October 2017


JOIN US atNew England Grows



The New England Chapter represents members from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. As the largest trade show in the area, attending New England Grows is a great way for you to connect with your fellow members while keeping up with the industry.

As in the past, our Annual Chapter Meeting will take place during the New England Grows Exposition. This year our meeting will feature an exciting talk titled "Romancing the Stone" by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns. Dean and Derek, as they are known are second generation tradesmen with decades of experience in the stone industry. This talented duo has toured the country sharing their knowledge at trade shows, schools and conferences. They have appeared on the PBS  "Victory Garden" and have been featured in two succesful DIY Network TV shows, "Rock Solid" and "Indoors Out." You will not want to miss their presentation. Learn more Here

CHAPTER ANNUAL MEETING  Th, November 30, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM, Rm 207



Our collective knowledge is extensive and as Kevin Kelly famously said " No one is as smart as everybody." We launch this section with some tips submitted by member Tish Campbell. She thought these tips learned at the July APLD Conference were "Good to Know."

  • NEED a native groundcover for dry, rocky soils? Warren Leach recommends Potentilla tridentata, three-leaved cinquefoil.
  • WANT to transplant polypody ferns? Place on boulder, cover with netting and cinch underneath to create an air-tight clump that will quickly adhere to the stone.
  • WANT to grow lichens on boulders? Attach with Elmers glue.
  • WANT to KEEP DEER OUT ?  According to Patrick Chasse, creating an invisible fence by laying chicken wire horizontally keeps deer out.  Deer dislike getting their hooves stuck in the mesh. His one caveat is that this strategy does not work as well in winter when snow covers the wire. Find out his placement strategies HERE.

Learned something new or have a tip to share?




Get to know our Platinum Sponsor:
Plymouth Quarries,LLC
410 Whiting Street, Rte.53
Hingham, MA

This year marks a new vision and mission for Plymouth Quarries and they invite APLD members to join them.  If you have been to Plymouth Quarries, you  may already know that they are the source for the famous Weymouth Granite used in Boston College, Yale University and hundreds of New England towns and churches. What you may not know is that they were purchased last year by the Bristol Family who also owns the nearby J.F. Price Quarry, and are now being managed by Derek Stearns and Dean Marsico.  They have been busy actively moving the company forward to make it a state of the art hardscape provider that meets the modern day needs of their clients.

According to Dean and Derek "Excellence in Stone Since 1915 is more than a slogan at Plymouth Quarries. It represents a pride of craft that has spanned generations of workers who love stone, stonework, and the process of creating every type of stone product."The new logo is based on an ancient stone marking called a "bench mark". This was the standard from which all points of a city or town were measured. It was the ultimate reference point and a ‘benchmark’ eventually became known as the standard for quality and accuracy. At Plymouth Quarries they strive to continue that time-honored tradition and work to deliver the very best stone products, serving as the premier benchmark against which all others are measured.

Today their team looks forward to continuing the innovation and excellence that has been their passion. They have a custom cutting shop with state of the art machinery, they offer consulting and design to assist on your project, and they have upgraded and expanded their showroom. Derek Stearns believes that, “the new space will provide a comfortable meeting place where designers, architects, builders, masons, and landscapers can meet with clients to find the right color and style stone for their project.” 

The staff at Plymouth Quarries is ready to work with you and are:

  • Bringing the newest stone products available worldwide into the local market
  • Offering entirely unique antique stone products from their extensive inventory
  • Continuing the craft with education for men and women in the masonry and landscape industries
  • Creating an internship program with local trade and vocational schools
  • Continuing to partner with designers, contractors, craftsmen and homeowners

They are excited about partnering with the New England Chapter of APLD as they embark on their next one hundred years. Call them or visit Plymouth Quarries to see the very best stone and landscape products for your clients.

