Deana Davis took her family love for gardening to the next level with her sister and the help of dad’s Chevy. She created Fairview Landscapes in Nantucket in 2007. Deana’s husband Jeramie soon entered the fold, bringing his masonry and stonework skills to the business. After her sister moved to New York, Deana and her family packed up their home and business and moved to Rhode Island. Today you can find her creating dream landscapes in and around South County. We chatted with Deana to get her thoughts on the industry and of course, how to make any homeowner’s garden dreams become a reality.
How do you plan out a garden?
Personally, I like to walk through the property of a new client alone for a few minutes to get an initial feel for what is working, where things might be a bit stagnant and what kind of vibe the house is giving out. Looking at things from inside of the home out in order to see where the views are most important really gives the homeowner and designer a lot to consider. I recognize the value of curb appeal, but in my world, there is nothing that compares with using your windows as frames for natural, living art. Things like a cluster of flowering trees that burst through a guest room window; an ornamental tree that provides privacy where needed, color in the fall and a habitat for birds in the winter; a stepping-stone path, only just visible from a back door that compels you to follow it – all of these aspects prove that outdoor design can be just as gratifying from indoors.
Tell us what we should think about when envisioning our own spaces.
First, you’ve got to make sure to negotiate the sticky areas like slopes, septic systems, drainage issues, root masses, accessibility… all the stuff you usually don’t want to think about. That’s the most important step. It’s also important to take into account the functions of the space being designed so that the finished space is functional while also flowing within the property. When it comes to the fun detail stuff like adding stone to accent the area, we love to do dry laid stone and utilize walls to really finish a space. Patios and stepping-stones are a great add-on as well to offer more outdoor entertaining space and tie the whole thing together.
Where do you see landscape design going in the next ten years?
Sustainability is the topic that’s really key when thinking about the future. We’ve been working for several years now on creating guidelines for a more thoughtful approach to turf and garden fertilizer as well as pest and fungus applications. For those working in the agricultural industry, I think there is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of new techniques and approaches to cultivating outdoor spaces. Something that comes to mind is being mindful of where the run-off from fertilizer applications goes, as it can be so detrimental to our harbors and shores.
Another topic we’ve been really championing is pollination. Simple additions to a garden border can add so much beauty while also adding food for the pollinating species in the area. I do love a frilly butterfly garden, but it is not necessary to have an overly tended, fussy plot to achieve something so simple.
981 Hopkins Hill Road, West Greenwich