Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

I am going to be a scarecrow this halloween.

I first got the idea when we were at Utana Bluffs and saw these two scarecrows in their garden.

This particular scarecrow is the one I am actually dressing like, as we have a whole crew going as characters in the Wizard of OZ.

They are such funny characters. Put here to do one thing... scare crows.

Yet they do not have a very frightening appearance but rather fun and quirky. Maybe it is just the W.O.O. that gives us that image.

But then again I guess they are just for the birds.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!
What are you dressing up as?

Monday, October 26, 2009

You Better Shape Up

your lawn with brick or cobble edging...

Have you ever looked in your back yard, and thought that you could use some organization?

Just a little structure to pull it together?

One design element that we frequently use is edging on a lawn.

We use the running brick or stone edging that serves as the mowing strip, and the standing brick edging that helps contain the flower beds.

This detail helps to define the space by giving shape to your design and distinguishing an order.

The edging can add value to the form by giving it depth and perception no matter what size space you are working with.

*all pictures are of designs by Dargan Landscape Architects

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where to Start

Thank you to the ladies of the Hanover West Garden Club. I had a great time giving my lecture to such a nice group! One frequently asked question was :
If you were only going to begin with one thing, what is the first thing you would do to enhance your landscape?

The answer to this can obviously vary according to different sites, existing problems, etc but one answer that remains true across the board would be to develop a plan. We can all get so overwhelmed it is hard to even determine where to start . That is where we come in...Our intentions are not always to create new ideas but rather organize and implement the ideas of our clients as well as presenting knew ones that fit their vision.

Our firm begins with an initial consult where we go out to the site and discuss the issues, needs, and desires. Our expertise could end there with some on site suggestions, or we could design a comprehensive master plan for your property and guide you through implementation to a beautifully crafted environment.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Tonight I am giving a lecture to a local Atlanta Garden Club. I will be lecturing on the four part master plan of timeless landscape design. This lecture is based on the book by Hugh and Mary Palmer Dargan, Timeless Landscape Design.

I have realize that when hearing a lecture or looking through a coffee table book, it is sometimes hard to imagine your house ever looking like some of the extensive designs presented. It is important to identify the design principles that you are attracted to and begin to apply those at a fitting scale to your own house. The basic design principles include balance, rhythm, proportion, emphasis, and unity. I am considering doing a whole post elaborating on each of these principles so stayed tuned.

Wish me luck tonight!

Canopy Cottage

Most all of us have some magical memories of playing in a tree house as a child.  Here are some wonderful examples of great tree house designs that redefine the word tree-house and would be better suited by the title "canopy cottage."  Why not go out on a limb and build one at your house?


Via Home and Garden

via Abby Sharp Tumbler
Tree House at Utana Bluffs

Sorry, cant remember where this image is from.

image Credit:



This last picture is not of a tree house.  It is actually called a "Duck Canopy" used for nesting, but I think that this hexagon style would be an adorable tree house.

Eclectic Planters

As you can tell from previous post, I love it when I find abnormal containers to use for planters. These rustic wooden dough bowls are my newest find and work perfect as a planter.

The old wood is so beautiful, the container makes a perfect display item alone. They could also be used for a serving platter. Maybe a bread basket?

I use the other wooden piece it is sitting on as a cheese board.

But the most beautiful is the European Dough Bowl full of plants used as a center piece.

I recently found a great source for these wooden bowls so email me if you have to have one.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Recession Reading

A good friend of mine recently reintroduced me to the public library, and I am so thankful!  I can't believe what I have been missing!  They make it so easy for you... you can search for a book on the online catalogue, place a hold on it, then it will be waiting for you at the front desk we you are ready to pick it up.  

They even have several good design books.  I like to keep my design books for my coffee table collection,  you may say.  Well I do too, but it is nice to check them out at the library for a couple of weeks to judge whether it is worthy of your collection.  

I just picked up two new books, and I cannot wait to get home to read them.  With this gloomy weather outside, it is the perfect time to cozy up with a blanket and a book.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Bang for the Beauty

I have just signed up to take Section E of the LARE, Landscape Architecture Licensing Exam, in December.  This portion of the exam, titled Grading, Drainage, and Storm-water Management, is a five hour graphic illustration consisting of four vignette problems that (if completed correctly) prove I am able to manipulate contours for efficient drainage and water runoff for a site.  With the passing rate less the 50%, this is said to be the most difficult of all the five parts.    I began studying this week by doing practice vignettes and plan to continue this until December.  

As much as I have been dreading taking this test, I am glad that I have finally taken the plunge and signed up.   Now, I am on my way to officially becoming a "professional."  Wish me luck! 

The above images are of a practice vignette, but that is an easy one!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Utana Bluffs

This past weekend we were invited to Utana Bluffs near Ellijay, GA.  This getaway spot, just over an hour from Atlanta, is one of the most well planned communities I have ever seen.  All of the home-sites have minimal clearing with just enough room for the houses.  

They all have incredible views of the Appalachian Mountains and the natural surrounding forest.

There are many amenity sites for the whole community to enjoy.  Frisbee golf, tennis, and fishing are just a few of the many activities that Utana Bluffs has to offer.  There are also...  

several common areas with timber pavilions, fire places or fire pits,  and dining areas.

several hikes to various waterfalls, look out points, and picnic spots.  

Our favorite was the community vegetable garden for all the homeowners to enjoy.  We helped ourselves to some basil, peppers, and okra.  

If you happened to forget anything there is a small "store" stocked with anything from paper-towels to wine.  

It is refreshing to know that there is a place just an hour outside of the city as natural and spectacular as this!

Friday, October 9, 2009

H A V E     A     G R E A T      W E E K E N D !

photo by Simon Scarboro Photography

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Butter Up Your Boxwoods

Most all of us have one plant that we love and want to use everywhere.  The question is do you know how to make that certain plant love you in return?  You can make just about any plant happy with a little TLC.  Boxwoods are my favorite, and I love to use them everywhere from pots to hedges.  Fortunately, these are not hard to keep happy (although I must confess I have neglected a few to their death.)  Some tips to prevent that from happening again would be to till the soil and add nutrients to make a rich bed for the plant.  Also make sure that it is in a place that it will get sufficient water and the soil can drain easily.  Just about any plant will be happier under these conditions and will hopefully live long fruitful lives.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On the Road

I have been on the road for the past few days.  Seeing clients in Athens, Tifton, Thomasville, Tallahassee, Columbus, and Atlanta, all in four days, has worn me out.  I am excited about the upcoming projects, and now ready to get to work!  The above picture is one of our clients driveways in North Flordia.  SO beautiful!