in the lawn, a berry patch, grape vines on a pergola, hanging baskets of cherry tomatoes on the porch, a trellis of cucumbers or containers filled with various vegetables and herbs on the patio not only give us personal enjoyment and satisfaction, but also feed the soul. What tastes better than a tomato freshly picked from your garden or grapes from the vine? Where space is limited, container gardening is a great option and can be placed wherever there is at least 6 hours of full sun and water is available, hopefully near the kitchen. Garden centers, web sites or your favorite garden designer, can help choose the right container and plants for you.

By choosing to explore and implement these possibilities beyond the visual experience, we will most assuredly be rewarded with a greater appreciation and enjoyment in our garden. 

Written by Maria Morrison-Ferrero

 

If you would like to get in touch with Maria please contact her via email: maria@goldbergandrodler.net

Friday
Jan302015

Designing an Old Fashioned Garden

A week after Super Storm Sandy, my husband and I purchased a 120 year old Victorian house on a secluded ½ acre of property in Northport.  Restoring the house was my husband’s priority.  My focus was to create an old world setting that lent itself to the historical architecture of the late 19th century without the formality, elegance and maintenance associated with the ‘Victorian Garden’.

A view from the porch into an old-world garden, featuring a fragrant lilac.

Before getting into the process of designing the garden, we needed to consider the plants appropriate for an old fashioned garden.  We considered several ornamental trees including dogwoods, Japanese styrax, magnolia and cherries.  Lilac, hydrangea, boxwood, viburnum, holly and roses were on the short list of shrubs.  Old fashioned perennials would include bleeding hearts, phlox, peony, bearded iris, lady’s mantle, balloon flower, perennial geraniums, daylily, baptista and lily of the valley just to name a few.  When considering an annual list, you would have a hard time coming up with flowers that are not considered old fashioned.  It is safe to say most any annual would work so long as you plant in large masses of one color.  Take creative license when including newer varieties of old fashioned plants, especially shrubs like hydrangea and roses.  Newer varieties of hydrangea come in a multitude of colors and most rebloom throughout the summer and early fall, especially when deadheaded regularly.  Knock out roses and carpet roses come in incredible colors also re blooming from mid spring to late fall.  Personally I love the double flowering and the blush pink varieties of knock out roses and the coral and amber carpet roses.  There is a carpet rose called ‘Scarlet’, and if you’re a fan of red flowers, this one is a must have.  The combination is breathtaking when planted next to Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’. 

Border of purple hydrangea

The first stage of this project was to evaluate the existing plants and decide what to remove, transplant or leave alone.  We kept several old hydrangea along a fence that bloom the most incredible shade of deep purple.  They took my breath away!  An old lilac, a weeping cherry, Japanese maple and all the healthy mature trees also remained.  Other plants that did not fit into the ‘old fashioned’ theme like euonymus, pachysandra and Alberta spruce, were removed and donated to friends and neighbors.

The next stage involved redesigning the brick driveway. Then we added a serpentine irregular bluestone walk to open the view of the wraparound porch and an irregular bluestone terrace to give the appearance of agelessness.  Once the masonry was complete, the garden beds were defined, amended with compost and rototilled.  Now the fun began…planting!!!   

Screening an ugly stockade fence along one side of the property was the first priority.  A mixed border of Nellie Stevens Hollies, English laurels, Ilex crenata and varieties of Viburnum were chosen, all having an old fashioned aspect and lots of texture, with the bonus of berries for winter interest.  The foreground plantings included Hydrangea varieties ‘Endless Summer’, ‘Teller’s Blue’ and ‘Annabelle’,  a tree form Hydrangea ‘Pee Gee’, Abelia ‘Rose Creek’, Platycodon grandiflora, lots of Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and coral carpet roses with an old bird house as a focal point in the garden.

A planting composition of Pee Gee Hydrangea, Platycodon and coral carpet rose.

The foundation planting included Ilex ‘Dragon Lady’ and several varieties of boxwood as hedges, groupings and single specimens for evergreen structure.  For color, groupings of Hydrangea ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Endless Summer’ were planted with a mass of Hydrangea ‘Mini Penny’ surrounding an old dwarf lilac adding a wonderful fragrance along the porch for several weeks in the early spring! 

Spring in Northport is just weeks away and I can hardly wait!

Written by Maria Morrison-Ferrero

 

If you would like to get in touch with Maria please contact her via email: maria@goldbergandrodler.net

Friday
Jan232015

Project of the Month: Seaside Sustainability

LINLA Gold Award Winner 2014: Seaside Sustainability

 

We are proud to showcase our Gold Award winning project Seaside Sustainability, recognized by an esteemed panel of Long Island judges, for its unique environmentally sensitive solution in combination with a dynamic seaside aesthetic.
 A waterfront property can be captivating, entertaining, and breathtaking while showcasing the wonders of nature and her natural amenities.  However, there are risks associated with living on the water’s edge.  


Here is where you can watch the tides go by in a secluded seating area that is encapsulated by an aesthetically pleasing and functional design.

As many people know, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy brought with it a wave of destruction and chaos.  Tidal surges and winds were the major environmental forces that have now reshaped the landscape of this Hewlett Harbor property and many communities throughout the south shore of Long Island.

The waterfront perspective has been completely re-imagined into a passive use garden. A Hollywood juniper survived the storm and stands strong in the background.

A landscape we designed many years ago was one of the many in Sandy’s devastating path.   Tidal surge and prolonged salt water inundation during the storm compromised much of the plantings and all of the lawn.  Large trees were uprooted by strong winds and flooding was a major issue on this site. A once pristine waterfront retreat had become a horticultural nightmare and remained susceptible to future damage.  Disheartened by the damage to their property, the homeowners were contemplating selling their home to cut their losses.  Our professional design team worked with the homeowner to provide a sustainable solution by creating a more resilient landscape which they were going to use as a selling point when the house eventually went on the market.  The homeowner’s main concern was flooding in the lower level of their home and keeping the property lawn-free.  Our design initiative was to create a more sustainable landscape by implementing natural stormwater management practices, while being sensitive to the homeowner’s naturalistic and organic needs.  

The backyard has now become a series of interconnected spaces with an emphasis on planting.A revitalized waterfront landscape with an organic vegetable garden and gravel walkways.

 

 

A revived natural landscape shines through with a lush plantscape and ornamental birdhouse.The evolution of the planting design on the property was a result of input from our client and consideration of the coastal environment.  We planted trees, shrubs and perennials that are salt and wind tolerant that will endure many of nature’s challenges while offering a variety of colors and textures throughout the year.  Salt tolerant evergreens such as Eastern Red Cedar and Hollywood Juniper were planted for privacy screening on both sides of the property without compromising the spectacular water views.  Shrubs such as Shore Juniper and Winterberry were planted along with Dwarf Fountain Grass and Little Bluestem along the water’s edge to frame and enhance the water views from the house, patios, and bulkhead sitting areas.  We repurposed an existing formal rose garden that was trashed by the storm into a bountiful organic vegetable garden within a circular paver design to retain interest during all seasons. 

These landscape renovations were recently put to the ultimate test during a record rainfall when the high tide breached the bulkhead and started flooding our client’s landscape.  As the hours moved on and the tide moved in, all floodwater that moved into the site was diverted away from the house and infiltrated the ground as planned.  The success of a sustainable landscape can only be measured during extreme weather conditions, and this design proved its effectiveness and resiliency.  

The final overview of a resilient landscape design that combines both form and function to create a lush and entertaining waterfront lifestyle.

Written by Nick Onesto

Pictures by Susan Sotera