Book Recommendation: Paul Bangay’s Country Gardens

Book Recommendation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

I love a good gardening book, and when a new book arrives in the mail the first thing I do is sit down and flip through all the pages for initial absorption of the photos. When I first opened Paul Bangay’s Country Gardens to look at the photos, I had to stop a third through because I was exhausted. Every single image had elements I wanted to study, even at first pass. It took me three attempts to make it through the book for my first glance, each time sending my mind into a haze of inspiration and ideas. My copy now rests next to my desk for anytime I need to get my head back into that inspired haze.

A peek in Country Gardens by Paul Bangay, more at Thiningoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

The book is divided into 20 individual country gardens. However, I feel the classification of “country gardens” is misleading. Yes, these gardens are mostly fair outside any metropolis, however their structure and elements of Paul’s designs can be applied to any location and any size garden.

 

Here are a small sampling of the gardens in the book, even though they don’t do the book justice. A peek in Country Gardens by Paul Bangay, more at Thiningoutsidetheboxwood.com

A peek in Country Gardens by Paul Bangay, more at Thiningoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

If you are looking to add any other books to your library, I also recommend Stonefields which follows Paul’s personal garden masterpiece from inception, creation, maintenance and continuing evolution. The last photo above is from Stonefields to give you an idea what to expect from the whole book.

A Visit to White Flower Farm and walking The Lloyd Border

G A R D E N S, Garden Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A visit to White Flower Farm, touring the greenhouses and walking the Lloyd Border - More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

Another stop our road trip from Ohio to Boston was to visit White Flower Farm in Morris, CT. We met with Elliot Wadsorth and he gave us a tour of the gardens and greenhouses. When we told family, friends and clients from Ohio to Connecticut about our planned stop, they all knew of White Flower Farm which showcases just how many gardeners White Flower Farm has touched.

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

One of the first areas we walked was the Lloyd Border, named after the late Christopher Lloyd, famed for his creation of Great Dixter in the United Kingdom. The border at White Flower Farm was designed by Fergus Garrett, the head gardener at Great Dixter, with the planting starting in 2011. The border is 20 feet deep and runs 280 feet long backed by a hedge European Beech and edge by a slate walkway. As you walk down the border, the mood, colors and textures constantly changes and you experience and walking back in the other direction gives a completely different experience.

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comWalking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comWalking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comWalking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comWalking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comWalking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Here are a few close-ups of the border. Focusing on individual groupings allows you to see how different foliage and flower textures play with one another. We visited at the very end of July, but walking this border through the different months you will have a completely different experience of how all the plants play together.

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Walking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comWalking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comWalking the Lloyd Border at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Another area of the farm to view the use of perennials is in the Moon Garden, featuring a collection of all white blooming plants. This border looked particularly breathtaking while on our walk with the moody overcast sky.

The white perennial border – Moon Garden - at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comThe white perennial border – Moon Garden - at White Flower Farm – More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

I need to also share this photo of the amazing garden shed at White Flower Farm. Love the mix of the solid and vented portions, moss growing on the roof, tapering stone wall and the ferns nestled at the foundation. Garden Potting Shed at White Flower Farm – More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

I cannot believe how much inspiration we found on this one trip to the East Coast. Still have all the gardens we visited with APLD to share, just need to find time to organize all the photos.

What to expect at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference

Advice, Garden Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

After returning from the APLD Boston conference, I reflected about how the conference was beneficial to me as a designer. With no shortage of trade shows, garden tours and conferences to attend each year, I wanted to share some insight into the conference and my personal experience to help anyone on the fence with attending.

What to expect at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference from Boston 2017 - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

This year the conference was in Boston, MA, last year it was in Santa Fe, NM and next year is in Toronto.  My comments below follow the structure of both past conferences, but with images from Boston. You can see images from the Santa Fe tours I posted before HERE.  In my following posts I will share images from the Boston conference garden tours. I have so many I need to work on editing to the best ones, but this post gives you a sampling of the garden tour locations.

 

The conference is broken down into two main buckets; speakers/educational/panels and tours. I am adding a third section for networking, since it can be forgotten benefit out side of CEUs when reviewing the agenda. There are around 100+ attendees over the course of the event with some staying the whole time and others for just the tours or speakers/courses. And with a conference that size, there are not a lot of extra bells and whistles.

