March, 2015
March, 2015
March 2015 Newsletter
In This Issue
President’s Message
APLDNJ Winter Workshop
Getting Ready for Change
Curb Appeal with a Splash
Book Reviews
Winter Plants
Gardens in a Snow-free Zone
A Call for Submissions…

Chapter meeting/event Dates



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President’s Message 

In 2008 I joined APLDNJ and saw my world explode.  I soon realized I had become a member of a very talented and exceedingly generous group of landscape designers.  Within months I was attending national conferences and meeting and learning from members across the country and across the puddle.  At conferences I was meeting the authors who inspired and influenced my work. Now, after receiving so much, I am excited to give back to this organization.

As President of the APLDNJ Chapter I have two main goals.  The first is to reach out and include all of our members throughout the state. When I read through the roster I realize there are many members I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting.  This year we are going to stage events throughout the state to excite, inspire, educate and elevate the individual designers as well as the trade.  We have a Sketch Up workshop scheduled for March 12th at the County College of Morris with Bill Einhorn, landscape architect and instructor at the NY Botanical Garden.  If you’ve ever had a client who struggled to interpret a plan view you will appreciate the benefit of being able to offer a 3-D illustration.  In addition we are putting together private garden tours throughout NJ as well visits to iconic gardens in the NYC area.

Next year, the APLDNJ Chapter celebrates its 10th anniversary and talks of a gala celebration are beginning.  My second aspiration is to attract more student members.  APLD can be such a resource and source of inspiration to the next wave of top NJ Landscape Designers.  They can also bring new paradigms and perspective as we reconsider our roles in the landscape.

Most of all, I want all members, present and future, to participate in all this organization has to offer. There are many ways to be involved and I’d like everyone to have a voice.  If you have an idea, share it. If you want to see something happen, tell me.  If you know something great is going on, let me know. It’s your organization and I want it to be as dynamic as we all are. Thank you for this opportunity.  I can be reached at or 908 285-1281.

Most sincerely,

Helen Grundmann


APLDNJ’s Annual 

Winter Workshop 

Held on 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

SketchUp Bootcamp with 

Bill Einhorn, APLD, RLA


In this sold-out workshop, APLDNJ members…


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.

How to integrate the beauty of a water feature into your design.
…by Jennifer Zuri of Aquascapes, Inc.
Provided by Mike Gannon of Full Service Aquatics

Two Good Books

Like many people, I love to eat great food! I also love to grow it.  When a friend gave me the book American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen, it  struck a chord with me. This book combines the history, mystery and science of why the “taste of a place” comes from the soil and climate of the region.  His informative and often hysterical guide to some of our most iconic foods-including apples, honey, maple syrup, coffee, oysters, salmon, wild mushrooms, wine, cheese and chocolate- also includes recipes!  And if you’re the kind of foodie that travels to find the best, you will especially love this book.

Coincidently, another friend passed along the book The Town That Food Saved by Ben Hewitt. It tells how one community found vitality in local food. In the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont sits the rural town of Hardwick. For generations dairy farmers made up the life blood of the community. As American milk consumption declined so did the town. Then a new generation of farmers with a new way of thinking took things on.  This goes beyond farmer’s markets and includes entrepreneurs, activists and artisans.  You may recognize some of the players: High Mowing Organic Seeds, Vermont Soy, Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op, Vermont Soy and Jasper Hill Farm to name a few. This goes beyond farmer’s markets and includes entrepreneurs, activists and artisans.

Reviewed by Helen Grundmann, APLD


Small is the New Big
Provided by Proven Winners


Ferns: A Leafy Lifecycle

As we have been illustrating over the past few months, leaves are a fascinating part of plants.  Initially, tasked with the job of producing carbohydrates that in turn provide the building blocks for the growth of roots, stems and branches, the leaves of some plants took on additional challenges. An example is a common garden plant whose complicated, albeit very successful, life cycle is all about leaves: the ferns!
Ferns are vascular plants, meaning that unlike some of the other more primitive plants, they have the appropriate plumbing to move water and nutrients throughout the plant.  Ferns originally started to develop around 350 Million Years Ago (MYA) during the early Carboniferous period, but the ferns we recognize today did not start to appear until around 290 MYA with the advent of

the Osmun

dales family, represented in NJ gardens by Royal and Cinnamon Ferns (Osmunda regalis and Osmunda cinnamomearespectively, Osmunda regalis is picture at left). Interestingly, ferns did not stop developing at that point in time, but continued over the millennia.  In fact, many ferns appeared after 145 MYA and are a contemporary of the true flowering plants or Angiosperms. Examples include the Lady and Maidenhair Ferns (Athyriumfilix-femina and Adiantum pedatum respectively).  For 250 million years ferns were slowly changing!  Regardless of the changes, their life cycle was and remains highly dependent upon leaves!

