HLC Frost Cloth

With “Icemaggedon” hitting soon, and the cold weather officially upon us, it’s time to keep an eye out on protecting your plants from the freezing temperatures. We’ve asked noted landscape architect, Harold Leidner, to provide some insight and suggestions for protecting those plants from the cold temperatures.

Freeze Protection Methods

One of the essential freeze protection items that we install on all our projects is a rain and freeze sensor on the irrigation system. This sensor (which can be hard wired or wireless) activates once the temperature drops below 40 degrees and prevents the irrigation system from operating in cold temperatures and adding any water to the plants that may cause damage.

HLC Temperature detectorAnother primary method of protection those plans is to use a frost protection fabric or freeze cloth over the top of the plants. This fabric, which can usually be found at any nursery or home improvement store, will help wick water away from the plants, provide an additional layer of protection and help prevent any ice from forming on the plants.

We typically use short wood stakes to ‘tent’ the frost cloth above the plants and also use landscape pins to anchor the fabric down so windy conditions don’t blow it away. If the cold temps sneak up on you and you’re in a pinch, a good old bed sheet will work as well. (Just don’t use the nice ones!)

Plants That Need Protection

Most plant varieties sold at nurseries and used in the Dallas area will be cold hardy for the climate. However, there are certain varieties of plants, usually tropicals, that will need a little extra protection.

Palms are one of the primary plants that we take care to protect from cold temperatures. Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) certainly are fragile to the cold and will need to be covered. Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are generally cold hardy, but the trunks can be wrapped with a blanket or frost protection cloth. Other plants that are susceptible to freezing are Oleander (Nerium oleander), Variegated Ginger (Alpina vittata) and the vine Fig Ivy (Ficus pumila). All of which could benefit from the protection of a freeze cloth.

We find annuals to be optional but some of our clients prefer that we also cover their newly planted winter seasonal color like Pansies and Cyclamen. Any containers or potted plants that are not connected to irrigation or drainage, we would suggest simply moving them into the garage to weather the frigid night time temperatures.

Miss those 100 degree days yet?

Need help preparing for freezing weather? Contact the talented staff at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects to guide you.

HLC Freeze Protection

With the Thanksgiving holiday hitting this week and the cold weather officially upon us, it’s time to keep an eye out on protecting your plants from the freezing temperatures. We’ve asked noted landscape architect, Harold Leidner, to provide some insight and suggestions for protecting those plants from the cold temperatures.

Freeze Protection Methods

One of the essential freeze protection items that we install on all our projects is a rain and freeze sensor on the irrigation system. This sensor (which can be hard wired or wireless) activates once the temperature drops below 40 degrees and prevents the irrigation system from operating in cold temperatures and adding any water to the plants that may cause damage.

HLC Temperature detector

 

Another primary method of protection those plans is to use a frost protection fabric or freeze cloth over the top of the plants. This fabric, which can usually be found at any nursery or home improvement store, will help wick water away from the plants, provide an additional layer of protection and help prevent any ice from forming on the plants.

We typically use short wood stakes to ‘tent’ the frost cloth above the plants and also use landscape pins to anchor the fabric down so windy conditions don’t blow it away. If the cold temps sneak up on you and you’re in a pinch, a good old bed sheet will work as well. (Just don’t use the nice ones!)

Plants That Need Protection

Most plant varieties sold at nurseries and used in the Dallas area will be cold hardy for the climate. However, there are certain varieties of plants, usually tropicals, that will need a little extra protection.

Palms are one of the primary plants that we take care to protect from cold temperatures. Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) certainly are fragile to the cold and will need to be covered. Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are generally cold hardy, but the trunks can be wrapped with a blanket or frost protection cloth. Other plants that are susceptible to freezing are Oleander (Nerium oleander), Variegated Ginger (Alpina vittata) and the vine Fig Ivy (Ficus pumila). All of which could benefit from the protection of a freeze cloth.

We find annuals to be optional but some of our clients prefer that we also cover their newly planted winter seasonal color like Pansies and Cyclamen. Any containers or potted plants that are not connected to irrigation or drainage, we would suggest simply moving them into the garage to weather the frigid night time temperatures.

Miss those 100 degree days yet?

