Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some like it Hot!

I love this clients choice in colors! Nantucket's palette is generally soft - the color of sky and the soft grey greens are prominent here, and pinks are outstanding combinations in general.

This client is not so reticent, and I love her for it - I've hardly ever met a plant I didn't like and it is so great to have such striking combinations to work with.

The site is Squam, about 500 yards off the Atlantic - very sandy soils, extreme winds - grasses are the answer, interwoven with Japanese Maples, Crocosmia, this sensational Spirea "Ogon", Ladies Mantle - lime and red/orange

Country Garden 2 - Wind, Hills and Grass

Another site opposite the mouth of the harbor - a few years back the harbor froze so solidly that when break up came there were sheets of ice a foot thick sitting on this site.

So yes, I've used many grasses.

The bulk of the garden on this site is behind the structure, sheltering from the extreme winds - mostly a steep hillside that we designed with a traversing terrace-like rock and grass garden to give it movement - previously one rather felt that the hill might slip down and into the house a any given moment - it now invites adventure,

The hillside rock and grass garden, looking back toward the entry.

The Faux Bois small table and chair are contemporary and are seamless with the paving and hillside - a great look.

You can see more of this landscape under the Hedgerows blog.

Country Garden 1, beginning the pool

In the beginning - to make an omlet you need to break eggs. We were limited as to where a pool could go. This was the only site for it, but it was a slope.
We built a very grand retaining wall, carefully veneered with native stone, and placed the pool in the new space.

Standing further back than the first picture, the pool finished, "hardscape" complete - new stone walls to accomodate slope from former garden areas, the area left center, paved with rough Bluestone is the patio where the Faux Bois table and chairs now sit.

Now standing where the first picture was taken and looking back toward the entry - one year later - it's one of my favorite gardens.
The hedge in background is Rose of Sharon with a climbing white rose interwoven for an earlier bloom, thyme is planted in the patio to soften and bring in a more country feeling.

Country Garden 1

Country Garden 1

Unfortunately I can only put 4 pictures per blog on here - I will try to take you on a journey of this garden as it has been through so many changes over the years.
Very harsh site - opposite the mouth of the harbor - extreme winter winds, most of the garden is sheltered behind the house, but still very difficult conditions.
It is a Country Garden : informal, lacking stiff edges, linear axis. this is a summer home, my client requested that it provide her with some flowers to cut, season long color, dog space, some kitchen garden elements.
Pictured here is a lovely antique French "Faux Bois" table I was lucky to find, accompanying it are contemporary Faux Bois chairs from my Design Studio. Faux Bois means "false wood" the original work was late 1800 early part of last century, primarily in France. There are some great examples in Central Park, NYC, the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Ca, I once walked down a staircase built inside a giant hollowed out tree - it took me 10 minutes to realize it was all fake - the lichens had so transformed the tree trunk, ferns sprouting along the walls and steps.

The classic Faux Bois furniture is made with an iron framework, and then covered with concrete - i believe the best furniture for Nantucket - too heavy to steal, doesn't need storing in Winter, functions much the same way as our grey shingles, it is quiet, blends in that the garden will "shine"

I have wonderful resources for Faux Bois, both contemporary and antique, some examples I keep at The Gardens, prices need to be quoted as everything keeps changing - shipping is a major factor with this furniture.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Your garden Wedding

There have been so many requests over the last 15 years to rent space in The Gardens for special events - Weddings, Benefits, Birthday parties, engagement parties - now that the nursery and shop are closed, we have the time to accommodate those requests.


The Rose Garden , above, is a lovely area for guests to take their place in the Wedding party.

The alle' is continually shifting - changing colors with the flowers of the season a lovely setting for the Bride

The "new" garden is where we had
our potted perennials. It is now an organic vegetable and cut flower
garden with an area set aside for a tent that can accommodate 125 people.

following will be more pictures of the
gardens in various seasons - look for them under moods in the garden.

