Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cottage Style Garden in Central Oregon

A few years ago a client approached me needing help with her rectangular backyard.  It was straight and narrow and not at all appealing. 
This is what I started with:

The client wanted an interesting, lawn free backyard to sit and enjoy the sun with a lower patio area with color, texture and year-round interest. 
Whenever I am dealing with a narrow yard I add curves and hidden paths with overflowing plants to disguise the shape. 

Here is the jewel out of the rough:

Wow what a difference a good design can make!  It doesn't even look like the same yard!

Here is how it looks when entering from the alleyway, hmm I wonder what is behind that gate?

Open the gate and you see.......

Oh yes I want to travel down that path!  Curving paths encourage exploration and can help to screen the destination making it more exciting and revealing as you get closer to the end.


A variety of textures create texture no what is in flower.

A view of the classic white stone stone bench in the shade of the Crabapple tree surrounded by garden phlox and backed by Hydrangea. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Certified Wildlife Habitat at Deschutes Brewery

What a garden!  I have been honored this year to upgrade the flower beds at Deschutes Brewery's brewing facility on SW Simpson in Bend, Oregon.  It had been cared for previously by Maureen Klecker, one of Bend's long time amazing gardeners and many of the plants there were planted by her.  When I took on the design work to upgrade the gardens Deschutes stated they wanted to make the gardens more sustainable which sounded great to me!  I took that idea and decided we could create not only a more sustainable landscape but a Certified Wildlife Habitat at the same time!
To create Certified Wildlife Habitat garden I added old logs for habitat, a "puddling bath" for the bees and butterflies, a Mason Bee house for habitat and lots of native plants and other important plants for pollinators species as well as plants that are crucial hosts for butterflies.

Habitat Log

Pollinator Garden

Pollinating Bee on Liatris at the Deschutes Brewery garden

Puddling Bath for bees and butterflies

Relevant plants got labels indicating their purpose in the garden. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gorgeous Narrow Yard Update!

Last post about a narrow backyard makeover needs to be updated as the house is for sale and new pictures are posted!  A garden usually looks better after a couple of seasons so check it out now:

What a difference a professionally designed landscape can make, this house has fantastic curb appeal!

 A narrow backyard can look beautiful and be functional when designed well!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Narrow Small Backyard Make-Over

Some years back a client moved into a new home with a small rectangular backyard.  He wanted to be able to use the space and to create a welcoming environment to enjoy.  The challenge was the yard was only 15 feet wide and 45 feet long, that is quite the narrow rectangle!
I overcame the bowling alley effect with creating a curving path that allowed for deep beds on either sides with small trees and plants that spilled over.  This gave the eye something to rest on instead of going directly to the fence.  The path curved slowly through the space allowing one to take in a bit at a time, ending in a small paver patio to sit and enjoy the space. 
The yard had definite sunny and shady areas allowing for different areas that blend very well.
Tell me what you think!

Sunny southern end of the yard before:

Shady northern end of the yard before:

Southern end of the yard with the curving path leading to a sunny intimate patio. The small trees will grow to add additional interest and some shade.

Shady end of the yard with some lovely plantings that ease the client into the landscape encouraging one to relax and take a stroll.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Tree from the Pleistocene Era - Yellow Cedar 'Aldrich Mountain'

I was researching evergreen trees for a client and came across one I hadn't read about before, the Yellow Cedar 'Aldrich Mountain' or Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis 'Aldrich Mtn'.  I read about it in the current Iseli Nursery catalog and it doesn't have a picture so that is why I've missed it before. 
This tree is normally found in wet coastal climates but there is a small population near John Day in Central Oregon. Back in the Pleistocene era Central Oregon was wet but after the uplift of the Cascade Mountain range this area became the dry side of Oregon.  I love the geologic history of this area!

According to Conifer Country blog by Michael Kauffmann, there is a 26 acre population in the Cedar Grove Botanical Area in the Aldrich Mountains in the Malheur National Forest.  The normal range of Yellow Cedar's is Alaska, British Columbia and into Northern Oregon with a few isolated groves in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northern California (an ecologically diverse environment I need to explore more!)