Need help preparing for freezing weather? Contact the talented staff at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects to guide you.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For our money, fall is the best time of year for living in Dallas. Along with football games, the State Fair of Texas and the holidays looming just around the corner, our reward for enduring the brutal summer heat arrives in the form of refreshingly cool and crisp autumn air. It’s a great time to be outside and to enjoy some of the beautiful fall color that we are seeing around town right now.

Fall is also a great time to plant and if you are considering adding some new trees, we’ve asked our favorite Landscape Architect, Harold Leidner to suggest a few trees that will work well in Dallas and will pack a punch of fall color. Check out his Pinterest gallery Trees for Dallas with Fall Color.

  • October Glory Maple (Acer rubrum’ October Glory’) – A great street tree that has an upright form and brilliant orange and red color in the fall. ‘Autumn Blaze’ is also another good variety to try. A showstopper for sure.
  • Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum) – A beautiful and delicate ornamental tree that needs protection from full sun and can have some gorgeous deep reds, orange and bronze colors in the fall. The perfect understory tree.
  • Chinese Pistache (Pistachia chinensis, pictured below) – A medium sized tree for residential gardens that is rather fast growing to about a height of 40’ tall. Another tree with a brilliant mix of orange, yellow and red colors.
  • Ginkgo – (Ginkbo biloba) – You will almost certainly know where one of these Gingkotrees are in your neighborhood. They are used much less often because they are slow growing, but their fall show of vibrant golden yellow leaves is well worth the wait.
  • Aristocrat Pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Aristocrat’) This variety of pear tree is a much better choice than the typical ‘Bradford’ variety because it is fast growing and has a better form and branching structure. Not only will it turn a deep red color in the fall but it will provide a beautiful display of white flowers in the spring. The ‘Capital’ and ‘Cleveland Select’ are also good varieties as well.
  • Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) – This tree has a tall, more upright form that is great for parkways or tighter spaces and yields a brilliant blend of red, orange and yellow colors. Try out the fruitless variety as well to skip the spiky green/brown balls.
  • Shumard Red Oak (Quercus shumardii). This large scale shade requires plenty of room to flourish, but provides a deep burgundy door in the fall before shedding its leaves. The Shumard variety is best for Dallas.
  • A few other smaller scale and ornamental trees that provide a variety of fall colors are Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indicia), Dogwood (Cornus florida, pictured at top), Flameleaf Sumac (Rhus lanceolata), and River Birch (Betula Nigra ‘BNMTF’).

Happy planting and enjoy the fall color show while it lasts.

Chinese Pistache

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Word comes that Troy Aikman’s new abode on Normandy has a fabulous landscape designed and installed by none other than Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, our CandysDirt.com preferred landscape designer. What’s even more interesting is that this is Aikman’s third home with a Harold Leidner-designed landscape! The first two were custom jobs commissioned by Troy, and the third is the incredible Tatum Brown-built, Clint Pearson, Architect | Symmetry Architects designed abode he just bought.

Troy sure does have good taste, right? We think so, too. I mean, after a long, illustrious career spent on a grass-covered field, you have to know a little something about landscaping, so of course he would choose the creme de la creme in all things green.

So, what do the outdoor areas at his former digs on Highland Drive and his new abode on Normandy have in common? Lush, sculpted European-style hedges and seasonal plantings in front, for sure!

 

Now that summer is in full swing and the Texas heat has arrived, we hope everyone with a swimming pool is able to enjoy a few moments of cooling refreshment and relaxation in and around the water. For those that are just wishing for a pool or considering adding one to their property, we’ve asked renowned landscape architect Harold Leidner to show us a few of his top pool designs and some of the most popular pool features that he is incorporating for his clients.

Fountains and Water Features

HLC Fountain

HLC Fountain 2

Including fountains and water features in a pool design helps to add elements of visual interest, create an ambiance of soothing background noise to drown out neighbors or nearby traffic, and can provide a cooling factor to the air around the pool. There are many different kinds of water features such as waterfalls, bubbler jets, canon jets, laminar jets, sprays, weirs, sheer descents, rain curtains, and spillways — all of which can enhance any
pool with the many shapes and sounds of water.

Fire Features

HLC Fire HLC Fire 2

Fire is one of the most dramatic and impactful elements you can add to any pool, which will certainly crank up the “wow” factor. Not only will it create a striking, visual contrast to the water, but will help extend the outdoor season into the fall and winter and is certain to always draw a crowd when entertaining.

