Monday, August 31, 2009

G-20 at Phipps

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome the G-20 leaders and their spouses to Pittsburgh at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on Thursday, September 24, 2009. Afterward, President Obama and the G-20 leaders will remain at the conservatory for a working dinner.

“Phipps is proud to be the site of this historic event,” says Richard V. Piacentini, the conservatory’s Executive Director. “The G-20 Summit is an opportunity for us to showcase the story of green innovation in Pittsburgh and at Phipps.”

The White House cites Phipps’ distinction as one of the world’s greenest public gardens in its announcement. The Victorian glasshouse that opened in 1893 is known today as “the Green Heart of Pittsburgh,” and is a national model for environmental leadership.

“Over the past decade, Phipps has made advanced green building practices, sustainable development and environmental awareness a focus at every level of operation,” says Piacentini.

Eco-friendly achievements include:

First LEED Certified Building in a Public Garden—Phipps’ earth-sheltered Welcome Center was awarded LEED Silver certification upon its completion in 2005.

World’s Most Energy-Efficient Conservatory—Phipps’ newest addition, the Tropical Forest Conservatory, is passively cooled, has no “greenhouse effect,” is very efficient for heating and is the only conservatory in the world powered by a solid oxide fuel cell.

Project Green Heart—All life depends on plants. Phipps’ commitment to environmental leadership includes sharing discoveries and providing resources on leading-edge practices in sustainable living, gardening and landscaping. Its “Botany in Action” program supports science and field research around the world and highlights the essential connection between
people and plants.

A Living Building—Plans are in place for construction of Phipps’ most innovative and ambitious green venture to date: a Living Building, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes which will be one of the greenest buildings in the world. This new Research, Education and Administration Center will exceed LEED Platinum certification and function at zero-net energy and water.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Check It Out: Floating Garden

The Chicago Park District and Moore Landscapes partnered together to launch a Floating Garden in Lincoln Park. From now and until mid-October, weather dependent, catch a glimpse of this unique floating tropical garden in the Lincoln Park south rowing lagoon.

Located east of the Lincoln Park Zoo and west of Lake Shore Drive in the south end of Lincoln Park’s rowing lagoon between Fullerton and North avenues, the floating tropical oasis was planted in a retired lifeguard boat, that is a seventeen inch Boston Whaler and secured by three concrete block anchors.

Designed by Kathleen Mullaney of Moore Landscapes Inc., the tropical oasis themed Floating Garden provides an element of surprise and delight to those who pass it. Bright red bamboo poles were added to compliment the bright plant palette and acts as a trellis for the vining flowers.

The plants in the Floating Garden were selected for their bright colors, texture and bold foliage such as annual vines (potato vine and Algerian ivy), annual flowers and ornamental grass (star flower, lantana, petunias, Brazilian verbena and purple fountain grass.) The tropical selections include croton, mandevilla vine, shrimp flower, annual hibiscus, canna, cordyline, and bamboo. For variety, fall ornamental grasses (millet and Juncus) were added, as well as ornamental cabbage.

From a distance, the Floating Garden displays a vibrancy of red, orange and yellow flowers with green and burgundy foliage. Vines and flowers drape over the top deck of the boat into the water.

All of the plants used in this visual display came from local suppliers. Pots and containers from all plant material are collected, sorted and picked up by area growers who will reuse or recycle the plastic materials. All landscape debris (including the soil) will be composted. The bamboo will be reused in future special projects.

After mid-October when the Floating Garden is dismantled, the appropriate plant material will be recycled and used in next year’s annual garden displays in parks throughout Chicago. Moore Landscapes Inc. works closely with the Lincoln Park Conservatory staff to reuse the tropical plants each year.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On The Set: David Dalbok photo shoot

Our photo editor Chelsea Stickel recently flew to the Bay Area for a photo shoot with Davis Dalbok of Living Green. Davis created a series of gorgeous vignettes that put the spotlight on succulents, much like his own garden does. Here are a few behind-the-scenes moments.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Check It Out: Grant for San Francisco Botanical Garden Society

The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society (SFBGS) has been awarded a prestigious grant by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the highly competitive Museums for America grant program. Museums for America is one of the largest federal grant program for museums in the country and is designed to help museums sustain the world’s cultural heritage, support lifelong learning, and serve as centers of community engagement. SF Botanical Garden Society was one of 167 grant recipients selected from 433 applicants.

