It’s Fall…Time To Plant For Spring!

When I think of the seasons, not surprisingly, I think of the plants associated with them. And when I think of the plants, I also think color! The summer harkens images of fluffy white or blue hydrangea and swaths of purple coneflowers and a sea of ornamental grasses. In fall I think of the amazing shades of reds, oranges and yellows leaves of the tree canopy and big orange pumpkins. In winter I think of dark green conifers and red holly berries. And in spring I think of pink, airy cherry blossoms and a rainbow of flowing bulbs.

Now here we are in early fall, surrounded with all the colors of still-lasting summer flowers and the just turning maple leaves. It can be hard at this time of abundant color to remember the joys of those first purple or yellow spring flower bulbs emerging from the white snow or brown muddy earth. And yet, now is the time to prepare and plant bulbs for that great spring moment! We’ve put together a list of bulbs to inspire ones imagination to think forward to the colors of spring long enough to get them in the ground. Then we will let you go back to enjoying the colors of our gorgeous New England fall while sipping apple cider by a glowing fire pit.

All of the bulbs listed are considered deer-resistant except for tulips and dutch hyacinth.

Crocus (Crocus species and cultivars):

Often the first flower out of the ground in spring, this small, delightful flower is available in a variety of  blues, purples, white and yellow.

crocus-flower-meadow

 

 

 

 

Tulip (Tulipa cultivars):

Tulips are available in any color of the rainbow! Some are single colored with traditional clean lines, some are stripped and some are the feathery jaw-dropping parrot tulips with unbelievable shocks of swirling color such as the Parrot Tulip shown below. 

 

Parrot tulip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fritillary (Fritillaria species):

Tall and regal, available in a gorgeous range of purples, pinks, orange and yellow, some single-colored and some multicolored.  The image shown is the Crown Imperial which can reach 5′ Ht.

 Fritillary

 

 

 

 

Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

Lovely with Hosta in a partial shade area.

 spanish_bluebell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dutch hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis and cultivars):

Beautifully scented, often purple or blue, but also available in white, pink or pale yellow.  

 

 

 

Dutch hyacinth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum and cultivars):

Easy to grow, available in a range of purpley-blues.

 grape hyacinth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daffodil and Narcissus (Narcissus species):

A classic spring flower, available in a range of sizes. Be careful not to over crowd them.

 Daffodils

 

 

 

 

 

Allium (Allium species and cultivars):  These are one of my favorites!

Blooms a bit later in spring than other bulbs mentioned here, a very striking focal point, especially the large varieties such as “Gladiator’ or ‘Globemaster’.

Allium 'Globemaster'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The combinations are almost endless. Spend a little time know, during our warmer days to get these bulbs in and in the spring you will be so happy that you did.

Happy Planting!

-Abigail

 

 

 

Playing With Patterns

I came across a very cool brochure the other day and was inspired to write about it.  While many people think that pattering in a garden is done purely with plant or stone material we often forget about the beauty of the sun.  Yes, the sun!  It too can create patterns that are mesmerizing, relaxing and remind all of us just how joyful life can be. 

Patterns can create for us a sense of playfulness, a nice reminder that we should cease taking things too seriously…Let’s have fun with this! 

These images are taken from www.parasoleil.com.  Their tag line: The Art of Shade.

The Art of Shade by Parasoleil:  www.parasoliel.com

The Art of Shade by Parasoleil: www.parasoliel.com

 

Naturally Speaking….

Naturally SpeakingSo here in Brookfield, CT we have had a relatively mild winter.  That is until this week, and it’s looking as though the temperature is going to be dropping down into the single digits with wind chills in the below zero range over the weekend. And, as  luck would have it, it is lining up just perfectly with a construction schedule requiring numerous site visits to watch and direct the installation of a planted boulder slope.  But that’s  perfectly fine and will be mostly enjoyable.  Why, you ask?  Because the boulders that will be installed I got to hand pick at Ellsworth Stone in Sharon, CT.   Yes, I got to shop for boulders.  I love this job!

Almost anything can be used  as a landscape element, but and amazing boulder taken from ledge indigenous to the landscape can become and incredible statement piece.    It can be a focal point in a garden, a bench along a winding path or seating next to the fire pit.  It can be a plinth or a post and even a bridge over a garden path.  Check out the amazing pattern on this one.  Who wouldn’t want this in their garden?

Keep warm!

~Abigail

p.s  Do not call them rocks!

Fire!

Nothing will heat you up on a cold winter day better than an outdoor fire element.  Can you feel it, just by thinking about it? 

It doesn’t matter if its a fire pit, tiki torches or flames set strategically around a space for visual aesthetic….Fire is Fire and it is HOT!  These elements can create a focal point, define a space or simply function to create atmosphere. When these items are strategically placed in a meaningful way they can offer one a chance at quality family time, a place to gather with friends, or the opportunity to get lost in one’s dreams, and the list goes on and on. 

If it all sounds appealing I would love to help you realize your visions for a new and/or improved outdoor living space…let’s bring on the heat!

Wishing you warm thoughts,

Abigail

p.s.  Did I mention that these items also add value to your home.

 

 

What a FABULOUS year!

I will say it again!  What a fabulous 2016!  No confusion here – just always looking ahead.

I get fired up just thinking about the year ahead.  The new and exciting projects that are just ideas in the minds of clients – will become a reality in a few short months!  The amazing clients and collaborators that I haven’t even met.  There is nothing more exciting than working alongside a group of people who share the vision of creating spaces that are in every way meaningful.

It is truly satisfying to design spaces for clients that inspire, relax, rejuvenate, motivate, or just simply evoke a sense of elation and joy – spaces that not only appeal to the senses, but go deeper – every season of the year.

