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

Southern Pine Beetle – Is This the Next Evergreen Epidemic?

In 1985, Hurricane Gloria blew through Long Island and after all of the devastation and destruction, it left behind a longer lasting legacy on one of our favorite evergreens. Up until then Tsuga canadensis (Eastern Hemlock) was a Long Island favorite for screening. A little pest known as woolly adelgid has been ravaging our population of hemlocks ever since.

Now a new pest with an unknown potential for damage and devastation to our pines and spruces in addition to our already stressed hemlocks has been discovered on Long Island. The Southern Pine Beetle. This destructive little bug has worked its way north. Three separate manifestations have been noted in Suffolk County, a first for New York State. Our pine barrens and even the evergreens on our property may be at grave risk.

Southern Pine Beetle tracks on the cambium layer after bark has fallen off.Here on Long Island, the preferred host for this destructive pest is pitch pine, however all types of pine, spruce and even our currently ravaged hemlocks may be susceptible. If you have any of these evergreens on your property, be vigilant. Have your property inspected by an arborist or horticulturalist that is aware of the telltale signs that this beetle may be present. Scattershot pattern holes or popcorn shaped clumps of resin on the exterior bark of the evergreens, or an S-shaped web of tunnels under loosened bark (see picture) are a few signs to be aware of in affected trees. Affected pine trees usually show discolored needles. By the time the needles are turning color or large chunks of bark start to fall off, it may be too late to save those trees. You may be able to salvage other trees on your property with quick action.

Our certified arborists, professional landscape designers and certified nursery professionals will conduct a complimentary inspection of your evergreens to help ensure the integrity of the landscape. If you have any questions, just call our office at (631) 271-6460 or email us and we’ll be happy to help you.

Written by Sal Masullo

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Gardener in Your Family

XmasBlogPhotoHoliday cheer is in the air. Merry Christmas from Goldberg and RodlerAs our days become shorter and a little colder, you know what is coming next, so no moaning or groaning while you are in the middle of holiday shopping.  Now is the time to start strategizing as we lay a fire in our fireplaces and turn up the heat in our homes.  The holidays are about family and friends, and of course presents, lots of presents!  To keep in the gardening holiday fun, check out the gift ideas that our staff at Goldberg & Rodler has come up with for that gardening family member or friend.

Seed Starting

Winter is a great time for going through seed catalogs and planning your flower or vegetable garden.  A gathering basket (wire bottom) or a wicker basket has a duel purpose, one, it makes an excellent container for filling with seed starting goodies, and then it becomes a harvest basket, filling  it with all those vegetables and flowers that will be growing.  Some of the seed starting goodies you can fill it with can be seed starting tray, bag of seed starter soil, gloves, seeds, plant markers, mister water bottle and a book on gardening or a vegetable cookbook.

 

Perennial Gardener

If you are gathering a gift for a perennial (that’s the plant that comes back every year) gardener, fill a small red wagon, specifically useful for pulling fertilizer, tools or plants around the garden, full of planting tools.  Metal plant markers with a grease marker so they can label their perennials, pruners, sheep shears, a small digging shovel, gloves, a garden kneeler, butterfly house, a lightweight hose, gardening clogs or boots, and a great perennial gardening book, are some of the things every gardener could use.

Happy Chanukah from Goldberg and Rodler

Organic Gardener

For that organic gardener, what better container to fill up with presents but a rain barrel or composter!  Organic gardening books, certified organic seeds, a bee skep, mushroom growing kit, birdhouse and/or a bat house are some of the presents to fill that container.  There is also the indoor composter that sits on your kitchen counter, so in winter you can still add to the organic garden.  The folding seat that is a tool bag is also very useful too.

Some of the lightweight gifts can also be a gift certificate from Goldberg & Rodler for us to come to your home and walk with you around your garden(s), consulting about what should and could be done.

Written by Mary Catherine Schaefer Gutmann

Winter Décor

HOLIDAY-POTSEvergreen 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

Do You Have Cabin Fever?

After a January snowstorm in Centerport. Photo by Nick OnestoIt looks like old man winter still has his grip on Long Island. As I look outside, the ground is still white and it is snowing again with even more snow in the forecast for later this week. It would be nice to get outside and go for a walk without worrying about frostbite or dodging over snow banks to avoid oncoming traffic. Boy, would I like to go somewhere warm and sunny for a week or two.

What can we do to alleviate cabin fever as the winter wanes and the spring approaches? If you can take a few weeks in a warm climate, go ahead. If you can’t, here are a few ideas to help deal with the dreary days remaining in winter.

