Learn from the Experts: Petro Design Blog


Kathleen Litchfield President of Petro Design/Build, Inc. Kathleen Litchfield
President of Petro Design/Build Group, is one of the Washington area's leading landscape and garden design experts. Her insightful advice on landscape design, construction, and practice has been published and quoted innumerous regional and national magazines. She has developed and taught accredited courses in horticulture and has lectured for garden clubs, the National Association of Remodeling Industry, the Landscape Contractors Association, the Smithsonian Educational Series, the George Washington University landscape design program, and the Washington Design Center.

Kent Richard Abraham, Principle Architect with Abraham/Petro Kent Richard Abraham,
Principal Architect with Abraham/Petro a division of Petro Design/Build He is a member of the US Green Building Council 2006. His education includes Bachelor of Architecture, 1970, University of Nebraska, With Honors (Cum Laude),Awarded the Faculty Award, Outstanding Senior Student; Master of Architecture, 1971, University of Pennsylvania, Studio of Louis Kahn. He has served as Chair, Thesis committee school of Architecture and Planning, The Catholic University of America Washington, DC since 1978.


Archive for the ‘Edible Landscaping’ Category

Petro is Growing a Vegetable Garden

Petro’s yearly vegetable garden is growing, Growing, GROWING… This year, with the expert guidance of Kathleen, we have cultivated habanero chili peppers, tomatoes, figs, and several herbs, including basil, dill, and rosemary.  Our staff lunches have been supplemented by this lovely harvest from our “Edible Garden”.

Contact us if you are interested in edible landscaping.

Peppers in a Vege Garden Pepperbowl in a vege garden
Basil in the Garden Our Harvest for the week

Good Neighbors

Oftentimes the best neighbors are the ones that you get to see when you want to see them and who get to see you when you want them to see you.

Not that we all want to be recluse but, after a long day at work, it would be nice to relax on your deck or patio uninterrupted by a nosey or even gracious neighbor.  Likewise, your neighbors may not want to see you in your back yard either and so, may also be uncomfortable seeing you relaxing in your yard.

Leyland cypress trees were the big victims in this past winter’s snow.  Sure, they grow fast but they grow so fast that they don’t have the time to develop the substantial root system necessary to carry their weight.  This makes them short lived and ineffective as reliable/long-term screening trees. There are better options for evergreen screens or, depending on the height requirements and/or restrictions, consider framed panel screening.

Particularly if you are on an elevated deck, the best screening is something built.  Considering this past heat; maintaining air circulation becomes critical; likewise with fencing.  An open screen not only allows air to flow but becomes a buffer, rather than an obtrusive wall, and therefore considered a ‘good-neighbor’ foil.  In other words, there is no ‘bad’ side to this option.

There are a variety of attractive exterior shade cloths and awnings that will provide screening and shade, while allowing air circulation.  Remote controlled shade cloths can be installed on the tops or sides of trellising depending on the desired protection.

Lattice panels on top of railings can double as trellising for attractive vines in addition to screening. Consider using self-watering planters secured to railings for seasonal color or a place to easily access your herbs!

Good Neighbors remain just that by providing both properties with attractive privacy.