Who is the leader in American Classicism?

Posted April 26th, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Events, Insights, latest, Uncategorized
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Who is John Russell Pope?

Best known for his design of the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, John Russell Pope set the precedence for monumental architecture. Pope designed the National Archives Building, Constitution Hall, and the Temple of the Scottish Right. Renowned for his interpretation of European classicism in a new American form, Architect and historian, Stephen M. Bedford, described Pope as a “leader in the development of highly refined and restrained American classicism.

Why he is such an important figure in the world of classical design? Take a look at some of the works he’s completed in his lifetime. Great conservatory architecture invites you to linger and enjoy its rich details, fanciful embellishments, and sensuous curves just as these historical details allow.

House of the Temple – Washington D.C. 1915

 

Tate Gallery – London, England1897

 

British Museum – London, England

 

Thomas Jefferson Memorial – Washington, DC 1943

 

Skylands – New Jersey 1922

 

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Washington Mid Atlantic Chapter is pleased to announce the 2017 John Russell Pope Awards, recognizing excellence in classical architecture, artisanship, interior design, and landscape architecture.

The Awards recognize the best work of individuals who contribute to the creation of classical and traditional architecture in the Washington Mid Atlantic region. On April 21, 2017, the ICAA hosted the Awards ceremony. Tanglewood is honored to be a supporter and sponsor.

As classical architecture becomes increasingly re-discovered, the ICAA offers a forum for practitioners, enthusiasts, and students.

 

 

When academic success does not equal economic success, then what?

Posted April 5th, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Insights, latest, Untangled Minds Foundation
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When academic success does not equal economic success, then what?

Statistics show that the underprivileged and undereducated are often lost in poverty, making choices for survival that render them less than successful. There are also stories of those who have achieved educational goals, only to find that their success in education may not equate to economic success. So, does THAT education matter? Education does matter; but, not education for education’s sake. Then, is it possible to acquire economic success without a college degree? Emphatically, yes! It is possible to be successful with AND without a college degree. However, we must encourage our young workforce to follow a mapped path that focusses their educational journey toward an achievable destination that fulfills their personal and economic goals.

Tanglewood Conservatories and Untangled Minds, Inc. recognizes the challenges students face as they consider steps toward their future, and see the need for a change in mindset regarding alternate paths of education. It is imperative that our youth are able to follow a mapped path to success. Mapping their educational journey through alternatives means that our youth can acquire the knowledge they need to successfully develop a business career from business leaders who are already successful.

Although college is a viable means for acquiring education, the gravitas of methods that provide experience through hands-on training is priceless. HANDS-ON TRAINING offers tools for scientific and artistic justification, documenting the why and the how of an operation, and a visualization of the process from beginning to end. Projects, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Production (AMP) program provides community youth with hands-on learning experience, by placing them side-by-side with experts in the field.  These experts volunteer time, talent and other valuable resources, to teach students every aspect of the industry from concept to delivery. Students that apply themselves, following to completion this educational journey, are positioned toward a lifetime of achievement and economic success.

Do you remember career day in grade school?

The pride and excitement as a parade of professionals marched through in their uniforms, giving all the highlights and perks of their specialty. Remember, after the fanfare had ended, being tickled playing dress-up, or having fanciful dreams; awed by so many options. Had you considered them all? Did you wonder? Or did you already know, when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Early exposure to field professionals can encourage students to explore their interests and delve deeper into what those industries have to offer.  The beauty of this is that once a student’s interest is realized, passion can be cultivated. Early cultivation done properly is the secret to shaping a true industry leader. The Untangled Minds Foundation specializes in cultivating the passion of youth, by infusing students with confidence in their ability to present innovative creations that will drive industry to unimaginable heights. Through the AMP program students are provided a unique experience, immersed in every aspect of the business.

Our partnership with both the local high school and an accredited technical college ensure a superior level of working knowledge to support technical skills they will acquire through hands on training. Focusing on molding industry leaders, our expectation of students is high, as is our standard of professionals with whom they are paired. Additionally, we are committed to their variety in knowledge. Therefore, students are allowed to sit in on, and learn about each position, from shop supervisor to owner.

One aspect of our training that differentiates us from others is the entrepreneurial mindset of our culture, which is reflected in our methodology, as well as, our pragmatism. Once a student leaves our program they have the knowledge, skills, and understanding for each responsibility, along with the experience to take it on. We know the key to cultivating passion is constant exposure, hands on interaction, encouragement and organic talent acquisition. Their pride, confidence and ability will drive their immediate economic success and financial freedom.

