Name: Lelaneia Dubay
Occupation: Landscape Designer and owner of Dubay Design
Found at: Governor's Residence (Hartford)
How did you become interested in landscape design?
I have a degree in Fine Art. I am a landscape, figure and abstract painter. I wanted to create landscape art in three dimensions. Sculpting earth to create living art. My love of flowers also helped. I read somewhere that painting and landscape design are the two most related arts. I also believe in the strength and allure of beautiful spaces. I have now been doing landscape design since 1997 and am a Master Gardener.
What are the challenges and rewards of landscape design?
The challenge of a landscape designer is to create a garden for a person so seamlessly that the garden is exactly what the person wanted without communicating it or sometimes even knowing what the wanted. The rewards are creating outdoor sanctuaries for people to retreat to after a stressful day; there is nothing like the healing power of nature. Also being told the garden is better than they could have imagined is pretty great as well.
What's the oddest thing you've ever been asked to plant?
The oddest thing I have been asked to plant was a memorial garden facing the ocean so that the urn and plaque had a view.
What's a go-to plant in your design arsenal and why?
Any native plant. I am big on restoring ecological balance to our properties. If I had to be specific, Coneflower, Echinacea Purpurea. There is nothing like a large stand of these hardy, native, no fuss plants. They also started my love affair with flowers.
Tell me a little bit about Hartford's First Annual Landscape Designer Challenge:
I am on the board of the Connecticut Chapter of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and was able to get 14 designers from around the state to participate in this year's event. The idea is of a challenge where designers are paired-up with homeowners along Ashley Street in Asylum Hill to transform the landscaping of a block. May 5th is the installation and judging day, with judging beginning at noon. We have Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Mayor Pedro Segarra as honorary judges, as well as several professional landscape designers judging the event.
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