Software is great, but listening is better

We were glad to be featured in this article about the design process in Total Landscape Care this month.  Happy Vectorworks customer!

Workshop in Petworth coming soon!

Indoor & Outdoor Entertaining: Making Your Spaces Function & Flow
Tuesday, May 15 | 7-8:30pm
Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Avenue NW) | Lower Level Meeting Room

We’re really looking forward to presenting with Amber Harris of At Home DC next month in Petworth to discuss how to create satisfying outdoor living spaces.  Too often, we think about gardens and landscaping as “stuff to look at” rather what it really is:  making inviting spaces where you want to spend time.  This talk will combine the design principles that Amber uses at At Home DC with Edamarie’s expertise in creating welcoming gardens.  We hope you will join us!


A garden is all about new beginnings

“I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.”   

–  Christina Rossetti

By the end of March I’m eagerly looking for flower buds, pulling out seed packs and straining to hear bird songs.  The ancient Romans started the year in the month of March and that calendar orientation sure feels right as winter winds down.

A little while ago, folks from the software company we use for our desig ns reached out to ask if I’d interview for a blog post about women in landscaping.  Speaking with them, and later, with one of their colleagues, for a trade article on the same subject, reminded me of that moment, more than 10 years ago, that I decided to change careers, moving from teaching to landscaping.  Interestingly, it was in March that I committed to taking that leap.

Nature reminds us of spring’s promise that there are always opportunities for new beginnings.

Watching the resiliency of bulbs and buds as they push out new growth in freezing weather gives me the courage to break out of old patterns and the hope that comes with the opportunity to start fresh.  Over 50 now, I’m especially grateful to have this annual reminder that is never too late to begin to grow again.

Later today, if weather warms, I’ll be able to plant peas – a St. Patrick’s Day tradition.  In a few weeks, those seeds will be small plants.  And so, the adventure of this new garden year begins.

Hello new life.  Hello flowers budding in harsh winds.  Hello hope.

Planting peas for St. Patrick’s Day?  Here’s a link to some basics from Maryland’s Home and Garden information center.

Value and cost of landscape projects

Here’s a helpful graphic to explain what you gain and what you can anticipate spending for professional landscaping at your home.

Landscape Value and Costs

Learning to see

The first time I heard of the Barnes Foundation it was still in Merion, PA. My mom had returned home from visiting the museum with friends, and I asked to go back with her, but wasn’t allowed because I was too young.

At that time, I think you had to be 13 to tour the galleries, and they only opened 1/2 the museum at a time.

There were almost no other visitors at the gallery when I was finally old enough to tour the museum. The lighting was low and it felt like walking into someone’s home who was out for the afternoon.

Entering, I looked up in the central hall at a giant Matisse mural, then to the right at one of Cezanne’s card player paintings, and then at the curious pieces of metal on the walls covered in textured fabric.

Lines, color, movement, composition, craft, texture and quiet, no one telling me the history of the painting, just looking and looking and looking. I know that it was Barnes’ vision that really taught me to see.

On the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the new museum is always overflowing with people. I appreciate that the art is more accessible in its new home, but I wonder how many 13 year olds learn to see there the way I did…

It’s hard to tune out a jostling crowd or someone’s lecture on the history of a certain piece and just look. As Magritte showed us- language and sound shape what we see. I miss the quiet in the new museum, and don’t attend so intensely to what I see now that it is easy to get there.

© Copyright Backyard Bounty - Backyard Bounty is a registered trademark of Edamarie Mattei LLC. Photos (c) Regis Lefebure