AMP is a cooperative effort among community and industry leaders to introduce young students to the structure and strategies of business development. Tanglewood Conservatories is excited to talk about the AMP program with industry leaders and individuals that have a heart and interest in making a difference in their communities.

Contact Patrick Reed for more information about how you can make a difference. 410.479.4700

What opportunity do our high school students and local businesses share?

Posted November 30th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Events, Insights, latest
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brochure

A community group gathered at Tanglewood Conservatories to build a bridge between high school student’s job opportunities and local business needs.

“It was fantastic to see such a great turn out!”

Jennifer, Tanglewood Team

Wednesday evening saw local teachers, parents, students, high school and college administrators, and local business leaders gather at Tanglewood Conservatories to learn about efforts to develop a leadership and entrepreneurial centered skills program for students at the Caroline County Career and Technical Center.

The AMP program is being developed to provide both technical and Life Success Skills training that will prepare students to pursue rewarding, high-level positions in companies across the region. Graduating students will be members of a well-trained, engaged workforce sought after by companies and required for the future growth of our regional economy.

Why is this important to your business?

Imagine… having well-trained, skilled high school students ready to start work for you right after graduation. If you are interested, call us to discuss the partnership opportunities the AMP program offers!

 

About our Meeting

The evening began with a tour of Tanglewood’s design and production facilities which concluded a series of ten visits by local teachers to Eastern Shore manufacturing companies. The tours were organized by MEPE to give teachers and guidance counselors throughout the region insight into the types of skills needed by regional employers and the types of career opportunities that exist for students.

Following dinner, Josh Zimmerman CTE Business Liaison for Caroline County Public Schools presented an overview of the Advanced Manufacturing and Production program which is targeted to be introduced at CCTC this spring. Five students from the junior and senior class will be selected to participate in the pilot program before the program is introduced county wide.

A spirited discussion followed covering subjects ranging from how to help young people gain the qualities employers seek to how employers can think differently about building their teams.

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What’s to come of the AMP Program

At the heart of the AMP program’s Life Success Skills, is an entrepreneurial approach to leadership training which is designed to be applied in any academic or business environment.

Other exciting developments include the opportunity to work closely with Chesapeake College to extend the student opportunities by offering an articulated two year extension to the AMP program leading to students earning an Associate’s degree through Chesapeake College.

Will you join us in our efforts to build strong, successful students and businesses? Give us a call at 410.479.4700 to learn more!

 

 

Opportunity for a Change in the Educational World

Posted September 28th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Events, Insights, latest, Uncategorized
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Rise Richardson, Director of The Village School in Royalston, Massachusetts, talks about Philanthropic Investing, saying,

When they give to the Village School, high net worth individuals are investing in the future, both in terms of the opportunity for ‘normal’ childhoods, and in terms of changing the educational world.”

The Village School

The Village School is a wonder. In 1989 a group of parents, farmers, scientists, writers and local business people gathered and over time created a new kind of school.

It was designed to be a “…model for people in rural areas to give opportunities for community and kids to achieve,” according to Richardson.

village-school-kids-1Serving preschool through 6th grade, the school recognizes the need for children to be part of a community and to be connected to the farming, forestry, stewardship and conservation with the land around them. This is facilitated by bringing balance to the student’s physical, emotional, and mental capabilities.

Using mixed-age classrooms, the school take advantage of the fact that “kids learn from other kids,” she said.

From the start – their students are told they are leaders & held to a high standard, Richardson continued. “Our kids have a strong sense of confidence and know who they are and are eager about learning… they do not just study to get a good grade. The students are actually interested in the material and want to learn more.”

The first graduates from The Village School are now 26-27 years old. Most have gone off to the college of their dreams and have succeeded in their fields – they are leaders, according to Richardson.  “They take ownership and responsibility,” a skill taught at the school, she commented.

Funding and building

When the school was established it was housed in an old town-owned schoolhouse, nicely melding tradition with new ideas. However, the city has developed a need for that property and has set a tentative deadline of September 2017 the village school planfor the school to vacate.

Back in 1998 the school was able to buy some 55 acres on which to build a new, expanded school (in May 2017), and eventually, a future campus for adult learning.  The city’s needs created the opportunity for The Village School to start planning how to use their property.

Now the plans are in place, permits just issued, and groundbreaking for the new school is scheduled for Spring, 2017.

