I moderated a panel last week at the Merchandise Mart about outdoor design. Increasingly, interior designers and landscape architects are partnering to create outdoor spaces. Both sides agree they need the others’ expertise. On the panel: HGTV host and furniture designer Joe Ruggiero, Christy Webber of Christy Webber Landscapes, Johnene Adams of AHA Designs, and Julia Plumb of Gateway Green. We talked about who should be in charge (usually, it’s the designer, and all agreed the landscaper should be involved in discussions from the beginning of a rehab), alternatives to grass (lots of talk about synthetic, eco-friendly grass and unusual, trampable groundcovers), and weather-resistant fabrics (Sunbrella, which Joe Ruggerio works for, got lots of kudos). Pictured here is an outdoor space created by AHA.