A more Sustainable Wesleyan…

A more Sustainable Wesleyan…

This past December, I was invited to participate in a Sustainable Design Charrette at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. The event was organized by a group of students calling themselves WILDWES (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design – Wesleyan). This is very exciting stuff, especially when you consider that Wesleyan does not have majors centered on any of the design disciplines or even a plant and soil science department. A passion for their campus is what inspires this group of students. They are lead by Miles Bukiet and Sam Silver, both of whom will be graduating this spring, but have laid a foundation for the future of WILDWES.

Sam Silver (L) and Miles Bukiet (R)

Across the nation, young minds are being nurtured and stimulated at colleges and universities, with some hearing a call to action. During the sixties and seventies, the call was a new awareness of the planet and environment, and a revolution had begun. The careless use of chemicals came under attack and whole new generation was reintroduced to a safer and healthier way of life. This movement slowed during the eighties and nineties as we became a nation focused on personal wealth. But now, as Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a changing!” We are in the midst of a great revival centered once again on health of the planet and stewardship of the environment. Organic products are growing in popularity, discussions of native plants more common, and minimizing one’s carbon footprint has become a priority. The green industry is coming of age living up to its name.

The goal of the daylong charrette, was to bring together green industry professionals, community members, professors, administrators, and students, to discuss the university grounds and consider ways to make Wesleyan a more sustainable campus. The day began with presentations on sustainable practices by three green industry professionals and co-moderators for the day, myself, Jono Neiger (Regenerative Design Group) and Ethan Roland (Appleseed Permaculture). Following our presentations, the attendees were split into three groups, with each group given a location on campus to analyze, map, and make suggestions for improvement.

Ethan Roland presenting on the state of the planet
Me presenting on Rains Gardens
Jono Neiger presenting on permaculture design
Lunch was provided by the students
An impromptu Jazz trio for lunch. They were great!

What followed was truly an invigorating experience. The group, most of which new to this process, eagerly jumped into the process and after spending a frigid 45 minutes onsite, retreated back to our meeting place to flesh ideas and propose solutions. It’s an amazing thing to watch young minds come together with those more experienced and work as one toward a common good. And come together they did. Putting pencil to paper, and considering suggestions and guidance from the moderators, each group came forward with very creative concepts. It was a very constructive and fulfilling day.

Group with Ethan Roland
My Group
Group with Jono Neiger
Presenting concepts to the group
Presenting concepts to the group
Presenting concepts to the group
Presenting concepts to the group

Not wanting to slow the movement, Miles and Sam have taken their idea one step further by applying for funding from the university, securing a faculty advisor, and organizing a for-credit course for the 2011 spring semester. The class, a landscape design forum, now has 15 students signed enrolled and another several auditing. And that leads to the next part of the story for me; Tomorrow night will mark the first of four classes I will be attending to help these students develop formal plans for several areas of the campus. Other professionals are being scheduled to lecture during the semester, on a variety of topics intended to provide the students with a broad range of information. Their goal is to actually implement one of the plans they conceive before semester’s end, with secured funding, donations and the administration’s blessing.

These are exciting times for these the students. They are carrying a torch that has smoldered for some time, but been has re-ignited in the sustainable passion of a few who have decided that the future is worth the effort. It’s an exciting time for me too!

Stay tuned for updates, I’ll be blogging throughout the process.

Until next time, I hope you find the spark to re-ignite your passions on this Valentine’s Day, be they green or other!

Five New Year’s Resolutions for your Landscape!

Five New Year’s Resolutions for your Landscape!

This is the time of year when we promise ourselves that we’ll make a change and start being better at something. For all the garden lovers and homeowners out there, I would like to suggest five New Year’s resolutions to consider implementing for 2011. It may seem a bit tacky or rude, but making recommendation to clients for their gardens is part of my daily routine, so in that spirit I present five New Year’s resolutions for the home landscape.

Repeat after me, I resolve to:

1   Severely limit or completely eliminate chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides! Seems like a no-brainer right? Not so fast. A quick stop at any garden center or big box nursery section reveals a plethora of chemical “solutions” (read: problems) for just about any problem (read: symptom). We have come a long way in the last few years my friends, but we still have a ways to go.

Start a compost bin! This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower your trash output and provide you with material to build soil health. Enough said!

