News

Interview with Connecticut For Sale

Posted Aug 26, 2014

How to Create a Sustainable Landscape: An Interview with Wendy Lindquist of Lindquist Design Associates By Wendy Lindquist Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer. We offer a full range of design and installation services. We create master plans for the entire property, which can be phased in over time, and we also work with homeowners and businesses on designs for foundation plantings, poolscapes, outdoor rooms, vegetable gardens and basically anything that pertains to the outdoor environment. I work in collaboration with two other designers and we have three installation/maintenance teams. Can you briefly explain what a sustainable landscape is and what it might look like? Sustainability is defined as “meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” So a sustainable landscape is one that not only thrives today but also is stewarded in a way that supports the ecosystem for future generations. The appearance of sustainable landscapes depends on the region and climate because they are constructed to respond to their specific environments. They will have plants that are native or noninvasive to the area, and avoid plants that require pesticides and other noxious chemicals. They are resilient to the climatic extremes of the site. In what ways is this different from a typical garden/landscape that a homeowner would have designed and installed? We often see homeowners approach the design of their landscape similarly to how they would the inside of their house. Designing for the outside is different from interior design because many more factors must considered. The personal style and taste of the homeowner are essential, but now they are dealing with living, growing things that can die if their requirements aren’t met. Soil conditions, moisture and drainage, pH, cold and heat tolerance, sun/shade, scale and mature size of plants must all be taken into account. It is not uncommon to see a Colorado Spruce planted in a narrow area between a house and a driveway, which is not sustainable. We have many clients with a broad knowledge of plants and gardening experience, but the landscape industry is constantly changing with new introductions of plants and up-to-date research for best practices. For example, the ‘Do Not Plant List’ which bans certain invasive plants in the state of Connecticut is periodically updated and revised. We have access to the resources necessary to stay current with this dynamic knowledge in ways that may be overwhelming for most homeowners. What are some common questions that people ask you about creating a sustainable landscape that is in harmony with its natural and architectural heritage? Perhaps the most interesting questions concern native plants. We don’t believe that every plant in the landscape has to be native and this is heresy for some people. We do stress that a high percentage of plants need to be native in order to support the whole ecosystem. But as long as a plant isn’t invasive, if the homeowner wants a specific specimen, like the Japanese Katsura tree, we have no problem with that. Another very common question is what plants will survive the super storms and the salt water inundations. The answer is very few but there are some and if they are arranged in an interesting way...

read more

Garden Design Bocce Article

Posted May 7, 2014

Garden Design Bocce Article

There are a number of theories as to why bocce spread so quickly in America’s better backyards in the past decade, but the most compelling is the oenological hypthothesis.  Bocce, in which grapefruit-size balls are rolled down a finely groomed court, can be played while holding a wine glass with nearly zero spillage.  Not for nothing, as they say in Brooklyn, where Italian gentlemen play the game in public parks, but bocce’s sudden popularity closely tracks the meteoric rise of domestic wine consumption over the same period.  According to Bridgeport, Connecticut landscape designer Wendy Lindquist–who launched a subsidiary, Bella Bocce, in 2003 to handle the heightened demand–clients commonly ask to add a side terrace or “heckler’s court”.  Any feature with “heckler” in its name suggests that collateral imbibing is going on too. Bocce could not succeed if it didn’t also satisfy the gardener of the house.  The serene surface provides a natural, and neutral, ground to frame with plantings.  At less than half the width of a tennis court, and a third the cost, bocce (or its French cousins, boules and petanque) also delivers a lot of European-style elegance for the buck.  And as the building boom mounted through the early ’00s, bocce had the virtue of being novel.  “People always want something their friends don’t have,” says Michael Donnellan of Summerhill Landscapes on Long Island’s East End, who put in his first bocce court ten years ago. That impulse likely goes back to the Greeks, who imported some version of the game from Egypt.  The Romans, who copied so much of what the Greeks did, gave us the game we know today.  A small ball called a jack is tossed to the far end of an 87-by-11-foot court, and. . .read the full article by Paul O’Donnell at...

read more