Michael's blog is an excellent and very informative read, he goes into much more depth and I highly recommend you read it.

Since this tree can survive out near John Day I would like to try it here in Bend, Oregon.  A tree with such an interesting history should be the focal point of a landscape!

Yellow Cedar 'Aldrich Mountains' in a small nursery pot

Trunks of mature Yellow Cedar 'Aldrich Mountains' by Dave Powell USDA Forest Service taken in the Aldrich Mountains of Oregon.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Looking Back at 2017 - Landscape Design Projects

2017 was a stellar year!  As soon as the piles of snow melted the season went off with a bang and I didn't stop running until November.  I enjoyed many diverse landscape design projects from re-doing an elegant entry patio for a gorgeous river side home to landscaping the entire yard near Pilot Butte with edible, native and beneficial plants and then winning the High Desert Design Council's competition for Landscape Design!
Some projects are waiting to be installed while others look fantastic already!  Here are some of the highlights of 2017 landscape design season - enjoy!

Drake Road Remodel -
The clients were lovingly remodeling a home on the Deschutes River in Bend and had a couple of small areas of landscaping to be refined.  There was a very small "window courtyard" viewed from the master bath and bedroom that needed to be planted before the outer walls were finished and closed in the area.  With existing mature trees created quite a shady spot, and considering the small size I went with a Japanese themed planting.  There was a mature Vine Maple adding great structure and with a planting of a Weeping Japanese Maple, Moss and variegated Sedge grass there is fantastic texture and a peaceful vignette.


After, viewed from the Master Bedroom.  The exterior walls have yet to be finished.  The moss will cover the ground in a nice soft green carpet.

 After: The view from the Master Bath, which is still under construction.  It is a very peaceful and calming view.

Northwest Crossing Backyard Upgrade - 
I am very proud to be the 2017 winner of the High Desert Design Competition for Landscape Design.  This project was an excellent example of the benefits of working with a landscape designer.  I turned a neglected and awkward corner into an area that invites the entire family to come together and enjoy being outdoors.


After - A modern low maintenance paver patio with a central gas fire pit that brings the whole family together. This design completely changes the backyard into a stunning area that makes the family feel as if they are on vacation with lush plantings and ornamental grasses.

After - The journey to the patio through ornamental grasses that will partially hide the patio to give it an inclusive feel. The Belgard pavers are laid in decomposed granite to add a warm color and to make the patio area more permeable.

Vicksburg Front Slope - This was an exciting project and so fun to work with clients who wanted something more bold.  The front slope of their property was overgrown with juniper and oregon grape shrubs and weeds.  First task was to remove everything and start with a blank slate.  To add retention and strong interest I designed horizontal Steel Panels for the focus of the slope.  Interplanted around the panels are hardy low maintenance plants to complement the steel and add pops of color and texture.


After - The steel panels really add definition and interest to the slope, so gorgeous now!
The plantings are all hardy perennials or textural ornamental grasses that make this once ugly slope into a beautiful site to see!

View of the top of the slope from the sidewalk made from Decomposed Granite for a low maintenance, permeable warm colored surface.  You can see two of the three types of grasses used in the landscape.  The tall one is 'Shenandoah' Switchgrass and the smaller one is Tufted Hair Grass which is native to Central Oregon.  The steel panels complement the modern architectural features of the home.

Detail of the 'Shenandoah' Switchgrass, one of my favorite grasses to use in landscape design.

More projects to come so stayed tuned!

Monday, November 6, 2017

High Desert Design Competition 2017 Landscape Design Winner

I am very proud to be this years winner of the High Desert Design Council's design competition for Landscape Design!  The project was a backyard upgrade for wonderful clients in Northwest Crossing in Bend, Oregon.  They had a corner of their backyard that was unsightly and under-utilized.  The lawn was removed and replaced with a gorgeous square paver patio and fire pit.  It is so wonderful and the clients love it!  Here are some pictures, enjoy!


Modern Patio

Belgard Plaza Pavers

Cove Fire Bowl fire pit

Path to fire pit patio