Learn more HERE




A Way to Garden
A fascinating weekly podcast about current horticultural topics with New York based author Margaret Roach- Find out more HERE


Rutgers University Weed ID
A comprehensive list of images and information to help you name that weed. Click HERE 


Mount Cuba Research
Each year Mt. Cuba conducts comprehensive trials to evaluate native plants and related cultivars. Learn more about completed  and in progress research HERE


What's Out There- Guide to Boston's Landscapes
Explore Boston’s rich cultural landscape legacy with the  Cultural Landscapes Guide to Boston, The guide, optimized for iPhones and similar handheld devices, features 61 sites and 59 designer profiles, Read more HERE.

Do you have a favorite Resource to share? 





October 19, 2017          3:00-5:00 PM
Vectorworks Landmark User Group Meeting
Lexington, MA
Topic: The Site Plan
Click HERE  for the full schedule and to RSVP 


October 24, 2017.         10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Designing A Garden For All Seasons: Autumn Edition
How do you create an all-season garden that both captivates people and provides for wildlife year-round?  Read more HERE


November 1, 2017         8:00AM - 4:30 PM
ELA's Season End Summit: The Plant Pollinator Parternship
Four Pollinator Experts Share Research and Practical Tips.
Read more HERE


APLD New England Chapter Events at New England Grows

Boston Convention and Exibition Center      415 Summer Street


Wednesday, Nov 29th, 2017, 1:45 - 2:00 PM, Bight Ideas Center

It’s Good to Know: Advice & Thoughts about the latest trends and products in the Landscape Industry, Presented by Leisha Marcoccio, Principal & Lead Designer, Gardens by the Yard


Thursday, Nov 30, 2017,  11:00-12:30 PM, Room 207

Romancing the Stone, Presented by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns, tradesmen, educators and stone experts. 


Friday, December 1, 2017,   2:00-3:00 PM, Ballroom West

CREATING GARDEN MOMENTUM, Presented by Matthew Cunningham, ASLA, Principal at  Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design.


If you or any APLDNE members you know have achieved a milestone, been profiled in local media or recognized with an award, please send us a notice for inclusion in our next newsletter.

September 2017

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The APLD 2017 International

Design Conference

The Boston Conference was a splendid event full of inspiration, education and delight !  Find out all about it in the August Issue of Design Online. See pictures of the speakers, garden tours, award winners and more.


Don't miss next year's conference.

Mark your calendar now, September 13-17, 2018, Toronto, Ontario

It Takes a Village to get things done...and sometimes it takes a CHAPTER!

We could not have done it without you. On behalf of the local and national conference committees please accept a heartfelt and enthusiastic THANK YOU to those of you who attended the conference, and those who volunteered.  We’d like to give a special shout out to the following New England Chapter members who gave their time to help make the event a spectacular success:

Alysson Fitzsimmons, Rose Kennedy - Greenway Tour Guide
Andrea Nilsen, Ellin Hanlon, Joyce Williams —Speaker Introductions
Christie Dustman, Laura Kuhn, Maria von Brincken —Garden Designers & Guide
Ellen Abdow, Leisha Marcoccio, Jane Rupley,Tom Wheaton Bus captains
Holly Samuels, Shawn Myers, Tish Campbell Conference Assistance
Jim Douthit Reception Host, Garden Designer and Guide
Julie Moir Messervy - Closing Keynote Speaker
Matthew Cunningham - Panelist

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One often hears that the national conference is not to be missed, that it enhances one’s practice in ways mysterious and life changing, and that the camaraderie is great. We’ve heard that too, and never really understood what it meant until attending one of these conferences.  The social aspect—the contact with other designers—goes far beyond networking or having fun over a beer. We ‘get’ one another. One conference attendee said the most valuable part of the conference was ‘being able to experience the gardens with so many informed and interesting people.’

There's nothing like being in the gardens with other designers. Each designer had their favorite places. Here's what a few of them said...

“I have to pick??....if I had to pick a garden to LIVE in, it’s hard decision between the Clock Garden and Jim Douthit’s where we had the reception. Awesome.” 

