September 2015 Newsletter

September, 2015
September 2015 Newsletter
In This Issue
President’s Message
Sneak Peek!
Fun Photo
Getting Ready for Change
Member News
APLD International Design Conference
From Pleasant Run Nursery
From Experienced Brick and Stone
A Call for Submissions…

Chapter meeting/event Dates



Dates to  




Our Sponsors






NJ Deer Control

Bartlett Tree Experts







Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc. 

 See our website for more about these sponsors…

President’s Message
It must have been three weeks ago that I heard a large flock of geese flying south along the Delaware River. This morning I saw a squirrel, its face nearly obscured by a mouth full of grass and bark strips, on its way to building a winter nest.

It takes a few signs that winter is coming before I settle in and focus on what’s good about it. Not to be misunderstood, I love all of the seasons.  Winter is often a vacation season for me so what’s not to love?  But it is a reminder that all projects must be wrapped up and finished in the next few weeks.  All promises are to be fulfilled and plans for the next year are to be laid out.

And so we have begun to finalize plans for our 2016 APLDNJ Winter Workshop and Lecture series. We are very excited to be hosting W. Gary Smith for a hands workshop, “Unleashing Creativity in Garden Design”.   A designer of botanical gardens and arboretums, as well as public installations, Smith approaches design from an artist’s perspective.  His inspiration comes from poetry and dance, drawings and paintings, sculptures and childhood. He is a recipient of a national Award of Distinction from APLD for his work on the Enchanted Woods at Winterthur Museum and Country Estate in Delaware and for Pierces Woods at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.

In this one day workshop you will unleash new forms of personal creativity, developing your own visual vocabulary of shapes, patterns, and forms to use in garden design. We will explore ways to look at the garden through the eyes of your own inner artist. You are invited to bring and share a sketch or plan of a current design, or simply bring your willingness to stretch your creativity and imagination. No previous artistic experience is required.

We are also excited to welcome one of our own.  Despina Metaxatos will give a talk on “Spaces of Aura”Speaking as an artist, she will illustrate the way in which memorable spaces are distinct from their surroundings, in some irregular way.

The view of this downed willow from a park bench offers both prospect and refuge. The happy accident of what is chosen to leave behind creates its own space of Aura.
Remnants of the historical–even the geological–past may collide with the present.  In this dynamic tension, we become aware of our own passage through time.  The juxtaposition of sublime and abject is particularly poignant in the landscape, creating some of our most powerful, provocative, and unexpected spaces.  There is rich potential in conflicted sites, as we evolve and expand our perspective of what landscape can be.

 Ours is an industry meant to challenge and inspire creativity and problem solving. It asks us to look deep within ourselves, to “evolve and expand our perspective”. I hope that you can all participate in these winter events and benefit from these inspiring people. So as each season passes, another begins, as do the opportunities to grow and learn.

I can be reached at or (908) 285-1281.

Most sincerely,
Helen Grundmann

Sneak Peek!
2016 Winter Workshop!
APLD NJ is working on scheduling 
W. Gary Smith for….

“Unleashing Creativity in Garden Design”

All artistic expression begins with the self, and in this workshop you will unleash new forms of personal creativity, developing your own visual vocabulary of shapes, patterns, and forms to use in garden design. We will explore simple techniques for unleashing personal creativity, looking at the garden through the eyes of your own inner artist. You are invited to bring and share a sketch or plan of a current design, or simply bring your willingness to stretch your creativity and imagination. No previous artistic experience is required.

9:30-10:00   Introductions
10:00-11:30  Lecture: Developing a Personal Design Vocabulary
11:30-12:00  Discussion
12:00-1:00    Lunch
1:00-2:00     Drawing exercise – abstracting patterns
2:00-3:30     Drawing exercise – using patterns in design
3:30-4:30     Pin-up, critique, discussion

This workshop will be in either January or February 2016–watch your email for details!

Fun Photo

Helen Grundmann submitted this photo sent by Sharon Hollfelder, Landscapes by Sharon. Photo of Tim Ghiselli, looking gorgeous “wearing” Clematis paniculata.

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.

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

Gardens of the Heart
by Cindy Coppa

Secret hiding places among the Privets, an old Catalpa tree to sit in, dragonflies to catch, and ripe Jersey tomatoes picked on the run.  These are some of the memories and past privileges of a city kid.  Where have all these childhood amenities gone?