San Francisco Botanical Garden Society will receive a $72,565 IMLS grant to support a pilot GIS Mapping Project. “Using a combination of current GPS and mapping technologies this project will begin mapping the infrastructure and the location of plants in several of the gardens geographically themed sections,” explains David Kruse-Pickler, Associate Curator, SFBGS. The project will increase the Society’s capacity to advance strategic goals in three important areas of museum operations: plant collections management, care and maintenance of the gardens, and interpretation of the garden’s plant collections to a broad and diverse audience.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Check It Out: Greenest Block in Brooklyn

Greenest Block in BrooklynThe winning blocks for the 15th annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest were heralded yesterday at a press conference on the first-place residential block: Lincoln Road between Bedford and Rogers Avenues. Also present were representatives of the winning commercial block: Atlantic Avenue (south side) between Bond and Nevins Streets. The annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest is a lively competition among thousands of borough residents committed to beautifying their neighborhoods and making Brooklyn greener.

The contest is managed by GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program of Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), in cooperation with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

This year’s winning residential block, Lincoln Road between Bedford and Rogers Avenues in Lefferts Gardens, has been selected not only for its gorgeous horticulture but also for its citizens’ cooperation and conservation work. The block is very large, with approximately 80 homes, and achieved over 80 percent participation by residents. The block association formed a “green team” to help identify needs, organize gardening work, and most importantly, model good gardening practices at their own homes. According to Tolonda Tolbert, president of the block association, the example set by a few residents inspired others to inquire about greening their property and was supported by cooperative efforts like a seed exchange, neighbor-to-neighbor gifting of window boxes, and more. Many residents who have lived on the block for 30 or 40 years trained newer neighbors—like Ms. Tolbert—on good gardening practices, and they in turn recruited their children. This multigenerational effort has resulted in a beautiful, vibrant block for all to enjoy.

Lincoln Road also distinguished itself with its abundance of curbside gardens. These narrow gardens replace the pavement between the sidewalk and the street with colorful, rainwater-absorbing planted beds. It is an excellent model of environmental sustainability for other Brooklyn blocks dominated by concrete and asphalt.

Coming Soon from Suzanne Biaggi

Suzanne BiaggiSuzanne Biagi is designing a garden for The Late Show Gardens at Cornerstone in September. Here's what she has in store for us:

"The concept of Flow (the cycles of nature) and Accumulation (mans' interruption of those cycles) is beautifully presented through the use of sculptural symbols. Permaculture plantings and innovative use of watering systems offer solutions to the results of accumulation. In the center of the garden is the symbol of hope in the form of the Future Feast table using the technology of green roofs for its' living surface and inspired by a mannerist garden in Italy."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Coming Soon from Shirley Watts

Shirley WattsDesigner Shirley Alexandra Watts is creating a garden vignette called A Garden of Mouthings for The Late Show Gardens at Cornerstone in September. Here's a window into her mind's eye: "In response to the impending threats to our bee populations, Shirley Watts' 'A Garden of Mouthings' seeks to inform, delight and inspire its viewers by celebrating not only honey bees, but also our often overlooked native bees. Working with bee expert Jaime Pawelek, architect Andrew Kudless and builder Ross Craig, Shirley is putting together a garden that combines a beautiful honeycomb structure, a sound piece based on a poem by Sylvia Plath and bee friendly plantings to inspire every home gardener. Experts will be on hand to offer advice on native bees and honey tastings."

Green Scene: the River Center

Located at the heart of the Roaring Fork watershed and in Basalt, Colorado, the Roaring Fork Conservancy's River Center is designed to house the program's administration, a water quality laboratory, an exhibit hall and classrooms. Bluegreen, whose work Garden Design has covered this year, teams with the Conservancy to reclaim a former brownfield site and integrate with Basalt's first riverfront park. Riverine environments, key wildlife habitat and open space are scheduled for rehabilitation as part of this project and including plans for future phases of rehabilitation and educational outreach. A few of the site's "green" program elements include bioswales and runnels to collect storm water, wetlands and enhanced pond edges, rain and roof gardens and native plantings. In collaboration with the Conservancy, Bluegreen provides land use planning, site master planning and landscape architectural services for the River Center.

Check It Out: Haven Sofa

Haven SofaIsn't she pretty? This new outdoor sofa from Paola Lenti was designed by Claesson, Koivisto & Rune. It has a steel structure treated with Cataphoresis and covered with polyester Rete. The piece is available through Karkula in New York.
Visit Our Sister Sites at Bonnier Corporation:

Copyright 2009 Garden Design. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.