February/March 2018

Happy Spring 


HELLO,  APLD New England Chapter Members!

As we hover expectantly on the cusp of spring, we thought this would be a fitting time to revisit the question of just what it is we are doing with this newsletter, this designing life, and thisAPLD chapter. The Board’s goals for the newsletter are to educate, inform, and inspire; to shine a spotlight on you, the members and your wonderful work; and to elevate the design standards we all aspire to by sharing our considerable group professional know-how not only as it relates to design but also sales, marketing, construction, and all around practice.

To that end, we have put together a year’s worth of newsletter topics for 2018. This month’s issue is a spotlight on The Farm Coast, featuring a member interview, profiles of three incredible gardens, and a look at the many nurseries in this beautiful and special coastal area of our region. 

In April, we will focus on Nurseries, in May on Stone, and in upcoming months we’ll take onSwimming Pools, Water Features, Fire in the Garden, and Lighting.  Of special note is the June issue, which we hope to devote exclusively to members’ work. For this, we need your participation. Dust off those photos from your best projects of last year and beyond and send them to us. Just click here to upload your photos directly to the chapter dropbox. Don't forget to label each image with your name so we can credit you. We’ll do this again later in the year, so please keep the newsletter in mind as you are photographing your work this season. 

Lastly, wouldn’t it be nice to know who your fellow members are? Many folks have put a lot of their most precious commodities-time and energy- into the group over the years. Newer members should know there is plenty of room for their contributions as well.  The more life we collectively breathe into our chapter, the livelier it will be. And to further understand how best the chapter and the newsletter can serve you, we have put together a 2-minute survey. Please take the survey. It will help us understand what you need.

Happy springing!
Ruth Riske and Nancy Lattanzio


The “Farm Coast”: Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island

 Where exactly is it?


A dozen years or so ago, a group of merchants came up with the name the Farm Coast to describe the communities in the coastal areas of Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport, and Dartmouth. The area may be called the South Coast when you include  Fall River,  New Bedford and Marion and even Taunton, Attleboro and Plymouth. It is brimming over with charm and local color in the way that only a coastal agricultural area can, with more native stone walls per person than anywhere else in Massachusetts, plenty of farm to table fare, a shrinking number of actual dairy farms, beef farms, and wineries. 

You know this area because you drive into it whenever you go to Sylvan Nursery in Westport. The region is one of the best parts of New England for growing, and hence we have not only Sylvan but Quansett Nursery, Rhode Island Nurseries, Roseland, and several smaller boutique wholesale and retail plant destinations.


An Interview with Shawn Mayers

We asked APLD Member Shawn Mayers to share with us what it’s like to live and work in this gorgeous coastal area and to tell us a bit about her company and her work as a designer. Shawn is the principal and lead designer at Groundswell Designs in Jamestown, Rhode Island, which she established in 2000.  Shawn is also certifiedAPLD designer. 

 You work in a beautiful part of New England. What’s it like working in the MA/RI south coast area? How does it inspire your work? Are there any special challenges? What’s an ideal project for you? 

 It is not without its challenges: invasives, weather, soil/ledge, short seasons…but I am really inspired by the wide variety of plant material that can grow here — from the woodland understory plants that give our spring so much life, to the beachy, seaside grasses flowing with the wind and reflecting the late season sun as well as the beautiful, natural stone used in the old stone walls. 

I am an ecological designer, with a very naturalistic planting style — so the ideal client would be one that is interested in achieving those goals.  I’ve had several clients that have said “no lawn!” And that gets my attention right away.  Most often, there is a bit of education that I do with clients to get them to understand the importance of restoring the landscape after construction (we do a lot of new builds) - I like when clients are open to that.

Is there much of a landscape design or green industry community in the area? 

RI has a rich agricultural background so there are lots of growers and nurseries with many, many landscaping companies.  There areseveral landscape design/architectural firms dotted throughout the state, but only 3 (I believe) that are APLD members.  While the green industry is strong, I believe landscape designers are a bit of an anomaly, so I usually have to explain what I do to new clients (and family!).

What led you to become a landscape designer? 

