Month: June 2020


Landscape Gardening in Sussex – History and Beauty Combined

Landscape Gardening in Sussex – History and Beauty Combined

Sussex is located in the south-east of England and boasts an array of beautiful public landscape gardens for anybody who loves the outdoors and horticulture to enjoy. Sussex is home to a number of fine examples of landscape gardening and innovative landscape architecture. Landscape gardening in Sussex has survived the test of time and has managed to preserve and maintain its historical and ancient examples of horticulture and landscaping for all to visit and appreciate. Such gardens are indeed offered to the public audience now to appreciate and enjoy. A lot of inspiration and design derives from these fine landscapes for personal project and home design, which is great for maintaining the feel of the English countryside throughout gardens at home or indeed public parks and recreation areas.

Traditional garden design especially those gardens located in regions such as Sussex summon an image of what everyone considers to be the typical English garden. They are generally designed with a well-maintained lawn and flower beds that are abundant with a mix of flora, colourful and vibrant. Traditional landscape gardening often uses a very simple layout, based on those of the historical gardens typically found in the region. The basic layout is the most important factor and usually time is dedicated to design of suitable locations for flowerbeds, lawns and other elements which one may want to implement. Inspiration is often sought from the historic examples of landscape gardening in Sussex which exist to this very day and set the standard for domestic garden options.

Within Sussex lies the Grade I listed Leonardslee which resides in a valley and boasts 7 meandering lakes and comprises of around 200 acres of land. Many types of flowers including Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Azaleas can be found on display here. It was initially opened up to the public by the Sir Edmund Loder in 1907. It is still run and maintained by the same family and of course like many old estates has volunteers who help to preserve the gardens and house. A garden the size of Leonardslee has evolved over centuries. The mainstay of the garden was created in the early years of the 19th century, but generation after generation of the Loder family since around 1889 have continued to preserve design and development of the valley plantings and landscape gardening to form the remarkable splendour that is seen today in Sussex. Many professional garden designers are lucky enough to visit and take inspiration from such areas and as such have great design ideas when it comes to your personal landscape gardening requirements.…


Gathering Around a Fire Pit

Gathering Around a Fire Pit

With a fire pit in your backyard, you will realize how easy it is to have family gatherings or to entertain guests, even on a fall evening with a chill in the air. Gathering around a crackling fire will easily result in having a great time outdoors in any season. As the orange and yellow flames cast a warm glow over everything and everyone, the festive mood in your yard will be one of friendship and remarkably enjoyable fellowship.

Image the possibilities of using your fire pit as the focal centerpiece of a themed party. Decorating the area to match the theme you have chosen for the gathering adds finishing touches to the occasion. The dancing and darting flames can inspire friends and family to join in and play along with the theme. Without much effort, you can certainly come up with activities which you and your group will enjoy participating in. Keep adding wood and the good times will last as long as the flames brighten the area.

The festival nature of children’s parties can be particularly enhanced by introducing a fire pit. Without fail kids love the big, crackling flames that cause their imaginations will run wild, whether listening to a scary or funny Halloween story, becoming cowboys and cowgirls around the old campfire, or watch a backyard puppet play in the flickering light. With children, though, you must be cautious. Children are naturally curious and may try getting too close of a look at the fire. A responsible adult should always oversee children’s activities around the fire pit.

You can encourage everyone’s participation when bringing people together around the colorful flames. The gathering can be an opportunity for your guests to cook their own kabobs or round up sticks suitable for roasting marshmallows.

These suggestions barely scratch the surface of how to liven up your backyard gatherings. Coming up with additional activities will only be limited by your creativity and willingness to try things.

Before they attend one of your gatherings, people would probably picture a fire pit as a simple structure with fire in it that gives off heat. But, after experiencing an evening in your backyard they would undoubtedly envision the laughter, fellowship, and great times spent with family and friends.…


Incredible Edible Garden Plants

Incredible Edible Garden Plants

There is a resurgence of home vegetable gardens and people interested in growing their own food. A few reasons for this shift are higher food costs, environmental awareness and stewardship, plus the amount of chemicals being used on our food. These factors have contributed to the trend and new innovative way of thinking about landscaping, called Edible Landscaping.

