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Posts Tagged ‘Wolfgang Oehme’

Carex elata

Carex elata in bloom this week in an OvS-designed estate in coastal Maine (photograph courtesy Rebecca Hoffman)

While gathered around the lunch table with co-workers today, the conversation turned, as it so often does, to plants. Today’s conversation included a lament that straight species are frequently ignored by the nursery trade in favor of more showy cultivars. Setting aside discussions of wildlife value and attractiveness to pollinators, today’s discussion was about aesthetics. “Sometimes you just need the basics,” one co-worker announced.

Carex elata is an example of just such a plant.  Not to be outshown by its more widely cultivated chartreuse form, ‘Bowles Golden’, the straight species of Carex elata has found a welcome home in many OvS gardens over the years. Eric Groft and Wolfgang Oehme first happened upon the straight species decades ago at Holgar Winenga’s Garden Treasure Nursery. I vividly remember the fury of Wolfgang Oehme when a truckload including thousands of cheerily glowing ‘Bowles Golden’ arrived at a prominent federal project we were working on, instead of the specified straight species. “They look sick,” snapped Wolfgang as he ordered the plants returned. No intense yellow sedges here!

The straight species features graceful, slender, emerald-green blades. Clusters of deep brown seed capsules shoot like fireworks off the stems in mid-April. When planted in mass, Carex elata forms a dense waving sea of green by early summer.  The versatile plant performs well in sun or shade, moist or dry conditions. “It’s a miracle plant!” declares OvS principal Eric Groft. Carex elata demonstrates just how beautiful and dynamic the basics can be.

Native Range: Northern and eastern Europe

USDA Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Height: 18-30”

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade; normal to moderately moist soils

Carex elata

Seed capsules in mid-April mingle with Narcissus ‘Golden Bells’ in an OvS-designed walled garden on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

Carex elata

Carex elata planted in mass provides visual relief from the exuberance of an elaborate English border in an OvS garden on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

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The LongHouse Reserve Garden Committee awarded Oehme, van Sweden & Associates the 2011 LongHouse Landscape Award on Saturday, September 17th at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, NY. The award, given for the first time ever to a firm or group, celebrates the “powerful changes that OvS has consistently and continuously brought to the American landscape for the past five decades.” Prior recipients of the award include landscape architect Dan Kiley, American gardener and horticulturist Frank Cabot, and the founder of the Central Park Conservancy, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.

OvS Team

L-R: Eric Groft, Wolfgang Oehme, Sheila Brady, Jack Lenor Larsen & Lisa Delplace

Following tours of private gardens in East Hampton, a dinner at the home of Alex and Carole Rosenberg in Water Mill and a luncheon at LongHouse, OvS Principals Sheila Brady, Lisa Delplace, Eric Groft and Founding Partner Wolfgang Oehme accepted the award on behalf of the entire OvS team.

Eric Groft

OvS Principal Eric Groft

As part of the afternoon’s events, guests enjoyed a panel discussion between Oehme, van Sweden clients Kris Jarantoski, Executive Vice President and Director of the Chicago Botanic Garden and Todd Forrest, Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections at the New York Botanical Garden. The panel was moderated by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, President of the Foundation for Landscape Studies, and previous winner of the LongHouse Landscape Award.

Panel

L-R: Kris Jarantoski, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, and Todd Forrest

LongHouse Reserve exemplifies living with art in all forms. It’s collections, gardens, sculpture and programs reflect world cultures and inspire a creative life.

LongHouse brings together art and nature, and aesthetics and spirit, with a strong conviction that the arts are central to living wholly and creatively. Dedicated to quality and integrity, LongHouse programs encourage a broad concept of learning.

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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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If you are an avid Oehme van Sweden follower, you’ve probably heard that our newest publication, The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design, was released February 1st, 2011.

In celebration of the book’s release, the Cultural Landscape Foundation and the New York University’s Cantor Film Center will host an evening dedicated to the life and work of James van Sweden. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm.

A screening of selections from the van Sweden Oral History project will be shown followed by a panel discussion with clients and colleagues. The Oral History includes a downloadable transcript of the interviews featured on the Web site, and reflections by 18 of his friends, family, colleagues, collaborators and co-workers about his life, career and legacy.  

There will be a book signing held at the conclusion of the event. It is free and open to the public, courtesy of the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Horticultural Society of New York and the New York Botanical Garden. Space is limited however, so reservations are required.

James van Sweden’s book will teach you how to think in ways you could never imagine, while providing all of the tools and tips necessary to turn his inspiration into something amazing.

Join us in New York on March 16th and help us celebrate the hard work and dedication of an amazing landscape architect.

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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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