Come to terms with my lawn! This one should have dozen exclamation points after it. As homeowners, Americans have developed an overactive adolescent crush on large expanses of lawn (read any symbolism you like into that one!). Lawns are boring, vast, resource sucking spaces, not meant to be tucked into every corner and under every tree. Now before you banish me to the Arctic Circle, I am not anti-lawn. When sculpted into the landscape, with enough room allowed for personal use and cared for organically, lawns are a beautiful functional part of any well designed landscape.

Not be afraid to stretch my garden’s legs! A quick drive through any suburban neighborhood reveals a major aesthetic problem with today’s landscapes, “The Foundation Planting”. UGH! Your yards are bigger than you think people and there is no need to shove all the plants in your garden up against the house in a bed that’s six feet deep. Expand the planting beds, and for this you’ll need to eliminate some lawn (see previous suggestion), but by doing so you will achieve a better balance in your landscape and the house will not look like it’s holding its breath trying to fit into a small space.

Experiment with foliage! (not what you’re thinking) There is a vast array of foliage color, size and texture in the plant world and it is here that good planting design begins. Mixing and matching plants with interesting foliage will provide year round interest, and any blossoms will just be icing on the cake!

Well there you have it, five simple resolutions that will make your landscape environmentally friendly, sustainable, and the envy of the neighborhood. Please consider any or all of them for your garden for 2011. Now, I’m off to build a worm bin!

Happy New Year, and please share your gardening resolutions for 2011, love to hear them!

Scott

Garden Designers Roundtable: Inviting Nature In!

Garden Designers Roundtable: Inviting Nature In!

This month on the Roundtable we consider habitat gardening and inviting nature into our outdoor spaces.

Certification for a job well done!

Photo courtesy Carole Brown and the Ecosystem Gardening Blog

It would seem that we have come full circle in this country. Early settlers forced nature back into the wilds as they staked their claim to the land and forged out a homestead. Forests were clear cut, and later the grasses and vegetation that sprouted were cut low allowing predators to be spotted before getting too close. Homesteading would lead to communities, then small towns and eventually the larger cities of today.Urban sprawl has created vast deserts of “concrete jungles” where the only wild life is rodents and weekend party goers. In the suburbs, things are a bit greener, but the heavy price of maintaining tailored landscapes with chemicals and pesticides, has cost us more than we may know. Fast forward to 2010, and we find ourselves in a natural renaissance, designing gardens that not only allow the local flora and fauna in, but actually are designed to attract it. Gardening techniques that were once reserved for kooks and hippies (both terms used affectionately here), have been adopted by mainstream America, and I for one could not be happier!

Plants like Goldenrod attract many pollentors

So what does it mean to actually invite nature in? In short, it means designing and implementing habitat that will support native flora and fauna, and then (here’s the best part) go forth and be among them!

Here are five simple things you can do to invite nature in:

1  First, do no harm! Yes this great tenet from the AMA, also applies to gardening with nature. Stop using pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Insects, especially native species, are a vulnerable lot, and usage of these products is causing drops in their populations. So what, you say? Insects are near the bottom of the food chain, and when you remove a building block from such a foundation, you affect the whole food chain.

Organic products are becoming easier to find and are effective!

2 Provide food for all stages of fauna. For a long time, plant growers have been touting the pest free nature of certain plants. Such plants are pest free because our native insect populations cannot feed on them. It’s not enough to simply provide a pollen source for adult species of bees, butterflies and moths, it is also necessary to provide the plants on which they lay eggs and on which their young can feed. This alone will bring in greater numbers of pollenators, which will in turn bring in more species of birds to feast on the pollenators, and so on, and so on…

Oak trees support over 200 butterfly and moth species!

3 Provide shelter. Birds, bats, mason bees, and butterflies are all examples of species that will inhabit homes built especially for them. Alternately conifers can be planted to provide year round shelter from cold and predators.

Mason Bee House

Photo Courtesy Gardener’s Supply Company

4 Provide water. All life needs water, yet this is something often overlooked when gardening for nature. You will spend countless enjoyable hours watching your new friends come to the fountain (so to speak) to drink and bathe.

Cardinal bathing

Photo courtesy of Bird Bath Supply.com

5  Get children involved!!! Kids love nature, getting our future generations involved is a great way to keep the natural movement going.

