Accessibility and Universal Design in the Landscape


Related eBooks When I was studying interior design I was fascinated by universal design. While I don’t trust Wikipedia for everything, their definition nails it: Universal design refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products, and environments that are inherently accessible to both people without disabilities and people with disabilities. I think universal design […]

Understanding Flagstone: Sawcut, Thermaled, and Chiseled Edges

Sawcut Pennsylvania flagstone

You’ve decided to use flagstone in the landscape. Good call! You may not be done making decisions, however. If the stone will be used in an application where you see the edge of the piece (step treads, wall caps, etc) you’ll have to think about the finished look. Thickness The first thing to consider is […]

Antiques in the Garden

antique lightning rod virginia garden ornament

Whether we’re discussing landscape design, interior design, or architecture there’s no denying that the little details make all the difference. Garden ornaments can be that finishing touch, providing a little structure or even a focal point for a space. MJ and I were out driving around this weekend and I picked up this great piece. […]

Why I Don’t Use Sweetgum Trees


Every once in a while I’ll look over a drawing from another designer and see sweetgum trees in the plant legend. If they’re near the house or in a commercial setting, I usually recommend a substitution. Sweetgums (Liquidambar styraciflua) are quick growing shade trees that provide both food and cover for all sorts of animals. […]

If Your Landscape Isn’t Fun, You’re Doing It Wrong

Old House Vineyards outdoor chess set

When I took this business full time in 2008 two of my first clients were Pat and Allyson Kearney, owners of Old House Vineyards in Culpeper. In the intervening years I’ve done a lot of work for them, including landscaping their home, a new wedding pavilion at the winery, and most recently the tasting room […]

Virginia Deck Design Explained, Part 1: Footers and Ledger Attachment

Deck Ledger Detail

My name is Dave Marciniak, landscape designer and owner of Revolutionary Gardens, and I use jargon. I’m deeply sorry. However, the fact is that when it comes to building everything has a name. It’s easier to use the technical term than a long-winded explanation. A great example is the French phrase “l’esprit de l’escalier.” It’s […]

Drainage and Infrastructure Are Not Like Milk Duds


I’m still recovering from Halloween – 538 trick-or-treaters is a LOT Of kids – and it’s still framing how I look at things. Of the nearly $200 we spent on candy we have a bowlful left, and as I was pawing through the bowl for a mid-morning snack I kept encountering Milk Duds. Boxes and […]

Wednesday Inspiration: Japanese Inspired Garden Gate

Maymont Japanese Garden Gate

When my mom came to visit, we made a trip down to Richmond to visit Maymont, a historic estate property in the heart of downtown. How have we never made it here? It’s an amazing property. You should go. Now. Tell your boss I said it’s cool. Today’s post is about the super cool gateway […]

Winterberry Holly – Fall Color in the Virginia Landscape

Winterberry Holly Virginia

I can’t be in denial any longer. The nights are cooling off and leaves are flinging themselves from their trees. Fall is coming! With fall comes an initial blaze of color as the trees turn, followed by a whole lot of brown and gray. Luckily we have a gorgeous plant for fall color: Winterberry holly, […]

Creating More Space in a Small Virginia Backyard

Steep Hillside Backyard Before

I received a call from a homeowner for a landscape design in Bristow, Virginia. They were looking to make a lot of changes, and after they signed the landscape design proposal and I started the site analysis, I noticed something we hadn’t talked about: their storage space left a little to be desired. That’s quite […]