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Entries in trees (15)

Friday
Oct162015

Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition: 50 Shades of Landscape

This is the third in a series of articles on Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition (click here for the first entry on Color and here for the second entry on Texture). Today we want to talk about light and shadow in the landscape. Light and shadow could be simplified into sun and shade but light and shadow are about so much more than that. Light and shadow are about depth and dimension.

Dappled shade on Irregular Bluestone patio surrounded by a vibrant perennial border.There are different types of shade. When talking about plants in particular, there is light, partial, full and deep shade. There can be a total blocking of light, like from a solid roof or dense shade tree, or dappled or intermittent shade, like from a lace canopied shade tree or pergola. Shade is great for sitting and dining areas where you’d like prolonged shade and cooler temperatures. Mature shade trees are worth their weight in gold. Think twice when locating a new pool. You can easily cut down a tree, but it can take decades for a newly planted tree to offer enough shade for a large area.  Most people want their pool and pool patio to be in a sunny area. The sun offers natural warming of the water, but even with warm water, swimming in the shade can be chilly. A pool patio with some umbrellas for sun protection is perfect for keeping the area nice and warm while cooling off in the pool.

There are different types of plants for sun or shade and they run the gamut from full sun all day long to full shade and anywhere in between. Pay attention to flower colors for different lighting scenarios. In deep shade, white, apricot, pale yellow, pastels of pink and lavender, and other light colors really pop and brighten up a shadowy area. In bright sun, vibrant and saturated colors stand out more than their paler counterparts. Deep reds, corals, purples, yellows, oranges and blues stand up to the sun’s dramatic rays.

Pergola casting striped shade over a sophisticated seating area, emphasizing the architectural detail of the overhead structure.Outdoor lighting not only extends the use of a space from day to night, it can be used to highlight architectural features such as this Westchester granite fireplace.Just as shadows can be functional in the day, they are also useful at night. Use shadows for dramatic effect when it is dark out. Pergolas that cast filtered shade during the day can also act as a dramatic filter for light at night. Lighting angled up or down through a pergola sets the scene for an intimate gathering. Using lights in the garden can highlight more than the architectural elements like pergolas and stone walls. Utilize spotlights to display specimen trees. Moonlighting in a mature shade tree is more than functional; it creates a fun nighttime atmosphere. Moonlighting involves placing downward facing light fixtures 30 feet up inside of a tree’s canopy. With the right lighting scheme, not only can a property be used day or night, it can also enhance the beauty of both man and Mother Nature’s architecture.

Aesthetically, light and shadow play a huge part in the drama of our gardens. Functionally, you need a varying palette of height, spread and depth from your plantings to create a harmonized space. Hierarchy is king in our next piece on scale in the garden!

 

Written by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

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

Thursday
Jul032014

Natural Privacy Screens

Green Giant Arborvitae with a mix of Annabelle Hydrangea and daylily in front.There is a certain serenity and security to enjoying your garden without the feeling that your being watched.  Privacy is very important to most of us and creating a beautiful natural privacy screen for your property and outdoor living room with plants is great way to introduce color, texture and fragrance into the landscape, and it can be a much more attractive solution than a fence.

Tall evergreen trees like Nellie Stevens Holly, Blue Spruce and Great Western Arborvitae are an effective way to give you privacy screening.  These provide dense evergreen foliage all year round and are low maintenance plants. Some evergreens can be sheared to form a dense privacy wall with the effective height being maintained taller than building codes allow for fencing.

A dense holly hedge in front of blue Spruce creates a double layer of privacy.In addition to trees many shrubs come in upright form.  Privet, Yew and Japanese Holly have dense branching patterns and they create a natural visual barrier. Shearing these regularly will lend a more formal look to your landscape.  These shrubs also provide an excellent background for flowering shrubs and perennials planted in front. This creates a multi-tiered privacy planting with 4 season interest.

To provide additional seasonal interest to any evergreen privacy planting, mix in a variety of flowering plants like fragrant Viburnum, Lilac and Butterfly Bush.  The next layer of interest comes from long blooming perennials like Nepeta, Rudbeckia and Echinacea. These plants will attract birds and butterflies and add colorful splashes providing spring, summer and fall interest to your yard.

If your yard requires plants that will tolerate more shade than sun and also provide the privacy you desire, plant varieties like Skip Laurel, American Holly and Rhododendron along the property line and supplement that planting with perennials like Hosta, Astilbe and Fern.