Make changes not only in the way you look at nature, but in the way you garden for it, the rewards are truly delightful. And who knows, you might one day come across a Black Racer out searching for a meal right in your own backyard. Yeah!

Northern Black Racer

Photo courtesy Animal Pictures Archive.com

For more on Inviting nature in, please follow the links below and visit my fellow Roundtable bloggers, and see what they have to say on the topic.

Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT
Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN
Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA

Landscape Challenges – Letting go of a wet lawn!

Landscape Challenges – Letting go of a wet lawn!

The lower area of our yard borders a wetland, it has been a difficult space to work with. The previous owners established and maintained lawn there for years, although I’m not sure it was worth their effort. Americans are funny about our yards and the amount of mown lawn area we think we need, and this area is a prime example. For the first eight or ten years, we made a valiant attempt to keep this area looking “respectable”. But as my thought process changed about the suburban landscape, and the direction my landscape design company would take, I began to see other opportunities for spaces like our wet lawn. Five or six years ago, after so many years of not being able to mow until late June or July when the soil dried out, an idea surfaced; Wet Meadow!

Our Meadow!

This section of lawn receives a good amount of sunshine, and borders a wooded wetland area. We decided to let Mother Nature have her way, and with a limited budget to work with, we simply identified a line on the uphill side of the area that remained dry enough to maintain, and stopped mowing below it. The border line follows the contour of the land, and is defined as a long pleasing natural curve.

Pollinators love visiting the Goldenrod!

We have done little else in the subsequent years to maintain the area, except to mow it once a year in the fall when the soil is dry enough to allow, and I am happy to report that Mother nature did not disappoint us with her plant selection. Aside from the turf grasses that were seeded there (now measuring in feet rather than inches), a wonderful collection of native species is present, and come the end of each July, August and September the meadow is ablaze with Goldenrod (Solidago sp).

Paths mown through the meadow allow visitors a closer experience

New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) is also present, as is Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). The last two years have seen the arrival of American Elder (Sambucus canadensis), and the stands of Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata) that once were cut back on the woodland edge are now thriving in greater masses that explode each fall with bright red berries.

Boneset

Soft Rush (Juncus effusus) is growing throughout and adds a wonderful texture to the grasses. Unfortunately, as with many natural areas these days, several invasives have made their way into our meadow. Each spring gloves are donned and stands of Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) are pulled and disposed of, as is occasional appearances of Common Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) and Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus).

Boomer certainly enjoys romping through the meadow!

So far with regular yearly effort these invaders have been easy to keep up with, but constant yearly vigil will be held. Our meadow is quite vibrant in late summer and autumn, but it is little more than green during the early parts of the year. This is soon to change however, as we will be planting a host of wet meadow natives in the coming years to extend the beauty of this area, and draw in many more species of wildlife.

New York Ironweed

The wonder of our meadow I fear, is lost on our family, friends and neighbors, and yet anyone of them that dared venture within when the meadow is blooming, upon hearing the buzz of thousands of pollinators, and watching hundreds of dragonflies and the many bird species that frequent the area now, would surely be won over.

Bluebirds have made the meadow their home this year!

Our suburban mentality and lack of understanding of the natural areas that surround us prevent us from experiencing the simple natural joys in life. Activities that excited us as children are long forgotten as we go about our hectic lives, but every once in a while, nature presents an opportunity to create spaces that remind us of her infinite beauty, if only we would let go.

Well after the season has passed, there is beauty in the meadow!

Do you have a problem area in your yard? Have you come up with a creative solution to dealing with it? We would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment, or head over to the Blue Heron Facebook fan page and tell us about it.

May you find simply joy in your garden!

Scott

http://www.blueheronlandscapes.com

Book Review – Bringing Nature Home!

Book Review – Bringing Nature Home!

Several years ago, one of the larger insecticide companies, I believe Ortho, ran a commercial for one of its new products. In this commercial, a homeowner wields his spray bottle of lethal insecticide as if he were Wyatt Earp ridding Tombstone of its hooligans. In the background, a score reminiscent of an old spaghetti western sets the mood, as fewer and fewer bug noises emanate from the owners yard until all falls silent. The final scene: our now satisfied homeowner standing tall amidst the solitude, when suddenly a cricket chirps, he reaches for his “revolver”, the cricket goes silent, seemingly in fear for its life. The homeowner smiles.

