When Joe and Henry Lambert came to Dallas in 1935 to plant the city’s first azaleas, garden design was suffering a major setback from the Depression which had focused the nation’s time and resources on the more practical matters of life. The Lamberts believed that Dallas was coming of age and had the rare combination of visual foresight and financial resources to realize the need for a natural and beautiful connection between house and garden, building and landscape. Joe and Henry Lambert began the task of building not only one of the city’s first landscape architecture firms, but a comprehensive company dedicated to creating and maintaining gardens. They understood that the success and longevity of any garden depends upon good design. Theirs was a unique blend of extensive horticultural knowledge with a classic style of elegant simplicity. Equally important, they understood that this design must be coupled with the skillful installation of quality plant materials and such carefully constructed architectural elements as walks, walls and pools. Proper irrigation and continual maintenance by well trained, motivated employees created the successful formula which served their clients well. After fifty plus years, Lambert’s remains committed to the single objective of improving the relationship between its clients and their natural environment through the creation of lasting gardens.
A garden is a living art form. Landscape architecture is the art and science of adapting human uses to the existing landscape by establishing satisfying connections between people and the places in which they live. The landscape architect begins with an analysis of the site and blends his artistic creativity with technical aspects which support the art form. These techniques, when properly applied, result in a beautiful and well functioning garden. It is for the landscape architect to understand and interpret the client’s wishes, meet his needs, and respect his economic parameters in order to produce a plan representative of good garden design.
Whether for a residential, corporate or commercial setting, the designer must incorporate, along with plant materials, the details of hard construction. Variety in the visual perception and enjoyment of the garden is enhanced by the inclusion of pools, terraces, fences and gates, as well as such decorative ornaments as urns, fountains, sculpture and, rarest of all, fine garden furniture. In its final stage, the design drawings should be a comprehensive, graphic and creative outline which will allow a client to see and understand his prospective garden and will serve as a blueprint for the landscape contractor.
However skillfully the landscape architect has created his design, an insensitive installation or the use of inferior plant materials can render it almost meaningless. A successful garden planting includes many critical elements; soil condition, bed preparation, drainage, light and shade readings, irrigation, quality plant materials, proper facing and placement of shrubs and trees, a detailed grading plan, and a specific planting plan. Most importantly, the installation must be guided by professionals who understand the intricacy of each element and to whom it is important to take the time to perform each task correctly.
Lambert’s employees take great pride in their work, and are the most important part of the continuing Lambert tradition.
A rchitectural elements such as walks, walls, drives, pools, patios and terraces are a Lambert specialty. Made from both natural and man-made materials, their construction requires true craftsmanship and attention to detail. They are the creatively designed elements that both mold and accent the entire garden. Visual aesthetics and structural soundness must be skillfully combined to insure that the garden’s beauty remains timeless.
Few other garden elements can hide their strengths or weaknesses as successfully as construction. The thickness of a drive, the width of a wall, the amount of steel in the pool shell, the plumbing of a drain line, all must be constructed precisely. Soils must be tested and stabilized, if necessary, fountains must be absolutely level and allow water to flow evenly. Terraces, walks and pool decks must drain properly; excess water should not stand. The construction site should be left clean and orderly at the end of each day. These are distinguishing marks of true craftsmen and are Lambert standards.
Proper irrigation is critical to the growth and success of a garden. The value of an irrigation system is directly dependent upon three important elements – design, materials and installation. Irrigation design must reflect a complete knowledge of plant materials and their watering needs. The irrigation designer must have the ability to interpret the landscape design in order to properly project shading effects as the garden matures. The value of correct installation and the use of quality materials are measured by the evenness of water distribution, the ability to separate lawn and shrub areas which have different watering needs, the dependability of operation, subtle placement, the flexibility to modify or expand the system and the reliability of quality service.
EXTERIOR LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE
A properly maintained garden expresses its vitality through a changing rainbow of color and texture, growth and life. As it is a living investment, continuous care is required to insure that the garden will survive and mature. This care can be obtained with a well trained and properly equipped crew who understand various plant characteristics, insect and disease control, watering techniques, shrub pruning, mowing patterns and the use of seasonal color.
The most important aspect of Lambert’s maintenance is to insure that the designer’s intent is respected while at the same time provide the horticultural care required to sustain a thriving relationship among the living elements of the garden.
Often the most obvious _ factor in a landscape is the lawn. A lush, well manicured turf can offer unsurpassable visual delight. However, the turf grasses of the Dallas/Fort Worth area which create these beautiful lawns require special attention and knowledge. The most widely used grasses in the Southwest – Bermuda and St. Augustine – are placed in a less than ideal growing medium due to the high alkalinity of this area’s dark clay soil. A scheduled Lambert’s turf program is necessary to address matters of fertilization, weed, disease and insect control. Each lawn is unique, and therefore requires individualized treatment.
