Summer is a Time of Exuberance

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness…” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Dear Members, Sponsors, and Colleagues,
The cool, wet days, of spring are now a memory as we step into the warmth of the summer season. Daily garden tasks now include dragging the hose and filling buckets to water-thirsty plants, once rich with precipitation and now desperate for a drink. But even as heat and humidity take their toll on me and my crew, I am lifted by Ms. Wilder’s words, for summer is a time of exuberance. Perennial gardens burst with color and hum with activity as birds and insects busily go about their business. Grasses explode with energy as they send seed heads skyward and dance in the soft, warm, breezes. It’s also a time to reflect on the busyness of spring and the preparations and planning that went into early season projects. A time for site visits to past projects that reinvigorate our creative juices, and a time for happy customers to warm our hearts.

So yes, although my task list is a bit longer these days, and I am tired, overheated, and sweaty, at the end of each day, I am grateful. I’m grateful to work in an industry that makes a difference both in the lives of our clients, and the environments that surround them. I’m also grateful for the relationships and interactions that happen on each project and with each client. These may be the dog days, but they truly add common, everyday blessings to our common everyday lives, things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness.

Speaking of relationships and interacting, we’re now just one week out from the annual APLD conference. That’s right, next week from July 21 – July 25, the conference is back in person, and in Chicago! Attendees will hear great speakers and tour beautiful gardens. Check the events calendar below and register today!

On a local note, APLDCT is planning another local event for late August. We’ll share the details here and on our social media outlets when the planning is complete. I hope to see you then!

Once again, I’d like to invite you to connect with APLDCT on social media. Are you following us yet? Are we following you? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Houzz, and Pinterest. Please give us a follow and stay part of the discussion. We’re following as many members as we can find, so if we’re not following you yet, let us know!

And remember, we want to promote you! That’s right if you have an idea for a blog article, an interesting post, or would like to share a recent project you’ve completed, let us know and we’ll share, retweet, or publish it on our own social media or website. APLDCT members are encouraged to use the chapter’s resources to help promote their businesses. You can do so in the following ways:

·      Take over one of our social media accounts for a few hours or a day
·      Write a post on the APLDCT blog
·      Write a case study about a project you’d like to promote
·      Forward breaking news about you or your organization for us to share

We’re here to help you, so reach out and let us know!

As always, thank you for your time. I hope the stresses of the day are not too great and that you find gratitude in common, everyday blessings each day, and that your lives are filled with comfort and your hearts with gladness.

All the best!

Scott Hokunson
APLDCT Chapter President
Cell (860) 982-8635
scott@blueheronlandscapes.com

Time to Reconnect with Life

Dear Members, Sponsors, and Colleagues,

Once again, June has arrived, seemingly well ahead of schedule. At least that’s how it seems, right?! Each year I find myself wondering; “How can it be June already, I just finished cutting back the garden.” But it’s here, and with it comes that sweet taste of summer. A time for farmer’s markets, garden tours, outdoor concerts, and backyard gatherings. Time to reconnect with life. You know, something other than work…

It’s been an extremely busy spring, but I hope you’ve found time for respite amidst the chaos. Losing oneself in the business of work is all too common in our industry and finding time to refresh and recharge is essential, not only for our health and well-being but also for our creative spirit. Like many of you, I own a small one-person business, and I spend most days designing, selling and creating, on my own, with only a small crew to help. I look forward to spending time catching up with friends and family, and with you, my colleagues.

We have a wonderful outing planned for this month, Plants and Beer, a day of “plant geekery” and socializing, with a few beers and barbeque thrown in for good luck. Check out the details in the events section below. Don’t miss this one, it will be great!

On a national level, the annual APLD conference is almost upon us. This year the conference is back in person, and in Chicago! Attendees will hear great speakers and tour beautiful gardens. Check the events calendar below and register today!

Once again, I’d like to invite you to connect with APLDCT on social media. Are you following us yet? Are we following you? You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Houzz, and Pinterest. Please give us a follow and stay part of the discussion. We’re following as many members as we can find, so if we’re not following you yet, let us know!

And remember, we want to promote you! That’s right – if you have an idea for a blog article, an interesting post, or would like to share a recent project you’ve completed, let us know and we’ll share, retweet, or publish it on our own social media or website. APLDCT members are encouraged to use our resources to help you promote you. You can do so in the following ways:

  • Take over one of our social media accounts for a few hours or a day
  • Write a post on the APLDCT blog
  • Write a case study about a project you’d like to promote for the blog
  • Forward breaking news about you or your organization for us to share

We’re here to help you, so reach out when the muse strikes, and let us know!

