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Designs revealed for Oman Botanic Garden

Leading UK engineers, architects and consultants will deliver the designs for the vast new Oman Botanic Garden.

Global engineering firm Arup (whose head office is in London) has joined forces with London-based Grimshaw Architects and Leicester-based design consultant Haley Sharpe Design. Together they will be responsible for the engineering, landscaping, architecture and interpretive designs for the Oman Botanic Garden.

The garden is set to be the largest such facility in the Arab world.  It is located 35km from Muscat, in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains.  It covers an area of 4.2 million square metres.

The site is one of only a few locations in the world where the ancient seabed is still visible.  Tectonic activity elevated the bed to 100 m above sea level according to a statement from Arup.

Arup and Grimshaw have designed the buildings and walkways to take advantage of the undulating land created by the natural ridges and ravines that traverse the site.

The gardens will celebrate the botanic diversity of the sultanate.  Eight defined habitats of Oman are arranged at the centre of the site.  Visitors will experience the wadis, mountains and deserts of Oman within an immersive landscaped setting. The gardens will only display native species, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Two biomes will create sensitive habitats.  The Northern Biome is a sinuous glass enclosure.  It will mimic the habitats of the northern mountains, including their ancient terraces. The Southern Biome is created from shimmering undulating glass.  It will enclose the varied habitats found in the Dhofar region. Visitors will be immersed in a moist and green forest setting.

“We have enjoyed the many unique challenges presented by the Oman Botanic Garden; from designing natural and authentic landscapes to recreating the cool mists of the Khareef,” says Ed Clark, Associate Director of Arup. “More than 700 of our multi-disciplinary engineers and specialist designers were engaged to explore and find solutions that would befit such an ambitious and creative brief. The Oman Botanic Garden must surely be one of the most marvellous projects in the world.”

He says that the buildings, along with the whole site, have been designed to achieve the globally recognised sustainable standard, Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum. As water is such a precious resource, Arup has developed a strategy that ensures not a single drop of water is wasted.

“The Oman Botanic Garden is an astonishing project with many layers of interwoven cultural and environmental significance,” says Keith Brewis, a partner at Grimshaw. “Its scale and diversity is truly world-leading, and we are honoured to work as the architects for a project that has the conservation of bio-diversity as a core design driver.”

Image courtesy of Arup.

Click here to read the full article.

Article source: https://blooloop.com/link/oman-botanic-garden-arup/

Gardening: Magazines fit nicely into holiday gift list

Subscriptions to gardening magazines make great gifts for anyone who loves digging in the dirt. Magazines can transport a gardener to another world on cold, snowy days. But sadly, gardening magazines typically no longer have a place at the checkout in the grocery store; they now reside in the corner of the lower shelf of the magazine rack. Last week I checked and there were none to be had — gone for the season. So subscriptions are the way to go for the garden lovers on your gift list, and here are some of my favorites. (Please note that prices are subject to change.)

Country Gardens: $9.99/4 issues: Limited time offer. (800) 677-0484, bhg.com/shopping. A 10 when it comes to inspiration — this award-winning mag is a touch of heaven on a cold gray day in February. How-to, what’s new, garden crafts and cool gardens, there’s something here for everyone.

Fine Gardening: $29.95/6 issues. (866) 325-2495 or go to taunton.com. Geared to avid gardeners and inspired beginners, it’s a must-read for those who love gardens. I love the pronunciation guide for featured plants.

Garden Design: $45/4 issues. (855) 624-5110, gardendesign.com/magazine. An ad-free coffee table quality mag that takes you into upscale, often cutting edge, private gardens from around the country. Not a lot of how to, but instead it focuses more on plant picks and design advice. Regional tips and beautiful photography, what more can you ask?

The American Gardener: $35/6 issues. (703) 768-5700, ahsgardening.org. Subscription includes membership in the American Horticulture Society. Geared toward the environmentally caring gardener, it’s a must-read by East Coast gardenistas. First-time members get a $10 discount. It also offers free admission or discounts to many public gardens and a free seed exchange.

Michigan Gardening Magazine: $19.95/6 issues. (888) 265-3600, statebystategardening.com/mi. This general gardening magazine is filled with features written by a gang of talented Michigan and Midwest gardeners who love to dig in the dirt.

Garden Gate: $20/6 issues: Holiday special gift subscriptions $10. (800) 341-4769, gardengatemagazine.com. A good choice for Yardeners, new gardeners and experienced green thumbers who enjoy DIY projects. Contains no advertising to distract the reader.

