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4 Things I Love that Should Embarrass Me As a Landscape Designer (But Don’t)

Yeah, the things I’m about to talk about are things that probably should embarrass me. But they don’t, because I’ve learned to be shameless. Here are things I love that others may consider cringeworthy:

1- The existence of concrete ping pong tables

I know, right? These exist?

A few weeks ago the manufacturer posted on my Facebook Page wall. While I often get annoyed when companies do that, I couldn’t help but click through. These things are amazing! Not only do they stand up to the elements (you know, being concrete and all) but they look really cool. The manufacturing process is apparently similar to building a concrete countertop for your outdoor kitchen, so it doesn’t have to be that dull, green surface we had in our basement in the early ’80s. I really, really want to have a yard with one of these in my portfolio. Call me. Let’s do this.

2 – The use of rope lighting

Are there better, subtler, more elegant ways of lighting a space? Absolutely. Still, it’s hard to argue with cheap and easy, and maybe you don’t always want subtle.

3- Crazy garden ornaments

This is one of my favorite birthday gifts EVER
This is one of my favorite birthday gifts EVER

I’m just going to say it – I have awesome taste. When I’m at a flea market or junk emporium, I can find spot cool and artistic garden accent pieces a mile away. I must have a hundred pounds of catalogs of fountains and sculptures for all styles from super modern to appropriate for Versailles (the palace, not the town in Kentucky). But man, I love flamingos. Gnomes, too. I do draw the line at plywood cutouts of women showing their bloomers, but I recognize that this is farther down the curve than many of my peers. Philistines.

4- Riotous color cominations

Sure, I’ve done landscape designs based around a color palette. One garden I did that was all white and purple blooms was really cool, and I’d love to do more gardens like this. On the other hand, I believe that flowers are magical in that you simply cannot have flowers that clash. It’s nature. It’s a garden. It should be FUN, especially when it comes to spring blooms. Winter makes everyone grumpy, let’s have an explosion of color when it gets warm.


I also love bringing big blocks of color into the landscape in other ways. When I designed the wedding gardens at Old House Vineyards, I had the opportunity to bring in a tremendous splash of color with these bright red benches. Are they a bold statement? Sure. And they work.


I almost included a fifth possible embarrassment, but I didn’t know if I actually wanted that one out for public consumption. If you absolutely must know, I’ll tell you when we meet. Deal?



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