I’m sure on some level we can all relate to this homeowner, after all no one likes mosquitoes, gnats, black flies, and other various and sundry pests, yet I felt a disconnect with the message.  I was confused (read: annoyed), that this “hero” would target a cricket, in his blanket approach to eradicating all insects from his property.  I knew nature provided many beneficial insects, as well as pests, but I could never really express my concerns to anyone in a way that made sense to them.

“Bringing Nature Home – How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants” by Doug Tallamy, has provided me with the answers I have been searching for. Published in 2007 by Timber Press, and already in its third printing in 2009, Mr. Tallamy’s book explores native plant communities, and the insect populations that have evolved in relationship to them. We learn through Mr. Tallamy’s research that over time insects develop relationships with plants, based on the chemical makeup of the plant’s tissue. Some insects develop exclusive relationships, such as the Monarch Butterfly and Milkweed, while other insects have evolved to feed on and reproduce with various species of plants. An interesting point made in this book is that our native insect populations will gather nourishments from alien plant material, generally in the form of nectar, as adults, but do not reproduce on alien plant material. They have not developed the ability to process the secondary chemical compounds in alien species, therefore younger stages of native insects, cannot feed on aliens. As native plant populations disappear from our backyards, and as invasive species continue to overrun our natural areas, we are left with healthy adult populations of native insects, but fewer places for them to reproduce. All the wonderful plants brought back to our gardens from all over the world, prized by collectors, garden clubs and hybridizers, are unavailable as a source of nutrition, to the larval stages of our native insect populations.

So what’s wrong with that, you ask? Who wouldn’t want fewer bugs around? That is a question best answered by reading “Brining Nature Home”. Insects play an important role in the health of our ecosystems, and declining populations will have devastating effects on these fragile communities. Leaning about these complex relationships is something I highly recommend to any gardener who cares about our environment. “Bringing Home Nature” is an important tool to be used towards the reestablishment of out native ecosystems. No longer acceptable to simply turn our back on nature as we garden, we now have the power to affect positive change on a “grass roots” level, and Mr. Tallamy’s book is a great place to learn how.

Oh, as for our Earp-like hero referenced above; the natural answer to our bug problem, is to allow and even promote insect populations. That’s right, and as they grow, so will the predators of those populations grow, until balance is restored, and nature keeps everything in check.

See you out in the Garden,

Scott

www.blueheronlandscapes.com

Garden Designers Bloglink: Celebrating regional diversity in New England!

Garden Designers Bloglink: Celebrating regional diversity in New England!

If you’ve ever walked through a landscape and not been able to tell what part of the country you were in, or have traveled somewhere only to find the same plants, paving materials, and stores as the mall back home, then you have experienced the homogenization of today’s society. Uniqueness is giving way to mass production in our world. If everywhere we go, looks the same as where we’ve been, is there really any reason to have gone there in the first place? This post, and the posts of 12 of my friends and fellow Landscape Designers today, is dedicated to celebrating regional diversity in the garden. Lauding the uniqueness of each corner of this small planet. Please take some time to visit the other participants blogs, and experience the visions of each of these talented designers, as they delve into regional diversity in Garden Design. You’ll find their names and links to their blogs at the end of this post.

A simple herringbone path, brings out the charm of this cottage.

I live and design landscapes in southern New England. New England is a wonderfully diverse region of the country. The Connecticut River Valley, rich and fertile, has been home to thriving agriculture for some 400 years. Dairy farms once dominated the rolling hills of Vermont. There are granite quarries in New Hampshire, brownstone quarries in Connecticut, rocky lobster beds in Maine, and the world’s premier oyster fisheries in Long Island Sound. Mill towns throughout the region stand as reminders of a strong manufacturing base, long since weakened by present day global economies. Ecosystems vary from huge sand dunes on Cape Cod, alpine meadows in New Hampshire, deep spruce forests in Maine, and over 6000 miles of rocky and sandy coastline. In a days drive, one can experience all that New England has to offer, passing through cattle pastures, tobacco fields, mountain passes, large cities and industrial hubs.

Instead of cut and fill, the terrain in this garden was celebrated with a stream and pond.

