July 5, 2010

Design Process for Vegetable Garden In Allentown, Pennsylvania

Filed under: Landscape Design,Vegetable Gardening — admin @ 2:18 pm

veggieplanNow that you have seen this beautiful garden, we want to walk you step by step with our design process. Live Oak Landscape Architects start all large and small projects with the same meticulous care.

We ask the client numerous questions, all of which guide us to the final design.  Because we knew that he wanted a formal garden throughout his landscape, we followed that same concept for his vegetable garden and as you can see from the results, it looks pretty spectacular!

However, we had a long way to go…..we had to check hours of daylight on the proposed vegetable garden since many vegetables need more than 6 hours of sun each day to grow the best yield.  We wanted to get the best views from the inside of his house so that he could enjoy looking at his garden even on rainy days.

After the client approved the design, our landscape architects and garden designers went to work using a CAD drawing (above) , which is the use of computer technology for the design of objects, real or virtual. CAD often involves more than just shapes. As in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD must convey information, such as materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances, according to application-specific conventions. Thanks to Wikipedia for an easy CAD definition.

Live Oak Landscape Contractors were then able to install hardscape to the specific dimensions required, fill the vegetable garden with soil and planted the plants requested by the client. Our client now has to wait for the harvest!



June 30, 2010

Vegetable Garden Design in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Part II

Filed under: Landscape Design,Vegetable Gardening — admin @ 1:23 pm

IMG_5396XHerbs were used to create patterns of circles and triangles in the garden. Live Oak Landscape Designers researched numerous herbs and consulted with the client to find out what  he would be most interested in growing:

Basil is a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Southeast Asian cuisines of Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The plant tastes somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, sweet smell.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which also includes many other herbs.

Oregano is a perennial herb, sometimes called Wild Marjoram, and its close relative O. majoramum is then known as “Sweet Marjoram”.

Thyme is a good source of iron and is widely used in cooking.Thyme is often used flavor meats, soups and stews.  It has a particular affinity to and is often used as a primary flavor with lamb, tomatoes and eggs.

Parsley (Petroselinum) is a bright green biennial herb, often used as spice. In modern cooking, parsley is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although parsley is perceived to have a milder flavor.

Lemon grass is native to India. It is widely used as a herb in Asian cuisine. It has a citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh.

Lemon grass is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for poultry, fish, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African and Latin American countries

garden pyramid trellisThe focal point of the garden will be a garden obelisk with purple Clematis,  The President” and the Red Malabar Spinach.

Live Oak Landscape designers will revisit this special garden next month and will post new pictures showing the changing landscape.

Live Oak Landscape Vegetable Garden in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Filed under: Landscape Design Process,Vegetable Gardening — admin @ 1:22 pm

IMG_5005XOur Architects and Designers at Live Oak Landscape Contractors  have been designing and planting  a wonderful garden for a client in  Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Because his  garden is a formal garden, Live Oak Landscape Architects used the French potager style to be decorative as well as functional as a basis for his vegetable garden.  This client wanted a productive garden with a lot of unusual vegetables and herbs.  We searched many resources in New Jersey to find his requests;  Fraises des Bois -strawberries  that do not send out runners, Red Malabar Spinach, special heirloom tomatoes that came from the Rutgers Hunterdon Somerset Master Gardens plant sale.  Ichiban eggplant, lemongrass, baby Bok Choy were also planted  along with the standard fare of lettuce.

The garden was also designed to produce vegetables  from late spring into autumn.  For example, lettuce and spinach were planted in close proximity to summer / fall producing vegetables like basil and kale so that  when you harvested the lettuce and spinach by mid-late June,  kale and basil would start to spread into that empty space.

 Planning and designing the vegetable garden started in the winter, 2009.  Planting started early spring, 2010.  The picture was photographed when the garden was first planted in early April.

IMG_5013XXOur next blog will talk about the herbs that were planted and new pictures will show the garden approximately 3 weeks after this picture was taken

June 28, 2010

Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Gardens

Filed under: Vegetable Gardening — admin @ 1:22 pm

vegetable drip irrigationThe most important cultural practice for a healthy and productive  vegetable garden is irrigation.  Without a doubt, the best investment you can make after buying quality seeds is to have Live Oak Landscape Contractors and April Showers install a drip irrigation system that releases your garden from any dependence on natural rainfall and puts the water exactly where it’s needed – directly at the roots.

Once the growing season is underway, vary the amount and frequency of irrigation according to the rooting depths of the vegetables you grow. Shallow-rooted crops, including lettuce, sweet corn and radish, have most of their roots in the top 12 inches or so of soil. Moderately deep-rooted crops are those that have most of their roots in the top 24 inches of soil, and include snap bean, carrot, cucumber, eggplant, pepper and squash. Deep-rooted crops are those where the main root system is in the top 36 inches of soil, and include cantaloupe, pumpkin, tomato and watermelon.

You will probably need to water your vegetable garden one or two times a week in summer, depending on crop, soil type and the temperature. Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or microirrigation, is an irrigation method which saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters.

Drip irrigation offers several advantages to home gardeners. You can place water more slowly and accurately in the root zone, with little or no water waste. Also, the furrows remain dry, so you can work in the garden while irrigation is in progress; dry furrows also means less weed growth.   A drip irrigation system, when correctly installed and maintained, can be used very efficiently.

As members of the Irrigation Association of New Jersey,  Professional Landscape Alliance of New Jersey and American Landscape Contractors Association, our staff at Live Oak Landscape Contractors will be happy to answer any questions you might have.  Please contact us at 732-752-8030 to schedule an appointment.

June 22, 2010

Live Oak Landscape Designs Vegetable & Herb Gardens

Filed under: Landscape Design,Vegetable Gardening — admin @ 1:29 pm

Vegetable garden parterreVegetable and Herb Gardens need not be work!  They can provide lots of design and color to your garden and yet be practical too.  And of course, the harvest to your table is just incredible – nothing beats the taste of home grown lettuce, radishes and tomatoes!Another important benefit is that you know where your vegetables come from —your own yard!  We at Live Oak Landscape Contractors are now designing and planting a garden in Allentown, Pennsylvania…..we will show you start to finish what we can do for you as the garden grows.

DSCN1157A vegetable garden is a garden that exists to grow vegetables and other plants useful for human consumption.  However, many vegetable gardens also include flowers for a great cottage look. It is a small-scale form of vegetable growing. A vegetable garden typically includes a compost heap, and several plots or divided areas of land, intended to grow one or two types of plant in each plot. It is usually located to the rear of a property in the back garden or back yard. Many families have home kitchen and vegetable gardens that they use to produce food. In World War II, many people had a garden called a ‘victory garden‘ which provided food to families.

Organic horticulture, or organic gardening, has become increasingly popular for the modern home gardener and at Live Oak Landscape Contractors we have great designers on staff who can help you with organic gardening.