Fern leaves, which are often called fronds, can be simple in form, meaning that they are unlobbed, much like the Birds Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus, pictured at right) or highly lobbed forms such as the aforementioned Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis). The individual leaflets of these highly lobbed or compound leaves ae called pinnae.  Similar to the more advanced leaves of the flowering plants or Angiosperms, fern leaves possess a mesophyll, which contains the chloroplasts and is the site of photosynthesis; they have an epidermal layer complete withstomata and guard cells on the lower surface, allowing theexchange of gasses within the leaf; and they have a waxy cuticle layer covering the epidermis,reducing water loss. The fronds emerge from buds, typically found at the tips of thestems. The stems typically lie horizontally just below the ground and are called a rhizome. However, members of the genus Cyathea or tree ferns have vertical stems.  When the fronds make their initial appearance, they resemble the scrollat the tip of a fiddle’s fingerboard or the top of a bishop’s staff, affectionately giving rise to their commonly used names of fiddleheads or crosiers.  For some ferns, such as the Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), the fiddleheads are actually an edible delicacy and when lightly sautéed, provide a taste and texture much like asparagus. The uncurling and expansion of the fiddleheads is called circinate vernation, whereby the cells on the outer surface of the crosier expand faster than the cells on the inner surface, allowing the leaf to literally unroll!
What is not blatantly obvious from a casual study of a fern is how the life cycle is directly connected with three different types of leaves:  namely the  Trophophylls, Sporophylls and the leafy prothallus.  The first two types of leaves appear during the sporophytic or spore producing portion of a fern’s life cycle, while the prothallus appears during the gamaphytic or gamete producing stage  A trophophyll is the traditional fern frond, whose primary function is that of photosynthesis.  The sporophyll is a modified leaf that produces spores. This leaf can assume the shape and photosynthetic function of a trophophyll, with the only perceivable difference being the appearance of very organized rows of dark brown specks beneath the frond (those of

Asplenium nidus pictured at left).   Many people mistake these specs for a very organized insect or scale infestation!  In reality, these spots are actually sori (sorus for singular), which in turn contain clusters of sporangia, the organelles that actuallyproduce the spores!  Sporophylls can also appear uniquely different than a trophophyll – typically smaller and narrower – with the only function being to produce spores!  Examples include the Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris, pictured at the right) and the Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensiblis). Due to their shorter stature, they may not be particularly noticeable throughout the growing season.  However, since they fail to collapse following autumn frosts and persist through the winter as bolt upright, dark brown structures, they provide a little winter interest and aid with winter plant identification! Regardless of the form assumed by the sporophylls, their primary function is that of spore production.  In many aspects, spores serve a function similar to seeds, allowing the plant to spread to new locations that might be conducive for the plant to grow.  What is different is how spores and seeds are created. Spores are produced through cell division within the sporangia. Each sporangium typically produces 64 spores, beginning with a diploid ‘mother’ cell which has the normal set of two chromosomes. This cell divides through the process of mitosis, which creates two identical ‘daughter’ cells. These two daughter cells continue todivide, until there are 16 daughter cells. These cells then each undergo the process of Meiosis, through which each cell divides twice to create 4 genetically unique or different haploid cells.  A haploid cell only has 1 set of chromosomes. Since each of the original 16 spores underwent meiosis, a total of 64 haploid cells result, each of which will ultimately become a spore. By contrast, a seed is the result of the sexual merger of two haploid cells – one ‘male’ and one ‘female’ – along with the merger of the DNA information that each cell contains to create a diploid!


When the spores are mature, they are released from the sporangia.  The time of year for spore release varies remarkably between the genera.  Many are released in late summer, but for both the Ostrich and Sensitive Fern, with their sporophylls remaining bolt upright through winter, spore release is not until spring!  Spores are very small, each measuring about 1/10 of a mm in diameter and resemble dust.  As a fun experiment, once the spores are mature, the sporophylls can be cut, flattened atop a white sheet of paper such that the sori are facing down and then left overnight to dry. The next day, the red, brown, yellow or even green spores can be seen on the paper.  For other ferns such as the Staghorn Ferns, simply tapping the tops of the sporophylls when the spores are ripe will release a cloud of spores that can be collected. When the moisture and light conditions are proper, the thick and protective cell walls surrounding the spore will split open and the spore will ‘germinate’.  Spore germination involves the haploid cell dividing via the process of mitosis, yielding two identical haploid, cells, which in turn continue to divide mitotically until a haploid, leafy prothallus results. This marks the beginning of the gametophytic stage.
One might wonder what advantage there would be to a haploid gametophytic stage and such a seemingly complicated life cycle.  In diploids, the dominate genes of one chromosome may mask a potentially hazardous recessive gene of the second chromosome, which would continue to be transferred to its offspring.  When a portion of a life cycle is haploid, there is no possibility for a dangerous or life threatening gene to be masked and transmitted, since it would be overt from the beginning and the haploid organism would perish!