Being outside, whether it's working or enjoying the sunshine, has always had a positive effect on me. So in a macro sense, I have always been interested in helping people connect with nature and seeing whether that positive effect translated for them as well.  Shakespeare said, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,” and I believe there is a lot of truth to that.  Bringing friends and family together in the garden creates lifelong memories, brings about a sense of peace and enjoyment, and also links them to the bigger world around them.  It is a privilege to help my clients experience that.

How do you find clients who are right for your brand? And how do you turn down clients who are not? 

Ahh- the golden question.  Most of my clients come from referrals — other clients, architects, interior designers, realtors.  I have a website, yes, but I don’t think it actually generates new business.  My clients aren’t out there surfing the web...and I really haven’t figured out a marketing tool worth the cost.  When I do get a call from someone and I don’t think it’s a good fit, I usually just briefly explain my design process (which bores them to tears!) and refer them to a local landscaping company that is better suited to project work.

You have a very nice website w a blog. How much time do you put into the care and feeding of your online presence? What platform did you use? 

Thank you. I actually switched to the .design url after learning about it at an APLD conference.  It worked we with my company name.  I designed the site myself on the Wix platform — it couldn’t have been easier (and fun).  I struggle with coming up with interesting, original content, so I would say that I update my blog quarterly.

What do you think about certification? How has being certified helped you? 

When you work predominantly on your own, you never really have your designs reviewed by peers.  Going through the certification process, though nerve-wracking, gave me a little boost of confidence, knowing that other designers thought my work was OK.  I wish that APLD would promote certified members a bit more in local markets — it may help educate clients.

One photo that caught my eye from your website was the one on the right? Can you tell us a little about what’s going on here?  

Interesting that you chose that one since that was a big problem spot for this landscape. In the before photo, the pool fencing had been installed about 6’ away from the edge of the patio wall, and the pathway connecting two garden areas were planted with rose bushes (ouch!) and irregular stepping stones.  Taking a cue from the homes’ leaded-glass windows, we used a diamond pattern in the cobble walk, with bluestone steps leading down to a new fire pit area and planted more delicate, summer flowering perennials to soften the edges.

You had an interesting project this past year working on a landscape for a Certified Passive House. What did you learn from that?  

That was a great project.  We had to put a lot of thought into the tree palette — nothing could get too tall or wide so as to block the solar benefits of the house design.  Add in septic, a wetland,  and a challenging grade — the site was very constricted. 

What do you think have been the keys to your success? 

I think I have really good customer relationships — and I really am very hands-on during the entire process.  Clients are often mystified by the horticultural world and I think they like having someone they can trust.

Do you follow the work of any particular landscape designers locally or nationally?

Andy Goldsworthy, Lew French — I love the stone designers.

What design software do you use and why?





I use autoCAD, Photoshop, and Indesign.  Old dog — old tricks.  

How many hours do you typically work a week during the season? 

Could be 60-80, depending on the weather.  But then again, we designers are always working inside our heads, yes?

Lastly, to paraphrase Barbara Walters, if you were a plant what kind of plant would you be?

That’s a tough one — would have to say that I would aspire to be a copper beech.  Strong roots, interesting branches, and beautiful foliage. 

Thanks, Shawn!

To learn more about Shawn and her work, visit her website here 

Three to See in the Farm Coast

The garden’s entry walls, built by John from a local stone

The garden’s entry walls, built by John from a local stone

Sakonnet Garden

The 2017 APLD National Conference brought attendees to these three wonderful gardens. For those who missed it or those who want more, Sakonnet Garden will be open Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 26/27.

In the words of its creators’ landscape architect John Gwynne and Mikel Folcarelli, “Sakonnet Garden grew from being a group of sunny little clearings within an overgrown dark thicket into more formalized intertwined rooms divided by high hedges and walls. These partitions separate spaces and enable each to have a different spirit. The doorways and passages between rooms become important for enabling the framing of views.” 

Being in the garden is a kaleidoscopic experience, as the spaces seem to enlarge then grow small, with each room showcasing a different color palette, and having a different quality of light.  

Mikel captures this feeling when he says “At any point looking backward or forwards one is lost, Entry or exit? Main or subpath? For me, this prolongs the experience. Which rabbit hole am I down? Where should I go next? Mystery and surprise are one of the key elements of our garden (and our character?)

Not a wall but a room within a room, the Red Mughal Pavilion floats above a carpet of petasites.

Not a wall but a room within a room, the Red Mughal Pavilion floats above a carpet of petasites.