I can only post 4 pictures per blog - so do "stroll" thru the various blogs for a more complete picture.

call for details:
cinda @ 508-228-2093

Garden Doctor

Garden Doctor/Consultations

There are times you might not want to hire on for a full design of your gardens, but have a problem with your space.

A consultation is a flexible option. You can ask for advice on any aspect of your garden. It could concern the choice of plants for a border, where to place a patio, nursery visits to select plants, proper planting demonstrations, soil analysis is an important consideration to many garden problems. Communicating with your gardener. Solutions will be discussed on the spot and you can have follow up notes for your future reference.

Charges are by the hour at $85. per hour, including time spent on follow up notes.

Should you decide to go on to a full Design service, the payment for the consultation can be deducted from your fee for the Design service.

To book a consultation with the Garden Doctor call: 508-228-209

Designing your Garden

The Design Process

I have chosen Nantucket as my home because I fell in love with the unusual plant community that is indigenous to the Island.

I work closely with my clients in designing a garden/landscape that they would love to live in, but perhaps cannot visualize themselves. I also work within the principals established at my nursery: Do No Harm - So the garden can remain a source of joy within our fragile ecosystem.

My initial visit to a new site is $500. From this I can give a quick overview of your site, problems I can spot, plant communities we need to be aware of - information from the surface of the site. Should you wish to proceed following the initial visit the process involves the following steps:

1. Initial meeting to gather all the elements you would like in your garden. I ask that you collect images - from magazines, books, photos for your travels - "a picture is worth a thousand words.." We list all the uses the garden will have. From this I can draw up the brief, which forms the basis for the design.

2. Survey the site. Sun angles, drainage, soil analysis, sound, views from the interior, areas needing screening, wind direction, native plant communities, invasive plants, rain and storm infiltratio. Depending on the complexity of the site I may sometimes enlist a professional Surveyor, whose fee would be billed separately from design fees.

3. Using the above I can then develop an outline design, which does not include all the detailing, but will give an idea of the proposal. We meet again to discuss this and make any changes clients may feel are necessary. If changes are significant we have other meetings to discuss, until we arrive at a comfortable design outline. I will not move on until everyone is happy with the design.

4. The agreed design is then sketched out with detailing, ready for the estimating. I much prefer to do the installation of the design working with my own crew, or specific contractors with who i have experience. I will give you an estimate quote based on the survey, design, planting plan.

Often times designs need to be broken into areas of priority, land use problems, budget, are all considerations in executing the design. It is very helpful if you have a budget in mind, as well as your priority areas.

5. I then begin the process of procuring planting material, scheduling components of the design installation.

Fees are calculated on the basis of the size, complexity and location of the site. My fee of $85./hr applies to hours in meetings, drawing plans, developing estimates for the design. i charge a 15% administrative fee applied to the installation to cover time spent ordering and collecting plants and materials, and additional up date meetings once we have begun the installation process. On site supervision time is charged by the hour.

I usually request a 50% deposit on the client accepting the design and committing to the installation. Further payments that might be required during the execution of the design installation. If the design process is delayed for a significant time, for example by planning applications, a staged payment may be requested after discussion with my client. If for any reason the design process is terminated before completion, an invoice will be submitted for work completed up to that point.

Additional charges:

Changes made during state 4 and 5 will require evaluation and new estimates


1. A 50% deposit against plant and material procurement is required

2. Plants ordered, trees viewed and selected, stone viewed and selected, subcontractors scheduled, materials arrive.

3. Schedule determined

4. Soils work performed

5. Installation of hardscaping, plants, irrigation, mulch

6. Installation complete, final payments due.

7. Follow up work to assure success of the installation - 3 years, working with yet to be determined landscape maintenance personnel. If you have a dedicated landscape crew, I will work with them on an hourly basis to train them to the specifics of the garden. I will assume that my crew will be assigned unless notified otherwise.