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“ Christie's imaginative creation and thoughtful placement of sculpture was so inspiring! ” 

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“ GorgeousThe lush gardens and beautiful hardscape details complement the rich agricultural history of this site. ” 

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 Atwater was so serenely beautiful.” 

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 The charm of the garden at Clock Barn. To my mind the most perfect balance between tidy elegance, rustic agrarian and horticultural excellence. Soulful place.” 

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 Sophisticated hardscapes and design solutions, worth studying.” 

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“Visiting Fairsted felt like going to a Shrine to Landscape Design. Fascinating. Gave me a whole new appreciation for the origins of our craft. ” 

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 It was wonderful to have the Krupp Estate property manager provide the tour, and the owners graciously came out to talk to us further about their motivations with the site design.I also thought the Gardens at Clock Barn were wonderful, and well-represented by the owner and the people who advised and cared for them...the thematic and ecological considerations were impressive. ” 


“ Krupp/ZEN ! ! ! Not just about the scope but I thought that best displayed excellent design strategies & techniques. An incredible work of art and a breathtaking example of Japanese garden design approaches. I was SO grateful to Mr. Krupp & Mr. Douthit for letting us observe that very, very special place. That changed my design life.” 

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 At Sakonnet Gardens each garden room was a surprise. The Pavillion and surrounding lush gardens made me feel that I was in Nirvana. Have to go back!” 

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 The Blue Garden Restoration was breathtaking! ” 

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Want More Garden Tour Details?  Stay tuned...

We could not do each garden justice in this brief sampler. Look for more pictures and details in upcoming newsletters.  

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Welcome to our Chapter !

Please Consider APLD  YOUR Professional  Home.

 Susan Flint Vincent,   Susan Flint Designs
Alyson Fitzimmons,   Looking Glass Garden Designs
Devin Hefferon,  Matthew Cunningham Land. Design
Nanette Masi,   Back to Nature
Brian McGinn,   Christie Dustman & Com
Stephanie Tortora,   Weston Nurseries
Ryan Wampler,   Matthew Cunnigham Landscape Design


If you or any APLDNE members you know have achieved a milestone, been profiled in local media or recognized with an award, please send us a notice for inclusion in our next newsletter.


Upcoming Events

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September, 8th, 2017        9:00 AM-4:30 PM
Wellesley, MA
Perennial Plant Symposium: Perennial Inspirations & Concepts
A symposium presented by The Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association. Don't miss the chance to listen and learn from five of the country's best writers and plantsmen.

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November 1, 2017,      8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Brookline Village, MA
ELA's Season End Sunmit: The Plant Pollinator Parternship

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November 13, 2017,      4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
ELA Webinar:
Groundcovers – Ecological Solutions in Place of Mulch

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November 29 - December 1, 2017
Boston Convention and Exibition Center
NEW This Year for our APLD CHAPTER: 

APLD Sprint Session Wednesday & Annual Meeting and Speaker Thursday. More Details to Follow.

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What's Out There- Guide to Boston's Landscapes
Explore Boston’s rich cultural landscape legacy with the  Cultural Landscapes Guide to Boston, produced in honor of the National Park Service’s (NPS) 100th anniversary. The guide, optimized for iPhones and similar handheld devices, features 61 sites and 59 designer profiles, all of which can be explored on an interactive map. 

June Newsletter


A Special Offer from Garden Design

Photo: Claire Takacs

Photo: Claire Takacs

APLD members get their first issue free, plus $12 will be donated to APLDwhen you subscribe!

Go online to www.gardendesign.com/apld or call(855) 624-5110  Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm PST and mention this offer.

In the summer 2017 issue:

  • How to design an open, airy dining space that works on cool evenings or in midday heat.
  • Best tools for wise watering.
  • Hydrangeas that we count on for summer beauty now come in am impressive array.  Discover new varieties and get tips for using and caring for them.
  • These designers create lush gardens to lose yourself in--all on small suburban lots.  See how they do it.
  • Box turtles belong in your back yard.  Here's how to save and nurture them.

If you don't get Garden Design yet, this summer's issue is a great one to start off with!

