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Archives for December 27, 2017

Feldman Architecture designs San Francisco home with rooftop garden and indoor swing

San Francisco firm Feldman Architecture has completed a townhouse in the city with contrasting front and back facades, and a metal-framed staircase that hosts an indoor swing.

Spanning four levels, the residence’s grey-coloured front facade and double-height entry hints at the home’s contemporary interiors, while nodding to the more traditional, monochrome townhouses in the neighbourhood.

Conversely, its rear features white pillars and light timber cladding, adding warmth and lightness the the space. The residence, titled Fitty Wun, has a small unit and terrace on its top floor, which serves as a rooftop garden that overlooks the city.

“The design for Fitty Wun reflects the playful, sometimes irreverent, personalities of the clients, a couple with three active young boys and a ‘work hard, play hard'” approach to life,” said Feldman Architecture.

Upon entering is a foyer, den, storage room, family room, bathroom and garage. A staircase leads up to the main living area on the second floor, marked by a double-height ceiling in the kitchen.

A dining room is situated towards the front of the house, with a living room in the rear that is lined in sliding glass doors and opens out onto a small outdoor deck.

A focal point of the entire space is a grand, wrap-around staircase that spans three levels and is made of dark metal screens. A swing dangles from the metal frame, into an open area just off the kitchen.

“This space acts as a welcoming, warm kind of panopticon that allows the boys the freedom to be boys while the parents are strategically within ear, if not always eyeshot, to arbitrate, adjudicate and apply basic medical direction’ (the client’s words!),” said the firm.

Above the main living area are two bedrooms, positioned towards the front of the house, and a master suite that overlooks the back garden. A catwalk joins the three bedrooms together, and includes a detached bathroom and laundry room.

A smaller staircase crosses over the atrium and leads to a floating unit, and through it, access to the rooftop deck. Clad in black, pod serves as a retreat from the open-air activity down below.

Akin to other townhouses in San Francisco, the narrow build of Fitty Wun orientates itself towards its private garden at the back.

The project is one of a growing number of updated or newly built houses in the city. Other projects include a revamped a Victorian home by Jensen Architects with perforated aluminium panels across the back, a home with expansive windows and white-washed interiors by Edmonds + Lee Architects, and a grey and glass residence on a narrow site by Schwartz and Architecture.

Feldman Architecture has constructed two other Californian residences, including one surrounded by windowed garage doors with vistas of Sonoma Valley, and one made of rammed earth walls and timber details throughout on a farm in nearby Central Valley.

Photography is by Joe Fletcher.

Project credits:

Contractor: Design Line Construction
Lighting Design: Kim Cladas
Landscape Design: Owner with Loretta Gargan Landscape + Design
Green Roof: Fred Ballerini

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‘Healing Gardens’ workshop at PPG

UNION — “Go outside and play. The fresh air will do you some good.” There’s a high probability that your parents or grandparents preached these words to you as a child. At the time, you may have rolled your eyes. But guess what? They were right.

E. O Wilson, author of Biophilia, says that humans are genetically hardwired to connect with other forms of life. Specifically, he says we are naturally attracted to the green hues of plants and blues of water as opposed to the grays of concrete and other unnatural materials.

Research shows that exposure to nature not only relieves anxiety and depression. but that it helps reduce hypertension as well as respiratory tract and cardiovascular illnesses. One study by Dr. Roger Ulrich from Texas A M found that hospital patients whose windows overlooked trees and gardens recovered faster than those whose windows faced brick walls

Therefore, it is no surprise that many healthcare facilities such as cancer clinics, nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals contain healing gardens. These spaces inspire and give peace not only to patients but also to caregivers.

Dr. Ellen Vincent, horticulture professor of Clemson University concurs that healing gardens provide opportunities for physical and psychological restoration. And on Saturday, January 6 from 10 a.m.-noon, Vincent will lead a workshop at the the Piedmont Physic Garden at 301 E. South Street in Union, SC entitled “Healing Gardens.” General Admission is $20.

The “Healing Gardens” workshop will explore contemporary and historic healing places in order to better understand why we are drawn to specific places at eventful times. Theory and research will be presented to help understand both the design and use of healing gardens.

Vincent says, “Healing gardens have ancient roots that never go out of fashion. In this workshop, we will look at the multiple dimensions of design and experience in order to understand why we seek and react to these important places.”

Vincent received her PhD in environmental design and planning from Clemson and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary courses in sustainable landscape garden design, horticulture and “landscapes+health.”