Since the 1960s, development in Elizabeth has eliminated green vacant lots and older homes, having transformed them into rental properties with plenty of asphalt and concrete.  Occupant families, especially children, have a lower quality of life as a result; and nature deficit makes poor environmental stewards. In more ways than one, disconnect has been the status quo.
Enter the penniless visionary, LOL.
The Elizabeth Conservancy Inc. (EC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded on a passion to remediate for what has been lost.  Following the real estate market crash, four adjacent lots in a residential neighborhood known as Peterstown, were purchased via a NJ Green Acres grant and other funding-corner to corner with frontage on three streets, a half acre of potential awaiting new life. Derelict buildings were demolished recently, removing the eyesore.  A few precious trees were saved, including twoSaucer Magnolias and a row of Figs.Next steps include a small solar-powered environmental education center surrounded by gardens-organic community food gardens, and a natural play garden for young children.  The EC will serve as a local resource and a model for city gardeners and other non-profit groups; it is permanently preserved for such use by an easement.

Design Approach
By providing land for growing food, space for children to interact with natural elements, and education that encompasses both, we can address fundamental needs and permanently tie them to land stewardship.  This three-point design approach will aid project sustainability as all three elements are interconnected, support each other, and comprise the whole.  Establishing a place where neighbors can meet and actually get to know one another fosters real community as well.  In a time of ever-increasing ways to connect via technology, we lack local places to “plug in” for face-to-face contact. What better place than a garden?

The overall landscape design of the
Elizabeth Conservancy Environmental Education Center & Gardens is intended to be aesthetically pleasing, not just practical-to lift spirits and aspirations of city dwellers.  Espalier pear trees grown over 12 ft. wide arches will create a green tunnelthat will lead gardeners to the greenhouse from our Doyle Street entrance.  A bi-level, kid-friendly water feature curving downward will accent our main entrance on Redcliffe Street.  Special attention is being given to plant selection / placement to encourage play and exploration by young children, while their parents tend to their garden plots.  Raised beds of various levels will be installed for growing vegetables, a rain garden edged by a seat wall will mitigate storm water, cisterns will capture roof water for landscape irrigation, and a pergola will highlight the main gathering area.  Most outdoor features will be accessible to the physically challenged. An overriding objective is to create momentum for the establishment of similar garden-centered neighborhoods within our city and shift the paradigm of community planning.

The Building
We recently discovered that everything we intend for our building is available in a neat green package called “Sprout Space”-cutting edge green pre-fab modules that can be combined, customized, and finished on site ; created by Architects Perkins + Will as educational units. See   Our Sprout Space structure will be rendered in neutral colors to blend quietly into the landscape and neighborhood. It will offer a greenhouse, resource room, office, and a multi-purpose room which opens onto a porch and the gardens. Finally, the entire property will be gated and enclosed by black ornamental fencing.

The Elizabeth Conservancy project has been a walk of faith from day one and it remains so. In-kind professional services, materials, and monetary donations have been generous and vital to moving forward; and they are still needed.  If you are in a position to assist with our project or can connect us with potential funders, please contact me at 908-906-6386 (cell) or    Our mailing address is:
Elizabeth Conservancy, P.O. Box 6901,
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07202.   Our website: will launch soon.

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

APLDNJ Members Abroad!

A few of our members in Ireland.
From left:
Susan Olinger, Lauren VonGerichton, Ruth Bowers, Barbara Miller, Pamela Dabah, Helen Grundmann.
Photo submitted by Susan Olinger.

From our Sponsor– 
Pleasant Run Nursery 
 by Heidi Hesselein

There is an explosion of exciting options in the world of small ornamental trees, and we have our own favorites at Pleasant Run Nursery.  What we look for is multi-season interest and wide tolerance of diverse growing conditions.  In the interest of keeping this article short, I have chosen 5 winners.

Heptacodium miconioides, or Seven-Son Flower, is an Asian tree which offers an alternative to the Crapemyrtles which took such a beating in the last 2 winters. Its zone hardiness of 4 is excellent, and its size of 20′ makes it reasonable as a multi-stem or single-stem tree in smaller gardens.  Heptacodium comes into bloom in late July with a plethora of fragrant small white flowers in large, long-blooming clumps.  When the blooms drop, making a white carpet, they are followed by rose-red calyxes which are just as showy as Lagerstroemia flowers, as well as long-lasting.  After the leaves drop in the fall, the creamy exfoliating barkprovides winter interest, especially after snowfall.  Seven-Son flower is a pollinator attractant and is happy in both sun and partial shade.

Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum) is a very important native tree for many reasons, but the growth habit often leaves a lot to be desired.  Nyssa sylvatica Green Gable™is an introduction from Alex Neubauer of Tennessee, and is a beautiful upright form that wants to grow straight and uniform.  The lustrous green leaves are clean and attractive (like a much more responsible form of Callery Pear).  Green Gable™ blooms heavily in early summer so it is an important source of food for native pollinators (think “Tupelo Honey”).  The fall foliage is stunning shades of red and orange,making its show early in the season.  The regular, ascending branches make an attractive silhouette in the winter landscape.  Like all Nyssas, Green Gable™ is tolerant of a very wide variety of soil and site conditions, from dry to wet and sun to shade.

Poliothyrsis sinensis (Chinese Pearlbloom) fills the “late summer bloom” niche beautifully, becoming covered with airy pyramidal ivory racemes in late July and early August.  The habit is upright and broadly pyramidal,with bronze colored new foliage which turns a clean green as the leaves mature.  The ivory flowers ripen to interesting brown seed capsules and the resemblance to Japanese Tree Lilacs is striking, confusing plant people by the presence of flowers so much later than lilacs are supposed to bloom.  The fall color is an attractive yellow, and winter interest is provided by the interesting brown-gray bark.  This is definitely a “stump your friends” tree.  An added bonus is that Poliothyrsis is a butterfly attractant because of the fragrant blooms.

Styrax japonica “Emerald Pagoda” was selected by Dr. JC Raulston when he spotted it on an island in Korea. It stands out from ordinary Japanese Snowbells because of its exceptional vigor and tree-form habit.  The beautiful white bell flowersare definitely larger than typical Snowbells, as are the lustrous, thicker green leaves.  We have found that “Emerald Pagoda” is more tolerant of both heat and cold than the regular species.  The smooth dark grey-brown bark is attractive in the winter, as is the tidy oval shape of the canopy.

Taxodium distichum Shawnee Brave™ is a beautiful Baldcypress introduced by Earl “Mr. Heritage Birch” Cully.  It is a particularly lovely deciduous native conifer, with soft fern-like foliage emerging in early spring.  The fine short needles darken in color as the summer progresses.  The fall display is particularly glorious, as the needles take on reddish-tan hues before falling to form a soft carpet under the tree.  Shawnee Brave™ has a striking form in the winter, when its straight trunk and extremely regular branching habit impart a wonderful silhouette to the landscape.  Taxodiums are extremely tolerant of salt and wet sites and with a Zone 4 cold hardiness, they are “bullet-proof” trees for both sun and shade.  Although Shawnee Brave™ can reach a height of 60′ eventually, it stays very narrow, so it can be used effectively in tight spaces.

Reclaimed Materials for Hardscape 
…by Experienced Brick and Stone

Reclaimed materials are durable, beautiful and have stood the test of time. Brick and stone that has been in use for over 100 years, worn smooth by steps through time, can add warmth and character to your landscaping project.

Many manufactured materials seek to imitate the richness of aged materials because of their appeal. Fortunately there is a strong trend to reclaim which is helping to insure an ample supply.  Reclaimed materials include street brick pavers, curbing, stone sidewalks, and building stone.  By reclaiming these special historical materials they are saved from being crushed or dumped in landfills.

Historical street bricks are very dense and impervious to water.They add special distinction and warmth to walkways, patios, driveways and sidewalks. Made from clay and shale that was double-fired in crude beehive kilns, that were commonplace 100 years ago, they naturally have an attractive varied color pallet.  You can expect them to provide durable and beautiful surfaces for your residential, commercial, or “Main Street” project, for the next 100 years and beyond.
Medina Sandstone was discovered in NY while digging the ErieCanal through the Medina area in 1825. Numerous quarries operated during the 1800’s to provide stone for buildings and streets in New York State as well as being shipped to many other countries. Today this stone is reclaimed in the form of steps, street curbing, street cobbles, sidewalk slabs, and building block.  They have wonderful color variation, from dusty rose to warm gray and brown.  These pieces of history are perfect for steps, driveways, garden walls, and special projects where old world charm is desired.
Reclaimed stone also includes granite cobbles in various sizes, and shapes.  Much of this stone was brought from Europe as ships ballast.  The cobbles were used to pave the streets of port cities along the east coast.  These make unique driveways, commercial areas as well as garden bed edging.

Make your project unique with reclaimed materials and know that you rescued a piece of history to be enjoyed for generations to come.

To find out more out reclaimed materials call Experienced Bricks & Stone at 716-691-3061 or visit

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!