The Michigan Gardener: $14/6 issues. (248) 594-5563 or go to michigangardener.com. Distributed free to most garden centers in the metro Detroit area, MG features articles written by local experts. A map showing locations of great garden centers in southeastern Michigan is priceless for plant geeks who love the thrill of the hunt. A subscription to MG is a great gift for those who spend summers up north.

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. To ask her a question go to Yardener.com and click on Ask Nancy.

Article source: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/home-garden/2017/11/16/garden-magazines/107754508/

Landscape design can take advantage of existing property features

Some of the most striking parts of your garden cost you absolutely nothing.

These assets are what professional landscape designers call the borrowed landscape. Regular gardeners are more likely to call them the view or the existing features of the property.

Several speakers at the Landscape Design School offered by the Garden Club Federation of Maine earlier this month discussed the principle.

“You should think about the borrowed landscape,” David Maynes of Todd Richardson Associates in Saco told the group. “This is not about adding to the landscape, but is editing.”

This kind of design, in which what is on the neighboring property or already exists on your own property helps you decide how to design your own garden, has a couple of advantages, Maynes said. First, you aren’t spending part of the budget on things you don’t need. Next, you know these borrowed items are durable because they’ve been there forever. He is, of course, referring to those streaks of ledge going through your gardens or the giant oak tree in your neighbor’s backyard.

Lucinda Brockway, owner of the Past Designs landscape design company in Kennebunk, offered a striking, public example of a design that takes advantage of the borrowed landscape: the Camden Amphitheater, one of the few public spaces designed by landscape architect Fletcher Steele, a leader in the mid-20th century modern style of design. The amphitheater makes use of Maine granite and birch trees to take full advantage of the views of Camden Harbor, Brockway said. The simple, bold design is considered one of Steele’s best works.

Andrew Jackson Downing, who practiced landscape architecture from the 1830s until his death in 1852, was an early American proponent of such design. “He thought landscapers should take the best of Mother Nature and enhance it,” Brockway said.

Kent Cooper, a landscape architect with the Maine Department of Transportation, described a number of public projects he has worked on around the state.

“I feel like I am making a picture for an audience,” he said. “It’s a bit like journalism in that it is who, what, where, when and how.”

When the state replaced the Gut Bridge in South Bristol, neighbors were concerned that the replacement fit in. They wanted the building that would house bridge equipment to look like the neighboring houses, and they wanted the generator covered. They did not want pointy bushes.

“We put in some 8- to 10-foot bayberries and lilacs, and it worked,” Cooper said. “The audience wanted that picture” and were pleased when the project was completed, he said.

To illustrate the concept of using what exists in the landscape, Maynes showed photographs of a private wilderness retreat his company designed in Orland. A guest house perched on existing boulders in one area. Large stones that matched the existing stones were brought in to support a different building in another area.

“Along the driveway, a 20-foot erratic was covered in vegetation,” Maynes said, using a geological term for an unusual-for-the-area-stone moved in by a glacier. “All we did was uncover it.”

You may not have boulders to work with on your own property, but you probably do have snow, and Maynes said that snow removal relates to landscape design in a couple of ways.

“You can design a beautiful landscape, but if a snowplow comes in and blows it up every year,” he said, ” it is not successful.” Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: plant herbaceous perennials next to the driveway or parking lot. The perennials, which die back to the ground every winter, won’t be hurt by plows pushing the snow around.

Maynes went beyond that sound, practical advice to suggesting that gardeners consider “how the snowbanks the plow creates integrate with other things to create things that are interesting year-round.”

Reflecting on the borrowed landscapes that these professionals discussed got me thinking about what my wife Nancy and I have “borrowed” over the years to create our small suburban lot. And while we had no instruction in landscape design when we started gardening, we did a pretty good job of taking advantage of the site and the surrounding landscape – I admit it might have been luck rather than innate wisdom.

The best view from our house is toward the west, where we often enjoy stunning sunsets. The ground slopes down on the westerly side of the property, so in winter, once the oaks have dropped their leaves, we can see a hill that is about a mile away. We grow our vegetables on the west side of the house, which means the plants are down low and don’t interfere with the views of the horizon in the summer.

We also have some ledge that shows in the small, wooded section of our property. Although it’s not a dominant feature, we have extended it by adding to the stone walls that existed on our property when we built the house.

