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Entries in garden (21)

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

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

Monday
Jan192015

Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition: Color

Cool white and purple mixed with hot yellow and red beautifully contrast each other for summer. I often use the perennial Dusty Miller in my annuals arrangements. It lasts a long time and gives the other plants a beautiful foliage accent.This is the first in a series of articles on landscape design principles and elements of composition. There are many different principles of good landscape design. Color, texture, scale, light and shadow all contribute to making an outdoor space enjoyable. Landscapes are customizable and unique site conditions can offer both inspiration and a challenge. One of the most frequent requests I hear when establishing a program for a client is, “I want color!” My clients derive great joy from sitting in their backyards surrounded by shrubs and perennials bursting with color or to look out your kitchen window and glimpse annual flowers threading through the landscape. There is a veritable rainbow of summer flowering annuals to choose from every year, but they’re not the only option for color in your landscape.

Black-Eyed Susan 'Goldsturm' on fire in a mass.There are different color tones you can use to set the feel for a garden’s color palette. Soft pastel tones or hot vibrant colors, cool colors like blue and purple, even white and green count in the garden and can change the feel of the space. On the softer side, great for cottage and perennial gardens, pale pastel pink Astilbe ‘Erika’ brightens up a shady area. The creamy, buttery tones of Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’ and Daylily ‘Happy Returns’ show off pastel yellows for summer sun.

If you want a landscape on fire in full sun, interwoven groupings of saturated oranges, reds and yellows play off each other perfectly. A mass of pure yellow Black-Eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’ backed by the deep red Coneflower ‘Tomato Soup’ with golden yellow Daylily ‘Stella D’Oro’ along the front border of the bed highlights the hot tones of summer.

Classic blue Hydrangea bordering a wooded area define the edge of the space.On the opposite end of the spectrum, cool off with a purple or blue flowering shrub like whimsical purple flowering Buddleia or classic blue Hydrangea, putting cooler, deeper colors into the landscape.  Purple and blue need a bright hue to highlight their best. Yellow and orange compliment blue and purple very well but white is often forgotten as a color. Add some bright white New Guinea Impatiens for a cool twist along the border or plant a white Pee Gee hydrangea to punctuate a mass of periphery planting.

Green is an often overlooked color in the landscape. A deft eye is necessary to highlight greens rather than letting them fade into the background. Edges of a wooded area can be softened with rhododendrons and azaleas and then transition into more organized groupings of perennials and ground covers as the bed meets a maintained lawn. Hydrangeas can offer a lush border while keeping a naturalistic feel to the edge of a wooded area. 

Although it is used mainly as a shade plant, Hakonechloa will take some sun. Paired with Red Knockout Roses, the lime green foliage and red roses really complement each other.Color is more challenging in a shaded area. Flowers tend to do their best work with more light but there are some standout shade plants that have a lot to offer. There are a lot of shade flowering perennials and shrubs and color isn’t just about flowers; foliage comes in many colors! Japanese Painted Fern, Hakonechloa, and coral bells (which have their own rainbow of cultivars to choose from) will brighten up any shady space. Again, don’t overlook the power of white in the landscape. White flowers or foliage in a shady area brightens up the darkest spots. Variegated Liriope, many different cultivars of variegated Hosta and white flowering perennials like Bleeding Heart, Hellebore, and Gallium (Sweet Woodruff) are all options for shady spots.

Color is an important consideration in the overall context of your garden and needs to be thoughtfully integrated with the other elements of good composition introduced earlier. In my next article I’m going to highlight textures in the landscape so don’t miss it! 

Written by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

Pictures by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa