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Thursday
Mar122015

Getting the Most from a Small Scale Garden

Improving your outdoor living space doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Goldberg and Rodler specializes in landscape projects of all sizes. Small scale projects can enhance an existing landscape aesthetic, create a comfortable atmosphere, and increase functionality of your garden. Site design can create private space in a large landscape, or maximize usability on smaller properties. Small scale projects are great opportunities to add seating or overhead elements to existing patios and decks as well as highlighting specimen plants. If you don’t want a total landscape makeover, we can work within your budget to meet your goals with a small space garden design.

A small garden and patio space for relaxing with friends and family.

The ideal outdoor space enhances the overall perception of your landscape. You can create specific moods using planting strategies and sensitivity to the creation of microclimates. Microclimates are isolated pockets of the environment that are different from the surrounding climates. They can be hotter or colder depending on the degree of screening provided by plant massing and sun/shade exposure. It doesn’t take much time for initial plantings to fill in and start creating the intimacy that define small space gardens. Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) is a great evergreen tree for screening larger spaces while Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata) can provide excellent screening in smaller spaces.  Skip Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus "Schipkaensis') is a relatively fast growing shrub you could use in smaller shady areas to screen neighbors or unsightly utilities.  Take advantage of the opportunity to highlight a specimen plant.  Small trees and large shrubs like Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea pendula) and Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) can act as the centerpiece of your intimate space.  This area can become a unique destination, not only for yourself but for family and friends as well.

A narrow backyard that seemed unusable, has been transformed into an intimate gathering space.

Overhead structures like pergolas or arbors can be a tasteful addition to your existing outdoor space. They are custom wood or PVC structures that can be a free standing entity or an extension of your house. They invite opportunities for seating and entertaining. Depending on the spacing of the rafters, you can control the amount of filtered light as well as shadow patterns. An organic addition attached to these pergolas and arbors can be trained vines that add seasonal color and filtered summer shade.

A pergola trained with wisteria will create a comfortable microclimate over time.Small scale site design in your landscape is an opportunity to introduce intimate landscape details and can offer you privacy and improved aesthetics at a price fit for your budget. These designs can provide your landscape with a suggested destination and focal point while utilizing perspective to frame and showcase views. These techniques are also perfect for making small spaces seem larger and opening up tight spaces that feel cramped and uncomfortable. Consult with the experienced staff at Goldberg and Rodler to bring your small scale site design to life. 

Written by Nick Onesto

Wednesday
Mar042015

Introducing: Mary Catherine Schaefer Gutmann

Mary Catherine Schaefer GutmannGoldberg and Rodler is thrilled to announce a new addition to our staff of horticultural experts. Mary Catherine Gutmann has joined Goldberg & Rodler, Inc. and brought her significant horticultural knowledge and experience to serve our clients. Mary Catherine has over 25 years of plant diagnostic and garden care skills, most recently with Ireland Gannon Associates and Martin Viette Nursery.

What does that mean for you, our valued client? In her new role as After Care Manager for Goldberg & Rodler, Inc., she will be inspecting, reviewing and providing specific horticultural advice for all of our landscape projects, new and old. For our maintenance clients, Mary Catherine will manage a schedule of regular visits to look after all the fine gardening details for our clients' lawns and gardens. If your landscape project needs any type of service or replacements plants, Mary Catherine will be involved with that as well.

We've added another important professional to our team in an effort to be more efficient and, most importantly, better serve our clients.

So when your hear that Mary Catherine is going to visit your garden, or if you see her out there performing an inspection, go out there and say hello. She will happily answer your questions so fire away and be prepared to raise your horticultural IQ.

You can reach Mary Catherine several different ways:

Email: marycatherine@goldbergandrodler.net
Office: (631) 271-6460 x26
Cell: (631) 258-4004

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