We both appreciate our borrowed landscape.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living and gardening in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at: [email protected]


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Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/maine-gardener-landscape-design-that-appreciates-what-is-already-there/

Peachtree Ridge students design app to diagnose plant diseases

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Article source: http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/entertainment/home_garden/peachtree-ridge-students-design-app-to-diagnose-plant-diseases/article_3eae7edd-725b-5c4f-bca5-95f4f5b380be.html

The Russian gardening revolution: where the good life meets luxury …

“They wash all the soil off the roots [to pack them]: I can never take them to the same hotel twice,” she laughs.

Veteran designer John Brookes has been visiting Russia to teach and work since 2007 and says the people are “mad about” gardening, even if they’re yet to develop all the skills they need to do it.

“I teach basic design: little to do with planting design and everything to do with lines and forms and shapes,” he explains. “In terms of skills they’re having to learn from scratch – even the journals aren’t terribly good yet.

While British designers have been heading east for a while, can we expect to see more Russian designers in the UK? After all, Karina Lazareva’s courtyard garden won a gold medal at the 2007 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Tatyana Goltsova became only the second Russian designer to take part when she created The Imperial Garden: Revive at the 2016 show, for which she received a silver.

Meanwhile husband and wife team Denis Kalashnikov and Ekaterina Bolotava met the gold standard at the 2017 RHS Malvern Festival with their ‘Molecular Garden’, which they created as part of an exchange arrangement organised by the Moscow Flower Show. James Alexander-Sinclair has been an advisor at the Moscow event, founded by Ms Lazareva, for several years and believes there’s “a lot of potential and talent there”.

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardens-to-visit/russian-gardening-revolution-good-life-meets-luxury/

‘Demystifying Design’ becomes a book

The newly published “Demystifying Design” is a collection of 40 columns from Patti Cowger, long-time Napa Valley Register contributor. Proceeds from book sales benefit Napa Humane.

Article source: http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/demystifying-design-becomes-a-book/article_3d482b71-6ac1-54df-851f-34f4c7f8b573.html

Now is the perfect time to design the garden of your dreams

The frantic call came in at 5 ‘o clock on a sunny spring afternoon. The caller’s voice bordered between panicked and giddy.

“We just came home from our local nursery after purchasing two truckloads of plants. We’re not really sure where to plant them.”

I’ve also received calls like this: “We bought a few containers 2 years ago, a handful of plants this spring and, oh, yes, we’ve got this beautiful granite boulder that’s been sitting here. Hmm… How long has that been sitting here, Dear? We just can’t seem to decide where to start.”

Does any of that sound like you? If you have a new home with a bare yard, or a home with a mature landscape that needs some renovating, you may benefit from a landscape design. Now is a great time for garden planning, so you can be ready come spring to install new plantings.

Think of a landscape design like an architectural blueprint for the outside of the house. A well thought out landscape design becomes the roadmap to creating a yard that matches your needs and interests (and budget) to the specifics of your property. With a plan in place, it becomes much easier to prioritize projects, time and dollars.

Whether you are phasing in the installation over time, or installing all the elements of the garden at once, a comprehensive landscape design allows the homeowner to focus on a project, create a list of what materials are needed for that project and make efficient use of available time to complete it.

Start by taking a walk around your yard. Make a note of which areas of the yard are sunny and which are more shaded. This will allow you to make appropriate plant selections based on their light requirements. While walking through the yard, notice any areas that stay wet or have standing water. This may indicate the need for drainage considerations or choosing plants that will tolerate moist soil.

If your yard is sloped and seems unusable, there may be the possibility of regrading the yard to create some flat terraces. These flat areas can be retained by a variety of materials, such as large boulders, dry stacked stone walls, concrete blocks or treated wood, to name a few options.

When building any retaining walls, be sure to follow any local codes governing height and location of walls and any permits needed.

Pick up a handful of soil. Does it clump into a ball when you squeeze your hand? If so, it’s clay soil. Or does it run through your fingers? That’s sandy soil. The type of soil will help determine what type of soil amendments to add and also what types of plants will do well in that area.

Now comes the fun part. Take some time to dream! Thumb through magazines, look at pictures of gardens on the internet, wander around the neighborhood, visit a nursery.