Technology, Automation, and Energy Efficiency

HLC Tech HLC Automation

Along with home automation, the technological capabilities of controlling, monitoring and maintaining a swimming pool have also become much easier as they can now be managed with a smartphone or tablet. With apps on your iPhone and iPad, you can easily control and turn on all aspects of your pool (spa, lights, fountains, etc.) on demand and from anywhere. Energy efficiency has also come to the forefront for swimming pools and equipment. With the advancements of LED pool lighting, variable speed pumps, and more efficient heaters, the power demands to run a pool are greatly reduced and can help impact that monthly electrical bill. The color capabilities of LED lighting can also allow you to tailor the color of the pool to any mood or for any party setting.

Infinity and Negative Edge Pools

HLC Neg edge HLC Infinity Edge

One of the more dramatic and most-requested features is an infinity or negative edge pool. These pools eliminate the traditional coping and bring water right to the edge. They are typically associated with a sloping property or dramatic views, but can be used in many different aspects to create a spectacular detail around the pool. Zero edge or gutter pools are also another similarly styled edge effect that can create an unique presentation for the typical pool surround.

Tile

HLC Tile 1 HLC Tile 2

One of the most popular ways to elevate the look and feel of a pool is by incorporating a tile finish. With thousands of colors, patterns, and textures to choose from, a tile finish (specifically in a smaller scale tile (3/4”-1” square) can add an exquisite level of visual detail. The touch and feel of a glass tile is also much easier on the skin and adds an extra level of sensory feel when in the water. From solid mixes, to colorful blends and even mosaic patterns, an all-tile pool is sure to turn an average pool into a showstopper.

Fun Factor and Entertainment

HLC Slide HLC Climbing

The swimming pool is an obvious attraction and gathering place for friends and family, and there are many additional opportunities to add some outdoor amenities that may help keep the kids and family together and enrich the outdoor experience. In the audio/video realm, there are floating speakers and even underwater speakers to keep the music flowing along with projection screens to let you host your own dive-in movie. Additionally, there are many other recreational elements that can be included such as volleyball nets, basketball goals, slides, swings, swim jets, and even climbing walls.

Ready to start designing the pool of your dreams? Contact the talented staff at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects to guide you through the process and ensure a fabulous pool you’ll love that will add value to your home.

Headington Condo Outside

Harold LeidnerIt’s hard to find a better landscape architect than Harold Leidner. I’d hazard to say that few, if any, can match his eye for how landscapes interact with their surroundings, and how to make modern design look and feel organic.

He’s best known for his amazing work on the 21st floor penthouse at the Ritz Carlton Residences that was recently purchased by Charles and Moll Anderson. Featuring bold shapes and textures, this project is a feast for the eyes.

Browse Leidner’s projects and designs on his Houzz page or find out more about his work on his website.

CandysDirt.com: Where are you from?

Harold Leidner: Born and raised in Dallas. Great place to live and work.

CD: How did you get into landscape architecture?

Leidner: Started in high school when I was mowing lawns and taking care of landscapes. It piqued my interest in the design of landscapes and the value of beautiful properties and gardens.

CD: Innovative outdoor design is a hallmark of your brand. What inspires you most?

Leidner: Sophisticated and modern design that is well detailed. I also enjoy seeing and incorporating unique items in the garden that are not typically found there. The recent Chihuly exhibit at the Arboretum was a great example. Having the artistry, color, and delicacy of the glass blended into the gardens was beautiful.

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?

Leidner: I live in the Prestonwood neighborhood off Preston and Arapaho. We are fortunate to have a great lots that back up to a natural creek.

CD: And you drive ….let me guess, Mercedes Benz?

Leidner: BMW X5 M. Fun to drive and I love the gadgets.

CD: What is your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?

Leidner: Tough to call. Many great areas in Dallas like Preston Hollow, Kessler Park and Lakewood. I would probably say Uptown, mostly because I’m a Mavs fan.

CD: What project are you most proud of?

Leidner: Now that is even more difficult. I have had the pleasure of working for many wonderful clients and on many gorgeous projects. One of my recent favorites was a residence we completed in Highland Park for Betty Lou Phillips. Combination of a beautiful site, superb architecture along with a client with an exquisite design sense.

CD: Likewise, what was your most challenging or memorable project?

