Landscaping Tips from HGTV's Chris Lambton
On the HGTV show 'Going Yard' (Saturdays, 5pm/4c), professional landscaper Chris Lambton, along with his wife, Peyton Wright, transforms everyday backyards from sad, dry wastelands to verdant, natural playgrounds. Each episode showcases the transformative powers of this husband/wife team as they execute projects with practicality and panache. Usually leaving smiling homeowners gleaming ear to ear.
I recently grilled the Cape Cod-based Lambton on everything from his favorite bugs to gardening trends. All topics were fertile ground for this former star of the sixth season of ABC's 'The Bachelorette.'
More visual landscape inspiration: Top Trends in Landscape Design.
Q&A with Chris Lambton
- Does Chris Lambton have a landscape design philosophy?
- Chris: I would say my landscape design philosophy is finding beauty in nature. I try to give people yards that will get them, their family and friends out in it. I think people have forgotten how beautiful nature is and are too often stuck inside. I want to get them back outside where they can experience nature and hang out with friends and family.
- What's trending big time in landscape design right now?
- Chris: I see the biggest trend as going sustainable. People want to save money and eat healthier. They want raised planting beds and to learn how to grow their own veggies. It is a great couples thing (Peyton and I do it) or family-building activity, and you get to eat what you grow!
- What should a person consider most heavily before undertaking a landscape design project?
- Chris: Don't get in over your head! Too often people want to DIY and get a quarter of the way into the project before questioning what they have gotten into. I love DIY projects, but know my limitations. I stick to what I know and leave the rest to other professionals.
- How has starring on season six of ABC's 'The Bachelorette' helped fuel your career as a professional landscaper?
- Chris: I owe so much to ABC's "The Bachelorette." I went on that show not knowing what to expect and walked out of it with a great group of friends. Many were invited to my wedding. Jesse Beck introduced me to my wife, Peyton. "The Bachelorette" also gave me the opportunity to get my own landscaping show by sharing my profession with the world. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given and feel so lucky!
- How do you choose the yards you and your wife transform on HGTV's 'Going Yard'?
- Chris: We choose yards for 'Going Yard' based on a few different criteria: what the homeowners want in the yard, the condition of the yard and what we can do in the yard. We want to give the homeowners what they want and what they need, but we also want to do different projects to provide viewers with something new each week.
- Shopping for fauna and flora in nurseries can be really overwhelming. What do people need to be most vigilant of when picking out plants?
- Chris: Shopping for plants at your local nursery can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. I suggest you begin by introducing yourself to one of the knowledgeable staff members and that you continue to go to them with questions. Use their expertise in figuring out where to plant the items you want. Just ask questions, and you will learn in no time.
- What insects are you a fan of when it comes to yards and gardens?
- Chris: I love bees and butterflies. Down the street there is a cranberry bog, and the owner has bees. They are constantly in my garden pollinating my flowers, and the best part is I can buy their honey! I also love butterflies, so I have many butterfly bushes in my yard that attract them in droves.
- What landscaping breakthroughs in the last few years are you most excited about?
- Chris: I love the advances in outdoor lighting. Solar powered lighting has gotten so much better and easier to use. There have also been breakthroughs in LED lighting, and its versatility has made landscape lighting come to life.
- What are the best lawn-care workarounds to cope with new water laws across the country?
- Chris: I do not have irrigation in my yard. I have a sun/shade Cape Cod mix lawn which doesn't need much water, so it holds up even in the hot days of August. I don't like it when customers or neighbors overwater their yard because it's not only wasteful, but it's also bad for the lawn. If you are going to use irrigation, don't run it midday in the hot sun when most of the water simply evaporates -- water at 5am when the water will actually make it to the roots of your grass.