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Entries in landscape design (10)

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

Thursday
Mar132014

Spring Cleanup and Startup

Spring is here.

The following are 20 things you should know about spring.

Who's ready for tulips, pansies and Dwarf Fothergilla flowers?

1. March 20th is the first day of spring. Before long the first day of summer (June 20th) will be here!

2. Assess winter damage to plants and the landscape. 

3. Apply pre-emergent to lawns and beds before the forsythia finish blooming.

4. Prune back hydrangeas and roses now. However, other plants are just waking up, so don't do any heavy pruning on other trees and shrubs. Have a certified arborist evaluate your fruit trees.

5. Cut back liriope and perennials. Now is a good time to divide perennials.

6. Watch for settlement from freeze/thaw cycles around new pools and drywells.

7. Review photos from last year's vegetable and annual plantings.

8. Add organic amendments like compost to the soil in early spring.

9. Rotate crops, especially vegetables. Organically add nitrogen back to the soil by planting soy beans or peas.

Contrast bulb flower colors for the biggest bang in the landscape!10. Mulch NOW while the beds are open so you don't have to dance around emerging perennials. Pull back winter compost from tree and shrub root crowns. Avoid mulch volcanoes!

 

11. Plant summer annuals after May 15th (wait for danger of frost to pass). Having a summer party? Plan your annuals now for robust color and lush beds. Get your tubers ready. Dahlias and Canna Lilies are ready to go in soon!

 

12. Monitor your irrigation system. DO NOT overwater. Adjust the watering schedule as summer approaches.

 

13. Experiment with alternatives to impatiens. DO NOT plant Impatiens walleriana! They have a problem with downy mildew all across the United States and they WILL disappoint you. Try something new!

 

 

14. Bring in your bird feeders. Birds have plenty of food now. Clean and store them for next winter.

15. Spray horticultural oil to smother insect egg cases. Check your lawn for divots. Does it look like a really poor golfer has been there? Those holes are from squirrels, raccoons and birds looking for food.

16. Watch for frosty nights and protect newly planted and tender annuals and vegetables.

17. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. They're popping up all over. If you have a small piece of property or too much shade, this is a great way to contribute to a cooperative garden and reap the benefits in fruits, vegetables and friendships.

18. Test your lawn's pH. Let the soil and our trained horticultural experts tell you what it needs.

19. Check the garden shed for old and outdated fertilizers and chemicals. Dispose of them properly.

20. Last, but certainly not least, consult with your favorite landscape designer. Now is a great time to contact us. Or you can call to set up an appointment with Sal Masullo, senior landscape designer, at (631) 271-6460 to discuss your ideas.

Soon pansy faces will great us from pots and daffodil manes from the beds.

Written by Ashley Palko and Sal Masullo

 

Monday
Nov112013

Dear Deer, Please Stay Away From My Garden

These WERE hostas until the deer ate all of the leaves!

Deer ate all of the leaves off of these sedums. Deer may remind you of an iconic childhood cartoon, Bambi, but a real life herd will see your garden as a feast of delicious plants and flowers. If your beautiful garden is decimated by a herd of white tailed deer, you might jump on the computer and research how to deer proof your landscape. The number one thing to realize is that there is no such thing as a deer proof landscape. If deer are hungry enough they will eat anything but they prefer narrow leaf evergreens and fleshy, water filled plants like Hostas, Daylilies and Hydrangeas. Deer don’t usually eat thorny shrubs like roses or barberry, but they are known to nibble the new growth because it’s still soft and palatable. Deer routinely browse vegetation 5-6 feet off of the ground and are mostly nocturnal feeders. Bucks can weigh 250-300 pounds and consume about 4-10 pounds of food, per day, on their vegetarian diet. They typically have their offspring in May-August so you can expect the population to rise in the summer. In the winter deer become desperate for food and they will turn to plants they typically leave alone earlier in the year. The only options for defense are planting strategies, installation of fencing (8’ minimum suggested), and commercial deer repellents (taste and odor based).

