Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Welcome to my Garden Talk blog

Hi, I'm Arnie Friedman and I want to welcome you to Garden Talk. Please look at the postings here with samples of my work. I will occasionally post short articles, advice, and hints that may be useful in your garden or with projects that you are planning. Besides being a professional landscape designer and installer I am a Rutgers Master Gardener so from time to time I will try to draw on the wealth of information from Rutgers Agricultural Extension and post information sheets and seasonal advice to help beautify your garden and keep our environment healthy.

Feel free to contact me by email or phone concerning any garden or landscape question. If you have in mind a project or just want to ask about what to do in your garden I would be happy to give you my input . My email is and my phone number is 201-707-5149

The main website for my business, Landscapes By Design is located here.

Stone Work

This past year we were fortunate to have the opportunity to do a number of jobs which involved building with natural stone.

Adding a stone feature to a garden not only provides a useful sitting or walking platform but in the case of a wall it can define space or be a retainer for a garden. Small walls can change the levels of your yard adding a lot of visual interest and texture to the garden.

This wall was made from stone rubble found on site. We stacked the stones and then added soil behind to create a raised planting area. In front of the wall we planted a small bed of perennial plants to soften the hard stone and add color as the plants grow and flower.

In these next photos you can see we used both stacked stone as a retaining wall and to form planting beds. We also used flat irregular blue stone to form a landing patio.

In this way we achieved a means of access to the upper level of the back yard as well as creating interesting areas for separating our plantings and making utilitarian steps into a place to slowdown and enjoy the environment.

There is even room here to stop and sit on the wall if one wanted to. The plantings in the small bed are roses and in the late spring and summer will add lots of color and aroma .

About Our Site Intro

The symbol you see next to the words "From Tree" is the old Chinese character equivalent to our English word "Tree". When four of these are placed in a box the symbol then means "Park". I loved this when I first saw it mentioned in a text by the noted garden historians Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe in their book "The Landscapes of Man". For me this succinctly states what I believe garden design is all about. It is the taking of individual plants and other individual elements and grouping them together to make a larger whole which we call a park or a landscape.

I hope this helps explain the somewhat mysterious introduction to our web site.

Arnie Friedman

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Tour of the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Boca Raton Florida this January

Please click here to see the tour slide show.

Japanese garden design has had a great influence on European and American Landscapes from the mid-nineteenth century onward. This traditional garden in Boca Raton Florida follows many of the traditions but is adapted to the climate and soils of South Florida. I enjoyed touring the gardens although our time was limited and a rain storm forced us in side. Touring gardens is a favorite pastime for my wife and I and we always come back wanting to add something to our home garden. My wife is asking me to try and build a bamboo water feature similar to the one you will see in the slide show.