If your yard is sloped and seems unusable, there may be the possibility of regrading the yard to create some flat terraces. These flat areas can be retained by a variety of materials, such as large boulders, dry stacked stone walls, concrete blocks or treated wood, to name a few options.

If you enjoy outdoor entertaining, allow some hardscape areas like decks or patios with enough room to accommodate the number of people using the space. Consider adding amenities such as an outdoor grill, a fire pit, a nearby water feature or some containers for seasonal color.

Does the idea of fresh vegetables harvested from your own garden appeal to you? Find a sunny place for edibles. Grow these in the ground, in raised beds or containers. Or sneak them into the ornamental beds.

Plant selection is an important part of good landscape design. Choosing the right plant for the right place in the garden will lessen the chance of plants outgrowing their locations. A good plan offers a pleasing mix of colors, textures and year-round interest.

Once you have a wish list of garden dreams, create a concept plan with the above ideas. Have fun and get creative!

As you put your ideas together, keep some basic design features in mind. Unity gives the feeling of all elements working together and avoids a helter-skelter look. Achieve this by repetition of plants, shapes, colors or elements. Focal points can be strategically located. Balance and flow are also important considerations.

Take your concept plan into the garden and see how it feels. Make a mock up of some of the components and adjust if needed. Many of my clients have remarked that once they had a plan, installing the yard went from overwhelming to fun.

If you need help with this process, a landscape designer can walk you through the above steps and give a fresh perspective to your project.

Pam Roy of Planscapes is an award-winning landscape designer with more than 35 years of experience. Contact her at 425-238-4678 or info@planscapesdesign.com. Visit www.planscapesdesign.com for more information.

When designing your yard, consider adding hardscapes like walkways, decks and patios to incorporate into your landscape. (Pam Roy)When designing your yard, consider adding hardscapes like walkways, decks and patios to incorporate into your landscape. (Pam Roy)

When designing your yard, consider adding hardscapes like walkways, decks and patios to incorporate into your landscape. (Pam Roy)


Article source: http://www.heraldnet.com/life/now-is-the-perfect-time-to-design-the-garden-of-your-dreams/

Chelsea townhouse with modern Danish design asks a cool $11M

This Chelsea townhouse at 449 West 24th Street has some bragging rights both inside and out. Exterior-wise, the 21-foot-wide home is surrounded by greenery and outdoor space on a block of other historic townhouses. Inside, over 4,073 square feet, mid-century and Danish interior design has added a unique and modern touch. Big walls of glass, finally, connect the indoor and outdoor elements. If you’re digging the connection, the property has just hit the market for a cool $11 million.

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The home is configured with a guest suite on the garden floor, and owner’s triplex above. The parlor floor is easily the main attraction, with a sunken living room that overlooks the lush rear garden through dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows.

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Up a few stairs from the living room is a dining area and large, customized kitchen. White slatted floor-to-ceiling doors were added, likely concealing an insane amount of storage. Sliding doors partition off an office space.

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The next floor up holds a spacious master bedroom suite, complete with built-in storage, a fireplace, and a dedicated terrace overlooking the rear garden.

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The top floor houses two more bedrooms, a large bathroom and flexible media or office space. Skylights abound, an important detail to this light-filled interior. And who wouldn’t enjoy a fire under skylights on the top floor of this home?

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Here’s a look inside the garden-level apartment, with a bedroom, kitchen and large den with a decorative fireplace. The living space opens to the front and back gardens.

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449 west 24th street, chelsea, chelsea townhouse, core, 449 west 24th street, chelsea, chelsea townhouse, core,

Outside, the townhouse is surrounded by greenery. It’s got a front garden, rare to Manhattan townhouses, which adds additional privacy from the street. Outside, two terraces extend off the exterior. And the West Chelsea location puts you within walking distance to the High Line, Chelsea Piers and Hudson River waterfront.

[Listing: 449 West 24th Street by Kelly Elivo and Ever Elivo of CORE Real Estate]

RELATED:

Photos courtesy of CORE

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Article source: https://www.6sqft.com/chelsea-townhouse-with-modern-danish-design-asks-a-cool-11m/

Try these 6 tips for fabulous holiday decor

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Transforming your home into holiday central can seem like an overwhelming task when you consider the expanse of décor trends out thereon Instagram. You start thinking about floral arrangements, tablescapes, mantels, wreaths and pretty soon there is too much to do and not enough time to do it.

To help you ease into holiday prep, we spoke to Molly Wood of Molly Wood Garden Design in Costa Mesa for advice on how to add festive style to your home without the stress.

