July, 2015
July, 2015
July 2015 Newsletter
In This Issue
President’s Message
APLDNJ Summer Event
Getting Ready for Change
Member News
APLD International Design Conference
NJNLA Summer Plant Symposium
Happy Hydrangeas
A Call for Submissions…
 Chapter meeting/event Dates


 Dates to  



Our Sponsors





NJ Deer Control

Bartlett Tree Experts







Condurso’s GardenCenter

Moonlight Complements 

Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc. 


NatureScape Lighting

 See our website for more about these sponsors…

President’s Message 

By all accounts it seems landscaping is alive and well in the Garden State and surrounding areas!  I’m happy to hear that so many of you are busy beyond words. However, it also means working harder to maintain some semblance of balance in our lives. Besides reminding myself to breathe in AND out, I’m trying to look at it as a time to assess how I design.

One influencing factor has been the weather. After a seemingly endless winter, I began to wonder what happened to spring.  Upon its arrival, I counted almost 6 weeks without meaningful rain.   When the rain came it came 2-5 inches at a time.  Thankfully it now appears to be self regulating at a more manageable rate.  When I look back I realize we have lost no more than 2 half days of work this year. So, given that, I am paying more attention to what survived and what actually thrived after the winter and what managed to put up with the vicissitudes of spring in New Jersey. Remarkably, the rains came just as the hydrangeas were waking up.  They are stunning this year! Our young apple orchard is finally producing enough fruit to make a few pies.  Laurels and hollies continue to take a hit and many of the daffodils and peonies were cut short by the early heat and heavy downpours.

Another factor is the paradox of time saving technology.  It seems that because we can do more in less time, we do more and have less time. On August 5th we will have the opportunity to travel to another time when lingering wasn’t such a luxury. Connie Webster will take us on a tour of the gardens of Andre Le Notre that influenced an entire landscape movement in France.  The chief architect of such gardens as the tapestry like gardens of Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte , Le Notre grew up among a family of noteworthy and influential gardeners. He grew up on the grounds of the Jardin des Tuileries where his father was head gardener.  This program will also demonstrate his influence around the world.  It is sure to be inspiring. Plan to attend at 6:00 on August 5th at Holly House on the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, NJ . Middle Eastern food will be served.
I can be reached at hggardendesign@gmail.com or 908 285-1281.
Most sincerely,

Helen Grundmann

APLDNJ Lecture
APLDNJ’s Summer Event


August 5, 2015
Connie Webster will speak on The French Classical Garden: Andre’ Le Notre’s Influence in France and Beyond.


6:00 Holly House, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Connie Webster will take us on a virtual tour through the classical gardens of Andre’ Le Notre, the landscape architect of Louis the XVI. He was born into a family of gardeners and his work is seen as defining the height of French formal garden style. Among a few of his most notably gardens are Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles, Fountainebleau and Jardin des Tuileries where he grew up. But his work extends far beyond France and includes gardens in Italy, the Netherlands, England and Austria as well as others.

As a French Major and a Rutgers professor, Connie researched French gardens, their architecture and history. At Rutgers she also met her husband, John, an architect, who now joins her as her photographer. Dinner will include a Middle Eastern meal.

To register for this event, contact:

Link to Directions to Holly House:

Please RSVP to:

Ruth Bowers

or to

Barbara Miller




Getting Ready for Change
APLD restructures membership categories and requirements starting in 2016.
Since its inception in 1989, APLD has represented professional landscape designers on many fronts, including in the legislative and advocacy arenas. In recent years, regulations have increased in many professions, and landscape design is no exception. An ad hoc task force was created to address raising the level of professionalism within the APLD membership to enable better representation of the profession with regulatory bodies. After
two years of study, a final recommendation was made to and approved by the APLD Board of Directors in November 2014.
Course of Action
The approved changes will restructure all membership categories and requirements. This restructure defines all levels of membership and outlines specific professional requirements for each category including levels of education, professional documentation, years of experience and a commitment to continuing education. A synopsis of the new categories of membership and requirements can be found here.
These changes will take effect for the January 2016 renewal period, so you have a full year to prepare!
Next Steps
There are several things you can do to ready yourself for the upcoming changes:
1. Identify your category of membership and determine the education and documents you will need to gather.
2. Look at the CEU requirements for your membership level and start planning for your continued professional development.
3. Review the certification requirements, if you are eligible, and start planning to attain this status of membership in 2015.
4. Pay attention over the next few months to the Design Online
and eblasts for more specific information as well as a description of each new membership category.
APLD is committed to advancing the profession of landscape design through higher professional standards, and the membership initiative underscores that commitment.

