Category: residential

06
Jul

Camas Garden

DESIGN GOALS

The owners of this garden are busy people who spend several days each month traveling for business. They needed a landscape which was low maintenance. They wanted a landscape with a nod toward Asian design. And the clients wanted a dog friendly garden because they were planning to adopt two puppies.

CHALLENGES

The existing site was predominantly north facing, wet and boggy. Nearly the entire backyard was planted in lawn which was always wet and squishy which pointed to drainage problems. There were a few existing conifers breaking the view of the back fence but there was little else in foundation plantings. The entire site dropped off from the street so the primary view of the backyard was from the second story with no direct connection to the yard below.

SOLUTION

To address drainage issues a dry creek was created to funnel water to the lowest point on the site and to add interest to the view from the second story living and dining areas. The dry creek also created a visual anchor when it was wet or dry. As a play spot for the puppies, the lawn was reduced in size and replanted at the sunnier northwest end of the yard as far a practical from the original boggy area.
A path of pavers was designed to connect the existing patio with the landscape. The path traverses the lawn and meanders through new plantings surrounding the dry creek crossing over a little simple Asian influenced footbridge before turning back to the patio.
The real star of the backyard was a lovely, established Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese cedar) which became a natural focal point in the northeast corner. This specimen plant was the backdrop for the rest of the plantings and became a natural frame for a metal sculpture of Buddha the owners purchased. The new plant palette was selected to be low maintenance and to provide interest during a minimum of 3 seasons of the year with texture, color and structure.
And the puppies, now dogs, love it.

04
Apr

Irvington Landscape

DESIGN GOALS

The owners of the property are gardeners in their own right and had planted the existing garden years ago which was in need of rejuvenation and updating. And their young Labrador Retriever had done her best to “rearrange” the plantings.
The goal was to replant an existing rockery which had been overrun with various groundcovers with a new palette of sun loving, drought tolerant, durable plants. As well as re-plan the backyard for outdoor entertaining and interplant edibles with ornamental plantings.

CHALLENGES

A large ornamental pear tree in the center of the backyard shaded the patchy existing lawn and consequently it did not stand a chance against the traffic the dog subjected it to. A raised bed planted with herbs was also being shaded out by the tree and in need of replacement. The existing raised brick edged patio was in great shape however there was no transition between the hardscape and the rest of the garden. And more entertaining space was needed.

SOLUTION

The lawn was replanted with a more shade tolerant mix. The hardscape was extended by adding pavers for a solid platform for the grill which freed up a larger space for entertaining. The raised bed was rebuilt and relocated to the west edge of the property line in the sunniest location for herbs. All the plantings were reworked to the desires of the owners and blueberries, raspberries and huckleberries were woven into the plantings.

07
Feb

Niche Garden

DESIGN GOALS

The owners had a mature landscape which was well planted and maintained with the exception of a dark, dry corner by the front door. Celilo Gardens was asked to change the character and create a space which was inviting and useful.

CHALLENGES

The spot was sheltered by a deep overhang which presented a challenge for plants to thrive deep under the eaves in low light and low water conditions. The corner was small but held an important and very visible location near the front door. On summer mornings it was the only spot in the front yard which got a few hours of direct sunlight.

SOLUTION

A small hardscaped pad with a sitting area and a simple water feature were created far back under the eaves which added the sound of water and pushed the plantings farther forward into the light. Irrigation was added to solve the dry conditions for the plants. Garden art was selected to add color and to catch and reflect light back into the rest of the front garden.

RESULT

A new welcoming place to pause with a cup of coffee was created in the footprint of what once was a dusty corner of the garden.

04
Feb

Garden by the Lake

DESIGN GOALS

This suburban garden was likely planted at about the same time the house was built (1970’s) and it was tired and in need of editing.

The goal was to open the front door more invitingly to the street, restructure and relocate the hardscape and replace existing plants with more suitable shade loving varieties and simplify the overall design.

