Published at Thursday, March 14th, 2019 - 11:28:44 AM. Outdoor. By Aili Otto.
Healing Landscapes is a site that lists landscape designers who can help create the right kind of home therapy garden for specific needs. Jack Carman, a landscape architect whose Design for Generations is based in Medford, N.J., suggests simply searching the web for “therapeutic” or “meditation” gardens and your local area to find designers who can help. The American Horticultural Society lists master gardeners and other information such as how to plant pollinator gardens. More and more botanic centers offer therapy garden education. The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Ill., was among the first to do so and offers two certificate programs—one on horticultural therapy and another for health care garden design.
Spindler is active in local preservationist and historic groups. But perhaps the most important connection she can make is with a capable contractor. While the exteriors of many San Francisco Victorians are protected by historic preservation ordinances, the interiors are generally not. Electricians and plumbers often suggest that the only way to update a Victorian is to tear out original walls. But Spindler knows it can be less expensive to drop pipes and other infrastructure straight through the homes balloon framing or to wire electrical lines through an attic than to tear out valuable, original plaster work. “The crazy things that people do to these poor old houses. The walls never look the same,” Spindler laments. She compares the work of contractors who skillfully retain old Victorian walls to that of arthroscopic surgeons, who use fiber optic technology and video cameras to avoid open surgery: “Its better for the patient in the long run.” While Spindler is glad to see more young people interested in historic homes, she acknowledges her niche is limited by the number of Victorians in her market, estimated to be around 7,500 single-family homes. “Its not a lot, and we lose more every year,” she says. “Theyre not making any more of them, obviously.”
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