Random Thoughts and Sites

wci-chop-2.jpgLinks, links, links . . . a few things I have run across the past week or so that may be of interest to someone in the field of landscape design. Or; heck, anyone who has interest in stuff outdoors.

Wittstock makes some changes.
Greg Wittstock the owner and visionary of Aquascapes has made a big change in the upper tier of his pond empire. He has added T. D. Decker into the fold. Mr. Decker will become the new president of Aquascapes-it appears this will mean he has been given control of the nuts and bolts operation(s) of the company.

Where does this leave Greg. Well according to Greg;

“I am going to continue to focus on casting the vision, sharing my passion for water gardens, developing relationships throughout the industry and evolving our unique culture,”

Well it is a unique culture, and Aquascapes is the big giant fish in the pond industry(more like the whale). and it appears Greg is not sitting still and continues to stay in the attack mode.

The other big change is in distribution, from the article;

Beginning in 2008, Aquascape will sell its products through a new Authorized AquascapePRO distributor, doing away with its traditional catalogue and Web-based business. In response to on how to service its clients best, Aquascape has established a nation-wide base of 348 dealer locations.

Many thanks to LawnandLandscape magazine for this article and info.


Addendum: The press release about Mr. Decker from Aquascapes website.

Tropicals remain hot, hot, hot.

A good read by Carol Polsky on how hot the tropical trend is on Long Island, NY. Some good insight to what has happened and this newer aspect of companies finding space to house( or over-winter) clients larger tropical plants.

One of the contractors I work for here in Ohio provides this service also. The large potted tropicals are shipped off to a nice warm greenhouse to spend the winter in. Then come back in the Spring-ready to go.

From the article;

“That’s what a lot of people like: They’re a lot of fun,” says Dennis Schrader, co-owner of Landcraft Environments, a Mattituck wholesale nursery that offers more than 1,000 varieties of tropical and subtropical plants. “You look at them, and go, ‘Wow. They’re wild-looking plants.'”

I think this is something that is going to be around for a long time as more designers, clients, and retailers realize that foliage, texture, and presence have more to do with designed landscapes than bloom.

Extreme Outdoor Carpet;

Well I’m not really sure what to make of this urban landscape in St. Gallen, Switzerland but here it is.

[From a Swiss website.]

There are plenty of pictures here at the original site, and then a few more here at archipedia’ plus there is some explanation here at deputydog with some NSFW language.

My biggest questions are how do you clean it? and what about spills(oil)?

Gators gone Crazy, or have They?
No not the Florida Gators over my beloved Buckeyes(they did though, twice) but the other Gators . . . Alligators. This is maybe the best read about the present situation and history of the Alligators in Florida, take a look if this sort of thing interest you. And please, you lawn-maintenance guys stay out of the “drink”.

Outdoor Living is not Going Away;

Much ado was made about an article that surfaced several weeks ago concerning homeowners who were fed up with their expensive outdoor spaces. This article is a counter to that using information from a major research group.

The main reason for the overwhelming preference is simple – 84% of survey respondents said they enjoy entertaining outdoors. Three quarters of these consumers said, “It feels more laid back than formal entertaining.”

Research group aside I can also say their is no slowing down on the major push to large expensive outdoor spaces, that have very little or nothing to do with plants and gardening. People want that outdoor room to entertain in, not to garden, or pull weeds, or smell flowers.

Considering the technology and available money I do not see this aspect of outdoor spaces going away anytime in the near future.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. I agree Rick,
    Alfresco living is not going away anytime too soon.
    Responsive and Responsible Design is key to a well loved and used outdoor space .

    Here are a few outdoor living rooms we have designed and built , including my own humble abode.

    Adios Alfresco ? I think NOT.
    Happy outdoor living,

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