Leidner: My most memorable project was probably the penthouse terraces we completed a couple years ago at the Ritz Carlton Residences in Dallas. A once in a lifetime project overlooking the skyline of downtown Dallas. Spectacular views, especially at night. The construction was an immense challenge however, in getting all the workers, tools and materials from the ground to the 21st floor. Not as easy as you might think.

Headington Condo outside 2

CD: Has your work taught you any life lessons?

Leidner: Everything changes except the completion date.

CD: What does the future of design look like?

Leidner: Our designs and clients are all pushing towards a clean and modern design style that fits their lifestyle. Fortunately we are seeing more residential architecture lean a bit more towards modern, which allows us to respond with luxurious landscapes and gardens that simplify the outdoor living experience and enjoyment of nature.

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…

Leidner: Become a doctor like my daughter.

CD: Do you have a second home?

Leidner: Besides my office and car, no.

Photos: Courtesy of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

We’re big fans of artificial turf here at CandysDirt.com, as it’s a water-wise way to have a lawn without all of the seasonal maintenance of turfgrass. However, some homeowners associations have outlawed artificial turf despite its many benefits. One reader writes:

I am an interior designer who worked on a residential project for about three years, and was involved in every aspect of the the design of the home. The home is in a gated community called [redacted]. We submitted the plans to the architectural committee through the builder when we began the project and they were approved. Nowhere in the CCRs did it say that we had to submit further landscape plans for approval. When we got to the landscape design, we wanted a minimal look to coordinate with the home. We are empty nesters and wanted as little maintenance as possible. As a result, we decided to go with a combination of artificial grass, charcoal gravel, and minimal natural plants in both the front and back landscaping. The artificial grass is of a high-end quality that makes it very hard to tell if it is natural or artificial. 

Needless to say, our HOA sent us a denial notification giving us no reason. There is nothing in the CCRs that says you cannot have artificial grass. We’ve hired a lawyer to handle this and have had no success. We even offered to remove the artificial grass on  just the narrow crescent that aligns the sidewalk and they would not accept that. 

We would greatly appreciate any advice you have on this subject. With the new technology in artificial grass, there is no question that it is the way to go! With Texas heat and watering restrictions, this is a wonderful option. I really want to be the person that gets the board members, who are not keeping up with the times, to make a change! 

We asked our most-trusted landscaping expert, Harold Leidner of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, to weigh in on this obviously contentious issue:
 

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Troy Aikman just purchased this home on St. Johns for $4.3 million. 

This just in from the lovely, amazing, and talented Alan Peppard: Troy Aikman has bought his second Highland Park home in three months, this time opting for the 6,000-square-foot former home of reporter and author Jane Wolfe.

The mansion on St. Johns was purchased by Aikman for a confirmed $4.3 million. Aikman’s last purchase was an 11,000-square-foot Mount Vernon manse built by Tatum Brown on Normandy that is just incredible inside and out, with beautiful landscaping by Harold Leidner.

3801 Normandy

 

Aikman’s home on Normandy was built by Tatum Brown and features a lush landscape by Harold Leidner

While the home is gorgeous and has entertained and hosted notables such as former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, the 73-year-old red brick estate may not be long for this world. From Peppard:

Aikman has long expressed to friends his plan to build a new home and the Wolfe home sits on a stunning promontory overlooking the Connor Lake section of Turtle Creek.

Even more interesting is how the transaction between Aikman and Wolfe was completed. Wolfe, whose family owns the Columbus Dispatch and is considered the first family of Ohio, is also a well-known author and definitely has a flair for the dramatic.

It took an exchange of autographs to seal the purchase. Wolfe is the author of The Murchisons, a book chronicling the family of Dallas Cowboys founder Clint Murchison Jr.

“When we were back and forth negotiating the price, he asked me to sign a copy of my Murchison book,” she says. “I asked him for a signed Troy Aikman jersey.”

To celebrate the closing, Troy and Jane and her daughter, Lee Harris, had dinner at Fireside Pies.
“He gave me a big, beautiful jersey,” Jane says, “and I gave him a big Murchison book inscribed, “To the best Cowboy ever.”

Fabulous story! And now we must wonder, will Troy hire Tatum Brown, a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder, to construct his new Highland Park home overlooking Turtle Creek? In the meantime, check out these photos of Wolfe’s beautiful home, complete with mirrored ceilings and leopard-print carpet on the staircase!

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