Since the early 1900’s, landscape design has focused on and been limited to hardscaping, trees and shrubs, a few perennials, and a large lawn. Edible landscaping includes fruits, vegetables and herbs in addition to the traditional landscape design. Edible plants are nutritional as well as attractive. Edibles such as cucumber, eggplant, melon, squash and zucchini are covered with showy blossoms that turn to beautiful fruit and vegetables. Other edibles like leaf lettuce, red lettuce, cabbage, carrots and Swiss chard have attractive, colorful stems and foliage. Other suggestions for edibles in the landscape are blueberries and Fig trees. Rabbiteye blueberries are native to the southeast and perform wonderfully with little care.

A person’s lifestyle, available space, interest and family situation are important factors to consider when deciding the amount of edible landscaping to plant and maintain. The edible landscaping possibilities can range from a dedicated vegetable garden, planting edibles in landscape beds, to container gardening, or a combination of all these. Think back to vegetable gardens your family or neighbors had; was it a traditional backyard vegetable garden, with a haphazard look and generally lacking in visual aesthetic? Over the past 20 years, we’ve transformed the vegetable garden into a new art form. There are endless design variations on a garden full of vegetables.

The soil in Huntsville, Alabama is the famous Alabama red clay, and for most homeowners, compacted red clay. To be successful growing vegetables and edibles our red clay needs to be amended by adding compost, soil conditioner, worm castings and organic fertilizers. The key to a beautiful healthy landscape, edible or not, is healthy soil. This may not sound glamorous, but is the most important factor for any plants health.

Raised beds and container gardening are excellent methods to grow vegetables and fruits if you have poor soils. The main benefit is that you can fill raised beds and containers with a blend of soils that maximize your gardening efforts. The soil also warms up faster in the spring in raised beds and containers and this helps seedlings and plants grow sooner. Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable for containers, but many other vegetables grow well in containers.

In my own garden, I struggle with difficult, compacted clay soil. I spent three years trying to amend my vegetable garden soil and raise the soil level so that my traditional row garden would be successful. This year I built and installed raised beds, painted them to be colorful and attractive throughout the year and filled them with a mixture of topsoil, soil conditioner, compost, worm castings and chicken manure. The results are amazing! I credit the successful results to the raised beds and the quality of the soil.

As a landscape designer and garden consultant, I work with clients to help them have a beautiful and successful yard, with or without edibles. Our yards and gardens should make us happy and be a place we can enjoy. Gardening can be fun, interesting and nutritious!…


How to Discover a Business to Help With Landscaping Design in a Graveyard

How to Discover a Business to Help With Landscaping Design in a Graveyard

Being in charge is a blessing and a curse at the same exact time. The hard part though is knowing exactly how to do the landscaping design in cemetery. To do this successfully you might need to consult with a company that does this for the business that they do. Here are some ways to locate these companies.

A great place to look at would be in companies in your area that does this work for private people. They might not specialize in this area that you are in, but you could find that they are going to be able to know what people are looking for since they deal with people on an everyday basis.

You could also utilize the computer that is sitting on your office desk to research various companies that could help you out. The problem with this is you might find that they are going to be nationally based and you might have to research it well to find one in your area.

You could call upon your networking connections with other managers and owners of these types of locations. You could talk to them and see if they are going to be able to refer you to anyone and if not they could be willing to go in with you to hire a company that can design yours and there’s.

Something else to consider would be if you are looking hard enough would be to consider doing this yourself. By doing this yourself you could save money, but you might want to make sure that you do this properly because if it is not the people that over see you could end up letting you go.

The blessing of being in charge is that you are going to be the one making the decisions. The hard part can be that you are going to find is going to come when you have to find a landscaping design in cemetery company to help you make it look beautiful.

It’s hard to find the right store that has the right headstones for your loved one.…


Landscaping Design Ideas For Your New Home

Landscaping Design Ideas For Your New Home

The internet is a great place to go for your landscape design ideas.