What to expect at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference from Boston 2017 - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

SPEAKERS/CLASSES/PANELS

The conference portion of speakers, classes and panels takes place inside a hotel conference space which keeps everything in one central location. The Conference (counting pre and post) runs five days. I am not sure how long this link will live, but HERE is a breakdown of the schedule this year. With a pre-conference events on Thursday and the kick off with the in the classroom conference including six different sessions. Below is a breakdown of the conference topics:

  • Opening Keynote: The Art of the Makeover – Reinventing Existing Landscapes with Patrick Chasse, ASLA
  • Designing with Natives with Travis Beck, Director of Horticulture, Mt. Cuba Center
  • Quenching Heat, Humidity & Drought: Gardens that Dazzle – Withstanding the Dog Days & Onward with Warren Leach, Landscape Horticulturist and owner  Tranquil Lake Nursery.
  • Expose Yourself! How to feature your work locally, regionally and nationally
  • Place Making – Designing for Place through Customer Engagement with Garth Woodruff, APLD Assistant Professor Andrews University
  • Closing Keynote: The Designer’s Way: Creating Gardens and Lives of Beauty and Meaning with Julie Moir Messervy.

I spoke along with three other designers in a pre-conference panel about growing and expanding your business, which was a marathon, 3 hour, non-stop discussion about how we are running our business. It was a great discussion, and I hope there are more of these types of panels in future conferences. However see my next bullet point on networking.

 

What to expect at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference from Boston 2017 - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

NETWORKING:

Most beneficial element of the conference for me is always the networking with fellow designers. No two designers have the same firm structure, career path or plant palette. However, everyone is open to talking about the good and bad of the business and giving as much advice and experiences as possible. The time on the buses, during break sessions at dinners and hotel bar drinks – I have had the most impact on my professional career from the networking during those moments. It was through this networking time I have joined a group of other Design | Build | Maintain companies across the country for monthly calls sharing business insights.  I think this is a factor that is overlooked in considering a conference, but again is so valuable to professionals.

 

What to expect at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference from Boston 2017 - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

THE GARDEN TOURS:

The APLD garden tours are scouted by local APLD members, and majority include private homes that are infrequently opened for tours. Given the group are all gardeners, home owners know the group will treat the space with respect and care. There are two days of tours, which the closing session and awards at the end of the final day. I would not let the location of the conference stop you if not aligned to your local environment. Last year the conference was in Santa Fe, and while the area has very unique terrain and water needs and completely different from Central Ohio. However the use of materials, planting combinations/patterns and incorporation of artwork was inspiring and relevant to me as a designer (Again see my photos HERE). Actually maybe more so since made me look at things completely differently than my normal environment. Also, as you can see in many of my following posts, getting photos without people is not a problem. You also have fellow experts around you if there are any questions, someone will know the plant, tried the method or how to maintain.

 

 

What to expect at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference from Boston 2017 - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

COSTS, PACKING and QUICKTIPS:

I know it is a financial Investment to attend the conference, and I would budget with conference, hotel, food and travel to cost in the range of $3,000 – $3,500 for five days. You can save on hotel rooms if you are willing to room with someone, you spend very little time in your room between tours and the classroom time. It is a packed agenda, expect to leave the room around 8 and return around 9/10 pm.

Here is my quick packing list:

  • Camera and charger and a cellphone charging cube
  • Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Rain Coat
  • Business cards – make sure all your social handles are listed
  • Note Book, pen and traveling bag for the bus
  • Light Snacks and water for the bus rides

Other tips: Spend as little time in your room as possible. Go to dinners with attendees, meet up for morning coffee runs. Ask questions, lots of questions. Research the host city for additional spots to visit. Drop pins during garden tours to visit areas again.

What to expect at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Conference from Boston 2017 - More at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

I know it requires a financial investment to attend a conference. I hope this helps give you some details on what you can expect and really what the end pay off can be. The APLD conference next year is in Toronto, Canada September 13-17. If you have any questions leading up to the event, please feel free to message me, I am happy to jump on the phone and talk.