#apldgotnick

Photo of Nick McCullough

Our local APLD Chapter is thrilled to have Nick McCullough as our Winter Lecture speaker this year! This event is open to the public, so come on out and get inspired for spring. Light breakfast, networking, lecture, and Q&A with Nick. See you there!

Outdoor Christmas Decor

A couple years ago a family in our neighborhood was leaving for a trip on Christmas Day, so they put their tree out on the curb. As you can imagine, it didn’t stay there for long. A group of guys got together and set it back up on the family’s lawn, complete with tinsel and whatever tacky decorations they could get together. The thing is, though, that people loved it! Little kids, random dog walkers, people driving by, they all got a kick out of it, so last year we decided to put up outdoor trees as a deliberate decorating decision. Some people were frustrated by the number of times their tree blew over, but others of us are hooked and have decided it’s a new tradition. Ours is a bird theme, complete with bird seed and these pre-lit cardinals that I think are the cutest thing ever. (Yes, I have a kitschy streak.)

How’s your decorating going? Have fun, don’t stress, do your own thing.

Using Black in the Landscape

Photo of fences

Often people think that black is a bold color choice- white feels more neutral- but when it comes to exteriors, black is the best way to make something recede. Black is definitely one of the best color choices for a fence. In this example, our client installed a new fence and gate that jumped out at the viewer because of it’s light, raw wood. You can see this everywhere, as people usually do leave their fences unfinished. A simple coat of exterior wood stain, though, creates a much more harmonious look that will require very little future maintenance.

It’s Fall Planting Time!

Photo of daffodils
Colorblends daffodils

It’s fall planting time, and the garden centers are bursting with wonderful trees and shrubs. On top of that, I just received my Colorblends catalog in the mail yesterday. Colorblends is my favorite place to order bulbs, and I’ve had great success with all of the items I’ve ordered from them. They will ship to you at the appropriate planting time, so you don’t have to worry about putting them in the ground too early. Important note- they do sell out of the most popular items, so if you see something you really love, don’t hesitate to get your order in!

Charleston, SC for Landscape Inspiration

I’m always looking at the ground, and I’m constantly amazed at what I see there. When I see a driveway like this, I’m reminding that if you can imagine it and articulate your vision clearly, someone can build it for you. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes me want to grab a pencil and a pad of paper and start doodling.

LaDew Topiary Gardens

Photo of building at LaDew
The Cafe and Studio at LaDew, seen from the Cutting Garden.

I’m so glad I finally made it to LaDew Gardens. I’m seeing so many new things this summer. This building is now the little cafe and artist studio area. Highlights of the garden are, of course, the topiaries, but also a wonderful butterfly pavilion and so many different garden rooms. The house tour was also so interesting, thanks to their great volunteers. Definitely a trip worth making.

Finally Made it to Bloedel Reserve

I finally made it to the Bloedel Reserve. We had a wonderful time walking the paths and enjoying the quiet. There are no signs or plant labels to read- one simply wanders through. It was a truly relaxing experience and I would gladly go back. Anyone who lives locally can buy an annual pass and walk the grounds as a regular activity. Delightful.

Artificial Turf is Perfect for an Urbanscape

We were in the Shaw neighborhood a couple days ago where I saw this wonderful streetscape. The new artificial turf products are fantastic! I love the green stripes. I’d enjoy seeing this on my daily walk or from my apartment window. We’re starting to see some progressive clients using this turf in their residential projects now. Don’t knock it until you’ve seen it and touched it! (I personally still have about 300 square feet of lawn that I love to mow.)

American Wisteria is the Best Choice

Photo of Wisteria frutescens
American Wisteria won’t pull your porch down.

We planted this Wisteria frutescens at the corner of my neighbor’s porch about 5 years ago. It is such a gorgeous and reliable bloomer. If the idea of Wisteria makes you nervous, just be sure to select the American variety. It doesn’t get nearly as big as the Asian varieties and won’t end up pulling down your structures over time.

I Heart Plastic Adirondack Chairs

Photo of plastic adirondack chairs

You know all those charming photos of colorful outdoor furniture you see in garden magazines? The French bistro chairs or the hand-crafted, marine-grade-painted wood benches from New England? Well, these aren’t them. These are the molded plastic Adirondack chairs you see in the grocery and hardware stores, and you know what? I love them! They are ridiculously comfortable, made in the U.S.A.,  and the epitome of “cheap and cheerful.” Don’t knock ’em till you’ve tried ’em. And now I must create a new Tag for “plastic furniture.”