Trees, beautiful and practical, are a most important garden element. They offer a diversity in texture, mass and color while providing needed shade and cooling. Trees soften the hard lines and features of a residence or building, serve as an effective buffer from winter winds and provide a noise shield in an urban environment. Trees also act as a natural filter of dust particles in the air while eliminating carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. For trees to produce these benefits they need genetic nourishment and encouragement. Their full potential can be achieved through Lambert’s total tree care program which consists of proper pruning, spraying and fertilizing,
Proper pruning provides an aesthetically pleasing, sculptured appearance or accentuates the free flowing and unique shapes trees often display. It also enables more air to pass through the canopy allowing for better cooling and less limb breakage while providing more sunlight below for the lawn and under plantings.
The loss of nutrients and sap through insects and disease organisms can cause trees to lose their luster, suffer stunted growth, or lead to their death. A thorough knowledge of trees and their pest problems allows the use of proper amounts of chemicals at correct seasonal times and insures trees against an unhealthy competition within their systems. Careful chemical application assures healthy trees whose appearance and vigor add joy to the landscape and value to property.
Some trees used in landscape planting are native and well adapted to the soil conditions and climatic factors related to good growth. Others are newcomers which offer desired diversity and uniqueness. The specific nutritional requirement of each species must be considered. Proper selection of fertilizers and soil amendments can produce healthy, vigorous trees which resist disease, insect and physiological disorders.
It would be difficult to write about Lambert’s Nursery and not include its actual facility, for there is much romance and history in Lambert locations and buildings: the old gas station on Cedar Springs, Rendezvous Stables on Northwest Highway and its present location on White Rock Creek, east of Hillcrest Road on Valley View Lane at LBJ Freeway. The Nursery is housed in part of a renovated stable and is as one would expect, charming, comfortable and welcoming with an air of unassertive tran-quility. This sense of serenity in the midst of urban life may well be what Lambert’s nursery is about, the inner peacefulness of gardening.
Anyone can have a garden for there is nothing elusive or high-minded about one. A garden may be a collection of herbs on the sill of a window, a patch of flowers or vegetables, a small patio filled with planter boxes. A garden may be a quiet spot in a busy place, or a busy, active spot in quiet surroundings. Wherever the garden, there is sure to be a gardener.
Because gardeners are becoming more sophisticated and knowledgeable and desire creative and unique plant materials, Lambert’s plant buyers travel beyond the local wholesalers to search out small specialty growers from California to Florida. In addition, Lambert’s has acquired a substantial interest in Suncrest Growers, Inc. to research and grow unusual blooming plants. Lambert’s also continues its development of specimen plant material and trees on it’s South Dallas farm.
Together with quality plant material and trees, it is also important to provide qualified horticulturalists to assist in plant selection and offer reliable plant information to its customers, who are in many cases third generation Lambert gardeners.
A client’s garden is a powerful medium of self-expression and often reveals a great deal about its owner’s lifestyle and values. A newly created garden may be greatly-enhanced by the careful use of garden furniture and decorative objects. These elements add style and personality to a garden.
However, as there seems to be a confusing variety of garden furniture, urns, fountains, statuary and planters, and as they are important details in a finished garden, Lambert’s is re-establishing its antique garden furniture and ornament department. With the full restoration of this department, the landscape architect will be able to advise clients as to the appropriate styles and uses of both contemporary and antique garden furniture, decorative elements and ornaments.
Interior landscaping is the use of foliage plants within public and private spaces to provide functional, emotional, psychological and aesthetic benefits. Today, buildings and houses are being designed with indoor tropical plants and flowers as an integral part of the design concept. Successful interior landscaping is the link between people and the natural environment, a link more human than steel, concrete and glass. Lambert’s will make specific recommendations for plant selection and their placement, container design, lighting and proper environmental conditions. The viability and the value of any interior landscape is dependent upon the knowledge, experience and capacity of the company selected to design, install and maintain the project.
Lambert’s Edition is a separate company owned jointly by Lambert Landscape Company and Mr. Rick Duren. Edition is a floral design company providing design and execution expertise to coordinate special events and to provide contract work for retail operations. The company’s commitment to the ultimate in quality and creativity requires imagination, ingenuity, consistency, dependability and the determination to excel. It also strives to work effectively and efficiently with all clients to insure that individual needs are met within established budget parameters.
Simplicity, drama and motion are the elements incorporated in the design philosophy. There is a conscious effort to charge a creation with dynamic, rather than static energy which creates the illusion of movement, anticipation and surprise within a floral context.