Member News
Barlow’s Landscaping
“Art in the Green House” Display
Photos submitted by Damien Ball

 International Design Conference
October 8-11, 2015
Washington, DC
Get it on your calendar now!

New Jersey Nursery & 
 Landscape Association
Summer Plant Symposium
August 11, 2015
Rutgers University 
For more info, Click Here

This week– 
 from Pleasant Run Nursery
I needed to build some containers to go alongside the entrance to the building where I have my studio. Here is the outcome from PRN…
Asimina “Rebecca’s Gold,” Chasmantheum latifolium, Echinacea x Butterfly Julia, Dryopteris erythrosora, Hosta “Fire Island,” Carex pensylvanica. The container will only be on site for the rest of the season before the plants go out to a larger garden. 


Happy Hydrangeas


One group of plants that has a near universal appeal among gardeners is the Hydrangea.  Admittedly, I have long been infatuated by this group of plants myself! This adoration is compounded by the onslaught of new cultivar introductions over the past 25 years, ensuring that there is now at least one Hydrangea suitable for nearly every garden!  However, there is still much mystery to this group of plants, with much of that mystery focusing upon how various Hydrangeas should best be pruned.  Hopefully, some of the mystery can be resolved!

Hydrangea was first penned by the Swedish Botanist, Physician and Zoologist, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) in 1753.  The name is derived from the Greek Hydor, meaning water and Angos, meaning vessel or jar.  Thus, its direct translation is water jar!  The name refers to either the general shape of the showy sterile florets, which are shaped like a cup or it may refer to the seed pods, which resemble miniature water jars.  Although most likely not the affiliation with water that Linnaeus was considering, many species will also wilt painfully during periods of drought and need copious amounts of water during periods of prolonged drought!  The four species of Hydrangea that are most frequently used in NJ gardens are native to 4 distinct regions of the world, which proves helpful when deciding how to prune the plants.  Those native to colder regions of the world produce flower buds on new wood.  If the previous year’s growth was frozen to the ground during extreme cold spells or possibly grazed by a hungry

animal, the plant would be able to rebound, produce flowers and seed during the following year, ensuring new future plants.  By contrast, if the plant is native to warmer winter climates and winters wrath is no longer a concern, it is more energy efficient for the plant to produce the flower buds on the previous year’s wood, and avoid the need to push 3-6′ of new growth before blooming.
Hydrangea arborescens, the Smooth Hydrangea, is native from New York to Florida and West to Missouri.  In the wild, the plants are typically found growing in shaded sites in soils that are often moist or humus-rich.  The species epithet of arborescens refers to the similarity of the form of plants found in the wild to that of a tree.   Since it is native to the cold climates of New England, it blooms on new wood.  Consequently, this plant can be pruned to the ground at any point from January through late March (image above right). This also helps the overall shape of the plant, as the stems or canes will often collapse under snow and ice load.  The flowers are white and normally appear in a flat or slightly mounded configuration called a cyme (pictured left).  The center