The Yellow Garden, surrounded by Graham Blandy boxwood walls 10“ wide at the base and 7‘ tall.

The Yellow Garden, surrounded by Graham Blandy boxwood walls 10“ wide at the base and 7‘ tall.

Walls are a hallmark of what makes this garden unique. For example, the tall stone wall pictured below on left is close to eight feet tall. It encircles the fountain, creating a very private room. You enter this open sun-splashed space after traipsing through a narrow, shaded path and it explodes into brightness, taking you completely by surprise. Other walls are made of stone, boxwood, beech, azalea, wood or even garden hoses. Please visit their website to learn more about how the owners conceived and have executed their garden. 

A wonderful enclosure created by stunning stone walls

A wonderful enclosure created by stunning stone walls

The log wall frames a view into a garden of green.

The log wall frames a view into a garden of green.

A wall of weeping Black Swan European Beech.

A wall of weeping Black Swan European Beech.

Tired of stone retaining walls? How about a wall of woven hoses. Hold onto those broken leftovers.

Tired of stone retaining walls? How about a wall of woven hoses. Hold onto those broken leftovers.

Atwater Garden

Located in Little Compton, RI, the seaside garden of Berta and Nate Atwater has been lovingly built over the last forty years. Mrs. Atwater, who was born in the Netherlands, is an expert at the art of espaliering. As one writer has said, “she prunes her trees into graceful forms that approach topiary, but never crosses the line into making a noble tree look silly.”  Mr. Atwater is a native of nearby Tiverton, Rhode Island, and has a keen understanding of this broad, flat, 15-acre lot. Flat sandy soil, moderating breezes off the water, and the shimmering Rhode Island light all work to create a harmonious whole. The garden has a large mixed shrub border, a couple of understated rock gardens, and beautiful specimen plants, and lovely perennial combinations plants. 

It’s a long way to the garden

It’s a long way to the garden

But the setting is serene.

But the setting is serene.

A spectacular Blue Atlas Cedar on the House Chimney

A spectacular Blue Atlas Cedar on the House Chimney

A mature Acer palmatum Shishigashira.

A mature Acer palmatum Shishigashira.

The back terrace

The back terrace

A smattering of Nasella bring the feeling of the beach to the garden

A smattering of Nasella bring the feeling of the beach to the garden

A single mowed path focuses the composition

A single mowed path focuses the composition

The Blue Garden

A 2012 restoration of this classically proportioned Olmsted Brothers garden was undertaken by philanthropist Dorrance Hamilton with landscape architects from Reed Hildebrand. Today the garden has been reinterpreted into a palette of lower maintenance blue and white flowering shrubs, perennials, annuals, and vines. Learn more about this amazing garden here.

The rill links all areas of the Blue Garden

The rill links all areas of the Blue Garden

A planting of native junipers and fescue grass along the approach to the garden...

A planting of native junipers and fescue grass along the approach to the garden...

... left to grow long like salt marsh hay.

... left to grow long like salt marsh hay.



Don’t forget about the area’s rich nursery resources.

There is a very good chance you will find everything you are looking for at Sylvan Nursery. A 40-acre wholesale nursery and an APLDChapter Gold Level Sponsor. 

In addition to Sylvan Nursery, we recommend the following:

Avant Gardens is a retail nursery in Dartmouth, MA. The epitome of a boutique nursery, it is worth a visit just to see their beautiful grounds and because you will ALWAYS find something interesting that you have to have for yourself or a client there.

Ed Bowen’s Opus Plants has transformed into a new entity, Issima. Still in Little Compton, they “focus on the under-cultivated and garden worthy, and specialize in unusual hardy plants”.  

Quansett Nurseries, a fifteen-acre nursery close to Sylvan Specializing in herbaceous plant materials and particularly strong on ornamental grasses.

Roseland, the largest supplier of potted roses in New England, with a wide variety of roses in all categories.  They also carry a full range of fruit trees from apples to sweet cherries. 

Rhode Island Nurseries. This 500-acre wholesale grower on Aquidneck Island specializes in yews but is also good for boxwood, clethra, forsythia, hibiscus, hydrangea, and some ilex.  Their team of 5 mules pulls handheld cultivators from May thru September is an integral part of their weed control and cuts down on emissions.   

