Applegate Landscape

February 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

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a view of the garden and fireplace

The Applegate project carried the Asian/industrial theme of a new home built by Brian Burns and Tom Gandy into the surrounding landscape of white oak and ponderosa.  The sight is south facing with a view of the Applegate River and the front edge of the Siskiyou Mountains.  Steel, stone, and rough sawn incense cedar reinforced the concept in a series of walls and patio spaces.  Native and non-native species punctuate the plantings near the home and fade into the natural setting.  The work was a highlight of The Land Collective and showcases Sean Scully’s excellent stone masonry.

custom lanterns direct foot traffic from the upper gate to a fireside patio

custom lanterns direct foot traffic from the upper gate to a fireside patio

a view of the stone steps during construction

a view of the stone steps during construction

Iron Mountain flagstone radiates from a central post in the lower patio

Iron Mountain flagstone radiates from a central post in the lower patio

a view of the entry courtyard shortly after planting

a view of the entry courtyard shortly after planting

'Native Warrior', a Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris mixes well with Black Mondo Grass on the cool north facing side of the courtyard

‘Native Warrior’, a Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris mixes well
with Black Mondo Grass
on the cool north facing side of the courtyard

Davidson Residence

May 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

DavidsonPlantingPlan

The Davidson’s were interested in removing their front lawn and making a new connection to the street.  They also wanted an edible landscape in their front yard that would be easy to care for without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.

a street side view

a street side view

Several stone walls were built to maintain a relatively level planting area in the center of the yard and also to support a new entry patio.

the new driveway and entry steps improve the connection between house and street

the new driveway and entry steps improve the connection between house and street

The curbside improvements allow guests to approach the house on a stone pathway that cuts through a thick bunchgrass planting and connects to the new entry steps.

a Bluestone pathway guides foot traffic to the main entry

a Bluestone pathway guides foot traffic to the main entry

The grasses provide some visual continuity that supports the otherwise diverse planting plan.  Walking along the city’s sidewalk through the wash of blue fescue feels a bit like a brief stroll through an urban meadow.

the sidewalk cuts through a bunch grass 'meadow' at the base of the lower wall

the sidewalk cuts through a bunch grass ‘meadow’ at the base of the lower wall

Beyond the first wall, an array of berries selected for both their variety and ornamental qualities can be harvested along the main walkway and a stone path that cuts across the yard diagonally.  At the top of the stairs, a stone patio provides seating and a view over the top of the planting toward the forested skyline of nearby Hendrick’s Park.

the upper patio shortly after installation

the upper patio shortly after installation

a new lantern at the base of the stairs

a new lantern at the base of the stairs

A new drip system and an abundance of drought tolerant species reduced the irrigation needs in the yard.  As the landscape matures, a flush of spring and summer flowers will give way to the bright colors of a fall harvest.  Felix Brothers once again proved to be invaluable members of the Land Sight team.  Their sand-finished concrete stairway and driveway are both beautiful and functional.  Dave Macrorie is truly a master of his craft, and his stonework on this project will be enjoyed for numerous years to come.

bunch grasses tie the yard and parking strip together

bunch grasses tie the yard and parking strip together

Tommy’s Place

May 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

a rendering of the design depicts Tommy’s place with a mature planting

Tommy’s front yard design was one of several improvements to the O’Donnell residence.  The Ranch Style house is well made and shares Craftsman Style elements.  The recent addition of a front porch and portico knitted the two architectural styles closer together.  LandSight’s design for the yard considered the client’s connection with Arizona’s deserts and his neighborhood sociability.  The site’s new retaining wall and western aspect allowed for the great drainage and solar exposure desired by many plants of the desert and Southern Oregon.

a view of Tommy’s place prior to the landscape installation

The yard was set up to visually frame the house from the street.  Alternately, the planting is enjoyed while sitting on the front porch.  A narrow footpath arcs between the porch and wall, providing easy movement through the yard and an opportunity to get closer to the plants.  Several pockets of pumice along the path provide a space in the garden for small interesting succulents.

arcs of pumice plantings add an interesting design element to the path and space for interesting succulents

The planting plan is a combination of desert and chaparral species that feels southwestern, yet the Southern Oregon natives provide a regional anchor.  A true xeriscaping effort, water will only be applied by hand during the plantings’ infancy.  In time, additional irrigation will not be necessary.

