Landscape, Plants, Hardscape & Decks

Johnny Appleseed was Right: Embrace Urban Trees!
The presence of trees in cities makes life better, a fact made provable by a wide set of both measurable and purely intuitive positive effects. From economic benefits to positive emotional and social impacts to the pleasure of birds and bees, urban trees are worth hugging.   ...
Admiring Japanese Garden Design
The tradition of Japanese Gardening has been inspiring designers for centuries. As Eric Herman points out, it’s equal parts philosophy and technique that is aimed at representing and celebrating nature – a set of ideas and disciplines that can deeply influence watershapers who take time to explore these spaces with an open mind and an open heart. ...
Desert Dazzle
Marilyn Monroe’s legacy has a new home in a plaza directly adjacent the recently dedicated Downtown Park in Palm Springs, Calif. It’s a beautiful park with an ingenious design that blends modernism of the fabled resort city, while harmonizing with the desert environment. It also features a truly beautiful and inventive watershape.   ...
Glassy Permutations
Glass tile has long been one of, if not the, most distinctive material used in swimming pools. Applying the science of optical physics, inventor David Knox of Lightstreams Glass Tile, takes on projects that require one-of-a-kind tile creations for designers and clients that want something no one else has. ...
The Buzz About Bees
Scott Cohen is passionate about plants and especially those that produce beautiful flowers. Here he explains that while plants add a rich dimension to his designs, they do also attract pollinators, including bees, other insects, hummingbirds and even bats. Thankfully, it is impossible to have flowers without the creatures that help propagate them, but to his mind, having a garden blossoming with color and life is a source of tremendous joy and fascination. ...
Artaic Introduces Quad Collection
Artaic (Boston, Mass.) has launched its Quad Collection of tile mosaics. The collection showcases a wide array geometric patterns and alignments for use in grid-style, classic and modular applications. Part of the company’s Vitreous Glass line, the collection is available in new sizes, ½ inch, 1 inch. Artaic’s Glazed Porcelain line, is also offered in new 1-inch, 2-inch, 1-by-2-inch, 2-by-4-inch and 4-inch tile sizes. To learn more, click here.
The Grass Menagerie
Despite water usage concerns, grass remains a mainstay in both commercial and residential landscapes. Working with grass, explains Mike Logsdon, usually requires some level of moderation and a knack for knowing how to ply the multitudinous types of grasses for the greatest effect, based on client expectations and anticipated grassy needs. 
Discovering Xeriscapes
The word xeriscape is one of those terms that most everyone has heard but few truly understand. When we think of xeriscapes or xeriscaping, most people immediately visualize a dry almost lifeless desert landscape with rocks and cactus. Because the "x" is pronounced like a "z" the word is often mistaken for a fancy way of spelling zeroscapes, which implies that it has no plantings or uses zero water. Neither is true. Working in the arid climates of the Texas hill country, I've embraced the xeriscaping concept as a way to create sustainable and inviting landscapes with minimal irrigation, but again, that does not
Feeling Right at Home
'My daughter and I just returned from our annual trip to visit family in Connecticut and used the occasion this time to travel all over the northeast,' wrote Stephanie Rose in opening her Natural Companions column for November 2004.  'I'm never disappointed by the beauty I find in that part of the country.' 'What I find most beneficial in travel
#34: Synthetic Grass
If you'd asked me 20 years ago if I'd ever consider using artificial grass with one of my high-end pool projects, I would've looked at you like you had two heads and three hats: There was just no way on earth that would've been a possibility. A lot has changed in the past few years, however, and it's getting to the point where I'm working with fake turf on a surprisingly number of projects - including