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Virginia Burt Designs - Photograph by Richard Mandelkorn
Finding Refreshment in the Garden

We find moments of bliss this time of year dining with friends in the fading sunlight of a summer evening or sitting with a cup of tea feeling the crisp damp air of morning.  We search for a harbour - a place to sit, rest, and contemplate our gardens without our work gloves on.  The basics of creating an outdoor dining area are straightforward; a stable flat space at least ten feet square in area, preferably on a hard flat surface close enough to the kitchen not to be a trek.  A harbour, though, provides a haven and place of calm for the mind and soul.  This space envelopes us. Hedges or trellis with tendrils of vines climbing towards the light form walls and roof.  Our backs, sunk down in cushiony chairs, are shielded from behind and we gaze out to beyond.  The view before us—whether of a sculpture framed by artfully placed plants or a vista of distant hillside—captures our thoughts and clears our minds if only for a moment.  Then we pick up our work gloves and move on, refreshed. 


Photograph by Richard Mandelkorn
VBD wins Canada’s prodigious national award for residential landscapes

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) has announced its 2015 National Awards of Excellence.  Only ten projects were chosen as preeminent examples in Canadian landscape architecture, honouring distinctive design, ground breaking research, and sustainable landscape management.  Virginia Burt Designs won CLSA’s National Award of Merit for Residential Design for Acadia Point. By addressing the raw qualities of the landscape Virginia Burt Designs repaired human damage and returned the land to an unspoiled condition. The owners’ request was explicit: With an uncontrived approach, create a visual dialogue between architecture, woods, and the rocky shore.  The design captured the essence of the natural setting, removing inappropriate elements and exercising restraint when introducing new elements, allowing nature to take the lead. Virginia felt the ultimate compliment was given when a local asked while gazing out at the landscape, "where did you do your work?"
Virginia Burt honoured to be invested as a Fellow by both the CSLA and ASLA

Each year both the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects elect landscape architects to the Council of Fellows and the College of Fellows, respectively.  Virginia had the rare honour to be elected to both in the same year.  Induction as a Fellow is one of the highest professional honours a landscape architect can receive.  Fellows are recognized as having made outstanding contributions to the profession through excellence in research, writing, teaching, volunteering, and the design of their built works. 

 

CSLA Press Release

ASLA Press Release 
Good Reads: The Art of the Possible, Book Critique in CSLA’s Landscapes/Paysages Magazine

Virginia Burt had pleasure of meeting with her friend and mentor, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, the preeminent Canadian landscape architect.  Ms. Oberlander is the subject of a recently published biography by Susan Herrington, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape. It was reviewed by Virginia in the latest edition of CSLA’s Landscapes/Paysages Magazine. Having practiced for more than sixty years, Oberlander has influenced the way we interact with nature in Canada and around the world in profound ways. In the article Virginia captures Ms. Oberlander’s boundless energy and broad sweep of professional experience, “We [landscape architects] are more than just bush bringers!”  We agree completely! 
Landscapes/Paysages Magazine, guest edited by Virginia Burt, receives international EXCEL media award
Quoting A.A. Milne, Virginia Burt was honoured to be the guest editor of the edition of CSLA’s Landscapes/Paysages Magazine on healing landscapes.  This edition, 2014 Vol. 16, No. 2 , won the international EXCEL media awards in two categories.  Paysages/Landscapes Magazine took the top award for both the best graphical layout and for the best overall issue of the year.  The EXCEL awards is one of the largest and most prestigious award programs in North America that recognizes excellence and leadership in nonprofit association media, publishing, marketing and communications.
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