Archive for May 2012

Brookside Garden’s Private Gardens Tour

May 19, 2012

As many of you know, I live in the metropolitan Washington DC area. One of my favorite photographic haunts is Brookside Gardens (part of the Montgomery County park system). This year they have organized a tour of seven private gardens in Bethesda, Maryland for Saturday June 2nd. I’m very impressed how quickly they’ve been able to organize it, find gardens, and arrange publicity. (I worked on the local Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours here in 2010 and it was a lot of work!).

I have photos of two of the gardens, so I’ll start with those. First is fellow designer Barbara Katz’s own garden, which was last open to the public in spring 2009 as part of the GC Open Days tours here that year. Welcoming you in the front yard you’ll find a friendly boxwood caterpillar:

Katz Garden, London Landscapes, Garden Conservancy, Brookside Gardens Tour

A boxwood caterpillar graces the front lawn of landscape designer Barbara Katz’s garden in Bethesda

Originally designed for a client of hers, this garden came into Barbara’s own possession when the client moved to Boston. She makes changes every year. I love visiting and photographing it because of the amazing plant combinations she has come up with, not to mention her containers.

Brookside Garden tour, London Landscapes, Katz garden

The back yard of the Katz garden (in autumn)

London Landscapes, Katz garden, Brookside garden tour

A bust with pearls, planted with ivy “hair,” provides whimsy and textural contrast in the spring garden of Barbara Katz.

The other garden on the tour which I know well is – full disclosure – one I designed in 2003, and which I continue to work on with its owners, Robyn and Bill Collins. Because the house sits on an underground spring, the site is consistently wet and one of the issues we had to address (and still struggle with today) is moisture.  This is true especially in the back garden, which may be why these astilbes look so happy, and hostas thrive.

Collins garden, astilbe, Brookside Gardens tour, wet gardens

Astilbe, Cornus alba ‘Ivory Halo’, and sweetbay magnolia in the back yard of the Collins garden.

Although the primulas aren’t likely to be in bloom by the time of the tour, the hostas and other shade plants shown in this photo will be in full glory.

Collins garden, Brookside Gardens tour, wet gardens

A view of the pool house from the patio in late spring.

Other gardens on the tour include the personal garden of Holly Shimizu (director of the US Botanic Garden) and three other gardens personally selected by the staff at Brookside. For more details and photographs of the gardens, click here. You can register for the tour in advance here or by coming to McCrillis Gardens in Bethesda on the morning of June 2nd, where on-site tickets will be sold and addresses for the gardens will be available. This is a fundraiser for one of our area’s premiere public gardens. If you’re within driving distance, please mark your calendar!  This is a rain or shine event. You may even run into me at the Collins garden, where I expect to be on hand to answer questions most of the day.

Up and Running in the Ethernet

May 4, 2012

One of the various hats I wear at my company, Landscape Projects, is that of website maven. I say “maven” because although I designed our previous website, I’m not a website designer by training and couldn’t tell you the first thing about writing code. I just love photographing gardens so producing the photos for our new website – and working with our designer at Echo Communications – was where I came in when we concluded the site was due for a major overhaul.

The site went live about a week ago. It’s image-heavy, with less text, but I think that’s a good thing in our business. Take a look by clicking the image below, and let me know what you think. Thanks for visiting.

Landscape Projects, Inc., Bethesda MD

The home page for our new web site. The main photograph changes every four or five seconds.


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