Sunday, January 27, 2013

Concrete Planks

Concrete pavers come in all shapes and sizes these days.  They are now even available in a linear, board-like configuration.  I love the random openings in this one. 

These openings are filled with rocks, plants and even water.

These little beauties are available from Stepstone, Inc.  They are just perfect for long, linear applications such as paths or boardwalks.  People, by nature, love to follow a path and these concrete pavers are so directional.

I wonder if New York City’s High Line Park had any influence over their creation?

I won’t miss any opportunity to bring up the High Line.  It is truly one of my favorite parks!  If I lived in New York City, that’s where you’d fine me – strolling, walking, jogging or just sitting and watching the world go by.  Yep … who doesn’t like to stroll above the concete jungle amidst Piet Oudolf’s amazing plantings?  Now that we’ve got these cool new concrete pavers, hopefully we’ll see more of these linear parks in the works!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Old Thing, New Use


Invasion Verde is a public park and play space in Lima, Peru that utilizes old car tires as street planters.  Created by architects Genaro Alva, Denise Ampuero, Gloria Andrea Rojas and industrial designer Claudia Ampuero, the street garden was completed in 2010 for the “Gran Semana de Lima,” otherwise known as Lima’s Great Week.



The public street garden also features mounds of grass with implanted tires that can be used for seating or for climbing on.




What other new uses can you think of for old car tires? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Weekly Garden Fix

A San Francisco residential garden conceived as “Outdoor Architecture for every day living.”

The curved bronze wall with the fountain is very dramatic against the light limestone paving.  I love the drama, but I’d also like to see more seating and/or outdoor living in this space. 




The residential garden is composed of a series of three walled/enclosed outdoor spaces.  Each of the garden rooms is different and separated from the other.  There are thresholds through which one must exit and enter. 




The garden is very monochromatic and consists of greenery along with both bronze and transparent walls, and light limestone or gray slate paving materials.




This entrance into the garden is most inviting to me.  The half-open door is beckoning and makes me want to enter the space to see what the wall is concealing.




I think the spaces are very contemporary and intriguing, albeit a bit cold.  I would love to see how the different garden spaces or rooms are used in real life, wouldn’t you?  The garden was designed by Lutsko Associates for a residence in San Francisco. 


I hope you are off to a good start in 2013.  Please stop by here weekly!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Curb Appeal in Real Estate


I was recently interviewed by Jamie Walker for Wrightsville Beach’s Lumina News.  The subject for the article was on how Curb Appeal can help sell a home.  Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here is a “Before” and “After” of a recent project my husband and I worked on in the Wilmington, NC area.



Before (Home Redesign by Kersting Architecture)



After (Landscape Design by Pam Kersting)

Curb appeal is paramount in selling a home as it offers the first glimpse of the home to prospective buyers.  If the landscape is neat and tidy and well-kept, it is a good bet that a buyer will also find the home that way.

When entering a yard, there should be an obvious progression from street to parking to front entrance or from curb to courtyard to front entrance.  Visitors or buyers shouldn’t have to guess where and how to enter a home.  




It’s a good idea to highlight the entrance in some way using annuals or some other speciman plant or object of interest or both.  Also, foundation plantings should always be trimmed several inches below windows so as not to obstruct the architectural features of the home.



Landscape Design by Richard Hartlage


Perhaps most importantly, the landscape should never detract from the home.  Rather, it should be a setting for the home where one would not imagine the house without it’s landscape nor the landscape without the house.


AHBL Entrance

Landscape Design by Richard Hartlage


Remember these few tips the next time you go to put your home on the market, and I guarantee that your home will get lots of showings and be one of the first in its price range to sell!  And when you do decide to sell your home contact me.  I also am in real estate and would be happy to refer you to an outstanding agent in your area!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Recycled Steps


In 2013, we must all do what we can to reduce our Carbon Footprint!  Recycle, reuse – this will be my mantra this year.  I will also try to bring you many ideas on how YOU can also do this in your own gardens. 

Here is the lovely Helen Mirren showing us a wonderful new use for discarded car tires.  What a great way to navigate a steep slope!  I am seriously considering doing this in one of my clients’ yards.