CHALLENGES

This shady front garden was originally planted with sun loving plants which were struggling.  The original wood slat fence and raised beds needed replacement or removal.

The existing wooden raised beds were rotted and created obstacles by their layout.

The soil was compacted and remained wet and undrained for long periods of time.

SOLUTION

All of the wood beds, wood curbs and the original retaining wall were re-planned and replaced with basalt stone which gave new structure to the garden.

The original wood fence was removed and replaced with a metal trellis and espaliered camellias giving some separation from the street without closing in the front garden.

New shade loving varieties of plants were selected and planted in masses for impact and for ease of maintenance.  And the existing, mature Japanese Maples were retained.

A simple bubbling water feature was installed to add the sound of water to the space and to attract wildlife.

Landscape lighting was installed as much for wayfinding as for ambiance.

RESULT

The front garden now has a fresh new look while honoring the rectilinear architectural style of the house.  It is now a welcoming entry.

24
Nov

Wee Bonny Butte

DESIGN GOALS

Reflect the architectural character of the mid-century modern residence in the landscape.
Provide privacy from the street for the front garden and the house.
Design a back yard garden that beckons equally at ground level as from the second story.

CHALLENGES

One of the greatest challenges was designing the back garden to be as interesting to the viewer from the second story public areas as it was walking through it. Using simple statements, large textured plants, and bold colors and contrast to hold the attention of a viewer so far away was the key. Custom art for the back garden was purposefully placed to catch both morning and evening light while not competing with the commanding view of the city.

SOLUTION

Orthogonal gravel paths in both the front and back gardens define planting beds and the views while gesturing toward the rectilinear architecture of the 50’s. By choosing plant materials for texture and contrast rather than mainly for bloom, the garden has structure, color and interest during all four seasons. Plantings were grouped in drifts for higher impact and easier maintenance. The mantra was “plant in threes, fives, sevens and nines!” Plants with the similar water requirements were strategically grouped together so water can be reduced in selected zones and maintained in others.

RESULT

The result is garden that provides privacy, uses water wisely and invites the visitor to linger.

11
Sep

Suburban Back Garden

DESIGN GOALS

Create a garden which would flourish under a tall, shady stand of Douglas Firs with minimal water requirements.
Design a deck with multiple functions while maintaining a modest overall footprint in the yard.

SOLUTION

Listening carefully to the client’s needs the deck was designed to incorporate seating areas, outdoor cooking and a hot tub while limiting the size to remain in scale with the planted area of the back garden.

RESULT

The footprint of the remaining back yard was planned to provide a vegetable garden plot with terraced beds, a secluded fire pit, meandering paths and a showcase for garden art.  Plants were chosen for texture and leaf color more than bloom as well as for minimal irrigation requirements beneath the standing Firs.

11
Sep

ALOHA GARDEN

DESIGN GOALS

Create privacy from the street.
Address circulation/drainage and design issues with the existing pond.
Design to attract wildlife.
Provide a spot to linger while being out of direct public view.
Address drainage issues in the original concrete driveway adjacent to the garage.

CHALLENGE

The site was a very large suburban lot.  The front garden was equal to the total size of an oversized urban lot (110’ x 90’).  The original unobstructed view from the street gave the owners little privacy and offered guests no interest.

SOLUTION

A sweeping arch of open fencing was located at the edge of the circular drive to provide a layer of screening and separation while maintaining the connection of the front door with the street.  Behind the screen lies the garden.  The original pond was redesigned to reflect the rectilinear character of the house and constructed to be deep enough to create a safe home for koi.

SOLUTION(CONT’D)

A simple paved patio was located just outside the front door to be enjoyed on leisure summer evenings and a ramped walk leads from the new paved drive to the patio.

Plantings were selected for ease of maintenance, drama and four season interest. Combining and interplanting two and three plants in mass for contrast and texture kept the plant palette simple.  Careful consideration was paid to the selection and placement of evergreen plants to ensure the garden would have a presence during all seasons.