When asked when she first became interested in the subject of healing gardens, Vincent says “I’ve have always been drawn to outdoor spaces; I can feel my body and mind relax. Discovering research and conducting it myself are rewarding ways of understanding an intuitive and ancient notion that nature is healing.”

To reserve your spot for the “Healing Gardens” workshop, please call 864-427-2556 or go online to our website at and register on our EVENTS page by clicking on the green button. You can also send a check for $20 to the Piedmont Physic Garden PO Box 603 Union, SC 29379. Please make checks payable to the Piedmont Physic Garden. We look forward to seeing you!

Special to The Union Times

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How to Create a Lush Winter Garden

Each week Mansion Global tackles an interior design topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week we look at how to design a beautiful winter garden.

Contrary to popular belief, the beauty of a garden isn’t just limited to warm weather. “More and more, homeowners are looking to extend their time to enjoy gardens,” said Jennifer G. Horn, RLA JHLA/Jennifer Horn Landscape Architecture in Arlington, Virginia. In fact, a winter garden, “with berry-bearing plants and plants with remarkable bark or evergreen foliage can provide engaging views and plentiful habitats for non-migratory birds and other beneficial wildlife,” Ms. Horn said.

“There are a number of pluses to having a winter garden,” said landscape designer Fernando Wong, founder of Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design in Miami. “You can save money and get additional health and emotional benefits—and, you can literally have a fresh produce section in your yard. Since the temperatures are cooler, there are fewer pests and it’s more comfortable to be outside,” Mr. Wong said. “For some, the change of seasons can be a depressing time, so a winter garden provides some life and color which pleases both the senses and the soul.”

More: Decorating Your Home for the Holidays

Pick plantings wisely

“For bark, one of my favorite plants is the variegated red twig dogwood. Its green and white foliage is beautiful during the summer, but the bright red stems that are revealed when the leaves drop are beautiful all winter, particularly after a snowfall. For smaller spaces, try red-stemmed Virginia sweetspire. While most gardeners are familiar with the beautiful bark of the crape myrtle, plants like stewartia and paperbark maple have remarkable texture and color as well. White, paper, or river birches are all beautiful trees that shine in the winter (though birches tend to be messy, dropping a fair amount of twigs and small branches). 

“Berry-bearing plants are wonderful for their winter interest and also typically provide food to birds. Check out winter king hawthorne, winterberry holly, snowberry, or wintergreen. 

In this garden designed by Jennifer Horn, the water features base is planted with evergreen perenniaIn this garden designed by Jennifer Horn, the water features’ base is planted with evergreen perennials like lavender, rosemary, and lamb’s ears to provide year-round appeal./p
Allen Russ

“In small gardens, don’t overlook the benefit of using evergreen perennials. Lambs’ ears, rosemary, lavender, holly fern, and purple palace heuchera are some favorites of mine. 

“And, there are plenty of plants that even bloom in the winter. Camellias—depending on their variety—begin blooming in November and continue through mid-winter. … Some varieties of rhododendron and azalea (very similar types of plants) bloom in the winter.  Winter aconite, crocuses, and early varieties of daffodils can even get you through the late winter. 

“Very little care is required. In the absence of natural leaf litter or groundcover, consider mulching.

“If you are trying to lengthen the season of tender plants, always place them in the warmest spot—or microclimate—of the garden. Against walls, especially south-facing walls, is best. If dramatic measures are necessary, the temporary use of burlap or tarp helps insulate plants, but if that’s a measure that’s taken too often, it is probably best to let go of that species in order to plant a hardier alternative.”

Jennifer G. Horn, RLA, JHLA/Jennifer Horn Landscape Architecture LLC

More: How to Whip Up a Luxe Outdoor Kitchen

Plan placement strategically

“Plant it in a sunny location because most plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Especially when it comes to vegetables. The more sun, the greater the harvest, the bigger the veggies, and the better they taste. Choosing a place with good soil is also important. Plant roots penetrate soft soil more easily and you should always make sure the place you chose has good drainage.

“Some good ideas for winter vegetables are lettuce, carrots, and beets. Some flowers that work well include Petunias, Diascia, and China Aster.

This landscaping designed by Fernando Wong, focuses on geometrical pavers and shrubbery, which createThis landscaping designed by Fernando Wong, focuses on geometrical pavers and shrubbery, which creates interest even with snow /

Photography Courtesy of Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design

“In many areas, winter means regular rainfall, so keeping up with watering is less of an issue. A great tip is to mulch over your plantings to help preserve the moisture in the soil. Slugs and snails are ubiquitous, but you can help keep them at bay with copper finishing around raised garden beds since they do not like touching that particular type of metal. 

