Landscape, Plants, Hardscape & Decks

A Tropical Oasis
When we think of water, much of the time we think of a tropical scene - Hawaii, the Caribbean or some other exotic island somewhere - a place we'd all like to go.   Why not create that "somewhere else" in your clients' backyards?  They'll thank you for all the money you'll save them on that cruise that probably would have been less than perfect anyway.  And this tropical scene will be one they can enjoy not only this week, but for as long as they want. Imagine palm trees swaying in the wind, the sweet smell of
What About Roses?
Let's say your clients have spent all their loose change on your watershape and can't afford to hire a landscape designer or architect.  They don't even want to meet that wonderful person you've been telling them about.  So why not suggest a few plants that will really spiff up their new backyard Niagara Falls?   If you're brave enough to try, I'll help you here and in a couple of future columns.  Let's start by talking about
A Style to Call Her Own
I've had the pleasure over the past few years of working with a client who ultimately has become a good friend - and with whom I created a very unique garden.  The process of designing the space was lengthy, but it afforded me time to truly understand my client and her wants.   As we progressed, many issues arose that needed to be addressed; over time and at many points, patience was indeed a virtue.  Her yard had existing structures as well as large Eucalyptus, Pittosporum and Chorisia trees and other plantings along with
Searching for Style
Among the most complicated tasks you'll encounter in designing a watershape is determining your clients' style and how it applies to the project. How important is it to know what style they want?  That's a complicated
Size Does Matter
Surely you've heard this line before and never believed it, but I'm here to tell you that size does matter. Have you ever, for example, built a pond or fountain with concrete either surrounding it or fanning out from it beneath the soil - and then had your clients say they wanted a very mature tree or shrub planted right up against the edge?  There you are with six inches of soil (maximum!) to work with, and there's just no way to
Expansion Solutions
Put yourself in your customer's swim suit for a moment: You're floating in a lounge chair in your pool, taking in the surroundings and proud ofwhat you and your family now enjoy. As you scan the perimeter of the pool, you spot something you're certain wasn't there the last time you looked. Yes, you're sure of it:  A portion of the deck seems to be rising above the backside of the coping. Instead of continuing to enjoy a lazy afternoon's float, you now start to
Expansion Solutions
Put yourself in your customer's swim suit for a moment: You're floating in a lounge chair in your pool, taking in the surroundings and proud ofwhat you and your family now enjoy. As you scan the perimeter of the pool, you spot something you're certain wasn't there the last time you looked. Yes, you're sure of it:  A portion of the deck seems to be rising above the backside of the coping. Instead of continuing to enjoy a lazy afternoon's float, you now start to
Designs on Edge
To my way of thinking, one of the most fundamental considerations in any landscape design has to do with understanding how the major elements blend visually with each other and their immediate surroundings.  When that design includes water - be it a pond, stream, fountain, pool or spa - the key to effective visual blending depends to an overwhelming degree on how you define the internal boundaries within the design. This is so because of a couple of crucial visual concepts:  First, we all know that