Category Archives: Wood

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue in the Piedmont Triad

Are you newly engaged and looking for the perfect outdoor wedding venue-magical, dreamy, ethereal, fairytale, or the garden of eden? Do these terms reflect how your day should be emulated in your wedding photography?

If you are visiting several wedding venues, ask to see photographs of the gardens about the time of your own wedding. Trees, shrubs, perennials and even grass will look different from your initial visit. Gardens are constantly evolving and completely changing color palettes (even the green family changes).

Many wedding venues provide outdoor structures, gazebos, arbors, pergolas, tents, covered porches (portico) or a veranda for the actual ceremony. Every bride has their own style and entitled to make suggestions by keeping silk flowers in their boxes. Several vines could have been selected to soften the gazebos below adding just green or another color. The silk vine below looks unnatural because vines do not grow perfectly around a column. If a green vine was installed and color was needed, small bouquets or even potted plants could have been attached, good for a “Green” Wedding.

Below is an example of fake flowers strung on a gazebo. Do you like this?

Many wedding venues provide pre-fabricated gazebos, a wonderful structure for wedding themes like, cottage-style or country. Some outdoor structures even have a Victorian feel.

Here is a smaller version located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Outdoor pergolas and structures will be included in your photographs, make sure every plant enveloping the site is blooming a neutral color so your photographs are in the same color palette.

Outdoor structures are built from various materials including, stone, wood, brick, wrought iron, PVC pipe or steel (like the one at Biltmore Estates).


Make sure you and your husband-to-be choose the perfect outdoor wedding venue for your special day. Think about structures, colors, materials, your color palette, plants on site and if sunlight may be an issue. You deserve your cinderella wedding!


DianaDigsDirt-Landscape Designer of Weddings “Green” in Nature
Providing Landscape Consultations, Plans, Installations and Speaker
Join Diana for a brief talk regarding Wedding Landscapes-Open to All
February 24th, 2011    12-1:30
Asiano Bistro
2618 Lawndale Drive
Greensboro, NC 27408
(336) 288-8883

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D.H. Griffin Recycles Building Materials

If you know me, I am a big fan of recycling building materials and utilizing in a non-conventional fashion. I took a trip to D.H. Griffin and WOW, I was amazed at all of the recycled materials. The hand-made bricks really caught my eye.


I could definitely use the recycled bricks in a landscape design needing an aged, old world charm. Because they are on the delicate side, I wouldn’t recommend too much foot traffic and more of a visual aesthetic in the landscape. Maybe installed as a secondary path as in the photo below.


The recycled bricks have history and adds a unique element to any landscape. Columns and walls can be constructed from them as well.


Many brick varieties.


D.H. Griffin even had square recycled bricks.


Several salvaged windows and doors could be used in pergola or trellis design. I also use them indoors for displaying pictures or just to add a cottage style element.



The window glass can be removed for safety reasons.


There were huge stones recycled from a prison.


The stones or boulders can be used surrounding a pond, incorporated into a waterfall, used as seating, or installed into a slope.

Gardneia 005

Other materials around the yard were grates of all sizes and shapes. Perfect for me to construct a one of a kind trellis.


They also had a great deal of steal and wood.


D.H.Griffin was involved in the demolition of the World Trade Towers and a piece of the ruins stands at the front entrance. I just sat and stared for a bit.


Let’s go shopping together and select recycled pieces for your landscapes.


Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


Posted by on June 9, 2009 in Greensboro Gardens, Pergolas, Recycled


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Recycled Cedar Trees for Simple Pergolas

A pergola built from cedar trees cut down from a construction site was my first attempt at the art. I thought how wonderful it would be to use materials that were going to be discarded to create something beautiful and functional.

This pergola was not intended to walk under because of it’s shorter height to roughly 6 feet. A bench was placed under the pergola providing a beautiful backdrop for the pond, some shade and a structure to guide a climbing rose. This rustic pergola is the perfect match for a landscape in a natural setting.

Obviously this wood is not pressure treated (which is recommended for outdoor pergolas) but has been standing strong for 8 years. This turned out to be the pergola prototype for another on our property.

I love the top vertical pieces because they serve to weave vines in and out looking fantastic. This rustic cedar pergola has a beautiful climbing rose covered in flowers around Mothers Day.

