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Landenberg, Pennsylvania, United States
Based in Landenberg, PA PLG offers Landscape Installation and Maintenance to Southern Chester County and Northern Delaware

Friday, May 18, 2012

Race Street Pier

View of the upper level of the pier and the Ben Franklin Bridge.

               A couple of months ago the Race Street Pier in Philadelphia opened to the public.  Since this was a brand new work of landscape architecture right in my backyard I figured I should take a trip into the city to see it.  I hopped a SEPTA Train at the Malvern Station with my trusty road bike, camera, and my head full of great expectations. 

               The Race Street Pier was formerly known as ‘Pier 11’ and was a rundown unused urban space.  Located right next to the Ben Franklin Bridge and offering dramatic views of the Delaware River, this Pier was ripe for redevelopment.  This is one of the first of many public parks built by the Delaware Waterfront Corporation.  Three designs were presented and ‘The Slice’ won.  I must say as a designer this design is spectacularly dynamic.  Check out all of the designs HERE
The lighting at the end of the pier is quite unique.  Place randomly into the pavers, it really creates a show when viewed from the bridge above or even on ground level.

One of the most striking details is the use of ‘Cor-Ten’ steel for the raised planters.  Cor-Ten steel is meant to rust, protecting it from the any further degradation from climatic forces.  Once it takes on the dramatic brownish, red color the protective barrier has formed.  This material really harkens back to the Piers more humble, industrial beginnings.    
The winning design is dominated by a large, sloping ramp that rises along the north side of the pier.  Constructed of ‘Trex’ wood it should last a very long time.  
Dramatic view of the Ben Franklin Bridge
View from the end of the Pier toward the city.  Notice Comcast Center peaking it's head out of the mist.
Native plantings with Cor-Ten steel planters

If you have any question don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Composting Tips and Tricks

This week I am going to talk about composting.  We will cover the benefits, the how, and the why.  Composting is a great way to recycle, create your own rich soil, and to amend your existing soil with.  Given air and water in sufficient quantities, a compost pile will create useable soil from waste materials in a very reasonable amount of time.
            There are several potential materials that can be composted:
1.     Leaves
2.     Grass Clippings
3.     Raw Kitchen Materials
4.     Coffee Grounds
5.     Vacuum Cleaner Fluff
6.     Sawdust
7.     Newspapers (must be soaked down, very well)
Woody materials, such as limbs and trimmings should be avoided, because it will slow down the decomposition of your compost pile.  Other materials that should not be included into your compost pile are: cooked food scraps (they will attract wild animals), diseased plants, roots of perennial weeds, and seed of perennial weeds.  Most of these materials will spread disease, or allow weeds to grow.
The compost pile should be constructed in a hidden part of your yard, or garden.  You can build an open, stacked compost pile, or construct a bin out of lumber and chicken wire.  Do not try to compost in a close bin or a trash can, because they do not allow proper air circulation bacteria need to digest materials.  To build an open compost pile you should start with a 1’ thick layer of grass clippings, leaves, or hay laid in a 5’x5’ square.  Pack this layer down and wet it well with a hose.  Once wet, sprinkle on ammonium sulfate (if your soil is basic) or sodium nitrate (if you soil is acidic).  Cover this preliminary layer with at least two inches of soil.  Continue this process gradually by adding material as it becomes available.  After each 12” layer of suitable material is completed, wet and cover with soil exactly like the first layer until the pile is about 5’ tall.  The top layer should be covered with 3”-4” of soil and be slightly concave to catch rain water.  Make sure to keep your compost pile slightly wet at all times to speed up decomposition.
      When the compost is ready it will be black or dark brown, crumbly, and sweet smelling.  This process can take about 3 months in the summer and slightly longer in the winter but, depends upon how much material you can contribute.  Now get out there and make some soil!  If you any questions don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net!