I hope to see you all at our “Plants and Beer” event on June 26th. It’s so nice to connect in person, and ever so much more when we can talk about the amazing plants we saw at O’Brien’s Nursery over a nice cold Savoir Faire Mango Milkshake IPA from Almost Famous Brewing. At least that’s what I’ll be having, what about you??

Thank you for your time, and I hope you and yours are happy, healthy, and prosperous. See you on the 26th!

Scott Hokunson
APLDCT Chapter President
Cell (860) 982-8635
scott@blueheronlandscapes.com

Honey Sweet May

Dear Members, Sponsors, and Colleagues,

Wild Folk, published in 1922, is a collection of “nature-fiction” essays about the lives of wild animals and birds of the forest. Author Samuel Scoville Jr., a Stamford, CT native, wrote the following in the essay ‘Blackbear’, describing a mother bear leading her cubs through the forest in spring:

“At last came the golden month of the wild folk– honey-sweet May, when the birds come back, and the flowers come out, and the air is full of the sunrise scents and songs of the dawning year.”

This past weekend, APLDCT held its first in-person gathering since 2019. We visited Laurel Ridge Daffodils and White Flower Farm, both in Litchfield County, and the feeling was much the same as that mother bear and her cubs. It was a beautiful afternoon, and the daffodils were magnificent! The air was warm and full of birdsong, and each of us felt a sense of renewal, not only from a cold winter but from a long period of social isolation. It was good to feel the warm spring air again, but even better to experience the day with colleagues and friends.

We have more outings planned this year, each an opportunity to either learn, refresh, or to just rub elbows with fellow designers and green industry folks. Watch the newsletter and our social media sites for announcements.

Are you following APLDCT on social media? Are we following you? You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Houzz, and Pinterest. Please give us a follow and stay part of the discussion. We’re following as many members as we can find, so if we’re not following you yet, let us know!

And speaking of social media, we want to promote you! That’s right – if you have an idea for a blog article, an interesting post, or would like to share a recent project you’ve completed, let us know and we’ll share, retweet, or publish it on our own social media or website. APLDCT members are encouraged to use our resources to help you promote you. You can do so in the following ways:

  • Take over one of our social media accounts for a few hours or a day
  • Write a post on the APLDCT blog
  • Write a case study about a project you’d like to promote for the blog
  • Forward breaking news about you or your organization for us to share

We’re here to help you, so reach out when the muse strikes, and let us know!

As I come to a close this month, I want to once again ask you to get involved with APLDCT. We are looking for help as we grow this chapter, and there are many ways to get involved. And, not to worry, we can accommodate your busy schedule (busy is one thing we know about, too!) Whether you sit on the board, interact on social media, help organize, or simply attend an event, it ALL helps.

And make sure to stay in touch for information on an upcoming event at a rare plant nursery, you will not want to miss! (Details coming soon)

Thank you for your time, and I hope you and yours are happy, healthy, and prosperous!

Scott Hokunson
APLDCT Chapter President
Cell (860) 982-8635
scott@blueheronlandscapes.com

Spring Reinvigoration

Dear Members, Sponsors, and Colleagues,

Happy spring! Once again, we find ourselves working endless hours, answering a multitude of phone calls, and if we’re lucky, coming home at the end of the day covered in dirt. I hope all of you are enjoying a busy and fruitful spring season!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from your APLDCT, but that’s all about to change. The APLDCT board has been working hard behind the scenes to reinvigorate this chapter. We have some exciting things planned for the upcoming year, and I hope to see you at one of our events!

But first, let me back up and introduce myself; I’m Scott Hokunson, a landscape designer and principal of Blue Heron Landscape Design, in Simsbury, CT. I am currently serving my second year as president of APLDCT, and I have been a member, and active on the board, for the better part of the last decade.

Now, on to more interesting stuff. Two years ago, the board voted to hire an outside firm to build the Connecticut Chapter a new website. During that time, while navigating crazy schedules and Covid19, we hired a firm, INQ Creative, gathered content, and saw our hard work come together in a beautiful new website, that will soon be live.

The website will be a valuable tool for:

  • Communicating with chapter members.
  • Promoting chapter members (each month will feature a “Member of the Month”).
  • Recognizing our wonderful sponsors.
  • Giving members a voice, via the chapter blog.
  • Keeping membership current regarding legislative issues.
  • Helping members sign up work, through our “Find a Designer” function on the website.
  • Providing a running list of events to keep us connected as a chapter, through education and social outlets.

The website will be up and running very soon, so please stay tuned!

I also want to alert you to several events in April that may be of interest.