Funding and financing is in place, but subject to some strict deadlines. Richardson said,

Good news, we just raised another 200K!  We need 200K more to get to the total of 500K that the bank wants to see before their loan of 750K kicks in and we can break ground and start building. We are building the complete five classroom school for the low price of $1,800,000 (!) using local contractors and skilled volunteers.”

The sooner that additional $200,000 + can be raised, the sooner they can actually start building, subject to Massachusetts weather of course. Larger contributions can help free the school from the burden of a huge bank loan with large payments, so the school can focus energy and resources on children and developing programs for them.

Why we love this project!

We love what’s been done at The Village School. Even more impressive are their plans for the new campus. We support their goals of connecting kids to the land and teaching meaningful conservation and are impressed and delighted with their goal of endowed scholarships.

We were delighted to make an initial contribution of $15,000 to The Village School!

In many ways our commitment and support of both the Caroline County Public Schools and County Economic Development Department to assist in training and providing resources thorough their AMP program for high school students are similar because of their focus on The Village Schoolstudent achievement. Each one invests in our youth’s future and the future of our communities.

That’s why we are standing behind The Village School and encouraging everyone to speak with Rise Richardson to learn more about their efforts at 978 249 3505.

There is also the possibility of naming rights to their new school with the right contribution. Imagine the whole school named for someone you love and respect, or highlighting your company’s vision.

Discover more specifics about The Village School building plans here. You can also make a tax deductible donation on that page. For setting up substantial donations and pledges, contact the school directly.

Is the Eden Project really a Conservatory?

Posted June 22nd, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Domes and Cupolas, Events, Insights, latest, Travels, Uncategorized
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Is the Eden Project really a conservatory?

It’s hard to be sure if the collection of biomes in Cornwell, England counts as a conservatory. Yet that is exactly what it’s designed to do, CONSERVE and EXPLORE plants collected from around the world.

aerial-view-core-biomes-eden-project

The main structure is built largely of hexagonal and pentagonal 3-layer plastic cells joined together as GEODESIC DOMES. The insulated plastic that make up the domes work to create TWO SPECIFIC AND AUTHENTIC ENVIRONMENTS – one reproduces a TROPICAL RAINFOREST and the other duplicates the MEDITERRANEAN climate. Lovely glass inserts add more than a touch of beauty to the constructions and harken back to the glass history of conservatories.

Developed with the idea of providing multiple ways to explore those environments by building a community through sustainable living, the Eden Project is involved in RESEARCH AND TESTING around the world. Many of their efforts are aimed at CONSERVATION. They have, for example, projects to conserve redwoods, promote eco-friendly coffees and a deep geothermal energy project.  Every project involves both research and teaching the results.

In addition to investigating the sights, you can explore, learn water saving tips, get married, hear live music, discover new plants, and eat wonderful food you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Built in a clay pit, the Eden project defines itself as:

 “…an educational charity (that) connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future.”

There are also many OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE CLASSES for kids and adults. You can even, for example, study for a university-level degree in Horticulture, Event Management and/or Contemporary StoryTelling and Performance. According to The Guinness Book of Records, Eden Project is the world’s largest greenhouse containing easily over a million plants. It also has the largest rainforest outside of normal rainforest territory. Who would have guessed all this would be located in Cornwall, England?

children-looking-at-waterfall

Eden Project’s website reflects the hip and cutting edge of this unusual conservatory’s attitude while giving you information that runs the gambit from fascinating (in The Core building) to practical including monthly gardening tips.

Spend some time on the site before you visit or allow for the serendipitous once you’re there – either way, your visit is apt to be educational, and just plain fun. Be willing to be surprised and inspired as you recognize something at Eden Project that would be perfect for your own installation.

You can START YOUR OWN CONSERVATORY PROJECT with a call to us at: 410.479.4700 or fill out our contact form.

How do you unwind?

Posted March 17th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, latest, Steel Structures
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How do you like to unwind after a long day?

Do you enjoy long walks? Do you watch the sun as it sets over the horizon with a cup of hot tea or a tall glass of wine? Do you enjoy the view of the night sky through the windows of a conservatory?

It’s amazing how the ATMOSPHERE CHANGES when you step under glass. Allowing the stressors of the day to wilt away and add some POSITIVE ENERGY into your life. The SPELL OF A GLASS CONSERVATORY creates a peaceful environment where your mind and body want to relax.

083-Shelter-Island-Estate-Flathead-Lake-Montana 

From mountainous terrains to an amazing lakeside view, families around the globe are beginning to experience the magic of life under glass.

