APLDCT’s Second Annual Sunset River Cruise!

Schooner Mary E

Schooner Mary E

 

Ahoy me mateys, it’s time for the 2nd annual APLDCT sunset  river cruise aboard the Schooner Mary E! We set sail on Sunday, August 24th, 2014 from the Connecticut River Museum in Essex Village at 6:00 pm sharp. Tickets are $60.00 per person, and include a picnic supper and soft drinks. Adult beverages are B.Y.O.B.

 

Here’s a fun video montage of last year’s cruise to get you in the mood!

The cruise is limited to 25 passengers. Last year’s sold out so be sure to reserve your spot early by clicking on the button below! (note: you will need to repeat the reservation for each member of your group that is attending)

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Please be at the dock by 5:30and dress appropriately for cool weather. You may also bring a small cushion to sit on if you are so inclined!

Plan on arriving early to visit the Connecticut River Museum (closes at 5:00 pm), which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Connecticut River. Or take a stroll through the lovely village of Essex and view the beautiful gardens and buildings.

Parking is available at the museum and directions are listed below. If you are using a GPS, please note that the museum is in Essex Village.

Last minute change of plans should be sent to apldct@gmail.org, or via text to 860-982-8635.

 

We look forward to seeing you onboard!

 

Directions to the Connecticut River Museum and the Schooner Mary E.

From Interstate 91, take Exit 22 (CT Route 9 South). Take CT Route 9 South (26 miles) to Exit 3 (Essex) and follow signs to Connecticut River Museum and Essex Historic Waterfront.  The Connecticut River Museum at Steamboat Dock is located at the foot of Main Street on the Connecticut River.

From Interstate 95, take Exit 69 (CT Route 9 North). Take CT Route 9 North to Exit 3 (Essex) and follow signs to Connecticut River Museum and Essex Historic Waterfront. The Connecticut River Museum at Steamboat Dock is located at the foot of Main Street on the Connecticut River.

APLDCT Event 7.27.14 – O’Brien Nurserymen!


 

On July 27th, APLDCT will host a wonderful open house at O’Brien Nurserymen in Granby, CT. If you love plants, this is an outing you will not want to miss!

 

Details:

Sunday July 27 2014

11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Lunch and refreshments will be served

Cost – $10 non-APLD member/$5 APLD member

Attendees are invited to join us at a The Good Life Grill (a local pub in Granby) following the festivities (4:00 pm) for a social hour and networking!

 

 ** Please RSVP for Lunch here! 

 

APLD Member Lunch                           Buy Now Button

Non – APLD Member Lunch               Buy Now Button

 


Founded in 1984 as O’Brien Landscaping, Inc., as a design-install landscape company, O’Brien Nurserymen, LLC has now evolved into New England’s premier Hosta nursery.  Our extensive display gardens feature approximately 2,000 Hosta varieties, as well as other shade loving plants such as; Asarum, Pulmonaria, Epimedium and arapaima.  The gardens also include a wide variety of unusual dwarf conifers, over a hundred varieties of Japanese Maples, 125 varieties of daylily, and many other unique and hard to find plants.

 

Display gardens greet visitors and allow them to experience each plant’s actual growth charcteristics.

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Conifers and Japanese Maples

Shade Garden

Shade Garden

Daylily Display

Daylily Display

 

O’Brien Nurserymen is open for retail sales on designated weekends from April thru October.  The sales area is stocked with plants in containers ready to go, and features over 1200 Hosta varieties, many other choice shade perennials, dwarf conifers, Japanese maples, daylilies and Daphne.

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Sales yard stocked and ready to go!

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Sales yard stocked and ready to go!

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Sales yard stocked and ready to go!

A Landscape Plan for the Thomas Lyman House

APLD CT Board members, Lucy Van Liew and Christine Darnell, have recently collaborated on developing a landscape plan for the lovely historic Thomas Lyman House in Durham, CT. One of the finest examples of Georgian style architecture in the area, it was built in 1778 and sits on 13 acres of pristine lands including lakes, ponds, and waterfalls. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and was recently donated to the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation by the family who has owned it since 1949. The sale of the house will allow the Trust to set up a revolving fund to help in their work to protect other historic houses.

The beautiful and historic Thoms Lyman House

The beautiful and historic Thoms Lyman House

 

The board of the Connecticut Trust reached out to Lucy Van Liew, who recently has been chairing a group with the Madison Historic Society to establish a Historic District in her neighborhood. The Trust asked Lucy to provide a landscape plan that would inspire potential buyers to imagine the possibilities for improvements to the grounds around the house.

Lucy asked Christine if she would partner on this pro bono project. It proved an interesting and stimulating collaboration since they both run independent practices and have different but complementary styles.

There were specific issues such as proximity to a busy road, lack of outbuildings or garages, challenging gradients, poor driveway access and parking and little usable outside ‘living spaces’.

