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Friday
Oct172014

Project of the Month

Goldberg and Rodler broke ground this summer on a full scale residential landscape revitalization in Port Washington.  The conceptual design phase started over a year ago and is now being realized in physical form.  Given the size of the project and its many components, various permits were required by the town to allow the early 20th century house to be brought up to current codes and regulations. 

Forms are put in place before concrete is pouredRichard Schneider, a Landscape Architect at RS Designs, partnered with Goldberg and Rodler and a structural engineer to design a multi tiered wall system to retain an existing steep slope.   The footings of the walls were engineered to maximize structural integrity and prevent collapsing.  This was a pivotal component of the project and required collaboration on all fronts between designers, engineers, excavators, surveyors, and masons.  Two hazardous red oak trees were removed from the front yard and revealed the house in its entire glory sitting atop the hill like an old historic manor.

The major excavation of the front yard began with removing an existing cesspool, and installing a new sewer line from the house to connect to the municipal sewer system out at the street.  After the line was installed and inspected, excavation began for the two major walls.  We dug over 10 feet down to reach the base of our proposed footing.  Like almost all projects, some things can just never be anticipated.  While we were digging we encountered a massive boulder sitting directly in the center of our proposed wall.  The boulder is so large that moving it could jeopardize the structural integrity of an existing masonry porch in front of the house.    We solved this by forming the new wall foundation around the rock and drilling rebar directly into it.  After the walls were finished, they were faced with brick to match the traditional style of the house A brick veneer was added using reclaimed material to match the historic look of the house.

Outdoor kitchen with bluestone countertop, BBQ, warming drawer, ice maker, refrigerator, and storageNext, we coordinated the design and installation of a luxurious outdoor kitchen and bar fully equipped for entertaining.  The existing patio was extended to accommodate a custom fire pit.  This outdoor living space is a priority for the client, and we wanted to provide a comfortable environment while maintaining a rustic aesthetic.  Look for updates on this project in the upcoming months to see the final components evolve into the finished design.

 

Written by Nick Onesto

Friday
Oct172014

Winter Décor

Evergreen boughs and sculptural branches tied with a velvety maroon bow.It doesn't matter how you celebrate the winter holidays, it's hard to ignore the festive feel all around us during November and December. Going back to Pagan times, it was a tradition to bring evergreen boughs inside to make a tribute to nature's bounty. We spend so much time running around trying to get our shopping done that we spend little time appreciating the beauty all around us, both inside and outside of our homes. Then, after the excitement of the holidays, when January comes we’re left with a very drab, gray feeling. Let me help you fix that with some tips on winter decorating.

Decorative pots can brighten up a dreary, frozen January. Many people think planters should be filled with flowers and lush plants, but negative space can be powerful as well. Use bare branches from plants like Contorted Filbert or Corkscrew Willow to create a unique centerpiece for a decorative pot at your front entrance. For the center “thriller,” the colors from a Red Twig Dogwood or Yellow Twig Dogwood can pop out from a gray landscape in the middle of winter and you don’t need to worry about watering them when they’ve lost their leaves.

Andromeda start producing their flowers in fall/winter for the following spring and the closed buds make a showy display with a red ribbon and evergreen wreath.

 

 

 

Evergreens in pots are a classic winter accent. Holly, False Holly, Spruce, Pine and Fir make great centerpieces or accents in planters. Two simple conifers with twinkling white lights on either side of a front door presents a warm welcome. Evergreen boughs can also act as your “filler” in the thriller, filler and spiller equation. For a spiller, use a velvet or shiny ribbon around the rim of the planter. No place to tie it? Put a piece of wire around the ribbon, attach it to a stake and stick the stake in the pot. Or, if you’re limited on space in the pot, use a whole wreath as your filler set on the rim and plant inside the center.

Twinkling lights, evergreen boughs, berries, ribbons, wreaths and candles adorn residences. Holiday lighting or decorations can give your home a warm, unique look during the cold winter months. As a professional landscape designer, I look to spruce up the exterior AND interior of my clients’ home anywhere I can. Talk to me about your home and what you’d like to see in the winter, inside and out. 

Twinkling lights greet guests as they enter.

Written by Ashley Palko

Monday
Oct062014

Plant Today for Your Spring Display

Daffodils and grape hyacinth brighten up a still sleepy spring landscape. The yew hedge behind offers evergreen color year round, but in the spring the bulbs shine as they bloom.

Have you ever walked past a magnificent garden in the early springtime and thought, “Wow, those flowers are beautiful! What are they?” Chances are they’re spring flowering bulbs, which brighten the landscape when many other shrubs, trees and perennials are still dormant. Bulbs range from the common tulips, daffodils, and crocus to the specialty alliums, trout lily, and snowdrops. All contribute something magical to the landscape.

Part of our role as landscape design professionals is to remind our clients in the fall to think about the future and plant bulbs now for a show stopping display in the spring. It is important to plant before the ground freezes so the bulbs can grow some roots and absorb some moisture. Our sweet spot on Long Island for planting bulbs is in November. Bulbs need to go through a phase of cool temperatures like winter before they can bloom. 

Layering different types of bulbs, staggering bloom time and heights, will give you a more diverse display.