Shelter Island

Have you ever dreamt of living on an island?

Of all the amenities on this clients island their FAVORITE PLACE TO BE IS IN THE CONSERVATORY. He said,

“It has one of the PRETTIEST VIEWS IN THE WORLD… I like to keep this as a retreat to myself. I sit on the front porch and watch the waves and the mountains and it’s just one of the MOST PEACEFUL PLACES ON EARTH.”

 Shelter Island Interior

Click here to read more about the details of this project

When we spoke with the family about their vision for this dream conservatory, they wanted to make it look as though it could STAND THE TEST OF TIME; to serve as a getaway from the world around them. With the most beautiful view on the island, this COPPER CLAD and MAHOGANY conservatory creates a CALMING environment and SEDATIVE nature that makes you appreciate nature in its truest form.

This conservatory was also featured in Discovery’s EPIC! To get an inside exclusive look at the Shelter Island Estate, CLICK HERE to watch Season 1 Episode 10.

Do you feel relaxed?

Nestled within the homes of these families, their conservatories have changed how they live their lives. Give us a call today to START YOUR CONSERVATORY LIFE! Call us at 410.479.4700 or fill out our contact form.

What could YOU share with one of the most innovative companies in the world?

Posted February 18th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in General, latest, Skylights, Steel Structures
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Why do you own an Apple product?

NEW technology? UNIQUE design? Because it’s APPLE?

With each new iPhone and Mac Computer, Apple does not hesitate to go after the NEXT BIG THING; but there’s more to them than just technological advances. It lies within their foundation, and could lie within yours too. Do you have something like it?

China-Pudong-Apple_610x381

Have You Heard of STRUCTURAL GLASS?

Apple has recently been awarded a STRUCTURAL GLASS DESIGN patent for their store in Shanghai! Made almost entirely out of monolithic glass, their latest structure is held together using only metal connecting joints! To successfully accomplish this COMPLEX DESIGN, the glass must be able to support a heavy structural load and several forces of expected magnitudes. So how did we accomplish it?


dweck_side perspective_copyright

How Do We Do It?

As most architects view WINDOWS and DOORS as additions to structural elements, we view them as the structural elements for your room or skylight. Structural glass allows glass in itself to become a structural element to withstand these forces using MINIMAL STEEL or laminated glass beams and fins. ADMIRE the details of this star inspired skylight above.

Dweck_roof perspective_copyright

Like Apple, this family wanted to create something unique; to STAND OUT among what anyone else had.  With minimal joints holding the glass together, they wanted to add a decorative steel element to bring an essence of ELEGANCE. Eagerly awaiting the installation of their skylight, final touches on design have been made and production has begun!

 

How Can You Have the Next Best Thing?

Let us bring something unique to your home, adding the GIFT OF NATURAL LIGHT to enhance your family’s life. Please CALL us at 410.479.4700!

Enclosed Luxury…Design Elements for Your Pool Enclosure

Posted March 27th, 2015 by Bonnie Hall and filed in latest, Pool Enclosures
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Whether you desire an endless swim season, privacy for your early morning swim sessions or just protection from sun and insects, a pool conservatory enclosure can provide you with a very luxurious swimming and entertaining setting.  Regardless of the heat of summer, rainy season or the coldest east coast winter ever on record, your pool conservatory will allow you to comfortably enjoy your pool or spa any time of the year.

With the guidance of design experts, creating the perfect pool enclosure will not only provide you with endless enjoyment, it can also add dramatic architectural accent to your home.  Typical discussions for pool enclosure design are usually centered around which type of glass is best (low-e coated glass can reduce heat by up to 50% while cutting UV penetration with will help minimize heating & cooling costs) and environmental controls (how to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter) at times however, personalizing the space to reflect your passions is overlooked.

Designing Your Space

Much like a traditional conservatory, your pool or spa enclosure can be designed to reflect your personality and lifestyle.  Style should not take a back seat to functionality and now, the choices are truly limitless.  Tanglewood designed and built a mahogany spa retreat for one client that expressed their desire to have their own personal oasis to unwind in, after a hectic day at the office.  The client was very involved in not only the design of the building, which features extensive curvilinear shapes – which studies have showed enables better energy flow, reduces stress and creates positive emotions but also in the calm and soothing decoration.  A fireplace was added not only to serve as a focal point – again emphasizing the prominent curves of the room – but also to create balance for the ‘cooler’ water feature of the spa with the ‘warmth’ of the fire.  A small wet bar and cozy seating area completes the room.

