Landscape, Plants, Hardscape & Decks

Now You See It
'Some people seem to believe that designing is all about reinventing the wheel every time they go to work on a new project or need to create a new detail of some kind.  Truth is, however, that most great design ideas and details are derivative of things that
#33: Flagstone Decking
Of all the videos in this series, this is one in which I covered almost all of what I had to say about flagstone decking while on camera - a fact that doesn't leave me as much as usual to write about in this introduction. But as always, I've spotted a few areas worth additional comment. One small point needs more emphasis than I gave it, for example, and that has to do with
Planting Pains
'Early in the history of garden design - dating back to the earliest days of civilization in Sumeria, Egypt and China - plants took center stage in garden spaces.'  With that observation, Bruce Zaretsky opened his On the Level column in February 2009, then added:  'Terraces and hanging gardens were built not for their innate ornamental qualities, but rather to display the plants they contained.  Always, the prized plant was
In Service of Trees
'All of us at one time or another run up against trees that are very much in the way - and our clients simply won't let us remove them.  To be sure, working around such prized specimens can be a real pain,' wrote Bruce Zaretsky in his January 2009 On the Level column, 'which is why so many in the construction trades have passive-aggressive attitudes about them and just wish
Hard Choices
'If I were to ask the average watershaper to name the most versatile element in any landscape,' began Stephanie Rose in her January 2004 "Natural Companions" column, 'he or she would probably reply by talking about water or plants or some other equally prominent component.  If you asked me the same question, however, I'd almost always say
It’s Always Something!
'In all my years as a landscape designer,' began Stephanie Rose in her Natural Companions column for November 2003, 'I've always told my clients that nobody can know ahead of time how a plant will adapt to or behave in any given situation.''Most plants, of course, really are somewhat predictable when you place them in a client's yard . . . as long as you
It’s Always Something!
'In all my years as a landscape designer,' began Stephanie Rose in her Natural Companions column for November 2003, 'I've always told my clients that nobody can know ahead of time how a plant will adapt to or behave in any given situation.''Most plants, of course, really are somewhat predictable when you place them in a client's yard . . . as long as you
Planting Places
'Growing as a designer,' wrote Brian Van Bower to start his Aqua Culture column in October 2008, 'is often a matter of seeing things from fresh perspectives.   'As one with roots in the pool industry, for example, I once thought first about water and about plants and softscape later (if at all).  That bias isn't uncommon, of course:  I know plenty of landscape architects and designers who think about plants first and only later
Planting Places
'Growing as a designer,' wrote Brian Van Bower to start his Aqua Culture column in October 2008, 'is often a matter of seeing things from fresh perspectives.   'As one with roots in the pool industry, for example, I once thought first about water and about plants and softscape later (if at all).  That bias isn't uncommon, of course:  I know plenty of landscape architects and designers who think about plants first and only later
Stone Stepping
‘Stairs, to borrow an immortal phrase from Rodney Dangerfield, “get no respect.” ’   That’s how Bruce Zaretsky opened his August 2008 column in WaterShapes, then continued:  ‘[I]f my observations through the years tell me anything, the stairs set in far too many landscapes are strictly utilitarian objects – no more than a means of getting from one level of a space to another.  The only thought that seems to go into some of them has to do with avoiding trip hazards, which is important but hardly the most