With these in mind and with a wish to enhance the beauty and character of the house and its surrounds, while also improving functionality, Lucy and Christine developed a plan and a series of illustrations to inspire buyers.

They presented their plan to the Trust who will be using it to promote the sale of the house.

Landscape plan by Lucy Van Liew and Christine Darnell

Landscape plan by Lucy Van Liew and Christine Darnell

Rendering by Lucy Van Liew and Christine Darnell

Rendering by Lucy Van Liew and Christine Darnell

Rendering by Lucy Van Liew and Christine Darnell

Rendering by Lucy Van Liew and Christine Darnell

Sustainability and APLDCT

Greetings fellow designers and members,

 

Sustainable is a word used often in landscape design.  In 25 years and long before sustainable became a buzz word, have I ever had someone tell me that they were hoping for a high maintenance garden of their dreams?  It just doesn’t happen!  With people always trying to capture more time, everyone who is considering a new landscape is interested in a low maintenance garden that will come back and be successful, year after year, with minimal human input.

What about the sustainability of APLDCT? A lot of our members think this is a new chapter and it is, sort of.  I was part of another CT APLD chapter a long, long time ago.  That first chapter died a slow death in the early 90’s because of a lack of input.  Let’s not let that happen again!  Landscape designers should have a voice within the state and one of those voices should be APLDCT.  For APLDCT to remain strong and sustainable, we need active members!

Here are a handful of things you can do to help this chapter survive.

 

Let’s start with the easiest, attend an event.

Tell others about APLDCT: All types of designers, peers, suppliers, contractors, clients.

Ask the above to follow us on social media, we have accounts everywhere.

Ask if they would like to receive our newsletter.

Help organize a social or educational event.

Help man a trade show booth in the future.

Take a supporting role on a committee.

Think about becoming a board member.

 

I can say that being a part of this group has made me a better designer and has awarded me new friendships and contacts.  If you think being a board member requires a ton of time, it doesn’t. There are plenty of ways to add input and make a difference in the future success of this chapter.

 

All the best,

 

Richard Schipul – Designing Eden llc

President APLDCT

A Special APLDCT Sponsor Event!

Colorblends announcement

 

Tour the Colorblends Trial Gardens & Annual Meeting


Saturday May 3, starting at 1:30 pm

Take a break from your hectic spring schedule to catch up with APLDCT members and to tour the beautiful displays at the Colorblends trial gardens.  While enjoying these colorful spring bulb gardens and gathering inspiration for next year, you can reconnect with old friends and meet some of the newest members of APLDCT.  In addition to seeing tried and true, we will have a unique opportunity to see new varieties of bulbs as they are being trialed in our area.

We will hold a brief annual meeting at 1:30pm at the Colorblends facility to get a quick update on what’s going on with APLDCT.  At 2 pm we will gather in Bridgeport to see the Colorblends trial gardens, and then between 3-3:30pm we will travel to their trial gardens in Shelton.  The garden tour will be followed by festive beverages and refreshments as we toast the start of the landscape season.

We hope that you can join us for all or part of the afternoon, please RSVP (use the RSVP button below to email APLDCT) to let us know you will attend.  If you have questions, in advance of the event please feel free to e-mail us at apldct@gmail.com and on the day of the event contact Eva at 203-650-1515 with any questions.

*Event is open to designers and professionals from all disciplines. 

Annual Meeting @ 1:30pm at Colorblends (see below for address)

Garden Tour Starting Location @ 2pm:
ColorblendsRSVP-Button
747 Barnum Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06608
(203) 338-0776

Second Location @ 3:30pm
Hilltop Gardens
245 Walnut Tree Road
Shelton, CT 06484

RAIN PLAN:  This event will happen Rain or Shine, with a few modifications.  In the event of rain the General Membership Meeting will be rescheduled to happen at the end of the day, after the garden tours. We will reverse the order of the locations so that we will end up at the Colorblends facility where we can have our reception indoors, so if it rains we will meet at Hill Top Gardens at 2pm and then the Colorblends facility at 3:30pm, with reception and meeting to follow.  
SPECIAL REQUEST: Please note that since we will be seeing some bulbs that have not been released for sale, we have been asked not to take photographs while visiting the gardens, thank you for your cooperation with this request from our hosts.

BUILDING A VISUAL VOCABULARY

By Christine Darnell

Image of From Art to landscape

On a wintry weekend in January, a former student and I traveled to Swarthmore Arboretum in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania to hear W. Gary Smith lecture on his superb book, From Art To Landscape: Unleashing Creativity in Garden Design  (Timber Press 2010).  The premise of the book is to break down the shroud of mystery surrounding the creative process and to approach the landscape with an artist’s eye. For Smith there is inspiration and pure delight in observing patterns in nature, which he does by visual note taking.  From Art to Landscape breaks the entire universe down to nine basic patterns and explores drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry, dance, and meditation, as ways to create personal connections to the landscape, and end in garden designs that tell a story and have meaning.