APLD 2017 Conference in Boston


One of the Conference highlights will be the opportunity to learn new computer aided drawing skills.

The following three courses will be offered on Thursday, July 14th.

  • An Introduction on to DynaSCAPE Design

Joe Salemi, Product Marketing Manager, DynaSCAPE

1.5 CEUs 

This hands-on workshop will give you the full DynaSCAPE Design experience with an introduction to the software. Intended for the beginner, you will be guided through a work- flow based approach of setting up your drawing for the first time, importing and scaling site surveys, touring the comprehensive plant and symbol libraries, understanding the layering system with preset line weights for every possible scenario, and an introduction to the extensive set of time-saving drawing tools. 

  • Vectorworks Landmark Power Duo Part 1: 2D/3D Plants and Plant Masses

Eric Gilbey, Product Marketing Manager, Vectorworks  

1.5 CEUs 

This working session will address one of the two most popular features in Vectorworks Landmark: planting design with plant objects and landscape areas. Going beyond simply placing plant symbols, participants will understand how Vectorworks’ Plant Objects and Landscape Areas can be customized with data, 2D graphics and 3D representations.

  • Vectorworks Landmark Power Duo Part 2: 2D/3D Terrain Modeling  

Eric Gilbey, Product Marketing Manager, Vectorworks

1.5 CEUs 

This working session will address the second of the two most popular features in Vectorworks Landmark: terrain modeling. Going beyond simply drawing contoured topography, participants will discover how Vectorworks’ Site Models are created, modified and analyzed.

Business Panel:  Taking the Next Step:  How and When You Grow

2017 is a busy year.  Sales are up, demand is high.  How do you seize the opportunity and meet the moment?

Business panels have always been highly attended by our members and a great place to hear how your peers have solved problems you may be facing in your business now.  Whether you’re a single person design-only office, a medium-sized design practice or a blossoming design-build firm, how do you recognize the need to grow your practice/business and what decisions do you need to consider for a successful outcome?

Join us for a wide-ranging panel discussion on navigating the challenges and pitfalls of expansion.  How do you find, recruit and retain good help?  What additional income must you generate for added salaries, benefits and equipment?  How do you leverage the newer social media platforms to expand your market and get to the clients you want?

Our panel consists of speakers from companies of various sizes.  Along with taking your questions, they will share with us their many years of experience as they’ve steered their companies through various growth spurts to become the successful businesses they are today.

Panel Members

  • Design/Build: Donna Christensen, Founder, Christensen Landscape Services
  • Design Only: Matthew Cunningham, Principal, Matthew  Cunningham Landscape Design
  • HR: Tom Fletcher, Human Resources, a Blade of Grass
  • Marketing & Social Media: Nick McCullough, APLD, Founder, McCullough’s Landscape & Nursery

Members in the News

If you or any APLDNE member you know has achieved a milestone, been profiled in local media or recognized with an award, please send us a notice for inclusion in our next newsletter.

Upcoming Events

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July 8
Martha's Vineyard, MA

Garden Conservancy Open Days

Open gardens will include:

Gardens are open from 10 am to 4 pm.  Admission to each garden is $7.  For addresses, map and additional details, click here.

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July 22 & 23
Merrimack Valley Area, NH

Garden Conservancy Open Days

Open gardens will include:

Gardens are open from 10 am to 5 pm.  
Admission to each garden is $7.  For addresses, map and additional details, click here.

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July 25
Framingham, MA

ELA Workshop:

Alternatives to Traditional Lawns

1 pm - 5 pm
Garden in the Woods
180 Hemenway Road
Framingham, MA

According to NASA scientists, in the Unites States more surface area is covered by lawn than by any other single irrigated crop.  Traditionally managed lawns are resource-heavy, requiring irrigation, fertilizer and pesticides to thrive in our climate.  Despite the costs, lawns and turf are a predominant feature of the landscape and are valued for recreation as well as aesthetics.
With growing environmental awareness along with new regulations, it is imperative that responsible homeowners as well as lawn & turf professionalsmanage lawns in the most ecological manner.