Spreading Boxwood (along fence on left)Installing deer resistant landscape plants is the best way to manage browsing damage on your property. Deer are very particular when it comes to what plants they like to eat and implementing a specific planting strategy can direct them elsewhere in search of food. Deer tend to stay away from trees such as American Holly, Birch, Corkscrew Willow, Pitch Pine and Red Pine. Some deer resistant shrubs include Boxwood, Caryopteris, Japanese Plum Yew, Microbiota, Heather, and Osmanthus. You can bring color to your garden without sacrificing flowers to hungry deer. Deer find perennials such as Ligularia, Bleeding Hearts, Catmint, Astilbe and Russian Sage unappetizing. Ornamental grasses are usually left alone because deer don’t like the texture. Some good specimens for your deer resistant garden are Big/Little Blue Stem, Hakonechloa, and Fountain Grass.

Hakonechloa and Ligularia (Photo by Sue Sotera)

Deer fencing can be expensive but is probably the only option for large tracts of land. The fence must be installed with proper footings and should be cleared of debris around the immediate area. This prevents the deer from jumping over and digging underneath the fence. It is recommended that the fence be at least 8 feet high, which could be considered unsightly in some settings.

Commercial deer repellents are plentiful and selecting an adequate product can be confusing because of all the different ingredients and mixtures. An untreated garden can become a buffet for this woodland pest. Deer are deterred by strong fragrances and what they consider to be foul tastes. Repellents can be costly and should be applied directly to the plants every few weeks to ensure effectiveness. Some irrigation companies even offer an inline system that will distribute a repellent during watering. It is important to know what smells and tastes deer hate most to get the most bang for your buck. Look for natural repellents with ingredients that include putrid eggs, fish oil, garlic, hot pepper or some combination thereof. Bitrex is the common name for Denatonium Benzoate which is the most bitter chemical compound known to exist and is mixed with these commercial repellents. You can shop online for a brand that fits your budget, but you might need to try several to find out what works best for the deer on your property. 

With an arsenal packed full of planting strategies, deer fencing and deer repellents, your landscape may stand a chance against deer browsing and cause them to look elsewhere for their sustenance. 

 

Written by Nick Onesto

Friday
Sep272013

Let's Get Started Now

The change of seasons always make us reassess things around us. Summer makes you think of beaches, vacations and muggy nights filled with fireflies. Fall has us thinking about returning to school, holidays, and shorter, colder days. As it gets chillier out, we're reminded that Old Man Winter isn't far behind. Here at Goldberg & Rodler we like to think a little bit further ahead. As designers and planners we always have an eye towards the future. We're already thinking about spring of 2014 and our job as consultants is to educate our clients and potential clients to "begin with the end in mind."

An intimate front entry garden for a residence.

Knowing what you want to accomplish when updating your garden is important. Expressing when to have it done is equally important. Anyone who has had home improvement done knows everything takes longer than we anticipate. If you'd like a landscape ready to use for spring and summer of 2014, you need to start planning now.

Here are some questions you might ask yourself  when thinking about changing your landscape:

                Do I want a beautiful spring display of tulips and daffodils?

                Should I protect my investment in the landscape (whether new or established)
                with winter mulch?

                When is a good time to prune my trees and shrubs?

                Is there a major event I'm planning to have at my home next year?

                Am I thinking about a new pool, patio, front walk, driveway, lighting scheme,
                perennials, privacy screening or another facet of landscape construction?

All of these questions lead to the same conclusion. Start planning now. Some items (such as bulb planting) might take several weeks from planning to installation, others (such as pool design and permits) may take several months. Spring is usually the busiest time of year for the landscape industry, so why not catch the undivided attention of your favorite landscape designer in the off season? Let's get started now! Do you have a question for us? Comment below or contact us.

Isn't this where you want to be next summer?

Friday
Jun212013

Introducing: Sal Masullo

2013 is a year of expansion at Goldberg & Rodler. Sal Masullo started with us in February and everything's been coming up roses ever since. Sal graduated from SUNY ESF (State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry) with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1983. He spent a semester abroad in Nice, France studying the gardens, plazas and other outdoor spaces of southern Europe. Previously, Sal worked for Ireland-Gannon, a landscape contractor, before making the move to Goldberg & Rodler this year. Many of his projects have received awards at the local, state and national levels. Sal fits in perfectly at Goldberg & Rodler with his upbeat personality and his expert knowledge of plants, design and spatial reasoning.

In his free time, Sal loves to go fishing, play the drums in his band and prepare and enjoy fine foods. We look forward to his continued contributions. If you'd like to get in touch with him, contact us here.