Landscape, Plants, Hardscape & Decks

Considering Small Spaces
‘Whenever I receive a call for an initial meeting about a potential project,’ began Stephanie Rose in her Natural Companions column of May 2003, ‘I always envision – before the client ever opens his or her mouth – that I will be adorning a multi-acre estate with a classic garden that will someday be written about in books and examined by
Making Meadows
Writing about droughts and water shortages in his March 2008 On the Level column, Bruce Zaretsky started by observing, ‘This turn of events has made me determined to design landscapes requiring as little water as possible – one consequence being that I now do all I can to avoid using large expanses of
On the Verge
‘In discussing coping and decking,’ noted David Tisherman in his February 2008 Details column, ‘ I invariably combine them because, in my view, they are truly inseparable:  For a design to succeed, both must work together because they play such important roles in
Color Clashes
If you don't prepare your clients for what will almost certainly happen to the appearance of this flashy form of decking and coping, writes Paolo Benedetti, you can find yourself facing unpleasant consequences -- from encounters with peevish homeowners to meetings with their attorney.    
Slippery Slopes
Back in June 2002, Stephanie Rose began her Natural Companions column by writing, ‘Everyone knows that hanging a pool, pond, or spa off a slope can make quite a dramatic statement, which is probably why so many great watershapers love working on hillsides. ‘But the project doesn’t begin and end with the vessel,’ she cautioned. ‘In fact, placing a watershape on an
Green Evolution
If friends had told me that, eight years after leaving the Las Vegas desert, I'd be incorporating synthetic turf in a high percentage of my outdoor spaces in Texas, I would've said "No way!" What a concept!   I now live and work where there's no water shortage, so why on earth would my clients or I have any interest in finding substitutes for big expanses of lawn? Well, what I'm seeing now is that the low-maintenance, long-lasting faux-grass solution is
Micro-Management
'As much as I love cold weather,' wrote Stephanie Rose in opening her Natural Companions column in April 2007, 'I have to concede that we experienced way too much of a good thing this past winter.  Long periods of extremely cold weather are the norm in many other parts of the country, and plants survive.  Here, however, our local plants may be accustomed to surviving the isolated sub-freezing night, but sustained, frosty temperatures
Too Little, Too Late?
‘Many watershapers have a single-minded focus,’ wrote Stephanie Rose in her Natural Companions column in February 2007, ‘doing all they can to deliver quality shells and surrounding decks to their clients. Quite often, however, that narrow focus means that inadequate space is left for planting – a problem I face quite often as
That’s Just Wrong
'I'm not a big believer in conformity, strict rules and absolutes,' wrote Stephanie Rose to start her December 2006 Natural Companions column, 'but sometimes I'll come across something that, well, is just wrong.  These aren't matters of taste, style, or visual appeal:  What I see is just plain wrong!' 'Whether we classify ourselves as watershapers or landscape professionals, we collaborate with our clients to create spaces that appeal to them both visually and emotionally.  . . .  [I]t's our professional responsibility to
Working in Color
'When I paint,' observed Stephanie Rose at the start of her Natural Companions column in October 2006, 'I constantly play with color on canvas and experiment with various combinations to see what works well and discover what, to my eye, clashes or doesn't seem to mix harmoniously.' 'As a landscape designer, I'm aware of working through the same sort of