There are some places that are designed and maintained so well that they almost seem to evade winter’s strong grip and continue to impress. Van Vleck Gardens in Montclair is one of those places, well worth bundling up and strolling through on a lazy winter day!
I was driving through Far Hills, NJ the other day and stopped by Leonard Buck Gardens as I remembered someone mentioning it casually in conversation. It has a very natural feel to it, almost as if whoever designed the place, never really wanted you to know that it was designed in the first place. If you're looking for a good place to picnic or take a walk on a lunch break, this place has to be on you bucket list!
Check out my website www.splitrockdesign.com to see the before and after. The right design and the right contractors help create awesome spaces. For this project we used natural, local field stone walls and planted some low maintenance perennials with ground cover under the Birch Tree.
If you're looking to be inspired in life, or maybe just looking for something to do on a lazy weekend (not that they come often). Check out Opus 40 in Saugerties NY. A man spent nearly 40 years (hence the name) dedicated to the construction of a rather bizarre yet fascinating series of walls and terraces out of stone from an abandoned quarry. The scale of the project is deceivingly big especially considering the man did not have any help (neither men nor machines), rather the entire thing was built with his own hands, stone by stone.
This is a late winter bloomer. A real harbinger of springtime with it's gorgeous bouquet of yellow flowers. What makes this special is that there are so few other species blooming at this time, so they really steal the show!
Sometimes when it feels like old man winter won't quit, you can step up and punch him in the mouth! Vernal witchhazels are just some of the types of plants that bloom in February and March! Check out these colors!
Split Rock Design is shamelessly plugging the company that we work with the most, John Cortese Masons Inc., the best masonry company in North Jersey. We've worked with countless masons and no one offers their kind of quality at their prices. No one.
This is a very cool plant that shines when most others are dormant. It's called Winterberry Holly, or Ilex Verticillata. It has attractive foliage but the real beauty is in it's red fruit (not edible). Here are some recent pictures I've taken. If you want year-round interest in your landscape, this is an absolute must and Split Rock Design can help you.
We've all heard the song California Dreaming, "All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray..." Well that's not entirely true, I'm going to do a series of posts on trees and shrubs that shine in the bleaker months. Let's start today with Common Witch Hazel, a late fall bloomer that is stunningly beautiful.
Split rock design teamed up again with John Cortese Masons, the best stone masons in New Jersey. We are nearly complete with a wall along the driveway which used to be a block wall. I will post again once everything is complete!
Whether you need a gravel driveway or asphalt, Split Rock Design can help you. We work with high quality suppliers and installers that go above and beyond for a fair price. When installing a new driveway, it is important have a good compacted base and proper pitch to promote good drainage!
If you've spent any stretch of time with me in the last few years, I've probably talked your ear off about some tree or shrub, I love them. This tree, however, might be my new favorite and it is incredibly under-utilized. Originating from China, this tree is handsome in every season. It blooms in the late summer to late fall, but even when the leaves fall, the bark on this tree exfoliates and creates a really cool look. Fast grower, 20ft tall at maturity.
One of my stone suppliers had a an old mill stone. A little creativity and a little help and you've got yourself some pretty cool furniture. Making a statement doesn't always have to cost a fortune when you are adding to a landscape. In some cases, some old materials and a vision is all you need!
Ever been to Hamilton, NJ?!! Now I've given you a reason to go, because Grounds for Sculpture is one of the most spectacular places to see modern art come together with nature, in a way that few places do. Here are some pictures from my most recent visit.
I was in Atlanta over the weekend and I couldn't resist dragging my family to their famous botanical gardens (hey, it was either that or watch my child run around on a sugar high at the coca cola factory!). Water features add a lot to a space, the tranquil sound of water flowing and the purity of a clear glass pool really help us to enjoy a space.
Because there are so many plants I love, I thought I'd start sharing them with whoever's following on a monthly basis! This month we are going to feature a beautiful fall bellwether called "Dwarf Burning Bush". While an unassuming green shrub for most of the year, this season, you will see this plant turn a brilliant crimson red that will turn heads. Be sure to plant the variety that is not invasive. This one needs full sun and plenty of water and can reach 8ft tall upon maturity. Enjoy the day and see you next month!
Annuals in a garden take some effort. You have to plan them well and know that once your work has paid off and they are blooming with beauty in your garden, they will most likely not survive the winter. Almost everything in this picture was started with a seed early this spring. Compliments to the staff at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, what a superb job!
Anthony working on a hand-drawn Landscape Concept for a customer. Colored concepts allow the homeowner to get a sense of what the project will look like prior to starting.
Ornamental grasses have slowly taken a respected place in the landscape. Grasses come in all varieties, many are drought tolerant, low maintenance and fairly inexpensive. Further, grasses planted in combination with a good mulch can really be attractive. What's the downside? Not much, but while many grasses look similarly sized when you buy them, certain varieties stay small while others are aggressive and can grow more than 8ft tall!!!