Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Gardening into the future

Most all of my landscape design clients want sustainable or "green" features in their landscapes; native plants are often requested, as are water saving features. For the past 18 months, I've had the pleasure of working with a client who sees sustainability way beyond a few native plants and low water usage.

The design process started right after she purchased the house. We evaluated the site to see what features we should keep and what features needed to be protected from the extensive remodel she was about to undertake. Plants to save or protected and materials for re-use were noted, and a master site plan for circulation and hardscape features was drafted. We planned out construction phases to work with the budget, remodeling schedule, and planting seasons.

The first phase was transplanting plants, removing weeds and undesirable plants, rough grading of the site, and mud control.

The second phase was installing raised beds for a spring vegetable garden.

The third phase was installing the hardscape elements and planting key plants for privacy and screening.

This is the view from the front door and living room. The floor of the seating area is built of concrete slabs salvaged from the original front porch. Arbutus and Pacific Wax Myrtle were planted to eventually screen the view to and from the street.
The fourth phase was planting a few areas close to the house that could be used for summer entertaining and relaxing.
The plants in this bed are visible from the kitchen and master bedroom. A crape myrtle was chosen to provide year round interest and some shade for the patio while not shading the solar panels on the roof.
A shady seating area was created under an existing Dawn Redwood. The rocks framing the area are from the original steps up from the patio. The fence is juniper, it will last for many, many years with no need for chemical preservatives.
The fifth phase will come this fall, it will include planting perennial plants and more small woody plants. An arbor and shed will be constructed as the budget allows.

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