  • Rich Rosiello, APLDCT past president, is speaking at Hollister House Garden on April 23rd, Rich, is an entertaining and talented designer, and well worth the price of admission.
  • Long time sponsor of APLDCT, Colorblends – Wholesale Flower Bulbs, will once again open their House and Garden in Bridgeport for the month of April. You’ll find amazing design ideas from the many thousands of beautiful bulbs in bloom in the garden, and will be inspired and moved by the artists displaying their talents in the restored 1903 Colonial Revival mansion, also on site.

You’ll find links to these events and others, in the events section of this newsletter. Hope to see you there!

I’ll end this month’s message with a request, a request for you to get involved. The success of this chapter rests in the hands of its members, so please consider donating some of your time to ensure its success, every little bit helps. We’ll have more info on how you can help the Connecticut chapter in future newsletters and on the website, but for now, if you’d like to get involved, shoot me an email, or call me on my cell, and we can chat.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2022, and I look forward to meeting each of you at one of our events this year!!

Scott Hokunson
APLDCT Chapter President
Cell (860) 982-8635
scott@blueheronlandscapes.com

 

Maher & Greenwald Fine Gardens, Inc.

Our featured design team of Carrie Maher and Mark Greenwald are long-time members of APLDCT. I first met them in 1985 when, as young designers, they were hired to give life to a dreary back corner of the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. “It all begins with the soil” was their common refrain while constructing the gardens and bringing in more soil than the facilities manager could ever have imagined. Through their vision and by their hand, that dreary space was transformed into a dreamy, free-flowering multi-season garden that became a star component, rather than the backdrop, for many events. The joy for the living landscape and the wisdom they had then has grown exponentially over the years. Their gardens welcome people ‘home’, be it a space in a housing project or a private residential garden.

Defining characteristics of the Maher & Greenwald partnership since their founding in New York City in 1985 has been a mixture of planting, designing, community organizing, and ecological concerns. After moving to Connecticut in 1989, they have continued to work with public and community projects, as well as with private clientele. The pair continue to expand on the traditions of public/private partnerships that they first honed during an extraordinarily creative period in NYC. That period included 10 years designing and running gardens and programs at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the design and development of the Loeb Boathouse gardens in Central Park, and several other community-based enterprises.

In recent years in addition to working with their private clients they have continued public and community work with the Town of Greenwich, the Greenwich Housing Authority, and the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. The sampling of work seen here illustrates ecological and pollinator-friendly plantings and designs in various venues:

  • A pocket park on the grounds of Greenwich Close, a Housing Authority property across from Town Hall.
  • A block-long strip of 25ft x 8ft beds along Putnam Ave (Rte. 1) in central Greenwich was conceived as part of a Dept. of Public Works upgrading of the sidewalk and street environment.
  • A public commuter lot was reworked as a pilot project for the ‘Parking Parks’ initiative of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy.
  • Private gardens with an eye for beauty and the benefit of birds and pollinators.

In each case, the design honors the site, and plants were selected that would thrive in both public and private environments with varying degrees of care and maintenance.

Horticulture and design have been a 40-year journey for Mark and Carrie. They say there is still so much to imagine and to bring to life and they work with the over-lighting philosophy that when man and nature work in cooperation, meaningful beauty is created.

Explore… Dream… Connect… Belong… Support.

Thank you for visiting the CT Chapter of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. In Landscape Design, as with any design principle or artistic endeavor, there is more than one solution to a problem. Within these pages, I invite you to explore the nuances that each of our designers employs to realize the potential that your property holds. Let this site be a catalyst to realize the dreams that lie sleeping deep within the ground. Please utilize the ‘Find a Designer’ page to connect with the designer that speaks to you.

We also welcome a dialogue with other design professionals within our and neighboring states. I invite you to become a member of APLD, the only national organization whose sole focus is on Landscape Designers. The organization will afford you the opportunity to meet, share ideas, and work with Landscape Design and Green Industry thought leaders from across the country. Take advantage of the numerous educational opportunities, garden tours, and webinars that are offered as well as the annual APLD International Design Conference. To belong to APLD is to Belong to a Community.

Allied industry professionals and suppliers are seen throughout our pages. These businesses reinforce and aid the efforts of APLDCT members and facilitate our work, providing us with the best materials for our jobs. We ask that you visit and support them.

If you have questions regarding becoming a member or a chapter sponsor, please feel free to contact us at APLDCT.

With the launch of this website, we also announce a transition in leadership. Please join me in Welcoming and Supporting the new CT Chapter President for 2021, Scott Hokunson. He is a long-time member of APLD and has worked on our behalf in a variety of capacities. He has a great vision for our future; we are in excellent hands with Scott at the wheel.

Respectfully yours,

Richard B. Rosiello
APLDCT Chapter President (2020)
APLD President-Elect (2020-2021)