Another screening option is to use lattice panels with vines planted either in the ground or in decorative containers placed around the edges of your patio creating a private outdoor room. Vines such as Clematis, Wisteria, Trumpet Vine and climbing Hydrangea will give you a lush vertical carpet of foliage and flowers.

As you can see, there are many ways besides fencing that can screen out your neighbors and help create a quiet intimate space within your garden.  Do it the natural way by using plants! Let Goldberg and Rodler's team of professionals design and install a natural privacy screen to privatize your personal garden oasis.

Written by Rich Lambert

Friday
Mar212014

Winter Damage Assessment - Tree Care Long Island

Our team follows safety protocol pruning dead trees and shrubs, keeping your home and family out of harms way.It’s been a rough winter. Many of our trees and shrubs were damaged: Leaning over, possibly breaking with heavy snow loads, filled with dead wood and hazardous to our landscape. Our children will be playing outside soon so you need to check for safety as well as the health of your trees and shrubs.

With our certified arborists, Tree Care Long Island can provide a thorough diagnosis and evaluation of your property before the growing season begins. You probably haven't been outside recently and walked around your property to see what winter damage there is, so it is important to have a professional help evaluate your property.

Shrubs as well as trees should be treated, pruned or removed if they are hazardous. From our observation, properties that were pruned before Hurricane Sandy suffered minimal damage to property and home. Many properties still need this type of maintenance oriented horticultural pruning. Is your landscape ready for the next major storm?

Winter and early spring are the ideal time to address winter damage and structural issues with pruning and removals. Fertilization and environmentally safe pest control are also recommended.

Protect your property and family. Start a free site evaluation with our certified arborist from Tree Care Long Island.  Call (631) 271-6460 or email us today.

Written by Richard Schneider

 

Tuesday
Mar182014

Spring Landscape Preparation

Snowdrops brighten the landscape in early spring. Photo cred. Sal MasulloWinter is retreating and the dormant landscape is thawing, ready to wake up and stretch out its limbs and leaves. Start your spring cleanup early by generating a check list for you landscape.

1. Walk around your property and assess snow/ice damage to gardens and hardscape. The heavy ice and snow builds up on top of plants and the branches will break under pressure. The ice also causes freeze-thaw which results in heaving and cracking in asphalt and pavers over time.

2. Identify potential drainage problems - As the ground thaws completely, settling may occur, resulting in new pooling and damp areas. Watch out for these now!

3. Lawn Care - Your lawn may seem flattened and weak in the early spring, so lightly rake your lawn to stimulate new growth to begin, but don’t rake too hard or you can damage your lawn and cause burn spots.

Pruning your shrubs and trees in late winter/early spring is a good way to promote new growth. Goldberg and Rodler Inc. has certified arborists and horticulturalists that can help you with analyzing the integrity and health of your trees and shrubs. Some damages aren’t recognizable to the average eye, but our experts can identify the signs of stress and teach you along the way. Removing dead wood in early spring will cause shrubs and trees to grow vigorously and increase the amount of flowers. Pruning can bring shape, light and air to your overgrown trees resulting in better overall health and protecting your landscape investment. Spring is the best time to plant slow-to-root trees such as Red Maple, Flowering Dogwood, Magnolias, and Oaks because they need a full growing season to establish their root systems. This is also a great time to apply a granular time released fertilizer to your planting beds.

As your spring bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinth show their colors you can start dividing your perennials and spread them out in your landscape. They will grow throughout the spring and summer giving you more color and texture in your garden and provide a great way to stretch your planting budget.

Spring is bursting with color, featuring sweeping Daffodils and Star MagnoliaFrost is still a concern in the first months of spring. Temperatures can spike in early spring but drop drastically at a moment’s notice, so if you planted tender annuals already, you will want to take precautionary measures such as covering the plants with containers or bringing potted plants indoors. It is a good idea to plant hardy annuals that can take the cold temperatures such as pansies, marigolds, and dusty miller, then transition with those plants to your summer plant pallet.

Check for insects and diseases affecting your plants. For example, you may notice little white scale eggs on your plants which are an infestation rather than a pathogen. These pests hatch and live off the bark of the tree. Plants that are frequently infested with scale eggs are Magnolia, fruiting trees and shrubs and many varieties of Euonymus. If you catch them early enough this spring, the plants can be protected by pruning the infected branches, or spraying with organic, environmentally safe horticultural oil.

Venture out and enjoy the comfortable warm temperature of spring and transition your life outdoors yet again. The amount of work to be done can be daunting so if you have any questions or require guidance, give Goldberg & Rodler a call and our friendly staff will work with you personally. 

Written by Nick Onesto