a drawing of the planting plan

Mr. O’Donnell and LandSight reclaimed much of the yard from English Ivy, exposing a hidden stone wall and making room for the diverse planting plan.  A testament to Mr. O’Donnell’s place in the community, several friends joined the planting effort during the heat of an unseasonably warm spring.  Future improvements to the O’Donnell residence include a green wall planter and a small window arbor.

a view of Tommy’s place shortly after the installation

Bloom

May 3, 2012 § 5 Comments

hanging out at 5th Street Public Market’s garden show, Bloom

Emphasizing the sculptural qualities and drought tolerance of succulents was the aim of LandSight’s recent installation at 5th Street Public Market’s garden show, Bloom.  Mr. Welch of LandSight built these spherical hanging planters to last.  Constructed with a welded re-bar internal frame and an aircraft cable tether, these plant spheres could hang around for many years.

one of LandSight’s planting spheres with Agave, Hebe, Echeveria and Sempervivum

Surviving in the wet and temperate Zone 7 of Oregon’s Willamette Valley can be tricky for many of the desert plants that Mr. Welch used for the installation, but the excellent drainage provided by the hanging design gives these plants an edge over Oregon’s wet winters.  Many of these plants can survive temperatures well below 10 degrees fahrenheit, but they do this in their native desert climates.  Cold and wet is another story, and this damages plant tissues swollen with water from a soaking Oregon rain.  High and dry seemed like a logical design solution that could increase the survivability of desert plants and create a very low maintenance, low water hanging basket.

the plant spheres hang like a constellation over the courtyard

Hoping to find homes for the plant spheres, Mr. Welch envisions the baskets becoming more interesting with age as new spikes of agave and yucca emerge from the planter’s core — some light shearing or shaping could emphasize the rounded or planetary form of each piece.  The spheres are for sale during the event from May 3rd to the 13th.  For a list of prices and care instructions, visit Bloom at 5th Street Public Market in Eugene, Oregon or contact LandSight through this blog.

Spears

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

An early conceptual sketch of the courtyard

An early conceptual sketch of the courtyard

the courtyard with planting islands and local bird’s eye gravel

The Spears project was designed and constructed by The Land Collective, a design build company operated by Sean Scully and Dustin Welch.  The design concept was a marriage of Japanese dry gardens and Southern Oregon native elements.  The English Tudor architecture of the house paired well with examples of Japanese architecture and worked nicely with the garden style.  The large blank stucco walls supported the sparse expanses of decorative gravel.  Bold rectilinear forms paired with organic shapes fit the architecture and Japanese garden motifs.  Plants native to the surrounding oak woodland were used in dramatic stone arrangements to magnify the sculptural form of species such as manzanita and ceanothus.  Native fescues were clustered in small islands of grass set in a gravel sea.  Efforts were made to bring rugged native elements into the carefully arranged courtyard.  As the design drifted into the woodland, components of the courtyard merged with the surrounding landscape to ground the house in its native setting.

Deschampsia caespitosa and Pinus nigra ‘Oregon Green’ set in bird’s eye gravel behind a rhyolite, tuff stone wall

Hayashi

March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

looking across the crushed granite toward the garden shed

The Hayashi project was based on a volcanic crater concept with a Japanese motif.  The demolition for the project required removing the existing sod and digging a depression or ‘crater’ in the center of the backyard.  Mike Baker of Rejuvenation Landscapes, and Justin Ramsey of JRC Construction were Land Sight team members during construction.

a view of the backyard prior to construction

The center of the garden is a storm water basin that percolates into the native soil.  An ebb and flow of surface water is visible during large rain storms.  Part of the runoff is captured to refill the basin’s water feature and pumped through a ceramic koi fountain.  A new deck extends from the kitchen and cantilevers over the crushed granite of the ‘crater’ reminiscent of Japan’s dry sand gardens.

the deck extends over the storm water basin

A new garden shed was built with a green roof that extends to provide covered storage outside of the sliding doors.  The roof supports continue to create a trellis for clematis.  A weather station and rain gauge are mounted to the shed to moderate the irrigation system and conserve water.

the garden shed with a green roof provides storage and space for the irrigation controls

The planting plan uses a range of warm colored blooms that contrast with blue-violet to complement the volcanic wildflower aesthetic.  A backdrop of Evergreen shrubs insulate the garden with a backdrop of varied foliage textures and colors.

a detail of the planting with Juncus, Geum, tickseed, penstemon and a dwarf pine

a sketch of the plan

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