Published at Monday, March 18th, 2019 - 23:59:20 PM. Outdoor. By Aili Otto.
Outdoor living can add enormous joy to homeowners lives, expand usable square footage, and provide a boost when marketing a house for resale. But with more and more Americans focused on wellness, a new gardening niche is emerging. Of course, the idea of a therapeutic garden offering refuge after an illness or trauma—or space to meditate, destress, and connect with ones spiritual self—is hardly new. During the Middle Ages, monastery hospitals developed therapy gardens, and for centuries Japanese people have been using Zen rock gardens as sacred places to perform their daily rituals. In the last few decades, hospitals, memory-care centers, and cancer clinics have taken the lead in constructing gardens that incorporate different features to serve patients specific needs, says landscape architect Jack Carman, founder and president of Design for Generations in Medford, N.J. Owners of businesses outside the health care industry concerned about workplace stress soon followed suit. Jarrod Baumann, CEO of Zeterre Landscape Architecture in San Francisco, has designed many on-site gardens where employees at high-tech companies can unwind.
While Victorian-style homes (generally any house built during the reign of Queen Victoria, between 1837 and 1901) are equated more with romance than practicality, Spindler says they confer several structural advantages. Their old-growth redwood is less vulnerable to pests and earthquakes than newer homes framing. But there are also drawbacks. Victorians were almost always built without electrical service, so sometimes original gas pipes havent been turned off or may have residual gas in their lines after theyve been capped. This can be an issue for workers who might be cutting into old lines. And while many love the feeling of 11-foot ceilings, itll take more steps to get to the next floor, and painting and changing lightbulbs can be more involved. But (especially since many of the architectural plans for these homes were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906) being aware and offering insights to clients about such positives and negatives are just part of the job of a style specialist, and Spindler embraces her role as adviser. “None of them come with manuals,” Spindler says. “Its an exploratory process.”
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