Following emerging best practices, it's possible to create healthy lawns and turf that are functional and aesthetic and are managed in a way that eliminates negative impacts on human health and the environment, meets regulatory guidelines, and is cost effective.  And when considering ecological lawns, one solution that is gaining momentum is to reduce or remove lawns in favor of more biodiverse alternatives.

Register for this workshop online or contact Penny Lewis at (617) 436-5838 or ela.info@comcast.net

May Newsletter

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APLD 2017 Conference:

Laura Kuhn tells why she's planning to attend

Contributor:  Holly Samuels

Laura Kuhn is a landscape designer with Laura Kuhn Design Consultation, based in Arlington, MA.  She is a longtime member and a former board member at both APLD and APLDNE.

Why are you a member of APLD?

The aspect of APLD that I value most is the support and resources for advocacy.

I guess that won’t surprise too many people--I’ve been on the APLD Advocacy Committee for years now, and I also served as the committee chair almost ten years ago.

Landscaping is a robust industry in our area but, with so many trade organizations to choose from in our field, APLDis the only one that specifically supports landscape designers.  There aren’t very many of us.  Our position is unique and somewhat vulnerable in the industry.

Are you planning to attend the national conference in Boston this year?

Of course!  Why wouldn’t I go?  I go to the APLD conferences as often as I can.  It’s a unique opportunity to get together with designers from all over the country, who work with different conditions, climates, architectural styles, markets--even under different laws and regulations.

Residential design varies so much across the country.  Working in design--and so many of us work solo--it’s just fun to meet other designers and talk shop for a change...especially when you get to tour gardens together.

I love seeing what other designers are up to and what ideas they’re playing with.  I think seeing other people’s work makes me a better designer.  You see some ideas that inspire you, other things you’d never do but that push your own ideas forward in new ways.

It’s important to be challenged creatively.  I spend so much time working alone or as the only designer on a team that I don’t think my ideas are challenged often enough.

Good design needs rigorous standards and even constraints to really develop; good designers need that, too.

A garden that I designed 10 years ago will be on the tour and it will be interesting to see how it has developed and changed over the years.

So, yes, I am going, and I’m excited about the conference.

Registration for the 2017 APLD International Landscape Design Conference is now open.  Go to apld.org for more information.


Watch the following video to hear Laura Kuhn explain the importance of advocacy for landscape designers:

Get Involved!


If you’re interested in volunteering and helping make our many APLD colleagues and fellow professionals feel welcome during their visit, we would love to hear from you!

We will be in need of greeters, event staffing, bus captains for tours, and other volunteers. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to meet and connect with your peers in the profession.  You can contact Ruth Riske at: ruth.amymartinlandscape@gmail.com or Love Albrecht Howard at: alovea@comcast.net

The Boston Conference is shaping up to be tremendous!  We hope to have all of our New England chapter members join us!

Members in the News

If you or any APLDNE member you know has achieved a milestone, been profiled in local media or recognized with an award, please send us a notice for inclusion in our next newsletter.


Upcoming Events

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June 3 & 4
York, ME

Garden Conservancy Open Days

Open gardens will include:

Garden is open from 10 am to 4 pm.  Admission to garden is $7.  For address, map and additional details, click here.

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June 11
Greater Boston area, MA

Garden Conservancy Open Days

Open gardens will include:

Gardens are open from 10 am to 4 pm.  Admission to each garden is $7.  For addresses, map and additional details, click here.

October Newsletter


Photo of the month

"Autumnal Splendor" - New England chapter president Ruth Riske basks in fallen leaves at the wetlands restoration site in Weston, MA which was visited as part of our chapter-sponsored, two-part informative series on dealing with wetlands protection regulations.  See our story below, and don't miss part 2 on Novmber 16th!.

Want to see your photo featured here? Please send it to us for inclusion in our next newsletter.

Successfully Navigating Projects through the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, Part 1

Part One of "Successfully Navigating Projects through the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act” was held last week.