of the cyme consists of fertile florets, which produce seeds and contain both anthers and a stigma.  In turn, they are ringed by sterile florets which have petals.  This type of flower arrangement is referred to as a lace-cap flower.  Lace-cap flowers are ideal where the plant is situated for close-up and personal viewing.  However, if the plant is to be viewed from afar, consider the Hortensia or mop head hydrangeas.  This group features large balls of predominantly showy sterile florets. They are called Hortensias since they occur under horticultural cultivation and very rarely in the wild.  The reduced number of fertile florets and the subsequent reduced production of seed does not permit them to be as successful at reproducing themselves as do the lace-caps!  For the gardener, the Hortensias provide a nice display, even at 60 MPH and the large balls of lacy florets provides the garden with a more harlequin appearance.  For Hydrangea arborescens, a very attractive Hortensia is ‘Annabelle’ (pictured below).  Discovered near Anna, Illinois, this plant produces large  green flowers in early June, which mature to pure white by mid-June before fading to green and finally to tan for winter.  A wonderful plant for the Garden!  Very similar in appearance is the selection named Incrediball™.  Although it is reputed that in fertile soils the flower stems of Incrediball are less likely to flop following heavy rains, I have seen both perform very admirably in the Garden.  The key of course is to amend the soils with ample amounts of compost to maintain adequate soil moisture and to avoid fertilizers, which will result in stems that collapse more readily.
Also possessing Lacecap and Hortensia shaped flowers isHydrangea macrophylla.  It is native to the warmer, coastal regions of Japan and China and consequently, it blooms on the previous year’s growth.  The plants have relatively large, glossy foliage that gave rise to the species epithet, macrophylla, meaning large leaves.  Flowers can be pink or blue, resulting from the impact of the soil pH on pigments in the flowers called Anthocyanin.  Anthocyanins change color depending upon the pH; in acid conditions it is blue, in neutral it is violet and in alkaline soils it is red or pink.  Consequently, a soil pH of 6.0-7.0 or above results in pink flowers, while pH values below 6.0 result in blue flower colors.  The flowers are produced from the terminal buds on the stems.  If these buds are desiccated by strong winter winds or if the plant is ‘sheared’ during late summer or autumn, no flowers will be produced the following summer.  Hence, it is important to select cultivars that are from a more northerly and colder native range of Asia and pruning should be conducted through the thinning of the stems, not shearing.  Pruning is best conducted during the wintermonths, following foliage drop, allowing the stems to be easily viewed.  The stems that are produced the preceding summer are cinnamon brown and should not be pruned.  The balance of the stems are light grey in color;  based upon the age of the plant, anywhere from none to 8-12 of the largest and oldest stems should be removed, promoting the production of newer canes, which will yield larger flowers!  Provide a site in full sun to partial shade and soils that are well-drained but, do not dry out frequently.  As before, the addition of compost is always beneficial.  Of the Lacecap forms available on the market, I have found ‘Blue Wave’ and ‘Tokyo Delight’ (picture above) to be very winter hardy.  As a bonus, both provide the benefit of fall color – an unusual trait for Large Leaved Hydrangeas!  Of the Hortensia types, ‘Nikko Blue’ is an old but noteworthy selection as is a more recent introduction, Endless Summer®.  Endless Summer® will actually rebloom in August and September on new branches that have sprouted from older stems.  Following the icy and prolonged winter of 2014, the canes of most Endless Summer® cultivars died to the ground and most plants failed to bloom.  It became evident that in order for flowering stems and flowers to reappear later in the season, an existing older stem needs to exist as the originator of these shoots – new shoots produced from the base do not bloom on current season’s growth!  Thus, it is best to prune Endless Summer by the thinning of old canes, just as is done with the other cultivars, and not by cutting the plant to the ground.
The remaining two Hydrangeas that are commonly used in Gardens are Hydrangea paniculata and Hydrangea quercifolia.  Both of these plants produce a white cone shaped flower called a panicle, which consists of a central stem that in turn is branched, producing a cone shaped flower. Hydrangeapaniculata, the Panicle Hydrangea is native to cold, mountainous regions of Japan and China and blooms on new wood.  Unfortunately, pruning is not as straight forward as with the Smooth Hydrangea.  Similar to the previous two species, some plants have copious amounts of sterile florets while other plants have more limited quantities.  Selections such as Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’ (at left)

