Landscapes of the Month: Restoring a Garden to Its Full Potential - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Landscapes of the Month: Restoring a Garden to Its Full Potential

Photo: Thomas Walker

A client in Bethesda, Maryland, wanted a flourishing, lush, manicured garden. After two years of dissatisfaction, she reached out to Planted Earth Landscaping, based in Westminster, Maryland, to evaluate and restore the garden. Planted Earth took on this project in 2018.

“We have a proven track record with the property manager and the landscape architect,” says Chris Vedrani, president of Planted Earth. “These relationships allowed us to get our foot in the door and then our work has kept us on site.”

Photo: Thomas Walker

Planted Earth’s work maintaining this site earned them a Gold Award in the 2020 Awards of Excellence.

“We are extremely proud of our work here,” Vedrani says. “The fact that we have been recognized by our peeps for this is truly satisfying.”    

Some of the challenges the company faced were the plants were previously improperly pruned, over mulched and overwatered. This had caused the plants to decline and not perform at the level the client expected.

Vedrani says the client’s expectations are extremely high so taking over a garden that had been struggling for three years and determining the exact cause was the biggest challenge.

Photo: Thomas Walker

“The company that installed the garden was trying to maintain the garden with a team that was not trained to maintain this level of a garden,” Vedrani says. “The irrigation had been damaged during some of the additional plantings and not properly repaired.”

The irrigation system had many breaks underground, broke/buried drip tubing and multiple zones operating at the same time. Once they detected the issues with the irrigation system they called in their go-to irrigation contractor for the work and final inspection.

Vedrani says the soils had become anaerobic from the overwatering and it took two years to recuperate the soil for the plants. They conducted vertical mulching with sand and organics and have closely monitored the irrigation system since then.

Now that the property is restored, Planted Earth spends around 16 manhours a week caring for this location. A crew of three takes care of the turf and two Master Gardeners care for the plants. They provide a six visit turf care program and weekly mowing, pruning and edging.

Photo: Thomas Walker

Some of the other maintenance tasks include deadheading flowering plants weekly, raking the pea gravel weekly and pruning the wisteria vines weekly to maintain the arching access to the chessboard. The allee of Linden trees is pruned twice yearly to maintain the square shape separating the play lawn, cutting garden and reflecting pond areas.

Planted Earth’s Master Gardeners also provide weekly flower arrangements from the cutting garden for the client.

Interested in participating in the Awards of Excellence? Submit your entries by Aug. 9, 2021. 

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.