Your indoor plants are living with less light during the winter which translates to needing less fertilizer. How do you know if they need to be fertilized? Well, if they are actively growing or flowering indoors, fertilize them. At least once this winter, give your indoor plants a boost with some fertilizer. Make sure the soil is moist before fertilizing. Water soluble 20-20-20 is good for non-flowering houseplants and 15-30-15 fertilizer is best for flowering plants. If your indoor plants are dormant, suspend fertilizing until the spring.

Housebound weekend days seem to go by more pleasantly when observing nature through a window into your garden. Install a bird feeder outside a window next to a comfy seat and watch the wide variety of birds display their colorful feathers against the gray and white of winter. You can vary the type of seed you provide and thus vary the population of birds that come to visit. Try to keep the squirrels away by placing the feeder away from jumping off points like branches or furniture. The less landing surface the squirrels can find on the feeder will help deter them as well, but a hungry squirrel is a determined squirrel, so there are really no squirrel-proof feeders. Watching the squirrels’ antics is sometimes more entertaining than watching the birds eat!

A picture every year to document where your bulbs come up helps to plan for next yearAnother way to banish the winter blues is to look ahead. What would you like to improve outdoors? Planning is an important part in the process of developing a landscape and all of the elements that are integral to a wonderful garden. I like to start with a photo review of last season to assess and evaluate what worked well and what needs improvement. If you don’t have photos (think about photo documenting your garden next season), you can mentally walk through your garden in your mind’s eye and jot down a few notes. Once the snow melts and the weather warms up a bit, take a walk around your property again. How is the hardscape holding up? Are the trees safe and healthy? What areas of the garden need some help and what areas are doing well? Then develop a strategy for what to improve and how to do it.

Shopping in your own backyard for produce is quick and easyI like to cook, so I always make sure I have enough room for a variety of herbs. What was I missing last year that I want to make sure I have on hand this year? How will I fit in additional plants? Will I have to swap out a variety? How did your vegetable garden do last year? Do you need more light or compost? Maybe you need to have an arborist evaluate your shade trees and selectively prune to boost your vegetable garden’s yield. Maybe you don’t have an irrigation system, and after the hot, dry summer we had in 2013, you might consider putting in a drip system to make your life easier.

This is where landscape design professionals can be of great value. Planning, creativity and garden development strategy are our expertise. An accomplished and experienced landscape designer can help you remodel portions of your garden, recommend hardscape improvements, help develop new garden areas or prepare plans for a complete renovation if that’s the path you’re on. Prepare a wish list including your favorite plants, garden themes and lifestyle needs. A landscape plan can be a great way to develop and improve your property with both short and long term goals in mind. Contacting a landscape designer at Goldberg & Rodler in the winter will give you a jump start on spring.

Other ways to beat the winter doldrums include attending garden lectures and workshops or settling in with a good gardening book. Check with your local garden center, library or arboretum to see what activities are on their schedules. If you are looking for a good book focusing on sustainable design and methodology, try “Grow More with Less,” by Vincent Simione, the director of Planting Fields Arboretum and Historic State Park in Oyster Bay, Long Island. It is a great guide for a homeowner or professional that can put you on the right track developing your garden in an easy and sustainable way.

So there you have it, a few ideas to distract you from winter until we can get outside again. Good luck, and if you’d like to talk to me about your garden, call me, Sal Masullo, at (631) 271-6460 or email me salm@goldbergandrodler.net, and I would be happy to discuss your landscape with you.

Written by Sal Masullo

The Benefits of a LiveRoof System

A green roof or wall is just one of many steps toward more sustainable and environmentally friendly landscapes. We installed two green roofs at one of our award winning projects in Eaton’s Neck using the LiveRoof System. The residence was designed specifically for several green roofs and not just for aesthetic value but environmental benefits as well.

The biggest advantage of installing a LiveRoof is to reduce stormwater runoff. The less polluted water that enters the sewer systems and groundwater is better for the environment. In the long term, if less pollutants enter the groundwater, less money will be spents treating runoff before it reenters the groundwater system. Reducing asphalt roofing surfaces also helps to reduce the heat island effect, where heat is absorbed during the day via streets, roofs and other dark, impermeable surfaces and released at night. Urban areas especially are a large contributor to the heat island effect, increasing global climate change. Sedums, which make up the majority of green roof plantings, transpirate at night, which cools the air. They also create an insulating barrier for both temperature and sound. A 25-50% energy savings is possible.