Being a homeowner in these hard economic times, you will be looking for ways to save time and money on your yard. There are many ways that you can do this project inexpensive, so you can enjoy your new yard.

Yes you can do this yourself and a great way to start your landscape project is to get design ideas. Look at books and newspapers then gather the ideas. Then you and your family can get some ideas on your yard project for this spring. You may consider buying in bulk to save money. You can have your family and friends help pay when you buy in bulk. This will help when doing some yard projects this year.

Ask around then you may purchase your landscaping supplies in bulk. Mulch is used in most yard projects this is less expensive when buying in bulk. In addition, when your plants have matured such as day lilies and hostas you may divide in to smaller clumps. Then spread into your landscaping garden. Share with your friends and family. My friend did work in a garden center and every spring he would brake up the day lilies and the hostas into smaller pots.

There are many ideas you can look at for your landscaping project. The look of your home may determines the shape and the arrangement of the lawn you can work with. You will need to remember the four seasons of the year, to compliment the types of the plants you plant in your garden; depending were you live.

You can always go to your local garden center and ask for your nearest landscape designer. Here are some ideas, you can put to work. So you and your family can get out and enjoy your new yard.…


Florida Live Oaks and Tabebuia Will Make A Seasonal Impact

Florida Live Oaks and Tabebuia Will Make A Seasonal Impact

Keep your snowbird visitors happy by suggesting Live Oaks and Tabebuia thus providing lush greenery and flowering during their stay this winter.

Let’s face it; everybody in the nursery industry, at some point in time or another, has heard a similar statement from one or more of their seasonal clients. “If I wanted to see a bare tree, I would have stayed up North!” says the client seriously.

To this enduring statement, I have developed a somewhat standard answer. “Live Oak and Tabebuia may be just what you’re looking for.” I say confidently.

Their usual answer is “Oh yes, Live Oaks.” Most also follow with the question “What is a Tabebuia?”

At this point in the conversation I have an excellent opportunity to lay it all out on the proverbial line. I warmly dive straight down to in-depth descriptions of how some of the seasons showiest flowering species, namely the Tabebuia trees, perform as they begin to display their winter colors.

“More commonly known as Trumpet Trees, some Tabebuia cultivars prefer to be pollinated during these colder months, hence the profuse blooming. The less frequent rainfall and cooler weather trigger these charming attributes into action. Some if not all leaves drop as the entire tree bursts into bloom, seemingly all at once…..” I can go on and on.

If you too are wondering which of these may be well suited for your customer’s landscape, try suggesting individual varieties that posses the properties and colors that work best for them. You may want to try the Carib, Chrysotricha and Impetiginosa cultivars, just to name a few.

Live Oaks on the other hand need little introduction. Once the clients are reminded of the beautiful canopy that provides summer shade, wildlife attraction and strength, they practically sell themselves.…


Backyard Landscaping Ideas – Tips For Do it Yourself Landscaping

Backyard Landscaping Ideas – Tips For Do it Yourself Landscaping

Are you just plain tired of seeing your dull and boring backyard? Looking for some backyard landscaping ideas? Ideas that you can do yourself. Look no further. Here are some tips that you can follow to put together a backyard in which you and your family can relax.

1. Divide and conquer

If looking at the whole backyard scares you, split it into smaller areas of squares or rectangles. Each of these areas can be for a little sub-project with pathways separating the areas.

2. Research

Next, do some research on the types of plants that you can have in your backyard. Doing this online is one option. Or go to the local nursery and get help. Check out the kinds of plants that are suitable and also get their prices.

Some of the options are flowerbed plants, shrubs for pathways, crawlers and trees. Check out on the specific needs like shade, amount of water they require and so on.

3. Plan the Layout

You then need to decide on the locations of the plants in the layout. Also, think of the colors of the flowers when you are planning, so that you can get a beautiful display of colors when the flowers bloom.

4. Fix the Walkways

There are a number of materials that can be used for your walkways. You can use tiles, gravel, bricks or plain sand.