Michele Grzenda, Town of Weston Conservation Commission Administrator, shared an extremely informative presentation.  The audience took away a clearer understanding of the meaning and intent of the regulations and of the way town bylaws can change or impose additional regulations.

Following her presentation, Michele led participants to a nearby restoration project site.  The project was designed by Catherine Weirsema and installed approximately four years ago.  On a fall day, the site can only be described as an an immersion into “Autumnal Splendor.”  It was a superb example of design and conservation principles applied with an educated and exceptionally beautiful result. 

Visit our booth!

APLD's New England chapter will be represented at booth number NM26, located within the 'Network Central' area along the eastern side of the exhibition hall floor.

Members in the News

Tom Wilhelm, APLD receiving his 2016 Designer of the Year Award from Danilo Maffei, APLD at the annual APLD International Design Conference in Santa Fe, NM in September.  Tom also received a 2016 Chapter Service Award.

Photo credit:  Jim Douthit

If you or any APLDNE member you know has achieved a milestone, been profiled in local media or recognized with an award, please send us a notice for inclusion in our next newsletter.

September Newsletter

Photo: Tom Wheaton

Photo: Tom Wheaton


Photo of the month

Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra ‘Summer Nights’ (Zones 4-9; 3-4' H, 2-3' W)

Tom Wheaton:  "These tall but delicate beauties started blooming back in early July, and are still going strong despite our dire drought conditions here in Littleton, MA."

Want to see your photo featured here?  Please send it to us for inclusion in our next newsletter.

Fall APLDNE Sponsored Events - a Two-part Series


Successfully Navigating Landscape Designs through the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act

In this two-part series of presentations, APLD New England chapter designers will share their experiences and insights into the process of securing approval for projects subject to review by local Conservation Commissions.

Assisting clients through the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act can advance the professionalism and expertise of your practice.  Don't miss this!

Part 1: "How to get started with your local Conservation Commission: What you need to know from a Conservation Agent's perspective."  (Thursday, October 20, 2016)

Presenters will identify those aspects of a project which are critical to WPA compliance, and detail how to properly prepare for the local & state review process.

 Part 2: "Two Case Studies, a Member Presentation"  (Wednesday, November 16, 2016)

Certified members Ellin Hanlon, APLD and Joyce K. Williams, APLD will each present a case study of a landscape project they designed that melded their clients' needs and desires for outdoor living spaces with what was not only acceptable to their local Conservation Commissions, but that heralded praise as projects that vastly improved current conditions, creating a win-win situation for their clients and the local ecosystems.

Events will be held at the Weston Public Library, 87 School Street, Weston, MA from 3:30 - 5:00 pm.  Events at the library are free and open to the public.  See also our "Upcoming Events" section below.

We'd Like to Hear From You!
Have a favorite standout plant for the coming month?  Something with big, beautiful blooms, fantastic foliage or killer color?  Please send a suggestion, along with a photo and/or a brief paragraph describing the qualities of that plant that have endeared it to you, for inclusion in our next newsletter.


The five New England chapter members identified below have received some of APLD's highest distinctions:  Designer of the Year awards for 2016.  These awards were formally presented at APLD's International Design Conference in Santa Fe last week.  More information, including images of the award-winning designs, can be found in the Fall 2016 issue of The Designer, APLD's quarterly publication, as well as on the designers' own websites.

Matthew Cunningham
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design, LLC

Cambridge Garden - Cambridge, MA

  • Residential Design over $100,000

Beacon Hill Courtyard - Boston, MA

  • Small Garden

Clamshell Alley - Lamoine, ME

  • Residential Design over $100,000

Katherine Field
Katherine Field and Associates

Bridge House - Jamestown, RI

  • Residential Design over $100,000

Hilarie Holdsworth
Walker Creek Garden Design

Sawyer Free Library - Gloucester, MA

  • Non-residential Design

Kimberly Mercurio
Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture

Chatham Cottage - Chatham, MA

  • Residential Design over $100,000
  • Planting Design

Coastal Landscape - Orleans, MA

  • Residential Design over $100,000

Tom Wilhelm, APLD
a Blade of Grass

Woodland Retreat - Newton, MA

  • Residential Design over $100,000

If you or any APLDNE members you know have achieved a milestone, been profiled in local media or recognized with an award, please send us a notice for inclusion in our next newsletter.