“At the end of the day, if someone stands back and loves what they’ve created, that’s all that matters. The number one rule is that decorating is supposed to be fun,” said Wood.

These six tips from a local expert will get you started and help you find the joy in your party planning.

1. Simplify the space

“I would first do a general de-cluttering of your house because you’re going to be bringing more items into the space,” said Wood.  By clearing some of your everyday décor, you can create a blank backdrop that will highlight your holiday goods.

2. Choose 3-4 places to focus your décor

“Create more impact by choosing focal points like the entry table, kitchen island or mantel,” said Wood. Make the task of decorating more manageable by selecting a few areas that will set the mood without overwhelming your existing interior design.

3. Include elements of nature

“One of my must-haves is fresh greens. I always like to bring some sort of natural element into the story,” said Wood. Some of her go-tos include magnolia leaves, eucalyptus, dark greens, succulents, air plants and dried star pods because they have a long shelf-life and still look good when dried.

4. Say ‘yes’ to candles

“I like to bring out the Beeswax candles because it is a time for decadence. They smell good and burn clean,” said Wood. She also suggests displaying candles of varying heights and shapes— Think tall taper candles next to wide pillar candles.

5. Play up one color

“When you focus on one color it really becomes impactful. The hardest thing to do in all of design is editing, so maybe choose either red or green,” said Wood. The primary color can be balanced with a secondary color like gold, silver or black to make the traditional color pop.

6. Make the most out of your centerpiece

“It’s nice to have a few things that hold the table when nothing is there,” said Wood. She suggests a multilayered centerpiece with sections you can move off the table once the surface is set for a meal.

Article source: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/15/try-these-6-tips-for-fabulous-holiday-decor/

Natto Franco is the woman-helmed brand disrupting the streetwear game

For her latest creations that she specifically calls “drops”—explaining that she simply doesn’t create collections anymore—she draws inspiration from traditional sports uniforms in Japanese schools. “The two next drops include colors I’ve never done before. It’s mainly T-shirts made of stretched velvet. They are meant to resemble the T-shirts that young students wear in a P.E. class in Japan. It’s super cute,” she says.

 

HOMETOWN

Paris, France

GREEN THUMB BEGINNINGS

SEBAYASHI: Not a lot of people know this but I originally wanted to be a garden designer. I still talk about it. I love flowers and gardens. I always thought when I have a big house and lots of space, I could design my own garden with a river close by. And then one day my mom came up to me and said, “If you’re going to try to be a garden designer, you’re going to end up as a cashier at a garden store.” [laughs] That was the moment for me. I thought, if I’m going to design and it’s not plants, it’s going to be clothes. But it was really my father who got me interested in fashion. He used to work in advertising but he was always aware of what he was wearing. He bought and still buys stuff that may not be expensive but it’s the best thing you can find. He introduced me to thrift stores early on when vintage wasn’t a big thing in Paris. Around that time was also when he introduced me to the comfy, cozy, and cool Japanese menswear.

SILKSCREEN OBSESSIONS

SEBAYASHI: There’s this Japanese illustrator called Daisuke Ichiba. I’m basically obsessed with silkscreen artists. There’s a word for it in Japanese. It’s called “otaku.” It’s used for people who are obsessed with anime or rap. Everyone in Japan is “otaku” of something. These artists [that inspire me] are “otaku” of drawings and silkscreens. I’m also a very obsessive person. I like to explore everything about a subject. It could be a song, an artist, a place, or a thing. I still have these items of clothes with classic cuts from when I was a teenager. I looked back to when I was growing up and I realized what was going on aesthetically with the clothes. I’m very sensitive to when I was a teenager. It inspires me a lot as do books and collaging.

HUMOROUS AESTHETIC

SEBAYASHI: It’s a unisex brand, so I don’t say only girls or guys can wear a certain piece. My creative process also comes from the collages and color palettes I create. I think about what certain colors will look like when blended together. I don’t think about if girls will wear a print featuring another girl showing her boobs. Humor and how cool something looks is first for me. I also think streetwear is still a bit empty on the French scene. So for me there’s lots of room. People really think I do something unique here. But internationally, it’s important to not look at what everyone else is doing and just be true to yourself. That’s how you can have a unique identity.

Article source: https://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/natto-franco-woman-helmed-brand-disrupting-streetwear-game