5. Add Some Optional Others

If have more money to spend. there are more backyard landscaping ideas. You can have some garden furniture. A pond or fountain if space and budget permit. Statues and figurines with lighting arrangement will look good. These can be part of a theme.

At a general backyard designs level, cover most of the backyard with greenery to keep the space cooler and have natural surroundings. If you are not into too many types of plants, then stick with the lawn and flowering plants around the sides.…


A Gardener’s Shopping Spree

A Gardener’s Shopping Spree

Shopping for plants is one of those highly motivating tasks for a gardener. This is especially true if you have been bored by the same old look of your backyard for weeks or even for months. It is quite customary to see gardeners changing the habitual places of plants from time to time, but is this an ethical thing to do? After all, plants have life too!…

For some gardeners, the eco system in the backyard which they have contributed to put up is one of the most important things. However, for those who get bored quickly, the scenic beauty is the top most priority. If that is the case with you, no doubt you may have already unplugged a few healthy standing plants and migrated them elsewhere making space for a new member in town.

Some experts believe that such migration is healthy in some ways. However, you need to be knowledgeable about what you are doing. It is a known fact that color leafed plants absorb more energy and water than whole green plants and native plants. Therefore, if you were to throw a bunch of colored leaf plants in an area where the whole green fellows are standing strong, the chances are that the green fellows may become malnourished in months to come. So be wise when you chose a home land for those plants that you plan to move from one place to another.

Some people fancy changing plants from the ground to eye catching pots. You could merely here the earth’s cry when you do this. While smaller plants grow well and adjust themselves to pots, medium to larger scale plants will do a good job growing on the ground. So size definitely is a consideration you need to tick in your mind before you move houses for these dear plants.

Getting back to our shopping spree, it is quite usual to lose your mind when you visit those nurseries. If you know what I mean! The type of plants that takes your breathe away may not always be the best to have hanging around in your back yard for many reasons such as the weather, the type of soil and of course, how frequently you could maintain those. Another common consideration is that plant shopping can be an expensive venture if you go all out and buy everything your eye pleases. So why not make an appointment with your landscaper and discuss the implications before hand? If your garden designer or landscaper agrees, you could even visit the nursery with him/her.

Buying plants can be an exciting thing to do. After all, we all need scenic changes and a little bit of spice added up in life (or at the back yard) for that matter, from time to time. But in the process of trying to beautify your scenic landscape, you should never allow risk factors to ruin the already landscaped garden. So there goes! If you don’t know how to do plant migrations properly, keep away! After all, the experts are always on board to assist you.…


Vegetables and Flowers Can Be Friends

Vegetables and Flowers Can Be Friends

I had a friend who grew up on a farm and even now, years later, she refuses to plant anything unless it has some sort of usefulness. To earn a place in her garden, plants require more than pretty petals; they have to deter pests or provide a source of food. Today, more and more people are planting similar useful gardens by combining edible plants with flowers in an effort to introduce more home grown foods in their diet.

This mix of food and flowers is also very practical for those with small yards or even balconies. Years ago, people lived off the food from their gardens, much like my friend with the farmer roots. Commercial food production took over and people transformed their gardens by planting lawns and blooming ornamental plants. Now, however, we’re seeing a merging of the two as home owners are going back to their grass roots. Often, fruit trees are chosen over ornamental varieties. Fences and trellises are now being adorned by grapes, and vegetables are being planted in amongst summer annuals. Even landscapers are noticing the difference, with requests for edible landscape designs becoming more common.

Here are some tips to get you thinking like an edible plant gardener:

Add color by planting red cabbage, yellow peppers, purple eggplants or rainbow chard. Combining these nourishing plants with flowers attracts more useful insects and increases flower production and vegetable yields. Certain plants such as garlic when planted next to roses, provides a natural insecticide by repelling aphids.

Instead of ornamental shrubs, try blueberries for their tasty fruit, fall color and low maintenance. Others include Saskatoon/Juneberry, Gooseberry, or Blue Elderberry. Hazelnuts when trimmed, make wonderful hedges, and strawberries make a tasty ground cover.