spa1

 

spa room

 

As intimate as the hideaway retreat is above, the project below is very spacious, open and airy.  Very reminiscent of the great conservatories of the 19th century, the open feel with the sturdy steel frame embellished with the whimsy of scrolls, medallions and stained glass.  This setting is very inviting with plenty of entertaining space, a large seating area and adjacent kitchen.  Plants warm the vast openness, pulling the outdoors in.

pool

Current trends to incorporate into your luxurious enclosure include

  • Fire focal point – whether a fully functioning fireplace or an upscale fire pit – bringing a fire element in the room provides a perfect balance
  • Water Feature – beyond the pool or spa, many are incorporating an additional water feature such as a fountain or reflection pond stocked with Koi to enhance and balance the room
  • Architectural details from historic conservatories brought back to life in current projects. Details include the romantic use of steel as both a structural material but also decorative such as the scrollwork, extensive use of glass to give a more translucent feel to the open and airy space.

For more information on trends and how Tanglewood’s creative design process works to help you design and build the enclosure of your dreams, send us an email and let us know about your project.

 

 

Why Invest In A Pool Enclosure?

Posted March 6th, 2015 by Bonnie Hall and filed in latest, Pool Enclosures, Uncategorized

Your pool is a major investment, but how much actual time do you spend enjoying it?  More than likely you use your pool just one season out of the entire year; but certainly not if it is rainy, or thunderstorms, or a snowstorm in a winter that just doesn’t want to end!  And this doesn’t count the hours spent opening and closing your pool, along with cleaning and skimming leaves and insects from the water.  Your desire to swim all year round can be solved by designing and building a pool enclosure.  They can  protect your pool, allowing you more time to swim, alleviating some of the cleaning (no more leaves!) but the enclosure also will allow you to swim all year round, regardless of the weather.

dunes collage

With over 20 years of experience in building conservatories, greenhouses and glass pool enclosures, Tanglewood Conservatories has the expertise to guide you through the design process to installation.  With TWC’s broad knowledge base, along with creative design work, we can assist with decisions such as:

  • HVAC – how to incorporate HVAC into your design
  • Proper humidity & condensation control
  • Discreetly and decoratively conceal mechanical systems – especially important in an all-glass structure
  • Special coatings for the steel to inhibit rust
  • Size and orientation

While it might seem like an odd time to begin designing your enclosed pool with summer close by, if you want to swim in late December, the design process should begin now so that installation is ready to move forward in late fall.   Take a look through Tanglewood’s gallery for more ideas.  Next week we will discuss common HVAC issues with pool enclosures.  If you would like an early preview, complete the form:

Passionate About Conservatories

Posted February 27th, 2015 by Bonnie Hall and filed in Dea Digs, Gardening, Greenhouses, latest
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It’s no secret that everyone at Tanglewood is passionate about what we do – from our founders, Alan and Nancy to our craftsmen in the shop, to the team of architects and engineers, to even our Hospitality Ambassador (front desk!) – we truly live and breathe conservatories, greenhouses and all things glass. But one other observation struck us – many of our clients and contacts are also very passionate about various topics such as gardening, art collecting, community activism, activities that all go hand in hand with the work we do at Tanglewood. As a result of this observation, we thought it would be intriguing, insightful and certainly interesting for us to ‘dig’ a little deeper over the upcoming year and explore these passions that surround us.

Tanglewood Conservatories is very excited to announce our partnership with Dea Schofield – a noted horticulturist. She will be working with Tanglewood to help ensure that a Tanglewood greenhouse is not only a beautiful building, but also optimized for functionality and to also give tips on plant care, systems, etc. She will be featured as a guest blogger on Tanglewood’s blog under the keywords, Dea Digs.

Dea’s Bio

 

20130915 - jf photography - 8296-2After extensive training to become a Master Gardener, I went on to teach classes on indoor/tropical/potted/container plants for future Master Gardeners. As a mom to an elementary-schooler, I needed to be available and working part-time at a nursery made that possible. I soon found myself being offered a horticultural position at Green Spring Gardens Park, in Virginia. Through them, I was able to obtain more training, which included seminars and lectures by pre-eminent people, hosted specifically for Smithsonian horticulturists, botanists, and biologists. Training included regular travel for field trips and lectures at places like Longwood Gardens or Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  I then found myself at Hillwood Museum and Gardens as greenhouse and floral display manager, where I also cared for the orchids there for many months (a huge, separate task that I cherished). Eventually, I struck out on my own in order to do design work, solve horticultural problems, and create gardens for others. Today, I have clients who say they just want my presence in their garden occasionally to be sure things stay green and happy—which is the utmost compliment.