The beauty of LiveRoof, a pre-grown modular system, means that it has minimal irrigation needs. Once established, the plants require very little maintenance. We specify fire resistant succulent plantings that have year round interest. Plants have the ability to clean the air of pollutants as well keeping the air quality higher around your home. LiveRoof’s lightweight modules decrease load on the roof in comparison to plant-in-place systems and repairs require minimal disruption of the system because trays can removed and replaced individually.

LiveRoof plant modulesLiveRoof is a modular system of living plant material. These LiveRoof applications can be installed on flat or low pitched commercial and residential roofs. The sister product to LiveRoof, LiveWall, is a great way to dress up a non-descript architectural wall or to add some life into an intimate patio garden or hot tub area. The LiveWall can even be used to grow edibles and herbs for a kitchen garden. As a certified installer of LiveRoof, Goldberg & Rodler is your source for all things green.

Contact us today for more information, or visit LiveRoof to find out more.

Holiday Decor: To Light or Not to Light

LIGHTING: Most of us have some appreciation for the extreme holiday lighting we see at this time of year, but at our own home subtle holiday decor may be more to our liking. Let’s start with a subtle approach for your front door. This is the main attraction which sets the tone for the grand entry. The illumination should be elegant enough to match your indoor decor and lifestyle while adding a holiday spirit for you and your guests as they enter your home. Evergreen roping with lights to frame the door or pots with illuminated evergreen shrubs flanking the entrance add this elegant touch. Now try adding a few ground flood lights with a amber colored bulb to wash the house with a soft, mellow glow. If you prefer more lighting, pick a specimen tree or a few shrubs in a prominent location and wrap the branches heavily with lights. This will give your home and landscape a festive feel.

HOLIDAY-POTSDECORATIONS: If you like, skip most of the lights and add live plant material. Use evergreen roping, pine cones and bows to add both color and texture. Hang a wreath on your shed, gate, front door or barn with a spot light. The wreath can be bittersweet wine, grape vine or even winterberry twigs for a unique look. Set electric candles in the front and side windows to create a feeling of warmth and home. This will give the home depth when seen from the road. You can also use plant material from your yard and add them into your garden pots or make your own spray to hang on a door, gate or mail box. Use Holly, Inkberry, Rhododendron, Skimmia, Evergreen Magnolia, Cypress or Birch branches or other plants with decorative berries. With the cold weather they should look fresh for weeks.

SPECIAL EVENTS: Let’s say its New Year’s Eve or another celebration. Add more glimmer to your existing holiday decor with white or silver bows and twigs. Change the amber bulb to white or blue for new crisp look for your party.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. For more ideas, contact our design specialists here at Goldberg & Rodler.

Written by Rick Schneider

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.

Introducing: Nick Onesto

Continuing our year of expansion at Goldberg & Rodler: Newest hire Nick Onesto interned for us in the summer of 2012 and recently graduated from SUNY ESF (State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry) with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. He spent his second to last semester in Santiago, Chile and expanded his professional interests in  ecology and sustainability and developing an urban design thesis analyzing existing public spaces in Santiago and making recommendations to serve as models of greenways, native plantings and green infrastructure for the city’s future development. Nick is an amiable person and always ready to lend a hand, whether it’s installing annuals on a hospital campus or archiving Goldberg & Rodler’s 55 years of photographs piled high in the barn out back.

In his free time, Nick likes to hike and listen to and make music. He’s currently studying to become a licensed landscape architect in New York State. If you’d like to contact him, email us here.

Storm & Winter Damage

Strong winds during last year’s Hurricane Sandy cause a lot of damage to trees and shrubs in the landscape by uprooting them and breaking limbs. That damage was immediately obvious.

What you may have attributed to winter burn may be burned foliage from wind and saltwater damage. Damage that you can’t see underground from excessive saltwater infiltration will show as a stressed or failing plant. The effects of this storm will continue to damage plants for some time but there are a few ways to mitigate the damage to your landscape such as irrigating a few inches per week in early spring to flush out salt in the soil, fertilizing with an organic, salt-free fertilizer to promote new leaf growth and proper pruning to ensure the structural integrity of the plant.

Not sure why your plants are stressed or are you suspicious of residual hurricane and harsh winter damage? A certified arborist can detect issues not visible to the untrained eye such as weakened limbs, injured root systems and salt damage. Decrease the chance of damage during the next major weather event. Call Gary Carbocci, an ISA Certified Arborist (NY0151A), at (631) 271-6460 at Goldberg & Rodler’s Tree Care Long Island division and assess your landscape today.