For filling in those large areas, try horseradish, or Jerusalem artichoke with its showy yellow flowers.

Shade tolerant veggies include beets, brussel sprouts, cabbage, garlic, leaf lettuce, spinach, turnips and radishes. Once you taste the flavor in your homegrown delicacies, you’ll be increasing your crop every year.

Edible flowers are both decorative and tasty when added to salads and soups. Some of my favorites include:

Nasturtiums – Adds a peppery flavor to salsa and gazpacho.

Anise Hyssop – Sweet anise or black licorice flavor.

Basil – Flowers have a similar, milder taste than the leaves.

Bee Balm – Use leaves and flowers to make tea with an Earl Grey flavor.

Borage – Large shrub with purple star-shaped flowers that taste like cucumber are wonderful in soups and salads.

Calendula – The bright orange flowers taste similar to saffron with a peppery taste that adds a golden color to foods.

Carnation – Has a peppery, spicy flavor.

Chamomile – Tastes similar to apple and makes a relaxing tea that’s easy on the stomach.

Chicory – The beautiful bright blue flowers tolerate the worst of growing conditions. The roots can be used to make a coffee substitute, the buds can be pickled similar to a caper, and the young leaves make a nice addition to a salad.

Chives – Flowers have a mild onion flavor and the chopped stems are a nice addition to soups, salads or just about any recipe you would add onions.

Pansy – Flowers have a mild sweet to tart flavor.

Violet – Sweet nectar-like flavor.…


Church Design Tidbits: Balconies and Landscaping

Church Design Tidbits: Balconies and Landscaping

In this article, we will be giving some design tidbits for two unrelated, but important, features of your church project: balcony seating and landscaping.

Balcony Seating

When properly designed, balcony seating has some benefits worth considering. Balconies can solve the problem of future expansion as the congregation grows and can enable a church with limited land to expand “up” rather than “out”. In fan-shaped sanctuaries a balcony can increase the seating by almost 50%. A future balcony should be master-planned from the start with the major structure completed during the sanctuary construction. A removable wall can temporarily hide this unfinished space.

Many people assume that a balcony is always an inexpensive and smart way to expand. However, the floor system, structural framing, riser framing, handrails and multiple stairways are an additional expense not incurred when seating on the main level. The primary problem with balcony seating, however, is often not related to construction costs. Many people complain of feeling like spectators when sitting in a balcony, and balconies often do not provide good visibility of, or easy access to, the altar area. Furthermore, it’s simply difficult to see someone’s face beyond about 65 feet. Since the sight-line is downward, balcony handrails and the person in the row ahead often block the view as well. Problems related to the seats under the balcony may include columns, low ceilings and poor sound or lighting.

Some elements of good design include stairs or stadium seating on the sides with easy access to the main floor, two steps per row for added visibility, high-back pews to alleviate the fear of falling forward, glass or narrow rails in the upper half of balcony walls, and large-screen video monitors or projection screens.


While landscaping can add immensely to the value, beauty and comfort of a church site, most architectural firms do not provide detailed landscaping design in their scope of services unless specifically requested by the owner. Many jurisdictions will require a rudimentary landscaping plan consisting of a site plan indicating the location, type and size of new and existing trees and shrubs, areas of sod and mulch, as well as an erosion control plan. It is now common for permit authorities to require landscaping islands in the parking areas based upon the amount of pavement. These islands are usually located at the ends of parking rows. Landscaping islands, however, can become an impediment to snow removal. In transition yards (a green area separating the church parking lot or buildings from adjoining residential or commercial property) a screen of trees and shrubs is also often required by permit authorities.

Deciduous trees on the south and west of the building will shade and cool the church in summer yet let warming sunlight through the bare branches in winter. The church should select hardy plant types that require little maintenance. Keep in mind that the little shrubs being planted may quickly grow too large for their placement near parking spaces, sidewalks, and buildings.

The church should consider the benefits of good landscaping design. A knowledgeable landscape architect can be hired to develop a master plan for landscaping that can be developed over time as funds become available.…