Case study for couples.
Vision (see portfolio)
Carla and Paul are big DIY people but when it came to their garden they chose to get help from Green Alchemy and together we created a plan to meet their needs.
There were several challenges facing Carla and Paul. Certain existing elements were taking up to much of the available space, a huge rock outcropping, a dark, buggy tree house, and a confining fence line. Their home is situated on a hillside and the neighbors above loomed over their home creating a 'fish bowl' effect.
With a strong desire to expand their home into the garden and use its space Carla and Paul defined key family activities for me. Carla works at home and her office has a full view of the garden, When Paul finishes with work, family commitments and home improvement items, it's important for him to take time for himself. Their children wanted to be outside when they had friends over. Their son especially wanted a lawn where he could practice his sports moves and play with the family dog.
When I first explored climbing up the rock outcropping, I enjoyed the sense of being on the rocks as well as the 'above it all' feeling from being up high. Why not use these rocks and put them to work? Together we designed a deck for the upper corner of the rock outcropping. A path of accent was bordered with wooden containers that elevated Bamboo plants and screened out the view of the neighbors.
Carla and Paul also wanted a water feature and we looked closely at a fissure in one of the rocks. After putting a garden hose on it and watching water trickle in a neat path to the bottom we decided to use it's natural attributes in our design.
An existing fence which aligned with the edge of the house left a unused sloping grade on its other side. We removed the existing fence, moved out closer to the property line, and designed a retaining wall with a new fence and gated access. This gave an additional five feet in width to the garden.
The design of the existing tree house lacked light and was home to all kinds of creepy crawly things. The kids never used it so it was an easy decision to remove it. One existing tree devoured the center of the garden. It was a tough call but we removed the tree and carefully chose perimeter plantings that would surround a new open space while screening out the neighbors and creating a greater sense of intimacy in the garden.