The architecture in New England is predominantly colonial in nature. It echoes the feel of northern Europe, for it is those Europeans that originally settled here. They brought with them their colonial style houses, cottage gardens, and an innate ability to construct miles and miles of field stone walls, perhaps the defining image of New England. Stone walls line both farmland and Main Street in most New England towns, and that same stone can be found in the construction of many of the older factories, churches and municipal buildings.

Sadly though, New England’s natural beauty is slowly disappearing, succumbing to strip malls and boring landscapes of mass produced plant cultivars. The brick paths, field stone walls and cottage gardens, that provided this region with its traditional character and charm, are also giving way to more modern concrete pavers, block walls and uninteresting plantings. To turn around this trend, one need only to look again to New England’s history and natural beauty when designing a garden. Its early European influences, natural geography and native ecosystems, still present today, can easily be drawn upon to marry each design to the regions character. And when that design is true to its surroundings, and successfully implemented, the effort put forth to enhance that natural beauty, disappears beneath a conjoined sense of place. To put it simply, a well designed landscape seems not to have been designed at all, yet gives the visitor a sense of location, and of the character within. Herein lays the value of celebrating a location’s natural diversity, and turning away from homogeneous design. By focusing on regionally specific plant groups, hardscape materials, and design concepts, we promote uniqueness rather than assimilation into the global fold.

Natural Cedar and Native Fieldstone conceal an ugly foundation wall.

Examples that might celebrate regional diversity could be as follows: A shade garden of locally native plants beneath a beautiful hardwood canopy, so common in New England, instead of cutting down as many trees as possible to grow a lawn. A meadow or rain garden in a low lying damp area, filtering toxins from runoff before it reenters the ecosystem. A habitat garden comprised of native plant species providing a place of food and sanctuary for the native fauna. Moving in closer to the house, examples might include; Native stone and brick to construct walkways and patios, calling back to the days when such materials were quarried in a nearby location. Regionally available wood species, felled and milled locally to build garden structures. And, when possible, situating the home itself so as to accentuate the property, shunning cut and fill grading practices and taking advantage of the land’s unique characteristics.

Boston City Hall Pavers, shown here before planting, complement the colonial architecture of the house.

Drawing upon the history, native plants and hardscape materials of a region when designing a project, provides the designer a culturally specific path to creating that garden.  A garden that celebrates its location and informs its visitors. As our world continues to shrink, it is imperative to preserve local character and regional identity. Doing so, will give your garden its unique sense of place.

I hope you find yourself a new sense of place in your own garden. And please, if you any thoughts on this topic? I’d love to hear them, leave a comment below!

Scott

I would invite you now to visit my friends and fellow Landscape designers as they blog from their unique and diverse regions, and who knows, maybe you’ll find an interesting place to visit the next time you venture across this wonderfully diverse country of ours. Click on each of the Designers names to visit their blogs. (And while your there, explore some of their older posts also. You’ll find a wealth of information!)

Jocelyn Chilvers (The Art Garden) – Wheat Ridge, CO

Susan Cohan (Miss Rumphius’ Rules) –  Chatham, NJ

Michelle Derviss (Garden Porn) – Novato, CA

Tara Dilliard (Landscape Design Decorating Styling) – Stone Mountain, GA

Dan Eskelson (Clearwater Landscapes Garden Journal) – Priest River, ID

Laura Livengood Schaub (Interleafings) – San Jose CA

Susan Morrison (Blue Planet Garden Blog) – East Bay, CA

Pam Penick (Digging) – Austin, TX

Susan Schlenger (Landscape Design Viewpoint)  – Charlottesville, VA

Genevieve Schmidt (North Coast Gardening) – Arcata, CA

Ivette Soler (The Germinatrix) – Los Angeles, CA

Rebecca Sweet (Gossip in the Garden) – Los Altos, CA

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www.blueheronlandscapes.com

More RAIN!

More RAIN!

Another day of rain yesterday, and honestly, I am struggling to find the silver lining. Here are a few positives; the reservoirs are full, lawns are staying green and the irrigation systems are not being used as much (Yeah!), most of the wet weather has been spaced out enough to limit basement water (Double Yeah!). What I am most excited about though is the crop of mushrooms that have appeared in our yard. Have a look!

