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Landscape Design Services

The Ardent Gardener Landscape Design and Project Coordination Creative Landscape Planning and Design Services A successful garden has a distinct atmosphere.  It can provide drama, excitement, relaxation, contemplation, and playfulness.  It should be inspiring, and create a mood through light and reflection, color, texture, form and scale.  A good design will deliberately define space, play with a relationship between nature and art, and create a strong connection to the natural world. Our designs can include patios, decks, wakways, pools, spas, walls, hillside retention, unique water and fire features, herb and vegetable gardens, chicken coops, lighting, and plantings. We can help with … Continue reading

About Laurie Van Zandt

My name is Laurie Van Zandt and I am the owner of The Ardent Gardener Landscape Design. An education and career in architectural design, combined with extensive classes and experience in landscape design, have been invaluable tools in helping me spatially plan exciting, creative, beautiful landscapes and gardens. I love what I do, and I believe that this is reflected in the uniqueness of my designs, and the excitement and passion I feel for projects of any size. I am an active Associate of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), on the conference committees for the 2005 APLD International … Continue reading

Creating beautiful, unique landscapes, gardens and outdoor living spaces. “To become music, sound must be chosen and arranged. So it is with gardens.” – Charles W.  Moore, Architect

Going Green

by Laurie Van Zandt Ogden Valley News – April 1, 2009 In an effort to define standards for environmentally sustainable construction, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1994. LEED was created to define “green building” by establishing a common standard of measurement and to raise consumer awareness of green building benefits. Points are awarded for meeting various criteria, with the ultimate goal of receiving a Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum level of certification. The bottom line is to create a more sustainable built environment through … Continue reading

Staycations: Vacation Where You Live

by Laurie Van Zandt Ogden Valley News – February 1, 2009 With a changing economy and time constraints felt by so many Americans, “Staycation” has become the buzzword of a new generation of vacationers. Urbandictionary.com defines ‘staycation’ as “A vacation that is spent at one’s home, enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.” A 2005 study by the Families and Work Institute found that up to one-third of employees feel chronically overworked, and will not use all the paid vacation that they are entitled to. Many people said they would get too behind on the job … Continue reading

Gardening and Sustainability

Laurie Van Zandt, Guest Commentary Ogden Valley News, March 1, 2007 On January 20th , 21st and 22nd of this year, the Utah Nursery and Landscape Association (UNLA) held its annual conference in Sandy. Among noteworthy topics at this year’s conference were organic gardening, natives in the landscape, medicinal herbs and ‘smart’ irrigation systems. Important speakers were Dr. Fred Montague from the Department of Biology at the University of Utah, and Eden’s own, Mel Bartholomew, inventor of Square Foot Gardening. Dr. Montague spoke on the role of home gardening and its positive impact on the environment in a time when … Continue reading

Taking Care

Laurie Van Zandt The Ogden Valley News, November 15, 2006 Over and over again, I hear people new to the area comment on how absolutely beautiful the Ogden Valley is. I have lived here for almost six years, and constantly have my breath taken away by the incredible beauty that surrounds us daily. How lucky are we to call this place home? Doubtless, old timers feel the same way. As the Valley swells with the sounds and sights of construction, how do we retain this natural and historical work of art so that we can all continue to enjoy this … Continue reading

The Benefits of Gardening

Laurie Van Zandt Ogden Valley News, Volume XII Issue III Very often when I sit down with homeowners to discuss their landscape design needs, one of the first things they say that they want is “no maintenance”. That being ruled out, they will compromise with “low maintenance”. While there are planting schemes that can be considered low maintenance, it seems that what they are really saying is that they are not used to enjoying their gardens, and they therefore don’t want to be in their garden any more than necessary. A wonderful, joyous garden will beckon you out into it. … Continue reading

Design is Influenced By Experiences – Experience More

By Laurie Van Zandt Ogden Valley News – December 15, 2004 A recent trip to London and Paris with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers provided me with a unique opportunity to explore centuries old, traditional English gardens; the strong planterly forms and dramatic contrasts of light and shade in Anthony Paul’s Sculptural Garden ‘The Black and White Garden’; Julie Toll’s contemporary, natural style executed with wildflower meadows and flowering lawns; the subtle, watercolor gardens of Claude Monet; and the exciting gardens at Citroen Parc, where architecture and nature, French Baroque and modern geometry, urban and rural, collide to form … Continue reading