“To protect your plants from frost, bring them inside if they’re in a pot. Planting beds should be covered with burlap or old bed sheets. This helps to trap the heat from the soil, so it’s important that the fabric goes all the way to the ground.”

Landscape designer Fernando Wong, founder of Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design in Miami

More: Transforming a Pool Area Into a Backyard Oasis

Bring the outside in

“If you live in an apartment, you can still enjoy the fruits (or plantings) of a winter garden.

“Choose plants, such as philodendron species, that will thrive in an indoor space. This particular species flourishes throughout the seasons and adapts readily to the conditions inside the home, offering green foliage year-round. Plus, it helps to regulate humidity levels and adds fresh oxygen to its surroundings. 

This apartment at South Bank Tower London designed by Hamish Brown of 1508 Londonfeatures an indoor This apartment at South Bank Tower London designed by Hamish Brown of 1508 London features an indoor garden that links the master bedroom to the living space, and brings the outside in.   
Photography Courtesy of 1508 London

 “Natural light, maintained temperatures, proper watering and space to grow are key for an indoor winter garden. The trick is to try to mimic the climate and conditions of the environment that the plant came from. So, the first thing to consider when selecting your house plants is where you want to put them and if the environment is suitable to the plant’s requirements. An all-glass room or a space with an abundance of windows is ideal.”

-Architect Hamish Brown, partner at 1508 London 

More: Click to read more design tips from designers who work on luxury properties

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GARDEN MAIDEN: Snow means it’s indoor gardening time

We’re always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what’s going on!

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Cynthia Brian’s gardening guide for January

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Peffley: Horticulture experts can offer gardening tips for a new year

The passing of a year evokes memories and, with another year just around the corner, eager prospects for one more go in the garden. This is an ideal time for a gardener to reflect on last year’s successes and disappointments (rather than failures).

As we reflect on last year, we ask ourselves what worked and what didn’t. A new year gives us the chance to change last year’s plants or crops that perhaps didn’t perform as expected. Maybe you are new to gardening, have recently moved to the Lubbock area or have thoughts about changing a landscape, starting a garden, or just adding some container plantings of herbs but uncertain about where or how to start. There are some no-cost resources that can help with all of the above.

The Lubbock Memorial Arboretum was begun over 50 years ago to ‘help keep Lubbock beautiful’. They are a tremendous local resource with eager, long-time gardeners who generously give encouragement and guidance. The arboretum offers programs throughout the year on various aspects of horticulture. Seminars or workshops led by experts are held the second Saturday of each month on subjects such as trees, ornamentals, and vegetables. The City of Lubbock Parks Department manages the Arboretum but many individual volunteers and service organizations help with the upkeep and care of its gardens with activities such as mowing, watering and tree pruning. Volunteering with arboretum faithfuls is an excellent way to learn by doing. The Arboretum is located at 4111 University Avenue. Information can be obtained by phone (806) 797-4520, email, or website

A second no-cost local resource is the Master Gardener Program (MGP). The program is designed to increase availability of horticultural information and spread horticultural projects throughout Lubbock County. MGP is a non-profit, educational and volunteer service organization affiliated with Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service that is open to everyone. Monthly meetings are open to the public. You can receive notifications of MGP upcoming events by phone (806) 775-1740 or emailing Some of their recent events are Master’s touch classes, the Veteran’s War Memorial and County Courthouse Projects. Topics discussed in the monthly meetings include houseplants, plant recommendations for Lubbock, trees, fertilizers, vegetable gardening, diseases and pests, and waterwise gardening.


Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reader R.S. wants to grow persimmon trees from seed and asks for some direction.

Self-saved persimmon seed is easily harvested. Detach seeds from fully mature fruit by squeezing from the flesh. There will be several seeds per fruit, each encapsulated in jelly. Extract seeds from the jelly-like capsules; wash well; dry. Place seeds in a plastic bag filled with damp (not wet) potting media or vermiculite; hold in cold environment no warmer than 40 degrees for several months. When temperatures warm, germinate seed in pots filled with potting media; keep moist. Upon emergence transfer seedlings to larger pots in a sunny location.

Note: Trees grown from seedlings bear fruit in about seven years; mail-ordered trees will be two or three year-old saplings that will bear fruit earlier. Secondly, fruit harvested from trees grown from self-saved seed will likely not be the same genetically as the fruit from which seed was extracted.

Wishing you a Happy 2018 Gardening New Year!

ELLEN PEFFLEY taught horticulture at the college level for 28 years, 25 of those at Texas Tech, during which time she developed two onion varieties. She is now the sole proprietor of From the Garden, a market garden farmette. You can email her at

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