Tranquil Lake Nursery is Warren Leach’s farm in Rehoboth, MA. They specialize in growing daylilies and Japanese and Siberian iris, and their nursery store carries a quirky list of great plants. Plus you get to see the display gardens Warren has created over the last 32 years. 


APLDne Judges (L to R) Tish Campbell, Alysson Fitzsimmons and Holly Samuels.

APLDne Judges (L to R) Tish Campbell, Alysson Fitzsimmons and Holly Samuels.

1st Place Winner- Nuptials in Napa

1st Place Winner- Nuptials in Napa

Boston Flower Show


A Big Thank You to Chapter Member's Tish Campbell, Alyson Fitzsimmons, and Holly Samuels.  They served as our chapter's judges at this year’s Flower Show. After reviewing all exhibits they were tasked with selecting one display garden to be the recipient of the Chapter's 7th Merit Design Award. This year’s winner was the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, for their “Nuptials in Napa” Exhibit. 

According to the Judges, Nuptials in Napa, had "an elegant simplicity with it's green and white palette. The seating area around the fire pit was wonderfully inviting and had a perfect scale for the setting. The blue water feature offered just enough of a color variation while blending into the setting. All the plant material was in pristine condition and at peak bloom. Sometimes simple is better and Mass Hort made a simply elegant statement with this garden."

Click here to see photos of the Judges top three exhibits. 

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.

November 2017


4 Ways To Participate in The Chapter Events at 

New England Grows 

Attend our Annual Meeting, Elections & Seminar 

Listen to the APLD Sprint Session 

Visit the Chapter Booth and Enter Book Raffle 

Visit our Sponsor Booths

Annual Meeting, Elections & Presentation

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

As in the past, our Annual Chapter Meeting will take place during the New England Grows Exposition.Elections will be held for the following Incoming Slate of Officers and Board Positions:

PRESIDENT:   Love Albrecht-Howard


SECRETARY:   Jane Rupley

TREASURER:   Ellin Hanlon

MEMBERS AT LARGE:  Nancy Lattanzio, Leisha Marcoccio, Holly Samuels, Joyce Williams


Immediately after our business meeting we will hear a talk titled "Romancing the Stone" by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns. They are talented, second generation tradesmen with decades of experience in the stone industry.  They will share “Before and After Transformations” and Tips for solving problems along the way. 

1 CEU will be awarded for this presentation.

APLD Sprint Session- “It’s Good to Know”

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


Fifteen Minutes Could Save You A Lot...Of Time and Frustration!

Listen to this short presentation and be in the know about some of the latest trends and products in the Landscape Industry. Presented by Leisha Marcoccio, APLD Board Member,  Principal & Lead Designer, Gardens by the Yard.

Visit our Chapter Booth


Stop by our information booth located in the Network Central Area. Say hello and enter our Book Raffle for a chance to win “The Spirit of Stone” by Jan Johnson, a book full of practical and creative stonescaping advice.The  drawing will take place on Friday, winner need not be present. 

Visit our Local and National Sponsor Booths

Our sponsors make it possible to bring you programming and benefits, such as our website.  The following sponsors will have booths at New England Grows. Pay them a visit  to learn about their services and products. 

Bigelow Nurseries,    Booth  1436
Cavicchio Greenhouses, Inc.,   Booth  1718
Lueders Environmental,   Booth  1119
Monrovia,    Booth  1733
Van Berkum Nursery,   Booth  1735u
Vectorworks, Inc.,   Booth 1435
Weston  Nurseries,    Booth 1815



As newsletter editors, we would like to use this monthly communication to highlight the exciting work You, our chapter members are doing. Sharing ideas, lessons-learned and success stories. We see that as an important part of the value that membership can provide. To that end, we will introduce newsletter features and report occasionally on chapter initiatives designed to deliver more benefits to You, our members.

Our New Chapter Website is One-Year Old


 Last fall we launched our new website with the help of Leisha Marcoccio, who designed the site and has been keeping it updated. According to Leisha, "APLDNE.org uses a responsive website approach that adeptly displays the pages on a variety of devices and window screen sizes in an attractive and easy to read manner. For APLDNE members and sponsors this means a more effective tool for converting users  to leads and customers."