As we move into the new year, I want to extend my appreciation to all who have inspired, supported, and expanded me.  And my appreciation to those who will enter soon. Have a very Happy Holiday and an amazing New Year!

~Abigail

 

Brilliant

blogHave I got a plant for you…One of my favorite native plants for fall is Amelanchier x. grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’ commonly known as Autumn Brilliance Serviceberrry. As its name implies, this plant has dark green leaves that turn a brilliant orange-red color in the fall. Multi-functional, it can be utilized as a small ornamental specimen tree when specified as a single stem, or act as an excellent multi-stemmed boarder shrub. Either way, this plant will no doubt add great fall color to your landscape. This plant, however, does not stop there. In April it will delight you with and abundance of small white flowers and in June provide dark, edible berries (sometimes referred to as Juneberries).

In addition to seasonal interest, this native beauty is tolerant of a wide range of site conditions. This attribute, as well as all of the others noted above, allows me to get creative in how and where I place it. Although I often specify it in rain gardens, adjacent to detention basins, for naturalization, etc., I particularly enjoy placing this shrub at the edge of a woodland setting. The combination of tall canopy trees and evergreens in the background only enhance the pop of white flowers in the spring and vivid color in the fall.

Oh, and did I mention birds like it too!

~Abigail

Spring is in the Air, well, kind of!

As we begin to notice the shift from the cool summer colors to the warm  golden colors and the crisper nights of fall, we often want to forget about yardwork and cozy up around the fire pit with hot cocoa, family and friends. We would rather be sipping hot cider and picking apples than raking leaves. However, keep in mind that outdoor housekeeping is key to healthy and happy gardens! Remember, a little digging in October can produce beautiful results in the spring!

Click on the link below to Better Homes & Gardens for October Gardening Tips in the Northeast. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/gardening-by-region/northeast/october-tips-the-northeast/

Happy Gardening!

~Abigail

Why Landscape Architecture as a career?

 

I am blessed to have a career I love. Although I didn’t always know I’d become a landscape architect the seeds were planted at an early age.

I love heavy equipment and construction sites. Plain and simple I think it’s cool. And I felt the same way back when I was 7 and 8 years old when my parents hired a Landscape Architect to prepare designs for our postage size property in South Salem, NY. It was amazing to me how all of the different elements came together. Each day when the workers left I’d sit in the bucket of the excavator waiting for the next day’s work. I was always the kid under the huge rhododendron digging in the dirt and building things.

In college I chose my path based on what sounded like a real career that would make my parents proud – Pre-Law.   But deep down I knew I was destined for another path. One week in law school was enough to know that I was clearly not headed in the right direction. I took a year to figure out what was the right direction.

A horticulture and floral design class at UMaine, Orono led me to a Masters Programs in Landscape Architecture. I settled on UMass, Amherst, and the rest is history. It all seems to come full circle. Creativity is in my genes. My paternal grandfather was a very successful artist, my aunt is also a great artist, and my father owned a graphic art studio in Manhattan. I was lucky enough to go there often as a child…I was in heaven with the array of colored pencils, markers and paper at my fingertips!

I was once told by someone that if you are not sure what career path you are supposed to take in life, just think about what you loved doing when you were 7. For me nothing could have been truer. All of the signs were there, I just didn’t pay attention at first!

Designing space and places for my clients just feels good. I have no other way to describe it. I wish I could have known my grandfather. Ask him how it made him feel when he was drawing, creating. I often wonder if it is how I feel when I am doing the same.

~Abigail

Welcome

Welcome Everyone to my first blog!

For those of you who do not know me (yet!), I am not a fan of writing about myself in any way shape or form.  However, I wanted to give you all a quick glimpse of me.  With that being said  I will start this off by giving credit where credit is due, to Linda McCaffrey and the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce who have prepared this member spotlight bio for me:

Upon entering Law School, Abigail knew immediately that it was not her passion. Having majored in English Literature and thus having a creative nature, she went back to her childhood, remembering the joy of seeing the big equipment of the landscapers and the tranquility found in a well designed outdoor space. Moving to Maine she took a horticulture class at the University of Maine and proceeded to get her Masters in Landscape Architecture. She had found her purpose and passion.

Abigail still owns a vacation home on 30 acres in Maine and started her career in Yarmouth. Better opportunities landed her first with a firm in New Canaan, CT and then with CCA, LLC here in Brookfield. While at CCA she learned the technical side of the industry so she could take the testing to go from landscape designer to landscape architect. While at CCA, she was able to learn from and partner with engineers, land use attorneys, wetland scientists and other professionals which provide her with a wide base of resources. Recently she opened her own firm, A2 Land Consulting which will give her the flexibility to work with a wider variety of clients.

What Abigail loves about her career is that no two days are the same. To take a concept and a vision of one of her clients and see the plan come together and take on a life and energy of its own is what inspires her. She creates a SENSE OF PLACE, designing inspirational spaces that connect the “built” environment to the natural environment. Her best clients include not only homeowners but also the owners of commercial spaces and land developers.

Her key to success is to always be connecting with people, growing, and as she put it, “finding new ways to blossom”. She also credits her success to hiring a business coach early on who has made her focus on who she needs to connect with and also how to have meaningful sales conversations with a variety of people.

Abigail currently lives in Carmel NY with her husband, Jason, and seven year old daughter, Chloe. Chloe, she noted, is very theatrical, and is one of 3 cousins on Abigail’s side who are all the same age. Jason works for Lexus of Mt. Kisco. She enjoys Yoga, spending time in Maine and doing anything outside.

Thank you for joining me and I look forward to offering a blog to you on a monthly basis on a variety of different topics.  If there is anything you would like me to write about, don’t hesitate to ask!

~Abigail