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Posts Tagged ‘James van Sweden’

Guests from the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens visited gardens designed and installed by Oehme, van Sweden & Associates on the eastern shore of Maryland on Monday May 9th. OvS Principal Eric Groft led two garden tours on the bay at Ferry Cove in Sherwood, MD including OvS Founder James van Sweden’s home and garden and the garden of next door neighbor, architect Suman Sorg, who designed the houses on each of the properties.

Eric Groft address the hillwood museum group in the formal garden on Marengo Creek

Hillwood Estate Executive Director Kate Markert and Program Director Joan Wetmore were in attendance along with 40 other friends and sponsors. Following the tours, Eric Groft signed the new OvS book The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design.

Eric Groft signing the Artful Garden in the garden at Ferry Cove

It was a spectacular spring day of Euphorbia palustris, Tradescantia, and Baptismia all at peak bloom. Lunch was served at the home of Jan Kirsch in Bozman, MD. The day finished with a tour of a historic house and garden that Eric Groft had worked on 15 years ago, located on Marengo Creek. Iris Caesars Brother and Paeonia lactiflora ‘White Wings’ provided a show in the formal garden.

Eric explains the philosophy of the garden to the group on the bayside of the SorgHouse

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Our Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’ is blooming and quite fragrant this week.  This dependable late February bloomer reminds us of what is around the corner.  It’s time to cut back your perennial garden in preparation for spring! We highly recommend this deciduous, medium size flowering shrub for your front garden.

As one of our favorites among the woody plants, the hybrid Chinese witch hazel ‘Arnold Promise’ flowers dependably for about a month from February to March. The bright bursts of highly fragrant tiny yellow blossoms will remind you of sunnier days ahead. Planted in sun or partial shade, it’s excellent in woodland gardens.

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Oehme van Sweden Principal, Eric D. Groft, recently lectured on the newest OvS book, The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Garden Design. The Shipley’s Choice Garden Club, located in Millersville, Maryland, was the host for the January 10th event. Members and guests of the event were able to gain valuable and inspirational insight to the connection between a garden path and elements in paintings, music and works of literature. Charmaine Truesdale, Shipley’s Choice Garden Club Member and avid member in the Maryland Garden Club circuit, is seen pictured here with Eric Groft.

Eric D. Groft and Garden Club Member, Charmaine Truesdale

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This September, Oehme van Sweden principal, Eric Groft, will lead members of the Scott Arboretum on a tour of the lush East Hampton garden in The Springs on September 22nd of 2011.

The Scott Arboretum is the campus of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The members of the group are avid gardeners and many are regular volunteers at the Scott Arboretum.

The Arboretum has invited several members to join them on a four-day, three-night excursion to travel the Gardens of Long Island from September 20-23, 2011. Jeff Jabco and Julie Jenney will guide each member to experience the beauty of various public and private gardens spanning from the Oyster Bay area to the east end of the North and South Forks.

Here’s a glimpse of some of our work that will be featured during the tour.

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On Friday, January 7th, Oehme van Sweden principal Sheila Brady attended the sixth annual Historic New England Gala in Boston, Massachusetts. The Gala is a benefit supporting the Preservation Maintenance Fund, which helps to raise money for projects that contribute to the long-term sustainability of Historic New England’s properties.

For the last century, Historic New England has worked to preserve the original architecture and culture that characterizes one of the loveliest regions in the United States. It is the oldest and largest regional heritage organization in the country.

The black-tie event was held at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. Bunny Williams, world-renowned interior designer and garden expert, was featured as the guest of honor during the cocktail and dinner hours. Rare items from Historic New England’s collection were on display for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

The Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut is just one of the 36 Historic New England properties.

All proceeds from the gala went directly to the preservation fund and were matched one-to-one by an anonymous foundation. If you would like to make a contribution to the fund, visit Historic New England’s Online Shop.

To learn more about the Preservation Maintenance Fund, please call 617-994-5951.

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Today, we write with sad news. Mr. Harry W. Porter, former faculty member and Dean of the University of Virginia, passed away yesterday at his home in New Bern, North Carolina. He was 74.

Mr. Porter was one of the founding members of the University’s School of Architecture. Recruited by Dean Joe Bosserman in 1969 after having taught at both the University of Michigan and Harvard, Mr. Porter established the School of Architecture’s Department of Landscape Architecture and served as its first chair until 1982. He was appointed Associate Dean of Administration that same year, and served as Interim Dean of the School until he was awarded the position of Dean in 1989.

During his time at the University, Mr. Porter was awarded the Elson Professor of Architecture chair and the Lawrence Lewis, Jr., Professor of Architecture chair.

Harry became the first University Architect in the Office of the Architect where he advised on the architectural design and development of the University grounds. He was also the first Dean of the School to live in Pavilion IX on the Lawn. He retired in 1994 and in 1996, a pumpkin ash tree was planted in his honor in front of Pavilion IX.

As a sign of the alumni body’s great affection and gratitude for Mr. Porter, the School completed a successful campaign after his retirement to establish the Harry W. Porter Jr. Visiting Professorship in Architecture. This program continues to serve all four departments on a rotating basis to invite outside guest critics and lecturers each year to the School.

Mr. Porter has been recognized nationally as one of the country’s finest educators in landscape architecture. He was a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), an honorary member of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects (VSAIA), and former president of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.

That was his professional resume. To those of us who had the privilege of knowing him, Harry was invincible – the white knight who could do no wrong. As a student in Mr. Porter’s program, OvS Principal Eric Groft describes him as, “…Omnipotent, almost god-like, and one would do anything to get his favorable recognition.”

Here at Oehme, van Sweden, we are deeply saddened with the news of Harry Porter’s passing, but know that his memory will live on in our hearts, our work, and our passion for the art of landscape architecture. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.

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Oehme van Sweden has always paid particular attention to the subtle beauty and strong forms that emerge from the winter garden. After one of the many recent snowfalls that has blanketed the region, the plantings we designed for the Tanger Outlets at the Arches in Deer Park, New York looked beautiful against the thick layer of snow.  We hope that the shoppers taking advantage of the post-holiday bargains appreciated the sculptural forms of the plantings as much as we did!

The muted wheat color of the Hakonechloa macra and Pennisetum alopecuroides glowed against the drifts piled in the planting beds, with the dancing and waving forms of the grasses frozen in place by the weight of the snow.   

Hakonechloa macra (Hakone grass) with Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’ behind

 

Pennisetum alopecuroides (Fountain grass)

The multi-stemmed trunk of the Magnolia virginiana emerged from its blanket of snow. Partially protected by a glass canopy, it still held many of its leaves.

Magnolia Virginiana (with Rohdea Japonica)

At one of the main entries, the dark seed heads of the Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ punctuated the bed of Perovskia atriplicifolia.  The Japanese tree lilac was silhouetted against the swiftly-moving clouds, bringing attention to the beauty of its form.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage) in the foreground with Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-Eyed Susans) and Syringa reticulate (Japanese Tree Lilac) behind

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