Website analytics reveal a substantial uptick in website traffic since launching the new site, with almost900 unique visitors and 2,400 page views since January 2017. The majority of views (87%) were from desktops, and 12% were from mobile devices. This is Good News  since, according to leading marketing agencies, desktop visits tend to last longer than visits on mobile devices encouraging better engagement with the site. Desktop and tablet users also have a lower amount of people who navigate from the site after viewing only one page (called bounce rate) . The most popular content was the Main Page, the Find a Designer Page and the Sponsors page. We will continue to track and report on the website analytics.


36% of visitors went to the Find a Designer Page

13% of visitors went to our Sponsor Page

Chapter Google Hangout


 We are starting a Chapter-Wide Group Conversation for our members using a Free Application called Google Hangouts.The application icon is the symbol on the right. Our group will be called APLDne Members Group. Members can use it  to post questions to other members and get advice. Conversations can include over 100 people so we think this is a perfect way for our chapter to establish connections with each other. 

To Join the Conversation, Click HERE and send us an email. When we hear from you, we will add your name and email to the group and send you instructions.

Call for Projects and Photos


Share your work! Do you have a new project you’d like to share with other members? Or a particularly challenging problem you’ve solved creatively on a recent or past job that others might benefit from hearing about? We’d like to highlight the great work our members are doing. Please send along your offerings.You can include an explanatory paragraph or we can write one up for you. If you’d like us to spotlight a larger project let us know.


We are also soliciting project photos for use on the Website Home Page Slideshow.  

Click HERE to send us project details, videos an/ or photos for the slideshow.

Call for Mentors


 The local chapter would like to initiate a mentoring program to help new designers and interested veterans in honing their craft. The program would be administered by one of our chapter members at large, who would pair mentors and mentees. The time commitment involved need not be taxing, and could be determined by the individuals involved. It might in some cases be quick query about conservation regulations; a request to help solve a drainage issues; a business question; or a more thoughtful look at a potential design.

If you would be able to be called upon as a mentor, click HERE to let us know.  When we have a group of people ready to participate, we will announce the startup of the program and open it up to mentees.


Potentilla Lineata  
Lined Cinquefoil


submitted by:Jane Rupley

I bought this plant from Opus Nursery at the Sakonnet Garden this summer during the National APLD conference. I brought it home and planted it in a corner of my "herb" garden to see how it would do. I have very few herbs left in this garden, and thought that the silver foliage might look good with the existing Nepeta and Stachys. At first the plant was small and a bit floppy. But something happened after a couple of months in this sunny somewhat moist environment. It took hold and thrived! I was busy during this time and didn't pay it a lot of attention, but then one day a couple of weeks ago it made me stop dead in my tracks.

The incredibly beautiful long silken silvery leaves were just show stopping gorgeous and really almost took my breath away. I haven't even seen the beautiful yellow flowers that come in May and June. To me it really doesn't need flowers,  the foliage is so amazing. This herbaceous Potentilla is hardy to Zone 5 and gets about a foot high and two feet wide. As I just bought it in July, it doesn't have a winter under its belt yet in Concord. I am hoping it does well during the upcoming colder months and am looking forward to seeing it in the Spring with its lovely yellow flowers. If all goes well I plan to buy another one for the other corner of my "herb" garden.



Quick Business Tips for Landscape Professionals

California Chapter APLD  Member Kristan Browne has useful and amusing business tips on YOUtube.  Click HERE for her videos. Find even more tips on her website Attriniti.com


Landscape Plants by Deer Resistance 

 A comprehensive list of Landscape Plants rated by Deer Resistance and compiled by Rutgers Univeristy

Click HERE for list.


Jane Beggs-Joles 
Plant of the Week

 Jane Beggs-Joles from Spring Meadow Nurseries sends a weekly email to subscribers about Monrovia Plants. Her emails are funny, honest and informative. Take a look for yourself. Click HERE

Do you have a favorite Resource to share? 


Earn $25 -Members benefit from National 

As a current member of APLD, you can earn a $25 credit for each new member who joins the association. For each member that you recruit, have them place your name in the “Recruited By” section on the application. In return, you will receive a $25 Design Dollar certificate that may be used as a credit towards dues, conference registrations, certification renewals, webinars or any other APLD program. 

Please email membership @apld.org with any questions.

 Learned something new or have a tip to share?


October 2017


JOIN US at New 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

sept 1.jpg

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.