In The Garden

That beautiful season the Summer!  Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.  
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It has been a while since we last issued a newsletter! We have been delighted with our wonderful clients, new projects, speaking engagements and all sorts of other exciting events. Summer seems like a perfect time to say hello and let you know what we have been up to. As we continue to evolve and grow, we have a new look with our website, logo and name. Visionscapes will transition over the next year to become Virginia Burt Designs, Landscape Architecture & Fine Gardens. We will continue to do business in both Canada and the U.S. On that note, we recently became licensed to practice in the Atlantic Provinces. We always love being near or on the ocean! It was a natural progression as we completed a  coastal restoration on the tip of Nova Scotia’s Aspotogan Peninsula. Restoration activities included researching native, on-site plants and seeds, engaging growers from the Northeastern USA and Canada, finding local abandoned tree farms and quarries to aid in supplying the native trees, shrubs and ground covers to match the on-site successional community. The work was a complete restoration of the rugged coastal landscape as it meets the new house. Look to our next issue for a feature on this project. 

Remember to Read the Summer Issue of Landscapes/Paysages: Virginia is the guest editor on Healing Gardens

     CURRENT PROJECTS Heritage buildings always capture our attention and we are excited to be working on a rooftop garden of an architectually interesting, heritage building in Cleveland, Ohio. The architectural style of the building is 18th-century English Georgian, with decorative accents from the Late Gothic, Tudor and Jacobean periods dating back to the 15th century. 
     ART AT IT’S FINEST I am excited to be designing a new garden for Aleksandar Antonijevic and Geon van der Wyst at their new Toronto home. Aleksandar is a Canadian fine art photographer, as well as an internationally acclaimed Principal Dancer with The National Ballet of Canada. Watch for his upcoming exhibits on his website: His first show opened May 1st.
     BURLINGTON LABYRINTH Installed and completed in 2006, the Burlington Labyrinth is within the city’s Central Park. An ongoing park attraction, the labyrinth continues to provide opportunities for community involvement. Applause goes to Justine Giuliani as the labyrinth’s champion. 
     TRAVEL AND RESEARCH Virginia’s most recent field trip included royal & famous gardens in the U.K. We would love to share our expertise in your garden. 

This project continues to attract attention and we are thrilled about it! 

The garden features a granite labyrinth for walking meditation, shade in a European café-style space and incorporates the four elements; Water, Earth, Air and Fire to mark each of the four seasons and a connection to Nature within the busy city location. Lighting of the surrounding garden wall slowly rotates through the colors of the seven chakras to provide a connection to spirit - a particularly beautiful design feature when viewed in the evening. Hospital patients were already walking (or in one case wheeling with their oxygen tank!) into the garden during construction with comments of gratitude.

Located in Cleveland’s University Hospitals’ downtown medical campus, the new Seidman Cancer Center (SCC) represents an important consolidation of cancer care – from diagnosis to inpatient and outpatient treatment. The patient focused facility overlooks the Schneider Healing Garden redefining the experience for patients, helping to relieve stress. Integration of the garden into the site & building envelope design created a rare opportunity – placing a healing garden intentionally at the front door of SCC, overlooked by 1000’s of patients and staff from SCC and adjacent UH buildings. The garden’s design puts patient needs at its heart – an exterior healing environment designed as an invitation to a green oasis - “somewhere else instead”.

Above: Winter Solstice Walk, December 2013

Speaking Engagements, Presentations, Discussions

• CSLA Congress, May 2014
    Our topic for the May 2014 CSLA Congress in Ottawa was Storm Surge:From Exposure to Protection, Repurposing & Reclaiming a Dramatic Coastline.  Virginia had the pleasure of presenting about our project on the dramatic coast of Nova Scotia.

• Healthcare Facilities Planning & Design Roundtable, Cleveland Clinic, April 2-3, 2014
    Virginia was invited with a select group of design leaders for a moderated roundtable discussion on current issues and approaches in planning and design for healthcare facilities.

• Keynote Speaker at The Hort, New York City, March 28, 2014
    Virginia’s keynote, “Healing Gardens: From Concept to Eye Sparkling Detail”, was featured at the Nature Forum, Horticulture as Therapy for the Horticultural Society of New York.  Virginia spoke of healing gardens including Norma’s Garden at The gathering Place & Schneider Healing Garden at Seidman Cancer Center.

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."

-Margaret Atwood,
Bluebeard's Egg

Left: Burlington's Central Park Labyrinth, as appearing in Smith's funeral Home 75th Anniversary Tribute

Copyright ©  2014 Virginia Burt Designs, All rights reserved.
In The Spirit of Things - Issue 01 Summer 2014

Our mailing address is:
5218 Cedar Springs Road Burlington, ON L7P OB9 Canada

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