April Newsletter


2017 Boston APLD Conference Updates

Dear Fellow Members:

Your Local Site Committee (LSC) for the 2017 Boston APLD Interational Landscape Design Conference has been hard at work behind the scenes on initial planning.  But we need your help to make the conference a success.

We are interested, specifically, in hearing your ideas for a conference theme, gardens to visit, and speakers.

Like great design, a great conference is one that is collaborative in nature.

With your input, Boston 2017 will not only be a great success, but will reflect the great wealth of design experience and talent possessed by the chapter's membership.

Here’s how you can help:

Share your ideas for a theme

Each international conference has had a tag line to express its focus. Here are some examples:

  • 2016  Santa Fe: Art of Adaptive Design
  • 2015  Washington, DC: A Monumental Conference
  • 2013  Detroit: Growing Green, Flowing Blue, Pushing Through
  • 2010  Dallas: Discovery, Dreams, Design

Much like great design, once you arrive at an over-arching “theme” to a project, many of the design decisions fall into place. We feel this is also true for our conference.  The LSC would like our theme to honor our great horticultural and design past (Olmsted, Farrand, Sargent, etc.) while looking to the future with our innovations in leading-edge design, green roof technologies and sustainable practices.  So as you travel from site to site with your work, please consider what makes New England landscape design uniquely ours.

Please send your theme ideas to Nancy Lattanzio, nancylattanzio@gmail.com.


Propose your "must-see" gardens

Conference attendees cite the exclusive opportunities to visit high quality gardens as among the most significant highlights of the event. The LSC is looking for high-quality gardens that provide a strong, compelling narrative.  What makes the garden unique?   What elements stand out that make it exceptional in some way?  Is it materials, plant choices, design or layout?  Is it historical, whimsical or educational?

Criteria are as follows:

  • Site must be able to accommodate 50-250 visitors in a day
  • On-site parking is not required; however, site must be accessible to buses
  • Ideally, site should be accessible to those with limited mobility (canes, walkers, scooters, wheelchairs)
  • Photography must be permitted (Exceptions may be made under certain circumstances)

Gardens should be appropriately maintained and prepped for the day of the tour

APLD International is currently revising the Garden Tour Submission Form so it can be filled out online and submitted electronically.  We will let you know as soon as this is complete.  In the meantime, Tom Wilhelm can provide any member with the form.  He can be reached at: twilhelm@abladeofgrass.com   Lastly, this is a juried process between the LSC and the National Conference Board.  Submissions that make the first cut will be asked to submit a few photos for consideration.  Only approximately 16 gardens will be toured over the two days of Garden Tours and these will be limited to the Greater Boston area and surrounding suburbs.  This is done to limit travel time between sites.  Another 8 gardens located in Newport RI and Cape Cod will be included in the Post-Conference Tours.


Suggest speakers and topics you'd like to hear

Our national conferences are designed to broaden your knowledge of our craft and provide lasting inspiration.  We want our speaker lineup to be the best of the best, to provide cutting edge information and to inspire and motivate.   We want to showcase the tremendous talent that is here in New England.   We are looking to our membership to tell us what you want to hear about--and who you want to hear!   You can nominate speakers you want to hear or who have inspired you in the past, or just tell us what subjects you want to explore.  Drop a note to Love Albrecht Howard, alovea@comcast.net, to start the dialogue.

This is a call to all landscape designers in New England!  Working together, we can make this one of the best APLD conferences ever!