The prothallus is typically heart-shaped in appearance (as seen on the left, Source: Random Tree on Wikipedia [CC License]) and since it is non-vascular, it is small, roughly the size of a child’s fingernail. Most often they are free living organisms, being green in color and conduct photosynthesis.  However, in some fern species the prothallus lack chloroplasts and the carbon and other nutrients are obtained from symbiotic relationships with fungi.  The center of the prothallus is several cells thick, but along theperiphery, it is often a mere one cell thick. Interestingly, as many gardeners in deer country have observed, very few insects or animals eat ferns, but nearly every critter eats the prothallus, which in part, explains why they are not seen more readily in the wild!  The prothallus produces tiny rhizoids or root like structures on its lower surface (as can be seen above), allowing it to anchor itself to substrates. The lower surface is also the site where the male and female structures are produced. The antheridia

(singular antheridium) are ball shaped organs that are the site of the male gametophyte or sperm production; they are typically located near the periphery of the prothallus. Unlike most mosses that have one flagella or ‘tail’, fern sperm are multiflagellated, with some having upwards of 100 flagella! The flask shaped archegonia (singular archegonium) are the site of the ovum production and occur along the central portion of the leaf.  Most often, but not always, both the male and female structures are located on the same prothallus  In the presence of water, the multiflagellated sperm literally swim to the ovum, apparently attracted by Malic Acid and other chemicals. HOWEVER, it is rare that the sperm fertilizes the ovum of the same prothallus; since all the cells of a prothallus are haploid and contain identical genetic information that would prevent the blending of genetic information and essentially create ‘inbreeding’. Ferns accomplish crossbreeding through the archegonia and antheridia maturing at different times on any given prothallus, a technique which has been mimicked in many of the early angiosperms (flowering plants) or failing to have both on the same prothallus.  Given this fact, it becomes far more obvious as to why water and the large number of flagella are necessary since they have some significant ground to cover if the outcome is to be met with success!  Once an ovum has been fertilized, the other archegonium essentially ‘shut down’, allowing only one fern to be produced per prothallus. The enlarging embryo initially receives all its nutrition from the prothallus.  As with seeds, the first organelle to develop and emerge is the embryonic root, which allows the developing fern to begin the process of becoming self-sufficient. The fern or sporophytic stage grows rapidly and quickly becoming an independent plant, and since the prothallus is no longer needed, it degrades and vanishes.
Ferns are wonderful additions for every garden, providing a texture and color that many other plants simply cannot replicate.  However, as you look at your ferns this coming year, marvel at the complexity of their leafy life cycle and how many have survived the changing climate of the Earth for millions upon millions of years!


Article written by Bruce Crawford

Director at Rutgers Gardens


Gardens and Travel to a Snow-Free Zone

For those of us that love gardening and maintaining a beautiful landscape and garden, turn to east for inspiration:

Vietnam and Cambodia are in growthmode both economically and horticulturally. Large buildings are growing as quickly as rice thanks to foreign investments from China and European countries. Telephone and internet service wires create intricate, large nests on city utility poles. Lush plants need to be controlled – either eat it, prune it or reuse it. Nothing is wasted.
During our January travels we saw few remains of Frenchinfluence in plantings. Topiaries are seen at the formal buildings such as the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh’s official home in Hanoi or at important shines and temples.  Beautiful 19thcentury opera houses, post offices, and churches are clustered in Hanoi and Saigon city centers.  All government buildings are painted a golden yellow, the powerful color of rulers.
City dwellers have little space aside from vegetable gardens so they fill balconies with flowering plants; boat dwellers prominently display fresh flowers.  An afternoon at the zoological and botanical garden in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) provided examples of good intentions where money is short supply.  Amazingly, hundreds of common annuals were growing in brown plastic #1 pots along fences and inside low hedges.
Flowers are purchased at the start of each lunar month for shrine and temple offerings in memory of ancestors. In Cambodia where lotuses grow like weeds, blooms are displayed with peeledand folded petals.
Hanoi, a lovely city, has many parks which are fully used- Tai Chi in the morning, badminton, hacky sac playing, evening strolls, and by endless young couples posing for wedding album photos.
Brides, and their stylists, are everywhere in white, western gowns which are rented for photos; marriages are performed with brides in traditional dress.
Education is valued highly and that value is instilled in childrenfrom an early age by stories. They are encouraged to strive to become dragons as in the section of this story: ” Undeterred, the koi continued their efforts for one hundred years. At last, with one heroic leap, a single koi reached the top of the falls. The God’s smiled down in approval and transformed the exhausted koi into a shining golden dragon. He joyfully spends his days chasing pearls of wisdom across the skies of the vast and eternal heavens. The falls have become know as the Dragon’s Gate and, because of their endurance and perseverance, koi have become symbolic of overcoming adversity and fulfilling one’s destiny, symbolic of worldly aspiration and advancement.”
Angkor Wat, Anglor Thom and Ta Prohm are worth googling or viewing on YouTube.
A 27 hour layover in Hong Kong was fabulous – but was not long enough to visit their beautiful parks.   A step inside one showed many plants familiar to zone 6 gardens.
I look forward to more time in SE Asia!
Submitted by Jane Derickson


As the New Year begins we want to thank all of our Sponsors for their support in 2014


Our  Sponsors….






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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



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