have a more open panicle with a large number of fertile flowers.  These types of plants can be treated in several different manners:  they can be pruned back heavily, nearly to the ground; pruned moderately, leaving a 3-4′ tall framework for the new growth to grow from; or simply not pruned at all!  If the plants are pruned heavily to the ground, they respond with 5-6′ tall canes with noticeably larger flowers.  Since ‘Unique’ has less sterile florets in a panicle to catch rainwater, heavy rains will not weigh down the flower, allowing the plant to stand ‘proud’ throughout the summer.  Other plants, such as H. paniculata ‘Limelight’ (below) produce large quantities of sterile florets; if these stems are cut back severely the tall canes are not able to support the heavy panicles and will bend to the ground under the weight.  Thus, they should be cut back to a 3-4′ tall framework or not at all, which will yield a more modest 1-2′ spurt of new growth that can adequately support the flowers.  Of all the species,Hydrangea paniculata has probably seen the most activity with the release of new cultivars.  The most significant improvements focus upon selections whose flowers age from white to pink in late summer and early fall.  Traditionally, the flowers have faded to tan.  Plants such asHydrangea paniculata ‘Quick Fire’ (at right), ‘Pink Diamond’ and ‘Limelight’ present this floral color change, which not only provides extended interest, but also more potential plantcombinations in the Garden.  They look great combined with the red fall color of Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’ or the wonderful golden yellow of Amsonia hubrichtii.  Most selections of Panicle Hydrangea typically grow to between 8′ and nearly 20′ tall with time.  If this exceeds the Garden’s space allocations, there are several compact forms, including Little Lime™ and ‘Dharuma’ that grow to a more diminutive 4′ tall!
The last of the quartet of popular Garden Hydrangeas isHydrangea quercifolia, or the Oak Leaf Hydrangea.  It is native to shady, woodland regions of Georgia, Alabama and parts of Florida.  Amazingly, it is also very hardy in New Jersey!  As the name implies, the leaf shape is very reminiscent to that of an Oak and they develop fantastic fall color! Similar to Hydrangea paniculata, they also produce a panicle flower.  However, since they are native to a warmer climates, the flower is produced on previous year’s growth and – considering that these plant wish to grow from 8 to 10 tall – it is nearly impossible to keep them at a more restricted size while not removing any flowers!  At best, the plants can be lightly shaped as they will often throw a branch that disrupts the overall rounded form of the plant. Plants are best located away from buildings or other architectural entities that could be ‘eaten’ as they age, allowing them to become a perfect screen or backdrop to the garden.  If a smaller plant is of need, ‘Peewee’ and ‘Ruby Slippers’ are two selections that mature to 4′ tall.  The advantage to ‘Ruby Slippers’ is the attractive aging of the flowers as it passes from a clean white during summer to a rich red during late summer and fall – a very stunning plant!  The flowers of Peewee simply age to tan. Of the remaining selections available, ‘Snow Flake’ (picture above) is a unique plant, producing very attractive double, or hose-in-hose flowers.  It too slowly fades to red as fall approaches, with its only downside being the sheer weight of the flower. The weight produced by the extra flower petals causes the flowers to droop down, which may prove to be unattractive to some gardeners.  Amazingly drought and heat tolerant once established, Oak Leaf Hydrangea is as much at home in the sun as the shade in NJ.  It simply needs space to grow!
Hydrangeas has been one of the great staples for the Garden during the past century.  With the numerous additional selections that have been added to the list over the past 20 plus years, it is certainly guaranteed to will retain this honor throughout the next century.  The key is identifying the plants native provenance or ‘home’ as that will foretell how best to prune the plant since, as we all know, a properly pruned Hydrangea is a Happy Hydrangea!
Article written by Bruce Crawford

Director at Rutgers Gardens


Thank you to all of our sponsors!


  Our  Sponsors….





Brock farms logo

  PRN logo
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives


Walpole Woodworkers

 Halls Garden Center snip

Jeannie Marcucci
APLD New Jersey Chapter Writer

A Call for Submissions….
Anybody looking to submit articles or photos for future newsletters please send your questions and material to:
Jeannie Marcucci
Please, if submitting photos, please do not imbed them into the body of the word document–attach to email separately!


Copyright 2013 Association of Professional Landscape Designers, New Jersey Chapter, All Rights Reserved.