 

Passion Found
As a child, I couldn’t stand to be inside. I wanted to be out exploring, looking for plants and creatures. My first memories of a fascination for plants involved the sensory excitement they induced. Pussy Willows and Birch Catkins were irresistible to an outdoorsy little girl. I think the first plant to intrigue me on an intellectual level was the Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica. Growing up in Germany, I discovered the plant was everywhere along roads and paths that were untended. From that early age, I knew there was something special about the herb. How could something that you could safely touch one way cause such discomfort when you touched it another? Why did it do that? Why were the fuzzy leaves sort of oily too? Why did people drink tea made of it? There was fun to be had with them too. I could get friends to shriek in horror by touching the tops of the leaves, knowing secretly that there were no trichomes, or stinging hairs, in that spot. Today, I know how to cultivate it and that the plant has been in medicinal service to humans for thousands of years. This kind of discovery is something I’m still crazy about.
It was also in Europe where I was exposed to the many variations on public gardens. From the manicured palace, castle and manor home gardens, to planted decoration of towns and cities, and individual homes and apartment windows, flowers were ubiquitous. For Europeans, the garden, both for food and enjoyment, was especially important. That rubbed off on me.  When we moved to Texas for a few years, I truly missed the color of Europe—but there were other things to discover, like Prickly Pear (with its edible fruit!) and Bluebonnets. It was there where I had my very first potted plant—a Purple Velvet Plant, or Gynura aurantiaca. At twelve or thirteen, I found the fuzzy, purple leaves irresistible, much like the pussy willows. Little did I know that the cute, diminutive plant would become a small monster, not unlike my plant passion (which grew to much greater proportions).

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After years of travel and living abroad, I was finally able to have my first greenhouse here in the States. That morphed into a career that went from extremist hobbyist to Master Gardener to Expert Horticulturist. Today, I have the same fascination for plants as that little girl who couldn’t resist them!
Cultivating the Passion
One way I cultivated my passion for gardening was through education—constantly learning is not only essential to truly engaging in a passion, but I’m addicted to it as well! I love to learn about the art and science of plants and their cultivation. You might call me a plant fanatic. There are multiple facets to horticulture and I’ve tried to learn about and become experienced with them all. I’ve also have had my own collections for decades and have cultivated innumerable varieties and species. I also visit gardens, natural areas and botanical gardens wherever I travel (I’m especially attracted to places with greenhouses and conservatories).  It’s not hard to nurture something you love.

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A Passion’s Impact
You probably won’t find a greater impact than having a hobby become a career! But here’s a brief tale of how much my love of plants affects how I think. Five years ago, I decided to reduce my carbon footprint significantly. I donated, gave away, and sold-off most of my collection and greenhouse in the process. But there was no way I’d live without plants. I checked out places and none felt adequate (despite being lovely inside), until one day I stepped into an older condo that was south-facing with floor-to-ceiling windows and overlooked a tree-covered hill. It was just a simple, large studio—but it had a great balcony. Due to the perfect direction for growing and the huge, green view, I took it on the spot. Today, I grow herbs, orchids and other tropicals—and my favorite, Passion Flowers. The vines love to cover the balcony railings by summer’s end. Then everyone but the hardy herbs comes in for winter. I chose my living space based on the needs of plants!

Top Secret Revealed
As a master horticulturist, the best advice I can give is to LISTEN. Listen to what your plants are saying and that will enable you to nurture them and meet their needs. For example, I walked into a very hot and humid greenhouse one day with my client and many of the plants had lost their turgidity and ‘looked’ to be wilted. My clients first response was to set the sprinklers off and water all these ‘wilted’ plants. I was able to show my client that the plant’s wilted structure was not from lack of water (a quick finger check in the soil, which was moist) but from the high heat and humidity. As soon as those variables returned to a more normal range for the plant, the turgidity would also rectify. Below is a picture of a Rose of Sharon – while the normal observer would see the flower and bee, a good ‘listener’ would also notice the plant has leaf scorch. The leaf scorch could be because it’s in too dry of a location, or because an A/C unit blew on it, or both.

rose of sharon

To ask Dea a question or to find out more about building your own Tanglewood Conservatory, click here to email us. If you would like to follow Dea on social media, click on her facebook.