The lower portion also has interesting vertical pieces for lower growing plants to lean against.

Decorating your recycled pergola is the fun part. Just nail in your favorite garden ornaments to add personality.

Low level lights are also a nice touch to illuminate your pergolas during the evening hours.

So if you notice a site being demolished for new construction just ask if you can cut down a few cedar trees for your rustic pergola. not only are these pergolas a great addition for yourself, the birds love them too. Our feathered friends land on top to scope out landscapes and remove the bark to use as building material for their nests. Bird houses can adorn the top of your posts for homes.

Have fun with the design and construction of your recycled cedar pergolas and send me the pictures to post.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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Unique Pergolas in Landscape Designs

Oh how I love pergolas and all of the different materials we can use to build them. This particular pergola serves as the entryway into one of my son’s memory gardens. Let’s look at all the different materials one can use in its construction.

Materials used in this pergola are:

  • Pressure treated wood
  • Salvaged brick of various colors and styles
  • Birdhouse finials
  • Salvaged windows
  • White PVC pipe
  • White outdoor stain (pinto white to be exact)
  • Galvanized wire

This pergola evolved over time as materials were gathered. Don’t feel limited to one material as you create your beautiful outdoor structure.

I loved using the birdhouse finials and they were not intended for any visitors. Foam was sprayed into them to deter wasps and other insects from building a nest. Birds were also detered because they were purchased for 4 dollars a piece and are not structurally sound for nests. Well that didn’t work. This spring, foam was dispersed around our property as determined birds pecked away at it making room for their nests. We did have baby birds last week and I suppose the family was very happy with their accomodations.

Salvaged windows were hung providing more interest and support for the climbing rose and grape vine. You can find these treatures at your local antique shops, salvage or thrift stores.

My father is a plumber and I asked him how we could incorporate white pvc pipe into its design.

We did so at the top. The pvc was cut and inserted vertically along the horizontal 2×4’s and secured with the proper fittings.

I love old world charm so I did not mind using different varieties of salvaged brick as columns around the 4×4 posts. I did tint the mortar a light brown color for a more blended effect.

Pergolas are fantastic around the holidays displaying Halloween or Christmas decor.

Low-level outdoor lighting can illuminate your structures for moonlit walks and views from your interior rooms.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box to create your outdoor structures.

Happy Planting!!

Diana Gardner-Williams


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Pergolas, Arbors & Woodwork in Greensboro Landscapes

Pergolas are outdoor structures providing beautiful overheads or roofs for shade, vines, low-level lighting or outdoor ceiling fans constructed of wood, steel, iron or pipe creating intimacy. An arbor is smaller in size usually designed as an entryway feature within  landscapes.

The pergola below was custom designed around a stone patio in a circular form.


This pergola design worked with the homeowners round outdoor table. The pergola has 2 entry points leading to different parts of the garden.


The color of stain used on the pergola complimented the color of the existing garage and brick on the house. The pressure treated wood needs to dry out before the stain is applied. Remember that over time the intensity of the stain will fade in the sun. A darker stain can safely be applied and eventually come closer to matching the desired color.


This area would serve as the focal point of their garden.


Vines lines were attached on the pergola for clematis and pink mandavilla vines to creep up adding gorgeous color. The cottage garden design reflects the homeowners casual style.


Most pergolas and arbors within residential landscapes are constructed with pressure treated 4×4 posts. This is sufficient for the support needed. 6×6 wooden posts or steel are needed to carry the weight of Wisteria Vines (an example is the pergola on Biltmore Estates terrace garden in Asheville, NC). Post hole depth should be at least 20 inches and back filled with concrete for added strength. A jig saw tool was used to create scallops or the fancy cuts in the wood overhead. A simple structure can also be created within sawing the wood. Is all depends on the style of your landscapes and homes. A good height for your pergola is 8 to 10 feet depending on how you will be using your structure. I would recommend 10 feet if an outdoor ceiling fan will be installed. Once you have stained your pergola, vine line must be attached. I like to use plastic weed eater line and staple onto posts and overhead beams.

Create a beautiful outdoor pergola reflecting the style of your home and your personality to be enjoyed for years.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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