This past year (is it really September already??!!) has been a whirlwind! One of our projects received recognition at the RINLA (RI Nursery and Landscape Assn) trade show last winter, which was very rewarding. This peaked the interest of an editor at Newport Life and the garden was featured in the spring issue. (You can read the full article, copied above, here.)
Additionally, we relocated from our beautiful studio on Whittier Rd. While it was bittersweet saying goodby to the display gardens we've cultivated for more than 20 years, it was time to pass the house and gardens along to a loving family. I'm excited to be at the drawing board planning a major re-vamp of our new outdoor space -- my goal will be a reduction in lawn, adding a cozy fire pit area, screening and framing the backyard view -- and, of course, introducing native and pollinator species to this sterile landscape. Stay tuned for updates!
This year, everyone's gardens looked fantastic from all the rain...though lots of winter damage. We're still keeping our fingers crossed for the hydrangea blooms of summer though, as the late April frost may have zapped their flower buds. The rhodies this year were exceptional. I always wish that I could invite everyone over for a big garden party in the spring, but alas, it's our busiest season and I barely spend any time there myself! So I thought I'd share the groundSwell display gardens here with you -- the good, the bad and the ugly. I'll post each season with plant trials -- successes and failures alike. I hope you enjoy this virtual tour!
As we wind down the planting season here in New England and return to the studio to focus on creating next years’ beauty, I thought you might enjoy this garden meditation. A lovely woman at my garden club meeting shared it, and it really resonated with me. I hope it will with you, too. Happy thanksgiving!
Rev. Max Coots
Let us give thanks for a bounty of people.
For children who are our second planting, and though they grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their roots are.
Let us give thanks;
For generous friends…with hearts…and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends, as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us that we’ve had them;
For crotchety friends, sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn, and the others, as plain as potatoes...
Q. How do you navigate a very precious (and very large), 2,000 pound piece of antique bluestone around a series of site obstacles and into its place?
A. Very, very carefully.
I scored this fabulous stone last fall for a client and it will be featured in a beautiful fire pit area we a constructing. It will be nestled in and framed with some reclaimed granite and feature a custom-made copper fire bowl. Awesome, right? The only problem -- it was too large and heavy to be moved with the equipment on site.. AND it had to come in between two buildings (you can see them in the background) THEN between the house and pool and across a large expanse of lawn. Yeah, Dave wasn't too happy with me.
But, with the master behind the wheel, a very capable (and patient!) crew, the stone was placed with no breakage and it was DEAD LEVEL after he set it! I thought you might like to see a quick time-lapse video I took of the process.
Please indulge us as we toot our own horn for a minute. We are so honored to have our work recognized by our colleagues and wanted to share the news with you. Please click on the links below to get the full story:
Stating that "Good design is the basis for any exceptional landscape," the RI Nursery & Landscape Association (RINLA) has awarded groundSwell Designs first place recognition for professional excellence in landscape design. The project Franklin Sculpture Garden was chosen among a field of entries throughout the state for outstanding design in the public division.
As nerve-wracking as it is to be evaluated by your colleagues, it is sheer delight when they give you an "attaboy." We are so grateful for the recognition and wanted to share the good news with you.
Here are some photos from the Franklin Sculpture Garden:
groundSwell Designs, LLC,is the recipient of the 2016 Landscape Design Award of Merit by the Perennial Plant Association (PPA), headquartered in Hilliard, OH. groundSwell’s project entitled Namcook: A Breezy, Coastal Summer Cottage (an estate located in Narragansett, RI) was recognized by PPA judges for outstanding design and implementation in the Residential Design Class.
“We are quite honored to have our work acknowledged by such an esteemed group,” said Shawn S. Mayers, principal of groundSwell Designs. “With windswept views of Narragansett Bay, herds of grazing deer, poor soils, blazing sun, invasive species – even wild turkeys – the site, albeit spectacular, was indeed a horticultural challenge. It is quite rewarding to have our vision translated into an award winning garden,” she added.
According to the PPA, the organization recognizes design projects from across the US that are “exemplary in use of herbaceous perennials to help create balanced and beautiful landscapes.”At Namcook,...