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It’s Hard to outdo Mother Nature, when it comes to simple beauty, and I look forward to moments like these. Truly, it’s the little things that make life enjoyable.

See you in the mushroom garden,

Scott

www.blueheronlandscapes.com

When the cat’s away…..

When the cat’s away…..

Recent events have kept me from attending to all the details that keep each project moving along smoothly, and that has caused there to be a little downtime for the crew. When faced with idle time in the past, I could usually trust that my crew would keep themselves busy in some sort of constructive fashion. My current crew, consisting of 2 college aged males on the otherhand, upon finding themselves with some empty time, decided they would rather exercise their ceative muscles. When instructed to move an existing pile of brick, they instead decided to build a monument any mason was sure to be proud of. So, move it they did. All that was left was to sit back and soak up the accolades.

So my friends, I give you – “Pile of Brick”, by Justin and Mike.

DSC01199

Now in the past, I may have over reacted to this kind of “tom-foolery”, but I have matured over the years, and have learned to accept things for what they are. After all, they could have used their idle time in all manner of degenerate ways (that’s a story for another time!).  No, this time I took into account that the customer was fairly amused, and that their actions didn’t leave me with any repairs or the need to replace anything (which is also a story for another time!), instead I focused on the positive, and….. promoted them.

I am pleased to introduce the new Vice President and Executive Assisant, of material storage and brick stacking for Blue Heron! (I’ll let them decide which is which).

DSC01201

Now if I could only find their time cards……..

See you in thegarden!

Scott

www.blueheronlandscapes.com

Encore! Well…. maybe just a do-over.

Encore! Well…. maybe just a do-over.

To those of you that tuned it to watch “The Ultimate Backyard Makeover” on FOX 61 this past Saturday, I must first say thank you. Not only did you perservere through a long blog series, you went the extra yard. Now, if you found yourself saying “what the heck was that?”, you are not alone. Apparently there were some technical difficulties in the Fox 61 control room, and half of the show did not make it on air, so if you didn’t get it, it wasn’t you. Fox 61 will be re-airing the the show in all its glory again this Saturday (Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel) and this time you’ll get to see the whole thing.

So if you have it in you to give it one more try for cause, please tune in. Oh and just in case, better have a copy of your favorite movie to watch if things go awry again. I think I’ll rent moonstruck……

See you in the garden,

Scott

A deserving Family and 15 Minutes for Blue Heron

A deserving Family and 15 Minutes for Blue Heron

Epilogue

Promoting a small business can be a daunting task. Finding the right venue to get your message out, getting ad copy just right and staying within a budget, all can test the reserve of even the most creative soul. That’s why, when the Backyard Makeover project presented itself, I gladly jumped onboard. A role in a televised production, on a local station, professionally filmed and produced, would surely provide needed exposure and credibility for Blue Heron Landscape Design. Most of the other participants, already advertisers with Fox 61, undoubtedly also knew of the value of this exposure, and also were quick to sign on. With stars in our eyes, we arrived, prepared for our companies expected fortunes.

Fate, I have always maintained, has a sense of humor, it seems, that it also has a sense of purpose. Here was a group of companies determined to take advantage of a brilliant opportunity, unexpectedly finding a greater purpose; Present a very deserving family with a private place of respite that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Now, I don’t mean to make our homeowners out as destitute, for they are not. Simply good people, that life threw one too many curve balls. And by no means are we, the participants meant to appear as saints, most assuredly we are not. This rather simply, became a feel good story that would benefit both sides in ways that neither could have imagined, and that is good story to tell.

Thank you to WTIC FOX 61, for providing this opportunity, and thank you to each of the other participants for making my job easier. Special thanks to Ron and the crew at R-N-L Enterprises, for without them we never would have pulled this off. And, thank you to you, readers, for the opportunity to tell this story, I know time is precious, and this has been a long blog. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Now, I must go, it just started to rain again, and I think I left my tools outside……

Follow this link to more pictures of the project from start to finish. http://www.flickr.com/photos/blueheronlandscapes/sets/72157620605924926/

See you in the Garden,

Scott

www.blueheronlandscapes.com

The FOX 61 Ultimate Backyard Makeover is scheduled to run Saturday June 27th at 12:30 pm. Please tune in! And feel free to email me any comments, even those less flattering.