Smith is best known for his work in public gardens like Enchanted Woods at Winterthur in Winterthur, Delaware, and the Santa Fe Botanical garden. (He was featured last year in a delightful article in the Times entitled Where The Wild Things Are Nowabout a residential landscape in Middlebury, Virginia, and a terrific collaboration with the owners.) While listening to him talk about making visual connections and creative conclusions, I was reminded about how important putting pen to paper is, how visual note taking and on-site sketching causes us to see and take notice of natural formations and patterns. We make visual connections we would not normally make otherwise. Putting ourselves in the landscape and using a sharpie instead of a camera forces us to focus, concentrate and really look.

Smith’s warm personality and encouraging voice come through in his book as he encourages us to build our own visual vocabulary of shapes, forms and patterns. He invites us to be free and not critical as we draw, and to use pedestrian materials not precious ones (No pencils either—erasing is censoring!) The book is full of his quick drawings and recorded observations by which he sees a place. Drawing and looking begin to happen simultaneously. The time spent making each sketch is in fact laying the foundation for the relationship he forms with a particular place.

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Smith jots down brief notes on these sketches, and they are as important as the drawings themselves. The notes help him remember the design ideas or thoughts for specific plantings that come to him as he is quickly recording. From Art to Landscape shares years of observation, experience, and reflection, as well as beautiful drawings. Smith walks us through his process of simplifying what he sees and explains how to abstract landscape elements down to their most essential form as a springboard for design.

As a creative tool he suggests superimposing any two patterns; for instance take a scattered pattern and a mosaic pattern (a pattern which can happen over a big space) to get a lush, rich tapestry of planting. I tried this in approachinga wetland design over a large space where a scattered pattern over a mosaic pattern might happen naturally, and it lent a freedom to the planting design I might not have found otherwise.

 

The Carpinus Walk by W. Gary Smith

The Carpinus Walk by W. Gary Smith

Smith’s goal is to create ‘luminous moments’ as he aspires to tell a story and create an emotional response in the viewer, much as being in the presence of art and nature do. “Every place has a narrative,” he says in the Times article. From Art to Landscape gives us a bag of tools to use to help us discover that narrative, that sense of place that makes gardens so meaningful to be in, so alive with feeling and emotion.

A Tale of Two Trade Shows

NEGMANTS

For me, winter is a time to relax, reflect on how to improve from last year, and network.  What better place to do that than at a trade show?  Two regional shows to consider are New England Grows in Boston and The Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, M.A.N.T.S, in Baltimore.  For those of you who have never attended either show, here is a quick breakdown of each show.

There isn’t a better show for a combination of educational opportunities, networking and trade exhibits than New England Grows.  The show offers three days of lectures covering business management and horticultural related topics, and a large trade show.

Along with the educational sessions, each of the trade associations has networking events throughout the show.   The trade floor is a combination of equipment, tools and supplies, and nurseries.  As a designer, if you’re considering switching from hand drawing to computer aided design, there isn’t a better place to play with all the design software on the market.  With the software we use, I typically keep a list of questions that come up throughout the year and get those answered face to face at the show. This year, I actually sat at the booth of the software we use for close to an hour.  Along with learning a bunch of tips and tricks, I saw a demonstration of the next big thing in design software, 3D animation.  3D animation will allow a client to walk through the project you’ve designed for them.   The conversation also moved towards a demo of how to use dual monitors to speed up the design process.

A lot of people I talk to from CT try to do the show in one day.  To get the most out of the show though, it really takes two days.  I usually drive up the night before, get to the show first thing in the morning, stay a second night and leave after the second day.   The last couple of years, I’ve been staying outside the city where the parking is free and the hotels are a lot cheaper.  This year, I unknowingly booked a hotel on the T route so instead of driving into Boston every day and paying the $12 parking fee, I parked my car for the whole stay and paid $4 round trip for public transportation to take me into the city.   FYI, it’s always fun to stay to the end of the show.  Everything you see in the show is typically for sale and can be picked up right after the show ends.

M.A.N.T.S is another great show.  The main focus of this show is plants.  It caters to people who buy, sell and grow plants as well as all the related supplies involved in those tasks including landscape and garden items, tools, and plenty of other allied industry products.  Unlike New England Grows, there aren’t any lectures at M.A.N.T.S and there’s not a lot of equipment to view.  If you are looking for new plant suppliers, this is the show to come to, as there are nursery and plant suppliers, both large and small, from all over the country.  It’s possible to do the show in a day if you don’t stop and talk to too many people.  Baltimore is a fun city so it’s definitely worth a night in a hotel and possibly an extra day to walk the Inner Harbor.

If you’re looking for suppliers or a little inspiration, give one of the above shows a try.  I enjoy both shows so I usually alternate between the two shows every other year.

All the Best!

Rich Schipul