Your Local Site Committee,


Love Albrecht Howard

Nancy Lattanzio

Tom Wilhelm, APLD

Ruth Riske (chapter president)


Bodnant in Autumn


story and photos by Thomas Wheaton

Tal-y-Cafn, Wales, October 21, 2015
   It was late on a cool, drizzly, Welsh morning when we arrived at Bodnant Estate after a mist-shrouded drive over rain and leaf-slicked roads through the vales of Snowdonia.
   We parked in the street, terraced car park outside of the wall, and after some fortifying scones and hot chocolate in the Pavillion Tearoom, followed the ramp down and through a pedestrian tunnel under the road and wall, emerging in front of the welcome center for the 80-acre gardens

Entrance and Winter Garden
   My partner and I were visiting on a recommendation from my former Garden Design Schoolmentor Robin Templar Williams, whom we'd caught up with two days prior during a stop in Bath. 
   Bodnant lived up to his description from the moment we stepped out the back door of the reception building.
   A broad, straight gravel path, lined on one side with a deep herbaceous border along a high wall, led toward a glasshouse at the corner of the hall itself. In the border, maroon and crimsonCotinus contrasted beautifully with tawny drifts of tall grasses puctuated by dwarf evergreens.
   Opposite, past a narrower border filled with exuberant sprays of scarlet dahlias and Verbena bonariensis lay a rectagular lawn featuring a small, formal quadrangle of box-fringed beds with a fountain in the center. On the far side of the lawn stands the recently-opened Winter Garden, with its gently curving paved paths connecting to another small formal garden, this one circular in shape.

The Terraces
   Crossing the wide lawn to the south of the Hall, we explored the Italiante terraces. These compromise five levels with massive, buttressed granite retaining walls supporting lawns, lily ponds and lush mixed borders.
   The uppermost terrace, adjacent to the Hall, features a multitude of roses and offers views of the Carneddau mountains to the west...Well, on a clear day, perhaps -- but not today.
   Paths and steps of stone and brick (and beautifully repurposed millstones) led us down to the wide arc of a rose pergola which overlooks a long, narrow reflecting pool on the lowest terrace (known as the Canal Terrace) facing the Pin Mill, an 18th- century structure which was dismantled, moved to Bodnant from Gloucestershire and re-erected in 1938. 

The Dell
   From the Pin Mill, we took a path which led behind it, and across a stream and wound its way down the Old Mill, situated at the lower end of the Dell
   The river Hiraethlyn wends its way amongst moss-covered boulders through this steep valley after cascading over a spillway from a small pond higher up.
   It was here, under the direction of then-owner Henry Davis Pochin beginning in the 1870's, that designer Edward Milner created a showcase for specimen broadleaf and needle evergreens collected from Asia and North American including a number of Sequoiadendron. Looking up from the floor of the profoundly calm, shady valley at the broad, tall trunks of the century-and-a-half-old trees, I was reminded of the Muir Woods in California (and perhaps this is why).
   An assortment of Hydrangeas line the stream bed and paths up to the Waterfall Bridge, where we ascended steep paths and steps up and out of the Dell. 

The Shrub Borders
   Extending from the Poem back toward the Hall, the Shrub Borders contain aa myriad of rhododendrons, magnolias, Viburnums and camellias as well as shade perennials like astilbes.
   Here and there among the taller shrubs, hydrangeas continued to peak (owing, perhaps to north Wales' cool summers?). One in paricular literally stopped me in my tracks, its profusion of cerulean blooms set against a backdrop of golden foliage.
   At the end of the shrub borders nearest the Hall sits an oval pool called the Deep Bath, flanked by high walls and steps up to the main lawn. Magenta and red spikes of Agastache and Perisicaria stood out in the planting beds atop the walls.
   Departing the Shrub Borders, we crossed the lawn again to exit the garden, stopping to look over the Old Park, where a crew of hooved and wooly experts were tending to a light trim of the grass.
   And, of course, just as we were ready to leave, the sun decided to make an appearance.
   Stopping once again to admire the border we'd seen as we arrived -- now glimmering gold and orange, bathed in mid-afternoon sunlight -- before bidding Bodnant goodbye...until our next visit.