Looking for an escape? Try Leonard Buck Gardens!

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!

Tranquil Bridge, Leonard BUCK GARDENS

Tranquil Bridge, Leonard BUCK GARDENS

Natural Bluff Rock Garden

Natural Bluff Rock Garden

IMG_4697.jpg

Why you come to Split Rock Design!

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.   

IMG_4492 (1).jpg
IMG_4488.jpg
CheDDAR Pinks, Fountain Grasses and Coreopsis Shown HEre

CheDDAR Pinks, Fountain Grasses and Coreopsis Shown HEre

Opus 40...a special place

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.

Opus 40 - Built by Harvey Fite

Opus 40 - Built by Harvey Fite

IMG_4347.jpg

Winterberry Holly...bringing life to winter

Winterberry.jpg
winterberry3.jpg

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.

Late bloomers!

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.

Common WITCH HAZEL IN BLOOM

Common WITCH HAZEL IN BLOOM

WITCH HAZEL UP CLOSE

WITCH HAZEL UP CLOSE

Check out our progress this week!

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!

We removed the old leaning block wall

We removed the old leaning block wall

John Cortese Masons Lays the first row of stones

John Cortese Masons Lays the first row of stones

The driveway wall, no landscaping yet but it already looks so much better!

The driveway wall, no landscaping yet but it already looks so much better!

Plant of the Month....Seven Sons Tree

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.

See Flowers, I took this picture Late October - Frelinghuysen Arboretum

See Flowers, I took this picture Late October - Frelinghuysen Arboretum

The bark I was talking about

The bark I was talking about

Water Feature Steps - Atlanta Botanical Gardens

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.  

IMG_3595.JPG

Plant of the Month...Dwarf Euonymus

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!

Annual Garden at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum

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!

IMG_3553.JPG

Anthony thinks you should love Ornamental Grasses!

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!!!

Grass Blog.jpg