Planting depth varies for each type of bulb. Tulips and Daffodils need to be planted deeper than crocus. When designing, think about the bloom time of each type of bulb and the height. Mixing several types of daffodils that bloom in early, middle and late spring will give you a long display of flowers. When working with different heights, plant the lower growing bulbs in front if they flower at the same time. We like to plant pansies among flowering bulbs in the spring so when the bulbs are done flowering we still have some color while waiting to plant summer flowers.  Also, follow the guide nature gives us. Nothing grows in a straight line naturally. Make sure to plant bulbs in groupings whether it is a small or large area you’re covering for the best display. Massing is important with bulbs. 50 flowers scattered throughout a bed can get lost but 50 flowers gathered together make you stop, look, and admire.

Fertilization is important for any plant. As people, we make sure to ingest nutrients we need to stay healthy. The same idea applies to our plants. They use the nutrients found in the soil but those nutrients need to be replenished. We work either organic compost or bone meal into the soil around new plantings.

Grape hyacinth (muscari) and daffodil cluster naturally around a small boulder. Daffodils and muscari naturalize in the landscape, meaning they naturally divide and spread to fill in.One more thing we like to tell our clients is that bulbs are a great bang for your buck. Some varieties of bulbs naturalize and spread themselves out over time. It is hard to wait for spring when annuals and perennials can give you instant landscape gratification, but we promise it is worth it. Spring flowering bulbs also make great cut flowers, allowing you to bring a bit of spring into the house with you. Drop us a line and talk to us about flowers and ways to add beauty to your garden.

Call us at (631) 271-6460 or email us if you have any questions.

 

Written by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

Thursday
Sep252014

Aerate and Overseed for a Pristine Lawn Renovation

Core aeration follows right behind fertilization

The grass is always greener on the other side.  Well that doesn’t have to be so true anymore.  Now is a great time to start a lawn renovation and have the best looking lawn on your block.  Fall is the best season to implement a lawn renovation and will result in lush, healthy, green grass for years to come.    Over time lawns can use up their stored nutrients and lose their rigorous growing habit.  That is why it is important to resupply your lawn with fertilizer, aerate and overseed every other year or as your lawn needs it. 

A slit seeder makes grooves in the grass and controls seed drop ratioThe process begins with fertilization, and should be done at least once a year.  Immediately after, core aeration is necessary to divide and split the existing lawn root structure.   Core aeration removes plugs of dirt from clay soils, leaving a hole to be filled with seed, water and air. This void is necessary for air and water to percolate the dense soil.   A pocket of nutrients is created for the lawn to revive its root structure because there is more space to form new root growth.  When the plugs are pulled out of the ground, it decreases compaction in the lawn, especially in areas with clay based soils. 

Once aerated, the next step is to seed your lawn.  Overseeding can rejuvenate dying lawns, and invigorate new lawns.   Look for areas in the lawn that are thinner, and browning, and focus on these spots to apply new grass seed.  If your lawn is still fairly new, overseeding can be useful to create a consistent new layer of grass, giving it the boost it needs for spring.  Overseeding, when paired with core aeration is the best way to get a greener and healthier lawn because the grass seed gets into the pockets and holds moisture throughout the winter. 

Some essential things to remember when doing core aeration and slit seeding are:

  • Mark out all sprinkler heads and invisible dog fences, they could be damaged by aeration machinery
  • Do not mow newly seeded areas until it has grown to 2- 2½ inches tall
  • Avoid all foot traffic, and keep pets off of germinating areas
  • Consistently water seeded lawn everyday for at least 2 weeks; seed that dries out will not germinate. 
  • Fall is the best time to aerate and seed.

If you are not a DIY person, don’t hesitate to contact Goldberg and Rodler today.  We have developed a team of professionals to help with your lawn management and renovation.  Goldberg and Rodler can renovate and install lawns on residential and commercial properties.  We are happy to help you achieve your dream lawn today.

Written by Nick Onesto

The final result is a thriving and lush lawn

Tuesday
Aug192014

AUGUST'S PROJECT OF THE MONTH

Site conditions prior to construction at
Zucker Hillside Hospital Park

Our current project of the month is a work in progress at the North Shore Zucker Hillside Hospital Park project. As a work in progress, this open space was the original location for cottages used by staff and patient's of the hospital.  With the removal of the cottages in recent years because of safety issues, the area became a non functional space with no purpose until now. The buildings were removed and the area became an undefined space with people just wandering through haphazardly.


When we were asked by the hospital to look at the space, the options for its use started to evolve. We developed the idea of a plaza or hub to connect the activities that occur daily within each building due to the location of the area between several main buildings. 

Lighting and pedestrian elements come together to maximize the use of the space

The Goldberg and Rodler team designed a master plan for the space to include an outdoor dining area, a plaza including a sculpture, walking paths with lighting, sitting areas, refuse disposal, landscape planting and a great lawn which can also accommodate tents and large events.


In the first phase of the project, we installed concrete walking paths providing connections to the surrounding buildings and decorative lighting along these pathways. This gives a sense of security for those walking from building to building while working night hours.


In the upcoming weeks, we will add refuse collectors, benches, picnic tables and a new seeded lawn to finish phase one.


Look for more on this project in the upcoming year…

 

 

 

Written by Rich Lambert

 

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