The Mountain Times

°F Fri, April 18, 2014

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Landscaping as art

When I first met Susan Maples, she was making ski clothing in the winter. Every time I went for a fitting, we would wind up talking about plants and gardens. I persuaded her to give a slide program on landscaping for the Killington Arts Guild at the Sherburne Library. It was the most popular program that year.

On Monday July 23, Susan will give another presentation for KAG, a tour of her garden. She started that garden 16 years ago with a packet of wild flower seeds and says, "As it grew and evolved, it became a place in which I learned what works and what doesn't in this challenging climate." Today, she is a self-taught gardener and landscaper specializing in perennials. Her garden has stone terraces, paths and stairs, and a water feature intertwined with a melange of perennials. She propagates her own plants and includes them in her client's gardens. Her landscapes are influenced by her experiences as a textile designer and an artist hand painting silks for couture clothing and costumes for dancers. After years of painting floral designs she has taken her love of flowers and understanding of color and design outside.

Over the last 14 years, with her husband Vito Rasenas, she has built a full service landscaping business. He started with local developer Martin "Charlie" Hanley clearing landscapes and developing lots. Culling trees for garden expansion, increased sunshine, and airflow, as well as installing drainage to control water flow is his specialty. His skills complement Susan's and thus they are well suited at adapting gardens and creating uniquely attractive landscapes to fit in with our rugged mountain environment.

On Monday, July 23, from 6-7:30 p.m. Susan Maples will give a tour of her garden and answer your gardening questions at 446 W. Hill Road, Killington. 802-422-3852. The public is invited to attend.

Besides this tour, KAG is conducting art classes in the Summerfest Program that runs through August. KAG members and area residents are invited to take advantage of the art programs, book reviews and other events. Some are open without charge. Others are $10 a session. Schedules and registrations are at the Killington Grand Hotel. KAG will hold a Summerfest Art Show and reception on August 24 at the Gallery at Cabin Fever Gifts on Route 4 opposite the Killington Access road. The public is invited. See www.killingtonartsguild.org for details.

Tagged: Garden Design, KAG