Since our Show House debuted this month, we’ve introduced our interior designers, and some of their favorite places and things. This week, we’re moving outdoors and chatting with Rand Rosenthal, Mike Marks and Chris Mueller, the talented landscape artists who got the gardens of #15 Washington Terrace ready for their close-up.

Rand Rosenthal


LN: Your work is often punctuated with unique objets d’art and vintage surprises. Where do you find the accent pieces?

RR: I go to flea markets all over the country—I love the carnival atmosphere! I also go to the gift shows, especially in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas.

LN: Where would you like to design your dream landscape?

RR: Miami!  I love Miami—I love the colors of tropicals.

LN: Without thinking about climate or zone, what plant should be in every garden?

RR: Agave! They have an architectural presence and besides, that’s where tequila comes from!

LN: Must-have plant for a St. Louis garden?

RR: Annabelle hydrangeas—they look great in an evening garden because of the white flowers.

LN: The autumn garden beyond the mum?

RR: Oak leaf hydrangea—they’re large and colorful, and you can use the leaves to decorate a harvest dinner table.

LN: The winter garden—in addition to holly, what goes best with snow?

RR: Miami!

Mike Marks


LN: You’re working on your dream garden. Where are you?

MM: In Scotland or on a Frank Lloyd Wright estate, like House of Falling Water or Taliesin.

LN: Must-have plant for a St. Louis landscape?

MM: Missouri native trees, incorporated into the garden.

LN: What’s the most unappreciated plant?

MM: Honeysuckle!

LN: And the most under-appreciated?

MM: Nandina domestica, Missouri ginger and prairie dropseed

LN: Best part of working on the LN Show House?

MM: It was an honor working with some of the finest professionals in the industry. Not just the environmental pros, like Rand Rosenthal, whose talent is that good, but also the interior designers.

Chris Mueller


LN: Do you have an all-time favorite plant? What makes it special?

CM: My favorite plant for any garden would be a gardenia because of its aroma.

LN: Are native plants always the best choice?

CM: No, not necessarily. Factor in diseases and hardiness, and lots of plants will grow in our zone if properly cared for.

LN: What’s a great look for an autumn landscape?

CM: Sugar maples and hickories on hillsides and slopes, and don’t forget colorful, hardy mums!

LN: You’re creating a garden anywhere you want— tell us where it is.

CM: I’d like to create a cactus and succulent garden in Arizona with a water feature.

LN: What popular St. Louis landscaping look would you love to see go away?

CM: Streets lined in Bradford pears—they’re not durable in high winds and break easily.

LN: What’s the most under-appreciated plant?

CM: The crape myrtle—they’re very durable, long bloomers and just ideal if planted in the right space.

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